Hillary Clinton schemed, lied repeatedly, and jeopardized national security in favor of her own selfish interests while secretary of state.
Of course, that’s not the gist you will get from the various media outlets sifting through the 7,000 emails the State Department released last night. The Clinton defenders will focus on some light-hearted moments, like an inquiry about gefilte fish, or the hurtful accusation that madame secretary sometimes watched Fox News while in flight.
In this Oct. 18, 2011, file photo, then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton checks her Blackberry from a desk inside a C-17 military plane upon her departure from Malta, in the Mediterranean Sea, bound for Tripoli, Libya. (AP Photo/Kevin Lamarque, Pool, File)
This is all part of the Hillary misdirection playbook. The Clinton team will first try to spin this release as good news. If that fails, Hillary’s entourage of sycophants and enablers will hope to hide in a fog of confusion and media disinterest while this scandal blows over. They will doggedly cling to the “nothing marked classified” talking point, and claim this is much ado about nothing.
That’s all hogwash, every bit of it. We must hold Hillary accountable. The latest email dump only makes it more obvious that her transgressions were continuous, willful and reckless. As you dive deeper into the details, the stronger the case against Hillary becomes.
First on the list - there are in fact more classified messages, up to 188 from the previous 63. At this point, even the Clinton campaign admits classified information was stored on Hillary’s server. So yes, Hillary lied when she claimed back in March she never sent anyone classified material. That blanket statement has been modified with “classified at the time,” because there was a lot of classified in emails she sent and received - it’s just that they were classified “after."
The problem for the Clinton camp is, that’s not how the national security classification system works. It’s the information - not the markings on the page - that makes it sensitive. Hillary is essentially claiming that, in almost 200 instances identified so far, she never thought what she was emailing necessitated a secure government system. To put it in plain parlance, she wouldn’t know classified information if it stared her in the face.
Once or twice is a mistake - 188 times is a policy. Hillary just didn’t care about classified information.
While incompetence may be an enticing excuse for Hillary and company, it also doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Hillary was the secretary of state, and as such, she had an elevated obligation to protect classified information. She had a phalanx of lawyers and advisors to make sure she stayed well within the bounds of operational security, and had access to a secure email system whenever she wanted it.
In reality, her personal, homebrew server, not a secure government system, was her default choice. That meant that, instead of erring on the side of protecting national security data - even if that meant an abundance of caution - Hillary opted for absolute control over her own electronic records.
[sharequote align="center"]Negligence, not ignorance, would be Hillary’s only explanation.[/sharequote]
But it gets worse for Hillary. You see, as secretary of state she would have been engaged in diplomatic correspondence with senior officials from foreign governments. This sort of exchange is almost always, under all circumstances, classified. If she passed that over open channels to her staff, it’s a security violation. Negligence, not ignorance, would be Hillary’s only explanation for her failure to treat it as classified information.
For a secretary of state, a lot of what you do is classified. It’s not after the fact, kinda-sorta-maybe classified. It is 100 percent protected national security information.
For a refresher on how the State Department feels about diplomatic secrecy, go back and look at how apoplectic State was at Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning for stealing and transferring gigabytes worth of their data onto the open web.
That stuff was classified for good reason. In some countries - many in fact - if you speak too frankly about leadership, or blow the whistle on corruption, you don’t just get fired, you get buried. If our diplomats can’t protect secrets, they aren’t worth much abroad.
So if some foreign minister tells Hillary that he loves Wheaties for breakfast, the information originator’s default position is to classify it, just to be on the safe side, because you are talking about senior government officials who deal with a lot of sensitive info all day long. When in doubt, you protect classified information.
But let’s put this classification debate aside for a moment, and focus on Clinton’s most damning act. It’s not the roughly 55,000 emails she has turned over that we really want to see - it’s the 30,000 she deleted.
Remember, Hillary’s entire email scheme was intended to evade transparency and she almost got away with it. If it weren’t for a hacker, and the House investigation into the terrorist attack in Benghazi, we would never have known a thing about Clinton’s shady email maneuvers.
Despite the outing of her homebrew server, Hillary was able to wipe it clean. That means tens of thousands of emails were destroyed based on nothing more than Hillary’s discretion.
Trust me, the really interesting emails - the kind that would immediately derail a presidential campaign and could lead to prison time - Hillary deleted those a long time ago.
Whether that deletion was final remains to be seen. We have to wait and see what the FBI can recover from the server. There will be more classified information on there, but unless it is “marked classified,” the Clinton campaign will stick to stonewalling and talking points. Unless Hillary was sending emails with “Nuclear secrets for China” in the subject line, you can expect her media defenders to remain obstinate.
But there is another vulnerability, one that gets far less attention than the risk to classified information - the Clinton Foundation. Despite obvious ethical pitfalls, Hillary was still involved with her global slush fund fronting as a charity while secretary of state. Her grasping, unscrupulous husband, never one to shy away from a payday even if North Korea is involved was receiving preposterous sums of money for the pleasure of his company.
Follow the foundation trail. If Hillary has to suspend her campaign, it is more likely to result from emails that expose the rank quid pro quo corruption of the Clinton empire than from any breach of classified protocols.
No matter what the media says, or how fast the Clinton machine spins, there is both smoke and fire to Hillary’s email scandal. Even in the scrubbed version of her disclosed emails, there is more than ample evidence that Hillary lied, acted stupidly and broke the law, at least as its understood to apply to the non-Clintons of the world.
Despite all this, it is almost certain she will never trade in her pantsuit for prison stripes. The Democrat statist machine is too powerful, and she plays too large a role in it. She should face the justice system like anyone else in her circumstance would. It won’t happen.
But perhaps we can hope as more emails come out that they will help prevent this irresponsible, self-dealing paragon of corruption from becoming the next commander in chief.
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