Sarah Westwood of the Washington Examiner reports that “Hillary Clinton’s classified emails contain discussions of conversations with foreign diplomats, issues with embassy security, and relations with countries from Russia to China.” Embassy security. I seem to recall hearing about this issue before.
The issue arose in Clinton’s emails via a summary that Huma Abedin, Clinton’s former deputy chief of staff, forwarded to Clinton of a high-level 2009 meeting about “embassy security issues.” The “issues,” presumably concerns, had been raised by Eric Boswell, a diplomatic security official. Ironically, Boswell was later forced to resign in the wake of the 2012 terror attack in Benghazi.
A memo regarding “embassy security issues” is among the most sensitive information a Secretary of State handles — as Clinton was reminded by the Benghazi attack. By transmitting such information on a private, unsecured email server, Clinton increased the likelihood that those who wish us harm would learn about problems with embassy security.
This was the height of irresponsibility. And the connection between Hillary’s email scandal and Benghazi represents a new blow to Clinton’s candidacy — one that won’t be lost on Joe Biden.
Team Clinton would like us to believe that Hillary was simply a passive recipient of emails containing information that subsequently was deemed “classified.” But Westwood reports that she also sent such emails:
For example, in July 2009, she discussed relations with Russia and Afghanistan with then-Deputy Secretary William Burns in an email that has been partially classified. She also discussed her travel plans with Burns over the private network.
Clinton knew or should have known that the Secretary of State’s confidential views about relations with Russia and Afghanistan were classification-worthy. This was some of the same subject matter the revelation of which through WikiLeaks caused so much consternation and, indeed, damage.
The emails reviewed by Westwood strongly suggest that foreign leaders knew about Clinton’s private email set-up. In November 2009, an aide to David Miliband, then Britain’s equivalent of Secretary of State, sent Abedin a classified note. Abedin passed the note to Clinton, saying it was information Miliband “doesn’t want to send through the system.”
If officials of foreign governments knew that Clinton had her own private email system, the risk of her system being hacked — whether by an ally or an adversary who learned of the system by spying on an ally — was all the greater. And Clinton warned of the inherent risk of a private email system being hacked.
I called this post “What Hillary’s classified emails discussed.” With thousands of Clinton emails yet to be made public, the question going forward will be “What else did Hillary’s classified emails discuss?”