And then there’s this.
There was a great deal of noise about the State Department’s release of Hillary Clinton emails yesterday, including the fact that 22 were kept back because they’re now deemed “Top Secret”.The timing couldn’t be worse because of the Iowa caucus on Monday, but in defense of the State Department, much of that is because of a schedule demanded by the Judge presiding over the FOIA request.
I find it unlikely this will have an impact on Clinton’s chances. One day later, the story has dropped from the headlines, probably because there’s been so many email releases, so many exclamations about “confidential information”, yet most of the “confidential” information has been so much ado about nothing.
As an example of that faux confidentiality, the Daily Caller posted an article yesterday about four emails that, rather than undermining Clinton’s credibility, actually provides some of the best evidence supporting Clinton’s claims that she never divulged classified or secret information. In its article, Four Sid Blumenthal Emails in Latest Clinton Release are COMPLETELY Classified, they breathlessly write.
The email is redacted in full, save for the names “Hillary” and “Sid.” The emails are classified as confidential and redacted in full because they contain foreign government information and information related to foreign relations and foreign activities.
When we look at the emails, what we find in each is that Blumenthal sent information to Clinton’s attention. Unless Blumenthal had a higher security clearance than Clinton, we can assume that Blumenthal discovered whatever information he found using either his own sources, or various publications of the day, and he then passed the information on to Clinton.
At no time, did Clinton respond with information back. In fact, other than forwarding a couple of the emails, her only response was to ask a State Department employee when a 100 meters finale was going to be.
I decided to take a look through the other released emails. What I discovered is a) Clinton doesn’t communicate much via email, and b) she really doesn’t know email etiquette. Frequently, someone would send her an email and CC Jacob Sullivan, in the State Department. Clinton would get the email, and then forward it on to Sullivan.
Even more humorous, many of the so-called “classified” emails Clinton received, were sent by the very departments who, I suspect, newly classified them in the recent releases.
In his writing for Politico Magazine, Matthew Miller, a former Department of Justice official, writes:
As a former Department of Justice official who regularly dealt with classified information, I am glad a team of officials from the FBI, the intelligence community and other agencies is not currently reviewing every email I sent and received while I worked in government. If they did, they would likely find arguably classified information that was transmitted over unclassified networks—and the same thing is undoubtedly true for other senior officials at the White House, the State Department and other top national security agencies.
The same would probably be true for most, if not all, of Congress. I suspect many of our tweets on Twitter, and posts on Facebook, would also fail the intelligence community‘s interpretation of what is classified, secret, and even top-secret.
Yesterday’s top story on the emails has died out today, because you can’t keep crying “wolf” without people demanding to see some actual teeth, and this story is toothless.
Now, let’s get back to discussing the issues.
Photo by Sam Javanrouth, used under CC License, modified by cropping