2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, as seen in this March 10 Associated Press report, has claimed for several months that "No Classified Material (was) Sent via Her Personal Emails" from a home-based server she said "would remain private."
That claim, like so many other representations Mrs. Clinton has made, fell apart earlier this week, when, as Fox News reported, it was learned that Mrs. Clinton "used her personal email account to handle high level negotiations in 2011 for a no-fly zone to help topple Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi." Only Fox considers this a story. Apparently, the fact that icky Fox has reported it means that no one else in the establishment wants to. Video and the Fox story follow the jump.
First the video, featuring the network's Catherine Herridge:
Herridge's final point in the video, which is not emphasized in the story excerpts which follow, is that the emails were of the type others who shouldn't see them would love to get their hands on:
These emails deal with a military operation as well as administration strategy. Current and former government officials say that is the most valuable information a foreign intelligence service could steal.
Here are excerpts from the accompanying story (bolds are mine):
Documents challenge Clinton claim no classified intel on personal emails
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used her personal email account to handle high level negotiations in 2011 for a no-fly zone to help topple Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi, according to a series of emails obtained by Fox News, challenging her claim the private server did not hold classified information.
The emails, linked here, conflict with Clinton's statement that she did not put national security at risk by using a personal account.
"I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material," Clinton, now a candidate for president, told reporters in March. "I'm certainly well-aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material."
That claim was hard to test because emails released by the State Department are heavily blacked out. But an email chain from March 23, 2011 -- with virtually no redactions -- shows a message for senior administration staff including then Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough, then-Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Michele Flournoy among others. It goes point by point, explaining what Turkey, France and Britain will likely accept in the deal.
"I think the information in the email is clearly classified. If I were engaged in the negotiation on that subject reporting back to Washington, my reporting cable would be classified," former UN Ambassador and Fox News contributor John Bolton said after reading the un-redacted emails.
... While the first email in the chain is marked "UNCLASSIFIED," based on his experience as ambassador to the UN, Bolton said he suspects a lot of intelligence was pushed out as unclassified to accommodate her separate, private system.
"It's not simply the effect on Secretary Clinton's own email. It's pervasive throughout the higher levels of the department, which simply magnifies the risk." Bolton added.
So Mrs. Clinton's defense at this point would appear to be, "It was unclassified because I said so, and I get to define it." Without getting into a dissertation, if the military is involved, as it would be in a no-fly zone discussion, that isn't so. Bolton's final point is also important, as Mrs. Clinton's treatment may well have influenced others to be arbitrary about what they would and would not consider classified, erring on the side of not classifying things which should have been.
A search at the Associated Press's main national site on "Clinton classified" (not in quotes) returns nothing recent, only a now-dead link) to the article noted at the beginning of this post, which was found elsewhere.
A Google News search on "hillary clinton classified" (going to the "explore in depth" link) returns only the Fox News story and item posted at Townhall.com shortly before this post was completed.
The press obsessed over an alleged national security breach which wasn't involving one person during the Bush administration. But it doesn't care about Hillary Clinton's now-apparent national security recklessness, either because the report came from Fox and it doesn't count, because covering for Mrs. Clinton until she wins the White House is Priority 1 — or both.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.