In an attempt to defuse scrutiny of her use of a private email server through which to execute electronic correspondences in her former capacity as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton is claiming that emails she sent and received were not "marked classified" at the time of their transmission or reception in an attempt to blame what her presidential campaign describes as an overzealous classification system.
Put aside, for a moment, that Clinton’s establishment of a private email server was likely criminal, placed sensitive public communications at risk, and most importantly allowed her to avoid subsequent scrutiny of her conduct in which she was likely peddling political influence for money laundered through the ostensibly charitable Clinton Foundation.
Every time she has been questioned about this, whether by media or during hearings where she swore an oath to tell the truth, Clinton has denied that she sent or received classified emails through her private email server.
Just days ago, however, the State Department claimed that twenty-two emails from Clinton’s private email server have been marked “top secret" as per the direction of intelligence agencies, and as a result will not be publicly released. On January 14, Intelligence Community Inspector General I. Charles McCullough III advised senior lawmakers that a comprehensive review of Clinton’s emails conducted by intelligence agencies determined that the classified emails in question contained information pertaining to “special access programs.”
S.A.P. information includes “highly restricted, classified material” and “the government’s most closely guarded secrets” that can identify confidential sources or covert operations like drone strikes.
Nevertheless, the Democrat-dominated State Department is doing what it can to shield Clinton from criticism by emphasizing her misleading red herring of an excuse: retroactively-classified emails were not classified at the time that of their composition and/or reception.
Unless one believes that a dedicated aide must hover over Clinton’s shoulder every time she writes or reads an email in order to determine whether or not the contained information is classified, this excuse fails to exonerate the former first lady.
Clinton, as all other government employees privy to sensitive information, is expected to know what material is worthy of classification without requiring someone to make the determination for her after its transmission. This is especially true of information first put into the electronic record via her own drafting.
The veracity of Clinton’s denial of ever having received classified information is contingent on two interconnected premises: 1. That all persons privy to classified information knew not to send it to her personal email, only sending it to her governmental email for capture and preservation by government servers; 2. That all such persons conscientiously observed this standard due to their diligence and integrity.
Speaking with her husband's 1992 presidential campaign manager George Stephanopoulos - who now presents himself as an objective journalist - Clinton implied that partisan political motivations seeking to harm her candidacy were behind these recent developments.
Apparently the vast right-wing conspiracy has been resurrected.
To Stephanopoulos’s credit, he finally asked Clinton about terms in the nondisclosure agreement she signed upon becoming Secretary of State in 2009.
“As used in this Agreement, classified information is marked or unmarked classified information, including oral communications…” states the NDA’s first section.
“I have also been advised that the unauthorized disclosure, unauthorized retention, or negligent handling of classified information by me could cause damage or irreparable injury to the United States or could be under to advantage by a foreign nation,” is also included in the NDA’s fourth section.
While calling for the emails in question to be released, Clinton neglected to explicitly declare that their release would not pose a threat to national security.
Clinton's campaign is pushing the narrative that the governmental classification system is inconsistent and contradictory, implying that Clinton is a victim of a convoluted set of regulations. Left-wing media is echoing this narrative.
In March, President Barack Obama stated that he only found out about Clinton’s use of a private email server by reading about it in the news.
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