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Secretary of Evasion: Hillary Clinton’s Entirely Non-Believable Email Spectacle

| March 10, 2015

Hillary has a problem. (Marc Nozell)

Hillary has a problem. (Marc Nozell)

I’m not sure what planet or what year Hillary Clinton is living in, but it sounds neither like Planet Earth nor early 21st century America. More like someone who’s just emerged from a manufactured slumber sometime in 1993, when the internet was just beginning to go mainstream. Or Clinton was just beginning to learn how to evade public scrutiny, back in the Bill Clinton White House.

pierre tristam flaglerlive editor's blogHillary Clinton held a brief news conference at the UN this afternoon to defend then excuse her use of a personal email account all her years as Secretary of State. She’s since deleted thousands of those emails. Here’s what she said:

“There are four things I want the public to know. First, when I got to work as secretary of state, I opted for convenience to use my personal email account, which was allowed by the State Department, because I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal emails instead of two. Looking back, it would have been better if I’d simply used a second email account and carried a second phone, but at the time this didn’t seem like an issue.”

Put aside the other three things. She is making it sound, in a tone remarkably contemptuous—see the video—as if this was all a matter of convenience and logic. Neither would have actually been compromised had she maintained a Department of State email account. Most of us have two, three or more accounts. Most of us also use either Google mail or any of the numerous mail aggregating systems that allow us to channel all our accounts to one screen, one in-box, on whatever device we choose: my mail bin is the same, channeling all my mail accounts to a single screen whether I’m on my phone, my tablet or any of my desk computers or laptops. There is no issue of having to carry more than one device for more than one email account. Never has been. It’s the same—or ought to be the same—for all government employees required to preserve their public records, whether locally or at the highest levels of government.


Our mail accounts give us the option of keeping the incoming and outgoing mail on the server if we so wish. Had Clinton maintained her Department of State account, all her State Department email, incoming or outgoing, would have been preserved at the State Department’s servers whether she downloaded it to her phone or home computer or not, or merely read it and accessed it from an Internet café in Zimbabwe, had she so chosen. She would have been able to maintain her personal business going, using her own private account, with the emails on her phone mingling but never having her personal business fall under the Freedom of Information umbrella. A 10 year old could figure it out. Here she was today pretending as if she couldn’t.

Clinton is creating a smokescreen. She’s hoping it’ll have the ring of truth with people who may not have multiple accounts and would think, as she pretends to think that of course one account, one device, one phone makes sense, and why get on the poor secretary’s case over that. But she’s full of it.

More smokescreens later on: “The laws and regulations in effect when I was secretary of state allowed me to use my email for work.” She said that again hoping to elicit the sort of common sense understanding from masses of people who know what an ass-ripping pain it can be to juggle various emails. But no one has ever claimed that she could not use her private email account for work. The only caveat is that she’d then have to ensure that she’d include a little cc to her State Department’s account, ensuring compliance with public record laws. She did not.

It has nothing to do with convenience and everything to do with evasion.

Her second point is irrelevant: that “the vast majority” of her emails went to State Department employees, and are therefore preserved. Is she suggesting that she had no responsibility to comply with public record laws herself, since “the vast majority” of emails were falling into that bin anyway? Yes, she is.  Way to go, Marie-Antoinette. She leaves silent the fact that “the vast majority” of official emails are white noise anyway. It’s that very small minority of emails that may now or soon, or on history’s clock, become relevant. She is not the one to judge which emails would be in that category and which would not. But our ex-Secretary vigilante chooses to be judge and jury in this case. Either way, we’ll never know: she’s deleted the stuff.


An explanation as lacking in credibility as the breach that compelled it.


Her third point is irrelevant: the State Department asked her after the fact for emails that were work related, and she turned over what she had, some 55,000 pages. But again: she’d filtered it. Or maybe Bill did. It doesn’t exonerate her misjudgment—and breach of law. Nor does she ingratiate herself to us when she adds dismissively, “even though I knew that the State Department had the majority of them.”

“No one wants their personal email made public, and I think most people understand that, and respect that privacy,” she said. Another smokescreen. This has never been about her personal email, and she shouldn’t be using those to build bogus defenses for the indefensible.

Her fourth point is just an insult: “I took the unprecedented step of asking that the State Department make all my work related emails public for everyone to see.” There’s nothing unprecedented about making public records accessible. Too many of our public officials are under the false impression, reinforced though it is by their own agencies’ sly and often illegal handling of public records, that because their records haven’t been requested, they’re somehow under no obligation to ensure that they are public, or to make them publicly accessible regardless. But that’s where we are these days with public record laws: access, which is most of the game anyway, is where the obstacles are and where the games are played and the costs levied and all sorts of shenanigans spring up to wear down those who’d request records. Clinton is acting as if she were doing the public a favor by having her emails made accessible. More contempt.

I was never a fan of Clinton as secretary of state. On key hot spots around the world, she was mostly wasted time, her frequent-flying amounting more to good marketing, mostly of herself, than good policy. Her strengths have always been in domestic policy, and I was hoping she’d get to show them as the likely president she could be. Compared to the zoological quality of the GOP’s choices, even Clinton asleep is a better bet than any of those proto-fascist nut jobs she’ll be facing. But that doesn’t absolve her from a minimum of legal and ethical responsibilities. Here was a chance for her to speak her understanding of both. She failed.

Pierre Tristam is FlaglerLive’s editor. Reach him by email here or follow him on Twitter.

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43 Responses for “Secretary of Evasion: Hillary Clinton’s Entirely Non-Believable Email Spectacle”

  1. Lin says:

    And I guess Hillary needed the cover of the United Nations security council and the UN press to dilute the questions she might receive. To use that backdrop to give that thin explanation for deleting emails that should have been available for scrutiny and trash the Republicans who want to say there still is a Constitution with Article 2, Section 2, Clause 2 to put treaties to a Senate vote all in a forum for gender equality?
    Didn’t she just ask at another press conference if the attendees would like a woman president?
    What does it matter anyway?
    Not everyone is stupid, Hillary.

  2. downinthelab says:

    Hang ’em high!

  3. NortonSmitty says:

    Oh my. Pierre, my hard nosed friend, you seemed to have joined the ass end of the bellowing beltway herd by even debating this orchestrated Scandal DuJour put out by the usual right wing Rovian smear machine. But we all know this breach of Public Trust is epically important and non-partisan because breathless Serious Pundits on both the Left and the Right are positively livid! So where there’s smoke there’s fire, amirite? So this is the Most Important Issue in the World for the last couple of weeks, debating which of her defense points are valid, irrelevant or desperate. 24/7. This is the planned strategy that distracts us from the obvious primary and earth-shaking facts that should outrage all of us Americans on both side of the political spectrum.
    The owners of the 6 media propaganda outlets who control every drop of the info we are spoon-fed every day have strategically divided us. We argue about Left/Right, Conservative/Liberal and call the teams we root for Republican versus Democrat. And we waste our righteous anger and expend our passions and energy on these false divides like they mean one God damned thing. And the ones who play us like fiddles steal more of our country form us every day. You want some real points to debate? Here are a few you will never hear in this country. Starting with:
    1.- In a country with over 350 million people, how in the Hell are we getting the choice to vote for another Clinton or another Bush in ’16? WTF! And worse, why does each side hate the other so passionately? More to the point, how could any thinking person not be embarrassed by supporting either?
    1a- Hillary; When they left the White House on 2001, She defended going to work for a Wall Street Lobbying Law firm by saying, like Little Boy Blew, “Hey, we needed the Money” because they could barely make their mortgage. Luckily, they seem to have squeezed by. Today, Bill & Hill are worth somewhere between $35 and $250 Million as of 2011, the last year they had to file since she resigned as SecState. And the two of them run the Clinton Foundation with assets of over $350 Million, all donated by Saudi Sheiks, Oil and Drug companies and Wall Street Banks Brokers and Insurance companies. I’m sure this has nothing to do with Liberal Bill eliminating the Glass/Steagle act and others de-regulating all of them. And that Liberal Commie Bitch Hillary somehow just happens to be getting tens of millions from these same corporations in donations, consulting and speeches. And we are led to believe she is the one that’s going to stick up for the Working Man. Right.
    1b- Jeb Bush, Christ, where to start. There have been so books written detailing the many exploits of what the rest of the World calls the Bush Crime Syndicate it is absurd to believe they are not all in prison let alone considered a respectable family by both the left and the right. Not nut-case screeds, but well supported and meticulously documented books by well respected authors. Drug running, murder, bank swindles, influence peddling, you name it, they have done it. Yet they are considered political Royalty by almost all Americans and even the dumb one is held up as a great President by even the Moderate Republicans. Instead of documenting it all here, I’ll link one book. http://www.amazon.com/Family-Secrets-Americas-Invisible-Government/dp/1608190064/ref=pd_ys_sf_s_283155_a1_28_p?ie=UTF8&refRID=1GXSEPDDF6XWY2ZRPB5Z Read the preview and if it interests you, Google more. Or use DuckDuckGo, as Google seems to be censoring a lot of it. “Jeb Bush drug running” will take you to some interesting places.
    My point is that you are getting spoon-fed a reality by the greatest and most compete propaganda machine this side of The Matrix. The fact you will never hear one peep about Clintons wealth or the Bush crimes despite their being out in the open and easily documented if you just look should wake any thinking American up to this fact. And if you are here reading this you probably consider yourself well-informed. But if you haven’t heard facts like these,you may want to consider just what else is being kept from us.
    And come to realize we are living in a Post-Political world where both choices are really no choice at all.

    • Baloney, Norton. The notion that anybody who question a Democrat is a tool of the Vast Rightwing Conspiracy is itself the sign of a robotic, programmed mind. News flash: The Democratic Party conducts precisely the same marketing, mind-control operations as their partners in Duopoly.

      Hillary Clinton scoffed at an extremely plain and basic law governing her exercise of one of the highest offices in the world. In a democratic society in which politics hadn’t been reduced to TV commercials and televisual talking points, this would kill her presidential campaign. As is shown by this pathetic set of excuses, she knows it won’t.

      Meanwhile, UN 1441. Any high office holder who perpetuates the war that contravened that highest law of the land (see US Constitution, Article Six, Clause II) is a war criminal.

  4. Greg says:

    Maybe you aren’t that far left after all, Pierre!

  5. Rick Gardner says:

    Why oh Why isn’t there someone running against Hillary for the Dem nomination???

    • Nalla C. says:

      Because every time you turn around, the “leadership” of the Florida Democratic Party is running good candidates out of the primary process.

      Oh, they’re not doing it directly–that would invite scrutiny–they do things like “have a friend of a friend” call you out of “concern” for your “abilities” to “fight on”, because “making waves”, “let’s unify behind this (mealy-mouthed compromised centrist, usually) and show the nation we’re United!”, etc.

      Not to mention, Wall Street wants Hillary. So does DoD.

      I tire of people saying things like “well if you don’t like her, find another candidate”. News flash: it’s not up to VOTERS to find candidates. That’s one of the things an organization like the Democratic Party is supposed to be doing.

    • NortonSmitty says:

      Go Elizebeth Warren!

      • The Truth says:

        I agree completely. Elizabeth Warren would be an excellent president!

        • Lancer says:

          I, seriously, hope Elizabeth Warren runs. A faux-cahontas, socialist who rails against free enterprise, but never against the people in government who orchestrated, it is a great thing! I, especially, will enjoy her corporate banking sponsors being exposed to unveil her hypocrisy.

          Under Warren, finally those evil, greedy capitalists will pay for their crimes, right Comrades??!!

          We need more government! After 50 years, over 100 programs, trillions spent on the “war on poverty” we have not reduced the poverty rate a single percentage point. That’s government effectiveness that needs to be expanded!

  6. THE VOICE OF REASON says:

    “I did not have email relations with that Department.”

  7. Retired FF says:

    She doesn’t know how to use one device for multiple email accounts and she wants to be the POTUS. Are you kidding me! She lies just like her husband slick Willie.

  8. Michael says:

    Simple fact, she is lying to the public, she is as dishonest as he husband and if the American people do not see that then we are in real trouble come 2016. I have 3 seperate email accounts on my smartphone, why couldnt she? She tried to cover up the Benghazi deaths, she took money from forieghn governments for her foundation while she was secretery of state, now no .gov email address. She talks out both sides of her mouth and simply does not deserve our trust. if they found all these things out imagine what else she is not revealing, she is a mistake for president, I would vote for a woman in a heartbeat, just nominate one that is honest.

    • John Smallberries says:

      I can’t stand her and I typically vote left, however, you are smoking crack if you think she tried to cover up the deaths in benghazi. That debacle lies directly on the heads of congress.

  9. m&m says:

    Both Clintons are evil people but they follow in the foot steps of our present administration. Lies, deception etc.

  10. Seriously says:

    Once again the mysterious Hillary brushes off another major ‘ETHICS or NATIONAL SECURITY” scandal as a minor inconvenience and makes everything another one of those plots to keep her from the White House. Unfortunately in this country we seem to buy what ever she says and worry more about what color Kim Kardashian’s hair is or what type of woman Bruce Jenner will make.

    When it comes to the Clintons ‘ The bigger the lie the more people will believe it”.

    • voncile cobbs says:

      Me thinks the Clintons, as well as the Bushes, are coming to the end of their reigns!!
      I will vote for neither!!

  11. Jack stewart says:

    Wow I never thought I would see the day that Pierre would trash Hilary Clinton, What is this world coming too? But your true colors came true at end of story, you would rather vote for a lying do nothing former secretary of state…..Then and I quote “Proto-fascist Nut jobs” Keep up the good work Pierre, with your comments you keep sending more people to move against the left!

  12. confidential says:

    What is the big deal if she had or use her private e-mails for her Department business or not…anyway all is in the open can’t be hidden. Don’t I hear that the Bush boy only released 10% of his e-mails then why the double standard. What a waste of time as usual all this GOP witch hunt looking for DEM perfection when they are swindlers themselves. Why don’t they get down to business and try instead to fix the economy of the USA, so much needed jobs are created? I am not a real fan of Hillary as I would prefer that she will concede and promote/support instead to Senator Elizabeth Warren to run. We need and economist at the head to fix our lagging economy and bring back or create more jobs. We need to stop these useless wars mongering and get down to business to protect ourselves and not others. Let Israel and others to fight their own wars as they count among themselves with the wealthiest individuals in the whole wide world. What are we doing fighting and funding their battles every time they pick a fight. They even come here to our Congress on the backs of our elected administrations demanding “more” than the lives and billions we already given them. When all this nonsense is going to stop and these useless and damaging GOP versus DEM boxing ring show will end? I am sick and tired of the rabid attacks among Americans at local and federal level with total disregard about conducting the daily business of governing for the betterment of all Americans first. I thought the civil war ended a long time ago…Nope, we have a partisan new one now. Just pathetic. Get down to repair our infrastructure and create jobs while doing so, other than all these wars inside and out of our country.
    “I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity”.

    Dwight D. Eisenhower

  13. Tom Jacks says:

    Pierre, you had me until you said Hillary would make a good President. In my humble opinion she would be a terrible President. She is arrogant, demanding, self serving, mean, a consummate liar, and just a nasty person. She thinks the Presidency is hers by birthright and that she is better than everyone else. It is quite obvious she thinks the American public is stupid, and beneath her. Her answers at her press conference yesterday just reinforce that view. It is way past time for her and Bill to go away and leave the country to conduct its business without them.

  14. Jim R says:

    Our choices for 2016 lying Hillary or crime family Bush
    WE CAME, WE SAW, WE PUKED

  15. Obama 2015 says:

    Hillary said to show the emails she has nothing to hide.. However..

    Bush White House email controversy

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bush_White_House_email_controversy

  16. Sherry Epley says:

    The BUSH administration was even more guilty!!! How soon we forget. . . or was there even a media storm like there is now. . . this from wikipedia:

    The Bush White House email controversy surfaced in 2007 during the controversy involving the dismissal of eight U.S. attorneys. Congressional requests for administration documents while investigating the dismissals of the U.S. attorneys required the Bush administration to reveal that not all internal White House emails were available, because they were sent via a non-government domain hosted on an email server not controlled by the federal government. Conducting governmental business in this manner is a possible violation of the Presidential Records Act of 1978, and the Hatch Act.[1] Over 5 million emails may have been lost or deleted.[2][3] Greg Palast claims to have come up with 500 of the Karl Rove lost emails, leading to damaging allegations.[4] In 2009, it was announced that as many as 22 million emails may have been deleted.[5]

    The administration officials had been using a private Internet domain, called gwb43.com, owned by and hosted on an email server run by the Republican National Committee,[6] for various communications of unknown content or purpose. The domain name is an acronym standing for “George W. Bush, 43rd” President of the United States. The server came public when it was discovered that J. Scott Jennings, the White House’s deputy director of political affairs, was using a gwb43.com email address to discuss the firing of the U.S. attorney for Arkansas.[7] Communications by federal employees were also found on georgewbush.com (registered to “Bush-Cheney ’04, Inc.”[8]) and rnchq.org (registered to “Republican National Committee”[9]), but, unlike these two servers, gwb43.com has no Web server connected to it — it is used only for email.[10]

    The “gwb43.com” domain name was publicized by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), who sent a letter to Oversight and Government Reform Committee committee chairman Henry A. Waxman requesting an investigation.[11] Waxman sent a formal warning to the RNC, advising them to retain copies of all emails sent by White House employees. According to Waxman, “in some instances, White House officials were using nongovernmental accounts specifically to avoid creating a record of the communications.”[12] The Republican National Committee claims to have erased the emails, supposedly making them unavailable for Congressional investigators.[13]

    On April 12, 2007, White House spokesman Scott Stanzel stated that White House staffers were told to use RNC accounts to “err on the side of avoiding violations of the Hatch Act, but they should also retain that information so it can be reviewed for the Presidential Records Act,” and that “some employees … have communicated about official business on those political email accounts.”[14] Stanzel also said that even though RNC policy since 2004 has been to retain all emails of White House staff with RNC accounts, the staffers had the ability to delete the email themselves.

  17. David S. says:

    Jim R you have a good point and may I add Scott to that list also.

  18. Nalla C. says:

    I’ve been a Democrat all my life, and I’ll tell you what, not only do I not “want Hillary Clinton as POTUS”, I know a lot of other Dems who are of like mind. When you read “mainstream news” saying Dems are “united” behind her, understand something right now: that’s a flat-out lie. Yes, you read that right, that’s a LIE from “pollsters” who ask loaded questions or vague ones, and then spin the results to make her look better.

    BTW, Pierre, IRT this “scandal”–I believed the first day I heard it that the Clinton camp leaked the info. This is a classic Clinton MO–leak the bad stuff up-front and get everyone acclimated to it. Then, if actual details do come out, there’s been so much BS already about it in the public domain, everybody’s eyes glaze over by the time any facts are discovered.

    If I’m right, that means we can look forward to more of it. Probably all summer and into the fall. When all her garbage is finally “out there”, then and only then will she “declare her candidacy”. She disgusts me and she will never, EVER get this Democrat’s vote.

  19. Sherry Epley says:

    The BUSH administration was even more guilty!!! How soon we forget. . . or was there even a media storm like there is now. . . I don’t think so!!!

    This from Wikipedia:

    The Bush White House email controversy surfaced in 2007 during the controversy involving the dismissal of eight U.S. attorneys. Congressional requests for administration documents while investigating the dismissals of the U.S. attorneys required the Bush administration to reveal that not all internal White House emails were available, because they were sent via a non-government domain hosted on an email server not controlled by the federal government. Conducting governmental business in this manner is a possible violation of the Presidential Records Act of 1978, and the Hatch Act.

    Over 5 million emails may have been lost or deleted. Greg Palast claims to have come up with 500 of the Karl Rove lost emails, leading to damaging allegations. In 2009, it was announced that as many as 22 million emails may have been deleted.

    The administration officials had been using a private Internet domain, called gwb43.com, owned by and hosted on an email server run by the Republican National Committee, for various communications of unknown content or purpose. The domain name is an acronym standing for “George W. Bush, 43rd” President of the United States.

  20. Jim R says:

    Voting for the lesser of two evils has gotten us one sociopath after another, Bush. Obama, and now Hillary all bragging about their murders. Not voting is the only option for anybody with even half a brain, If nobody shows up to vote maybe then the system will be exposed for what it is, even voting for a third party is useless. The big worry about the nutcase Republicans winning just perpetuates the lesser of two evils game and maybe that would be the best thing that could happen. They would gleefully go about dismantling what social programs are still functioning and when people start to get hungry they will finally get out in the streets and change things. That is the optimistic view, the more likely outcome is that we continue our aggression on the rest of the world until we push Russia and China to the wall and humanity along with all the other species goes up in smoke.

  21. Sherry Epley says:

    I would personally love to see Elizabeth Warren in the White House. We need another viable option for the Democratic candidacy.

    Hillary should hand over the server and get real with the citizens and with technology. She will not be a viable candidate of younger citizens with such lame excuses as not accessing 2 email accounts from one device.

    Push comes to shove though, I would much rather a Clinton in the White House than another Bush. . . or the likes of Ted Cruz.

  22. Brian Riehle says:

    If anyone wants to read the Hillary Clinton emails they should file a FOIA request with the NSA , who has captured everything ever sent from anyone to anyone else for the last 10 years.

    • NortonSmitty says:

      Who do you think leaked they existed? But then nobody asked how the Petraus EMails became public, so there is a precident.

  23. Lancer says:

    …the leftists parrots are out in force, “But Bush! But Bush!”

    Wait until they discover 0bama has been using private emails…pandemonium!

  24. Sherry Epley says:

    IN THE SPIRIT OF COMPLETE FAIRNESS, AND A RELATIVE PERSPECTIVE, PLEASE BE ADVISED::

    As reported by the Associated Press. . .Other possible 2016 Presidential candidates have also been guilty of using personal email accounts!

    Namely, Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, Martin O’Malley and Rick Perry. The details are here: http://www.federalnewsradio.com/?sid=3814180

  25. Lancer says:

    It’s not about using personal email, people!

    Hillary Clinton is accused of using personal email, while Secretary of State of the United States, to conduct the people’s business. Don’t convolute and mischaracterize the issue, leftists.

    She has received MILLIONS in donations to the “foundation” from other countries. Is she selling the Lincoln bedroom, again, promising sweetheart deals if she received a “donation”? We don’t know because she refuses to turnover her emails. She says that we are, simply to “trust her”. She has not shown herself to be remotely trustworthy or competent in any position she has ever been. She’s the least interesting person I’ve ever seen to obtain her status.

    The Clintons have always been money hungry. When Bill was making $25k a year as governor…they went for a get rich quick scheme with white water. They stole furniture from the WH when the left. She was removed from her position investigating water gate because of ethics. Her stint as Sec of State was a fiasco…from the “Reset” absurdity with Russia to the disasterous handling of the Muslim Spring and giving Egypt to the Muslim Brotherhood.

    However, leftists court failure so…she’s perfectly electable. After all, whomever is elected to the WH will be infinitely better than who is there now….a completely unqualified, sychophant who has made a willful and purposeful mockery of foreign policy. His domestic agenda is the tried and failed policies of Keynesian bailouts and government growth…leading to the longest economic recovery with unprecedented debt.

  26. Mark says:

    What, no scathing updates on how corrupt and stupid she is?

  27. Geezer says:

    Bernie or bust.

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