Hillary Clinton has been subject to multiple attacks for 40 years with little respite. To me, during current times, she has appeared defensive when responding to questions about her email mishandling. Had she responded early on with humility about her email usage by just confessing to having made a foolish mistake, then this whole email mess could have been put behind her. (This is true, even if she believes she did nothing wrong, she is experiencing too much difficulty in trying to justify her actions.)
The 2016 democrat presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton has to know that the next few years will be rough. If President Barack Obama has had to withstand years of false accusations by right wing conservatives due to racism, she has to face the reality that she will be doing likewise when dealing with a culture rampant with misogyny.
When the media writes a story on these leaders, it is important that they apply more due diligence to provide context. If Donald Trump wins, there are many who will be blaming the media for enabling him.
This time, there is validity to Mrs. Clinton’s rhetoric that she did not send and/ or receive emails via her private server which were marked “classified” in real time. Please, remember that the STATE DEPARTMENT’S GOVERNMENT SERVER IS NOT A SECURE LINE AND THAT DOCUMENTS WITH CLEAR HEADINGS MARKED “CLASSIFIED” ARE SHARED VIA A COMPLETELY SEPARATE SYSTEM.
While Mr. Comey’s FBI’s critical report about Mrs. Clinton’s email usage has legs, I challenge the point that she placed her email transmission of any classified data more at risk to hacking because neither her private server nor the government’s were secure. After all, the Russians claim they can hack any computer and have penetrated the U.S. state department’s “non classified” data server on more than one occasion.
I have emailed several news outlets questioning their misleading, out of context reporting over Mrs. Clinton’s lie about her declaration on Sunday FOX TV, that she never sent or received emails via her private server which were marked classified in real time.
The answer is that while there may be validity with the above specific statement, when Mrs. Clinton, stated that the FBI Director, James Comey had confirmed her version of the truth about her email management, she was not being truthful because Mr. Comey never said this directly. Now, who is parsing their words?
For fairness and context, the press should be showing the videos of both, Mr Comey’s initial statements as well as the later clarifying points during a congressional hearing when he says the 3 emails marked classified did not have the required headers with classified markings and that even an experienced agent could have missed the small c markings in the body of the documents.
This is important, because if they had been marked correctly, these same documents would never have been transmitted via the non classified correspondence server. In short, any audit of the state departments non classified and non secure server either prior to or after Mrs. Clinton post as secretary of state, would have produced very similar results.
Even though, Mr. Comey did state that she was not guilty of acting illegally, his report was critical. It is safe to say, that Mr. Comey, a republican who was a deputy prosecutor looking to criminally charge Mrs. Clinton during the Whitewater hearings would not have cleared her if he had a choice. But still, he acted against FBI protocol and precedence when he went public with his report. Typically, when someone has not been indicted subsequent to an FBI investigation, nothing is publicly disclosed. Mr. Comey justified this deviation due to intense public interest.
Eventually, she should indicate that she does have concerns about the governmental server used by the state department, not being secure. With the knowledge that the Russians have been advertising that they can hack into almost any computer system, something needs to be done to protect well intentioned employees who mistakenly send documents with sensitive material which should have been marked classified but weren’t. So, either the government’s server being used to transmit non classified data, needs to become secure and / or the method for deciding which data is correctly identified and marked as classified needs to be improved.
See FactCheck.org which has facts which do support her words that she did not send or receive emails marked classified in real time: Revisiting Clinton and Classified Information – Fact-Check.org FactCheck.org Jul 7, 2016. The following are excerpts from FactCheck.org: (Published on 7/7/16 by Eugene Kiely)
“At his July 5 press conference, FBI Director James Comey said a “very small number” of emails sent and received by Hillary Clinton over her private server “bore markings indicating the presence of classified information” — contradicting Clinton’s claims.”
“But now we are learning more about those emails from Comey, who testified before the House Oversight Committee on July 7, and State Department spokesman John Kirby, who addressed these emails at press briefings on July 6 and 7.”
- “Comey said three emails had “portion markings” on them indicating that they were classified, but they were not properly marked and therefore could have been missed by Clinton. He said the emails were marked as classified with the letter “C” in the body of the email.”
- “Kirby said the State Department believes that at least two of the emails were mistakenly marked as confidential. He could not speak to the third email, saying the department didn’t have “all of the records and documents that the FBI used.”
- “Comey told the committee he is “highly confident” that FBI investigators consulted with the State Department about the marked emails. He did not know that the department believes that any of them were marked in error.”
“The issue is a bit complicated, but important, because it provides Clinton with a stronger defense against claims that she sent and received material that was marked as classified over her private as secretary of state.”
“Kirby confirmed the Times report but then said it appears that in both instances the markings were the result of “human error” during the development of “call sheets,” which are memos that contain information that can be used when talking to foreign leaders. The department marks a portion of the call sheets as “confidential” — the lowest level of classified information — until the secretary makes a decision whether or not to call the foreign leaders. He explained that this is done to give the secretary time to make a decision and to avoid potential embarrassment if the secretary decides not to call the foreign leader.”
“Kirby said based on the email traffic, it appears that Clinton had already made the decision to call then Malawi President Joyce Banda and Annan, so the “confidential” markings should have been removed when Hanley sent the emails.
“Kirby said he had no information about the third email that Comey said also contained the letter “C” marking.”
“At his hearing, Comey was asked repeatedly about the marked emails, with Republicans accusing Clinton of lying, while Democrats defended her actions. Clinton had repeatedly said she did not send or receive any emails marked classified.”
” Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy asked Comey if Clinton was telling the truth when she said that she did not send or receive marked classified material. Comey said she wasn’t.”
“Gowdy, July 7: Secretary Clinton said there was nothing marked classified on her emails either sent or received. Was that true?”
“Comey: That’s not true. There were a small number of portion markings on I think three of the documents.”
“But later in the hearing, Democratic Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman asked Comey if he knew that the State Department had said that the emails were marked classified in error. Comey replied, “No.”
“Likewise, Rep. Matt Cartwright, also a Democrat, asked Comey if the emails were properly classified, and Comey said they were not. (Executive Order 13526 spells out how documents should be properly classified, including a header on the document clearly identifying the email as classified as “confidential,” “secret” or “top secret.”)
“Cartwright asked if Clinton could have missed the improper markings. Comey said that was possible.”
“Cartwright, July 7: So, if Secretary Clinton really were an expert at what’s classified and what’s not classified and we’re following the manual, the absence of a header would tell her immediately that those three documents were not classified. Am I correct in that?”
“Comey: That would be a reasonable inference.”
This blog was updated on 10/5/16.