Hilary Clinton and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Personal E-mail Account

From CNN:

Of course, some of those with an axe to grind against Secretary Clinton are now piously announcing their great concern for transparent retention of e-mail records.

But as a Clinton spokesperson points out:

To the extent it’s a violation, it’s one of NARA policy, and purely technical in nature. She used a personal account but sent mail to the state.gov accounts of her staff, where that e-mail was properly retained as a record.

This is manufactured outrage.

Manufactured outrage? In America? Against a Clinton? Surely you jest!

I don’t understand. Her people seem to be saying that her emails are preserved because the recipients got the emails on their government accounts.

But what about the people with whom she corresponded in her official capacity who do not have .gov accounts? Aren’t we entitled to her emails to those people?

And I have to admit, given the stink that went up when it was found that the Dubya administration was doing this kind of thing, it was a really stupid thing for her to do. Especially if she retained ambitions toward the Oval Office.

I mean, I’ll probably still vote for her in both the primary and the general, but this is the same kind of non-foresightful stupidity that led her husband to have a freaking affair with an intern while he was involved in doing the most scrutinized job in the world. It seems to be a Clinton characteristic.

I agree. What about all the foreign officials she sent emails to? Who’s retaining those?

I am really disturbed by this story first because of the disregard for transparency and oversight. Clinton’s emails needed to be subject to archiving, retention, and discovery in the case of investigations. Having the emails under the control of another party, where they can be destroyed outside of the official process, is not appropriate.

It’s also terrible security. I posted this in the “Stupid Liberal” thread:

Not good.

Yes, and if she argues that she never sent any “official” emails from her personal account to non-governmental accounts, well, that’s a nice and tidy statement because we can’t easily prove otherwise without a record of the emails.

On the one hand, this is a pretty weak indictment of Clinton, barring any evidence that she was using a personal email account in order to hide things, because the government in general sucks giant donkey balls at following it’s own rules for record retention. Nobody really understands the rules, in many cases the technology isn’t set up to support the rules, and everyone just sort of throws their hands up and does the best they can.

So that’s the other side of the story; forget about Clinton, because I’m sure this problem is not unique to her. If this story shines a light on terrible government IT practices, then let’s get it out there.

Oh, it’s definitely not unique to her. It’s all part of the breakdown of the norms that govern American government in the face of overwhelming ideological polarization.

To me, the sad part of Clinton being the next president is that she will be a gleeful soldier in those wars. Many people see that as an upside. That was always the fundamental Obama/Clinton divide, I think.

Well, this is another good reason for people who were never going to vote for Clinton to not vote for her even more than they were before.

It’s hardly a Watergate, but I’m not sure about manufactured outrage (not that I’d heard of it before this.) Frankly it’s bizarre that any cabinet official would not have (and use) an official e-mail account. She might be the only person I’ve heard of in the last 10 years who has (or had) a desk job and no employer e-mail account.*

*other than the staff of doctors’ offices. Fucking doctors and their fucking faxes.

You joke, but she really isn’t alone in this. It was a big problem with the Bush’s cabinet and the investigations that unfolded from 2006-2009.

What, are there no hackers in the US anymore?

I’d be willing to bet that clintonemail.com is more secure than the state department emails.

I heard most of them were sent to some guy named Ben Gossi.

Right, but that just makes it all the more worrying. “Bush did it” is generally not a byword for good policy. I don’t think Clinton is hiding anything (and hell, Wikileaks would probably have told us if she were) but this is a disturbing precedent.

Of course. I thought my sharing of that sentiment would be clear from my other posts.

Except I do think Clinton is hiding things, in the sense that I think it’s probably a justified fear that even above board leaders will have politically embarrassing things in any years-long sequence of emails. But the solution to that isn’t to hide the emails. It’s to fight the political culture of partisan witch hunts.

Honestly, the issue is not some super-secret nefarious coverup. It’s that she was dumb enough to not use the official email account for official business. You just open yourself up for questions like when she used public funds to help out that Nigerian prince that emailed her on her gmail account.

I don’t think this is manufactured outrage, either. However, I also doubt that it shows intent of covering anything up. It was the practice of her predecessors, and she carried it on. However, it should be made clear from here on out that it’s a idiotic practice, and only serves to harm the person following it.

If the messages were archived in the proper place, then it would be known what was said in the messages. Since they aren’t, her enemies have cover for speculating what might be in them, which is almost surely more damaging than the reality.

I doubt that. This is international politics, I think perfectly normal emails in this space can be twisted into something horrifying by those so inclined.

As it is, Clinton’s opponents only have speculation, and anyone who isn’t already in their corner knows it’s just speculation.

I’m also one of those personally horrified that the SoS has not been required to use official email channels.

Couldn’t we just get the emails from the NSA?

I did hear this morning that Colin Powell also used his own personal e-mail and that is why Clinton set it up that way. She was just following precedent.

I don’t know. Just what I heard this morning on MSNBC.