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Author Topic: Hillary: Too Risky a Candidate?
NobleHunter
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LR, using her server for all emails and not using a .gov email for any of her correspondence was somewhat anomalous. It's one thing to have a home or secondary email in addition to the .gov, to use only a private email address.
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Fenring
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LR, it was both anomalous, and suspicious to boot, in addition to being against protocol. 'Protocol' in this context doesn't mean like how to type a memo, but is rather a legally binding set of directives with criminal implications for non-compliance. People are tried and jailed for mishandling classified information. I can't say whether using her own server was illegal or not. But what was definitely illegal was flouting the Freedom of Information Act (and only partially complying when required to).

I also can't guess whether she is actually guilty of mishandling classified information, and I don't really care that much. From my perspective setting up the conditions that could lead to a security breach is the issue, assuming she had no ill intent. But from a legal standpoint the result is more important that the cause, and it may or may not be determined that she really messed up badly. My point is not to judge and condemn her, but rather to say that she is starting to look like a risky candidate for the DNC to endorse as their only hope. At this point it's looking like fragile eggs in one basket.

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Wayward Son
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quote:
From my perspective setting up the conditions that could lead to a security breach is the issue, assuming she had no ill intent.
From what I understand, her e-mail was no more or less secure than the government e-mail she was supposed to use. If that is the case, then that is an non-issue.

quote:
My point is not to judge and condemn her, but rather to say that she is starting to look like a risky candidate for the DNC to endorse as their only hope.
And to quote the movie "Airplane:" "That's just what they'll [the Republicans] be expecting us to do!" [Wink]
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LetterRip
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I think I shall bow out. I believe you have been mislead about a lot of what happened and especially what the actual laws say - not peoples wishful thinking of what the laws ought to say, or the 'spirit' of the law.

If you want to argue she has violated the spirit of various laws - I'm in total agreement. The claims that she has broken any actual laws seem completely spurious and a smear campaign without actual basis.

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
If you want to argue she has violated the spirit of various laws - I'm in total agreement. The claims that she has broken any actual laws seem completely spurious and a smear campaign without actual basis.

Just an observation from what time I've spent here on Ornery - when any accusation is levied against a Democrat figure or cause liberals on the board rush to call it a smear campaign, and when any accusation is levied against a Republican figure or cause conservatives on the board rush to call it a smear campaign. Go figure. It's extraordinarily rare for me to observe either side agree with the other to much of an extent with these issues. So is everything pertaining to left vs right just a smear campaign? In this time of extreme partisan politics it seems like any negative implication towards one's 'side' is immediately suspected of ulterior motive and partisan hackery. This is likely true some of the time, but as Robert Anton Wilson put it, part of the trick of the function partisan politics is for the accusations they levy against each other to often be accurate; this way there is real cause for the conflict to continue and to serve as an excellent distraction.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
So is everything pertaining to left vs right just a smear campaign?
MOre or less, when it comes to attacks, especially personal ones. I'm not much a fan of trying to gin up scandal on either side of the line instead of articulating positive policy positions and debating the relative merits of such.
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LetterRip
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Fenring,

quote:
So is everything pertaining to left vs right just a smear campaign?
In general most accussations are just smear campaigns to either fire up the base, or dissuade the middle. Since few people follow up whether accusations actually had any basis - it is a fairly effective tactic.

The ratio of false accusations to legitimate scandals is probably 1000:1 or more.

There isn't any need for the accusations to be legitimate, since almost all of the benefit is from the repeating of the accusation and the impression it gives people. The press plays along because scandals sell papers, and they have long lost any interest in the truth, simply maximizing advertising dollars.

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Greg Davidson
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Here's a rule I would like to propose that could be applied fairly to all of those engaing in political discussion, and yet which would eliminate the problem you are referring to LetterRip.

Anyone who asserts or promotes an allegation against a political figure should first identify every unproven allegation they have asserted about that same political figure. If you have never raised an allegation about someone, that's a freebie. After that, you have to keep track.

If LetterRip's principle is true, and the objective of a particular person's allegations is to smear rather than find truth, then that person will refuse to follow this rule (actually, they will probably pretend they haven't read this, because that would enable them to avoid facing the truth that they value smear over truth). If a particular person values truth over smear, they would make sure the record is corrected.

If you have read this far, the test has begun...

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TomDavidson
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Greg, I think there's ample reasons to conclude that no one who might possibly be affected by this would be able to recognize when an accusation is "unproven."
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Greg Davidson
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You may be right, but I am encouraged by the Obamacare thread in that one person actually acknowledged their errors and the rest of the usual right-wing crowd have avoided the retrospective rather than continue to assert their flawed pronouncements. We shall see.
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Fenring
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Greg, I would participate, but I don't talk about smear topics that often (I'm usually not that interested in discussing politicians). But to date I have brought up:

-The idea of prosecuting the Bush admin based on testimony by top CIA personnel that the Bush admin wasn't making plans based on their intel, and were therefore making up information. This particular claim of mine is less about the actions of the Bush admin, since they did start the war in question, and more about the legality of the war based on the information they had.

-The possible case Hillary's enemies can make against her based on flouting of security policy and possible mishandling of classified information. This issue largely hinges on the particulars of what was in her emails, and the legal interpretation of what that implies.

As far as I know I've never made disparaging comments about a POTUS in office.

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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
So is everything pertaining to left vs right just a smear campaign?

Absolutely not. You're confused by a campaign of false equivalence.

There is nothing about this server situation that any candidate on the right could have gotten away with (at least in the same time period). There's nothing about it that's even remotely justifiable (or did you hear any real justification or reasonable explanation from her supporters?), all you've heard is claims it doesn't matter (ie who cares what the law is) or claims that it's just politicking. Where are the arguments that this was totally a legitimate thing to do, for legitimate reasons?

There are some blatant smear campaigns, granted I tend to think they're one sided (what Republican hasn't been actively smeared - other than fringe candidates the left would love to run against? And what leading Democrat hasn't had their own messes downplayed?), but that doesn't mean that everything is a smear campaign.

And it's not an accident that the posters on the left immediately jumped out and said you were right. Their entire strategy these days is to pretend any legitimate criticism of their candidates, no matter how small, has no basis.

[ August 16, 2015, 06:55 PM: Message edited by: Seriati ]

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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
Anyone who asserts or promotes an allegation against a political figure should first identify every unproven allegation they have asserted about that same political figure.

Not sure I can keep track of something like that, and I haven't really made a lot of specific allegations.
quote:
If LetterRip's principle is true, and the objective of a particular person's allegations is to smear rather than find truth, then that person will refuse to follow this rule (actually, they will probably pretend they haven't read this, because that would enable them to avoid facing the truth that they value smear over truth).
Letterrip is confusing negative campaigning with the issue here. Breaking the law, may have negative impact on a candidate, and it may be something that others chose to use in negative campaigning, but that doesn't mean that everyone who doesn't IGNORE violations of law is engaging in a smear campaign.
quote:
If a particular person values truth over smear, they would make sure the record is corrected.
As always if you can find a particular allegation I made that stands in need of correction I'd be happy to hear it and if need be correct it (of course you have to convince me it actually was wrong).
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LetterRip
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Seriati,

quote:
There is nothing about this server situation that any candidate on the right could have gotten away with (at least in the same time period)
It isn't 'gotten away with' - the practice of using private accounts by public officials occurred until the laws changed that required usage of public email accounts for official business. That occurred two year after she left office.

There is nothing to indicate that she violated the letter of the law with regards to FOIA and recording keeping requirements.

quote:
There's nothing about it that's even remotely justifiable
Beyond legality, what 'justification' do you think is necessary?

quote:
all you've heard is claims it doesn't matter (ie who cares what the law is) or claims that it's just politicking.
No one has claimed 'it doesn't matter' - I think it is rather annoying. What matters though, was the legality. It was either legal or illegal - when lawyers have given their legal opinion (as opposed to idiots spouting off) - I've yet to see an opinion that has suggested it was illegal.


quote:
Where are the arguments that this was totally a legitimate thing to do, for legitimate reasons?
Again what do you mean by 'legitimate' - if you mean legal - then it appears to have been legal. If you mean - 'gosh I would have prefered she use a goverment email address' - then I hold the opinion that usage of an official email address to conduct official business is preferable. If you mean 'it may have been done to violate the spirit of the FOIA' then I agree - on that basis it is 'illegitimate'.

However, most of the claims have tossing around the words illegal or irresponsible - neither of which appear to be true or accurate.

quote:
And it's not an accident that the posters on the left immediately jumped out and said you were right. Their entire strategy these days is to pretend any legitimate criticism of their candidates, no matter how small, has no basis.
She isn't 'my candidate' - I just don't like when people spread falsehoods - I sorta take the 'thou shalt not bear false witness' thing of the Bible to heart. I realize that almost every other Christian in the world feels completely free to ignore that particular commandment because hey - not spreading gossip, inneundo and lies is inconvenient and no fun.
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
She isn't 'my candidate' - I just don't like when people spread falsehoods - I sorta take the 'thou shalt not bear false witness' thing of the Bible to heart. I realize that almost every other Christian in the world feels completely free to ignore that particular commandment because hey - not spreading gossip, inneundo and lies is inconvenient and no fun.

I know you're responding to Seriati here, but since I started the thread I assume you're also leveling the terms 'gossip, innuendo and lies' against me as well. You're entitled to this opinion, however know that if it was my intention to smear Hillary I would have picked a far more egregious example of her character, even if it wasn't something actually criminal or illegal. I picked this topic not because it's the worst thing she's done (it's not even close) but because it's the sort of legal minutiae that - if it really amounts to something legitimate - could actually get her into trouble, compared with other sorts of activities for which she can't be touched. I already mentioned that my primary concern is her torpedoing the Democrat's chances and giving Jeb a free pass, which if anything makes my concern anything but partisan against the Democrats.

That being said, since I have no more love for one party than for the other it stands to reason that I have no vested interest in speaking out against candidates from one particular party just to smear them. What remains is therefore a particular concern I have about a particular candidate and nothing more. Anything else you ascribe to it must stem, I think, more from your history of dealing with right-wingers than it does from anything I've personally said to date.

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LetterRip
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Fenring,

I realize it isn't your intention to smear. Yes it is worth discussing a 'what if she somehow violated the law' hypothetical, but as stated there is no evidence she has done so.

I put Bearing False Witness (BFW) on a continuum. Your posting is mostly just inaccurate information, not BFW.

Here is the criteria I use

1) Is the accusation absurb enough that it is unlikely that a rational politician would have engaged in it and thus the person should have checked snopes, politifact etc.

2) did the person rely upon sources with a history of false and misleading statements, or are the sources as least somewhat legitimate.

3) do widely available legitimate sources challenge the accuracy or veracity of the claim or otherwise legitimate doubt to the veracity of the claim.

4) is it a matter of likely significant impact or importance the public and thus worthy of discussion

You definitely pass 1, 2, and 4, but not 3. So as a general rule would not consider it BFW or at most borderline.

My statement was more of a general indictment of claims regarding politicians, not you specifically.

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Fenring
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LR,

Which "widely available legitimate sources" challenge the accuracy or veracity of the claim here? I've not seen one article with any real facts to bear other than what the IG's released. The rest lies in the interpretation or legal ramification of the facts the IG's mentioned.

I did a quick Google search and I can't easily find when the protocol was instituted that requires using government email rather than a personal server. You claim the rule was only made after Hillary's time as SecState ended, but that doesn't sound right to me. Do you have a source for that?

As regards your 'general indictment', if it doesn't pertain to this specific case (and by extension, to my comments and Seriati's) then why bring it up? Even mentioning 'gossip, innuendo and lies' in response to a topic can't help but raise a guilt-by-association feeling to your view; e.g. "topics about politicians tend to be gossip and lies, and this is a topic about a politician." It doesn't come right out and say it, but the implication is there.

[ August 17, 2015, 01:37 AM: Message edited by: Fenring ]

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DonaldD
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This came up on the first page when Googling "usage of public email accounts for official business government US": Hillary Clinton's Personal Email Use Came Before Recent Rule Change - WSJ
quote:
The 2014 overhaul, which postdates Mrs. Clinton’s tenure at the State Department, placed explicit limits on agency officials using private email accounts for official business. The new law said agency officials can’t create or send a government record on a private account unless they also copy or forward the email to their official government email address.
The same query also returned (on the first page) a Washington Post Fact Checker timeline which also clarifies what the rules were and when the law changed.
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DonaldD
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That being said, I don't think the email server is the real issue - it is whether she breached security rules.
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Greg Davidson
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So, anyone want to acknowledge that DonaldD just made a point that requires them to revise their previous comments in the name of accuracy?
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D.W.
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quote:
Originally posted by DonaldD:
That being said, I don't think the email server is the real issue - it is whether she breached security rules.

I'm pretty sure you are right DonaldD. If it was about the server, this would have moved beyond smear campaign and into some form of prosecution by now. The reason to harp on the mechanics (if legal) are to call her motive for breaking the norm into question. “Surely she was hiding SOMETHING BAD to warrant going to the trouble of setting this suspicious server up in the first place!” It makes me suspicious and in general I support her. That the act of setting up a server is illegal or not I don’t really care until / unless she is charged with something.
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Fenring
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If the issue of using personal email isn't of legal consequence then the issue resides in what the IG's released about classified information ending up on Hillary's personal server. There is also the possible issue of Hillary having had her server wiped clean before handing it over, but it is possible she was telling the truth and had it wiped prior to the issue arising. I have no idea why someone would randomly wipe their server and yet retain the information on a thumb drive, but still it's not impossible
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LetterRip
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Fenring,

the issue of classified information on the server - as I said - she is only in trouble if it was knowing. She had strict policys against it, there have been no claims that the possibly classified information originated with her, only that it was on her server - and there are many ways it could have ended up on her server through no fault of hers without her having any legal culpability

1 - a classified document and a public source had the same information and the information in the email actually originate from a public source

2 - the information is improperly classified

3 - the classified information was leaked and a copy of the leaked document was sent to her

4 - someone not on her staff sent the information

5- someone on her staff sent the information in violation of her policies

6 - she was provided information that was not marked as classified and she included it her email believing it was unclassified

You've jumped to 'the classified information originated from her and she knowingly included classified information in an email'

1-6 no legal ramifications.

As to why she would wipe the server and retain thumbdrives. To keep a record of the information to protect herself if she needed to produce it; while denying an obvious approach for the inevitable fishing expeditions looking for information to embarrass her from her private emails.

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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
quote:
There is nothing about this server situation that any candidate on the right could have gotten away with (at least in the same time period)
It isn't 'gotten away with' - the practice of using private accounts by public officials occurred until the laws changed that required usage of public email accounts for official business. That occurred two year after she left office.
That's odd restatement of what "changed" after she left office. The policy at all times was to use official accounts, but it had flexibility to allow for official business to be conducted through personal accounts provided appropriate record keeping occurred. I'm not aware that any other government official exclusively used a private account (let alone a private server) for public business, are you?

What changed was the WAY the obligation to make public records on your private account was implemented, that obligation always existed though.

And none of those changes speak to the likelihood of receiving and maintaining classified email records on such an account, whether or not she ever sent any.
quote:
There is nothing to indicate that she violated the letter of the law with regards to FOIA and recording keeping requirements.
Letter of the law? Lol. This set up was designed to completely frustrate the law, no advocate of good governance would ever make the argument you just made. And in fact you may not be correct, there are arguments that what she did was not in fact compliant with the record keeping requirements and FOIA regulations.
quote:
quote:
There's nothing about it that's even remotely justifiable
Beyond legality, what 'justification' do you think is necessary?
Quite a bit. Or is it your argument that violating the spirit of the law deliberately is irrelevant? And by the way, there are quite a few people in jail who complied with the letter of a rule and frustrated its spirit, courts can and do interpret intent in a number of areas.

For someone quoting biblical concepts of false witnessing you seem to have an awfully soft concept of the concept of morality as it connects to intent.
quote:
quote:
all you've heard is claims it doesn't matter (ie who cares what the law is) or claims that it's just politicking.
No one has claimed 'it doesn't matter' - I think it is rather annoying. What matters though, was the legality. It was either legal or illegal - when lawyers have given their legal opinion (as opposed to idiots spouting off) - I've yet to see an opinion that has suggested it was illegal.
Then you should look further, most accounts express that there are violations of law. We've already seen record keeping violations (with emails showing up that weren't in the disclosed ones) and violations related to holing classified materials in an unsecured location.
quote:
quote:
Where are the arguments that this was totally a legitimate thing to do, for legitimate reasons?
Again what do you mean by 'legitimate' - if you mean legal - then it appears to have been legal.
I think your responses answer the question adequately. Are you going to debate the meaning of the word "is" as well?
quote:
However, most of the claims have tossing around the words illegal or irresponsible - neither of which appear to be true or accurate.
On what basis do you make this claim, both illegal and irresponsible both seem to be accurate (though not necessarily applicable to every element of the situation).
quote:
She isn't 'my candidate' - I just don't like when people spread falsehoods - I sorta take the 'thou shalt not bear false witness' thing of the Bible to heart. I realize that almost every other Christian in the world feels completely free to ignore that particular commandment because hey - not spreading gossip, inneundo and lies is inconvenient and no fun.
No one bore false witness hear. I think your charge that others bore false witness is the closest thing we have to anyone doing so.
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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:
So, anyone want to acknowledge that DonaldD just made a point that requires them to revise their previous comments in the name of accuracy?

No, see my prior response to LetterRip. The law change made explicit the rules for how to archive records held on private accounts, it did not IMPOSE such a requirement for the first time. The obligation to maintain such emails in a way that was within control of the government (and easily searchable) was in place at all times she had her server.
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NobleHunter
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Greg, DonaldD, the security rules are sufficiently arcane that I'd wait for some weighty official pronouncement on the subject.

The email server is something I feel much more comfortable making a judgement on. That judgement is that Clinton demonstrated an irresponsible disregard for the need to maintain accurate and complete records of government communications. She allowed her own convenience to take priority over the ability the American people to know what their top officials are doing.

It is to be hoped that she's learned a lesson from this imbroglio and will demonstrate more respect for the spirit of arcane bureaucratic if she becomes President. Not to mention principles of good governance as an end (observed in the breach in this case) rather than just a means to promote her own interests.

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Fenring
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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3201367/Hillary-s-email-firm-run-loft-apartment-servers-BATHROOM-raising-new-questions-security-sensitive-messages-held.html

Here's a strange article claiming to identify the exact server firm Hillary used to host her private email account. If this article is accurate then it would mean the server containing her email data was in a loft apartment, with the servers being contained in the bathroom. People who worked at the small 'mom and pop' company in question say they had good software security in place to prevent hacking. But if there is any validity to this story (and I'll mention right away if it turns out to be bogus) then my question isn't about hackers, but about burglars! Even if Hillary is 100% correct that nothing she sent or received was classified at the time, that doesn't alter the fact that if some of the information subsequently became classified a simpler burglar could have broken into the apartment and taken the server away with them, classified information and all. I imagine, by contrast, that government servers are protected by armed guards.

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D.W.
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If that's true, and she was informed about it... She may just be too dumb to be president. [Frown] Wow, I hope that turns out to be wrong. haha

I just assumed it was in a location with secret service agents... or something.

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LetterRip
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Firstly, that is the server location after she left office. It wasn't set up till some time in 2013.

Secondly, I'd be surprised if there wasn't on disk encryption, which would make the issue with burglars moot. But burglary is moot any way due to the next point.

Thirdly, anything that wouldn't be okay for foreign agents to read is not supposed to be sent via email. It is assumed (and almost certainly true) that all government email is intercepted by foreign security services. They security is only to keep it out of the hands of the press and public, not foreign services.

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
Firstly, that is the server location after she left office. It wasn't set up till some time in 2013.

I've found an article from a better source and with much more information:

http://www.businessinsider.com/hillary-clinton-email-server-fbi-2015-8

quote:
The Post reports that the unusual system was originally set up by a staffer during Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign, replacing a server used by her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

The new server was run by Bryan Pagliano, who had worked as the IT director on Hillary Clinton's campaign before joining the State Department in May 2009.

People briefed on the server told The Post that Pagliano continued to serve as the lead specialist for the server. In 2013 — the same year she left the State Department — Clinton hired the Denver-based company Platte River to oversee the system.

So yes, LR is quite right that the Platte River company was only brought on in 2013 to oversee the server system. However the article specifies that it's the same system that was initially set up by Bryan Pagliano, the IT specialist for her last Presidential run, who also worked in the State Department with Hillary. When Hillary left the State Department she needed someone else to oversee the server (since she presumably couldn't continue to use staff from the State Department once she left) and she hired Platte River.

So if this article is correct, it's the same server, but run by a different group. Whatever technology the server used didn't change, although it may be the case that the server's physical location did change when she hired the new company. On this issue the article does go on to say:

quote:
In March, Clinton said the system "had numerous safeguards" and "was on property guarded by the Secret Service," adding "there were no security breaches."
It might be reasonable to surmise that if Hillary's private server was guarded by secret service then it was likely located in her private residence. If this is so then it wouldn't be as big a deal.

For the time being I'm willing to say that the contents of the articles about Platte River seem to point towards it not being a big deal after all.

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LetterRip
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There are a number of ways that a migration could have been done. The least likely is that the physical server was moved from one location to another and it is the same system. (different rackmounts, voltages, etc. different monitoring system integration, etc.)

The second least likely is that the original hard drives were transferred (due to OS and driver compatibility).

A likely scenario is that just the mailbox file was dumped, and fresh hardware and os was setup.

So it would surprise me, at least a little bit, if it was in fact 'the same system', though it isn't completely impossible.

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Rafi
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quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
Firstly, that is the server location after she left office. It wasn't set up till some time in 2013.

So what? That has zero bearing on this since the data on the server moved with it.

quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
Secondly, I'd be surprised if there wasn't on disk encryption, which would make the issue with burglars moot. But burglary is moot any way due to the next point.

Why would you assume there was encryption? There is no reason to assume such other than a knee jerk attempt to defend Hillary.

quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
Thirdly, anything that wouldn't be okay for foreign agents to read is not supposed to be sent via email. It is assumed (and almost certainly true) that all government email is intercepted by foreign security services. They security is only to keep it out of the hands of the press and public, not foreign services.

I can assure you that all security agencies use email extensively and send all kinds of classified emails around. I have personally worked on the email system of one TLA and it is considered secure for multiple reasons including the network being physically isolated.
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Greg Davidson
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LetterRip brings up an excellent point, the way that classified documents work, if someone emailed her some references that came from secret documents that wikileaks or Edward Snowden released to the press, it still is a violation if they are on her computer even if it is from an article in the New York Times.

When those leaks occurred, instructions went out to everyone who held a security clearance not to browse the web for anything relating to those documents, because even if a classified name, fact or relationship is in the newspapers, it remains classified, and if it is on your personal computer, you are in technical violation of the law.

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LetterRip
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Note that I've shifted my position somewhat - I do agree that her usage was a rules violation and probably hypocritical, though likely not illegal.

Rafi,

any competent IT person would set up on disk encryption. It is common practice, so it is a reasonable assumption until shown otherwise.

quote:
I can assure you that all security agencies use email extensively and send all kinds of classified emails around. I have personally worked on the email system of one TLA and it is considered secure for multiple reasons including the network being physically isolated.
A physically isolated network isn't an email system, it is a private messaging system. Email by definition uses SMTP. So while they may have referred to it as 'email' it wasn't email.
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Pyrtolin
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You're a little off there, LR- if the network is isolated than you can use SMTP on an isolated network, so it is actually email. But that's beside the point here, since we're talking about a system used for public correspondence, not one that would be getting messages from an isolated network. No classified documents should have been sent to the account in question in the first place, because no classified documents should have been sent to any public email address at all. Links to a server that you need to log into to view them? Perhaps. MAybe even encrypted files, though that's already getting questionable since that puts something crackable in the hands of anyone skimming data, even if it's difficult to do so.

What the concern seems to have been risen in regards to was discussing classified information in public email, which, again, would have been a violation of protocol regardless of who was hosting the server, because the very nature of the SMTP protocol means that anything discussed in an email without specifically encrypting it is effectively broadcast to the public, and even if it is specifically encrypted, it puts something workable in the hands of people snooping on the connection.

The state systems that I've worked with, in order to protect confidential information, don't actually send you an email. They send you a key file that you use as part of a login process to view the information over an encrypted connection.

I very much doubt that there's going to be any legal action on this, and anyone whose vote would be swayed by the issue is probably already not a vote Clinton would be counting on. I think the notion of Scandal Fatigue or Crying Wolf applies here; clinton has been so inundated by attempts to drum up scandal about her that they all just fade into the background, with the only people paying much attention to them being the people looking for more reasons to dislike her.

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
I think the notion of Scandal Fatigue or Crying Wolf applies here; clinton has been so inundated by attempts to drum up scandal about her that they all just fade into the background, with the only people paying much attention to them being the people looking for more reasons to dislike her.

On a psychological level you are likely correct. However assume for the moment a scenario where a candidate is significantly shadier than the competition and there are repeated attempts to alert the public to this fact, each attempt citing some possible infraction or another. Now contrast this with a scenario where partisan hackery will make accusation after accusation against a candidate regardless of whether they have done anything wrong or not (notwithstanding the possibility that all candidates may in fact be doing bad things). In both cases there will be a weariness in the public regarding the repeated accusation; a numbing effect where the candidate becomes inoculated against further accusations due to the ennui of repetition. And note that this ennui has no bearing on the validity of the accusations and will occur regardless, and due to the similarity of the public reaction to both scenarios the fact of rampant political hackery will actually serve to shield real wrongdoing amidst the irrelevant scandals.

This may rightly indicate that one should use one's accusations wisely, but since a lot of it involves not just partisan hackery but also media hype there isn't necessary one single party to blame for 'wasting' the public's attention with accusations. It might even be possible to employ a limited hangout strategy where a candidate who is expecting negative publicity about real wrongdoing might deliberately leak trivial instances of wrongdoing so that the media fuss over these will make the public too weary to care when a real scandal comes up.

That being said I don't think this issue is nearly as severe as some others involving Hillary, but I do think it's one where she either broke the law or didn't, and the cut-and-dry nature of the situation creates the possibility of real trouble for her regardless of the actual significance of the infraction.

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LetterRip
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Just FYI,

I am convinced that she broke the rules, but find it questionable, though certainly possible, that she has broken any laws.

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Greg Davidson
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Does anyone know if the level of rules violation is comparable to that of previous Secretaries of State (both Rice and Powell used private, non-secured email)? Would not make it right, but rules violation can go across a spectrum of severity (which is wrong, but not disqualifying for a Presidential candidate).
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Fenring
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Here's an article from yesterday with some analysis of some of the emails made public so far:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/21/us-usa-election-clinton-emails-idUSKCN0QQ0BW20150821

quote:
In the small fraction of emails made public so far, Reuters has found at least 30 email threads from 2009, representing scores of individual emails, that include what the State Department's own "Classified" stamps now identify as so-called 'foreign government information.' The U.S. government defines this as any information, written or spoken, provided in confidence to U.S. officials by their foreign counterparts.

This sort of information, which the department says Clinton both sent and received in her emails, is the only kind that must be "presumed" classified, in part to protect national security and the integrity of diplomatic interactions, according to U.S. regulations examined by Reuters.

"It's born classified," said J. William Leonard, a former director of the U.S. government's Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO). Leonard was director of ISOO, part of the White House's National Archives and Records Administration, from 2002 until 2008, and worked for both the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations.

"If a foreign minister just told the secretary of state something in confidence, by U.S. rules that is classified at the moment it's in U.S. channels and U.S. possession," he said in a telephone interview, adding that for the State Department to say otherwise was "blowing smoke."

We'll see as time progresses whether this assessment turns out to be right.
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LetterRip
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A poster at dailykos is arguing that Reuters author has misread the relevant statutes.

Given that pretty much everything State Department deals with would meet the requirement for classification claimed by the Reuters article, I question that that interpretation is correct.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/08/21/1414146/-Is-Foreign-Government-Information-Automatically-Classified

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