Supplemental: Do you understand the email matter?

THURSDAY, AUGUST 13, 2015

Concerning what Kevin Drum said:
We were puzzled by something we read in Sunday’s New York Times.

As usual, we were on the front page of the Times. Needless to say, a report about “Bleeding from wherever”-gate sat at the top of the page. But below the fold, we found a lengthy report about Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state.

The report was written by Scott Shane and Michael Schmidt. Because Schmidt is the fellow who created the July 27 front-page debacle concerning this same general topic, we were somewhat puzzled by two parts of this new front-page report.

First, a minor puzzlement. Early on, in paragraph 7, the two reporters offered the highlighted statement:
SHANE AND SCHMIDT (8/9/15): Mrs. Clinton, who has said she now regrets her unorthodox decision to keep private control of her official messages, is not a target in the F.B.I.’s investigation, which is focused on assessing security breaches. Against the backdrop of other current government computer security lapses, notably the large-scale theft of files from the Office of Personnel Management, most specialists believe the occasional appearance of classified information in the Clinton account was probably of marginal consequence.
Say what? Most specialists believe the matter is probably of marginal consequence?

Given earlier hoopla at the Times, we were a bit surprised by that statement. But when we reached paragraph 21, we were quite surprised by what we read:
SHANE AND SCHMIDT: When she took office in 2009, with ever more people doing government business through email, the State Department allowed the use of home computers as long as they were secure; nine months later a new policy required that steps be taken to make sure emails were captured in the department’s records. There appears to have been no prohibition on the exclusive use of a private server; it does not appear to be an option anyone had thought about.

A server was set up at Mrs. Clinton’s home in Chappaqua, N.Y., evidently with backup provided in Denver at Platte River Networks. To the surprise of many colleagues, she never had a standard State.gov account.
Say what? We’re fairly sure that we had read all those characterizations before. But a tiny voice in our head was now asking several questions:

If the State Department “allowed the use of home computers,” what is this giant fuss all about?

If “there appears to have been no prohibition on the exclusive use of a private server,” why are people so upset about Clinton’s use of same?

Those are questions about the basic substance of this dispute. We also had a bit of a journalistic question:

If home computers were allowed; if there was no prohibition on private servers; why had the New York Times seemed to be pimping scandal so hard just a few weeks earlier? Is this Michael Schmidt the same Michael Schmidt who wrote that earlier, bungled front-page report—the report which had to be formally corrected two separate times?

What exactly is the nature of the email dispute? The question is extremely important for a fairly obvious reason—whatever its merits, this dispute is well on its way to being the new Whitewater.

Here’s what we mean by that:

To this day, no one has the slightest ideas how to explain the Whitewater matter. And yet the episode gave its name to a decade of pseudo-scandal.

Because the issues involved were so complex and so obscure, no one ever had any real idea what was being alleged or charged in the Whitewater matter. But alas! Precisely because of the obscurity and complexity, Whitewater served as a perfect vehicle for years of murky claims and charges—claims and charges which, in the end, washed out with respect to Bill Clinton.

Whatever its actual merits may be, “emailgate” is shaping up in a similar manner. Is it true that the State Department “allowed the use of home computers?” Is it true that there was “no prohibition on the exclusive use of a private server?” Very few people have any idea because, as in all such scandal stampedes, the press corps is dealing in suggestions, insinuations and exciting partisan claims more than in efforts at clarity and elucidation.

Because of the inherent complexity, “emailgate” could serve as the perfect vehicle for long-running scandal or pseudo-scandal over the next fifteen months. For that reason, liberal journalists should be working to produce greater clarity about this tangled set of affairs.

Needless to say, that isn’t occurring on MSNBC. Beyond that, we were puzzled by Kevin Drum’s recent post on this subject.

Drum has one of the clearest minds in the liberal journalistic world. His post ran under this headline:

“The Hillary Clinton Email Saga: Still No There There”

At this point, Drum seems to think that this latest “scandal” is once again fully pseudo. We’ll suggest that you read his whole post. But here are his first and last paragraphs:
DRUM (8/12/15): Is Hillary Clinton starting to get into serious trouble over the personal email account she maintained as Secretary of State? Hard to say. So far there's no evidence that she did anything wrong, just a beef between State and CIA over whether some of the emails she sent and received were classified.

[...]

It may turn out at some point that Clinton did something wrong. So far, her only real sin is looking guilty—and I'll confess I don't understand why she's acting that way. All it does is give Republicans ammunition and give the press corps an excuse to treat her the way they used to in the 90s. But as near as I can tell, there's just nothing here, which is why I haven't bothered writing about it. Aside from the obvious political motivations (for Republicans) and personal animus (among the press), is there any reason this is getting such big play? What am I missing?
We’re slightly puzzled by that. Drum seems to be skipping past two charges which, if justified, would seem to be reasonably serious if, as always, overblown. We refer to these claims:

The claim that Clinton may have compromised national security by her use of private email. And the claim that Clinton may have done this to shield her emails from Freedom of Information requests.

Is there merit to these claims? It seems to us that Drum is skipping past them. But we’re most concerned by this puzzling, but somewhat familiar, bit of liberal logic:

“As near as I can tell, there's just nothing here, which is why I haven't bothered writing about it.”

Drumster! If there’s “just nothing there,” that is exactly why liberal journalistic should be writing about this burgeoning matter. They should be writing about it in an attempt to make the situation clear.

On balance, Drum is our favorite blogger. But “I haven’t bothered writing about it” explains the approach the liberal world has taken to all such matters over the past twenty or thirty years.

First, liberal journalists didn’t bother writing about the wave of pseudo-scandals which defined the Whitewater era. In 1995, Gene Lyons literally wrote the book on the Whitewater journalism. His book was widely ignored.

Then, liberal journalists didn’t bother writing about the twenty-month war against Candidate Gore, which ended up sending George Bush to the White House.

We were describing these matters from Week One, in March 1999. Liberal journalist didn’t bother explaining, complaining, clarifying, pushing back or speaking truth to mainstream bullroar. That "What us worry" approach didn’t work out real well.

At the New York Times, Maureen Dowd’s clownish Clinton-hating has never ceased—and she is that paper’s most influential columnist. But so what? Even after public editor Clark Hoyt savaged her in 2008 for her anti-Clinton misogyny, liberal journalists haven’t bothered writing about her ridiculous behavior.

Truth to tell, our liberal journalists have never bothered! This isn’t a great way to play the game. But just turn on MSNBC any night of the week. You’ll see this familiar old practice continue—and the controversy about those emails could easily send a Republican to the White House in January 2017.

Did Hillary Clinton do something wrong? At this point, we can’t tell you.

We are able to tell you this: Over the past twenty-three years, liberal journalists have walked away from their responsibilities every step of the way.

We the rubes keep cheering our favorites on. That makes us part of the mess.

79 comments:

  1. The "no prohibition on private servers" meant that you could carry two email devices with you; using one of them, linked to the private server, for personal emails and the other, linked to the governments system, for government business. It should not take a rocket scientist to figure that out since it has been remarked many times that the problem is not that Clinton used a private server, but that she used it EXCLUSIVELY, and the reason she did so was that she not want th have to carry more than one device with her, and that in fact she did not do so. The problem was that she used the private server for government business, and she thought that could be erased by sending the business emails to State and deleting them from her personal server after the fact. You and Chris Matthews have completely missed what the whole kerfuffle is about.


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    1. Do you have any sources for the bullshit you just wrote or is this from Professor Otto Yerass?

      Delete
    2. Of course he's got sources!

      Ridiculous, laughable -- but unfortunately influential -- "sources."

      Delete
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  2. Some formulations are obvious spin. E.g., the Times wrote:

    Against the backdrop of other current government computer security lapses, notably the large-scale theft of files from the Office of Personnel Management, most specialists believe the occasional appearance of classified information in the Clinton account was probably of marginal consequence.

    Why is this obvious spin?

    1. The claim about what "most specialists believe" is bogus. There's no no survey to demonstrate that "most specialists" share the alleged belief. There's not even an explanation of which "specialists" share the alleged belief.

    2. To say that some other sin was worse than Mrs. Clinton's is irrelevant. It's like saying, "Against the backdrop of thousands of murders each year, so-and-so's armed robbery was probably of marginal consequence."

    3. The word "probably" is also a tell. They don't even claim to be sure that Mrs. Clinton's behavior didn't have serious consequences.

    4. The phrase "occasional appearance" is also spin. At this point, nobody knows how many messages on Hillary's server shouldn't have been on a private server.

    5. Violations of security are taken seriously and can involve significant punishment, regardless of their likely consequence.

    IMHO when the Times is printing Clinton spin as factual news, they cannot be regarded as anti-Clinton.

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    1. Oh, hello again, David.

      Imagine finding you over here on this new thread before you bothered to answer my question from the previous thread!

      I've copied and pasted it below in case you forgot what the question was. This will be the 3rd time I am asking.

      I get the feeling that you'd rather not concern yourself with the facts of this issue.


      mm August 12, 2015 at 8:56 PM

      David,

      You do understand that there is some dispute between the State Department and the ICIG over whether the material was top secret?

      ***********
      In a statement Tuesday, State Department spokesperson John Kirby noted that the two e-mails determined to have contained top secret material were "not marked as classified" when they were sent between State Department employees and ultimately forwarded to Clinton.

      The two e-mails, from 2009 and 2011, were identified before they were made public as part of the department's monthly releases of Clinton e-mails. "While we work with the Director of National Intelligence to resolve whether, in fact, this material is actually classified, we are taking steps to ensure the information is protected and stored appropriately, Kirby said.
      **************

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    2. Poor whiny mm. David in Cal didn't answer an opening question to one of his plethora of comments yesterday, in his opinion. The fact is David in Cal did in fact respond to his comment, which immediately provoked mm to write:

      "You don't just have any fucking intellectual honesty and don't give a damn about the facts. You have your wingnut sources and are content to live in your wingnut bubble."

      Despite this kind of uncalled for nonsenense, David in Cal responded twice more and mm responded yet again.

      But today, mm want to make it seem like he was ignored. And it is early in the day.

      Yesterday, after calling someone a jackass and complaining later that another had insulted him, he managed to sandwich in a complaint that others engaged in " juvenile smartass insults" while he, mm, was "one of the few people here who even attempts to comment on the topics Bob writes about."

      Thin-skinned foul-mouthed egotistical whiny bullies seem all the rage today.

      Delete
    3. The humor of David in Cal's comments lies in the accuracy of its criticism of the writing in the Times. That paragraph, which Somerby highlighted because it seems to defend Hillary is exactly the kind of paragraph Somerby would have teed off on had it seemed to implicate her. Using the very points raised by David in Cal.

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    4. Sadly, no, Anon 2:35.

      David's "points" that the article is "spin" are laughable. (It would be daring, but futile, for you to pick one [they are numbered to make it easy] and find the equivalent in a previous Somerby effort. Go ahead.)

      His "points":

      1) "Most specialists." Supposedly we need a survey for this to be valid. But in fact previous reporting has produced named, non-political (and even known GOP) specialists in the area who have dismissed the security-risk angle. Where are the specialists who believe otherwise?

      2) "To say that some other sin was worse." This supposed spin is in the mind of David, not in the text.

      3) "Probably." Yawntown. The article does not assert categorically that there was NO consequence. This is hardly surprising, because such categoricals never happen. Nevertheless, it is true both that no one has credibly suggested a specific damaging consequence and that, as previously reported, named specialists have gone on record that the impact of any classified material was likely of little to no ("marginal") consequence. (We don't know whether this means that, in the judgement of these specialists, such material itself was likely to be undamaging if leaked, or if it is highly unlikely that it was leaked at all, or both.)

      4) "Occasional." As opposed to "systematic" or "widespread." The word is not without meaning, idiots. There is literally no one suggesting anything other than, yes, the occasional appearance of material only later known to have been classified.

      5) "Violations of security." Violations of security (as David suggests, crimes, statutorily requiring punishment) are simply not alleged here. It's his invention. Or his refusal to understand that the "criminal" aspect was one the Times had to retract.

      David. Trolls. Which is more of a problem?

      Well, since David IS a troll, the question itself is nonsense.

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    5. "Most specialists"

      I recall well a Somerby post which began thusly:

      "Remember when dentists would recommend sugarless gum to their patients who chewed gum?"

      Somerby used Trident sugarless ads to excoriate a New York Times for the sentence:

      "What did (Robert) Pear say about the new study? According to his account of the study, doctors with “a financial interest” in radiation treatments are more likely to recommend them—much more likely, in fact:

      'PEAR (8/19/13): Doctors who have a financial interest in radiation treatment centers are much more likely to prescribe such treatments for patients with prostate cancer, Congressional investigators say in a new report.'

      It sounded bad. But as Ed McMahon might have said, How bad was it?

      How much more likely are these doctors to recommend radiation treatment?

      Pear wrote a full-length report. It ran more than 700 words. But it was just like we told you last week:

      Pear never used his numbers to tell us how much more likely those doctors were to recommend radiation! How much more likely is “much more likely?”

      Pear never tried to say.

      Are doctors ten percent more likely? Is it more like sixty percent? The journalist never attempted to say. We the rubes never found out.

      As we told you last week, this is one of our favorite pet peeves. It’s a tremendously common journalistic practice—and it makes no earthly sense."

      Bob Somerby August 20, 2013

      So, in today's post, just two years later, Bob highlights the Times reporters use of the phrase "most specialists" and even the vague and fuzzy "marginal consequence." And lets them off scot free.

      I could repeat this exercise point by point but I won't.

      You call yourself Arbiter. You might think yourself secretly an Arse Biter. Ascot Kisser seems probably more accurate.

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    6. In this case you can't fall back on "never tried to say" who these experts were. They have. The remaining un-rebutted
      takedown's of David's bullshit also remain, un-rebutted.

      That's why David's full of shit, the guy who agreed with him's full of shit, and you, 4:02, assuming you're not the same Anonymous as before, you're also full of shit.

      And you complain Somerby's getting his ascot kissed? While you canoodle the soiled kiester of this site's longest-standing troll?

      It would be funny if it weren't so sad and familiar.

      Delete
    7. @1:52

      Their desperation is nearly palpable.

      Delete
    8. As always, Bob fans, back from their session with a spellcaster, respond with vigor a day later.

      Quick clue for my identity, Butt Nose/Arsebiter.
      I am the person who responded directly to your challlenge:

      "(It would be daring, but futile, for you to pick one [they are numbered to make it easy] and find the equivalent in a previous Somerby effort. Go ahead.)"

      I picked the first one less than an hour later. And your response, almost a full day later, was to attack another commenter. What you lack in intellect is overcompensated for by your obnoxiousness.

      Delete
    9. @ 2:29

      Palpably splashed with a little Eau de Toilette de la maison Bozell.

      Delete
  3. Clinton has been circulating a very clear statement of what she has and has not done and what the rules were. In my opinion she has not done anything to "look guilty". This is an attempted political takedown. That her own party is not defending her suggests sexism, and believe me, most women are noticing that.

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    1. @ 11:03

      Are there only males in the Democratic Party?

      Delete
    2. "Are there any wingnut paid trolls in this comment section?"

      FTFY - 1/2 a shilling

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    3. You'd think that. And even more males in the Republican party, given the way they talk about women's issues and vote.

      Have you ever spent any time at all thinking about why Hillary Clinton is hated so disproportionately to any offense? She is the first woman with a real chance if election. She is so smart and accomplished that she scares men shitless. The anyone-but-Hillary movement is bipartisan.

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    4. "That her own party is not defending her suggests sexism" is a sentence which suggests stupidity.

      Exactly how does "a party" defend Clinton in this matter? Should there be a designated person in the hierarchy of the DNC in charge of repeating the Clinton campaign's statements?

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    5. Via talking points and by stepping up and issuing statements about how stupid these investigations are. How did the party rally to knock down claims Obama was born in Kenya? And you call me stupid!

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    6. Which talking points should they issue, points they come up with on their own, which may prove inaccurate or points provided by the Clinton campaign, which may put them in the position of seeming to be doing work on behalf of one candidate seeking a party nomination in a contested race.

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    7. @ 11:55

      Carly Fiorina jumped from 14 to number 5 in the polls after the GOP debate. Maybe the idea of a women POTUS is actually welcomed by conservatives and the idea of a corrupt, duplicitous, habitual liar who happens to be a women is what many find objectionable.

      Delete
    8. "House Democrats on Sunday made it clear that they do not expect fair proceedings from the Republican-led panel newly tasked with investigating the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, but offered no definitive answer on whether they would appoint any of their own members to participate...... Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that the panel’s findings had been “predetermined” by Republicans. She enumerated the hearings, briefings and documents that have already been dedicated to investigating the attack.

      She said that as Republican fervor for repealing the Affordable Care Act has dissipated, the party is grasping for a new political wedge. “They are clearly doing this to drive their turnout,” Ms. Wasserman Schultz said."


      http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/12/us/politics/democrats-look-dubiously-at-joining-benghazi-panel.html?_r=0

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    9. @2:23

      Then again, maybe not. Per the TDH primary mantra, anything is possible - we just don't know.

      Delete
    10. cicero has a huge problem with liars and dishonesty from Presidential candidates. That's why he's voting for Bernie Sanders in '16.
      Just kidding, neither of those statements could be further from the truth.

      Delete
    11. @ 3:40

      Bernie will surely get the "Black Lives Matter" endorsement.

      Delete
  4. I agree with Bob that Kevin Drum has one of the clearest minds in the liberal journalistic world. However, he seems to have conflated "illegal" and "wrong" when he wrote, "So far there's no evidence that she did anything wrong," Perhaps she didn't do anything illegal. But, she allowed secret material that should have been most carefully guarded from our enemies to appear on a personal server, where it could be more easily hacked. Of course, that was wrong.

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    1. mm August 12, 2015 at 8:56 PM

      David,

      You do understand that there is some dispute between the State Department and the ICIG over whether the material was top secret?

      ***********
      In a statement Tuesday, State Department spokesperson John Kirby noted that the two e-mails determined to have contained top secret material were "not marked as classified" when they were sent between State Department employees and ultimately forwarded to Clinton.

      The two e-mails, from 2009 and 2011, were identified before they were made public as part of the department's monthly releases of Clinton e-mails. "While we work with the Director of National Intelligence to resolve whether, in fact, this material is actually classified, we are taking steps to ensure the information is protected and stored appropriately, Kirby said.
      **************

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    2. mm -- You say the State Dept. said that the e-mails were not marked classified. OK. However, I don't see where the State Dept. denied that the e-mails contained information that should have been kept secret from our enemies.

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    3. Learn how to read David.

      "While we work with the Director of National Intelligence to resolve whether, in fact, this material is actually classified,..."

      And by the way, do you have any evidence that the information if question was not "kept secret from our enemies"?

      We are talking about the United States Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, not Mata Hari you fuckwad.

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    4. More from the Department of Facts Not In Evidence:

      "where it could be more easily hacked."

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    5. It is easy to see you've never worked with classified material. Not everything classified is a secret. Often info that is innocuous on its face is classified because when combined with other info it might allow inferences to be made about something important. Even then, the info might be about schedules or progress or plans, not big "secrets". That is why it is hard to know what needs to be classified, and why classification changes over time.

      You make it sound like blithely sending launch codes in flagrant disregard of national security.

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    6. As far as David knows information on State's own servers "could be more easily hacked."

      As always with this sublime bullshit artist, he has nothing.

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  5. This would explain the claim by HRC the emails were not marked TOP SECRET at the time.

    "Hillary only used her personal account for unclassified email. No information in her emails was marked classified at the time she sent or received them," campaign Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri said in a statement to supporters Wednesday.

    But a State Department official told Fox News that the intelligence community inspector general, who raised the most recent concerns about Clinton's emails, made clear that at least one of those messages contained information that only could have come from the intelligence community.

    "If so, they would have had to come in with all the appropriate classification markings," the official said.

    The official questioned whether someone, then, tampered with that message. "[S]omewhere between the point they came into the building and the time they reached HRC's server, someone would have had to strip the classification markings from that information before it was transmitted to HRC's personal email"

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    1. Drink some more Kool-Aid.

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    2. Sure. The Obama Administration Inspector General is in on the "vast right wing conspiracy."

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    3. Or you're doing what you do best - pulling sh*t outta your a**.

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  6. David in MISS and Anon 11:50 -- Is it your contention that the US State Dept. protection of e-mails is no better than the protections that apply to some personal e-mail account? Do you two agree with me that the government is often inept? Are you closet conservatives? :)

    AnonymousAugust 13, 2015 at 11:48 AM -- As I pointed out yesterday,

    "These weren’t just ordinary secrets found in Clinton’s private server, but some of the most classified material the U.S. government has....

    Information at the “TOP SECRET//SI//TK//NOFORN” level is considered exceptionally highly classified and must be handled with great care under penalty of serious consequences for mishandling."

    TOPSECRET//SI information from NSA, for example.
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/08/12/the-spy-satellite-secrets-in-hillary-s-emails.html

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    1. I will repeat. Something can be classified top secret because, taken together with other info, it might lead to an inference about something very important. That doesn't mean it is a very important secret in a standalone way. That's why the comment in the news report, that the issue is probably trivial, can be true despite the top secret level of classification.

      You seem to be ignoring the fact that the information was not classified at the time. Classification can change because there may be an assessment that with what is currently available to enemies, that past bit of information might now permit inference undesirable to our interests. Information is considered as a whole, in the aggregate, not on a piece by piece basis. So the status of a single bit if info changes, based on what else is out there.

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    2. David,

      The State .gov email system is still an unclassified non-secured email system. The SoS used other means like cables and a separate closed system to handle classified communications. As Clinton was the recipient of the emails in question, which had already gone through the .gov email system, it would matter not one bit that she received them on her personal server.

      It doesn't matter whether she was using the .gov email system or her personal email system, neither one of these systems are supposed to be used to send classified information. Hillary Clinton was well aware of that and has repeatedly tried to make that point, but the media is intentionally trying to blur this fact and give a distorted picture.

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    3. mm -- if you are correct that the State Dept e-mail system is unsecured, I am flabbergasted. However, I wonder what "unsecured" means. Every system has some degree of security, doesn't it? The business e-mail systems that I used in my working days had some degree of security. But, even personal e-mails have some degree of security.

      So, my question is whether the State Dept. system had greater security than ordinary personal e-mail systems. My understanding is that the business e-mail systems that I used in my working days had greater security than my personal e-mails, so I would expect the same of the State Dept.

      BTW we shouldn't get away from the utter strangeness of using one's personal e-mail system for all her organizational work. I have never heard of anyone using their personal e-mail for all their business communications. If this practice wasn't prohibited, maybe that's because it wasn't imagined that anyone would do such a thing. Like the old Jean Kerr book title, "Please Don't Eat the Daisies."

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    4. Yes, no one would ever do such a thing, except Colin Powell.

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    5. "I have never heard of anyone using their personal e-mail for all their business communications."

      Maybe this is the source of your utter confusion.
      Nobody ever said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used her personal email for "all" of her communications. In fact there is ample evidence that in times of national crisis her email volume went down considerably, because she wasn't using it to handle classified information.


      *****************
      Among the hundreds of emails released by the State Department from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's private account, there is a conspicuous two-month gap. So far, there are no emails between Clinton and her State Department staff during May and June 2012, a period of escalating violence in Libya leading up to the September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that left four Americans dead.

      A State Department spokesman told The Daily Beast that for the year 2012, only those emails related to the security of the consulate or to the U.S. diplomatic presence in Libya were made public and turned over to a House committee investigating the fatal Benghazi assault. But if that's true, then neither Clinton nor her staff communicated via email about the escalating dangers in Libya during those two crucial months. There were three attacks during that two-month period, including one that targeted the consulate. (Of course, email isn't the only or even the preferred way State Department officials communicate about sensitive issues--especially if one of those officials is using a private server ill equipped to handle classified information.) [The Daily Beast, 7/28/15]
      ******

      Clinton Aide: She Rarely Used Email -- It Wasn't A Good Way To Get Her Attention. As the Daily Beast update makes clear, the reason there are no emails about "escalating dangers in Libya during those crucial months" could be because email wasn't the method used to discuss such information. Indeed, Bloomberg Politics reported on March 3 that a former State Department official said that he generally communicated with Clinton in person or by phone and that email "wasn't the best way to get Clinton's attention":


      One former State Department official who worked for Clinton told Bloomberg Politics he did not find the practice unusual, given how little Clinton actually used e-mail. Most of the time, the former official said, his interactions with Clinton and across the department were either face to face or over phone.

      When he did get an e-mail from Clinton, the former official said, it was generally a directive and his response usually came on paper or in person the next time they saw each other. When Clinton was traveling, the former official said, he generally conveyed messages to Clinton through a core group of four senior aides-Cheryl Mills, Jake Sullivan, Huma Abedin, and Philippe Reines.

      E-mail, the former official added, also wasn't the best way to get Clinton's attention, since she couldn't bring her BlackBerry into diplomatic meetings at home or abroad, or into the White House situation room, because of security reasons. Even when sitting at a computer, an official e-mail address would have been a clunky way for Clinton to communicate, since many aides would have had to been copied and responses would have piled up quickly, filling her inbox. [Bloomberg Politics, 3/3/15]

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    6. Sorry, Anon 12:47. That's an exaggerated story.

      Appearing on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday, Powell responded to revelations that he used a personal email account, rather than a government one, when he was in charge of the State Department. Questions about his email use arose last week when it was disclosed that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used a personal email account during her tenure.

      “I don’t have any to turn over. I did not keep a cache of them. I did not print them off. I do not have thousands of pages somewhere in my personal files,” Powell said. “A lot of the emails that came out of my personal account went into the State Department system. They were addressed to State Department employees and state.gov domain, but I don’t know if the servers in the State Department captured those or not. “

      Powell said it would be inappropriate to comment on Clinton’s email use. The State Department’s policy on personal email accounts dates back to 2005, the year Powell left the administration.

      “When I entered the State Department I found an antiquated system that had to be modernized and modernized quickly,” he said. “I started using [email] in order to get everybody to use it, so we could be a 21st-century institution and not a 19th-century [one]. But I retained none of those emails, and we are working with the State Department to see if there’s anything else they want to discuss with me about those emails.”

      The emails he sent were all unclassified, mostly “benign,” he said, and probably not important even if they can be recovered.


      Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/03/colin-powell-hillary-clinton-email-state-department-115870.html#ixzz3iiO1Anyl

      The WaPo fact-checker points out:

      The misleading Democratic spin on Hillary Clinton’s e-mails

      NARA confirmed to The Fact Checker that it opened an inquiry into locating Powell’s e-mail records. Given that he is unable to immediately provide the records, it is not an accurate comparison to Clinton’s situation. Her e-mails were accessible enough to turn over to the State Department soon after the agency requested them. (Indeed, according to the Times, Clinton’s staff had been negotiating about the return of the e-mails since August, two months before the letter was sent.)

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2015/03/10/the-misleading-democratic-spin-on-hillary-clintons-emails/

      Delete
    7. So, you're perfectly willing to take Powell's word for it, right?

      They probably weren't important anyway. Oh, ho hum.

      "The emails he sent were all unclassified, mostly “benign,” he said, and probably not important even if they can be recovered."

      Pretty much exactly what Secretary Clinton said.

      Delete
    8. You have a point, mm. However, Powell didn't keep his e-mails. He left them all with the State Dept. after he left office. Had there been a controversy leading to an investigation, he would not have been able to delay their release or to decide which ones should be withheld.

      Delete
    9. You know all this because you personally verified them.

      Quisling.

      Delete
    10. How could there be a controversy leading to an investigation about Powell's emails?
      Powell is neither a Democrat nor a Clinton. why would the GOP gin up a fake scandal about his emails, AND how would they get the "liberal" (ha ha) media to run with it?

      Delete
    11. No, David. You're making that last part up.

      Where are you getting your information that "He left them all with the State Dept. after he left office." He himself never said that.

      “I don’t have any to turn over. I did not keep a cache of them. I did not print them off. I do not have thousands of pages somewhere in my personal files,” Powell said. “A lot of the emails that came out of my personal account went into the State Department system. They were addressed to State Department employees and state.gov domain, but I don’t know if the servers in the State Department captured those or not. “

      Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/03/colin-powell-hillary-clinton-email-state-department-115870.html#ixzz3iivAeFgu

      Delete
    12. @2:53

      Powell voted for Obama, twice. Not the hallmark of a conservative or Republican. Powell did not use a private server stashed at his home. The system he developed was contained at the State Department.

      Delete
    13. Private nonetheless, You need to troll much harder to earn having your name graffitied onto Brent Bozell's private bathroom wall.

      Delete
    14. "No David. You're making that last part up."

      DUH!

      Delete
    15. "Powell voted for Obama, twice. Not the hallmark of a conservative or Republican."

      In that case, let the rat-fucking of Powell begin.

      Delete
    16. I wonder what 6:28 was doing in Brent Bozell's private places that he had time to read the walls?

      Delete
    17. I am more interested in why Hillary Clinton supporters think "but Colin Powell did it" is a good argument for someone who wants to be president.

      Delete
    18. That Colin Powell did it illustrates that it was not a bizarre way to handle things. It is not offered as an excuse because neither did anything wrong. Clinton does not need to present any "argument" to prospective voters.

      If Clinton has stated she should have done things differently, it is because of the brouhaha conservatives have whipped up. I think if it hadn't been this they would have focused on something else, equally trivial. Her use of taxis or designer pant suits or failure to send Chelsea to public school.

      Delete
    19. "but Colin Powell did it"

      You haven't been paying attention.

      Powell didn't do "it".

      "It" being preserve the work emails as all work product should be preserved for posterity and future FOIA requests. Only Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did what she was supposed to do, but we won't hold that against Colin Powell. However, Clinton should get a medal.

      Delete
    20. @ 9:15

      Proof that Darwin might be wrong.

      Delete
    21. @ 2:23

      Caught with Brent Bozell's "Charmin" trailing behind.

      Delete
    22. @ 11:16

      We should all cut HRC some slacks.

      Delete
  7. With access to all of those e-mails, a rich source for years of scandals to come. From scandal to scandal, invistagations will preceed.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This reminds me of when Congress spent two weeks "investigating" Bill Clinton's Christmas card list for criminal conduct.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It reminds me of March 2007 as well.

      "Eyes were on then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales after the administration unexpectedly fired eight U.S. attorneys. Congress (recently taken over by Democrats) investigated the firings, alleging that the administration had dropped the prosecutors for political reasons.

      Over the course of the investigation, it came out that some White House officials had conducted White House business over private email accounts set up on a server through the Republican National Committee. The White House later admitted that some internal White House emails conducted on the RNC server might have been lost.

      Democrats in Congress accused the administration of purposefully circumventing recordkeeping processes, while the White House said staffers were supposed to use the RNC emails solely for political affairs, not official business. Comparing the Bush and Clinton email scandals is not exactly apples to apples, but there are some similarities."

      One big difference is that Clinton was just a Senatorial observer of the first email scandal. It was secondary of course, to the larger issue of firing the attorney's. In that matter she called for the Attorney General to resign.

      I wonder what Bob had to say about that back then?

      Delete
    2. Don't look @ 3:24. The Daily Howler mentioned the US Attorney firing controversy of 2007 only twice, both times in March of that year.

      Once to attack Keith Olbermann as clueless, It concluded:

      "In 1992 and 1993, the RNC began making up sh*t about Clinton. In 1999 and 2000, they spent two years making up sh*t about Gore. Millions of people believe these fake stories, because our liberal elites are too dainty—and too stupid—to go to the trouble of contradicting them."

      The second mention started with a link to Glenn Greenwald and ended with this:

      "By late 1998, the two press corps were virtually indistinguishable, at least when it came to their Clinton-Gore jihad. This culminated with Campaign 2000—the event we liberals, to this day, simply refuse to discuss."

      Sound familiar?

      Delete
    3. The US Attorney firing controversy is an example of how the Democrats can gin up scandals, thanks to media support. When Bush (legally) fired 8 US Attorneys, that was a scandal. But, when Clinton fired 93 US Attorneys, that was not a scandal.

      Delete
    4. DinC the two discussions Somerby has address the issue of the NRC gang trying to gin up a scandal over the ordinary commonplace replacement of US Attorney's when the White House changes hands.

      But I will be glad to hear your voice demanding that the Obama US Attorneys be kept by President The Donald should his surge continue unabated.

      Delete
  9. Oh, let Trey Gowdy gnaw on Emailgate, since he came up empty-handed on Benghazigate.
    How else can he maintain his impeccable reputation for credibility, bipartisan impartiality, and dogged tenacity?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @ gravy

      Benghazi and HRC emails are not separate investigations for House Select Committee on Benghazi. State Department continues to resist turning over relevant emails to Gowdy's committee. How else can the State Department maintain their impeccable reputation for credibility, bipartisan impartiality?"

      Delete
    2. Empty hands, idle hands; The devil's workshop. If you can't find the lies, make them up.

      Oh, that's right, you right wingnuts won't have the proof until the Obama Administration hands it to you.

      Just like the WMDs and the mobile biological factories, and the yellowcake.

      "Ahh, but the strawberries that's... that's where I had them. They laughed at me and made jokes but I proved beyond the shadow of a doubt and with... geometric logic... that a duplicate key to the wardroom icebox DID exist, and I'd have produced that key if they hadn't of pulled the Caine out of action. I, I, I know now they were only trying to protect some fellow officers..."

      Delete
    3. @ gravy

      The mess boys stole the strawberries. Just like HRC, they never imagined anyone would stumble to their forbidden temptations. Paranoid characters are at the heart of both central characters. Who will turn out to be Lieutenant Thomas Keefer in HRC's orbit?

      Delete
    4. @ 6:13

      They pay you for this weak gruel? Pathetic.

      Delete
  10. I understand the email matter, Bob. I think most voters get it too.

    From the beginning of Paragraph 7:

    Mrs. Clinton, who has said she now regrets her unorthodox decision to keep private control of her official messages.......

    I also understand why you you included Paragraph 7, but conveniently left out Paragraph 8.

    "But exempting herself from the practices imposed on the 24,000 Foreign Service officers and Civil Service workers she oversaw has led to resentment from some former subordinates. And by holding onto the official emails until the State Department was prompted by Congress to ask for them, and then deciding for herself which to preserve, Mrs. Clinton may have provoked mistrust even as she asks American voters to send her to the Oval Office."

    More telling is Paragraph 9. It isn't really a paragraph.

    "The Clinton campaign declined to comment for this article."

    Broke, in debt and full of regret is no way to run for the Presidency. I think Bob Dylan said that. Or somebody from that era.

    ReplyDelete
  11. We were puzzled by something we read in Thursday's Daily Howler.

    According to a link provided by Bob Somerby, Kevin Drum says:

    "It may turn out at some point that Clinton did something wrong."

    Accordingly Bob Somerby himself writes:

    "Did Hillary Clinton do something wrong? At this point, we can’t tell you."

    So why aren't more liberals writing about what Hillary Clinton might or might not have done wrong? Why aren't more people exploring what they can't tell us?

    To this day, no one has the slightest idea how to explain the Whitewater matter. No one speaks the truth they don't know to the mainstream bullroar.

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep. I'm dumb and lazy, and wouldn't mind some sleep.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. anon 6:21, I'll give you credit for admitting one true thing, that you are dumb and lazy. Oh, if only you were even more lazy and wouldn't muster up the energy to keep posting this tripe. . . .

      Delete
    2. I never considered myself dumb or lazy, just immoral and dislikeable as are you. But thanks to Bob I know my true self.

      Delete
  12. The Daily Howler catches Kevin trying to split the difference when her wrongdoings can only appear visible to obvious, unethical partisans like David in Ca. On these matters, Kevin needs to cover his butt like Cohen on the Duke Lacrosse Team. "we don't know if She did something wrong" "we don't know what went on in that room"…. Where theres smoke, just the fact that questions are being raised…. etc, rinse , repeat.

    ReplyDelete
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