While this is a remarkable article, and I want to commend it as a whole, especially your point about the banality of the emails, and how much energy is spent discussing the picayune details of the appearance of what we say rather than what we actually accomplish. [1] Nonetheless, I have to disagree with your stated conclusion that the head of a security agency should not community from an unsecured channel.

The State Department is not a Security Agency

First, the State Department is not a security agency. God forbid that it should ever be. It deals in secrets, but it should never be an agency about secrecy. That’s the job of the NSA, and CIA. So Hillary Clinton was never the head of a security agency, and her communications were never all supposed to be secured or secret. That was the source of the problem to start with. This fact alone undermines your conclusion that her emails are of any interest to the public.

Second, it has been argued that state department, and other officials are required by law to keep two separate servers to make sure their secret and public communications don’t overlap. (See the Newsweek article below). Thus, Hillary was right to suggest that she did nothing that Powell and Rice didn’t do before her.

Third, you completely equivocated the emails you released. You released the wiki-leaks emails, as I best I could tell from looking at the emails in your article, which were never the the subject of the state department investigation. But even the state department emails were, as the FBI admitted, never secret. Even the emails Comey said he believed should have been classified secret, other state department officials had decided were not.

And this is the problem with classification.

Much of the discussion about whether or not documents were secret revolved around the reference to drone technology. As we know, the CIA will probably extend the classification of “secret” to any document that references the existence of “drones” whether or not it discloses any technical data that would truly disclose information that isn’t already online or in the public domain. [2]

I had the great fortune, much to the chagrin of my many faculty advisors, to never be able to fixate on a single field for my major in college, and thus graduated with a double major in philosophy and lit, and ended up unemployable in two fields, which allowed me to work in advertising, education, publishing, the arts, politics, and fundraising. (I even worked for an intelligence gathering organization for a year but this is all I can tell you.)

The Tunnel Syndome

This broad perspective taught me how easy it is to develop tunnel vision. From a security perspective, I’m sure Hillary did pose a threat. But Hillary did not serve in a security position, as much as security experts would like to make the State Department into one. The State Department’s job is to open the United States to other countries, welcome their overtures and make overtures, negotiate and listen.

They coordinate with security experts, they listen to their concerns, and sometimes they ignore them for the sake of the country. Just like the President does. It drives the security experts crazy. And because Republicans leans toward the security paradigm, it drives Republicans crazy. But that’s political life.

If anything, your cloud should make us proud we live in a society where we can still look into the practices of government and relax in the knowledge they aren’t coming for our families because we say things like, “Lock her up.”

— — — — — — — — — — — -

[1]Which matches my own experience of the emails of the five years with an educational non-profit and why, when I finally returned to teaching at a community college, I simply ceased to check my email except for communications from my Dean, my department head and a few trusted colleagues.

[2]You may recall the furor over Hillary Clinton “revealing” the four minute launch window for nukes in one of the debates, when in fact that information has been in the public domain for years.

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