Another Hillary Clinton talking point is about to bite the dust, as Fox News reports confirmation from three different intelligence agencies – the DIA, the NSA, and the NGA (National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, in charge of satellite intel) – that email on her server was classified on the day she sent it, and remains classified to this very day.
Furthermore, although Clinton has attempted to portray herself as everything from a “passive and unwitting” recipient of sensitive material to a fearless warrior on a one-woman crusade to reform silly classification rules, the Fox report makes it clear that only the intelligence agencies originating this information have the authority to declassify it, not anyone at the State Department – not Hillary Clinton, and most certainly not her top aide, Huma Abedin, who figures prominently in this story, and is looking more and more like the perfect stooge to take a fall for Clinton.
The State Department’s lack of authority to overrule intelligence agency classifications was confirmed by… a 2009 executive order from President Barack Obama. Does Hillary need one of those special little lectures about respecting the “settled law of the land?” Will we get to enjoy the spectacle of Clinton apologists claiming Obama’s executive orders were bureaucratic trifles, to be ignored as the Secretary of State saw fit?
A term raised with increasingly frequency by commentators who have first-hand experience with classified material is the “air gap” – a point of very deliberate interruption in the passage of classified material, to ensure it cannot be transmitted seamlessly to non-secure systems.
Stated simply, it’s supposed to be impossible for classified documents to get into an insecure system like Clinton’s without significant human intervention. Someone has to remove the classified information from a secure area and manually copy or scan it into the insecure system. That’s the only way Hillary Clinton could receive this classified material on her home-brew email server. Breaching the “air gap” is an offense punishable by prison time.
Did I say “human intervention?” Maybe we should make that “Huma intervention.”
One of the emails Abedin forwarded to Clinton in 2009, despite its clear classification markings, concerned embassy security issues. How much discussion of embassy security flowed through this insecure system prior to September 11, 2012?
In the best-case scenario, if Clinton’s dodges and excuses are taken at face value, she displayed stunningly poor judgment in bulling her way past agency protocols to create this email system for what she claims was mere personal convenience. Even Clinton herself complained that “what was supposed to be convenient has turned out to be anything but convenient.”
Why should America put someone so foolish into the Oval Office, even if she isn’t formally accused of a criminal offense for what she has done? It’s increasingly clear she and her people knew how much work it would take to make this unprecedented private mail system work from Day One, but they did it anyway. It’s likely that few in the intelligence community realized what she was doing, and if they had known she would one day portray herself as the adversary of the entire Administration, including the President, on which documents should be classified – and claim she had the unilateral right to disregard classifications she thought were unnecessary – they would have raised hell.
Clinton has been laying low since her disastrous orange-jumpsuit Las Vegas press appearance, entrusting a wave of flunkies and State Department spokesmen to muddy the waters while she rides it out… perhaps growing a bit impatient that so much time is running off the campaign clock, but still confident she can pop the Bernie Sanders bubble and collect her “inevitable” nomination in time for the general election to begin in earnest.
The Obama years have amplified Clinton’s own experience that Democrats can outlast nearly any scandal – there’s been a little mainstream-media grumbling about how it’s weird for a presidential campaign to be grinding along without a visible candidate, but they haven’t forged any lethal Narratives against Clinton, and everyone’s paying attention to Donald Trump right now anyway.
Clinton has every reason to think she can spare the time to let the email scandal burn itself out, perhaps throwing an aide or two onto the fire… unless the unthinkable happens, and she really does face a formal indictment… or Joe Biden enters the race, and she can’t stay invisible any more. It would be funny if both of those nigh-inconceivable events happened at roughly the same time, wouldn’t it?