This Reuters exclusive provides a look at some of the consequences of secrecy, and of arrogance. Under normal circumstances, archival decisions could be made on an ongoing basis, with resource planning easy to achieve. The labor necessary for the occasional FOIA request can be applied by balancing out a few other priorities, or borrowing from a unit experiencing a little more slack. Thanks to the long-delayed data dump and the large backlog of FOIA cases in which the State Department misrepresented the record due to Hillary Clinton’s hidden e-mail system, State has to find a lot of manpower fast in order to comply with a multitude of court orders.
Remember, when you read this, that Hillary insisted that the secret-server system was more convenient:
The U.S. State Department plans to move about 50 workers into temporary jobs to bolster the office sifting through Hillary Clinton’s emails and grappling with a vast backlog of other requests for information to be declassified, officials said on Tuesday.
The move illustrates the huge administrative burden caused by Clinton’s decision to use a private email address for official communications as secretary of state and a judge’s ruling in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit that they be released. …
The extra staff will not work on the monthly, court-ordered release of Clinton emails, which are being handled by about 20 permanent, and 30 part-time, workers, officials said. The new staff will fill in for those workers and may also handle other Clinton FOIA requests.
This doesn’t take into account the necessary labor from the intelligence community to check on the information in the unsecured and unauthorized system. One can’t just call the local temp agency to get fill-in labor to make up those resources, nor for that matter can State, for the same reasons. Pulling knowledgeable analysts into a SCIF to review this information necessarily means they are putting other priorities on hold. I wonder what those might be, in an age of terror. Seems rather inconvenient for the United States, no?
But hey, it was convenient for Hillary Clinton, so it’s all good. Right?
All of this will presumably fall under the direction of State’s new “transparency czar,” Ambassador Janice Jacobs, whose impartiality came under serious question when her maximum donation to Team Hillary emerged yesterday. Today, State spokesman John Kirby defended the choice:
Republicans were quick to point out on Tuesday that Ambassador Janice Jacobs, the State Department’s new transparency coordinator, had maxed out her donation to Clinton.
Jacobs, who retired in April 2014, donated $2,700 to Clinton’s Democratic presidential campaign this past June, according to Federal Election Commission records. …
“It’s not relevant. There’s no prohibition against doing that kind of thing,” State Department Spokesman John Kirby said on “Fox & Friends.”
“She did it when she was retired. More importantly, she’s the right person for this job, because of the experience that she has,” Kirby added.
Gee, that sounds like it comes straight from Hillary’s litany of excuses, doesn’t it? No one said it was illegal for Jacobs to donate the maximum amount to Team Hillary, but … doesn’t State have anyone who hasn’t invested in Hillary for President to do this job? Anyone at all who’s track record doesn’t indicate a conflict of interest in ensuring that the job gets done properly and thoroughly? Kirby’s answer makes the bar for clearing this job title look pretty darned low — and the State Department’s interest in accountability look even lower. How convenient.