American Elephants

Hillary’s Troubles Grow, Her Poll Numbers Decline. by The Elephant's Child

140611-hillary_clinton_cantor-1246_b389bd4261f2ead53ddd871648b90ba8The speculation about Joe Biden’s entering the race has been heightened by his meeting at the Naval Observatory, with Senator Elizabeth Warren. It has undoubtedly caused some consternation in the Clinton campaign. Hillary has been doing her best to laugh off the notion that her email scandal is harming her chances of getting elected president. Bill could carry off that kind of good-ol’ -boy, lovable rogue kind of thing, but Hillary can’t.  She is not a good campaigner. Her speeches come across as lectures from Nurse Ratchet. Her jokes are lame — the one about Snapchat messages deleting themselves, and wiping her home server with a cloth — just fall flat.

Declining poll numbers, and even her disastrous press conference last week in which she arrogantly dismissed questions about her email problems haven’t disrupted the fact that she remains, so far, the odds-on favorite to win the Democratic nomination. She’s reached back to blame it all once again on “the vast right-wing conspiracy.” but that really won’t work this time.

The emails and the private server, the tiny operation in Colorado she hired to manage the server or servers — are serious threats to national security. “Our ridiculous classification rules” are the real problem.”

Hillary Clinton

From a former @TheJusticeDept official: “Our ridiculous classification rules” are the real problem:
5:13 AM – 21 Aug 2015

 Former intelligence and military officials were quick to reply Friday to Hillary’s contention the government over-classification of materials are “the real problem.”

It’s not up to her to decide what level it’s classified at. It’s up to her to obey the law, and clearly she did not,” Lt. Col. Col James Williamson told The Daily Caller News Foundation. Williamson entered Special Forces in 1988 and retired in 2012.

Brig. Gen. Kenneth Berquist said “she jeopardized every piece of information that went across her private server line. This is a very good example of how her ‘inconvenience’ put us at risk in the United States.”

Berquist added that “this is hubris. This is an example where people say, ‘I don’t play by the rules.’”

Berquist is a former CIA intelligence officer who was hand-picked by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as the first president of the Joint Special Operations University, which trains intermediate and senior commanders in special operations. He also served as special operations staff director for the U.S. Central Command during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

Jennifer Palmeri, Clinton campaign communications director, said that at the end of summer, Clinton will provide the public with more information about how federal records are classified, and she will turn her focus to more important issues like the Iran nuclear deal, the economy and women’s issues, and she will “go on offense” on her record as secretary of state.

Good luck with that. Clearly, Hillary really doesn’t get the seriousness of the problem, or she has assumed that the rules don’t apply to her.

[Petraeus] was tarred, feathered and ridden out of the CIA on a rail for sharing some information (his own notebook) with his biographer who was both in the military and had a top secret clearance. Yet, Petraeus did not have a secret server set up to house his classified and top secret information or digital satellite imagery; he destroyed nothing; and, there was no “leak.”

Over 300 emails from a small sampling of the Clinton emails have been judged classified. The tech firm she hired to deal with her server has no security clearance, her lawyer has a security clearance, but allowed staff to handle her correspondence and copy secure matters. The government permitted Clinton to use a private server, ignored the matter for months, allowed her attorney’s office staff to handle sensitive emails. People have lost jobs, paid enormous fines, been disgraced and gone to jail for lesser matters. The investigation would not be continuing without Obama’s approval.

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The people behind the investigation are trying their best not to derail Hillary’s campaign, but the problem for them, and her, is that the rules and regulations and laws are pretty specific as to the rules for dealing with classified material, and whether Hillary believes she had the right to skirt them or not, she has opened up a solid mess for both herself (and because of the nature of her computer arrangements, any and everyone involved with her on any level, public, private, or political).

I have some familiarity with the type of classified material that is under investigation here, so let me give you some ideas of what’s going on. Ther are three general levels of security for government documents: classified, secret, and top secret. There are other classification protocols that are also in play; restrictions as to what agencies and departments have access, eyes only designations (the document in question is intended for specific personnel, and not to be shared). Couriers who simply carry some of that materal can be fired, fined, and/or detained if any of it is missing or tampered with.

Documents sent by computer have opened up a whole new layer of complication to this. For example, if I sent you a classified document to your email improperly, I could face censure, fines, and/or imprisonment, ANY transmission device seized (computers down to smartphones and tablets), and all contacts investigated. And that’s just getting started. If I sent it to your email, your account could be “confiscated” (disabled so that you couldn’t access it). If you had opened it on your home computer, your physical computer could (and probably would) be seized. Anyone who had access to that computer would most likely be investigated. This would continue until the end of the chain was reached (this is also the reason why Huma Abedein, Cheryl Mills, Platte River Networks (the Colorado IT firm), and several other State Department people have all lawyered up).

Hillary can complain all she likes about “ridiculous over-classification rules” as long as she understands that she was part of THAT problem, too. See, the Secretary of State is an important part of the apparatus that sets those standards (which does not in any way make that office exempt from them!). I am more than a little amused to hear Hillary complain about “over-classification” when secrecy is a touchstone to her entire career.

So, as I noted above, the investigating bodies involved are treating Hillary with kid gloves because of her situation… for now. But eventually, those gloves will come off.


Comment by Lon Mead

Thanks, Lon. That’s very helpful, and about what I thought. One can only wonder why she got involved with a server of her very own. I would guess either because she is paranoid about the “vast right wing conspiracy” — which is possible if you have no self-awareness that what you are doing is questionable, or conversely because of the graft thing, where it’s her nature to try to get a little quid pro quo going with donations to the foundation in exchange for a little favorable something-or-other. She has been a dishonest liar from her first appearance in the public scene and got fired from the Watergate hearings, and it seems obvious that she has much to hide. But you’ve had some personal experience with her.

It’s one thing if she is seen as inevitable, but quite another if Biden gets in or Warren, or both. I think her ‘favorable’ press would vanish quickly, except for the ardent feminists. But I don’t know what the wonderful things she has done for women are. I’ve never noticed.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

Well, as to why Hillary felt she could get away with using a private server instead of properly set up and secured government accounts, the answer is simple: the desire for control. I have no doubt that she believed (erroneously, as she is finding out) that doing everything on a system that she alone had control of (forget that noise about Bill and Chelsea using it – Bill is so computer illiterate I’m not sure he’s figured out how to play solitaire on one yet, and Chelsea had another account for her email) would allow her to decide who would have access and what they would be able to see (her own attempt at “over-classification).


Comment by Lon Mead

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