It’s hilarious to watch the mainstream media tiptoe around the story of the FBI investigating Hillary Clinton’s illicit email server. After the Clinton machine went nuts on the New York Times over its choice of words in the story of inspectors general making referrals to the Justice Department, many in the MSM are terrified of using a phrase like “FBI investigation” that might rattle the Clintonworld beehive.
Well, everyone but Fox News, of course. Their headline lays it out straight: “FBI Investigating Security of Hillary Clinton’s Private Email Server.” For other outlets, such as the Washington Post and CNN, the term of art is “FBI Looking Into the Security of Hillary Clinton’s Private Email Setup.”
However you want to describe it, yes, the FBI is investigating Hillary Clinton’s mail server, and it’s not a surprise at all — we’ve known since last week that the inspectors general thought there was enough classified intel flowing through Hillary’s insecure system to warrant the attention of the FBI counter-terrorism unit.
You can almost see the Washington Post writers and editors looking nervously over their shoulders for Clinton henchmen as they broke the story, going to extraordinary lengths to cushion the blow:
The FBI has begun looking into the security of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s private e-mail setup, contacting in the past week a Denver-based technology firm that helped manage the unusual system, according to two government officials.
Also last week, the FBI contacted Clinton’s lawyer, David Kendall, with questions about the security of a thumb drive in his possession that contains copies of work e-mails Clinton sent during her time as secretary of state.
The FBI’s interest in Clinton’s e-mail system comes after the intelligence community’s inspector general referred the issue to the Justice Department in July. Intelligence officials expressed concern that some sensitive information was not in the government’s possession and could be “compromised.” The referral did not accuse Clinton of any wrongdoing, and the two officials said Tuesday that the FBI is not targeting her.
Later we’re told “the probe is preliminary and is focused on ensuring the proper handling of classified material.” But we know for a hard fact that classified material was handled improperly by Clinton. She ignored State Department rules when she set up her private account, and when she eventually got caught, she insisted there wasn’t any classified material in her system. She was lying, as the inspectors general make clear when they reported numerous classified documents they found in a very small sample of her email, extrapolating to warn that there are probably hundreds of such documents in the Clinton mail stash.
Clinton is still trying to put on her “transparency” burlesque, dispatching spokespeople to insist nobody wants the public to see her emails more than she does. In truth, she’s never released any of this material voluntarily — she was forced into it by the State Department, Congress, and courts. She also defied subpoenas to delete half of her emails, declaring them “personal” missives about yoga and wedding invitations and such.
As for how insecure her server was, the Post notes that responsibility for setting up and maintaining the system “passed through a number of different hands, starting with Clinton staffers with limited training in computer security and eventually expanding to Platte River.”
It turns out Clinton has been less than honest about where the mail server came from. She has always claimed it was a machine used by President Bill Clinton’s office, because she knew that would lead listeners to believe it had top-notch security. In fact, the Post reveals that the machine handed down from President Clinton — reconfigured to hide Hillary’s Secretary of State email from congressional oversight by a staffer with neither cyber-security expertise nor a security clearance — was quickly “deemed too small for the addition of a sitting Cabinet official.” (That’s not surprising, given how old it would have been, and how quickly computer technology evolves.)
It was swiftly replaced by “a server that had been purchased for use by Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign.” The new server came with an IT specialist paid by Clinton’s Senate leadership Political Action Committee, who became a State Department employee. That lone individual was responsible for everything to do with the server for Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State; a major cyber-security firm did not become involved until 2013.
It’s not exactly reassuring to learn that Clinton’s off-the-books mail server was “not always reliable,” as the Post puts it, with at least one complete system failure lasting for several days after Hurricane Sandy. Amusingly, the Washington Examiner relates emails from Clinton’s controversial chief of staff, Huma Abedin, complaining about the October 2012 server outage, and asking for messages from the Clinton Foundation (one of two private employers for which she was somehow working, in addition to drawing full-time pay and benefits from the State Department) to be re-routed to the official State email address that nobody in Clinton’s inner circle wanted to use.
As the Examiner notes, “the crash described by Abedin took place just weeks after the terror attack in Benghazi.”
Clinton’s opening move in this scandal was to flatly deny she ever handled classified material on her email server. Her fallback became a hair-splitting evasion about how nothing in her email was classified at the time. Her spokespeople are still repeating that false evasion today, even though we have documentary proof it’s not true; the fact that they’re still repeating it indicates that they think the media remains spinnable, and they can slip through this crisis by muddying the waters and causing chaos.
That belief is likely to evaporate in the coming days, so expect the final Clinton fallback to be the Poor Confused Old Grandma routine, her version of the amazing Incompetence Defense used by President Obama and so many of his high officials, notably former Attorney General Eric Holder. Obama and his people deflect scandals by claiming they’re incompetent — they have no idea what anyone beneath them is doing, living in a state of perpetual shock at each new revelation about what their underlings have been up to. Hillary’s version of this, perfected during her Ninteties scandals, is to claim that she suffers from chronic acute memory loss, and doesn’t notice such details as what classified information happens to be flowing through the email server she wasn’t supposed to be using.
In fact, the stage for this song-and-dance was set by the revelation that Clinton’s server didn’t mark the messages it handled as classified, the way the official system she was supposed to be using does. Hillary Clinton will now use the results of her own astoundingly negligent handling of sensitive documents to argue that she just didn’t know hundreds of her messages contained classified material. She wasn’t lying when she firmly declared there wasn’t any classified material in her system — she was just confused! And that’s why we should make her President!