Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Depends on who the definer of "marked" is

According to The Washington Post, Hillary Clinton sent emails from her private server that the State Department redacted for reasons of national security before they (StateDept) released them to the public.
Although government officials deemed the e-mails classified after Clinton left office…

The classified e-mails, contained in thousands of pages of electronic correspondence that the State Department has released, stood out because of the heavy markings blocking out sentences and, in some cases, entire messages.

The State Department officials who redacted the material cited national security as the reason for blocking it from public view.
Lest we blame the Department of State for tardiness in this matter, the first time they knew about these emails was 2 years after she left office and turned over 55,000 printed pages.
"I have said repeatedly that I did not send nor receive classified material and I'm very confident that when this entire process plays out that will be understood by everyone," she said. "It will prove what I have been saying and it's not possible for people to look back now some years in the past and draw different conclusions than the ones that were at work at the time. You can make different decisions because things have changed, circumstances have changed, but it doesn't change the fact that I did not send or receive material marked classified."
It's certain that by the time this ends it will be understood by everyone that she kept saying what she says.

Her defense has evolved from "no classified emails were sent or received" to "they weren’t classified at the time" she wrote them. But, it appears failing to do so was a mistake.
In the small fraction of emails made public so far, Reuters has found at least 30 email threads from 2009, representing scores of individual emails, that include what the State Department's own "Classified" stamps now identify as so-called 'foreign government information.' The U.S. government defines this as any information, written or spoken, provided in confidence to U.S. officials by their foreign counterparts.

This sort of information, which the department says Clinton both sent and received in her emails, is the only kind that must be "presumed" classified, in part to protect national security and the integrity of diplomatic interactions, according to U.S. regulations examined by Reuters..

Although it appears to be true for Clinton to say none of her emails included classification markings, a point she and her staff have emphasized, the government's standard nondisclosure agreement warns people authorized to handle classified information that it may not be marked that way and that it may come in oral form..

Clinton and her senior staff routinely sent foreign government information among themselves on unsecured networks several times a month, if the State Department's markings are correct. Within the 30 email threads reviewed by Reuters, Clinton herself sent at least 17 emails that contained this sort of information. In at least one case it was to a friend, Sidney Blumenthal, not in government.

The information appears to include privately shared comments by a prime minister, several foreign ministers and a foreign spy chief, unredacted bits of the emails show. Typically, Clinton and her staff first learned the information in private meetings, telephone calls or, less often, in email exchanges with the foreign officials.
That she has said repeatedly she “did not send or receive classified information” (the “marked classified” bit showed up later, as demonstrated in the next paragraph) contains probably the only true thing she’s said about the whole sordid mess: She's said it repeatedly. One example from her March, 2015 UN press conference:
“I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. I'm certainly well aware of the classified requirements and did not send classified material."
As noted here in March, the emails Secretary of State Clinton wrote weren’t marked “classified,” because Secretary of State Clinton didn’t mark them classified when she sent them.

Why not? She’s sloppy with National Security information? She actually does not know the classified requirements? She forgot she was using her own private server?

This is not, as she has portrayed it, some internecine struggle with the intelligence community over the definition of “classified.” The emails she wrote are classified according to the State Department and were classified when she sent them. It's a security breach whether she recognized that or not. The meaning of "is" in "There is no classified information," doesn't change that.

National security information doesn’t become more sensitive over time, it becomes less sensitive. Otherwise, we’d wait forever for release of all the Nixon tapes, military details about the attack on Pearl Harbor and the identity of Benedict Arnold.

Can anyone come up with any explanation excusing Hillary Clinton from the allegation she sent classified email not involving incompetence? Any explanation not leading inexorably to the conclusion that she cannot be trusted with Presidential level information? Anyone?

Bueller? Bueller?

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