Emails Ad Nauseum

The current tally of emails to, from or about Hillary Clinton that have been made public:

December, 2014: As the result of FOIA requests and demands by the Republican Party, 55,000 pages of 33,000 emails from Clinton's server were turned over to the State Department and ultimately made public.

July, 2016: 19,000 emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) hacked and released by Wikileaks.

August, 2016: Judicial Watch lawsuits demands State search its servers for emails to or from Clinton. Judicial Watch receives and releases 296 pages of emails to or from the State Department, 44 of which it says were not previously released.

October, 2016: 12,000 emails stolen from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta's account.

One objection to Secretary Clinton using a private server is that it was less secure and therefore vulnerable to hostile prying. This makes sense, even though so many others did the same, beginning with Clinton's predecessor Colin Powell. But what do we know about the actual security of Clinton's email system?

October, 2014: Hackers accessed the White House servers.

November, 2014: Hackers broke into the State Department servers

September, 2016: Hackers broke into 500 million Yahoo accounts
Today: Still no evidence that any of Secretary Clinton's emails were hacked, though Podesta's gmail account indeed was.

So unless and until we find that hackers did get information from her account, that argument falls flat, particularly since the State Department's server was indeed broken into.

Each new release engenders "aha!" articles in the press, purportedly proving some misdeed on the part of Clinton or her advisors. Headlines are lurid, though -- if you bother to read them -- actual details don't support the broad accusations. As an example, this week we read about an attempted quid pro quo between the State Department and the FBI over classification of some emails. It appeared the State Department might be involved in some cover-up for Secretary Clinton. Yet this morning, we learn that the arrangement originated not with State, but with the FBI, and was withdrawn once the agent learned whose communication was involved. 

This is the pattern we've seen. First a charge that Clinton swapped uranium mining licenses to a Russian firm in exchange for a large donation to the Clinton Foundation. Whoops, actually the State Department was only one of many agencies from both Canada and the US that signed off on the deal. Next a charge from the Associated Press that fully half of Clinton's meetings while Secretary of State were with donors to the family's foundation. Whoops, turns out that was not just wrong but a huge embarrassment for the AP. 

The reality is that the campaign does normal strategizing and brainstorming and that Secretary of State Clinton wrote only very short dull emails (as she was typing them all on her Blackberry). With all the partisan charges that she's guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors, wouldn't you expect that somewhere in the 64,000 secret communications made public recently, there'd be at least a shred of evidence?

What does not happen, what I've seen nowhere in the media nor from those I follow on social media, is a question about why snooping into Clinton's correspondence is perfectly legitimate, yet no one seems to demand the same from any other politician.

  • When did you last see Donald Trump's, Gary Johnson's, or Jill Stein's communications stolen and publicized?
  • Where are Barack Obama's and George W. Bush's? Oh yeah, Bush's staff deleted 5,000,000 of them in 2007 that were housed on the RNC's servers after receiving a subpoena
  • Where are John Kerry's, Colin Powell's and Condoleeza Rice's?
  • Where are Paul Ryan's, Mitch McConnell's, and others in Congress?
  • Where are the private communications from Supreme Court justices?

I think the big question here is: Why should we get to snoop around Hillary Clinton's correspondence but we don't seem to have the same prurient interest in anyone else's? And what does it say for our 4th Amendment Right to Privacy that we indulge this invasion?