Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Nothing there

Update II.-- Watching the news on the FBI report, something struck me that the FBI didn't prove, or say there's evidence, the case for Hillary Clinton. The FBI described the e-mail "chains", but not the specific e-mails Clinton sent.

Everyone knows you don't always include the entire chain of an email in a reply, and you don't always include attachments, meaning it's possible, and more likely, Clinton never recieved or sent the classified information, but only the summary or general information.

And it's very likely Clinton knew not to include or attach classified information in replies in the chain, knowng the recipents are fully aware of the entire discussion and have all the supporting information or documents. This is what the FBI did not say about her specific e-mails, just the chain.

Update.-- After reading more stories of the report, the FBI repors a few of the e-mails did have markings indictating classified, but nothing if the classification was appropriate or just proceedural as the source of the e-mail and/or their information was classified.

This doesn't change my assessment. Clinton made a bad decision using the e-mail server for work, and while it was unethical and a violation of State Department protocols, it doesn't pass the standard for criminal conduct. And the fact the FBI found no evidence the servers or the e-mail were compromised or information stolen.

This means her decision was wrong, but her actions as Secretary of State were not. She wanted to separate her personal e-mail from work, and it didn't work, something people around her and IT people should have spoken to her then.

So, while the Republicans and the campaign folks, especially Donald Trump, will make use of it, it will fade during the general election, as voters focus on far more important issues, such as the economy, jobs, healthcare, education, and so on down the list, the "pocketbook" issues people decide their vote.

As for trust and credibility issues, it's not hard to see Trump doesn't have any of either. His business deals alone prove the point he's bailed on negotiations cheated contractors and sued or been sued to follow the contracts. He's boasted about not cheating and not paying.

Anyway, the original idea stands. While important, it's history, and nothing to consider with the election campaign and voters choice of the next president.

Original Post.-- After hearing FBI Director Comey's press release on the Hillary Clinton e-mail servers operated out of her home in New York in her attempt to separate her work e-mail from her personal e-mail, using a nongovernment e-mail address and domain, I don't see anything out of the ordinary government work except the servers.

To begin with, the only real mistake was the use of the servers, which the Information Technology folks at the State Department should have refused to install and operate, and should have overridden her decision to have one. That's their mistake, only hers for the decision.

The problem was that she used her personal e-mail account to do government communications, something she should have known better not to do, but wanted a way to conduct and exchange with people outside of work. That's something everyone should have avoided, but it not uncommon in senior government service.

The FBI stated that 110 e-mails out of 30,000-plus e-mails had information deemed classified at the time, but none of that information was marked classified during the exchange. This is not new as classified information is often reviewed and classified shortly afterward, and not during unless the information was previously know to be classified.

Directory Comey didn't say of any of the information was known to be classified, but he did say, due to the nature of the subject, they should have known or treated it as classified, except in the heat of the exchanges, that often gets lost in the discussion, and left for later review.

The Director said there was nothing criminal, and while he used the "should" word a lot, that doesn't always mean people did, because sometimes it's an afterthought. The Director also said in handling the information Clinton didn't do anything that hadn't been done by her predecessors, meaning both democratic and republican administrations.

In short, the mistake was the servers, but really nothing else. She shouldn't have used them and should have known to separate work from personal through a different means at the time, but considering the nature of the discussions, she wanted something separate to open discussions, something predecessors have done before.

Anyway, just my thoughts that's while republicans, especially Trump, will make a lot of noise about it, as Gertrude Stein said and the Benghazi committee found, "There's no there there." She make a bad decision. No information, classified or otherwise, was compromised, and no harm was done.

In short, like the Benghazi committee and their report, it's old news and there's far more important things to be discussed during the campaign. As for the trust issue, Trump doesn't have a leg to stand on about that, he doesn't even know what it means.

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