What A Surprise: The Inspector General Reports That What We Knew Clinton had Done With Her E-Mails A Year Ago In Fact Was What She Had Done, That She Has Been Lying And Spinning Ever Since, And That Her Supporters Have Either Been Dupes Or Accomplices! OK, I Guess That’s Not Much Of A Surprise…

Yawning2I’m not sure what to write about this, except that it has to be reported because the Clinton e-mail scandal has been so extensively discussed here since early in 2015. If it’s surprising to anyone, I pity them. If they try to keep denying it, I have contempt for them. If they don’t understand why this issue matters (Bernie…!), I pity them and have contempt for them.

Today the State Department’s inspector general’s report on the Clinton’s e-mail practices was released to the media.  The report makes it clear that Clinton intentionally set up the private server to avoid scrutiny of her personal e-mails, and the various Stygian activities revealed there. In order to do that, she willfully and knowingly violated State Department policies, and placed national security at potential risk.

The report concluded that Clinton failed to seek legal approval for her use of a private email server and that department staff would not have allowed it had she requested approval, because of the “security risks in doing so.”  Clinton’s use of private email for public business was “not an appropriate method” of preserving documents, the inspector general concluded, and her practices failed to comply with department policies meant to ensure that federal record laws are followed. Clinton should have printed and saved her emails during her four years in office or surrendered her work-related correspondence immediately upon stepping down in February 2013. She did not, choosing instead to provide those records in December 2014, nearly two years after leaving office.

So she was not following policy. What she did was not approved.  She did knowingly take risks with sensitive national security information. It wasn’t because she didn’t make “the best choice” that all of this occurred. Clinton was making the best choice for her…her career, her ambitions, her schemes.  The nation’s interests were secondary. If that.

According to the report, a top Clinton aide was warned in 2010 that the system did  not properly preserve records and responded that Clinton’s  system had been granted legal approval.There is no evidence of  any review by legal counsel, however. Even though department policy mandated throughout Clinton’s tenure that day-to-day operations should be conducted via authorized means, the IG report found no evidence that the Secretary of State “requested or obtained guidance or approval to conduct official business via a personal email account on her private server.”

State’s policy mandated that employees use approved and secure devices to transmit information known as SBU (“sensitive but unclassified”) outside State’s OpenNet network. If an employee used non-department addresses to transmit such information, they were instructed to reach out to the Bureau of Information Resource Management to do so safely. The report:

“However, OIG found no evidence that Secretary Clinton ever contacted IRM to request such a solution, despite the fact that emails exchanged on her personal account regularly contained information marked as SBU.”

Meanwhile, despite Clinton’s insistence over the past year that sensitive information handled by her was secure, the report states that “two of Secretary Clinton’s immediate staff discussed via email the Secretary’s concern that someone was ‘hacking into her email’ after she received an email with a suspicious link.” Nonetheless, the report states,

“…OIG found no evidence that the Secretary or her staff reported these incidents to computer security personnel or anyone else within the Department.”

In a wonderful example of how biased  journalists enable corrupt politicians they support with weasel words, Washington Post reporter Chris Cillizza writes that the report “badly complicates Clinton’s past explanations about the server and whether she complied fully with the laws in place governing electronic communication.”

Complicates? What’s that supposed to mean…that squaring Clinton’s spin, deceit and outright lies with the facts now really requires the convoluted rhetorical gymnastics she and Bill excel at? Truthful, factual, honest explanations don’t get “complicated” by the truth. They are supported by it. There is very little in the report that wasn’t strongly indicated by what we did know a year ago. All the drip-drip-dripping since then has just required Clinton to throw up more static, smoke and disinformation.

What Cillizza should have written was, “As long suspected, the report shows that Hillary Clinton and her surrogates have been lying about this.”

Here is the piece de resistance: the report says that neither Clinton nor Huma Abedin cooperated with the investigation. Can the Clinton Corrupted possibly give an explanation for this that doesn’t reflect badly on Hillary?

The IG’s report is news, but it should not be news. So what do I write about it,“I told you so”? Are there really people reading this post who didn’t know that Clinton was intentionally violating State policy, did mishandle documents, did place American interests at risk, and did so purely to keep her e-mails about whatever webs she was weaving out of the hands of the press, Congress and the Freedom of Information Act? Are there really people who believed her? Still believe her? Really?

Oh…the position of Clinton’s camp is that the IG is in the pocket of Republicans. That’s right: an Obama-appointed Inspector General is part of a vast, right wing-conspiracy against Clinton.

Maybe I’ll write this: Hillary certainly is making it as difficult as possible for an ethicist to advocate voting for her to avoid electing the worst, most unqualified, most unfit and least trustworthy candidate for President in our history.

______________

Sources: Washinton Post 1, Washington Post 2, Politico

37 thoughts on “What A Surprise: The Inspector General Reports That What We Knew Clinton had Done With Her E-Mails A Year Ago In Fact Was What She Had Done, That She Has Been Lying And Spinning Ever Since, And That Her Supporters Have Either Been Dupes Or Accomplices! OK, I Guess That’s Not Much Of A Surprise…

  1. “the report says that neither Clinton nor Huma Abedin cooperated with the investigation. Can the Clinton Corrupted possibly give an explanation for this that doesn’t reflect badly on Hillary?”
    Sounds like a challenge, how’s this:
    “Just because the report say Clinton did not cooperate, does not mean that she was UNcooperative. Hillary is human like us all, and has only so many hours in the day to spend. And which do you think is more important, becoming the first female President of the United States, or wasting time dealing with some nothingburger of an investigation thrown up as part of a vast right-wing conspiracy?”
    (To be clear, I don’t support Clinton and did not read the report, so that first sentence is guesswork and might not fly under the specific wording used)

    • That’s as good a job as I can imagine.

      The obvious counter is—suuure. Clinton can’t find time to personally make it crystal clear that she just made an innocent mistake, and to assist the investigation of this matter that has shadowed her campaign for more than a year by being open, telling the truth, and putting all doubts to rest so the IG could write, “Secretary Clinton was open and helpful, and made it clear that her mistakes, while serious, were innocent in nature.”

      • Another obvious counter is to recall that HRC has repeatedly said she has cooperated with all the investigators and instructed her minions, er, staff to do so as well. Surely this statement in the report diametrically opposes HRC’s assertions in this regard.

  2. “Maybe I’ll write this: Hillary certainly is making it as difficult as possible for an ethicist to advocate voting for her to avoid electing the worst, most unqualified, most unfit and least trustworthy candidate for President in our history.”

    You’re making this a hard choice, sir. As between a rock and a hard place.

    I award you one scarlet bunny wabbit.

  3. The full report looks at the cases of the three State employees found to have used personal email addresses uniformly: Powell, Clinton, and Kenya ambassador Gration. Powell’s system was installed by State Department tech people at a time when the State system was purely internal – they could not email anyone outside on the State system. The system was well-known among State employees and there was no prohibition in place at the time. There was some mission creep, in that Powell seems to have used that computer to talk to people both outside and inside the government.* Powell was faulted for not turning over his email when he left, assuming that it would be captured on the State computers.

    Gration (2010-2012) began using his personal email and authorized subordinates to do the same without consultation or approval. State advised him that wasn’t acceptable and quickly dispatched a security officer to Kenya to enforce their standards. When Gration continued to use the unauthorized system, State initiated disciplinary proceedings and Gration resigned.

    *The narrative about Powell doesn’t go into classified issues, but I don’t think anything in this unclassified report goes to classified issues.

  4. Perhaps because this scandal – and her past track record – indicate that she is the worst, most unqualified, most unfit and least trustworthy candidate for President in our history?

  5. No surprises here. As I have indicated previously, I am not a Trump fan. In fact, I have been horrified with his candidacy, his outrageous rhetoric, his inconsistent history, and his ridiculously vague and far fetched policy positions. But I am pretty clear on Hillary Clinton’s history and probable current and future policy positions… and also her way of doing business. This IG report confirms what we have long known. It is not a happy choice. But, I think I would rather take a “roll of the dice” rather than vote for a minimally competent candidate with a clear history of corruption, hypocrisy, and dishonesty. Guess who gets my unhappy vote… unless another shoe drops…

      • Fair question.

        Actually, the shoes continue to be dropped. I continue to be shocked.

        I grew up to be proud of America and trusting in government . I worked for the government in various capacities for about 30 years. I no longer trust the government so completely based on what I personally saw and experienced.

        Things are not always what they seem.

        Shoes continue to drop and I will reserve my final judgement as long as possible.

  6. I’m puzzled why you continued to advocate voting for her as a better alternative than Trump. Considering her past record, can any reasonable person believe that she’ll somehow see the light and become more trustworthy and less corrupt. She will continue to pander to special interest groups, appoint awful Supreme Court Justices, and continue the Obama legacy of using Executive Action to circumvent Congress.

    • What’s the name of the monster on the right? I don’t recognize it.

      (And before anyone gives me any smart-ass responses, I’m referring to the top picture. The monster on the bottom-right needs no introduction around here.)

  7. Where’s Beth? Is she still okay with HRC on this?

    I still don’t understand her argument that government policies on computer use are so confused that no one can follow them and therefore HRC, like all other federal employees should get a pass on anything they do with their computers and correspondence.

    My wife has worked in computer security for about twenty years for American Express and now IBM. The policy is pretty simple at both companies and the policy has large bumpers surrounding it: If you want to communicate about work, you use a company issued computer and company email. The company updates the security of those computers all the time. She can’t access her work emails from a non-company computer. Easy peasy. I assume government work is conducted similarly on government computers over .gov or something email systems.

    What’s difficult about that?

    I’m waiting for someone like Debbie Wasserman Schultz or Paul Begala to say, repeatedly (talking point, you know) “We’re just talking about departmental regulations here. No big deal. Nothing to see here, just a vast right wing conspiracy. Hillary Clinton has been working for children her entire life.”

      • I actually went through a walk down your archives and tried to find someone who defended Clinton unreservedly, and I couldn’t find a single example, not a single comment (although, and I kind of find this strange, deery didn’t post on a single Clinton topic, if there was anyone who was willing to die on the hill of an untenable progressive speaking point, it’s him.). Although there was a LOT of waffling from left commentors while there were still reasonable, viable alternatives on the right.

      • Beth’s saying everybody does it therefore it’s a big nothingburger. I just don’t think everybody does it. Or if they do, I don’t think they get away with it.

        • I really think that’s unfair, Bill. She says its a pervasive problem but a serious one, and I’ve never heard her say that for the Secretary of State to act this way isn’t terrible. She has said that the public will never comprehend why its so bad.

          • I would guess the vast majority of people with office jobs (comprising a significant portion of the electorate) work on computers and do understand rudimentary computer security protocols as do most government employees. My college room mate was just visiting. He recently retired as an attorney for the SBA and had been an AUSA (but probably before email). I doubt my buddy would have conducted SBA business over a non government computer or system, never mind set up his own server in his apartment in Brooklyn. Won’t people say, “Uh, wait a minute. She did what?”

            Also, all my wife’s emails are stored on an IBM server. IBM could get to any and all of them if need be. Even the ones she deletes as required to limit space usage could likely be found on a hard drive that had been written over. IBM isn’t subject to Freedom of Information requests but guess what, they do get sued and subjected to discovery.

    • So your knowledge is based on your wife’s experience? That’s great, but mine is with dozens if not hundreds of companies. I attend meetings and conferences on this just about every week — and I’m telling you that people don’t get it. It’s even the simple things. I’ll give you an example. A lot of CEOs don’t password enable their phones — because it cuts down on their productivity. Are they violating their own companies’ policies? Of course they are, and if they have a data breach because they leave their phones in a cab or they are stolen, shame on them. And shame on Hillary — as I have stated here consistently. But I will bet you $100 that the government doesn’t bring criminal charges. And, if I were Hillary’s defense team, I would turn the spotlight onto the government about it’s own crappy data management practices if it does. Trust me, the DOJ, FBI, and State Department don’t want that kind of scrutiny. This investigation is just about going through the motions.

      • Sorry Beth, I just don’t see either IBM or Amex employees being either cavalier or dumb about rudimentary security issues. She was the CISO at Amex. She’s been an IT auditor for years and audited IBM customers all over the world for ten or so years. People just aren’t so cavalier and dumb about rudimentary security issues. Compliance is a big concern in companies.

        • Congrats on your wife being a CISO — that is a huge accomplishment, especially for a female in a male tech-dominated world. And, like me, she probably takes security more seriously than others — it was her job.

          I have had a different experience than her. Most companies I’ve worked with have serious data security issues.

          But see, we live in a bubble where we understand and care about data security. Most people do not. I quizzed my husband (a techie and an attorney) about this over lunch. I can’t get him to care. Unless it is shown that she set up a private server to hide embezzlement activities, he’s not going to change his opinion. And, as he pointed out, what’s the alternative? We bring charges against her and get prepared for President Trump?

          My guess is that this how most people are reacting — across partisan lines. Republicans are going to hate her for doing this and liberals don’t care or are going to look the other way. And I bet that if a Republican head of an agency engaged in the same conduct, the partisan lines would fall the same way in reverse. It’s sad and depressing. There are only a few people (like me) willing to step outside Democratic party boundaries and label this conduct unacceptable.

        • I think it comes down to this — we have control over our destinies and can make decisions (moral or immoral) to shape them. I can decide not to associate with criminals, do drugs, cheat on my husband, stab others in the back at work, etc. I can always just walk away and do the right thing.

          We can’t walk away from a presidential election. It is a fact that either Trump or Clinton will be elected. We live in a two-party system. A third party will never have the power in our system of government to mount a serious challenge. We have learned that lesson time and again.

          So, an election is the only time where you can’t walk away, because there is no other choice, absent secession. You have to pick a candidate. Voting for a third candidate is throwing away your vote, and staying home is unacceptable. If you really want to change politics, you can’t start at a national election. You have to build support from the ground up. The Tea Party is doing this by the way. We might not see them put forth a serious candidate for an election cycle or two, but they are figuring out that they have to build a base before they can win.

  8. I’ve got some diehard Clinton supporter friends who are justifying this episode by comparing it to Bush using a private server during his presidency. Ethical rationalizations aside, I don’t know enough about that issue to discuss with them. Is it a legitimate comparison?

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