The new batch of Clinton emails includes an awful lot of blank space.
Her old denials about never handling classified material are now half-forgotten lies; instead, the Obama Administration scrambled to classify many of the emails dumped on Friday – not at all voluntarily, mind you, but in response to court orders.
The Washington Times reports that dozens of the documents have been partially or fully redacted, and labeled either “confidential” or “sensitive”:
The classifications generally appear to have been done on Thursday, a day ahead of the release, which means the information wasn’t necessarily classified at the time Mrs. Clinton was emailing about it — but has now been deemed too sensitive to put out in public.
According to the exemptions cited in the redactions, the data is usually either information obtained from a foreign government or internal foreign policy information from the U.S. government.
For example one July 19, 2009, email from Huma Abedin to “H” — Mrs. Clinton — says “Please pass to S:” and then the body of the message is completely redacted, with both the foreign information and internal foreign policy exemptions cited: “Classified by DAS, A/GIS, DoS on 07/30/2015 — Class: CONFIDENTIAL — Reason: 1/4(B), 1.4(D) — Declassify on:07/19/2019”
Another email, marked “SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED” at the time it was sent in 2009, but now deemed to contain fully classified information, teases information about “two embassy security issues” — but the actual issues are redacted from the document.
And then you’ve got emails from political strategists somehow getting tagged “sensitive” and redacted in full:
No you cannot read why a political strategist/ campaign manager for Democrats wants to reconnect with HRC. pic.twitter.com/KpnnenzvXO
— Tom Namako (@TomNamako) July 31, 2015
All of these emails are dated from 2009, so it looks like we’re no closer to figuring out that mysterious pre-Benghazi email blackout, which serves as Hillary’s answer to the missing minutes on Nixon’s Watergate tapes.
These heavy redactions make it all the more remarkable that Clinton’s lawyer, David Kendall, is reportedly carrying around the entire email trove (minus the 30,000+ messages Clinton deleted in defiance of subpoena, of course) in a thumb drive. We’re not supposed to worry that this may jeopardize national security, even though so many of those messages were suddenly deemed too sensitive for the American people to see.
“This raises very serious questions and concerns if a private citizen is somehow retaining classified information,” said Senator Charles Grassley of the Judiciary Committee. No one seems in any particular hurry to answer those very serious questions, as the FBI still hasn’t responded to Grassley’s demands for detains on how well the thumb drive has been secured.
I guess we’re also not supposed to ask how a lawyer could possibly be cleared to handle all this material, or why Hillary dumped boxes full of dead-tree printouts on Congress when she finally got around to tendering her official correspondence, but her lawyer gets a thumb drive full of far more convenient and searchable electronic copies, with all of the original metadata intact, assuming they’re actual copies of the emails and not just scans of the printouts.