I’m tempted to use the Eric “Otter” Stratton explanation from Animal House in response to Joe Scarborough’s question, but that might be somewhat unfair. The FBI didn’t know that Top Secret/compartmented information was out in the open until so informed by the intel community Inspectors General last month, and the IGs didn’t know because the State Department had pushed them to the margins on their investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server. And let’s not forget that State wasn’t telling anyone about Hillary’s exclusive use of the secret e-mail system until the House Select Committee on Benghazi found out about it a year ago, not even federal courts when challenged on FOIA requests.
In other words, right rant — but probably wrong agency, although Scarborough does mention State in passing:
SCARBOROUGH: There was classified information on the server! There was classified information on the thumb drive! Why was this a voluntary exercise for six months? Why — where were you, FBI? Where were you, Justice Department? Where were you, State Department? You had classified information outside your control. A private citizen had classified information — you had no idea what was out there. And you did nothing for six months, and allowed a citizen to decide whether classified information was going to be taken over or not? Explain that to Americans. You need to explain that to Americans, because somebody is being political and possibly endangering America’s national security.
But it wasn’t a citizen … it was American royalty, the Clintons. At least, that’s how the Clintons see themselves, or the e-mail server would never have existed in the first place. The fault here belongs to the State Department under John Kerry, which should have disclosed this ASAP, especially in the context of FOIA demands that had been evaded due to Hillary’s secret server use, and the White House. Obama appointed her as Secretary of State, which makes her his organizational responsibility.
For that matter, why did it take an extra six months after the Benghazi committee discovered this use for the truth to come out? That technically wasn’t the duty of the committee, but of the State Department and the White House. It’s the executive branch’s responsibility to secure classified material, and to secure their communications for proper archival. This probe should have started a year ago, not six months ago.
In my previous post, I noted that Hillary treated the whole issue as a punch line in Iowa. Mark Halperin was not impressed, and neither was the crowd around him:
HALPERIN: Look, I agree with you on the substance on this stuff, on the politics. In Iowa, when she told that joke, there were people around me who gasped, because it’s not a joking matter for a lot of people. She said here at the fair when she had a press availability, real voters don’t talk to her about this, they never bring it up to her. Well, you know what, Joe? Real people never bring up to me that I need to lose some weight. They never tell me that [laughter]. They might talk about it to other people, but they never say it to me. I will tell you, here in Iowa, talking to people at the fair, talking to elite Democrats, they bring her e-mails up to me.
Hillary might get a few laughs from her true believers, but yukking it up over her evasion of the Federal Records Act, FOIA demands, Congressional oversight, and potentially catastrophic national-security lapses won’t win her any converts. It will just underscore her claims to entitlement, and the increasingly obvious disconnect between the Clintons and the little people they demand to rule … er, govern.
America Rising PAC has a new web spot called “Failed Leadership” focusing on Hillary Clinton’s serial dodging on the e-mail scandal:
Update: Allahpundit e-mailed me an update from the Washington Times on the count of e-mails flagged for potentially classified material found in the Hillary Clinton trove. It’s now gone over 300 e-mails out of 6,000 reviewed, for a failure rate of 5%:
More than 300 of former Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton’s emails — or 5.1 percent of those processed so far — have been flagged for potential secret information, the State Department reported to a federal court Monday.
Officials insisted, however, that the screening process is running smoothly and they are back on track after falling behind a judge’s schedule for making all of the emails public.
The reviewers have screened about 20 percent of the 30,000 emails Mrs. Clinton returned to the department, which means if the rate of potentially secret information remains steady, more than 1,500 messages will have to be sent to intelligence community agencies, known in government as “IC,” to screen out classified information.
“Out of a sample of approximately 20% of the Clinton emails, the IC reviewers have only recommended 305 documents — approximately 5.1% — for referral to their agencies for consultation,” the Obama administration said in new court papers.
If the FBI gets its hands on a backup copy of the complete server, it will be interesting to see what the failure rate was for e-mails that Hillary and her team deleted before handing the rest to State in printed form.
— Jeryl Bier (@JerylBier) August 17, 2015