With last night’s release from the State Department, about two-thirds of the e-mails turned over by Hillary Clinton have now been made public. That is, their headers have all been made public, but almost a thousand of them have had redactions to keep classified material from becoming public. State released another 7800 pages last night, including 328 e-mails that contained classified information, bringing the latter total to 999 overall:
The documents released today are mostly from 2012 and 2013, but include others that span her tenure as Secretary of State. The State Department has not been able to release the email in chronological order because much of it had to be set aside to be reviewed by other government agencies. Officials say many of those pages of email that have been held up were in today’s release.
One email from November 2010, titled “Follw up,” was just recently cleared by the Director of National Intelligence and deemed unclassified. The DNI had previously made public its decision to flag that email for further review. Although the content of the email was unknown until today — it was a discussion between a New York Times reporter and a spokesperson at the State Department — it and others still under scrutiny by government agencies have been seized upon by those critical of Clinton’s use of a private email server.
Ultimately this email was not deemed classified, but many other have been. A State Department official tells ABC News that in this release alone 328 documents were upgraded to a classified level, meaning that they were redacted and are unavailable for public review. So far 999 have been graded as classified.
Give credit to ABC News, which bothered to look through the paperwork and count up the redacted messages. The New York Times somehow overlooked that in their report. Their big lead? One e-mail didn’t get classified:
A trove of Hillary Clinton’s emails released by the State Department on Monday shows efforts by aides to solicit advice for a concussion she sustained in 2012 and illustrates Mrs. Clinton’s personal difficulty with technology. The department also made public one email after rejecting concerns from an inspector general that it contained classified information.
That email, released along with 7,800 pages of messages that Mrs. Clinton sent and received when she was secretary of state, was an exchange between P. J. Crowley, at the time a State Department spokesman, and Scott Shane, a reporter for The New York Times, concerning decisions the newspaper had made about publishing information from government documents it had obtained from WikiLeaks.
Not once in the NYT’s account do they mention that any of the messages in this trove contained classified information. The only e-mail that they discuss in regard to classification is the one which State Department overruled the IG. The article does, however, report on Hillary’s television viewing habits, her goal of visiting over 100 countries, and the concern over her “cracked head.” In the last paragraph, the report finally gets around to mentioning the redactions, but curiously fails to explain what they mean:
Many of the emails released on Monday were heavily redacted, providing only tantalizing hints of what was being discussed. One exchange between Mrs. Clinton and Huma Abedin, a close aide, had the subject line “Koch,” an apparent reference to either David H. or Charles G. Koch, the billionaire brothers who have helped finance conservative causes. Other than the subject, the entire email was redacted.
Er … could it not be more likely a reference to Michael Koch, the German special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan? It would make a lot more sense to classify or at least redact a discussion of security concerns in the Af-Pak theater than some gossip about the political activism of the two conservo-libertarian billionaires. (Although if it really is the latter, that raises all sorts of other questions.) Either way, the Times’ normally adept Michael Schmidt fails to explain that the redactions relate to classified information that never should have been sent through the unsecured and unauthorized e-mail server in the first place.
And that is the point. Hillary set up the e-mail server to hide her communications from legitimate oversight by Congress and the courts, especially through the FOIA process. Her aides, and possibly Hillary herself, converted classified information from other systems and sensitive diplomatic communications that have always been treated as classified, and transmitted them through Hillary’s unauthorized communications system. Those are felonies, and under any other circumstances would result in aggressive prosecution — especially when it has happened 999 times so far.