One of the weirdest moments in today’s House committee hearing came when Hillary Clinton testified that she did not have a computer in her State Department office:
If you were to be in my office in the State Department, I didn’t have a computer, I did not do the vast is majority of the work on my e-mail.
Whoa. So the Secretary of State’s office is one of the last in the world that contains no computer. This was so strange that a reporter asked about it during today’s State Department briefing by Mark Toner:
QUESTION: Secretary Clinton speaks of not having a computer at the State Department. Is that an unusual thing, for the Secretary to not have a computer within their [sic] office at the State Department?
Good question! Toner bobs and weaves. Computers are such a new technology, apparently, that it’s hard to say:
MR TONER: It’s – I mean, unusual – I mean, look. I mean, we’ve only had – email’s a relatively new beast, shall we say, and – or a new creation. And so I think each secretary’s a little bit different in how they get information. And certainly that evolves as technology is developed over time. And frankly, it’s one of the more central aspects of the whole email FOIA requests that we talk about a lot, which is – as we developed along these – and get a clear understanding of how secretaries are communicating and how that’s changing with technology, that it raises all kinds of questions that we’re trying to deal with in terms of record keeping and that kind of thing.
So I’m not – it’s hard for me to say whether that’s unusual. There’s – I would have to refer you to previous secretaries.
In other words: it is totally bizarre.
Ironically, given how inept the U.S. government is with regard to cybersecurity, there may be an argument for not conducting official business via computer or over the internet. Perhaps high-ranking government officials should confine their communications to typed documents, walks in parks, and briefcase-drops, as in spy movies.
But of course, that isn’t what Hillary did. She had a computer, she was on the internet, she used email. Just not in her office and not using the government system, which was at least semi-secure. Rather, she had her own incompetent home-brew arrangement that was a virtual invitation to invasion by hostile powers. A home-brew system, moreover, for which Sid Vicious had the address, but Chris Stevens didn’t. Which shows Hillary’s priorities.
Given her detachment from official means of communication, one wonders whether Hillary was ever really Secretary of State at all. Did she make any decisions? If so, what were they? We know that she plotted politically to make the overthrow of Qaddafi the centerpiece of her tenure at State, but we only know this because of her enraptured, off-the-record correspondence with Sidney Blumenthal and other sycophants.
If she ever had a strategy, if she ever engaged in diplomacy, if she ever made a decision, it seems to have left no trace. Maybe she didn’t need a State Department computer because she was never really Secretary of State at all. Maybe she thought the position was honorary, like being First Lady. Just one more rung on her ladder to the top. All she had to do was fly around on airplanes for photo-ops. The tragedy is that four Americans paid with their lives for Hillary Clinton’s incompetence and fecklessness, and all of us have suffered from the lack of an effective foreign policy during the last seven years.