Wednesday, August 19, 2015

About Those Hillary Clinton Emails....

With all the discussion about Hillary's email server and classified documents, I found myself asking who designates a document as classified. Turns out that the President and Vice President can classify a document, as can agency heads and officials designated by the President.

OK. Since I'm sure that the president does not spend his time classifying documents throughout the entire federal bureaucracy, he must be designating that authority to agency heads....For example, the State Department would be an agency, and Hillary Clinton as the Secretary of State would be the agency head, would she not?

So it is Hillary herself who would have the authority to designate a document as classified! What does she mean she never sent anything that was marked as classified. She is the one who would be responsible for doing the marking!!

Now it seems that she can designate someone else to do the classifying for her, according to Executive Order 13526 which follows.

But if Hillary designated someone below her to choose which documents to classify, that would need to be done under Hillary's authority and with her instructions!

So for Hillary Clinton to claim ignorance of what was classified and what was not is nonsense. She was the one in charge of the process for her agency, the State Department!

Am I missing something? What follows is the order designating authority to classify documents.
According to Executive Order 13526--Classified National Security Information, issued by President Obama, information may originally be classified only by the following people.
Sec. 1.3.  Classification Authority.  (a)  The authority to classify information originally may be exercised only by:
(1)  the President and the Vice President;
(2)  agency heads and officials designated by the President; and
(3)  United States Government officials delegated this authority pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section.
(c)  Delegation of original classification authority.
(1)  Delegations of original classification authority shall be limited to the minimum required to administer this order.  Agency heads are responsible for ensuring that designated subordinate officials have a demonstrable and continuing need to exercise this authority.
But regardless of what classified documents were sent over an unsecured server, the question still remains What was Hillary trying to hide? Remember this entire question of her emails came up during a Congressional investigation of Benghazi.

Now the server is said to be scrubbed clean.  Why didn't she just delete personal emails? Why the necessity to make them perhaps irretrievable.

Personally, I think Hillary is in a lot of trouble. When a politician says that she will not hand over her server and the FBI forces her to, you know there is something going on.


Joe Bagadoughnuts said...

Everyone who is referencing EO 13526 is not reading past the section on Original Classification Authority (OCA). OCA is essential, as it establishes the highest reference for whatever the specific information is, but it is the next section on page 8, PART 2 DERIVATIVE CLASSIFICATION that covers what is the essential factor in the Clinton emails. Derivative Classifiers have the toughest task in business of secrets security. They have to be trained and certified every two years as a Derivative Classifying Authority. That person is trained to recognize information in a new document (such as an email) that may be DERIVED from a source that has OCA classification. Sometimes that is bits and pieces that alone aren't classified, but together can reveal/expose something that is highly classified. It is a "judgment call" but judgment for which a DCA is highly trained to have.

The question no journalist has yet asked is if Ms. Clinton was trained and certified as a Derivative Classifying Authority. If not, why the heck not? If she was, then she hasn't a leg to stand on. If she wasn't, was someone ahead of her in the information chain, such as Ms. Abedin? If not, she's also in trouble. Most at fault here will be the lax security infrastructure at State. The FBI will have much to investigate, and there will eventually be consequences, if only political for Ms. Clinton.

Rosemary said...

Joe, thank you for the clarification. Yes, it certainly would seem that a Secretary of State would be trained and certified as a DCA. She ought alto have known that her own server was not sufficiently secure. And if she never sent classified information through her private email account then how was she communicating about classified matters? Clearly a SOS would have a lot of such communication. (We know now, of course, that she did send classified materials from her server.) She is in trouble.

Joe Bagadoughnuts said...

My pleasure. I have recently been communicating with someone who has been in those weeds much deeper than me, and explains that following the security procedures as closely as the G wishes in such a communication-heavy environment is almost impossible if anything is to get done in the day. He feels that it is possible that the situation is such a mess at State, that Ms. Clinton may have been caught in the cross-hairs of that broken bureaucracy. Almost impossible for us to tell. I'm trying to stay reasonably independent in my thinking on this but, like you, I have a gut feeling that there are so many moving variables surfacing in this case, that there is bound to be something that sticks to her and/or her staff. My hope is that the facts will be permitted to fall where they may. Cheers.

Rosemary said...

Well, Joe, I have to say that if she was "caught in the cross-hairs of a broken bureaucracy" she had a responsibility to do what she could to fix it. And having a private server in her house was her choice and not part of the bureaucracy. And there is no way a Secretary of State never communicated classified information via email. That just doesn't seem possible.

Joe Bagadoughnuts said...

I absolutely agree that none of what you say can be overlooked. Frankly, I think there will be considerably more. Whether she gets indicted is the question. So many variables that are not obvious to us yet. In my day, any of those things in an "unclassified" email would have set our hair on fire. Our personal alarm bells would be going off like crazy, and we would have spoken up. See something, say something.