You can’t blame them for trying, but Politico strikes out at “Pillory Hillary” email game.
If a publication has an ax to grind about Hillary Clinton, it’s no surprise that they would try to keep alive this non-story originally run by the New York Times about Hillary’s felonious email activities at the State Department.
Politico, which is not known for being “fair and balanced” or groundbreaking as a news organization, is trying to keep the dying embers of the email story from going out completely. It’s an opportunity they wouldn’t want to miss.
Today Politico’s Josh Gerstein bylined a story that continues the insinuation that Hillary broke some federal laws by using a private email account or that the “rules” precluded her from doing so.
Clinton private email violated ‘clear-cut’ State Dept. rules tries and fails to make the case that the former Secretary of State was a rogue operative within the agency spilling top-secret U.S. information to our enemies worldwide. Gerstein tries to give his article an air of gravitas by posting a link to a “secret” State Department employee document outlining, as Gerstein puts it, the rules that Hillary broke.
Here is a link to the State Department policy. The policy comes under the title “12 FAM 540 SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED INFORMATION (SBU)” (their caps, not mine). I suggest everyone try to read it at least once. I looked for what might be called the “smoking gun” in the policy, the verbiage that forbids a Secretary of State from using a personal email account for agency communications.
I didn’t find a gun. Actually, I didn’t see much smoke either.
What Gerstein wants us to fixate on is the following verbiage:
It is the Department’s general policy that normal day-to-day operations be conducted on an authorized AIS, which has the proper level of security control to provide nonrepudiation, authentication and encryption, to ensure confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the resident information.
That’s supposed to be the smoking gun. I just see the bureaucratic corporate-speak that you find in employee handbooks all over the planet. Organizations use terms like “general policy” for a good reason. They are trying to provide reasonable (from their perspective) guidance concerning employee behavior and expectations. Read the quote, please. In this case, there is no “cut and dried” rule prohibiting the use of a personal email account.
Aside from all that, is there any evidence at all that Hillary’s private email account caused harm to the U.S. or to the State Department? I haven’t seen or heard anything. Nothing happened, in other words. Basically, this story consists of supposedly grown-up men who hate Hillary complaining to momma that “Hillary broke the rules.”
There is still a great deal that we don’t know, of course, about the security on the server she used and all the fun technical details. Rest assured, in due course we will know more than we really want to.
A good summary of the impact of all this “outing” of Hillary-the-Rule-Breaker comes from my favorite newspaper, the New York Times. Here’s Brendan Nyhan:
The actual public response to the controversy is likely to be a combination of apathy and partisanship. Few Americans are paying attention to any aspect of the campaign at this point. Those who do notice will most likely divide largely along partisan lines, with Democrats interpreting her actions more charitably, especially once they see Republicans attacking Mrs. Clinton on the issue.
Evidently, not everyone at the Times has a hair up their arses.