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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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2016 @ 3:48am

    Cool.
    If Hillary Clinton doesn't white wash her mistakes correctly the first time the State Department will do it for her.
    Must be nice, being able to violate the entire idea of being a PUBLIC SERVANT and just do whatever the hell you want without consequence.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2016 @ 4:19am

    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.
    Can we FOIA State Department metadata for a 72-hour window after this email was sent? Or is that an NSA thing?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Aaron Walkhouse (profile), 13 Jan 2016 @ 4:24am

    "Talking Points" are definitively unclassifiable and the
    system shouldn't have been abused to hide them from view.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Sean, 13 Jan 2016 @ 8:58pm

      Re:

      Untrue.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        nasch (profile), 13 Jan 2016 @ 9:10pm

        Re: Re:

        Untrue.

        Very convincing rebuttal.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Aaron Walkhouse (profile), 14 Jan 2016 @ 3:17am

        "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.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          klaus (profile), 14 Jan 2016 @ 10:54pm

          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......

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2016 @ 4:30am

    Doesn't matter

    The sheeple will vote for her in droves.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      kallethen, 13 Jan 2016 @ 5:39am

      Re: Doesn't matter

      Let's be realistic here...

      ... No matter WHICH side wins the votes, crap like this will go on.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2016 @ 5:51am

        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.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2016 @ 6:31am

          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?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            AJ, 13 Jan 2016 @ 6:56am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: 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.


            http://abovethelaw.com/2015/12/yale-students-sign-a-petition-to-repeal-the-first-amendment- stop-being-stupid/

            http://personalliberty.com/no-problem-watch-california-college-students-sign-a-pet ition-to-imprison-kill-all-gun-owners/

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              nasch (profile), 13 Jan 2016 @ 11:56am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Doesn't matter

              Did you actually read the Above the Law article?

              The second one could be completely fake (ie he approaches people and tells them he's going to spout crazy stuff while they sign something and they should just nod and agree), but if not would seem to indicate people will sign any petition.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                AJ, 13 Jan 2016 @ 12:21pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 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.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  nasch (profile), 13 Jan 2016 @ 2:15pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Doesn't matter

                  I don't mean the petition is fake, that's clearly true. I mean the video could be fake. As in, those people could have been in on the joke. There's just no way to tell.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                AJ, 13 Jan 2016 @ 12:22pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Doesn't matter

                Well.. I saw it as the actual petition was fake, but supposedly the students didn't know that.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2016 @ 8:39am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Doesn't matter

            I think the point that was meant is that there are countable numbers of people in the Republican party that hate Trump and will say it (raises hand) but there are very few in the Democratic party that will actually truly speak out against Hillary.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2016 @ 9:55am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 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.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2016 @ 11:22am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Doesn't matter

              Is this opinion based solely upon what you are told by the MSM? Or is it based upon a thorough search for real data on the issue?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2016 @ 10:36am

          Re: Re: Re: Doesn't matter

          bread and circuses keep a nation dumb, deaf and blind to reality

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2016 @ 6:50am

      Re: Doesn't matter

      More like doesn't matter, Benghazi has long been just a partisan witch hunt that no one who doesn't already hate her is still paying attention to. The email scandal is deeply linked with Benghazi.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2016 @ 10:09am

        Re: Re: Doesn't matter

        The email scandal is deeply linked with Benghazi.
        Which is a shame. The email scandal should be linked primarily with the email scandal.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2016 @ 10:15am

          Re: Re: Re: Doesn't matter

          Why does it matter where it is linked? If it weren't for Benghazi nobody would even know about her illegal use of private email. So we should excuse someone who is running for the highest office in the land because you don't like how she got caught?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2016 @ 10:43am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Doesn't matter

            you could always dislike Hillary for her statements she considers herself and Bill dead broke because they only have multi millions instead of billions.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2016 @ 12:55pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Doesn't matter

            I guess my comment wasn't very clear: I was just saying that the email scandal is extremely important on its own, and didn't need to be linked with anything else to qualify it for major attention.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2016 @ 1:01pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Doesn't matter

              That wasn't entirely clear either: I've seen some coverage of the email issue that just uses it as a way to work back to Benghazi (or even other crap she's pulled), without really pointing out all of the many ways the private server is outrageous on its own.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2016 @ 7:08am

      Re: Doesn't matter

      When there's a choice ebtween a shit sandwich and a shit-and-jizz sandwich, I know which one I'd pick.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mason Wheeler (profile), 14 Jan 2016 @ 7:46am

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2016 @ 4:51am

    What difference does it really make , we've seen over the past few years how the supposed secure methods really aren't that secure , pissing in the wind whether in the open or behind a tree still makes for blowback and moistened results.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2016 @ 9:48am

      Re:

      Yes, but pissing in the wind when you aren't behind the tree could get you seen by a cop and then you'll be on the sex-offender registry for the rest of your days.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2016 @ 4:53am

    Classified talking points - where the target audience are all cleared to hear them. Sounds a bit strange, but then to face criminal charges for transmission over unsecure lines? This whole this smells bad.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    AJ, 13 Jan 2016 @ 5:42am

    If any one of us had broken as many laws as she has, we would never get out of jail. She is a fine example of the elite class, her hubris is only topped by her complete disregard for the law. I don't understand why she's not in jail, much less why anyone would want to vote for her.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    scatman09 (profile), 13 Jan 2016 @ 5:55am

    mercy

    I'm a fan of God's grace and mercy, because I'm imperfect--just like everyone else--but GEE WIZ! Why is this woman still allowed to campaign for President? 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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 13 Jan 2016 @ 6:03am

      "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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2016 @ 7:06am

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        AJ, 13 Jan 2016 @ 7:10am

        Re: Re: mercy

        Our choices are going to be between a circus clown or crook. If it wasn't so sad I'd be laughing my ass off.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          David, 13 Jan 2016 @ 9:35am

          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).

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Wendy Cockcroft, 14 Jan 2016 @ 7:43am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: mercy

            Wanting things to happen and getting them to happen are very different things. If Congress doesn't let him make things free, they will have to be paid for.

            He's actually the best bet.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 13 Jan 2016 @ 12:02pm

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2016 @ 12:38pm

        Re: Re: mercy

        I have heard but not verified that anyone violating the no personal email policy is disqualified from running for other office. They probably never imagined that might impact a presidential candidate.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          nasch (profile), 13 Jan 2016 @ 1:55pm

          Re: Re: Re: mercy

          I have heard but not verified that anyone violating the no personal email policy is disqualified from running for other office.

          The qualifications for president are specified in the Constitution. I think it would take a constitutional amendment to change them, and that hasn't happened.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2016 @ 6:37am

    Let's face facts. Nobody expects charges. We are only watching this charade play itself out to see the arrogance and cynicism of the political class reach new lows so that we can all feel morally superior while they spend our taxes to rule us.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Voter, 13 Jan 2016 @ 6:46am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2016 @ 7:00am

    I am all for security and i think Hill would be bad for the country but this is about the whiniest bitchie article I have ever read on td. Find real shot to write about.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2016 @ 7:04am

    Robert Taft Memorial

    It's interesting that the Robert Taft says, in part,

    "Let us see that the state is the servant of its people and that the people are not the servants of the state."

    Hmm, we've come a long way from that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    John Cressman, 13 Jan 2016 @ 7:44am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2016 @ 7:59am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    TechDescartes (profile), 13 Jan 2016 @ 8:18am

    Translation

    My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government.
    Translation: use an unsecured fax line.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2016 @ 9:03am

    "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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Glenn, 13 Jan 2016 @ 9:57am

    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?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      KiddinRight, 14 Jan 2016 @ 6:25pm

      Re:

      Except anyone can walk up to a fax machine and see what's come through the (secure point to point) line. Getting into someone's email is (generally) more difficult.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jan 2016 @ 10:32am

    We are just sexist for not understanding how hard it is to be a woman politician apparently.

    /s

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Zarquan (profile), 13 Jan 2016 @ 10:46am

    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" ?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jan 2016 @ 9:26am

    Mason, that was before the Democratic party wanted her to be president. They wanted Obama, so Obama it was. Now they want Hillary.

    You think the people actually pick the president? Ha.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    MIchael Orr, 14 Jan 2016 @ 11:10pm

    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 ...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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