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Why Hillary's Email Scandal Matters

Hardly a day goes by when another bombshell doesn't go off in the media showing just how terribly Hillary Clinton, as President Obama's Secretary of State, managed communications security. By now, we have a damningly-detailed portrait of someone whose mishandling of our nation’s secrets, by herself and her staff, could not do otherwise than appall anyone familiar with such things. EmailGate isn’t going anywhere, no matter how much Mrs. Clinton’s supporters would wish it to.

The number of “unclassified” emails that turn out to be classified, some of which flitted through Ms. Clinton’s unencrypted server of bathroom fame, has risen above 1,300 and could very well go higher.

The scope and importance of the scandal should matter to everyone -- not just conservatives or Republicans. Over at The Observer, liberal opinion columnist John R. Schindler fully realizes this, and has written an invaluable article on it.

Some excerpts from Schindler's piece:

We’ve since learned Ms. Clinton’s “unclassified” emails also included Top Secret information from the Central Intelligence Agency, including espionage from a compartmented Special Access Program. SAPs, as they are called in the Intelligence Community, represent “crown jewel” information. Even for holders of Top Secret Codeword clearances, the highest in the U.S. Government, access to SAPs requires special permissions, on a strict need-to-know basis.

Just what a sinkhole of secrets the Secretary of State’s office was during President Obama’s first term, when Ms. Clinton occupied that chair, is frighteningly apparent.

How such highly classified information from both NSA and CIA wound up in Ms. Clinton’s personal email is a messy question that the FBI is currently unravelling. Don’t expect pretty answers. That her staff at Foggy Bottom treated classification as a nuisance is already apparent, and such guidance, which was flagrantly illegal, could only have come from “the boss.”

Just what a sinkhole of secrets the Secretary of State’s office was during President Obama’s first term, when Ms. Clinton occupied that chair, is frighteningly apparent. Allegations are swirling that her staff systematically copied Top Secret Codeword information off separate, just-for-intelligence computer systems and cut-and-pasted it into “unclassified” emails. This, if true, is an unambiguous felony...

Nevertheless, the casual approach of Ms. Clinton and her staff to classified information is already abundantly clear. Cheryl Mills, her chief of staff at Foggy Bottom, was using her personal Blackberry for work, including the transmission of classified email. That alone is a crime. Then, in a move worthy of a dark comedy, Ms. Mills proceeded to lose that Blackberry. This would be a career-ender, at best, for any normal U.S. Government employee. Ms. Mills, a longtime Clinton insider, naturally suffered no penalties of any kind for this astonishing security lapse.

The whole thing is worth reading. You should go check it out.

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