Right now we are watching one of the greatest kabuki dances in political history unfold before our eyes. As my colleague streiff wrote earlier today, an independent intelligence review has indicated that some of the emails they reviewed from Hillary’s private server did, indeed, contain “Top Secret” information that was classified at the time it was sent/received.
This, of course has led to a series of furious denials from the Hillary camp that information about North Korea’s nuclear program was classified at all:
On Monday, the Clinton campaign disagreed with the conclusion of the intelligence review and noted that agencies within the government often have different views of what should be considered classified.
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John Kirby, the State Department spokesman, echoed Mr. Merrill.
“Classification is rarely a black and white question, and it is common for the State Department to engage internally and with our interagency partners to arrive at the appropriate decision,” he said in a statement. “Very often both the State Department and the intelligence community acquire information on the same matter through separate channels. Thus, there can be two or more separate reports and not all of them based on classified means. At this time, any conclusion about the classification of the documents in question would be premature.”
Here is what really chaps my hindquarters about this entire ludicrous debate over the various particulars of this email or that email and whether they were classified, and by whom, and when. I think getting engaged in it misses the larger point that of course the Secretary of Freaking State sent and received classified information via email.
What sort of clueless buffoon would find it even possible that the Secretary of State – necessarily one of the positions through which a massive amount of highly sensitive information must flow – could possibly perform her day to day duties in the modern world without sending and receiving classified information on a regular basis? Of all the positions in the entire Federal Government, perhaps only the heads of the actual intelligence agencies more regularly view classified information as a necessary precursor to performing their jobs.
For Hillary to make this claim is beyond ludicrous and hairsplitting. It’s insulting to the intelligence of everyone in America. Who cares whether the information was marked classified or not? Who cares how it came to be designated classified and by whom? This is the bottom line – Hillary knew, by virtue of her time in and around the executive branch, that she would be sending and receiving sensitive information over that server. The technicalities of classification and the mechanisms thereof notwithstanding, there is no way she could have possibly not known that this eventuality would come to pass.
And, ultimately, she did not care. Concerns about national security, information security, transparency in government were of no matter to her, or at least not as important to her as her own privacy (to which she is not entitled, by law, with respect to emails that pertain to her job duties).
It’s fine to point out that certain emails contained information that was obviously highly sensitive (such as the information about North Korea’s nuclear plan), but to me the larger point isn’t the particulars or details about individual emails, it’s the state of the facts as they existed at the start of Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State. She had to know that she would be sending and receiving information that would be sensitive and/or classified. She had to know that one day her records would be subject to FOIA requests. And her actions were taken with blatant disregard for these two facts.
We should not even engage her absurd parsing after the fact based on what few emails we currently have. The facts as she knew them at the time already disqualify her from office.