Are Americans finally wising up to Republican smear campaigns?
So, there’s another witch hunt for Hillary Clinton. This time it is about which email account she used during her tenure as Secretary of State. I went on a wild goose chase to the bottom of private email use by government officials in general. If emails were going to another government official, you’d think they’d be automatically archived. That would be true as long as the recipient was using a government email.
Hillary Clinton is not the first nor the last government official to use a personal email account. During the George W. Bush Administration in 2007, it was Hillary who pushed relentlessly for a non-government server after learning that it was used for millions of emails that were “lost.” But to no avail. Sound familiar?
Recently, the State Department had been made aware by the Inspector General (IG) that there were multiple officials that improperly failed to archive personal email from 2010-2014. These include many noteworthy names.
Lisa Jackson, EPA Administrator, who also had a secret email under the name “Richard Windsor” to conduct official business including communications with lobbyists. In one email, Jackson wrote to a lobbyist, “Can you use my home email rather than this one when you need to contact me directly? Tx, Lisa.”
Chemical Safety Board Chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso and two top other officials also did not preserve private emails they used to conduct official business, a direct violation of federal regulations. Thomas Perez, President Obama’s Labor Secretary, used his private email account and leaked non-public information about official business. So it looks bad for Hills, right? Hang on a second.
In typical Clinton fashion, this plot has a twist. The “private email” that Hillary Clinton used has its own server at the Clintons’ home in Chappaqua, New York. It was created for President Bill Clinton after he left office. It has numerous safeguards including 2 Factor Authentication; is protected by the Secret Service; had no security breaches; and was probably far more secure than using a .gov address.
It is directly linked to the State Department for record keeping compliance. This wasn’t a Google or Yahoo server, and it is definitely encrypted. However, 30,000 emails are missing, and nobody knows their content or how they were determined as personal. Was Chelsea’s wedding that involved?
Trey Benghazi, sorry, Trey Gowdy, Darryl Issa’s replacement as the chairman of the House Benghazi select committee, wanted to subpoena the actual server. But in the next breath Gowdy admitted that the House does not have the power to seize personal property. Per Hillary Clinton’s press conference, the aforementioned server contains personal information between Hillary and Bill Clinton, thus the server will remain private.
So here’s the dilemma. Our elected officials are put into high ranking offices and are handed a 2010 Blackberry on a government server that has been possibly breached for months if not years. Because of the importance of their jobs, they need to protect themselves, and what they’ve been provided with doesn’t cut it. Hillary’s private emails were far more secure than using an antiquated government system.
According to Clay Johnson, contributor for Think Progress:
“Hillary Clinton was trying to use what she wanted to use in order to do her job. As a former fed, I’m empathetic. When you start at the Federal Government, it’s often like stepping in a time machine. You’re handed technology from years ago and (especially at her level) you’re expected to do tomorrow’s work. Often faced with a choice: do I do the job I was hired to do, or do I uphold and obey the archiving laws. And usually (thankfully) “do the job” wins.”
The way our Federal IT shops tend to implement policy isn’t through service, but through the prescription of antiquated technology. Rather than investing in cloud managed solutions, the feds prefer you to carry around a laptop. That subsequently logs into a virtual desktop computer, often located in the basement of the agency. If you’re not in the office, as the Secretary of State often isn’t, you crank up Outlook for 10 minutes in order check your mail. Maybe. If you’ve got the right authentication token with you.’
Efficiency factor rather low, I should say. Not even factoring in leaky security. May as well just use an open wifi connection at your local coffee shop. Would you like foam or no foam with your identity theft, Ms. Clinton?
We already know that thousands of State Department cables were released by Edward Snowden and Glenn Greenwald so the public knows quite a bit already about a variety of situations. What Republicans wanted was to rip into this as they tried to do with Benghazi, like a dog with a bone. They just couldn’t let it go.
But could Americans finally be wising up to the GOP playbook? Republicans trumpeted Benghazi from the rooftops, cost Susan Rice her job, only to have it revealed the attackers’ motivations were exactly as Rice said they were. Only the most dedicated hardcore rightwing-nut whack-job could continue to pursue that.
Oh, hi, Lindsey Graham, we were just talking about you. What’s that? You don’t email? Do tell. Oh, now you say you would use military force to bend Congress to your will if you were President? Okaaayyyyyy. Backing away slowly, Lindsey, no sudden moves now.
Add to that how Republicans have been engaging in stupefyingly inappropriate behavior. The ill-advised letter to Iran from Tom Cotton has done serious damage to how America will deal with international relations in the future. The blowback from the Electorate and the Global community was immediate and absolute, unlike anything the GOP has seen. #47Traitors trended on twitter for days, even when mainstream media coverage was doggedly trying to focus on Hillary Clinton. “Liberal media“ my foot.
The GOP has been desperate to escape the trap they set for themselves with the letter. First they tried to play it off as a joke. Then they blamed President Obama for making them write a letter undercutting him, and how that makes sense is anyone’s guess. John McCain now says he’ll just sign whatever letter you put in front of him if it’s going to snow. This all served to extinguish the fire they were trying to set under Clinton.
Now the Republicans’ best hope is for Americans to once again have a very short memory at Election Day. That strategy has worked for them again and again, and it’s sure to be the case here, unless Democrats grow a spine and hold the GOP’s feet to the fire. Don’t hold your breath on that one.
Distractions are already taking people’s attention away from #47Traitors regardless. The Ferguson saga, the racial back and forth in the USA, as we pitch and yaw between black and blue lives mattering in the hashtags. Kim Kardashian got a haircut? ZOMFG!
Another Republican, even also from Arkansas, is now taking the heat off of Tom Cotton. Justin Harris applied pressure to adopt three young girls, subsequently thought they were possessed by demons, held an exorcism, and then re-homed them to a sexual predator who raped one of them. Now that is how to out-crazy #47Traitors!
But this won’t last either. Hillary is too big of a threat to the GOP, so they’ll circle back around on her soon enough. Something to keep in mind, if Hillary Clinton becomes President, especially while she’s campaigning for the job, expect this kind of skewed news to be a daily occurrence. The media just proved they’ll shove aside every other story to stay on Hillary.
And just like the Benghazi “scandal” before it, the Clinton email scandal is much a-freakin’ do about nothing.
I don’t believe that Hillary Clinton was trying to hide anything. She claims that she did not want to use two phones and that’s actually believable. Imagine sending the wrong message on the wrong phone! Not to mention all the other problems previously outlined earlier here. To keep things simple, all high ranking folks down to the lowest should know that if you don’t want something ever to be made public, pick up the phone. Don’t email it.