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posted by janrinok on Wednesday March 04 2015, @12:07PM   Printer-friendly
from the one-rule-for-them dept.

The NY Times reports that Hillary Rodham Clinton exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state, according to State Department officials. She may have violated federal requirements that officials' correspondence be retained as part of the agency's record.

Clinton did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department. Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act. "It is very difficult to conceive of a scenario — short of nuclear winter — where an agency would be justified in allowing its cabinet-level head officer to solely use a private email communications channel for the conduct of government business," said attorney Jason R. Baron. A spokesman for Clinton defended her use of the personal email account and said she has been complying with the "letter and spirit of the rules."

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  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday March 04 2015, @01:06PM

    by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 04 2015, @01:06PM (#152998) Journal

    They let Karl Rove get away with it under Bush, so why not let Hillary get away with it now? Laws are just damn pieces of paper, after all. Unless you're not in the 1%. Then they must be followed to the letter.

    Washington DC delenda est.
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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Thexalon on Wednesday March 04 2015, @03:40PM

    by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday March 04 2015, @03:40PM (#153077)

    At this point, the US has approximately a 5-tiered "justice" system:

    - Poor non-white people: Can be summarily executed for any reason or no reason.

    - Poor white people: Will be jailed if they do anything that hurts anyone.

    - Middle class people: Will get in trouble if they do anything that really causes a problem, but immune to many laws such as petty traffic offenses.

    - Politicians, popular entertainers, lower-level business folks: Immune to most laws, unless they piss off somebody more powerful than themselves.

    - Upper-class business folks: Immune to practically all laws. Yes, including murder - there's a case where a business owner ran somebody over in their car and the local authorities refused to prosecute on the grounds that jailing him would cause too many people to lose their jobs.

    Alcohol makes the world go round ... and round and round.
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 04 2015, @03:57PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 04 2015, @03:57PM (#153095)

      The most practical definition of power is immunity from consequences.
      The more powerful you are, the more severe the consequences you can make go away by applying that power.

      Rule of law is supposed to prevent that, but it is a human institution and thus is subject to the application of power itself. The stronger the rule of law, the more power that must be applied to escape it. That's the best we can realistically hope for.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by khallow on Wednesday March 04 2015, @04:00PM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 04 2015, @04:00PM (#153096) Journal

      there's a case where a business owner ran somebody over in their car and the local authorities refused to prosecute on the grounds that jailing him would cause too many people to lose their jobs

      Sounds like quite a story. Who is this?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 04 2015, @04:13PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 04 2015, @04:13PM (#153103)

    Let's see when congress demands to see those emails, if they'll end up in the same bit bucket that Rove's did (by the way, they're laying right on top of spool of eighteen and a half minutes of blank tape):

    From 2007:

    A lawyer for the Republican National Committee told congressional staff members yesterday that the RNC is missing at least four years' worth of e-mail from White House senior adviser Karl Rove that is being sought as part of investigations into the Bush administration, according to the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

    GOP officials took issue with Rep. Henry Waxman's account of the briefing and said they still hope to find the e-mail as they conduct forensic work on their computer equipment. But they acknowledged that they took action to prevent Rove -- and Rove alone among the two dozen or so White House officials with RNC accounts -- from deleting his e-mails from the RNC server. Waxman (D-Calif.) said he was told the RNC made that move in 2005.

  • (Score: 1) by tranquilidad on Thursday March 05 2015, @02:25AM

    by tranquilidad (1478) on Thursday March 05 2015, @02:25AM (#153345)

    The reason the law was recently changed was because of a conflict members of the White House face. It is a violation of federal law (the Hatch Act) to use governmental resources for campaigning. Once governmental email fell under the umbrella of "resources" then employees had to, for their own legal protection, be sure that any correspondence that related to campaigning in any way didn't touch a governmental server.

    Karl Rove had a number of roles including being Bush's chief campaign advisor. I would expect that he would be sending a lot of emails from his personal account in order to avoid the Hatch act. The emails that Ms. Clinton railed against in 2007 were campaign-related emails.

    The law was clarified in 2013 to help remove some of the difficulty with adhering to both the Hatch Act and the Federal Records Act.

    Ms. Clinton has much deeper issues with the content of her email and she faces the same issues that caused Petraeus to recently plead guilty - it is a violation of federal law to remove classified information from government control. It's hard to imagine that in her 55,000 emails she had no classified information.

    • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Thursday March 05 2015, @03:16AM

      by jmorris (4844) on Thursday March 05 2015, @03:16AM (#153360)

      Now consider that they now claim she had no official email account and classified info is certain to be on that server somewhere. Evidence now indicates Dubai is involved in the chain of fronts she hid the service behind. If thee or me builds a private email server it is likely to be safer (by far) than using gmail. But HRC isn't thee or me, she was the Secretary of State and Heir Apparent to the throne. Do you trust the campaign lackey who was tasked with building and maintaining her private mail server to be able to build a system that can withstand intrusion attempts by nation state actors?

      Whether the servers at the State Department are any safer (Microsoft Exchange? Really?) is of course a different topic, but at least professional information tech and security people are putting in a serious effort.

      • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Thursday March 05 2015, @02:06PM

        by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 05 2015, @02:06PM (#153497) Journal

        Yes it's highly doubtful her email server is properly secured. I led her husband's digital for two years while she was Secretary of State and can tell you the IT dept was not top-tier; but I don't recognize the name of the person the press reports associated with her email server; that means it's one of their "Friends of Bill." "Friends of Bill" include everyone from Chris Ruddy, the extreme right-wing owner of NewsMax, to Rupert Murdoch, to quasi-totalitarian leaders from around the world. Keep that in mind when wondering how secure an email server set up by such a "friend" could be.

        I can also tell you for a fact that Hillary was an avid fan of tech, vastly more so than Bill, because after Obama used it to beat her for the nomination last time she woke up to its power as a tool. She did everything online and with social media, so she definitely conducted all her State Department business through that email account. And, being a lawyer, of course she did that to hide her record as Secretary of State in preparation for another run for the White House.

        That, though, is not her sole doing. It's part of a growing trend within government to over-classify and hide the people's business from the people. Take the TPP trade treaty being negotiated in secret right now. Even Congress (as if they represented anyone but their corporate, Wall-Street buddies, but still...) has not been allowed to see what they are being asked to vote on. Consider that--they're being asked to vote on a vast trade agreement sight unseen. But it's become a pandemic among politicians individually as well. Bush and Cheney successfully hid much of their records after leaving office.

        Washington DC delenda est.