Latest Email Dump Shows Hillary Clinton Telling Aide To Send Classified Documents Over Unsecure Fax Line

from the the-best-government-our-money-can-buy dept

In the latest batch of Hillary Clinton emails — forced out of the State Department’s gnarled fists by an FOIA lawsuit and a recently-released Inspector General’s report showing the agency flat out sucks at responding to FOIA requests — there’s a conversational thread suggesting the presidential candidate considers her access to classified information more important than the security of that information.

In one email exchange dated June 2011, Clinton instructed her top policy advisor Jacob Sullivan to send her talking points — which were scheduled to be forwarded over the State Department’s secured network — over a non-secure fax line. Sullivan reported a problem with the State Department’s secure transmission system, so Clinton told him to wipe off any “identifying heading” and send it over using a regular fax line.

Apparently, having faster access to the talking points is more important than following the correct protocols. That’s an incredibly irresponsible way to handle sensitive communications, especially for someone in Clinton’s position.

Calls for criminal charges are filling the air again, but if the US government hasn’t engaged fully at this point, there’s little reason to believe further mishandling of classified information by Clinton is going to get that ball rolling. Besides, the State Department claims the instructions were never followed and the classified info never sent to an unsecure line, as if that makes everything OK.

On Friday, the State Department faced a barrage of questions about the propriety of that order. “We did do some forensics on that and found no evidence it was actually emailed to her,” State Department Spokesperson Kirby said at a daily news briefing on Friday. “There are other ways it could have found its way to her for her use.”

The agency also claims that just because the document was described as “classified” doesn’t necessarily mean the contents of the paper were actually “classified,” as if that makes everything ok. But if that’s true, it’s just more evidence the government routinely abuses this designation to keep non-classified material secret. It also helps explain why the State Department is so FOIA-resistant. This “classified doesn’t necessarily mean classified” non-explanation somehow explains the following:

Though Clinton claims that none of the emails she received on that private server were marked classified, at least 1,340 of those emails have since been marked classified retroactively, according to the State Department’s own tally.

I guess it all comes down to how “classified” is defined by each individual State Department official. Clinton said nothing was classified because that makes using her own personal email server OK. The State Department says some of the emails are, but only now that it’s being forced to release these communications. The designation itself is devoid of any true meaning when it’s wholly arbitrary and can be deployed retroactively. The State Department’s post facto secrecy shows the agency as a whole has a cavalier attitude towards information in its possession. It’s this attitude that leads directly to Hillary Clinton suggesting by email that documents need only be designated as “classified” when it’s convenient to do so — whether it’s to access talking points faster or, in the case of the State Department, to withhold documents from FOIA requesters.

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Comments on “Latest Email Dump Shows Hillary Clinton Telling Aide To Send Classified Documents Over Unsecure Fax Line”

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Aaron Walkhouse (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“Talking Points” are intended for presentation to the press;
therefore to the public.  They are used for publicity.

You can’t really call that stuff a bunch of secrets.   ;]

Spitballing that is used to come up with talking points  is
reasonably private and confidential because that’s where all
the mistakes are made before the grownups find and fix them;
but once that’s done your talking points are not classifiable.

klaus says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Indeed. In the great scheme of things the accidental disclosure of “talking points” might be embarrassing on some political level, but ought not be detrimental to much else.

But that said, it all depends on what the talking points were actually about, i.e. the substance, and we’re not told this. Nor are we told the intended audience. Nor are we told about the author, and who did the classification. For all we know it may have been about some top secret goings on at Area 52……

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Doesn't matter

no actually he has a point.

Democrats have far more blind voters than Republicans.
As evidenced but the current turmoil that exists in the Republican party with the likes of Trump.

The sad thing, those same people willing to vote for Hillary at this stage are beyond recovery. You can easily see tons of students in college that are more than willing to sign petitions to destroy the constitution and hand more and more power over to the police and the likes of Hillary without much resistance.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Doesn't matter

Your claim:
“Democrats have far more blind voters than Republicans.”

And your evidence in support of this claim:
“the current turmoil that exists in the Republican party with the likes of Trump”

Seems a little weak there, perhaps you have additional data that will further illustrate this alarming condition.

” sign petitions to destroy the constitution”

Like what – any examples? I can recall initiatives from the GOP that would lead to such atrocities, perhaps you have a favorite?

AJ says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Doesn't matter

“”Democrats have far more blind voters than Republicans.””

I don’t know if I agree with the above statement, but here are a couple of easily found examples.

AJ says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Doesn't matter

“Did you actually read the Above the Law article?”

I did read it. The second one is absolutely fake, it’s more of a punk than anything. But the original post stated;

” You can easily see tons of students in college that are more than willing to sign petitions to destroy the constitution and hand more and more power over to the police and the likes of Hillary without much resistance.”

I didn’t really believe it, so I googled it, and sure enough this is what I found. I’m not sure about the “tons” metric, but their were plenty of students in fact “willing to sign petitions to destroy the constitution” The fact that it’s fake doesn’t change the fact that they were willing to sign it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Doesn't matter

I have a immigrant friend who pointed this out about the Dems vs. the Repubs. Now he seems to lean to the Repubs but I think would vote Dem. But his statement to me was that the Repubs aren’t like the Dems in the aspect that the Dems will all tow the party line. Whatever it is, they will get on board. But the Repubs will fight amongst themselves and not all line up on an issue. He made that comment as if that was a bad thing.

My comment to him was that I want people who will think for themselves and not tow the party line just because it is the party line.

Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

Re: Doesn't matter

Please remember that this is Hillary Clinton we’re talking about here. She has all the baggage of being a Clinton, without Bill’s charisma to balance it out. It’s hard to think of a more unelectable candidate. Don’t believe me? Keep in mind that she’s tried this before, and got beaten in the primaries by a rookie candidate with minimal experience in politics.

AJ says:

Re: Re: Re:

“Did you perhaps get this info from Trey Gowdy?”

Aside from her admitting she broke the law found here.

How about the New York Post?

Or the Daily Caller?

National Review?

I could go on and on. Left, Right, Center, it doesn’t really matter. Some try to spin it, but they can’t deny it, she broke the law.

1.) 18 U.S. Code § 793 – Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information
18 U.S. Code § 798 – Disclosure of classified information

2.) U.S. Code § 1924 – Unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material

3.) 18 U.S. Code § 2071(b) — Concealment, removal, or mutilation generally

4.) 18 U.S. Code § 641 – Public money, property or records

5.) 18 U.S. Code § 1505 – Obstruction of proceedings before departments, agencies, and committees

Read more:

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: "I'll look the other way today, if you look the other way tomorrow."

Same general idea of diplomatic immunity, where you don’t arrest the diplomats of another country when they break the law and they don’t do the same to yours when yours break the law.

Neither side wants to rock the boat and set precedent that politicians, even presidential candidates, have to follow the law, so while they may gripe about her neither are terribly interested in actually punishing her for her actions.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: mercy

It’s amazing what one can get away with as long as they convince themselves that they deserve it, and IMO, HRC is the most entitled politician of the last decade.

The field of people I can vote for this fall is pretty much zero. Some because they’re clearly idiots, some because they’re clearly evil, and HRC because she clearly thinks it’s her turn regardless of things like her actions, opinions, or the voters.

David says:

Re: Re: Re: mercy

I’m not voting for him, but Bernie does have some coherent and (what should be) bi-partisan suggestions. It’s mainly when he thinks something should be free is where he runs off the rails.

I also think he’s the most honest candidate the Democrats have in the field, even if I don’t like some of his ideas (i.e. President Carter is also a very good honest man, although a lousy President).

nasch (profile) says:

Re: mercy

I don’t want her to go to jail, but at the very least, she should be disqualified to be a candidate for US President.

I’m not aware of any crimes where the sentence is being disqualified from running for President. It sounds nice, but I don’t think there’s any legal mechanism to do that. People have run for public office from prison.

Voter says:

More than 2

Hasn’t anyone ever heard of Martin O’Malley? How can the GOP primary consist of 16, mostly basket cases, but the Democrats can’t seem to count past 2, completely excluding him from any reporting. Until anyone can uncover any skeletons in his closet, he presents a history of rational and responsible behavior. That unfortunately doesn’t provide entertainment in the 24 news cycle, but actually offers the possibility of good leadership.

John Cressman (profile) says:

Must be nice...

It must be nice to be one of the politically “elite” and not have to worry about prosecution.

If you or I had done that, I can guarantee you we’d be prosecuted for a variety of charges and there would be no explaining it away.

But when you’re politically connected you only get a … wait… has she even gotten a handslap?… oh wait… instead of prosecution… she gets to run for president.

Some animals are more equal than others.

Anonymous Coward says:

Who cares what Hillary did or didn’t send over regular faxes? Who cares what she did or didn’t send over her personal email accounts.

The question no one is asking is why was she using it in the first place?

There is only one reason someone would use personal accounts and that is because she didn’t want someone to be able to find her communications in the future.

Chris Christies people in New Jersey did the same thing.

A government employee who uses these tactics should be arrested for violating the spirit and the letter of the Constitution.

Anonymous Coward says:

“Senator Sanders won’t be taking advice on how to regulate Wall Street from a former Goldman Sachs partner and a former Treasury Department official who helped Wall Street rig the system,”

During the most recent Democratic debate, Sanders said he doesn’t expect “to get too many campaign contributions from Wall Street.” He added: “The CEOs of large multinationals may like Hillary. They ain’t gonna like me and Wall Street is going to like me even less.”

The choice is clear unless of course you are a racist redneck. Bernie Sanders is the only logical choice among candidates that have a chance.

Glenn says:

Given that “Classified” is deployed solely for the sake of convenience more often than for any real need, this calls into question anyone referring to any documents as “Classified”.

All FAX lines are–to a significant degree–secure (which is not the same thing as “secured”), being point to point connections that are illegal to tap (unless, of course, you’re a govt. agency [with or without a warrant]). So, are we trying to keep the NSA or FBI from listening in on or capturing our govt.’s “Classified” communications?

Zarquan (profile) says:

By fax or by email ?

Clinton told him to wipe off any “identifying heading” and send it over using a regular fax line

Q: was it sent by fax ?

“We did do some forensics on that and found no evidence it was actually emailed to her”

The question was not about whether it was sent to her by email, the question was asking if it was is sent by fax ?

“There are other ways it could have found its way to her for her use”

Is that code for “yes, it kind of might have been sent by fax” ?

MIchael Orr says:

Let me get this straight: Secretary of State never gets sent any classified material?

I don’t even want to go into the “talking points”. I simply can’t buy it.

As per Hilary (and the state Department, too, it seems), Hillary, as state secretary was sent work mail to her private server, and NONE of it was classified. Seriously? Nobody ever sent any classified stuff to the Secretary of State? If you can believe that, I’ve got this bridge I can let you have on the cheap …

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