Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Hillary's email: a phony scandal


For the anti-Clinton movement, when trying to damage Hillary any stick will do. The story about her email practices is a bogus scandal, as Kurt Eichenwald explains in Newsweek:

"...In what has to be one of the most snide journalistic defenses in a long time, Margaret Sullivan, the Times public editor, calls detractors of the piece as just Hillary supporters and dismisses most of the criticism by helpfully linking to the 2009 Federal Register, which lists an exceptionally technical series of regulations relating to the use and preservation of emails. She even cites a place to look, section 1236.22b. With all those numbers and letters, and the information coming out of a document as dull as the Federal Register, the story must be true, right?

Well, no. In fact, the very rule that Sullivan cites contradicts the primary point of the Times story. For everyone except the two people who actually followed the link Sullivan posted, here is what the section actually says:

Agencies that allow employees to send and receive official electronic mail messages using a system not operated by the agency must ensure that federal records sent or received on such systems are preserved in the appropriate agency record-keeping system.

Catch the problem? The regulation itself, through its opening words, “specifically designates that employees of certain agencies are allowed to use non-federal email systems.” And one of those agencies just happened to be…drum-roll, please.…The State Department. In other words, not only was the use of a personal email account not a violation of the rules, it was specifically allowed by the rules.

That’s why, after many, many paragraphs of huffing and puffing about how terrible it is that Clinton used a personal email account, the Times article goes on to mention that Secretary of State Colin Powell did the same thing. And, just a tidbit—so did every other Secretary of State up until the current one, John Kerry. Why? Because the rules changed in 2014, after Clinton left office, and now it’s required to use a federal system. If Kerry used a personal account, he would be violating a regulation. Clinton did not..." 

The rest of the story here.

Thanks to Little Green Footballs.

See also this.

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