Media Bias: The Washington Post led its Monday paper with a story titled “How Clinton’s Email Scandal Took Root.” What it revealed was that, left to the mainstream press, the story might never have hit the ground.
No one reading the Post’s 5,000-word account can come away thinking that the Clinton email scandal is unimportant.
The FBI now has 147 agents chasing down leads. A key person involved in the scandal has been granted immunity. Hillary Clinton – who has already been caught in several lies – might be questioned by federal agents. There are fairly obvious violations of the law, even if it’s just those governing record-keeping. And there were, and continue to be, concerns that national security secrets were compromised, or at least casually disregarded.
The story details, for example, the many high-level security concerns that officials had about her use of a private BlackBerry to do her emailing, to say nothing of her homebrew email server.
Clinton got a warning from a State Department security official in March 2009 that “any unclassified BlackBerry is highly vulnerable in any setting to remotely and covertly monitoring conversations, retrieving emails, and exploiting calendars.”
Clinton responded that she “gets it,” but as the Post reports, she “kept using her private BlackBerry – and the basement server.”
The Post deserves credit for devoting so much space to summing the entire saga up. And for exposing something the reporter and his editors probably never intended: The media’s negligence as the scandal unfolded.
While the New York Times was the first national media outlet to write about Clinton’s use of a private email account last March, the Post summation makes clear that the mainstream press had almost nothing to do with uncovering the truth or advancing the story.
* The Post notes that it was a nonprofit group called CREW that first cracked the story open, when the State Department responded to its FOIA request for Clinton’s State Department email addresses by saying “no records responsive to your request.”
* The much-ballyhooed House Select Committee on Benghazi discovered her use of a private email account after demanding copies of her email traffic around the time of the attack on the embassy.
* Private cybersecurity firm Venafi discovered how Clinton’s email server had been unencrypted for months. The company “took it upon itself,” the Post notes, to publish its findings on its own website.
* The public release of all Clinton’s State Department emails resulted not from pressure from NBC News, CNN or the New York Times, but from a FOIA request by a startup online news site called Vice News.
* Judicial Watch, a conservative legal group, has been more aggressive than any media outlet in going after Clinton’s records, and as a result uncovered several damning emails, including a chain of emails showing how her staff was “taking steps that would help her circumvent” Clinton’s own promise of openness and transparency.
* And where has the “telling truth to power” press been during all this time? Sure, they’ve been passively sharing information when it came out – although often grudgingly and dismissively. But there are few elements of it that reporters themselves were responsible for breaking.
Normally, with a scandal this juicy and involving a would-be president, reporters would be falling over themselves to “advance the story.” But “normal” never seems to apply when a scandal involves a Democrat.
The FBI has 147 investigators focused on the Clinton email case. One wonders how many investigative reporters the New York Times, the Post, and all the other big media outlets have.
Former Secretary Hillary Clinton and her State Department colleagues have given “constantly shifting” stories about her secret email account, a federal judge said Tuesday, finding there’s evidence the Obama administration showed “bad faith” in how it followed open-records laws.
Judge Royce C. Lamberth said it remains to be seen whether the government did try to obfuscate matters, but said there’s at least enough smoke that Judicial Watch, the conservative interest group suing to get a look at all of Mrs. Clinton’s records, should be allowed to press for more details about how the State Department made its decisions.
“Plaintiff is relying on constantly shifting admissions by the government and the former government officials,” Judge Lamberth said.
Mrs. Clinton declined to use a State.gov email account during her term as secretary, instead using an email account tied to a server she kept at her home in New York.
All of her messages that concerned official business were supposed to be archived by the State Department, but she kept them, only returning them in December 2014, nearly two years after leaving office and only at the prompting of the House committee probing the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi.
That meant that during her four years in office and nearly two years afterward, the State Department was not searching those documents in response to open-records requests from Congress or the public.
Last month, the State Department finally finished processing more than 30,000 pages of Mrs. Clinton’s emails and made them public on the department’s Freedom of Information Act web page – a mammoth undertaking that has put a treasure trove of information in the public’s eye.
Judicial Watch and others argue that some 30,000 other messages Mrs. Clinton sent from her secret address during her time in office, but which she has deemed private business, should also be reviewed by the government.
The State Department told Judge Lamberth it never misled the public because it never said it was searching Mrs. Clinton’s emails in the first place. The department said that meant it wasn’t acting in bad faith when it responded to open-records requests.
Judge Lamberth, though, said more evidence is needed before those conclusions can be reached.
“The government argues that this does not show a lack of good faith, but that is what remains to be seen, and the factual record must be developed appropriately in order for this court to make that determination,” he said in a brief ruling.
The Justice Department declined to comment on Judge Lamberth’s ruling, which marks the third legal black eye for the Obama administration in recent weeks.
Last week, a federal appeals court said the Justice Department was turning the law on its head to protect the IRS from taxpayers, rather than to protect taxpayers from the IRS.
And another judge issued a “show cause” order demanding to know why the government appeared to conceal documents in an open-records case brought against a top Obama climate adviser. Judge Amit Mehta, who serves on the district court in Washington, D.C., along with Judge Lamberth, raised the possibility of punishing the administration for its actions.
Judge Lamberth’s decision Tuesday joins that of Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, also in the district court in Washington, who earlier this year granted discovery in another case brought by Judicial Watch against the State Department.
Judge Sullivan even said he was inclined to order the State Department to demand all of Mrs. Clinton’s emails – including the 30,000 or so messages she said were private business, not public records, that she sent from her secret account during her time in office.
Judge Lamberth said he’ll wait to see what Judge Sullivan decides before moving ahead with discovery in his own case.
Well it looks like Hillary didn’t have much regard for protecting sensitive data after all, telling her top advisor in an email to strip the ‘secure’ markings from the fax and send it to her nonsecure:
DAILY CALLER – On June 16, 2011, Hillary Clinton’s top foreign policy adviser, Jake Sullivan, was having trouble sending his boss a list of talking points that contained sensitive – and possibly classified – information. Sullivan told Clinton there were issues “sending secure fax,” an email released by the State Department early Friday shows.
So Clinton offered a shocking solution: remove the markings identifying the information as sensitive and send it by regular fax.
“Turn into nonpaper w no identifying heading and send nonsecure,” Clinton instructed Sullivan.
This falls right in line with how Hillary conducted herself, insecure email and all. Who knows what secret information was on this secure fax.
Well we could ask hackers in Russia or China as they most definitely will know.
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter relied on a personal email account to conduct a portion of his government business during his first months at the Pentagon, according to a report by The New York Times.
Carter continued the practice – which violated Defense Department rules – for at least two months after it was revealed in March that Hillary Clinton had exclusively used a personal email account as secretary of state, officials told The Times.
Although Carter was assigned a government email account when he became defense secretary in February, he continued to use his private account for work matters, the report said.
A former aide to Carter told The Times the defense secretary used the personal account “so frequently that members of his staff feared he would be hacked and worried about his not following the rules.”
Officials said White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough learned of the usage in May and directed the White House Counsel’s Office to contact the Pentagon to ask why Carter was using the personal account.
Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said in a statement that Carter believes doing so “was a mistake.”
“After reviewing his email practices earlier this year, the secretary believes that his previous, occasional use of personal email for work-related business, even for routine administrative issues and backed up to his official account, was a mistake,” Cook said.
“As a result, he stopped such use of his personal email and further limited his use of email altogether,” Cook said.
It is not yet clear how many work-related emails Mr. Carter sent and received from his personal account.
The revelation came after The Times filed a Freedom of Information Act request for all emails from the personal account that Carter sent or received with his chief of staff at the time, Eric Fanning, during the month of April.
The Pentagon provided The Times with 72 work-related emails Carter sent or received from his personal email account, using an iPhone and iPad.
Officials said that Carter emailed with his closest aides about “a variety of work-related matters, including speeches, meetings and news media appearances.”
Cook said any email related to work received on his personal account was “copied or forwarded to his official account to be preserved as a federal record as appropriate.”
Cook also said Carter does not use his personal or official email for classified material.
“He is confident that his work-related email has been and will continue to be preserved within the federal records system,” he added.
In 2012, the Pentagon adopted a policy that bars all employees regardless of rank or position from relying on personal email to conduct government business, the Times reported.
Obama also last year signed a law directing federal officials not to send or receive emails on their personal accounts unless they were copied directly into their government accounts or forwarded to a government account within 20 days.