A number of recent posts from the Libertarian blogger Willis Hart in regards to the supposed Hillary Clinton email controversy. This focus on the hated Hillary after authoring a number on the hated "socialist" Bernie Sanders (who is actually a Democratic Socialist). Both of whom are potential candidates for the presidency in 2016... on the Democratic side.
Is it strange that there have been zero commentaries from Willis concerning Republicans running for POTUS? Or just about zero. He has attacked some of the bottom-tier candidates, such as Lindsay Graham. And I think he has attacked Donald Trump... as if such an easy target counts for diddly.
Nope, this (formerly identified) Blue Dog Democrat is mainly going after the top-tier Democratic potus hopefuls, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.
|Willis Hart: The Good News and Bad News for Hillary... a) The good news - the fact that she (arguably) has plausible deniability as to whether or not she knew that the emails were classified... b) The bad news - the fact that if she asserts this as a defense she looks like a total incompetent and a moron. (8/31/2015 AT 8:32pm)|
This one following another in which he quotes Peter van Buren, a former United States Foreign Service employee and author.
|Willis Hart: Peter Van Buren on Hillary's Claim that the Emails Weren't Marked as Classified and so She Shouldn't Be Held Accountable... "If an employee were to be handed information sourced from an NSA intercept of a foreign government leader, somehow not marked as classified, she would be expected to recognize the sensitivity of the material itself and treat it as classified. In other cases, an employee might hear something sensitive and be expected to treat the information as classified. The emphasis throughout the classification system is not on strict legalities and coded markings, but on judgment". [etc, etc]. This is devastating and if you think that Mr. Van Buren is some sort of virulent right-winger [he isn't] (8/26/2015 AT 4:13pm)|
"Devastating" huh? Not according to a number of other experts.
|The Associated Press reported that "Some officials said they believed the designations were a stretch — a knee-jerk move in a bureaucracy rife with over-classification". Jeffrey Toobin, in an August 2015 New Yorker article, wrote that the Clinton email affair is an illustration of overclassification, a problem written about by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan in his book Secrecy: The American Experience. Toobin writes that "government bureaucracies use classification rules to protect turf, to avoid embarrassment, to embarrass rivals—in short, for a variety of motives that have little to do with national security". (Wikipedia/Hillary Clinton email controversy/Journalists and experts).|
So Hillary was supposed to "recognize the sensitivity" "in a bureaucracy rife with over-classification"? She was supposed to recognize when something was not marked classified but should have been due to turf protection, embarrassment avoidance, or for another reason that had little to do with national security?
Also remember that we're talking about emails they decided LATER should be classified.
|"None of the emails we reviewed had classification or dissemination markings..." Intelligence Community Inspector General I. Charles McCullough III said in a letter to congressional committee leaders Thursday [7/2/2015]. (Hillary's emails touch off debate about classified documents by Josh Gerstein. 07/24/2015).|
OK, so not marked classified... and also totally unreasonable to expect Hillary might be able to guess what might be categorized as classified in the future.
|Other documents... show the classification issue triggered debate even within the agency. Some at State wanted to deem even more of Clinton's emails classified than the agency ultimately did... (Hillary's emails touch off debate about classified documents by Josh Gerstein. 07/24/2015).|
Here we have the State department arguing about what is and what isn't classified (after the fact)... and yet Willis (and this Peter Van Buren fellow) think Hillary should have know what what might be categorized as classified in the future? Obviously the argument is ridiculous.
As for the original allegation, which is that Hillary did something wrong by using a private email and server, Willis addressed this as well.
|Willis Hart: On Mrs. Clinton's Claim that Colin Powell Also Had a Private Email Server When He Was Secretary of State and So What's the Big Deal?... Utter bullshit. The fact of the matter is that NO previous Secretary of State has ever had a private email server running in their home from which they sent and received ALL of their correspondence while in office. Nada! (8/24/2015 AT 8:04pm)|
Actually, "no big deal" isn't the argument. The argument is that what Hillary did was legal/allowed.
|...federal regulations went into effect in late November, 2014 when President Obama signed H.R. 1233, modernizing the Federal Records Act of 1950 to include electronic communications. It was signed two years after [Hillary] Clinton stepped down. (That Story About Hillary Clinton's Private Email Account Isn't as Awful as It Seems by Bob Cesca. The Daily Banter 3/3/2015).|
There is nothing to this so-called scandal. Zippo. Nothing in regards to the legality of maintaining a private email and server. It was legal at the time for Hillary to do this. Also nothing to the "classified" issue, as "none of the emails reviewed had classification or dissemination markings".
The ONLY reason this is a "scandal" is because Hillary Clinton is running for president and the Republicans are desperate to find something to damage her chances. It won't work, however. There will be no "devastation" to Hillary's campaign. Which is why I declare the total moron Hartster's proclamation of "devastating" to be utter bullshit.
[DSD #21] The "Small l Libertarian" Who Suffers From A Bad Case Of (Hillary) Clinton Derangement Syndrome (A catalog of MANY commentaries by WTNPH in which he criticizes HRC, specifically in regards to the email controversy).
9/14/2015 Update/Correction: According to an 8/21/2015 Reuters article dozens of Clinton emails were classified from the start, U.S. rules suggest. Does this mean that there is something to Willis' commentary (re what Peter Van Buren said)? Perhaps. Except for the "devastating" part. There will absolutely be no devastation to HRC's campaign.
See also: SWTD #313.