John Schindler: Why Hillary’s EmailGate Matters | Observer

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CK MacLeod

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    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to notme says:

      We firmly oppose the complete blocking of the release of these emails,” Clinton campaign spokesman Brain Fallon said. “Since first providing her emails to the State Department more than one year ago, Hillary Clinton has urged that they be made available to the public. We feel no differently today.”

      Fallon accused the “loudest and leakiest participants” in a process of bureaucratic infighting for withholding the exchanges. The documents, he said, originated in the State Department’s unclassified system before they ever reached Clinton, and “in at least one case, the emails appear to involve information from a published news article.”

      You just can’t resist kicking at that football, Charlie Brown.

      But hey, I respect you resilience. No matter how many times you’ve fallen for this, you still keep going! I admire that steadfast refusal to learn from experience.Report

      • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Morat20 says:

        It was Bill Clinton, more than anyone else, who turned me from a Reagan Democrat to a middle of the road centrist (It was GWB who converted me to the Bolshevik that you see today).

        Or rather, it was the increasing madness of the baying hounds who were convinced they were on the scent of a truly magnificent scandal, something that would dwarf Watergate and force with one dramatic move, That Man from office.

        And since, I have also thought, what with stopped clocks and all, that someday they may actually uncover something real.

        But looking at the quote above-
        How does this reporter know that the 22 emails contained “readouts from sensitive meetings, secret U.S. positions on high-stakes negotiations, details of interaction between the State Department and other U.S. agencies including the White House“?

        Today doesn’t look like that day. But tomorrow is another day.Report

        • Avatar Morat20 in reply to notme says:

          God, you don’t even try. That’s a NR piece in which a writer speculates about other people who are speculating about what people not quoted “might do” if certain speculations are correct.

          Jesus, the whole piece is about the speculations of a Republican (his party affiliation is, strangely, absent) former AG who got pantsed in Virginia on his gubernatorial bid. He’s the guy who was still fighting for anti-sodomy laws in 2013!

          He doesn’t know more than me. He’s not involved in the investigation. He’s a Republican hack speculating wildly.

          Did you think I wouldn’t read it? Or did you not read it?Report

  1. Avatar Jaybird says:

    It was learning that “nonpaper” was a term of art that turned me around on this.

    Since then, I’ve also learned that stuff can be Top Secret even if it runs on the front page of the NYT as part of a five-day series. They can talk all about Area 51 and the Lizard People and everything and a person with a clearance who talks about Area 51 or the Lizard People is spouting Top Secret on a theoretically unclassified system even if they’re just repeating what they read in the paper.

    So if the emails talk about “they’re talking about the Lizard people on the front page of the NYT”, the email would be Top Secret.

    Which seems dumb.

    That said, if the unclassified system was not hardened up to spec, that’s something worth getting ticked about, but Hillary wouldn’t be the person who hardens a server. She’d be the person who hires a person who explains to her “you have to harden the server” and then hire someone who would harden it.

    If this third person in the process fails to harden the server adequately (which they probably failed to do), it’s *TECHNICALLY* something that can fall back to Hillary in the whole “buck stops here” sense of the term of responsibility… but that’s significantly different from Hillary sending out an email to Huma saying “the Lizard people want permission to go back to Area 51 because they’ve finally doctored the footage of Jackie shooting Connally.”Report

    • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird says:

      Its entirely possible that there was carelessness on Clinton’s part.
      Of a piece with my criticisms of Gov. Snyder, she was in charge, and assumes responsibility for any of her subordinates.

      But right now, it just looks like it was a protocol violation (maybe), without any clear damage.

      Because really, aside from “she wasn’t sposed to do that” I haven’t heard anything.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        Its entirely possible that there was carelessness on Clinton’s part.

        Well, given that this whole issue has resulted from a transparently obvious politically-motivated-yet-government-funded witch-hunt to find dirt on Hillary, what’s the goal? Pretty much anything that’s politically damaging, and carelessness might suffice. I mean, what’s the alternative? That they’re trying to follow up on leads that Hillary is a covert op in league with enemies of the US intent on destroying us from within? (Hah!)Report

      • Avatar notme in reply to Chip Daniels says:

        Its entirely possible that there was carelessness on Clinton’s part.

        No, carelessness is accidentally letting the cat out. Setting up a homebrew server and transmitting classified info is incompetence or worse.

        But right now, it just looks like it was a protocol violation (maybe), without any clear damage.

        Really, as if the Russians or whomever are going to tell us all the info they gained from her actions. We will never know the full extent of the damage. Assuming that there is no damage b/c we don’t know about it is naive.Report

        • Avatar Damon in reply to notme says:

          ” incompetence”

          No. Transmitting classified information is a crime, whether or not you intended to isn’t relevant. Most people in this situation would have their job in jeopardy.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

      There’s some devilish details to be ironed out here regarding what she sent, but I think the political angle is gonna be really simple: the Russians (the RUSSIANS!!) were reading her emails. On the other hand, claims like this one from the linky

      All this angers Americans with experience in our military and intelligence services who understand what Ms. Clinton and her staff did

      sorta lets the politically motivated cat outa the writer’s unsecured bag a tricks.

      {{Now we’re back to drip, drip, drip.}}Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

        I’ve reached the version of crazy that says that USG doesn’t care if Russia or China knows what it’s doing so long as the American People don’t know.

        Russia or China doesn’t really care, after all. The American People might.Report

        • Avatar greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

          All govs know some secrets are really hard to keep. They try but they certainly don’t assume everything is secret. Most secrets end up being banal or at most rude. Govs don’t like to admit they spy on each other even though all sides know they do it.

          For instance how deep our subs can dive is super duper secret since that is important info. But the russians certainly have a decent idea how deep they can dive based on their own observations, spying, and their own research on subs. But we still can’t just announce how deep since the ambiguity between the truth and what they think might be important.Report

          • Avatar Stillwater in reply to greginak says:

            Absolutely. Imagine a movie which takes place in a submarine being bombarded by depth-charges and the only evasive maneuver available to our heroic defenders of freedom is to GO DEEPER! But the enemy knows exactly how deep the sub can go because that information was discovered in an unsecure email server…Report

        • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Jaybird says:

          Didn’t State suffer a massive email hack during that time-frame anyways?

          We also need to keep in mind the regulations and practices NOW versus 10 years ago.

          I mean, take passwords. The passwords I could use 10 years ago at my job would get me screamed at by IT if I tried them now. (Well, they’d just get rejected because they don’t meet minimum complexity). A whole lot has changed about ‘basic, no-brainer security” in 10 years.

          We’re on 12 characters, at least one special character, no dictionary words embedded, no re-use for a year, and changes every 60 days….thank freakin’ God we finally replaced it with a card+pin combo. 10 years ago? Order of magnitude or two easier to crack — 6 characters, very mild dictionary checks, one special character that could even be a number, and the repetition checks were simple. A few years before that, nobody even bothered to enforce or check password complexity except running it against a dictionary of common passwords.

          I’m not going to scream at 2005 me for not using 12 characters, at least one number, one letter, one case change, and one special character, no repeats for a year, and huge dictionary checks for embedded words.Report

    • Avatar Hoosegow Flask in reply to Jaybird says:

      Jaybird:
      a person with a clearance who talks about Area 51 or the Lizard People is spouting Top Secret on a theoretically unclassified system even if they’re just repeating what they read in the paper.

      Which is why I view the private email server as a red herring. If she intentionally sent classified emails on an unclassified network, it should make little difference if she used her unclassified government email address or her (unclassified) private email address. I haven’t seen anyone point to an applicable law that makes a distinction.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Hoosegow Flask says:

        There is no difference. But the root of this whole thing is nobody would have be looking at anything if Clinton would have just had a .gov address administrated by IT folks at State.Report

        • Avatar Mo in reply to Kolohe says:

          You’d think someone who worked on prosecuting Nixon would have, “It’s the cover-up, not the crime,” beaten into their head.Report

        • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Kolohe says:

          Which is why, I assume, the White House eventually unified their policy sometime after Kerry took up the job.

          The big question is: Why aren’t we yelling about her predecessors who did the exact same thing as her, except didn’t even bother arching their emails for FOIA requests?

          Wouldn’t that be even worse, because not only did they make the same mistake, but went ahead and didn’t even comply with the relevant laws on information retention.Report

          • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Morat20 says:

            Remember when the Obama Administration was all about repudiating the failed policies of the Bush Administration?

            Good times.

            But, yes, we live in a BSDI world, now.Report

            • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Kolohe says:

              What? They did. The new rules on email, archiving, and complying with FOIA and internals security were formulated during Obama’s term. The wheels of government IT grind fairly slowly, however, and the finalization and application of the rules happened during Kerry’s term as Secretary of State.

              If you’ve ever worked for a large enough company (and the Executive office certainly counts) you can’t even get a mission statement updated inside of a year. Massive changes to IT policy, storage, retention — especially with legal implications and having to deal with eight zillion vendors (because everything is ‘privatized’ when possible)? Years, even if you start on Day One.Report

            • Avatar Don Zeko in reply to Kolohe says:

              Kolohe:
              Remember when the Obama Administration was all about repudiating the failed policies of the Bush Administration?

              When I heard that promise in 2008, I certainly assumed Obama was referring to the Bush Administration’s scandalous management of the email accounts of cabinet secretaries. I’m also terribly disappointed that Obama continued to live in the White House, wear pants, and speak English, JUST LIKE BUSH. I should have voted for Nader; otherwise none of these disasters will ever change.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Kolohe says:

          But the root of this whole thing is nobody would have be looking at anything if Clinton would have just…

          No. There is no way to complete that sentence and have it be a truthful statement.

          It doesn’t matter what the Clintons do or don’t do, they will be the target of breathless exposes’, relentless investigations, and hysterical rumors.Report

  2. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Really, though, the internet says Rice didn’t use email (neither did Albright). Powell did, but I also imagine Powell was old school enough not to use email that extensively, and keep official communications in the realm of cables and official (hardcopy) memos and letters.Report

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