11 Mar Hillary's Email Fiasco
Another Clinton scandal has ensued and its something, I’m sure, everyone has heard about over the last week. Unfortunately, this is real life and there is no Olivia Pope and team of “gladiators” to make it go away. The New York Times published an article on Monday, March 2, written by Michael Schmidt titled, “Hillary Clinton Used Personal Email Account at State Dept., Possibly Breaking Rules.” The article went on to create huge media coverage about how Clinton used her personal email account to conduct government business during her time at the State Department as Secretary of State. In a podcast posted this week by OnTheMedia.org, Thomas Blanton, director of the National Security Archive at George Washington University, gave his input regarding the situation based on his expertise. He also says how a reporter from the New York Times spotted him driving on the New Jersey Turnpike and he wound up pulling over to talk to the reporter. How on earth did that reporter actually notice this man and get him to pull over at a gas station on the turnpike? Really weird. Anyway, On The Media and Blanton went on to discuss the “intense interest” around this headline and how many see Clinton’s act as a complete disregard for public records rules. The biggest question is did she or did she not break the law? Blanton’s response to that question was “yes and no.” Hillary said that she emailed the various recipients of her emails on their government accounts with the expectation that those emails would be retained. According to Blanton, this excuse does hold some water but not enough. According to Blanton, emails sent by Clinton should have easily been found on her government emails server and officials shouldn’t be relegated to finding copies of them on the recipients’ email servers. Although those copies exist on the recipients’ servers, it doesn’t meet Clinton’s responsibilities under the law. To her defense, The Federal Records Act, ratified in 1950, did not specifically reference digital communication, however, any records pertaining to historic or government administrative importance must be archived and recorded – no matter what the medium is. Clinton’s defense offered by her spokespeople is that she was following what her high-standing predecessors had done, meaning Colin Powell. Blanton points out that even though that is the case, if Powell was planning on running for President in 2008, he most likely would have made sure he was properly sending and receiving emails through his government account, because that is what is supposed to be done. All-in-all, this issue has been going on across the government and it may just be that the press likes taking jabs at the Clinton’s or that there is newsworthy information in her emails. Clinton tweeted that she asked the State Department to release her emails and that she wants the public to see them, which we will, except not until they have reviewed them, which could take months. Blanton thinks that this is the wake up call that the government is behind the curve of a solid public record system and that it comes down to saving history. What I don’t understand is why any government official would not want to use their professional, secure government email account to conduct business pertaining to the government? It doesn’t make sense to me at all that Clinton or Powell or any other government employee would use their personal email for government business, especially because it comes down to saving history and archiving historic documents. Plus, those emails may contain information that puts national security at risk. I think this really hurts Clinton in regards to her running for the 2016 Presidency. She has yet to formally announce if she is running or not and I wonder if she’ll go through with her campaign if she was intending to run.