consultants are sandburs

Saturday, June 18, 2016

What troubles me more about the email thing is the 30,000 purged emails (a number even greater than given paid speeches), and not whether some munchkin in a bureau had stamped something "SECRET," since farting over what was left begs the more compelling question of what smoking gun(s) might have been among email winnowing.

Can you envision the woman in slippers and a robe sitting late in the night in the basement at a keyboard, typing in search terms for the emails such as "goldman," "sachs," "morgan," "stanley," "bank america," or "speaking speech fees?" And deleting?

Oh, those would have been "personal" right? Not State Department business. Business, yes, taking the money out of politics - as quickly as offered - but, well, not the thing to leave around during a presidential run.

30,000 "personal" emails now. In your entire lifetime, not a mere few years holding a job, have you generated thirty thousand personal emails? What time would you have left over for all the rest of your life if you had?

This is a big time big purge of one hell of a lot of stuff. What of a search, "clinton foundation cash arabs?"

Or "clinton foundation cash chinese?" The possibilities are endless, and the pattern's been money on the table, grab it, ask questions later; and answer questions much later if ever. That has been the Clinton Way.

Larry, here, rags on a bit over the top, but Larry is Larry. So look to N.Y. Post, an admittedly right-wing operation, but still, read what is there to consider (published online at the time of the release of the State Department's IG report):

As first lady, Hillary was embroiled in another scheme to bury sensitive White House emails, known internally as “Project X.”

In 1999, as investigators looked into Whitewater, Travelgate, Filegate and other scandals involving the then-first lady, it was discovered that more than 1 million subpoenaed emails were mysteriously “lost” due to a “glitch” in a West Wing computer server.

The massive hole in White House archives covered a critical two-year period — 1996 to 1998 — when Republicans and special prosecutor Ken Starr were subpoenaing White House emails.

Despite separate congressional investigations and a federal lawsuit over Project X, high-level emails dealing with several scandals were never turned over. And the full scope of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s culpability in the parade of scandals was never known.

To those well-versed in Clinton shenanigans, this all sounds distressingly familiar.

Thanks to another server-related problem, Clinton so far has gotten away with withholding more than 30,000 emails from congressional committees investigating the Benghazi terrorism cover-up, Clinton Foundation foreign-influence peddling and other scandals.

“This Clinton email scandal is nothing new,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton told me. “There were previous efforts to hide emails in the Clinton White House.”

[...] During the Project X email scandal, career White House staffers and contractors found that someone close to the first lady had basically turned off the White House’s automated email archiving system. They fingered White House “special assistant” Laura Crabtree Callahan, who was overseeing the computer contractors despite obtaining computer science degrees from diploma mills.

The State Department staffer who set up Clinton’s unsecured server in the basement of Clinton’s home in Chappaqua also lacked computer experience and qualifications.

That IT staffer, Bryan Pagliano, appears to be playing a similar role in this email caper as Callahan did in the White House — that of a lackey used to help thwart public requests to see information about the government-related business of the Clintons.

Despite having no computer security experience or even security clearance, Pagliano catapulted from a Clinton campaign worker to the secretary’s own “special adviser” dealing with the department’s classified email system.

On top of his $133,000-a-year State Department salary, Clinton personally paid Pagliano thousands of dollars between 2009 and 2013 to set up and run a private home-brew server for her, separate from the government system she was supposed to use, where she received and stored thousands of classified government emails. His work for the secretary was clearly a rogue operation, because the department’s inspector general found that his boss, the deputy chief information officer, was “unaware of his technical support of the secretary’s email system.”

[,,,] Pagliano took the Fifth when called to testify before Congress. (Judicial Watch will get a crack at him at a deposition set for June 6.)

When career staffers at State raised concerns that Clinton’s email records weren’t being properly captured and preserved, they were told to shut up, according to the IG’s report, instructed “never to speak of the secretary’s personal email system again.”

Likewise, career staffers and contractors at the White House were ordered to keep those earlier unarchived emails secret. In fact, they testified that Callahan personally threatened them with jail time if they disclosed the gap to prosecutors or lawmakers.

A 1998 contractor audit of the White House email accounts affected by the “snafu” shows that much of the omitted email was addressed to top Clinton officials — including then-deputy counsel Cheryl Mills and other aides close to Hillary. A federal judge “excoriated Mills” for failing to get to the bottom of the missing emails, Fitton pointed out.

Now Mills finds herself in the middle of another investigation into the whereabouts of thousands of emails germane to investigations involving Hillary Clinton that also have conveniently turned up missing. After following Clinton to State, where she served as her chief of staff and counsel, Mills joined Clinton in flouting federal records-management requirements by using personal email accounts to conduct official government business. It was Mills who helped her old boss delete some 32,000 emails from the server Pagliano set up, claiming they were irrelevant to investigations.

It is a long excerpt, but justifiably so. With the White House email situation as personal history, what is to be made of the "learning curve" effect at play with the present situation? Twice now. Email then went missing. Email now went missing. Email then was not affirmatively purged as "personal," or at least the N.Y. Post item gives no evidence that any such purge event happened. Currently, it is widely reported, thirty thousand emails deep-sixed.

If you want a thought experiment to wrap around this lost thirty thousand, HuffPo provides one, titled, "What if Dick Cheney, Not Hillary Clinton, Deleted 30,000 Emails from a Private Home Server?"

Chew on that hypothetical for awhile. Read the HuffPo item. In addition, HuffPo is NOT a right-wing outlet, a challenge that CAN be leveled at N.Y. Post. Likewise, Counterpunch is not right-wing, yet this was published by Counterpunch at the time the IG report was released this year:

May 31, 2016 -- Emailgate: the Clinton Spin Doctors In Action -- by Binoy Kampmark

Hillary Clinton’s email dilemma got somewhat sharper over the weekend, with Sunday programs heavy with the theme. Her use of a private email server during her stint as Secretary of State was given a new lease of life by the Office of the Inspector General’s report which took significant issue with her practices when in office.

[..] As for turning over the emails, there was no mitigating factor: she should surrendered them before leaving office, not 21 months after. “[S]he did not comply with the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act.”

Clinton has supreme form when it comes to imaginative, and careless “record keeping”. Her lax attitude to such details was evident during the course of her time as First Lady, when she and her husband presided over the fraying of the post-Cold War Republic.

In 1999, when special prosecutor Ken Starr and Republicans were busying themselves with filling files over an assortment of scandals, a million subpoenaed emails vanished in the Project X affair. The reason? A technical problem with a West Wing computer server. The unseen hand of technological error has often proven helpful to the Clinton cause.

Little wonder then that the latest weaving apologia fell flat in Republican circles, where fiction and fact are synonymous.

[italics emphasis added]

Business Insider in early March a year ago (well before release of the State Department IG report) published:

At the Tuesday afternoon news conference in which she attempted to dismiss concerns about her use of a private email system for official business, Clinton revealed she deleted about 30,000 messages.

She characterized the messages that were erased as personal correspondence and said she had "no reason to save them."

Would she have had reason to save Goldman Sachs related email? Or "no reason?" My vote is with the "no reason" possibility. Stated otherwise, a good reason for an urge to purge.

Business Insider, continuing -

"In going through the emails, there were over 60,000 in total, sent and received. About half were work-related and went to State Department, and about half were personal that were not in any way related to my work," Clinton said. "I had no reason to save them, but that was my decision because federal guidelines are clear ... For any government employee it is that government employees responsibility to determine what's personal and what's work related."

Clinton said she "chose not to keep" the messages and said she expected people would understand her need for "privacy."

"We went through a thorough process to identify all of my work-related emails and deliver them to the State Department," she said. "At the end, I chose not to keep my private, personal emails. Emails about planning Chelsea's wedding or my mother's funeral arrangements. Condolence notes to friends, as well as yoga routines, family vacations: the other things you typically find in inboxes.

How about that "we?" Her and her tapeworm? Worse, her and her lawyer? Who is "we," and how besides "trust me" do we know any such "thorough process" happened or not? And "other things you typically find in inboxes" of those given $225,000 per speech just might differ from Crabgrass webmail. If I ever had anyone pay me $225,000 for a Wall Street humding, well, hey, it would be personal. Right? But Wall Street invests, it does not waste, and I've not been offered the fee any more than Bernie has. Same Business Insider item -

Even if all the emails that were erased were indeed personal, the deletion of those messages could have implications for potential investigations into Clinton's communications.

[...] The former secretary of state and her team have said her use of personal email for official business went above and beyond regulatory requirements. At the news conference Tuesday, Clinton said she and her team engaged in a "thorough process" to identify all work-related emails and turn them over to the State Department.

[...] In addition to closing off these potential investigations, Clinton's decision to delete her emails would also seem to eliminate the chance she could ever make these messages accessible to historians and archivists as many other major figures have.

Clinton hasn't really made her rationale for deleting the personal emails clear beyond saying she "chose" to do so and had "no reason to save them." Her team did not respond to multiple requests from Business Insider asking for clarification on why she deleted the messages. However, a written statement Clinton's office distributed after the news conference seemed to attribute the decision to a desire to "ensure the continued privacy" of the messages.

Good. Reassuring. "We" is spelled out as "she and her team." No problem at all then, right?

L.A. Times - again in early March of last year before the IG weighed in - noting the appearance of things being at best, suspect:

While she sought to quell a controversy that threatens to mar the debut of her expected presidential candidacy, Clinton may have only fueled it with a 20-minute news conference — her first in two years — that raised fresh questions about her actions.

Insisting that her approach was fully consistent with administration rules, she said she would not allow investigators from Congress to examine the private computer server that processed and stored the emails at her home in Chappaqua, N.Y.

The former senator from New York said the server had been installed to ensure digital security for her husband, former President Clinton. She said it was still guarded by the Secret Service and had never been hacked.

Nonetheless, she said that last fall she approved the destruction of slightly more than half of the emails she wrote or received as America’s top diplomat during President Obama’s first term — because they were “private and personal.” The remainder were forwarded to the State Department.

[...] Many were quick to dismiss the criticism as a stew of partisan smear and media hype, even as critics delighted in reviving her family’s mine-strewn political history and her penchant for secrecy and hunkering down.

Yet her comparatively laggard reaction to the storm, allowing more than a week to pass before she offered a substantive response, contributed to concerns among Democratic Party professionals that her political operation had gone rusty or was maladapted to the 24/7 demands of today’s campaign world.

Facing scores of clamoring reporters, her demeanor was crisply efficient, even if her smile sometimes seemed forced. She answered fewer than a dozen questions — several of them multi-part — before gathering her papers and leaving.

In her comments, Clinton said she now regretted relying on a private email account while in office, rather than a government account, as recommended in Obama administration policy guidance. She said she used the private account “as a convenience” so that she didn’t need to carry separate phones for personal and official communications.

“Looking back, it would have been better for me to use two separate phones,” she said.

“I thought one device would be simpler; obviously, it hasn’t worked out that way,” she added.

She said she had never sent any classified material on the private account, using other staffers’ government accounts for that.

According to a nine-page statement later put out by Clinton’s office, her private email account held 62,320 messages that she had sent or received between March 2009 and February 2013.

The statement said 30,490 of these were provided to the State Department, and 31,830 were private records that were destroyed.

Her use of a private email account “was widely known to the over 100 department and U.S. government colleagues she emailed, as her address was visible on every email she sent,” the statement said.

“During her time at State, she communicated with foreign officials in person, through correspondence, and by telephone. The review of all of her emails revealed only one email with a foreign (UK) official.”

Clinton said that her emails complied with government record-keeping and archiving regulations because she sent most of her work-related messages to government employees on their government accounts. Those emails would have been “captured and preserved” on the recipients’ systems, she said.

[..] Clinton said that when she and her staff reviewed the emails last year, she instructed her lawyer to err on the side of turning over anything that might be considered work-related. But that did not satisfy critics, because it meant that her team was the sole judge of what was released.

[emphasis added] Yeah, only one foreign-addressed email, eh? And in all that she can add her phone calls to Merklel would be in NSA archives along with phone meta data and "collect it all" on calls to foreigners. That's not, however, the point.

ABC News published a Clinton cabal claim that every one of the over sixty thousand emails were read (by whoever, the report is not clear) but sixty thousand emails is a massive amount to review one-by-one and read (and did such "readers" have proper security clearances, etc.), while a search by keyword and keep procedure was also described with it appearing that any item left after such keyword search (by the lawyers no less) was wiped off record from the server hardware. Believe it or not. If you check that item, decide for yourself whether it had an underlying mood of questioning and skepticism. Don't take my word on such "mood" inference. Further generally cumulative coverage, USA Today, "Clinton wipes server after handing over e-mails;" "Clinton was scrubbing emails since she was first lady. Project X. Meet Laura Callahan;"; and Yahoo News, "Clinton has been burying emails since she was first lady -- May 29, 2016."

Might the term "coverup" apply? As an inference from the totality of circumstantial evidence? Guess at it.

BOTTOM LINE: She sits on a pile of six-figure-income-per-hour transcripts while effectively saying "Fuck you" to the clamor for disclosure; and she deleted a ton of email THIS TIME and AFTER a distinctively factually similar "learning curve" email experience years earlier, while the Clinton family occupied the White House.

Is there no limit to arrogance? Is there a blight to be removed? Is Pope Francis a Catholic?

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