“Over a year ago, Clinton held a press conference at the United Nations intended to put the whole controversy to rest. Nearly every significant statement she made was a lie. And we’ve known it for a year.”
Will the State Inspector General report on Hillary Clinton’s email lies finally be the fateful pebble that brings her down?
The Office of the Inspector General at State, as in all federal departments, exists to ferret out internal fraud, waste and illegalities. However, State had no real IG boss from 2009 to 2013, with an acting director heading up the office. Neither Barack Obama nor Hillary Clinton were in any hurry to find a permanent director for State’s IG shop. Now we know why.
The State IG report, weighing in at over 80 pages, is crammed full of bureaucratese yet paints an indelible and detailed portrait of things going very wrong at Foggy Bottom—especially under Hillary Clinton. It can charitably be termed scathing, and it leaves no doubt that Team Clinton has lied flagrantly to the public about EmailGate for more than a year.
That the State Department’s IT systems were a mess for years was hardly a secret, and the IG report makes painfully clear that State has had a difficult time transitioning into the electronic age. Several recent secretaries of state used email in a manner that would be judged inadequate, and perhaps improper, by today’s standards, including Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, who served under President George W. Bush.
That said, only Hillary Clinton simply refused to use government email for government work—she repeatedly denied requests from State security and IT to use state.gov email—and she systematically dodged federal regulations on electronic communications and records preservation by setting up her private email server of bathroom infamy. Damningly, while several former secretaries of state cooperated with the IG in this important investigation, Ms. Clinton refused to.
As secretary of state, Ms. Clinton attempted a novel experiment of trying to avoid using any information systems that create records that can be subject to the Freedom of Information Act. The IG report includes painful details, including how she flatly refused to use state.gov email for anything, ever, citing privacy grounds. State IT was concerned because Ms. Clinton’s work emails—all being sent via her clintonmail.com address—were winding up in the spam folders of State officials. Important information was not getting where it needed to go. She needed to use official email for official business. Except she refused.
What was so important, so sensitive that Hillary had to dodge FOIA altogether? Clearly protecting her private life—whatever that might be—was valued more highly by Ms. Clinton than actually heading the Department of State.
Then we have the repeating warnings from State officials about the incredibly vulnerable nature of her ramshackle private email system from any cybersecurity perspective. These, too, were blown off by Ms. Clinton and her staff, despite several hacking efforts that staffers were aware of. Guccifer, the Romanian hacker who illegally accessed Ms. Clinton’s email during her tour at Foggy Bottom, has just pleaded guilty, and there can be little doubt that hackers more adept than he penetrated Hillary’s communications.
Any foreign intelligence service worth its salt would have had no trouble accessing Ms. Clinton’s emails, particularly when they were unencrypted, as this column has explained in detail. Yet Hillary was more worried about the American public finding out about what she was up to via FOIA than what foreign spy services and hackers might see in her email.
What she was seeking to hide so ardently remains one of the big unanswered questions in EmailGate. Hints may be found in the recent announcement that Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, the former head of the Democratic National Committee and a longtime Clinton intimate, is under FBI investigation for financial misdeeds, specifically dirty money coming from China. In fact, Mr. McAulliffe invited one of his Beijing benefactors over to Ms. Clinton’s house in 2013. Not long after, Chinese investors donated $2 million to the Clinton Foundation.
That an illegal pay-for-play-scheme, with donations to the Clinton Foundation being rewarded by political favors from Hillary Clinton—who when she was secretary of state had an enormous ability to grant favors to foreign bidders—existed at the heart of EmailGate has been widely suspected, and we know the FBI is investigating this case as political corruption, not just for mishandling of classified information. That certainly would be something Ms. Clinton would not have wanted the public to find out about via FOIA.
How bad is it? Noah Rothman puts it this way:
“In my opinion, there is a 100 percent chance that all emails sent and received by her, including all the electronic correspondence stored on her server in her Chappaqua residence, were targeted and collected by the Russian equivalent of NSA,” former CIA case officer Jason Matthews, an expert in Russian intelligence, told the AP. Clinton’s personal-issue Blackberry device also provided foreign intelligence services a window into her email account when she used the device in places like Vietnam, Brazil, and South Korea. In Vietnam, in particular, experts believe her use of a device not hardened by State Department security on telecommunications systems owned and operated by Hanoi likely offered Chinese intelligence services an open door to access Clinton’s email account.
Last year, Beijing compromised the personal data and social security numbers of every person in America who ever worked for the government or accessed a federal facility by hacking the Office of Personnel Management. It’s unlikely that the Chinese hackers found the modest safeguards securing Clinton’s server to be anything more than a nuisance.
Clinton’s secretive email practices betray a level of obsessive paranoia that has typified her entire career in politics. As president, Clinton would not be bound by law. She would also perceive her political enemies to be a more potent threat to her presidency than they represent, and the power and authority of the Oval Office would prove a seductive instrument for neutralizing them. Perhaps more chillingly, there is a high likelihood that foreign intelligence services have compromised Hillary Clinton. We do not know what they know, and she may no longer be at liberty to act in America’s best interests. That alone should preclude Clinton from serving as the commander of the most powerful military force on earth, one responsible for maintaining global peace, security, and navigation rights. In 2016, however, all bets are off.
As much as I’d like to see this as the final straw, the mainstream media will keep doing everything it can to prop up Hillary’s failing campaign and do everything it cane to avoid asking questions about tiny little matters like obvious, naked felonies as long as there’s still a chance she could win in November…
(Hat tips: , Ace of Spades HQ, Instapundit.)