Hillary Clinton has been haunted along her campaign trail by the looming specter of emails. A new crop of emails was released by the U.S.State Department (DOS), Friday, February 19, 2016. Friday happened to be the eve of the Democratic Nevada Caucus in Las Vegas. The Nevada Democratic Caucus resulted with Clinton having a lead over Sanders with 52 percent to his 47 percent. The release of the emails wasn’t a topic of the exalted monologue in Clinton’s victory speech, however, they were the subject of a few pundits’ talking points before the caucus began.
Clinton’s use of her personal email address for her work correspondence has led to a public outcry, largely led by Republicans who would cite this gaffe as being indicative of a someone who was careless about national security, according to Politico. The DOS has been ordered to make monthly releases of the emails, and this month, due to missing last month, the department released 1,100 new pages of email, 64 that were categorized as ‘confidential’, being is the lowest level of secrecy, and not a threat to national security. On February 13, 2016, choosing from the thousands of pages Clinton gave them, the DOS released 550 emails, and marked 84 of them as Confidential, and gave the elevated status of Secret to three of them. There was also the highest level of secrecy, which were Top Secret. There have only been 22 messages given that classification, none of which occurred this month. Clinton has contested that there should not even be a top secret classification.
Clinton has made a fairly straightforward pitch on her own website about the emails. She has divulged the facts about the issue that has been the topic of heated conversation and debate. When she obtained her position at the DOS, she opted to use her personal email account as a matter of convenience, so she could keep all of her contacts and continue corresponding with them despite Clinton’s new position. This decision was not an exception of any kind, former secretaries of state had done the same thing, and it was legal. She didn’t break any established rules. Under the apprehension that maintaining her own email account would be easier, given her new position, there was no way she could have known otherwise.
In fact, the only allowance made for State employees concerning their email accounts was the name. In which, every government employee’s email address, which ended with a .gov, guaranteed that their correspondences would be saved, archived and preserved. so in addition to the paper copies that Clinton presented the DOS with, they should have digital versions of the same messages. Clinton maintains that her practice for sending work emails was to use this .gov address.
Among the Clinton emails that were released this month, Politico expounded on the details of some of the February’s emails. The decision of the DOS to release new Clinton emails immediately prior to the Nevada Caucus would have been an undermining issue that would have created a stumbling block for the Former secretary of state, had she lost the caucus to Senator Bernie Sanders.
However, in light of her victory, the topics are a snapshot of a political heavyweight who must constantly be in contact with everyone in order to stay on top of her job. Correspondence and communications link everyone together in a web that illuminates the forces in the government. New technology has opened the playing field, and has played a significant role in history. If the reveal of Clinton’s emails shows the public anything, it should be that with the fluctuation of technology, we should adapt as well, as best we can.
There was a congratulatory email sent from former State Policy Planning Director, Anne Marie Slaughter, in 2011. A reference to the successful efforts Clinton had in pushing the Obama Administration towards joining what was billed as a humanitarian intervention in Libya, but turned out to be a military one, that coalesced into the eventual overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi.
The friendship between Henry Kissinger and Clinton has been bandied about as of late. Sen. Bernie Sanders took Clinton to task over her affirmations of friendship with Former Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, during a debate. There were 130 emails between the two that have been collected.
The State Undersecretary for Management, Pat Kennedy has shown serious skill in handling a number of issues, everything from the Benghazi attacks to Julian Assange, and the ballooning WikiLeaks controversy. Kennedy was behind ameliorating every potential and confirmed problem the White House brushed up against. In 2012, White House Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough congratulated Kennedy on the job well done for his part in the evacuation of the U.S. Embassy in Tunisia after the Benghazi attacks.
In the middle of February, it was noted by Politico that a number of the newly released emails from 2011 were discussing the exact issue at hand. Clinton had sent emails to her key aides about her confusion with her Blackberry, and exactly where the correspondences were going.
The remaining 5,500 emails have yet to be released and they have to be available to the public by the end of the month.
By Juanita Lewis
Edited by Cathy Milne
Politico: More Hillary Clinton emails released on eve of Nevada caucuses
Politico: State Dept. marks three more Clinton emails at ‘secret’ level
Hillary Clinton: Updated: The Facts About Hillary Clinton’s Emails
Image Courtesy of Jason llagan’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License