The Fake “Emails Scandal”
I had been skeptical that this latest Clinton “scandal” amounted to much. But I was still shocked by what I found in the FBI report. It wasn’t, as Slate reported, that the scandal was “totally overblown.” It was, but what shocked was the scandal it reveals—which is not about Clinton.
Here’s the two-sentence summary:
Essentially all of the classified information in her emails was sent to her by experienced people in the State Department, the CIA, FBI, DOD, and NSA, and it was not marked as classified. And all of that was sent from government email accounts that, just like Clinton’s, were not authorized to have or send classified information.
Rules, What happened and Why
One key fact that always gets left out is that Clinton had a completely different set of communication tools that she used daily for all conversations she thought were classified. Email was just for unclassified discussion.
- The security violation: Sending or storing classified info on an unclassified system
- Classified systems: various phones, faxes, and special emails and “cables.”
- Unclassified systems: @clintonemail.com, @state.gov, similar emails at CIA etc.
Now, here’s what happened:
- Most if not all of the classified information in Clinton’s emails came from others.
- Every email that violated security in Clinton’s email account, also violated it in other government email accounts, like [email protected]
- Everyone knew all these emails should not contain classified information.
- Clinton didn’t know others were sending her classified information that was not marked classified and was being sent from unclassified systems.
- Only three out of 30,000 emails contained any indication they were classified. Each contained a “(C)” in front of one Confidential paragraph.
- The FBI found no evidence that any of Clinton’s emails were “hacked.”
- @state.gov emails have been hacked, and 251,287 State Department cables where hacked and released.
How was all this possible?!
The answer to the mystery is contained in the answers given by those who the FBI questioned about their misuse of the unclassified systems. First, use of the classified communication systems is quite inconvenient and too slow for urgent matters. Second most material is “over-classified.” Sometimes reports that are already in the press are classified.
The final mystery is how do we even know they were classified at the time they were sent if none of them were marked classified? The answer is that in 2016 the FBI sent the emails to the agencies the information game from (back in 2009 – 2012) and asked them if they should have been classified at the time they were sent.
Some emails that were deemed classified when sent, have now been de-classified, and some just the reverse. But this is all quite arbitrary and there is much arguing about what should be and what should not be classified.