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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Do They Make Pantsuits in Felony Orange?

It is now beyond denial, even by those with ideological tunnel vision, that Hillary Clinton prevarications about her email server are out and out lies.

That's bad enough. Worse is her demonstrable lack of judgment. Never mind the legalities, setting up her own email server for official SecState communications was foolish, and her assertions she that the server never contained any classified information are either stunningly obtuse, self defeating, or casually dismissive of the most obvious security requirments.

Perhaps unbeknownst to her, information itself isn't necessarily the reason for a security classification. Otherwise innocuous things can become classified because of the sources and methods involved: Al Splodeydope's shopping list can, no, will be classified because of how we came to know it.

Okay, let's leave that aside. She has maintained that none of her emails as SecState contained classified information. Let me put that in perspective. Back in the day, I was a staff officer at the Pentagon for a few years. My position was roughly five levels below hers; I was, relativey speaking, a peon. Yet even at my peonage, much of the things I dealt with were at least SECRET NOFORN [a middling grade of classification, NOFORN expands to No Foreign dissemination without clearance from someone far higher on the food chain than I.] The rest was TOP SECRET of various flavors.

The point here isn't to reminisce about the good old days, but rather to note that it is singularly curious that she maintains nothing she received, or sent, was as sensitive as a mere Lt Col dealt with everyday. Which kind of puts here smack dab between the devil and the deep blue sea: either she is expecting us to swallow a bald faced lie, or her job amounted to nothing more than this.

Perhaps our country would be better off if it were the latter, but let's give her the credit her ego demands.

Fine: she belongs in prison. How do I know? Because that is exactly where I would have ended up had I shown her brazen disregard for information security.


Clovis e Adri said...

I keep imagining those hardworker guys at NSA hacking all the way down every single piece of electronics Merkel, Roussef, Pena Nieto (and probably all other presidents) have touched, mounted in budgets of billions to achieve all their hacking dreams.

While they had not the slightest idea their Secretary of State was using a email server where not even the generic cryptographic key was replaced.

Stupidity - that's truly the unbeatable force in the Universe.

Hey Skipper said...

Clovis, thanks for the laugh.

You also made me wonder if the one true un-hackable form of communication is snail mail. It would be the perfect example of hiding in plain sight.

Clovis e Adri said...


Plenty of opportunities to hide in plain sight in electronic ways too, but this kind of strategy can only serve smaller information systems - unfortunately, the kind you may have in terrorist cells. We are lucky that terrorists are often pretty stupid too.

Moreover, it has become unquestioned truth that Information is Power. I actually think information is overrated these days.

Harry Eagar said...

Skipper's post makes perfect sense -- until you recall what classification entails in the real world.

High classifications have been given to, among other things, the Manhattan telephone directory and the laboratory notebooks of Charles Townes that contained the breakthrough data on the laser.

Among the people not permitted to see the notebooks were -- wait for it -- Charles Townes.

The only explanation is that the people who run "intelligence" are fools and political hacks. How else explain the retroactive "classification" of messages sent to the secretary?

Hey Skipper said...

The only explanation is that the people who run "intelligence" are fools and political hacks. How else explain the retroactive "classification" of messages sent to the secretary?

You have no idea what classification entails. Sure, there are plenty of examples of over-classification. But they do not change the law.

The "retroactive classification" is exactly on point, in that it demonstrates the utter foolishness, or arrogance, that Ms. Clinton displayed in setting up a private server. As I noted in the post, classification isn't derived merely from content, but also from sources and methods. Further, foreign intelligence services can piece together what you don't know from you say you know. So even if she is writing solely for herself, she can be revealing far more than she says.

Any idiot, one would think, would know this. Her only defense, in the sense of how much damage she potentially did, is that she never did, or said, anything consequential.

But that is not a legal defense, which she does not have.

You called Joni Ernst a liar, and you shovel the shinola for Hilary.