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Old 03-29-2016, 09:31 AM
Richard Parker is offline
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I have changed my mind about the Clinton email scandal (and so should you)


When it was originally reported, my view of the scandal was that it was not properly a national security scandal but instead a scandal over the effort to hide emails from FOIA access. I believed that it was unlikely that she sent any truly sensitive information, as distinct from technically classified stuff like the existence of the drone program. I also believed that the security for the home server was likely good enough for these purposes.

In retrospect, I was incredibly naive about the level of security necessary to protect an email server from foreign governments, and the level of security employed for officials like SecState. I was also naive about Clinton's understanding of what information is sensitive. As it turns out, Clinton had people telling her how vulnerable this made her communications, and she continued to do it anyway--and sent highly sensitive information over a server without even using any form of encryption.

Here's what was reported last week in the Washington Post (and has previously been reported elsewhere):

Quote:
He emphasized: “Any unclassified Blackberry is highly vulnerable in any setting to remotely and covertly monitoring conversations, retrieving e-mails, and exploiting calendars.”

Nine days later, Clinton told Boswell that she had read his memo and “gets it,” according to an email sent by a senior diplomatic security official. “Her attention was drawn to the sentence that indicates (Diplomatic Security) have intelligence concerning this vulnerability during her recent trip to Asia,” the email said.

But Clinton kept using her private BlackBerry — and the basement server.
That's pretty damning. If security people were telling her to knock it off for good reason, she acknowledged those concerns, and then essentially ignored them, then this is a justified national security scandal. I still doubt that a crime was committed, given the scope of the criminal law. But it has caused me to downgrade my estimation of Clinton's judgment by a good notch. I'm not sure she has worse judgment than her competitors, but it's now a closer call in my book.
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Old 03-29-2016, 09:42 AM
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If Blackberrys are so vulnerable, why do so many foreign governments demand that Blackberry give their security people access?
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Old 03-29-2016, 09:47 AM
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As I understand it, it isn't so much that Blackberry is uniquely vulnerable. I suspect they would have said the same thing about her using an iPhone. The vulnerability is not the device, but the device's connection with a homebrew server that didn't even use encryption for the first few months.

There is often a spectrum of exploits ranging from possible but difficult and expensive to one-click easy-peasy. Often the access sought by foreign governments is to make their lives easier and to enable mass surveillance, and not because it is the only possible way in. When you're talking about targeting one high-profile individual, that's a whole different story.
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Old 03-29-2016, 09:51 AM
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If she knowingly discussed classified things on the BlackBerry, then that's a big problem. But were the security people really telling her she couldn't use a BlackBerry ever, for any reason? Or just not for classified information, and in secure spaces in which classified discussions take place?
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Old 03-29-2016, 09:54 AM
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If she knowingly discussed classified things on the BlackBerry, then that's a big problem. But were the security people really telling her she couldn't use a BlackBerry ever, for any reason? Or just not for classified information, and in secure spaces in which classified discussions take place?
There's a few different issues, I suppose.

One issue is that the Blackberry could be hacked to transform it into a listening device. This was apparently one of the concerns expressed to her. It is why they would not let her take it into the SCIF. But if she was carrying it on her during all kinds of other official business, presumably some of that involved highly sensitive conversations.

The other issue is what information she sent using the device. Based on the reporting, it looks like at least some of it was indeed sensitive information, whether it was classified or not. In the context of knowing how vulnerable her security was, it strikes me as scandalous to send sensitive information regardless of whether it is classified.
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Old 03-29-2016, 10:00 AM
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I'm not sure that she violated any laws. But her own preference to keep things like she wanted them without thinking about potential security threats even after being told shows an arrogance and lack of judgment that is extremely concerning.
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Old 03-29-2016, 10:09 AM
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If the OP is correct, then this may demonstrate an extreme sense of entitlement that overrode good judgment, which would be a big mark against her.

It would take many, many such big marks against her to make her judgment anything close to as bad as any of the Republicans, though, in my opinion.
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Old 03-29-2016, 10:19 AM
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It would take many, many such big marks against her to make her judgment anything close to as bad as any of the Republicans, though, in my opinion.
It wouldn't shock me to learn that a majority of conservatives think Clinton has better judgment than Trump. That's about as low as a bar gets.

The comment at the end of my OP was mostly about Bernie and Jill Stein. And while I recognize that the Democratic primary is basically over, so forcing me to vote for Bernie doesn't mean much, I do feel less enthusiastic about volunteering for and donating to Hillary in the fall.
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Old 03-29-2016, 11:02 AM
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It wouldn't shock me to learn that a majority of conservatives think Clinton has better judgment than Trump. That's about as low as a bar gets.

The comment at the end of my OP was mostly about Bernie and Jill Stein. And while I recognize that the Democratic primary is basically over, so forcing me to vote for Bernie doesn't mean much, I do feel less enthusiastic about volunteering for and donating to Hillary in the fall.
I just see it like this: This is a moot point since she will not be able to do that anymore and there will be many others at the behest of the conservatives keeping an eye at her future communications, regardless if there was any "scandal".

Donald Trump still should not be let to control the CIA (Trump is worse than Nixon on "the enemies list" front) The CDC (Trump is anti-vaccine) NOAA (Trump is climate change denier) and we also should not allow him to be closer to the nuclear football.
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Old 03-29-2016, 11:14 AM
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Bad judgment is never moot.

You're right, electorally. She is lucky that the only obstacles to her presidency are a 74-year-old atheist socialist and a wildly bigoted reality show character who singlehandedly proves David Dunning and Justin Kruger to be correct. But notwithstanding the forum choice of my OP, I think criticism is important even when it doesn't cause one to change one's voting behavior.
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Old 03-29-2016, 11:42 AM
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Bad judgment is never moot.
Thing is that I read the article and it strikes me as yet another rehash of what was reported before with very little new details and omitting a few things to keep the "scandal" going.

http://mashable.com/2016/03/17/clint.../#TPauUO4o_aqJ

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You're right, electorally. She is lucky that the only obstacles to her presidency are a 74-year-old atheist socialist and a wildly bigoted reality show character who singlehandedly proves David Dunning and Justin Kruger to be correct. But notwithstanding the forum choice of my OP, I think criticism is important even when it doesn't cause one to change one's voting behavior.
Of course it is, and Clinton already admitted that it was a mistake, in the end the issue of the intention (No secrets were intended to be sent to enemies or for personal gain) is what makes this "scandal" underwhelming. What I do think is going is that a lot of members of the media do have to make the contest a horse race, after all they still have to get all those millions from Trump and the supporters of Hillary. If Clinton gets too high on the polls she must be taken a few pegs down by any means necessary. To make this a race worth covering and that also benefits their bottom line.

http://mediamatters.org/research/201...ails-ev/209574

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Old 03-30-2016, 09:51 AM
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If the OP is correct, then this may demonstrate an extreme sense of entitlement that overrode good judgment, which would be a big mark against her.

It would take many, many such big marks against her to make her judgment anything close to as bad as any of the Republicans, though, in my opinion.
That's a very understandable argument. But you should know your candidate, their strengths and their flaws. As you know, I'm a John Kasich supporter. But I know who the guy is: a career politician with no private sector accomplishments, he's prickly, can be arrogant, and his mind can be a bit loopy at times in a Jerry Brown sort of way.

Likewise, Clinton has a sense of entitlement. This is nothing new and something that many liberal commentators have talked about for years. That sense of entitlement leads her to believe that the rules don't apply to her. I'm a bit disappointed that you're just now realizing that this isn't "Halperinesque" commentary, it's who she is. It's understandable to still support her despite this(I'd be voting for her myself if Gary Johnson wasn't in the race), but don't kid yourself about who this person is. As Bill Maher would state, "She's your President, not your girlfriend."

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Old 03-30-2016, 10:10 AM
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That's a very understandable argument. But you should know your candidate, their strengths and their flaws. As you know, I'm a John Kasich supporter. But I know who the guy is: a career politician with no private sector accomplishments, he's prickly, can be arrogant, and his mind can be a bit loopy at times in a Jerry Brown sort of way.

Likewise, Clinton has a sense of entitlement. This is nothing new and something that many liberal commentators have talked about for years. That sense of entitlement leads her to believe that the rules don't apply to her. I'm a bit disappointed that you're just now realizing that this isn't "Halperinesque" commentary, it's who she is. It's understandable to still support her despite this(I'd be voting for her myself if Gary Johnson wasn't in the race), but don't kid yourself about who this person is. As Bill Maher would state, "She's your President, not your girlfriend."
None of this would be new to me, even if it's proven to be so (and it hasn't yet). Clinton's a flawed candidate, and it's not a surprise that she has a sense of entitlement. But that doesn't mean that this particular accusation is true, or true for the reasons surmised.

What's Halperinesque is the tendency to wrap everything up in a neat little package as if "Clinton thinks the rules don't apply to her" is actual analysis, as opposed to lazy sloganeering. It's never that simple. There are reasonable criticisms of her, and reasonable criticisms relating to this kind of attitude, but something like that is just lazy faux-analysis punditry, not actual discussion, in my view.
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Old 03-29-2016, 11:24 AM
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Getting a president with the judgment and temperament of Obama is a once in a generation thing, if we're lucky. Hillary Clinton will be an adequate President. I don't need her to be perfect. If there were qualified alternatives (with a chance of winning) this all might be more relevant
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Old 03-29-2016, 11:34 AM
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*snore*

Wha- -- What?

Dear Og, are we still talking about this??

Yes, Hillary didn't pay attention to security protocols. Neither has half the officials in Washington in the last twenty years, it seems. Dang this newfangled internet anyway.

Have Hillary and Colin and Condoleeza and the Bush administration secretaries and anybody else who couldn't read the directions, hold out their hands and then slap the back of them with the Sister Mary Elephant Memorial Ruler.

Then we can all go back to sleep.
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Old 03-29-2016, 11:36 AM
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Dear Og, are we still talking about this?
Yes, it has been all of two or three days since these latest details were reported. How can we still be talking about it?!

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Yes, Hillary didn't pay attention to security protocols. Neither has half the officials in Washington in the last twenty years, it seems. Dang this newfangled internet anyway.

Have Hillary and Colin and Condoleeza and the Bush administration secretaries and anybody else who couldn't read the directions, hold out their hands and then slap the back of them with the Sister Mary Elephant Memorial Ruler.

Then we can all go back to sleep.
Were Colin Powell and anyone else specifically warned to stop doing this for security reasons, agreed to do so, and then didn't?
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Old 04-04-2016, 03:31 AM
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Yes, it has been all of two or three days since these latest details were reported. How can we still be talking about it?!
That would be far more convincing if those details told us anything we didn't already know. Even if you hadn't already guessed that, I can't see how it's supposedly something that would take someone on one side to the other side.

Nor do I see a point when you admit she didn't do it nefariously, which gets rid of the real problem. She's just like every other person in the world, who puts convenience above security.

I only fault the system for allowing her to do it in the first place, instead of forcing her to set up a secure server.
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Old 04-05-2016, 02:07 PM
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That would be far more convincing if those details told us anything we didn't already know.
On what date was the March 6, 2009 memo, and her response to it, first reported? This was the first article in which I saw those details, among others.

In my view, that memo and her response is one of the biggest things that makes this a scandal. She wasn't just violating some generic protocol, in a way she didn't fully appreciate, and in a way lots of her predecessors did. Instead, she was contradicting specific advice given individually to her, with lengthy explanation and justification warning her of a specific threat, which she agreed with and then continued to ignore.

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Nor do I see a point when you admit she didn't do it nefariously, which gets rid of the real problem. She's just like every other person in the world, who puts convenience above security. I only fault the system for allowing her to do it in the first place, instead of forcing her to set up a secure server.
She isn't just like every other person in the world. She was the Secretary of State of the United States of America. She was easily in the top five targets of foreign intelligence surveillance. Her deciding to put convenience above security is quite different in character from the low-level DOD employee who backs stuff up to Dropbox instead of using his secured USB drive.

I don't know by what mechanism you imagine "the system" could force her to use better security. The way "the system" does that is to send her a strongly-worded memo telling her that her actions risk national security. I suppose they also take it over her head and talk to POTUS if need be. But that assumes they knew she continued to use the unsecured phone after she told them she had gotten the message.
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Old 03-29-2016, 11:39 AM
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It's hard for me to get excited about this "scandal". I think if the Chinese want to hack something bad enough, they have the expertise and the resources to do it regardless of how secure we think our systems are. Not the best idea to use devices that are more hackable, but I'm not really seeing a scenario where anything intercepted would adversely affect national security.

Your choice this fall will be between someone with a clear head but capable of making minor errors and someone compulsively ignorant and mentally unstable. It shouldn't take too long to figure out the right choice.
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Old 03-29-2016, 10:06 PM
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Getting a president with the judgment and temperament of Obama is a once in a generation thing, if we're lucky.
Only because people settle for "slightly less shit than the Republican/Democrat candidate" and demand others do the same. And Obama's the jackass who keeps on fucking shooting the messenger whenever the government is up to no good. It speaks volumes about what kind of man Barack Obama is that John Kiriakou was sent to prison while the CIA's rapists and torturers walked free, explicitly protected by Obama's Department of Justice.
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Old 03-29-2016, 11:44 AM
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Also, it's hard to take seriously a government security classification system that retains "top secret" coding for information published in the New York Times. As I understand it, truly sensitive stuff, like the names of spies, would never be emailed around in the first place. If the Chinese hack in and find out the Secretary is planning on raising a particular issue in her talks with the Prime Minister of India next month, I doubt they'd be surprised or have any "actionable intelligence." Remember, the NSA listened in to phone conversations of some European leaders a while back, and I don't recall any of them getting in hot water for lax security precautions.
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Old 03-29-2016, 11:53 AM
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I think if the Chinese want to hack something bad enough, they have the expertise and the resources to do it regardless of how secure we think our systems are.
This is not an evidence-based belief.

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Not the best idea to use devices that are more hackable [ . . . ]
This is quite an understatement. You don't think it's a good idea to keep sensitive information secret from foreign governments?

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[ . . . ]but I'm not really seeing a scenario where anything intercepted would adversely affect national security.
This is naive. It could very easily harm national security for a foreign power to listen in on a private conversation between Clinton and a foreign leader, or intercept trip reports sent by Clinton back to the White House.

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[I]n the end the issue of the intention (No secrets were intended to be sent to enemies or for personal gain) is what makes this "scandal" underwhelming.
That's the whole point. It would be one thing if this were just ignorance about security. But what's being reported now (among the new details you hand-wave away based on your conspiracy theory about the media) is that she was specifically warned, acknowledged the problem, and then ignored the warning.

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Also, it's hard to take seriously a government security classification system that retains "top secret" coding for information published in the New York Times. As I understand it, truly sensitive stuff, like the names of spies, would never be emailed around in the first place. If the Chinese hack in and find out the Secretary is planning on raising a particular issue in her talks with the Prime Minister of India next month, I doubt they'd be surprised or have any "actionable intelligence." Remember, the NSA listened in to phone conversations of some European leaders a while back, and I don't recall any of them getting in hot water for lax security precautions.
This is half-correct. Yes, over-classification is rampant and a problem. But no, it's not true that "truly sensitive stuff" is never communicated electronically.
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Old 03-29-2016, 12:06 PM
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That's the whole point. It would be one thing if this were just ignorance about security. But what's being reported now (among the new details you hand-wave away based on your conspiracy theory about the media) is that she was specifically warned, acknowledged the problem, and then ignored the warning.
Actually the NSA ignored the warning, but once again, she already admitted her mistake.

And yes, after many back eyes the media got by exaggerating and even lying (they had to backtrack several reports already) I will be happy to continue to hand wave away, it is not done just on a whim.
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Old 03-29-2016, 12:10 PM
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Actually the NSA ignored the warning, but once again, she already admitted her mistake.
Even if your claim were true, that the NSA ignored the warning, that would only mean they both ignored it. Not that the NSA "actually" ignored it. But I don't see that your claim is based on any evidence anyway.

As for her mea culpa. She has generally admitted making a mistake. She has denied that she did anything to compromise national security.
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Old 03-29-2016, 12:47 PM
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Even if your claim were true, that the NSA ignored the warning, that would only mean they both ignored it. Not that the NSA "actually" ignored it. But I don't see that your claim is based on any evidence anyway.
I already did link to the Mashable report, that quotes BTW messages obtained by Judicial Watch.
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Old 03-29-2016, 12:12 PM
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This is not an evidence-based belief.
Yes it is. According to NPR anyway, when the Pentagon plays cyber-warfare games, there has not yet been an instance when the "bad guy team" was not able to compromise the Pentagon's networks. Everything we have is, apparently, hackable.
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Old 03-29-2016, 12:17 PM
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This is naive. It could very easily harm national security for a foreign power to listen in on a private conversation between Clinton and a foreign leader, or intercept trip reports sent by Clinton back to the White House.
I still don't see it. Let's say she goes off to Germany. In her hotel she fires off a summary to the White House. What's the worst that can happen? She lets on that we weren't ready to go to war if the Ukraine was invaded? Hell, everybody already knew that.
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Old 03-29-2016, 12:27 PM
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Yes it is. According to NPR anyway, when the Pentagon plays cyber-warfare games, there has not yet been an instance when the "bad guy team" was not able to compromise the Pentagon's networks. Everything we have is, apparently, hackable.
The Pentagon being able to hack some unspecified part of its own network is different from claiming that "if the Chinese want to hack something bad enough, they have the expertise and the resources to do it regardless of how secure we think our systems are."

Indeed, it's not even relevant to that claim. We know that some of our systems are not well secured. It does not follow that none of our systems are--especially not when we're talking about protecting the communications of a single high-level official.
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Old 03-29-2016, 01:29 PM
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... That's the whole point. It would be one thing if this were just ignorance about security. But what's being reported now (among the new details you hand-wave away based on your conspiracy theory about the media) is that she was specifically warned, acknowledged the problem, and then ignored the warning.
...
I would say it still WAS ignorance, not about the vulnerability of the equipment, but about the probability that someone was actively trying to hack it or listen through it. If her Blackberry tree falls in the forest but no one is there to hear it, has it made a sound?

Or perhaps she didn't care if someone was listening because she didn't believe that what she was discussing posed a risk even if it was intercepted. In fact I would be much more concerned if lower level people did what she did, such as people on various treaty negotiating teams. I think when someone at her level steps in the room, she's more likely there to put in an appearance, sign a document, and add some political weight to a situation, not to discuss the terms in depth in advance.

However, if she genuinely broke a law, she should be held accountable. I would love to see Bernie as the Democratic nominee.
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Old 03-29-2016, 01:35 PM
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So if you were to learn that, contrary to your expectation, the Secretary of State routinely discusses sensitive matters and doesn't just do ceremonial bullshit, would that change your mind?
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Old 03-29-2016, 02:34 PM
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So if you were to learn that, contrary to your expectation, the Secretary of State routinely discusses sensitive matters and doesn't just do ceremonial bullshit, would that change your mind?
It depends what the sensitive information is. Yes, it would change my mind if it is information that would genuinely endanger the country or the people in it, or US citizens abroad. But I believe that's very unlikely.
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Old 03-29-2016, 02:47 PM
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I'll give you an example of some information that I believe did put American lives at risk, though I can no longer remember the details of who was responsible, or even where it was.

You may recall some years back the news got out that American troops were coming ashore at dawn. And at the landing beach were loads of reporters with cameras and bright lights, and it was IIRC carried on live TV. I was appalled by that. That could have turned into a shooting gallery, and everybody concerned was lucky that it didn't.

Whoever let that out should have been prosecuted and if it was the president he should have been impeached.

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Old 03-29-2016, 02:54 PM
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I don't understand why you would only be concerned about Hollywood movie-style secrets.

I can imagine a whole wealth of information that as an individual unit of information might not cause imminent death, but would nevertheless make it easier for our adversaries to harm Americans or allies. Why should we be OK with releasing that kind of data?

I mean, take the negotiations over the Iranian sanctions. It is entirely plausible that one piece of information that might be shared with Sec. Clinton is whether a given country, like France, would have been willing to carry on with international sanctions if a deal broke down. If Iran got that information, it would be critical in assessing the strength of different negotiating positions. In turn, that could lead to things like the release or non-release of hostages, or how much money they got from us (that can then be used to fund terror), or a hundred other things. Why wouldn't you care about them getting that info?
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Old 03-29-2016, 03:06 PM
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I don't understand why you would only be concerned about Hollywood movie-style secrets. ...
The example I chose might or might not have been "Hollywood movie-style", but it happened in the real world, and it involved the release of information that might have genuinely put lives at risk.
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Old 03-29-2016, 04:07 PM
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I don't understand why you would only be concerned about Hollywood movie-style secrets.

I can imagine a whole wealth of information that as an individual unit of information might not cause imminent death, but would nevertheless make it easier for our adversaries to harm Americans or allies. Why should we be OK with releasing that kind of data?

I mean, take the negotiations over the Iranian sanctions. It is entirely plausible that one piece of information that might be shared with Sec. Clinton is whether a given country, like France, would have been willing to carry on with international sanctions if a deal broke down. If Iran got that information, it would be critical in assessing the strength of different negotiating positions. In turn, that could lead to things like the release or non-release of hostages, or how much money they got from us (that can then be used to fund terror), or a hundred other things. Why wouldn't you care about them getting that info?
What you're not realizing is that the people that do diplomatic negotiations and top military/intelligence types largely know what the other side is thinking anyway. Ever seen The Lion in Winter? Maybe not, it's an old movie. There's a quote from that movie that is applicable:

Quote:
Prince Geoffrey: I know. You know I know. I know you know I know. We know Henry knows, and Henry knows we know it.
[smiles]
Prince Geoffrey: We're a knowledgeable family.
It's not really a game of poker because both sides know what the cards are, it's largely about reaching an agreement on terms.
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Old 03-29-2016, 04:15 PM
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I don't believe SecState would have any legitimate reason to be forwarding operational deployment/planning documents for upcoming military operations, or covert operative names.
She wouldn't have to forward it. Half of the security problem was that she carried around an unsecured Blackberry everywhere. If she was briefed about something outside of Mahogany Row or some other secured space, then it could have been intercepted.

But that's sort of a side point. Your main contention is that she didn't have access to anything sensitive. Given all of the things you put in that category, then I think that might be true for your particular definition of sensitive. But for what most of us think of as sensitive, I think that claim is false. Your notion that all of our adversaries already know things like our negotiating positions is just not true. It happens, of course. But there are also countless examples in diplomatic history of countries getting a better deal because of asymmetric information about their counter-party's plans and alternatives.
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Old 03-29-2016, 04:34 PM
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She wouldn't have to forward it. Half of the security problem was that she carried around an unsecured Blackberry everywhere. If she was briefed about something outside of Mahogany Row or some other secured space, then it could have been intercepted.
I very seriously doubt she ever received a briefing from anyone on her blackberry, or that she received emails that she read on her blackberry or elsewhere, that contained detailed military operations stuff. The SecState literally has no reason to be briefed on that stuff, and likely isn't. Likewise she has no reason to be briefed on the identity of covert operatives, and likely isn't. Cheney's office had access to that because he was Vice President and due to peculiarities in the Bush administration he basically had access to everything that W. did, and actively used said access.

Quote:
But that's sort of a side point. Your main contention is that she didn't have access to anything sensitive. Given all of the things you put in that category, then I think that might be true for your particular definition of sensitive. But for what most of us think of as sensitive, I think that claim is false. Your notion that all of our adversaries already know things like our negotiating positions is just not true. It happens, of course. But there are also countless examples in diplomatic history of countries getting a better deal because of asymmetric information about their counter-party's plans and alternatives.
My opinion is that very little that government keeps secret has much utility. I think the lion's share of the security apparatus is both absurd and pointless.
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Old 03-30-2016, 03:18 PM
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Tempest in a teacup, for the most part. I've mentioned in the past that I worked for Diplomatic Security for some years during the last of the Cold War. Part of our job was to try to make sure that people were observing correct protocol both in what they did and in what they said. I can't begin to tell you how many ambassadors we told about security issues right in their own office suites, only to be told to basically mind our own business. These sorts of breaches ranged from having a personal television or radio (which oscillate) sitting next to the computer terminal, to having classified discussions in their offices, where the Euro phones were telephonic on hook (which means that anybody downstream could clip onto the line and hear everything going on in the office, even when the phone was hung up).

The worst that will happen to someone doing these things would be loss of security clearance, and then only if a serious information leak was traced back to that particular person. Nobody is really willing to fuck with a Senior Foreign Service Officer over something like this. That doesn't make it right or even advisable to ignore warnings, but there are no teeth behind the regs. It's like a cop trying to enforce a jay-walking charge against the chief of police. If Clinton sent sensitive info in email form, I'm fairly confident that it didn't rise to the level of breaching national security.
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Old 03-30-2016, 03:54 PM
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Tempest in a teacup, for the most part. I've mentioned in the past that I worked for Diplomatic Security for some years during the last of the Cold War. Part of our job was to try to make sure that people were observing correct protocol both in what they did and in what they said. I can't begin to tell you how many ambassadors we told about security issues right in their own office suites, only to be told to basically mind our own business. These sorts of breaches ranged from having a personal television or radio (which oscillate) sitting next to the computer terminal, to having classified discussions in their offices, where the Euro phones were telephonic on hook (which means that anybody downstream could clip onto the line and hear everything going on in the office, even when the phone was hung up).

The worst that will happen to someone doing these things would be loss of security clearance, and then only if a serious information leak was traced back to that particular person. Nobody is really willing to fuck with a Senior Foreign Service Officer over something like this. That doesn't make it right or even advisable to ignore warnings, but there are no teeth behind the regs. It's like a cop trying to enforce a jay-walking charge against the chief of police. If Clinton sent sensitive info in email form, I'm fairly confident that it didn't rise to the level of breaching national security.
I'll add that in my experience in the Navy, both active duty and civilian, emailing classified information (or otherwise mishandling it) is incredibly common, and except in circumstances in which information was sold for profit or released for ideological (i.e. traitorous) reasons, it was never prosecuted. People were disciplined, certainly, but this was usually in the form of temporary loss of clearance and re-training, and that's about it.
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Old 03-29-2016, 09:28 PM
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I'll give you an example of some information that I believe did put American lives at risk, though I can no longer remember the details of who was responsible, or even where it was.

You may recall some years back the news got out that American troops were coming ashore at dawn. And at the landing beach were loads of reporters with cameras and bright lights, and it was IIRC carried on live TV. I was appalled by that. That could have turned into a shooting gallery, and everybody concerned was lucky that it didn't.

Whoever let that out should have been prosecuted and if it was the president he should have been impeached.
Sounds like something that one of the most idiotic 'journalists' of all time, Geraldo Rivera, did...but I don't think it was a beach.
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Old 03-30-2016, 01:15 PM
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Sounds like something that one of the most idiotic 'journalists' of all time, Geraldo Rivera, did...but I don't think it was a beach.
SOMEONE told Geraldo, or the whole press corps, that these soldiers were landing on a particular beach at a particular time in a potentially hostile environment, and there were probably more reporters than soldiers at the site. And they were lighting up the soldiers with spotlights for their cameras. And it was a beach, because they came in by boat to an empty stretch of one, IIRC.
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Old 03-30-2016, 01:38 PM
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SOMEONE told Geraldo, or the whole press corps, that these soldiers were landing on a particular beach at a particular time in a potentially hostile environment, and there were probably more reporters than soldiers at the site. And they were lighting up the soldiers with spotlights for their cameras. And it was a beach, because they came in by boat to an empty stretch of one, IIRC.
This is the incident I'm referring to, a SEAL team landing at a beach in Mogadishu, Somalia. Less than a year later, the rather large firefight that inspired the book and movie Back Hawk Down, took place in the same area.

According to the article, it seems the whole Pentagon was rather press-happy at the time, and quite freely dispensed information about upcoming military movements. So if I was gonna pick a military guy to can over this, it would be the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs -- who at the time of the landing was Colin Powell. Too bad, I rather liked him.

Bush 1 was President at the time, though he'd already lost the election by the time of the landing.
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Old 03-30-2016, 01:51 PM
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SOMEONE told Geraldo, or the whole press corps, that these soldiers were landing on a particular beach at a particular time in a potentially hostile environment, and there were probably more reporters than soldiers at the site. And they were lighting up the soldiers with spotlights for their cameras. And it was a beach, because they came in by boat to an empty stretch of one, IIRC.
Geraldo chose to try to advance his career by endangering the lives of a division of soldiers. That, or he was just completely clueless. Neither is flattering.

He was embedded with the 101st Airborne and drawing a map of his location in Iraq on camera, during combat operations.
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Old 03-30-2016, 01:53 PM
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Geraldo chose to try to advance his career by endangering the lives of a division of soldiers. That, or he was just completely clueless. Neither is flattering.

He was embedded with the 101st Airborne and drawing a map of his location in Iraq on camera, during combat operations.
See a couple of posts up. This isn't what I was referring to.
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Old 03-29-2016, 05:25 PM
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<yawn>
  #46  
Old 03-29-2016, 07:16 PM
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There's a wide divide between

"reckless with securing important information"

and

"setting up a private server in your home to intentionally shield all correspondence and possibly putting highly-classified information at risk"

Let's not miss the forest for the trees.
  #47  
Old 03-30-2016, 12:04 AM
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I see the usual suspects have arrived to burn the witch...
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Old 03-30-2016, 08:06 AM
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I see the usual suspects have arrived to burn the witch...
You've got to admit, Obama weighs more than a duck.
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Old 03-30-2016, 08:20 AM
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I heard Hillary turned that Gingrich guy into a Newt!
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Old 03-30-2016, 08:30 AM
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I think that laws related to the possession and communication of classified information are confounded by communication in the modern age. Most professional people work at home or on the go to varying degrees. A lot of people use personal email to conduct business in various lines of work. I get that public regulations may prohibit this technically in certain instances, but people are probably prone to forget. I'm not saying it's right, but Clinton doesn't appear to have done anything that Bush's own national security adviser hadn't done. How do we know that the people who are prosecuting the case against Clinton haven't also committed similar violations? We're talking about Clinton because Republicans wanted us to talk about Clinton. So here we are.
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