No, this isn’t about Hillary being a female candidate for President of the United States of America; she did that four years ago. I am referring to her adamant, and at times emphatic, denial that classified information was never electronically sent or received on her home server upon which she stored her government work product. Despite clear, easy-to-understand governmental rules regarding official Federal business–including orders given to her by Barack Obama and the State Department–Hillary Clinton is asking us to believe that during her entire tenure as Secretary of State, she never received nor transmitted classified information using an e-mail address on a server located in a private residence of an internet business in Colorado. Never, ever.
That would make her the first Secretary of State not to deal with any classified material going all the way back to 1917. But is this even possible?
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Following is an overview of the official duties of the Secretary of State:
Serves as the President’s principal adviser on U.S. foreign policy;
Conducts negotiations relating to U.S. foreign affairs;
Grants and issues passports to American citizens and exequaturs to foreign consuls in the United States;
Advises the President on the appointment of U.S. ambassadors, ministers, consuls, and other diplomatic representatives;
Advises the President regarding the acceptance, recall, and dismissal of the representatives of foreign governments;
Personally participates in or directs U.S. representatives to international conferences, organizations, and agencies;
Negotiates, interprets, and terminates treaties and agreements;
Ensures the protection of the U.S. Government to American citizens, property, and interests in foreign countries;
Supervises the administration of U.S. immigration laws abroad;
Provides information to American citizens regarding the political, economic, social, cultural, and humanitarian conditions in foreign countries;
Informs the Congress and American citizens on the conduct of U.S. foreign relations;
Promotes beneficial economic intercourse between the United States and other countries;
Administers the Department of State;
Supervises the Foreign Service of the United States.
In addition, the Secretary of State retains domestic responsibilities that Congress entrusted to the State Department in 1789. These include the custody of the Great Seal of the United States, the preparation of certain presidential proclamations, the publication of treaties and international acts as well as the official record of the foreign relations of the United States, and the custody of certain original treaties and international agreements. The Secretary also serves as the channel of communication between the Federal Government and the States on the extradition of fugitives to or from foreign countries.
Do any of these strike you as duties that might include a mention of classified material? Marked or unmarked, Hillary Clinton defiantly says no. However, the description of the second duty listed, “Conducts negotiations relating to U.S. foreign affairs“, is a mite more insistent that of course there was classified material electronically sent and received:
It lays out the system of classification, declassification, and handling of national security information generated by the U.S. government and its employees and contractors, as well as information received from other governments.
In other words, diplomatic work, that which the Department of State would be the first in line to receive. And still, Mrs. Clinton is asking us to accept that during her tenure as Secretary, never once did she work on any classified material sent or received at her personal email address–the one in which she jumbled national security information along with the details of the wedding planning for her daughter, her yoga appointments, and her personal email correspondence with her husband. Speaking of, Bill Clinton’s spokesman, Matt McKenna, affirmed back in March that Bill Clinton has sent a grand total of two emails in his lifetime, and none since he left Washington. Perhaps Hillary confuses her husband’s staff, the actual writers of the electronic correspondence from Bill’s account, for him. Or maybe the fact that the Clinton Family Foundation, the so-called charitable organization that sends and receives email with Saudi Arabia and Hamas, also uses Bill’s name in the same private server for its domain.
Hillary claims there were no classified markings on the emails submitted and received, but is this even a possibility?
The only scenario might be if the likely classified material was printed out hard copy, and then someone deliberately removed the markings and uploaded the material back onto a computer to send it to Hillary’s private address. Fact is, classified material cannot be transmitted to a non-secured, non-encrypted account. This is the reason the FBI included both Huma Abedin, Clinton’s top State Department assistant, and Cheryl Mills, the legal counsel during Clinton’s years as Secretary, in their investigation. It is entirely plausible that Huma and Mills intercepted classified information, removed the markings, and then forwarded it on to Clinton in order to give her the “lawyerly” out. Ms. Abedin, who has been reportedly uncooperative during the Congressional oversight investigations, is said to be insulted by the implication. As for Ms. Mills, her attempts to insert herself into private interviews between members of Congress and Benghazi witnesses allow me to lean toward the suspicious side of opinion.
The last few weeks, Clinton has had numerous surrogates on news programs vociferously defending her position that she never ever ever had any classified material go to or from her personal account. First, how would they know? None of the people cheerleading for Clinton fall under the
“Need To Know” category–and even if any did hold a security clearance, they would not be entitled to see the material. Second, even if the markings were removed prior to receipt by Clinton’s account, the material was still classified at the source (referred to as born classified). Does the law not recognize a difference between sending and receiving?
Clinton first began making her statement about her e-mails at a press conference held at the U.N. Practically everything she stated has since been debunked. She was adamant in refusing any appropriate investigative body to have a look at the server, insisting she and her team had completed a careful review and had forwarded all relevant email to the State Department for retention. They then deleted everything they decided was non-responsive to previous requests and subpoenas, some 30,000 pieces of electronic mail. However, immediate review of that which she forwarded disclosed two pieces of email did contain classified material. This led to the FBI taking a closer look and from the first four hundred alone they found sixty with classified material.
Thus began the opening of an official criminal investigation. More Clinton surrogates appeared on news shows decrying Mrs. Clinton did anything wrong. But as each new batch of the emails are investigated and then released, more and more classified information is discovered. This week several pieces included material so sensitive they had to be redacted, the information blanked out.
How long does Hillary Clinton hold onto her story that she never had classified material on her private, non-secured, non-encrypted server? How soon do her surrogates pull back in the face of being made to look fools? When do the American people, who in recent survey claim her to be a liar and untrustworthy, stop considering her to be President of the United States, where the office holder is endowed with the Public Trust and the custodial responsibility of the “nuclear football” – the briefcase with the launch codes to nukes in the silos?
When does the Department of Justice hold this citizen accountable for violations of the law as it would every other citizen?