Classified Hillary e-mail contained embassy security issues, sensitive diplomatic discussions
posted at 10:01 am on August 25, 2015 by Ed Morrissey
We already got a hint of this last week, when Fox News identified some of the subject matter in now-redacted e-mails from Hillary Clinton’s secret server — the part of the cache she shared, anyway. Two of the e-mails that got retroactively classified dealt with security issues in Benghazi and military intelligence on Libyan troop movements. The classification codes on those redactions from State suggest that, despite Hillary’s disclaimers, those materials were classified at the time those e-mails were sent.
The Washington Examiner’s Sarah Westwood took a deeper look at the redactions from State, and discovered that these were no fluke. The redactions involve high-level diplomatic discussions, embassy security issues, and even one about the travels of Jim Webb, who is now her opponent for the Democratic presidential nomination. Furthermore, Westwood notes that Hillary wrote some of those e-mails herself:
Despite her campaign’s claims that Clinton was simply a “passive recipient” of classified information, a review of her emails indicates she wrote messages that are now classified.
For example, in July 2009, she discussed relations with Russia and Afghanistan with then-Deputy Secretary William Burns in an email that has been partially classified. She also discussed her travel plans with Burns over the private network.
Another exchange drips with irony. Eric Boswell ended up as a scapegoat for the failure of State to adequately protect the consulate in Benghazi, thanks in large part to the so-called Accountability Review Board that magically decided that no one at the political appointment level should be accountable for this failure. Boswell had raised security issues at other embassies in a meeting three years earlier, raising the kind of vulnerabilities that State would not want out in public. And yet, Huma Abedin passed them along through an unencrypted, unsecured server to Hillary:
Huma Abedin, Clinton’s former deputy chief of staff, forwarded a summary of a high-level Sept. 2009 meeting to Clinton in which she detailed the “embassy security issues” that were discussed.
The issues had been raised by Eric Boswell, a diplomatic security official who was later forced to resign in the wake of the 2012 terror attack in Benghazi.
Here’s the classification note added to the page under the redactions:
Declassification dates are set for 10 years after material is first classified. The e-mail was created and sent by Daniel Smith to Abedin, Cheryl Mills, and Jake Sullivan on September 21, 2009, and forwarded two minutes later by Abedin to Hillary Clinton. The declassify date of 9/21/2019 shows that State considered this information classified at that time — as well it should, since it disclosed embassy security gaps and vulnerabilities. Only an idiot would send something like that in the open, and yet that’s exactly what happened.
The exchange noted by Westwood where Hillary sent classified data is perhaps a bit more comical. Now-retired Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns sent Hillary an e-mail with data that was classified during the review of her cache. Burns apparently sent it on a web-based e-mail service, because the footer has an ad for Free Credit Report. An Excellent Credit Score is 750. See Yours in Just 2 Easy Steps! Clearly, this is not a secure method of communications, and yet Hillary replies to it while also tossing in sensitive information, now classified, as an afterthought at the end of the reply.
There is no other way to describe this than willful disregard of laws and protocols pertaining to national security protections. The materials exposed here might be more sensitive and potentially dangerous than some of the Wikileaks material exposed by Bradley Manning, especially for diplomatic security. And yet, Hillary Clinton wants to run for the office which carries the ultimate responsibility for enforcing those laws and securing the nation’s sensitive data.