Speaking of Hillary

The news is out that Obama-appointed State Department inspectors faulted Hillary for his bad email practices. I worked for State for more than thirty years and had the pleasure of working with the Hillary teams when she was first lady and Secretary of State. My experience with the Hillary team come from her visits to my posts. It was nearly impossible to tell her political staff anything. They disrespected the professionals. If you stood up to them on a matter of policy, practicality or principle, they just found somebody else to do it. It sounds like this was exactly what they did with the email scandal. I am sure that principled professionals advised them about the ethical and security problems and I am equally sure that these good people just were no longer invited to meetings and the Clinton folks found those with less information or more flexible ethics to do the job she wanted done.

What the Clinton people cannot legitimately do is blame State Department or claim they did not know they should not do what she did. They were warned and they went around those who stood up. I really cannot believe Hillary was so stupid. But I think that her arrogance overcame her intelligence. She has been so insulated for so many years. She thinks rules should not apply to her.

Each year ALL senior State Department employees, including political appointees, are required to take a short cyber security course and an ethics refresher. I have taken them several times as required by regulation. They specifically warn about using a private email for government business. The materials explain that it is a security breach to have anything classified on your private email. State Department expects senior leadership to recognize and protect classified information. If you don't know, you are not qualified for you clearance. The ethics refresher explains that you must avoid even the appearance of conflict of interest. You cannot engage in private business from your public office.

I take this personally. I know that I was a much better and ethical State Department official than Hillary. I took my responsibilities seriously, as did most of my colleagues. Hillary was unworthy of us. We had the right to expect better leadership.

Posted by Christine & John at May 25, 2016 4:43 PM
Comments
Comment #404897

CJ, well here we are again. Last year it was all about BENGHAZIIII!!!!, until Hillary went in front of the house committee for 11 hours and handed Trey Gowdy’s ass to him as he profusely sweated in his seat. Now we are back to EMAILS!!!!!. Better bring Colin Powell up on these same email charges because he did it too.

Look once November comes and Hillary either wins the election or does not (I expect she will win) my sincere belief is that this email nonsense will again just fade away although I think it would serve the country better if there were real protocols that could be proven to be broken if something like this happens again with real abilities to attempt to prevent that.

This whole email controversy was and is ginned up and will not mean squat to anyone except the 27% of the electorate that believe she organized the Benghazi attacks while she was emailing out all of the government secrets to all of the spies in the world while she was giving speeches to banks and telling them to fleece the American people while she was digging up Vince Foster’s body to destroy forensic evidence while she was re-directing the fake moon landing movie that will be re-released while, well you get what I mean.

Posted by: Speak4all at May 25, 2016 5:17 PM
Comment #404900

The staffs of HRC, Condi Rice, and Colin Powell engaged in bad e-mail practices? That must make some bureaucrats very sad. Let me know if there are any indictments, trials, and convictions for Hillary Clinton, Condi Rice, and Colin Powell. Otherwise this is a total waste of time. There are so many other conspiracies to follow!

You know, there is something “very fishy” about Hillary Clinton and the murder of Vince Foster. Did I say murder? Suicide! I meant suicide! Oh, what a giveaway.

And how come the media is not paying more attention to Rafael Cruz’s role in the JFK assassination? He worked with Lee Harvey Oswald. There is even a photograph to prove it. Could that have been Rafael Cruz on the grassy knoll?

And Trump has re-tweeted information from Neo-Nazi web sites three different times, including one showing blacks were murdering whites like crazy. Why won’t someone stop black people from killing whites? Sure, those were fake statistics, but Trump is telling it like it is!

By the way, Trump’s investigators in Hawaii should be back any day with evidence that Obama was not born there.

And is there some way to deport “the thousands and thousands” of Muslims who were cheering in NJ for the 9/11 bombings? Surely there is videotape that could be used to identify those people. Amiright?!

And did you know childhood vaccinations lead to autism? Trump said so. Many times. Because he is telling it like it is.

Was Scalia murdered? And why didn’t Obama attend the funeral? Trump was onto this one, too:

“I wonder if President Obama would have attended the funeral of Justice Scalia if it were held in a Mosque? Very sad that he did not go!”
Donald Trump, 2/20/16

But by all means, tell me about how HRC should have done better with those e-mails. Let’s pretend the rest just isn’t happening, shall we?

Posted by: phx8 at May 25, 2016 6:46 PM
Comment #404901

S4A,

I think this report is important, although the revelations are nothing new. Hillary Clinton has already apologized for actions she now regrets. For a political neophyte, I’d have no problem excusing these mistakes as I’d assume that the involved party made silly blunders as a result of inexperience. Presumably, such a person would learn from those mistakes and exercise better judgement in the future.

However, this all falls apart when discussing Hillary Clinton. She is many things, but novice is not one of them. Of all the people in Washington, she should uniquely have known better. To me, this affair essentially abrogates all her so-called “experience”. After all what is the point of having experience if it doesn’t improve one’s decisionmaking?

At this point, I cannot discern a difference between the political experience Clinton and Trump bring. Obviously, I have policy disagreements and temperament concerns with the latter and not the former, but that may not be enough to prevent me from pulling a third party’s lever in November.

It appears to me that Clinton and Trump share a similar narcissistic pathology. Neither of them believe in following the same rules as the rest of us.

Posted by: Warren Porter at May 25, 2016 6:59 PM
Comment #404902

I have never faulted Hillary on Bengazi. She should not have lied about it after the fact, but the precise details of security were not her responsibility

Google some of the articles re the inspector report. The inspector pointed out, as I have many times, that State protocols evolved a lot by the time Hillary came in. Powell’s experience is not relevant. And Powell never did it as bad as Clinton, in any case.

This whole controversy may by “ginned up.” I know it doesn’t matter to most people. Most people did not hold security clearances and did not have a career working to protect our country’s interests. I am ashamed of Hillary. She was my boss, but she was not up to the job. I would never have done what she did. If one of my colleagues had done it, I would have felt it necessary to report it to the regional security officers.

What she did violates that ethics good people follow and she ignored.

Posted by: Christine & John at May 25, 2016 7:04 PM
Comment #404903

Warren

She did it on purpose and her staff did it on purpose. Everybody uses personal email sometimes. State does not make that illegal. In fact you are allowed to use your official email for LIMITED personal use. It is a matter of reasonableness. Hillary pushed it.

I know the Hillary staff. Worked with them for many years. Many of the people changed, so I have to assume that there as a type that Hillary was picking. They were mostly assholes. I worked with the staff of others. They are NOT all like that. Powell’s people were great. Rice, Baker, Schultz, … well all the others, were okay.

Let me give an example. We had a two Hillary visits while I was in Brazil and one Kerry visit. Hillary’s were cluster-fucks. Her staff demanded all sorts of special treatment form the Brazilians. They cared only about the show back home. It was a mess. Kerry as a joy in comparison. He cared about U.S. interests. I asked his staff if we could get the minister of education in for a short visit, no cameras. Kerry said yes and it was great for our interests.

Hillary came to visit us in Krakow when she was first-lady. Her staff frequently insulted our Polish hosts and ignored their concerns. Hillary gave a big speech. She wanted to give it from the “exact location” where a Polish hero had launched a freedom fight. The Poles took her folks to this spot. They didn’t like the camera angles. The Poles pointed out that history was important to them. Hillary’s folks didn’t care. She ended up on a big street in front to the Chechen interest section. I told her staff that was a bad idea. They told me to shut up about it. When she gave the speech, the Chechens unfurled their big flag behind her. Her staff asked me what was going on. I explained that it was exactly what I warned them about.

Her staff wanted some local musicians to be playing as she walked through the market. I asked them to let us talk to the musicians. They wanted to do it themselves. They did. The day after the Hillary folks left, the musicians came to my office for their money. Hillary stiffed them. I had to pay for it with my own money.

We went to Auschwitz. I had to explain to the Hillary morons what it was. I explained that it was build by the Nazis. One of them said, Poles were Nazi allies. How much more full of shit can someone be. They wanted to have her give a speech in front of a wall in the camp. I explained that was the “wall of death” and not a good venue. We finally got them to give up the stupid idea of giving the speech there only by involving some Jewish-American groups who had been Clinton contributors.

I worked for five presidents and eight Secretaries of State. None of them has had teams and big-footed as Hillary Clinton.

I am not surprised she disrespected our security needs, traditions and ethics. It is the Hillary Clinton way. Bill is a great guy. I can well understand why he strayed from her.

Posted by: Christine & John at May 25, 2016 7:41 PM
Comment #404904

Cover up is the name of the game in Washington. Politicians and powerful interests protect each other at the expense of the American people and our nation.

I believe it was Rush Limbaugh who first coined the phrase regarding the Left’s battle-cry when Republicans are to be thrashed…”The nature of the evidence is irrelevant; it’s the seriousness of the charge that matters.”

Will Hillary escape justice? Who knows? Many don’t give a shit what this person does as long as they get something they want from her.

I have considerable trust for our lower echelon government officials and hardly any for the appointed ones. Those appointed to high office by tyrants, crooks, and thieves will themselves adopt the same attributes.

Posted by: Royal Flush at May 25, 2016 7:45 PM
Comment #404905

“By exclusively using a personal email address routed through a private server, Clinton circumvented policies designed to follow federal records laws and might have jeopardized official secrets, the department’s Office of the Inspector General said in a report obtained by The Hill ahead of its official publication on Thursday.”

http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/281192-watchdog-agency-hits-clinton-top-aides-on-records-policy

My liberal friends will argue this official report means nothing. Perhaps they are correct. Unless honest gatekeepers perform their duty it will mean nothing. We shall see. Eventually, some will celebrate and some will mourn.

Posted by: Royal Flush at May 25, 2016 7:55 PM
Comment #404906

So what was compromised by HRC’s emails? She identified The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, and they can never forget that, so they will be endlessly investigating her. Was Ken Starr just fired from Baylor University?

Posted by: ohrealy at May 25, 2016 8:25 PM
Comment #404907

Nothing had to be compromised. She created a vulnerability. She disregarded ethics rules and transparency.

My point is semi personal. I worked at State. I respected the ethical norms and was glad to work at a place with good people. Hillary betrayed that trust and disrespected her colleagues. Very bad form.

Posted by: Christine & John at May 25, 2016 8:30 PM
Comment #404915

Tell me, C&J, how reliable was your State Department e-mail system? What kind of E-Mail System are we talking?

I work in IT, and my experience is, when people don’t have working applications that can satisfy their needs, they go elsewhere. Things that aren’t necessarily good procedure, good practice, tend to become norms. That the previous heads of the State Department did the exact same thing tells us that these procedures were uniformly not being enforced. Given the age I’m guessing much of the State Department’s hardware and software must be, I don’t doubt that one of the main reasons is functionality. A system, no matter how secured, how well curated, does you no good if its not up, and people like Clinton aren’t going to just sit down and write letters instead.

The hacker who got to e-mails with Clinton’s name and address on them wasn’t the sort of technical genius you see on shows who is breaking through a firewall with a constantly mutating 128 bit cypher code while typing on the same keyboard with somebody else. He did the simplest damn thing: he guessed people’s passwords.

It’s sort of like a thief, who instead of mastering the art of lock-picking, just knows where and how to look for that spare key you’ve hidden under a rock, or under a doormat. Nothing works so well as the right username and password, especially in this day and age where so many services otherwise encrypt their traffic.

Too many people, worried they won’t remember their password if they do something truly random, put the easiest passwords in the world to guess in there. I mean, Password1, or something like that. Somebody’s birthdate, somebody’s anniversary, things that an attacker could guess their way through in a minimum number of tries.

The guy guessed his way from one e-mail account to another, using the e-mail addresses as one part of the authentication, then his guessed passwords as another. That’s how we know about Clinton’s server: the E-Mail Addresses on Blumenthal’s computer.

But then, that brings up something else: how secure would State Department E-Mails be?

Does that answer your question?

My question would be whether the E-Mail system even worked on an encrypted protocol, first and foremost. If not, messages might be being sent in clear text, which is to say, not encrypted so that somebody looking at the actual packets of information coming out couldn’t just put everything back together. My next question is whether authentication was being done through clear text or not. Believe it or not, some systems actually put out your login information in clear text.

I’m pretty sure that if Hillary Clinton hired a modern crew to do her e-mail, they’d use much more advanced e-mail clients, which would support better encryption and security.

Of course, that all means nothing to making sure that no e-mails ever get out. Let’s go back to the hacker’s methods. The hacker didn’t rely on advanced skills, he relied on what we would call social engineering. He defeated the weakest point of security in any such system, and that is the people. Weak, easily guessable passwords, the fact that each person’s e-mail inbox would give him a list of new targets to choose from.

My question to you would be whether or not you, in your capacity as an official of the State Department, ever used that e-mail of yours to contact people outside of the department, or to communicate to people back home. Hell, did anybody in your office do so?

If so, then some of these e-mails are out in the open. The vulnerability that you insist comes from her using a private server isn’t that terribly different, in that regard, from the vulnerability that would come from using a State Department server. Given how ancient the e-mail system in the State Department is, and how vulnerable it’s turned out to be, there’s even a good chance that her e-mail was safer on the personal server than it was either on the private accounts that BOTH YOUR BOSSES from the Bush Administration used, which were not under their control. Clinton at least had somebody set up whose job it was to look after the thing, and who could inform her of any security penetration.

Republicans are making a big deal out of this. But have they looked at their Candidate lately?

I’ve read reports that he used undocumented polish workers, working without protective safety equipment, to help build his Trump Tower, and the concrete company that he used was owned by members of Mafia Crime Families. Now, you tell me, after all this effort the GOP have gone through to hound Clinton about her damn server, have they considered the security vulnerability in this country of having the President have mob connections?

It’s all about bashing down one set of people so that another set, regardless of their virtues can triumph. Honestly, after all the Clinton bashing that took place, and after all the Obama bashing that took place, Bush still remains one of the worst Presidents, with some of the worst results from his policies that I have ever seen in my life.

Now you people are about to put somebody in charge who makes Bush look like a consummate professional by comparison. But you don’t care, because you hate the Clintons! You hate the Socialist Liberals! And you can’t give up. So you’ll back somebody with even more questionable qualifications by attacking the other person.

It’s time for Republicans to quit working from the Ad Hominem mode of thought, the us-versus-them mentality that endlessly pits them in absolute conflicts with everybody else. It’s time for Republicans to grow up and realize that for all their complaints about other people’s virtues, their own have suffered from their inattention and arrogance.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 26, 2016 8:53 AM
Comment #404917

WP, not sure if you are looking for me to defend Hillary but I’d like to let you know I won’t. I would never presume to influence your voting decision, that would be the job of the candidates. I do respect your deference regarding HRC however I do not share your concerns. Suffice it to say that I will vote with my conscience and knowledge and I would expect you to do the same. I hope we can both hold that contention without denigrating each others decisions as so often can happen on this blog.

CJ, so the report released indicates the last 5 SoS violated the exact same rules as HRC. But you are unconcerned about that and give them a pass? Your jaundiced view of her position as SoS might hold some meaning if I hadn’t already known your proclivity to find anything and everything wrong about her.

Your indignation regarding this report should signal some desire to see the State Department strengthening the protocols to keep better care of our State Department secrets. But no your only beef is with Hillary? Excuse me but that outrage seems false at best and manipulative at worst.

Saw an interview with Col. Wilkerson, he was an aide to Colin Powell, he pretty much dismisses this outrage as an unwillingness to find fault with anyone of a management position in the State Department to accept the responsibility of overseeing the sensitive communications that are conducted and issuing guidelines that are then enforced.

The State Department is very political to say the least. My experience with security clearances stems from the military. The State Department is filled with good people doing a very difficult job however there are people in that group who might not be as scrupulous as they should be. I know it is called “Foggy Bottom” because of it’s proximity to the river however it’s proximity to political aspirations and denigrations have brought new meaning to that phrase.

Posted by: Speak4all at May 26, 2016 9:51 AM
Comment #404922
Nothing had to be compromised.

LEAR
How? Nothing will come of nothing. Speak again…
CORDELIA
Nothing, my lord…
LEAR
Nothing?
CORDELIA
Nothing.
LEAR
Come on, “nothing” will get you nothing. Try again….

…Enter LEAR and Fool.

Lear. Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!
You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
Till you have drench’d our steeples, drown’d the cocks!
You sulphurous and thought-executing fires,
Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts,
Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder,
Strike flat the thick rotundity o’ the world!
Crack nature’s moulds, all germens spill at once
That make ingrateful man!

Posted by: ohrealy at May 26, 2016 12:48 PM
Comment #404925

Stephen

By the time Hillary got to State, the open net system was s reliable as any private one and better than most. It served her legitimate needs. It did not allow her to hide the ones she didn’t want to reveal. No excuse for her behavior.

None of the previous Secretaries set up a private server. AND, as I explained above, by the time Hillary got to State the email was good. It is not the same.

Every senior State employee has to take the ethics course every year and every State employee no matter the ranks has to take the cyber security course every year. I am fairly certain that Hillary was derelict in this, BUT she signed statements claiming she understood. The ethics course told us not to do what Hillary did with a private server and with the Clinton foundation. The cyber security course told her the same things.

You do not understand how security clearances work. Let me explain. You are required to secure classified material. It is not up to you whether to do this. If you create a vulnerability, it does not matter your intent. She showed very bad judgement and she would certainly be denied a security clearance. I don’t know if she did anything illegal. That is a different assessment. But she acted unethically, according to our standards and those she claims to have accepted and understood.

You can still support Hillary. But you have to caveat that you are accepting that she is not truthful or ethical.

Speaks

They did NOT do the exact same things. State is reasonable about these things. Ethically, you can use your private email on limited occasions. You can even use official email for private purposes for limited circumstances.

We rely on ethics and personal discipline. People like most of my colleges and me hold ourselves to ethical standards and do not abuse our positions. Hillary did. A test of intelligence is the capacity to make reasonable distinctions. Slipping a pencil in your pocket and stealing $1 million are the same basic act. We see a difference. Sending some messages to your Yahoo account is okay. Setting up a server and using personal email for all your activities is a big difference. She did not make a mistake. She proactively avoided the ethics.

Re Trump - I don’t plan to vote for him and will not defend him here. Both Trump and Hillary are turds that are unworthy or the presidency.

Posted by: Christine & John at May 26, 2016 6:11 PM
Comment #404933

This is what Hillary herself said, “Let’s get separate address or device but I don’t want any risk of the personal being accessible.” In other words, she wanted to hide from FOIA some of what she did at work. Everything you do at work at the USG is possibly subject to FOIA. Hillary planned to do things at work that she wanted to hide from the American people. This violates ethics laws and certainly goes against the idea of transparency.

It is my fervent hope that Hillary gets indited or sufficiently embarrassed by her serial dishonesty that she is pushed out of the race. I think this would be good for the U.S. and even good for Democrats. There is still time for someone like Biden to step in. He is a much better candidate than Hillary and would be a better president. Now if we could figure out a way for Trump to drop out and be replaces by somebody like Mitch Daniels, we would have a race where we could respect both candidates.

Posted by: Christine & John at May 27, 2016 2:49 PM
Comment #404934

The problem goes beyond issues of transparency or honesty. One of the most important aspects of being a civil servant is serving the public. When the public establishes rules and norms, you follow them. Without a doubt Clinton behaved as if the rules that applied to thousands of her subordinates somehow did not apply to her. She elevated personal convenience above the public interest, imperiling basic notions such as the idea that no one is above rule of law.

Posted by: Warren Porter at May 27, 2016 4:51 PM
Comment #404936

Many professions involving public trust require periodic ethics courses and rightly so.

When I was active in the insurance industry I took an ethics course every three years to keep my license. Handling money for individuals must only be done by those who are trustworthy and who advise clients based only upon their best interest. Huge fines and prison sentences await those who fail in that trust. No excuses are allowed…nor should they be.

How much more important are the security interests of our nation. No one should be so connected, or politically powerful, as to escape the consequences of betraying the trust bestowed upon them by their public office.

Posted by: Royal Flush at May 27, 2016 7:13 PM
Comment #404937

So, when is the next season of American Idol going to be on?

Because, the only way Hillbilly is going to be held accountable for anything is if she gets on American Idol and tries to sing.

Only then will the American people pay attention to what she does and judge her for it.

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 27, 2016 7:24 PM
Comment #404940

WW, some negative response has to be directed at Hillary. The USG can’t allow such actions to go without some pushback.

In most other situations a staffer can be made to take the fall as they can’t be easily fired from gov’t. just moved around and promoted, like TSA folks. But, they can be fired on a security issue and nobody will willingly take the fall for Hillary.

At the least she will get a belated letter of reprimend which should be sufficient to terminate her run as a viable candidate in the minds of most folks.

It would seem in the best interest of everyone concerned to get a decision out before the convention. If nothing is done until after the convention, I can’t imagine. Are there any existing rules that apply to an errant nominee?

I am not bothered by her situation as I’m convinced that Trump can defeat her unless he does something real crazi.

Posted by: roy ellis at May 27, 2016 8:41 PM
Comment #404943

“At the least she will get a belated letter of reprimand which should be sufficient to terminate her run as a viable candidate in the minds of most folks.”

Seriously?

And yet the “vulgar talking yam” can say or do anything he may damn well please, and it’s just him “speaking his mind”.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at May 27, 2016 10:17 PM
Comment #404946


Now He, Trump has declared the California drought is merely a hoax and he will see to it that it ends, just as soon as he becomes President.

Seriously?

The man is a buffoon, and anyone who would vote for him is a fool.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at May 28, 2016 10:07 AM
Comment #404954

Obama got the oceans to stop rising too!

Posted by: Weary Willie at May 29, 2016 8:42 AM
Comment #404957


Trump is a serial liar, and the press refuses to call him on it, and his followers don’t want to hear it.
From what I can see the press are in bed with I, Trump because they don’t want to kill the golden goose, and, his supporters don’t want to hear it because they don’t want to look like morons.

Sorry, too late.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at May 29, 2016 3:42 PM
Comment #404958

BTW, I remarked on these pages last July that Trump’s campaign was a dumpster fire.

This just keeps getting better and better.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at May 29, 2016 3:45 PM
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