Clinton Email Scandal: What Should Be Done?

A commenter asks what the consequences ought be for Clinton's transgressions.

Hillary Clinton Blackberry

Commenter An Interested Party asks in response to an earlier posting on State Department Inspector General’s findings that Hillary Clinton violated both Federal law and Department policy,

So what do you think her consequences, if any, should be…

I’ll wait for the FBI investigation before rendering final judgment. Based on what I know and think I know at the moment, I’d say that it’s really up to the voters to decide.  Indeed, my rationale for posting on this issue isn’t to argue for Clinton to go to jail but rather to comment on her fitness to lead the free world.

An ordinary—even Senior Executive Level—employee might well face criminal consequences for such blatant violation of the law. They would certainly lose their job and their security clearances, severely limiting their future employment potential within the Government. But we’re not going to put a policymaker in jail for what Clinton did here, assuming what’s currently in the public record is the extent of the malfeasance.

Presuming she didn’t commit violations for which she’d be indicated—and I don’t have any evidence thus far that she did—it’s up to the voters to weigh this transgression and her response to it against both the totality of her long life in the public eye and the alternatives on the ballot. Hell, even if she were indicted, President Obama might well pardon her; if he did, I wouldn’t judge him too harshly. Which, again, would leave it up to the voters.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Campaign 2016, National Security, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Don says:

    The FBI investigation may decide otherwise, but unless I’m mistaken the OIG report doesn’t say that she’s broken any laws. Rather, she appears to have violated State Department internal procedures, as found in the FAM. While I agree any other State Department employee would likely face disciplinary measures, might lose their security clearance, might be denied promotion or even fired…but that doesn’t mean they’ve violated the law, only internal procedures.

    I agree, it should be up to the voters to decide. I’m not happy about her flouting of State Department procedures, but I don’t think this will make Mr. Trump appear more attractive.

  2. barbintheboonies says:

    Let it go, so she screwed up as does everyone else I`m sure she will not do it again Look at all ex presidents and I`m sure all have made mistakes much worse and regretted them but went on without prosecution.

  3. James Joyner says:

    @Don:

    The FBI investigation may decide otherwise, but unless I’m mistaken the OIG report doesn’t say that she’s broken any laws.

    The procedures violated were put into place as the regulatory enforcement mechanism of Federal law, most notably the Federal Records Act and the Federal Information Security Management Act. She therefore violated the FRA and FISMA.

  4. John D'Geek says:

    @Don: As I read it, this report is strictly about the e-mail server itself, not about the content of several of the emails.

    The State Department itself was forced to admit classified information was sent by HC over that server. The only question is “who goes to jail for it?”*

    * There is still the questions of who actually moved the data off of the highly-highly classified systems and how. Not to mention that some/many higher ranking folks give their admins access to their e-mail to send e-mails in the their names and on their behalf.

    It’s the difference between “foolishness” and “criminal behavior”.

  5. John D'Geek says:

    @James Joyner: I stand corrected. I am still more worried about the contents than the proceedures, though.

  6. Surreal American says:

    Per callers to talk radio shows, the consequence should be summary execution.

  7. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @James Joyner: My understanding is that she violated the policies in question only to the extent that the agency would wish to require retroactive correction of the violations rather than grandfathering in an existing condition. Am I missing a detail, or did the OIG report specifically note that she would have been required to correct the defect?

  8. James Joyner says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: The report specifically noted that, had she requested permission to use the private email server, she’d have been denied.

  9. Modulo Myself says:

    I wonder how many people outside of the government who aren’t right-wing fanatics are going to care about any of this.

    Outside of the mystique of the words top secret, normal people don’t tend to take any of the government’s decrees about its procedures seriously than they would their own employers decrees about workplace whatever seriously. And given the fact that a guy like Edward Snowden (who basically drew a Guy Fawkes mask on the margins of his application) was able to walk in and walk out with tons of classified data, who can blame them? No HR and IT department in America could have screwed up with such excellence. But really, Hillary Clinton and her server and the fact that she sent over unsecured email the details of a conversation with David Cameron about an upcoming meeting in Brussels with Angela Merkel and Bono and then a dozen guys with bad haircuts and suits talking earnestly about their own experience with inane protocol while Chuck Todd who also has a haircut gapes and so on.

  10. michael reynolds says:

    Every single person reading this, if they were thoroughly investigated, would be shown to have committed at the very least several misdemeanors. Tax evasion, drug use, impaired driving, illegal downloading, shoplifting. . . That’s 95% of you right there, certainly including me.

    Everyone here is a criminal to one degree or another.

    Now, let’s talk about your characters. Download a lot of porn? Smack your children? Scream at your spouse? Ever been drunk enough to stagger? High enough to giggle like a loon? Drive recklessly because you were in a bad mood? Say vicious things behind someone’s back? Take credit for someone else’s work? Lie?

    If I had video of your lives there is not a person here I couldn’t destroy.

    So we are collectively criminals of dubious ethical and moral standards.There is not one of us who could withstand the kind of obsessive attention Hillary Clinton has been under for decades.

    Now, I understand that we still have to enforce laws even when we know ourselves to have disobeyed them, there’s no other way to keep civilization running. But can we at least drop the hypocritical bullshit about Clinton’s moral character? It’s really kind of nauseating, particularly coming from members of the party that now carries the proud endorsement of the Ku Klux Klan, the party of Denny Hastert, the party that has been actively engaged in corrupting American government (along with Democrats) for decades.

    Yay, we finally caught Hillary. Well, isn’t that swell. It took millions of dollars, thousands of lies, endless abuse of government authority, and many years, but we finally got the b-tch. Right? We’ll show her! We moral, upstanding, nearly angelic men, we will show that b-tch. Where’s the rope?

    She may have violated a bullshit law, much the same as all of us have done. If you think that makes her a moral outcast, then you’d better be ready to apply the same rules to yourselves and your kids and your spouses. If you think you are without sin you’re a liar. If you think we can only have morally spotless presidents, then get to work explaining every president we’ve had up to this point.

    We are not hiring our next saint. We are hiring a person to run the executive branch of government. We are hiring a person we expect at some point, maybe several points, to give a kill order on some terrorist. We are hiring a person who will have to find some way to make sense of our alliances with vile rulers around the world. We’re hiring a person to cope with disaster, plagues and war. No part of that requires moral perfection.

    We are hiring, above all, a person who can be trusted with the power to annihilate the human species in 30 minutes’ time.

    Now, if she was a child molester or a murderer, yeah, we’d have to take that seriously. But a mis-user of email servers? Seriously? STFU.

  11. Mikey says:

    @James Joyner:

    The report specifically noted that, had she requested permission to use the private email server, she’d have been denied.

    Who would she have requested permission from, and was it someone to whom she could have said “OK, that’s fine, I’m doing it anyway?”

  12. Jenos Idanian says:

    It’s a simple application of the unwritten law: The Law Is The Law, unless it will somehow benefit Republicans. In which case, the law is stupid and doesn’t apply.

    A corollary of this law is that Republicans are incapable of fairly enforcing the law, and any time they attempt to do so is self-evidently a purely partisan exercise and can be dismissed as such.

    In this case, people who have done very similar things have been stripped of their security clearance, fired, and even criminally charged. On the other hand, people who have done vaguely similar things have not been charged. But since the latter group include prominent Republicans, Hillary should get a pass.

    And STILL no one has offered a plausible explanation for why Hillary ever thought this was a good idea. Countless explanations, but none that have withstood even basic scrutiny.

  13. @Don:

    The FBI investigation may decide otherwise, but unless I’m mistaken the OIG report doesn’t say that she’s broken any laws.

    As I have noted in both of my posts on the OIG report, it isn’t the Inspector General’s job to determine if the law was broken or to recommend for or against indictment. That’s what the FBI/DOJ investigation is for.

  14. Tony W says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    In this case, people who have done very similar things have been stripped of their security clearance, fired, and even criminally charged.

    Bull$hit. I don’t remember hearing about this happening to Powell & Rice. I don’t recall Cheney being impeached after literally outing a CIA agent.

    Look I’m no Hillary apologist, I see the warts and trust her with the nuclear codes. You’re the one with the double standard. The rest of us live in reality.

  15. John D'Geek says:

    @Tony W: That’s because he’s conflating two very different things:

    1) Using your own e-mail server. Gets people fired, sometimes, but not much else.

    2) Sending TS/SCI “in the clear”. That’s serious — as in “jail-time serious”. My above caveats apply, but someone used her e-mail to do it. Someone has to go to jail.

    And no matter what else you might say, it happened on her watch.

    @Modulo Myself: If you don’t care about the “mystique words”, then don’t work with them. Hillary Clinton is smart enough to know what they mean, and she is smart enough to know what information has to be properly protected and what doesn’t.

    She (apparently) didn’t.

    Your example shows that you don’t have the slightest clue about why the “mystique words” are important. Yes, that (hypothetical?) conversation was important enough to be protected. And she would have know that. And should have protected it.

  16. steve s says:

    Now, if she was a child molester or a murderer, yeah, we’d have to take that seriously. But a mis-user of email servers? Seriously? STFU.

    I’ll make the GOP a deal–as soon as Hillary’s lost more emails than the GWB administration, I’ll vote to prosecute, starting with the Bush Administration.

  17. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Tony W: Tony, the cases you cited I lumped into the latter category. In the category you cited, I was thinking of David Petraeus (mishandling of classified information) and former Ambassador Scott Gration to Kenya (using non-government email for government business).

  18. Jenos Idanian says:

    @steve s: I’ll make the GOP a deal–as soon as Hillary’s lost more emails than the GWB administration, I’ll vote to prosecute, starting with the Bush Administration.

    I’ll offer a counter-deal: Hillary gives up her security clearance and vows to never seek or hold any public office, and I’ll drop this mess.

    (I’ve got as much power to offer this deal as you have to offer yours.)

    So she can go back to getting millions for her speeches and collecting billions for her foundation, and no one will say boo. Of course, with her not being able to ever quo back for the quids, those funds just might dry up…

  19. the Q says:

    So you’re at a zoo. You see a guy go into the chimpanzee cage and he starts blowing the chimps.

    When he comes out you scream, “what the hell did you just do you idiot.?

    And his response, “there’s no sign that says “don’t blow the chimps”, so I didn’t do anything wrong.

    “And besides, last week I saw the zookeeper do it, so whats the big wow?”

    Thats what you people are defending.

  20. To quote Heinlein, “Man is not a rational animal; he is a rationalizing animal”

  21. wr says:

    @John D’Geek: ” Someone has to go to jail.”

    Anyone in particular? Maybe we should just grab someone off the street and send him to jail for a few years so that you can feel better. Hell, if you make it a black kid you’ll get cheers from Trump supporters that you’ve made America safer, and none of the kid’s friends will think it’s anything but business as usual.

    Someone has to go to jail!!! Someone must suffer my wrath!!! Because — well because I say so, even if there’s no harm anyone can find!!! Because!!!

  22. wr says:

    @the Q: Mr. Q — I’ve always enjoyed your rants, but the last couple of days you are coming across as, well, insane. From your constant use of “the c word” to describe Hillary to this, you seem to have lost all control. Have you seen your doctor lately? Because this should be a cause for concern.

  23. JKB says:

    Hell, even if she were indicted, President Obama might well pardon her;

    Acceptance of a pardon is de facto admission of guilt.

    In any case, politically such a pardon would overshadow Obama’s legacy if it turns out there were serious breaches of national security in the classified material exposure, even more if it led to the deaths of agents or assets in the field.

    None of which we will find out about until the FBI investigation is completed. The OIG would have avoided pursuing any elements in this investigation that might lead to criminal charges and instead provided any evidence uncovered to the criminal investigators, excepting administratively compelled self-incriminating statements (to avoid 5th amendment issues in any prosecutions).

    In any case, an Obama pardon would either be an October surprise or a lame duck formality. But one way or another, the voters will be the grand jury on this matter whether they have all the evidence or not.

  24. JKB says:

    @wr: Someone has to go to jail!!

    Classified material of the highest classification has been found on the unsecure, private server, someone had to transcribe it. That person(s) is likely going to jail as they’ll be able to show access and subsequent email creation.

    Even if elected it is unlikely Hillary would pardon such a person.

  25. grumpy realist says:

    I’m rooting for Hillary in this case, but mainly because I’m even more skeptical about the so-called “classified material” than I am about her misuse of email.

    No one ever got fired in the military for classifying stuff that shouldn’t be classified. And it’s very easy to make yourself feel Very Important, classifying stuff as “Top Secret.” So guess what happens? EVERYTHING gets classified.

    It was when the Navy tried to classify a perfectly well-known hydrodynamics equation that I realized that the present set-up is totally wacko. .

  26. wr says:

    @JKB: “That person(s) is likely going to jail as they’ll be able to show access and subsequent email creation.”

    To what end? I mean, I know you guys would be willing to torture a thousand people if it mildly inconvenienced a Clinton, but seriously, what is this going to serve other than giving particularly hateful right wingers a woodie?

  27. Modulo Myself says:

    @John D’Geek:

    My point is that to the outside of the federal government nobody really cares. The Cold War is over. The KGB had spies everywhere, and all that information was useful for was in killing CIA agents and losing the Cold War. Right now, people who live in the middle of nowhere are terrified of ISIS terrorists but this fear is personal and has nothing to do with global strategy or millions of unsecured emails containing quotidian observations about world leaders. When you cut away the government’s mystique, flesh and blood its employees are no different than your typical Home Depot supply manager who knows the rules and lore of the custom Home Depot shipping system.

  28. Modulo Myself says:

    @John D’Geek:

    And if you asked the average person what Russia or China would do with information they took from Hillary Clinton’s server, they would have no clue. None. All they have is solid knowledge of what hackers might take from a celebrity. And it’s not because the average person is stupid; it’s because geopolitics seems like stamp collecting.

  29. SKI says:

    @John D’Geek:

    2) Sending TS/SCI “in the clear”. That’s serious — as in “jail-time serious”. My above caveats apply, but someone used her e-mail to do it. Someone has to go to jail.

    My understanding was that the “classified” material was primarily material that was (a) classified retrospectively and/or (b) news stories that contained material in the public arena but shared facts with government reports that were classified.

    Clinton only used her account for unclassified email. No information in Clinton’s emails was marked classified at the time she sent or received them.

    After reviewing a sampling of the 55,000 pages of emails, the Inspectors General have proffered that a small number of emails, which did not contain any classified markings and/or dissemination controls, should have been classified at the time they were sent. The State Department has said it disagrees with this assessment.

    Is this now inaccurate?

    Should someone really go to jail for this?

  30. Guarneri says:

    Its an irrelevant question. We can never know because 30,000 emails were destroyed.

    Of course, that was the point.

  31. Modulo Myself says:

    Examples of espionage that worked:

    1) Enigma breaks the German code
    2) Rosenbergs steal atomic secrets
    3) Israelis steal atomic secrets
    4) Ayman Al-Zawahiri infiltrates Bush administration using agents Rumsfeld, Feith, and Wolfowitz

  32. steve s says:

    Its an irrelevant question. We can never know because 30,000 emails were destroyed.

    Of course, that was the point.

    multiply that number by 1,000 and you have how many emails the GWB administration “lost”.

  33. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Guarneri:

    Rove destroyed something in the neighborhood of 22 million emails. Nobody really knows how many Colin Powell deleted, except to say that he deleted ALL of them without turning ANY of them over to the State Department.

  34. MBunge says:

    @michael reynolds: But can we at least drop the hypocritical bullshit about Clinton’s moral character?

    The problem is that we’ve just had 8 years disproving your point. Obama is not like Bill and HIllary Clinton. The same Republicans with the same manic desire to destroy him are still there and we haven’t had ANYTHING from Obama that’s even close to the tidal wave of scandals and questionable behavior that we saw and are seeing from the Clintons.

    Mike

  35. michael reynolds says:

    @MBunge:

    You’re right, Obama is squeaky clean and Hillary isn’t. But that says nothing about the hypocrisy of the morally compromised railing on about Hillary’s ‘character.’ Let’s grant that on a scale of 1 to 10 Obama is a ten and Hillary is only a six. So what? Obama is the outlier, not the norm. And bear in mind he’s only been on the scene for 8 years, not 25, and he doesn’t have to carry all his spouse’s sins as baggage, too.

    If we are hiring a president, and we have two choices, and we assume (I’d say quite wrongly, but for the moment) that Hillary and Donald are equally tarnished, then what? Who do we hire? The choice in this scenario does not rest on moral probity since we’ve canceled that out. So, who do we hire and why?

    Everywhere the POTUS goes the ‘football’ goes with him or her. Which of the candidates is least likely to start a nuclear war and annihilate humanity? That’s not a hard choice. You’ve got the former First Lady, former Senator, former Secretary of State vs. a reality show freak who keeps promising to be absolutely batshit.

    Not a hard choice.

    Under these circumstances her moral character is beside the point. We defeated the worst man in history by helping the second worst man in history. We sent arms and trucks to Stalin even as he was continuing to murder great numbers of his own people. That’s what you do sometimes, because the alternative is far worse.

  36. Todd says:

    I’m not sure anything is going to happen to her specifically in regards to the email server. However, if she does get elected, it was already almost a given that there will be investigations into something or other during the course of her Presidency. I think as a result of the “reputation” she already has, she will have a harder time (than say President Obama) just writing it off as another “Republican witch hunt”.

    Even now during the campaign, that claim by Democrats almost feels a bit too much like “the girl who cried wolf”.

  37. Todd says:

    In other words, I don’t think she’ll have as easy of a time getting the benefit of the doubt. Any scandals (or even “scandals”) in a Hillary Clinton White House are likely to have some stickiness to them.

  38. al-Alameda says:

    @Guarneri:

    Its an irrelevant question. We can never know because 30,000 emails were destroyed.
    Of course, that was the point.

    … and the Bush Administration destroyed millions of emails, and THAT is definitely an irrelevant point to Republicans.

  39. DrDaveT says:

    @JKB:

    Classified material of the highest classification has been found on the unsecure, private server, someone had to transcribe it.

    Could you or John D’Geek provide a citation for this claim? Everything I have seen to date indicates that there was content on the server that later was classified at a high level by someone else. That makes all the difference — the Secretary of State is an original classification authority. If she receives or creates unmarked material that, in her judgement, is not TS/SCI, then she is by definition correct.

    Again, if you have a source that talks about her mishandling already-marked materials, I’d love to see it.

  40. Ben Wolf says:

    @James Joyner: An old rule in Washington: If you don’t ask permission you can’t be told no.

  41. Ben Wolf says:

    @al-Alameda: What Republicans did is irrelevant. Two bad acts or ten million do not net to zero. “They do it too” is a less than reasonable excuse for anything.

  42. Kari Q says:

    @grumpy realist:

    No one ever got fired in the military for classifying stuff that shouldn’t be classified. And it’s very easy to make yourself feel Very Important, classifying stuff as “Top Secret.” So guess what happens? EVERYTHING gets classified.

    was when the Navy tried to classify a perfectly well-known hydrodynamics equation that I realized that the present set-up is totally wacko. .

    Exactly. I used to joke with my colleagues that I expected the Air Force to classify the fact that they flew airplanes. This would, of course, require them to rename the branch of service because “Air Force” and “airplane” both have the word “air” in them.

  43. the Q says:

    wr, I have not lost my mind…the Dems who constantly enable the scumbag Clintons are the ones who should be in therapy.

    What part of getting a blow job in the Oval Office is not completely offensive to you? I highly doubt if W did this your reactions would be the same.

    You boomers have allowed the GOP to wax the Dems EVERYWHERE but the White House.

    Your collective wimpy bourgeois attitudes have allowed the GOP to elect more Senators and Congresspersons than anytime in the last 100 years!!!!

    You boomer RINOs have allowed more state governorships and state houses to be dominated by the wingnuts in my lifetime – and I was born in the 30s you assholes.

    Cranky, fuck no, I m pissed. I lived through the idiot republican Depression and for 50 years we throttled and destroyed them, only to see Reagan tip the apple cart, then to watch the DLC finish the job.

    Hillary and Bill are blatant plutocrats and you bootlickers are responsible for the travest. At least I’ll give the wingnut crazies one thing….they totally shit on the Bush legacy….something the Dems should do with the Clinton sleaze family.

    You people are the deluded turncoats who should go to hell. Hopefully, if Hillary loses we do what the GOP did in 64 and get rid of the bullshit RINOs and establish a true progressive social worker based party.

  44. Slugger says:

    I don’t care for HRC. There is something about her that has always stirred my coffee the wrong direction. I strongly disapprove of her vote on the AUMF for Iraq. However, no person has had all the minutiae of their life as relentlessly scrutinized with so little found. There has been so much shit flung at her that at this point the flingers stink more than she does; you can say that I have Hillary Scandal Fatigue.
    As I said, I don’t care for her. Eighteen months ago, it was fairly clear that she’d be the candidate. The Republicans needed to nominate someone just a tiny bit not crazy….look at the alternative they have given us.

  45. Steve V says:

    @Ben Wolf: I agree that games of “I’m rubber you’re glue” or just making accusations of hypocrisy generally aren’t useful. But I’m also trying to figure out how bad of a transgression this whole email thing is. Republicans are obviously going nuts over it. But if the same Republicans losing their mind over this scandal minimized and rationalized similar behavior when the shoe was on the Republican foot, that helps me put this in perspective.

  46. wr says:

    @Todd: “In other words, I don’t think she’ll have as easy of a time getting the benefit of the doubt.”

    That’s darn good strategery, Tod. Let’s refuse to elect someone because the Republicans will say mean things about her. From now on, let’s all vow only to elect Democrats that the Republicans respect so much they will never use every lever of power they can grab to attack him or her.

    Please, all we need now is for you to give us that name.

  47. john430 says:

    @michael reynolds: Quelle bullshit. We are talking about national security not about fudging your taxes or watching a porno flick. You are trying to equate laxity and carelessness with the nation’s secrets to a speeding ticket. W(ake)TFU!!

  48. Kari Q says:

    @the Q:

    What part of getting a blow job in the Oval Office is not completely offensive to you? I highly doubt if W did this your reactions would be the same.

    It would have been one of the least offensive things he did there, frankly.

    I’ve never been a fan of the Clintons. Despised Bill, never cared for Hillary. The only thing that makes them less repellent is the utter repulsiveness of the opposition. Bill Clinton or the Republicans who impeached him? Hillary or Trump?

    You don’t have to love them to accept that they really are preferable to the alternative.

  49. Tyrell says:

    @Surreal American: “Ol’ Hillary’s so desperate to clean her hard drive that she got caught trying to run it through a car wash !” (local am station)

  50. stonetools says:

    @MBunge:

    The same Republicans with the same manic desire to destroy him are still there and we haven’t had ANYTHING from Obama that’s even close to the tidal wave of scandals and questionable behavior that we saw and are seeing from the Clintons.

    This is a rose tinted view of the Obama Presidency. The Republicans tried powerfully and successfully to gin up controversies. There was and is the birther controversy. There was Deepwater Horizon. There was the IRS scandal.There was Benghazi. There was the ACA rollout. There was ebola.
    The Republicans and the RW media ginned up these “scandals” out of nothing, but they did gin up scandals.

  51. stonetools says:

    The true tell of how unserious this email thing is, is that for four years, Clinton was Secretary of State. During that time there was a long list of people who surely must have known that sh using personal email to conduct government business,even if they didn’t know about the personal server.Her email address was clinton.com, for Pete’s sake.
    That list must have included , at a minimum:

    1.The President
    2.At least some Cabinet members
    3.The heads of intelligence agencies
    4.Senior military brass
    5.The House committees who oversee State (including some Republicans)
    6. The Senate committees who oversee the State Department (including some Republicans)
    7. Various Ambassadors
    8. The Inspector General’s Office

    During all that time no one raised a stink, including not one Republican.
    Using Occam’s Razor, the only conclusion I can draw from this is that no one thought it was a big deal.It only became a big deal when she began her Presidential run.
    I note once again that not a single Clinton Critic thinks that any action should be taken against Powell, although he did broadly similar things. No, he didn’t keep a personal server, but from a security point of view there is no difference between using a personal server to receive email and using an account on a public server.(Arguably, using a personal server was more secure). And then he deleted ALL his emails.
    BTW, does anyone think Powell is a bad character because of his deficient email policy? Didn’t think so. ( I have other problems with Powell , but I don’t give a rip about his damned emails).

  52. al-Ameda says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    @al-Alameda: What Republicans did is irrelevant. Two bad acts or ten million do not net to zero. “They do it too” is a less than reasonable excuse for anything.

    Yes, “they do it too” is relevant here. They may both do it too, but both sides are most definitely not equal.

    This is all being played out in a political context, not in a courtroom, so it is relevant. These days our elected representatives, primarily the Republican variety, have decided that application of the administrative rules of government may be selectively enforced depending upon which political party controls either the House or the Senate or both.

    Republicans have run 8 or 9 investigations of Hillary in the past 5 years, all with the goal of fixing the result. There is no Republican interest in those rules per se, only that there be damage done to Hillary Clinton. I get it, but that does not mean that I ignore what others beside Hillary Clinton have done.

  53. Facebones says:

    Four posts in one day about the email server. Looks like James has found his rationale to vote for Trump over Hillary.

    I still don’t think this will amount to much of anything. Still think the idea of Hillary being indicted is nothing more than a masturbatory fantasy of Breitbart and Bernie Sanders. It will has as much relevance on the general election as Solyndra did in 2012.

  54. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @the Q:
    I don’t listen to your argument you argument, because as soon as I read “scumbag”, I skip what you’ve written because I know that it’s the rantings of a vile person.

    No one should be called names like that; and that kind of name-calling (to me) only reflects on the character of the speaker. If you can’t make the argument without resorting to high-school name-calling, then maybe you don’t have a coherent point to be made.

  55. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    The Law Is The Law

    What law did she break? Crickets will be a clear admission that you have no idea what you are talking about…

  56. anjin-san says:

    @MBunge:

    the tidal wave of scandals

    Apparently you don’t realize that the “the tidal wave of scandals” of is something that pretty much exists in the imaginations of people that watch Fox News for five or six hours a day…

  57. anjin-san says:

    @john430:

    laxity and carelessness with the nation’s secrets

    Perhaps you could flesh this out a bit. Which secrets? How was our national security harmed?

    When we compare this “scandal” to the shit that went on under Reagan and GWB, a speeding ticket is exactly what it looks like.

  58. The Q says:

    Ok Youngstown Bob, I’ll be the prim and proper Neville chamberlain stiff upper lip chap and won’t mind at all that reaming sensation in my backside courtesy of the sellout boomers whose complete neglect and contempt of the working class made the rise of Trump inevitable. And to top it off, it gives me the vapors to see the enabling of her continual corrupt behavior by most posters here.

  59. Don says:

    John, I don’t believe anyone has alleged that anyone moved information from the classified server and sent it to Secretary Clinton as an unclassified email. Rather, it’s that information may have been sent for her that was later deemed to be classified, but it wasn’t classified at the time it was sent to her. It’s very difficult to move information from the classified to the unclassified servers.

    Don

  60. Don says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Right, and as I understand it the FBI investigation is focusing on the classified information aspects of the case, which they warned the OIG to stay away from.

  61. Lit3Bolt says:

    @James Joyner:

    The fact that the FRA is being used against Clinton, and only Clinton, is telling.

    If you’re going to huff “The law is the law.” then you need to be consistent. Call for Colin Powell’s head as well. Demand State Dept and FBI investigation into the Attorney Generals scandal where millions of emails were lost, and Chief of Staff Karl Rove used his RNC email for most official communication.

    Or is the Federal Records Act just a nice torch with which to burn the witch?

  62. Tyrell says:

    @Facebones: The airwaves, cafes, and back channels are lit up with this possible
    stage of events: Hillary will withdraw, the party will choose Biden as the nominee, making some kind of deal with Sanders.
    The election could even be delayed to give Biden more time to get everything organized. There is a lot of chatter about possible orders coming out of the White House. Everyone is edgy. There is a veritable flurry of rumors and theories going around. Something is about to happen.
    California – breaking news – riot police and SWAT teams in military type vehicles moved into San Diego to put down violent protests at a Trump rally. MSNBC reported that some of the protestors appeared to be insurrectionists sent in to attack the police. Dozens of arrests. Mexican flags were seen.
    and property damages.

  63. Bob@Youngstown says:

    @The Q: Whatever
    Vile people employ vile words when they got nothing useful to contribute.

  64. stonetools says:

    BTW, this is yet another example of how the Bush Administration is the gift that keeps on giving. During in 1990s, the Republicans could rise up in the righteous indignation over yet another manufactured Clinton scandal, while the “good government” Democrats would clutch their pearls in dismay. Now when the Republicans rise up, we can just point to examples of Bush Administration officials doing similar things and worse. That puts things in context,exposes Republican hypocrisy, and puts the Republicans on defense( see James Joyner’s not very convincing argument that what Powell did was excusable, because things were different way back in 2004). The “good government” types can still point out that Bush Administration stupidity doesn’t excuse Clinton stupidity, but at least we can cut off the Republican game of pretending that the Clintons are “the evilest evil that ever eviled”(hat tip LGM commenter).

  65. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Tyrell:

    The election could even be delayed to give Biden more time to get everything organized.

    And the (ahem…) GOP controlled House and Senate are going to do this because…?

    But it is comforting to know that someone else has finally gotten a hit off that bong.

  66. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Facebones: No, he’s finally found his rationalization for staying at home (i.e. voting third party), so that he can say “I’m not responsible for what happened.”

  67. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Lit3Bolt: Did any of the cases you cite set up their own server? Have any of them refused to cooperate with investigators? Have any of them been caught explicitly lying about not deleting any official e-mails?

  68. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Tyrell: The election could even be delayed to give Biden more time to get everything organized.

    The law is clear: the election is to be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, and that’s been established for decades. The Democrats have known this all along; if it is their misfortune that they invested in a candidate that will not be able to run or serve, that’s their problem, not anyone else’s.

    There will be no more Torricellis.

  69. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @the Q: Shouldn’t that be DINOs? Good luck on that “educating the workers (approximately 30% of the workforce) on the virtues of the workers’ party” part, too. If Eugene Debbs couldn’t do it in 1930-whatever…

  70. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Todd: I can’t remember who it was any more, but I saw on a news feed that one congresscritter’s stump speech includes the pledge to file articles of impeachment on Hillary on inauguration day. This factor is why I was getting downvotes for saying that I hoped Hillary didn’t run back in early 2015.

    It’s dead, Todd. Find a new horse to ride.

  71. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @JKB:

    Even if elected it is unlikely Hillary would pardon such a person.

    Gee, I don’t know; Ford pardoned Nixon (and he wasn’t even convicted, he resigned to stop the process). Are you saying the Hillary is more honorable that Gerald Ford?

  72. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Heh

    Did any of the cases you cite set up their own server?

    I know of one guy who did the equivalent by using private email on his LAPTOP to conduct government business , using a wireless network.

    Have any of them refused to cooperate with investigators?

    I know one guy who wasn’t investigated for similar misconduct, because Republicans didn’t think he did anything wrong.

    Have any of them been caught explicitly lying about not deleting any official e-mails?

    I know of one guy who simply deleted all his emails , without consulting anyone, and was simply never asked about it because no Republican in Congress or the Bush Administration thought anything of him deleting all his emails.

    OK, Jenos, here’s where you should admit that Clinton really didn’t do anything more evil than Colin Powell, and of course we haven’t even started on the millions of emails the Bush Administration lost in 2007. Maybe it’s time for you to stop flogging this dead horse. You just don’t have any case to be outraged about what Clinton did, unless you are similarly outraged about the even worse misdeeds of the Republicans. It’s why this email stuff isn’t going to move the needle this election. Sorry about that.

  73. An Interested Party says:

    …if it turns out there were serious breaches of national security in the classified material exposure, even more if it led to the deaths of agents or assets in the field.

    Well you can only hope and pray for that, right?

    In other words, I don’t think she’ll have as easy of a time getting the benefit of the doubt.

    BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As if she would have if all of this had never happened…

    What Republicans did is irrelevant.

    On the contrary…

    This is an age-old trick that Republicans have been using for a long time. They ignore what they’ve been doing for years and pretend that it is an evil plot invented by Democrats. To point out the actual history makes you look like a four year-old saying “s/he did it first.”

    —————————————————————————————————————————–

    What part of getting a blow job in the Oval Office is not completely offensive to you?

    As offensive as that is, it is even more offensive for such an incident to be used by his political enemies as a cudgel because they couldn’t defeat him politically…

    …and establish a true progressive social worker based party.

    I am curious how you think such a party could gain a national political majority…

    The Republicans needed to nominate someone just a tiny bit not crazy….look at the alternative they have given us.

    Bingo! This point can’t be stressed enough…elections aren’t about finding perfection, they are about picking the best choice…who actually thinks that this kerfuffle makes Trump a better choice…

    …the sellout boomers whose complete neglect and contempt of the working class made the rise of Trump inevitable.

    I certainly won’t defend the Baby Boomer generation but you display quite a hatred of that group…do you have a bad relationship with your boomer kids or something…

  74. michael reynolds says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    What Republicans did is irrelevant. Two bad acts or ten million do not net to zero. “They do it too” is a less than reasonable excuse for anything.

    Ah, the clarion call of sanctimony that has made the Campus Left such a huge asset to the progressive cause, alienating friends and helping foes, all so the perfect among us can strut their moral superiority.

    You’re so right, Ben. We must condemn the large and the small, the dangerous and the trivial with equal ferocity because our goal is not the power to make the world a better place, no no no. Our goal is to maintain a smug superiority and refuse to take responsibility for the consequences.

    It’s a good thing the Republicans are such utterly heinous creeps, because the insufferable, obnoxious sanctimony of the Campus Left would otherwise drive me right into the arms of a Bob Dole or even a Mitt Romney.

    Climb down off the f-cking cross, Ben, we are trying to fight and defeat a real enemy here. A real one. In the real world. Who will do real damage to real people who you supposedly care about. Strut your holiness or fight the fight.

    “They do it, too,” never justifies anything? Really? Ever read any part of history, Ben? Lincoln had his political opponents (Copperheads) thrown in jail, authorized Sherman’s punishment of civilians and lied like a son of a bitch from start to finish. But of course Saint Ben would have hated all that, because sometimes keeping that halo bright requires leaving slaves in bondage. Right?

  75. Pch101 says:
  76. Lit3Bolt says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Don’t get worked up by the Putinbots and the Karl Rove Online Club For Young Men.

    We know who’s writing Bernie’s checks.

  77. Lit3Bolt says:

    @Todd:

    Well sure, 25 years of brainwashing will do that to the best of us.

  78. steve s says:

    if it turns out there were serious breaches of national security in the classified material exposure,

    like what, hillary deliberately outed a CIA agent maybe? What should the penalty be for that?

  79. anjin-san says:

    @Ben Wolf:

    What Republicans did is irrelevant. Two bad acts or ten million do not net to zero. “They do it too” is a less than reasonable excuse for anything.

    You know, Jimmy Carter is a great man. A shining example of what a human being can be. Honest. Moral. Generous. Brave.

    But he was not a very good President, and he could not hold on to the White House. Hence, President Reagan, and the consequences of the rise of modern conservative politics.

  80. anjin-san says:

    @ James Joyner

    Clinton Email Scandal: What Should Be Done?

    Well, you could admit it’s not really much of a scandal, and take a look at Trump’s possibly criminal attempts to intimidate a federal judge…

  81. Mikey says:

    @anjin-san:

    Trump’s possibly criminal attempts to intimidate a federal judge…

    Yeah, classy move by Trump…”The judge is Mexican” No, asswipe, the judge is from Indiana. But he has a funny-sounding name, so he must be one of those dirty druggie rapists.

    And this piece of trash is the GOP nominee. Lincoln turns in his grave.

  82. An Interested Party says:

    Lincoln turns in his grave.

    Lincoln did that a long time ago…

  83. Ben Wolf says:

    @anjin-san:
    1) That’s bad history.
    1a) See “false pattern recognition.”
    2) The people you’re pinning your hopes on to hold the White Hoise for two terms are ‘floating’ before the press an idea for a fourth Donald Trump nickname.

  84. Jenos Idanian says:

    @stonetools: OK, Jenos, here’s where you should admit that Clinton really didn’t do anything more evil than Colin Powell, and of course we haven’t even started on the millions of emails the Bush Administration lost in 2007.

    I could admit that, but that would be bullshit.

    Here’s what you could do: you could offer an explanation as to why Hillary might have thought having a private email server, administered by people without full security clearances, to handle her official correspondence? And if you really want to score points, you could do so in such a way that 1) doesn’t duplicate any of Hillary’s explanations so far that have all been proven lies, and 2) does not involve evading laws that she found politically inconvenient.

    That would score major points, because no one — NO ONE — has done so thus far. Not Hillary, not any of her minions, not any of her apologists. Oh, they’re all ready to say “it was a bad idea” and “she apologized” and “she regrets it” and “she thought it was allowed,” but no one can manage to say why she ever thought it was a good idea, or what sorts of advantages it would have over using the official resources.

    Now, her detractors (myself included) have offered such explanations, but they involve evading politically inconvenient laws and avoiding legally allowed scrutiny. But those on her side? A whole lot of nothing.

    She’s had a couple of years to come up with a good story, and hasn’t yet. So I feel perfectly justified in speculating. And so do a lot of others. Nature abhors a vacuum.

  85. Mikey says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Here’s what you could do: you could offer an explanation as to why Hillary might have thought having a private email server, administered by people without full security clearances, to handle her official correspondence?

    I can allow an uncleared American citizen, under escort, into my facility, which is accredited to process TS. Why is an uncleared American citizen an issue administering an unclassified e-mail server?

  86. grumpy realist says:

    @john430: “retroactive classification”? Feh. It would make a cat laugh.

    I think we should treat “national security” stuff like revelation for 102 purposes in patent law. No backsies. You don’t get to release a whole bunch of material and then retroactively decide that “oops, that was secret.” If you don’t have the brains to keep your mouth shut, then you have to deal with the consequences.

    National security classification stamps are not out there so you can cover your ass.

  87. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Here’s what you could do: you could offer an explanation as to why Hillary might have thought having a private email server, administered by people without full security clearances, to handle her official correspondence?

    Or we could say “run along troll boy”…

  88. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    I could admit that, but that would be bullshit.

    Shorter Jenos: let me run away from this inconvenient fact.

    You like questions, two can play that game.
    Why do Clinton critics focus only on Clinton’s actions and motivations, and not only the actions of motivations of other peoples who violated these policies? Is it because all these other people are Republicans? Are folks like Jenos so dense that they think we wouldn’t notice that? SAD!
    Could Jenos offer an explanation as to why Powell used a private account on a laptop with a wireless connection to conduct sensitive government business? Why did Powell delete all the emails at the end of his tenure rather than print them out, as required by policy? How did he think he could get away with that, and why didn’t the Inspector General’s Office of the Bush Administration not ask him any questions about that? (Indeed, why didn’t the Congressional Republicans launch any such investigations?)
    Did those deleted emails include discussions of what the Bush Administration knew about WMD in the run up to the Iraq War? What about Bush Administration torture policies? Or the relationship between Cheney, Halliburton, and Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans?
    Hey, I like this questions game. As it turns out, we can ask many, many questions of the Bush Administration email policies. And we haven’t even gotten to this:

    The Bush White House email controversy surfaced in 2007 during the controversy involving the dismissal of eight U.S. attorneys. Congressional requests for administration documents while investigating the dismissals of the U.S. attorneys required the Bush administration to reveal that not all internal White House emails were available. Conducting governmental business in this manner is a possible violation of the Presidential Records Act of 1978, and the Hatch Act.[1] Over 5 million emails may have been lost.[2][3] Greg Palast claims to have come up with 500 of the Karl Rove emails, leading to damaging allegations.[4] In 2009, it was announced that as many as 22 million emails may have been lost.[5]

    What about the deleted Jeb Bush emails, including the emails of November and December 2000 relating to his brother’s election in Florida? Why was there no investigation of Jeb’s deletions?
    So, Jenos, care to answer my questions? I got a bunch of them.

  89. Jenos Idanian says:

    @stonetools: Just how are those relevant to the current presidential race? Isn’t it time to MoveOn, already?

    Besides, why are you so fixated on me — little old me — to express the proper OUTRAGE!!!! on that? Why not go after the Obama administration? They not only have access to all the relevant information — far more than I do — AND they have the authority to actually do something about it.

    You wanna fixate on stuff from 9 years ago and more? Go ahead. Don’t expect me to join you in your folie a deux — find another partner, sister.

    So do I have answers to your questions? Nope. Because I have zero access to any kind of inside information. All I can do is look at publicly available information, and speculate from there. In this case, let me offer one possible explanation:

    The Obama administration has had unfettered access to all the dirt on these matters for years. Further, for the first two years, they also had a compliant Congress. They also made the key element of their election “everything’s bad, it’s Bush’s fault,” and have coasted on “it’s Bush’s fault” ever since. EVERYTHING is Bush’s fault.

    Considering all that, if they had the opportunity to put some of Bush’s key people in prison (or, at least, brought up on charges, or even just hauled before a Democratically-controlled Congressional hearing), they would have done so. And the fully-compliant media would have made it TEH MOST IMPORTANT THING EVAR!!!!! and no one would have been allowed to not know about it.

    None of that happened. So my (completely unsourced) speculation is that there is no “there” there. By sticking to just making all these “it’s Bush’s fault” accusations, but never actually taking any action, they let the accusations stand unchallenged in any kind of formal setting, when the accused parties have rights to defend themselves.

    So, based on the conduct of the parties best placed to know what happened and do something about it, I believe that all that stuff you’re hyperventilating over is a huge nontroversy, and only trotted out when it’s time to play the “SQUIRREL!!!!!” game and change the subject away from stuff that’s embarrassing for the Democrats.

    So there, I answered your questions, with my own speculations. Now, I ask you to exercise your own speculative muscles and offer an explanation for why Hillary EVER might have thought having her own server was a good idea.

    I expect that, instead, you’ll want to get into some heated argument about my answer, because you only brought up your questions as an attempt to change the subject, and are actually afraid to discuss Hillary’s misconduct. And let me preempt that answer by saying that I have said all I intend to say about all your “SQUIRREL!!!!” protests — at least until you offer an answer to my question.

    And I’ll make it even easier — I’ll remind you of the answers that Hillary has already offered, and had proven lies.

    1) She only wanted to use one device — she had a Blackberry, an IPad, and an IPhone.

    2) She only wanted to use one address — she used at least 2 different @clintonemail.com addresses.

    3) She asked,and it was allowed — she never asked, would have been told no, and people who expressed concerns were told to shut up and never ask about it again.

    So, ball’s back in your court.

  90. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Shorter Jenos: “I got nothing.”

  91. Mikey says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Why not go after the Obama administration? They not only have access to all the relevant information — far more than I do — AND they have the authority to actually do something about it.

    This is true. However, what’s also true–and true of any Presidential administration, Republican or Democrat–is Mikey’s First Law of Presidential Power:

    No President will take an action that would diminish the power and authority of the office of the Presidency.

    In this context, that means Obama would never bring any prosecution against Bush (43), because doing so would cut off an avenue of action for Obama himself, and of his successors, thereby diminishing the power of the office. Even if Obama would never authorize the things Bush did, Obama would still not do something that might eliminate a potential future action by a President.

    So, for better or worse, Obama would never provide a resolution to this question.

    You wanna fixate on stuff from 9 years ago and more? Go ahead. Don’t expect me to join you in your folie a deux — find another partner, sister.

    Says the guy whose party’s Presidential nominee is bringing up stuff that happened 15 years ago and more.

  92. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Mikey: Your First Law is… interesting. I think I like it, but I’m going to give it a little mulling.

    And thank you for fulfilling my prophesy, if indirectly. I said that I offered my opinion, but had no interest in discussing it further, especially since it would mean that my own question would be unanswered and my answer would become instead the main focus of discussion. I just thought it would be stonetools who’d do it, but you pre-empted stoney’s opportunity.

    So I’ll ask you the question that no one wants to answer: everyone agrees now that Hillary’s private server was a bad idea. What the hell might she have been thinking that made it seem like a good idea at the time?

  93. Mikey says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    So I’ll ask you the question that no one wants to answer: everyone agrees now that Hillary’s private server was a bad idea. What the hell might she have been thinking that made it seem like a good idea at the time?

    She wanted to retain control of the e-mails, like any politician she is big into covering her own ass. She knows full well how the opposition can twist even the most innocent communications into something usable as a weapon and with her planned run for President she didn’t want GOP opposition research running around in her SecState business.

    Was it poor judgment? Probably, but it’s impossible to compare it to what might have happened had she stuck with State IT (which, in my experience, can be problematic). On the other hand, there’s surely no way she could have gotten away with “I deleted them all, what ya gonna do about it?” a la Colin Powell.

  94. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian: ” What the hell might she have been thinking that made it seem like a good idea at the time?”

    How much time are you going to spend demanding that everyone else pretend they can read minds?

  95. stonetools says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Just how are those relevant to the current presidential race? Isn’t it time to MoveOn, already?

    Well, I would ask you the same thing. Why not just move on , rather than obsess about a seven year policy that Clinton has abandoned and she has already apologized for?

    Besides, why are you so fixated on me — little old me — to express the proper OUTRAGE!!!! on that? Why not go after the Obama administration? They not only have access to all the relevant information — far more than I do — AND they have the authority to actually do something about it.

    Indeed.Why didn’t the Obama Administration hound the Republicans for their misdeeds? My answer differs from Mike’s. I believe Obama didn’t go that route because wanted to be magnanimous. He genuinely believed his own BS about people of good will reaching across the aisle to achieve reasonable bi-partisan compromise for the good of America. He thought he would begin by “turning the page” and not going after Bush Administration officials for their misdeeds. He expected the Republicans would respond in similar gracious fashion. As we know, they responded with scorched earth opposition, fostering “birtherism”, and ginning up in fake scandal after the other (IRS!, BENGHAZI!, EBOLA!)
    Well, I am not as gracious as “beginner” Obama. If you are going to attack Clinton for 7 year old misdeeds, then I’m going to hit back by talking about the Bush Administration’s much greater and slightly older misdeeds, if only to add context. I call that “fighting fair”.

  96. Jenos Idanian says:

    @stonetools: OK, I’ll offer a compromise. I won’t vote for Bush or Powell or Rice ever again, and you won’t vote for Hillary. Sound fair to you?

    And one point on your math: “7 years ago” was when she set up her e-mail server. She kept using it all through her tenure, which ended just over 3 years ago. Powell left office about 11.5 years ago.

    And you really are naive with your “Obama was just too darned nice” bull, if you really believe it.

  97. Why has no one mentioned the solution most obvious: Want to keep personal information personal – set up a personal e-mail acct. . Want to follow correct procedure vis a vis State Department and other governmental business matters – follow the guidelines of the State Dept. – and set up a SEPARATE e-mail account. It is so simple: 2 e-mail accounts for 2 different purposes. Surely Clinton could have (with assistance from her technical gurus) figured that one out…………first thing.

  98. John D'Geek says:

    @SKI: Information is not classified because it’s marked; it’s marked because it’s classified.

    In other words, that blurb you cited doesn’t say what you think it does. When obviously classified information is not marked and handled as such, the law has been broken. When the only way you could have gotten it is to physically lift it from a classified server (some of the information could only have come from a classified NSA server), you broke the law.

    Markings or no.

  99. John D'Geek says:

    @DrDaveT: Go to 20 Committee. He’s got many, many posts and citations regarding that subject. See also my post above.

  100. John D'Geek says:

    @DrDaveT:

    If she receives or creates unmarked material that, in her judgement, is not TS/SCI, then she is by definition correct.

    Not quite.

    If she receives already classified information from the NSA, then she cannot declassify it. Also, Classifying Authorities are supposed to adhere to the guidelines / rules for classification. Methods and sources are always classified, no matter who you are. Only the President and the Original Classification Authority can undo that.

    Also, some information is classified by law.

  101. John D'Geek says:

    @Don: I got that from 20 Committee. The allegations are there … and it was also in a report to congress that I’m too lazy to look up.

  102. wr says:

    @John D’Geek: “Information is not classified because it’s marked; it’s marked because it’s classified.”

    And the stuff that is retroactively classfied? Or the articles from the Times that get classified despite being freely circulated in the world?

    You seem to think that classification is sent down by God, rather than a tool used by government agencies for various reasons, including political ones.

  103. SKI says:

    @John D’Geek: yeah, you aren’t correct.

    Some of the “classified” emails were Washington Post articles emailed to Clinton.

    Others weren’t classified until last year during the review.

    Facts.

  104. mannning says:

    TS/SCI/TK messages were created and classified by the CIA.
    The contents of the two messages were resident on her server unmarked.
    The server was not approved to hold TS/SCI/TK.
    Clinton knew that the messages held TS/SCI/TK intelligence; she was briefed on this source, and was responsible to handle it properly whether it was marked or not.
    Someone ripped off the classifications in order to send it to her unclassified, and they violated the law to do so.
    Clinton had no authority to declassify these messages at all. None!
    So we have at least two culprits here, the person that ripped of the markings and sent them unclassified, and Clinton herself who instigated the ripping and neglected to handle this level of messages sitting on her server properly and immediately, exposing it to possible or even probable hacking.
    The fact that the messages were reclassified when discovered is obvious; they were restored to their original classification to protect the sources and methods going forward. it not being clear that they had been compromised.
    I do not see why she should be given a pass, anymore than many of us who handled similar messages improperly would have been indicted and jailed for it. Equality before the law is key.

  105. mannning says:

    So we have a most delicious decision to make! Either vote for a probably-to-be-indicted and nasty, lying to-be-felon, or vote for a bigoted loose-cannon, or vote for a Socialist, or vote for a third party, or don’t vote at all. Which is the least harm to the nation? I will wait and see.