Friday, August 19, 2016

Oh Snap! Clinton's Private Email System Was Colin Powell's Idea.

The nothing-burger that Clinton's email "scandal" is just got nothinger.

It worked well for him, he told an incoming Hillary Clinton.

I've long thought that the Clinton email scandal was no such thing, but rather a contrived attack for political gain and nothing else. So was Benghazi, but we knew that. Ironically or worse, so did Congress, which continues to "investigate" her.

Now comes news -- probably an illegal leak of information only recently released to Congress under incredibly tight security -- that Hillary Clinton had asked Colin Powell, as she readied herself for her new gig at State, how his private email system functioned, and he recommended that she use a private email system for unclassified communication. He had done so with his AOL account, and it streamlined his communications because at that time, State didn't have a functioning email system.

Nobody's talking much yet about this revelation, as it's rather dodgy on a number of levels, including who might have leaked it, but Colin Powell's office has released a statement that generally confirms the new information.
Colin Powell's office in a statement said he could not recall the dinner conversation. He did recall describing the system he used to her, but the statement did not say he suggested Clinton do the same.
"He did write former Secretary Clinton an email memo describing his use of his personal AOL email account for unclassified messages and how it vastly improved communications within the State Department," the statement said. "At the time there was no equivalent system within the department."
He used a secure department computer to manage classified information, the statement said.
Clear enough for me, right? Secretary Clinton downplays the secure system, though she has alluded to it. Generally, we've gotten the impression she went to the classified system for classified communications and used her private system for a mix of personal and non-classified, job-related emails. I've always felt that she doesn't want to discuss the classified system because it's meant to be secret, and she's being a good soldier. Also, she's adopted the "it was a mistake, I now realize that" line because it's politically expedient to do so. I don't think she believes she did anything wrong with her email system, a position I've adopted since the beginning of this no-there-there kerfuffle, but Clinton can't say that because saying she did nothing wrong buys into the right-wrong duality, leading to "Yes, you did!" "No, I didn't!" and so on.

And, frankly, the one aspect of the affair that is shaky -- careless, if you will -- was the off-hand chance that her system would get hacked, and then there really would have been hell to pay. So far, so good on that score. In fact, government and political systems have been hacked left and right. Was Clinton lucky or prescient in her use of her private server? Hopefully, we'll never know.

Of course, these nothing scandals won't go away even after she wins the presidency. The GOP has their cudgels and they must use them, no matter how worn out they become.

To sum up: Clinton talks to a respected former Secretary of State, adopts his private-email-for-non-classified-communication model, uses it successfully for her entire tenure, and only comes under fire because of the Benghazi madness. Out of tens of thousands of emails, maybe -- maybe, State says only one -- three contained markings of something that could have been construed as classified or confidential, although the markings apparently run counter to State's own handbook on marking classified information, something FBI Director James Comey acknowledged during his testimony.

But, hey, GOP, keep flailing away. In this oddball political culture, it's been working, sort of.

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