Tag Archives: scandal

Actual Harm vs. Hypothetical Harm – Secretary Clinton’s Emails

I can’t with this dress.

The focus of criticism in the entire scandal surrounding Hillary Clinton’s exclusive (and totally legal) use of personal email while she served as Secretary of State is, like most political scandals, centered around Hype. Here, it’s hyped up concerns of hypothetical breaches in security and/or loss of hypothetical emails that would be relevant to a hyped up investigation (Benghazi) that has failed to uncover anything remotely nefarious perpetrated by Clinton or the Administration.

But there is nary a peep from anyone about the ACTUAL law that is being, if not broken, then certainly not followed – the Freedom of Information Act. FOIA, and Sunshine Laws like it, are designed to allow the public (and particularly our Fourth Estate, our independent news media) unfettered access to the documented dealings of our taxpayer funded public servants – our government – unless there is a specific exemption that would preclude the disclosure of such information. Such exemptions (in other situations known as “privileges”, like the attorney-client privilege which exempts communications between counsel and client from disclosure) include if material is classified for security reasons, or violate legitimate proprietary concerns of non-governmental entities. And reviewing the documents can take time, especially considering how much documentation (includes email) is generated everyday.

BUT NOT FIVE FUCKING YEARS AND LONGER as it has taken the State Department to (still not) comply with requests submitted by the Associated Press (AP) for disclosure of Secretary Clinton’s email.

“A few months ago, the Treasury Department sent us 237 pages in its latest response to our requests regarding Iran trade sanctions. Nearly all 237 pages were completely blacked out, on the basis that they contained businesses’ trade secrets. When was our request? Nine years ago.

“It takes the State Department about 18 months to answer — or refuse to answer — anything other than a simple request. This week we filed a lawsuit against the department for failing to turn over files covering Hillary Rodham Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, including one request we made five full years ago.”

This stonewalling and utter failure to promptly (or even in good faith) respond to FOIA requests is the most troubling issue raised by the whole Clinton email thing. Everything else consists of vague and hyperbolic concerns of things that have no basis other than in the bedroom fantasies of anti-Clinton operatives (which do not consist merely of GOP strategists).