Last week, the public learned that at least two of the 30,000 or more official work emails Hillary Clinton exposed to the world’s hackers and spies (before belatedly giving them to the State Department) contained “top secret” information. This is highly sensitive stuff that can be legally handled or discussed only within special, secure government facilities, with no recording devices allowed.
Another day, another shoe drops.
This week’s revelation is that there were actually at least 300 emails containing information that government officials are prohibited from allowing the public to see because it is probably also classified. Given the volume of Clinton’s emails yet to be analyzed, there are probably several times as many left to be disinterred.
So we now know that sloppiness with national security matters was the rule when Hillary Clinton ran the State Department. And what a contrast there is between her treatment of national secrets and her fastidious, thorough efforts to conceal what she did. She believes in security only after the horse has bolted — hardly a recommendation for the next commander in chief.
This all goes back to the arrogant decision she made in 2009, when becoming secretary of state, that she would systematically conceal official emails both from the public that employed and paid her, and from the career bureaucracy of the department over which she presided. She would do this by conducting all official business on an unofficial and unsecured private email server located at her home in New York State.
Clinton thus successfully concealed her emails from Congress and the public (but perhaps not from the Kremlin, Tehran or Beijing) for six years, and for nearly two years after she had left government service. During that period, her emails were not available to fulfill routine congressional investigatory requests, nor for requests by the media and public under the Freedom of Information Act. This was not just an offense against the public, but also against the president she served. The White House is reportedly annoyed by this betrayal.
Clinton’s response has been to crack jokes about the danger to which she irresponsibly subjected her fellow citizens’ property. She acts in interviews as though she deserves a good conduct medal because, after a six-year delay, she finally complied with the minimum that the law requires.
In reality, Clinton has delivered further proof that she is deceptive and untrustworthy. She defeated federal transparency and records laws and made national secrets available to any marginally inquisitive enemy for about six years — all in an effort to protect herself from public scrutiny.
As a candidate for president, Clinton has been out on the hustings trying to convince ordinary voters that she cares about what’s important to them. They should look at her record before believing their ears.
Clinton’s work product was the property of the people from whom she hid it — the same people she is now trying to fool. It was in their interest that she take national security seriously, and she didn’t.