• Hillary Press Conference About Her Email

    March 10, 2015

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Democracy, Embassy/State

    hillary blackberry

    Hillary needed a home run, and she only even tried for a safe infield hit. That, in this case, is the same as a strike-out.

    She needed to do two things in her brief press conference March 10 about her use of personal email to conduct four years of Secretary of State business and the aftermath. Primarily, she needed to lay out an explanation that made enough “sense” that her Democratic supporters could get behind her on this issue, and she needed to explain enough to take the wind out of future press stories, create a “nothing to see here” meme. We all can expect the Republicans to try and work the issue no matter what she says, and we can all expect her strongest supporters did not need convincing.

    Hillary’s task was to hold the center. Let’s look at what she said, and didn’t say, in light of those two themes.

    What She Said

    — Clinton said she “opted out” of using an official email system for her convenience, stating she did not want to use two email devices.

    — She said that the “vast majority” of her official emails were sent to official government addresses and thus archived somewhere no matter what she did.

    — Clinton claimed she turned over any work-related emails when State asked for them, “after I left office.”

    — She said she has asked State to review and ultimately release the releasable emails.

    — She said she would not allow any third party review of her server (such as the State Department’s Inspector General) because it is a Federal employee’s personal responsibility to determine work versus personal emails, and it is a moot point anyway because she has already deleted the 30,000 emails she determined were not work-related.

    Looking at What She Said: Convenience

    The “two devices” would have been inconvenient argument is very weak.

    One does not have “two devices,” one has two accounts. Do you have separate computers for your Gmail and your Yahoo mail? State employees are allowed to access private webmail on their official desktop computers. State employees access web mail on their official Blackberrys, though it is slow. Many State Department employees do carry two devices.

    There is also no prohibition from receiving and sending personal email from an official account as long as one does not misrepresent a personal message as an official State Department document. Indeed, in some overseas posts where decent Internet service does not exist because of limited infrastructure, or because of security concerns, all personal messages travel through USG accounts. It is encouraged.

    And who is ready to believe Clinton as Secretary of State needed to carry her own devices anyway? She has people for that; she doesn’t carry her own luggage, does she?

    And is setting up and maintaining in secret a personal server in some way “convenient?” How do all other Cabinet officials handle this? Do they all have personal servers? Why not? If this Clinton-only technique is so handy, why didn’t she share it with others in government as some sort of best-practice? How does Bill Gates or George Clooney handle such issues? We know Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, for one, had a single device with both a personal email account and a work email account.

    Can Democrats answer Clinton critics with concerns about transparency, mistrust and prevarication simply by saying, “Well, it was convenient for her. Accept that, OK?”

    Looking at What She Said: Archiving

    That the emails were archived “somewhere” because she sent the “vast majority” to someone else’s government accounts is also weak. Many FOIA requesters to the State Department for Clinton’s emails were told no records exist. Any emails archived at the Pentagon, or the UN or the White House would have to be FOIA’ed agency-by-agency — you can’t send a FOIA request to “the government.” Any let’s not forget the term “vast majority.” How many emails are not archived anywhere?

    There also appears to be some questions. Huge gaps exist in the emails Clinton provided to a congressional committee investigating the 2012 attack in Benghazi, the panel’s chairman said. Republican Representative Trey Gowdy said his committee lacked documentation from Clinton’s trip to Libya after the attack despite a popular photo image of her using her famous Blackberry during a flight to that country. “We have no emails from that day. In fact we have no emails from that trip,” said Gowdy. “There are huge gaps.” – See more at: https://wemeantwell.com/blog/#sthash.YUWe4QIz.dpuf

    Looking at What She Said: Other Points

    Clinton claimed she turned over her any work related emails when State asked for them, “after I left office.” Left unanswered is why State had to ask in the first place, and of course the way the statement “after I left office” will only beg the question someone else will need to answer of how Clinton can characterize waiting to be asked two years later as “after I left office.”

    Good for Hillary to ask State release all her emails. That is what the law behind the many FOIA requests now pending at State demands anyway. What is missing is a timeframe; no one seems to know when that release might take place, though State has suggested it will be months. Remember too that first Clinton had a cut on which emails were to her mind “work related,” and then the State Department gets to make a second cut and/or redact portions of those emails for sensitive or personal information. The “release them all” line sounds good but does not parse out well.

    Clinton’s final point that it is a Federal employee’s personal responsibility to determine work versus personal emails is sort of true but largely a fudge. State Department regulations make it clear that government email must be used whenever possible for official business. While not explicitly forbidden, there is no section of law, regulation or practice that allows an employee to “opt-out” of the system. Hillary’s assertion that the decision on what is and is not work-related is based on the premise that almost everything work-related is already on a government server, and the culling of personal email for archiving is a minimal task. State Department practice is that a personal email deemed work-related be forwarded to the employee’s official account as soon as possible to create a single archive.

    What She Didn’t Say

    Clinton’s omissions and non-answers are however more troubling.

    — She did not answer a question about whether or not she sought or received guidance from State’s IT, Diplomatic Security or legal staff on her use of a personal email server.

    — She did not answer a question about whether or not she had been briefed on possible security issues regarding her use of personal email.

    — She did not say why she curated her email archive herself and did not involve a neutral third party.

    — She did not demand State commit the resources necessary to get her emails out before the primaries, or before the convention, or even before the election.

    — She did not say why, after holding them for two to six years, she only after the recent notice decided to delete all of her personal, non-work-related emails.

    — She did not say why she did not hand over her emails and/or discuss the issue of a personal server for the two years since leaving office, the seven months since this became known to Congress, the three months since she delivered her email tranche to the State Department, the eight days since the story broke widely in public or two days after members of her own party asked her publicly to do so.

    On another topic, she did not answer a question about the foreign money, particularly from Middle Eastern countries oppressive to women, that has poured into the Clinton Foundation.

    The Biggest Omission

    There was no action statement, no suggestion Clinton would do anything more in regard to all this. She spoke for about 18 minutes, including taking eight questions, and seems to have left us with “that is that.”

    It appears unlikely that “that is that,” with important questions still unanswered. It is unclear that Clinton gave her own centrist supporters enough red meat to get behind her on this issue. It seems instead that Democrats are left wondering what else is out there, and whether a Clinton candidacy, or a Clinton administration, will not look far too much like Bill’s time, herky-jerking from crisis to scandal to crisis, both real and imagined. That will be hard to get behind.

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    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

  • Recent Comments

    • John Poole said...


      PVB- we’re not out of the Vince foster Re-Education Estuary yet. I’ve given my son $2.50 to cover the 38 calibre round which I might need to self administer. It’s now in the hands of Hillary supporters. Will they start to have doubts? I’m clueless.

      03/10/15 9:22 PM | Comment Link

    • Stark Naked said...


      “Republicans will to try and work the issue no matter what she says…”

      While it’s inherently easy to cast stones in the opposite direction, there are a whole lot more people than just the hacks with the (R) behind their names that are asking questions.

      Hillary’s use of a private email account for government business transcends petty partisan politics. And you know it, Mr. Van Buren. You just know it.

      03/10/15 10:45 PM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...


      I know it. I am yelling as loud as I can about the real, underlying issues here, and I have no love for anything Republican.

      My point was only that Hillary today was not speaking to the Repubs, who she knows won’t change their feelings toward her and this issue. She was speaking to her own party, especially her soft supporters who may not vote Repub, but might just give up and not vote.

      03/11/15 12:37 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      Meanwhile, the entire planet is ROTFIGSL as Ms Do As I Please While Flaunting Regulations If Not Law is raked over the proverbial coals.


      2016? Hahahaha. Get a grip. YOU ARE FINISHED HILLARY. By the time this is over you won’t even have the energy to look in a mirror, and will be lucky if you can ever show your face in Murka again..

      Now..PVB here’s your chance!! A once in a millennium stroke of luck… to step up to the plate!! By virtue of Great Moments in SecOfState hubris.. a great big slot has opened up!!

      wait..wait..I have an idea..

      bartender..a round for the house on me!! Line em up..the new craft vote beer..PVB 2016! Man, save the bottles too. They’ll become priceless!! I can see it now… every beer drinkers candidate! How can you loose! A billion beer drinking voters in Murka! wait wait….wild!…here’s a campaign promise too!

      PVBBeerforAll!! goddammit.. thats IT!!! It can’t fail!!

      Of course, my fee for the campaign idea is cheap PVB.

      Just send me all the left over campaign beer. We’ll call it even.

      03/11/15 12:31 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Hillarious: I’m a lying sack of shit. What difference does it make?

      03/11/15 12:36 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      Hillarious never heard of Edward Snowden:

      The server will remain private” —
      Clinton made clear she won’t be offering up the server to any third party or government agency.

      “The server will remain private,” she said.

      03/11/15 12:55 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      Rich said:

      “The server will remain private,” she said.


      @ROTFIGSL #absurd #twotiered

      @bartender ..one bottle of each.

      03/11/15 1:25 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      Rich said:
      “Hillarious: I’m a lying sack of shit. What difference does it make?”

      bartender.. stick that bottle of #LyingSacksOfShit back in the cooler and give me a shot of WDDIM 151.

      03/11/15 1:41 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      Meanwhile, the unrelenting march of Capitalism evaporates 1000 years of human freedom while exercising its iron fist of brutal and violent march across the planet. Thank god I was given a chance to witness Capitalism’s current assault on humanity’s last bastion of Eden. #westpapua


      This makes me think the whole ballgame is approaching #the Law of Unintended Consequences. fuck.

      03/11/15 2:48 AM | Comment Link

    • Bruce said...


      Falling for the ol’ CLINTON POTUS operandi of diversionary obfuscation; like the $lick Hilly presser PRE$$TITUTE$. Can we Please keep her pilloried to the wall of the 1950 Federal Records Act LAW:
      “The HEAD of each Federal agency shall make And PRESERVE records containing adequate and proper documentation of the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, and essential transactions of the agency and designed to furnish the information necessary to protect the legal and financial rights of the Government and of persons directly affected by the agency’s activities.” ?

      03/11/15 2:48 AM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...


      The Foundation had the audacity to conduct a campaign where photos on covers of magazines featured women absent from the cover to demonstrate what it’s like not to have a voice

      A version should be done for whistle blowers

      03/11/15 4:43 AM | Comment Link

    • Sokollu said...


      The U.S. gov’t and its GONGOs at NED, IRI, NDI etc spend a great deal of time preaching “transparency” and “rule of law” at presumably benighted foreigners. Sigh.

      03/11/15 10:36 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      No one on the vaunted DS IT Geek Squad took notice Hillarious never sent an email? DS is failing on background checks too.


      03/11/15 1:32 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      It must be an inside job!!!

      “Peter Meyers, 53, of Margate, was arrested last week. Prosecutors said they plan to formally charge him with possession and distribution of child porn later this week. Meyers has worked as a security technical specialist for the U.S. Department of State and Bureau of Diplomatic Security since 2003, traveling to overseas embassies, testing security systems and assisting with criminal investigations.”

      03/11/15 1:34 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      “The server will remain private.”

      Clinton made clear she won’t be offering up the server to any third party or government agency.

      Did Hillarious just threaten the NSA?

      03/11/15 3:03 PM | Comment Link

    • Hillary Clinton’s Email Fiasco | The Contrary Perspective said...


      […] or design is hard to say.  In the press conference she then gave to explain herself, she was less than forthcoming.  And it now appears that her email server wasn’t even encrypted for the first three months […]

      03/13/15 2:05 PM | Comment Link

    • Clinton Team Never Really Reviewed Emails Before Deletion | Ghosts of Tom Joad - Peter Van Buren said...


      […] is how Clinton described the “process” by which her own staff determined which of the 60,000 emails on her […]

      03/16/15 12:16 PM | Comment Link

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