Assertion that Hillary Clinton Won Popular Vote, While True, Amounts to Propaganda

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In the wake of Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election, the Democrats have taken up the mantra of “Hillary won the popular vote.” A careful analysis of the election results indicate that this claim, while true, is very deceptive and typical of the dishonest political tactics of the Left.

The Libertarian Vote is Key to Understanding the Election

As of February 11, the popular vote percentages are as follows:

Hillary Clinton (Democrat) 48.03%

Donald Trump (Republican) 45.94%

Gary Johnson (Libertarian) 3.27%

Jill Stein (Green) 1.06%

Evan McMullin (a Conservative Independent) .53%

Other 1.15%

Since Libertarians are closely linked with the Right, Greens with the Left and Evan McMullin is a Conservative who ran as an Independent, it is fair, for the sake of analysis, to add the Libertarian vote and McMullin’s votes to the Trump’s total and the Green vote to Clinton. When the popular vote is counted this way, we end up with 49.74% of the popular vote being cast for the Right and just 49.09% for the Left. This gives the Right a .65% edge.

Since the nation as a whole is about equally divided between the Right and the Left, it is probably safe to assume that the “Other” vote was equally divided between the Right and the Left as well. If we add half of the “Other” total to the Right and the Left totals we end up with 50.32% for the Right and 49.67% for the Left. We can assume, therefore, that in a two person race Trump would have won the majority of the popular vote and carried the additional states of Colorado, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Nevada (which means every swing state except Minnesota, Maine and Virginia) and won by  a nineteen larger electoral vote margin. This would have given him 325 electoral votes to Clinton’s 213.

The bottom line is that the popular vote in this election represented a rejection of Left Wing politics of like those Clinton and the embracing of Right Wing politics like those of Trump. Clinton bested Trump in the popular vote only 2.09 percent. Clinton’s popular vote “victory” came by just a hair. If the Libertarian party had not more than tripled its .99% of the popular vote it earned 2012, and instead won less than 1.18%, she would have lost the popular vote as well. If McMullin had not run, Clinton still would have lost the popular vote if the Libertarian party had received no more than 1.71% of the vote.

The Electoral College System

When considering the significance of her popular vote “victory,” one must keep in mind that we decide our presidential election by the Electoral College system. Neither of the candidates conducted an election strategy designed to win the popular vote by maximizing the number of popular votes received. Therefore to proclaim that Clinton won the popular votes is like declaring her the winner of a game in which neither she nor Trump even participated.

While it may be technically correct to claim the Clinton “won” the popular vote, it is pure spin to use this fact in an attempt to delegitimize the mandate won by Trump and the Right on election day. Clinton did not “win” the popular vote because the people favored her but because the Libertarian candidate did so well at the polls and the Right Wing vote was divided among three candidates.

Edit

Since the above was written on November 12, 2016, it has been edited several times to reflect the changing vote tally.

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Final Thoughts on Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Email Scandal

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Last month I wrote a very long blog post about Secretary Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. I received good feedback on the piece, but was told that I had written too much for a single post. I therefore decided to break up what I wrote into three different segments and repost it. This last part represents my final thoughts on the issue.

The Operable Question

One month ago I wrote: “Despite her obvious misconduct, Clinton and her supporters have tried to defend her behavior with regard to email. For the longest time Clinton had been saying that she never sent or received any classified material on her personal account and personal home server. Just this month she revised her position and stated that she “never sent or received any material marked [italics mine] classified ….”

“The operable question is did Clinton send or receive on her personal email server emails containing any information that was not “releasable” and therefore restricted. Both career civil servants and the President Barack Obama appointee and Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles I. McCullough have already answered this question in the affirmative. Just four days ago it was reported that McCullough declared twenty-two of her emails were restricted at the highest level possible. In fact, they are of such a sensitive nature that not even a single word from them can be released to the public.

What Clinton Did and How She Characterized It

“Before I predict how things will ultimately shake out I want to back up a bit. Clinton stated that all of the emails on her personal email server were examined in order to determine which constituted federal government records and which were purely personal in nature. Clinton wants the voters to believe that it was up to her, or in this case her attorneys, to decide which met the criteria of a federal record. Both federal law and regulations make clear that it is not within the authority of any appointed government official, government employee, or government contactor to decide what is and what is not a record. The definition of a federal record is spelled out in federal law and regulation. It is the duty of every government official, employee and contactor to preserve all federal records because these records are the property of the government and the people of the nation and not the government official connected with them. The argument I am making is more than just semantical. I believe Clinton may have chosen to characterize things in the manner she has to cover herself just in case it is shown that she failed to print and thereafter attempted to delete any federal records from her personal email server.

Clinton’s Personal Attorneys

“Clinton assigned to her personal attorneys the task of reading through the emails on her personal email server. When I learned this it struck me as odd. I had not known that it was even permissible for a government official, employee or contractor to pass of their legal obligation to preserve federal records under federal law and federal regulations to other individuals. Did Clinton’s personal attorneys have security clearances? Where these clearances high enough for them to see the information on her email server? I do not know the answers to either of these questions.

Clinton and Other Government Employees and Contractors

“If you have read this far, you are probably revisiting the question of how Clinton allowed herself to get in this mess. She has stated that she used a personal email account on a personal email server to send and receive all of her government-related emails for convenience sake because she did not want to carry around more than one phone or handheld device. I think it is safe to assume that every government employee and contractor connected with the government agency with which I am associated maintains both a U.S. government email address and a personal email address. Accept for an occasional message to our significant others informing them when we are coming home late from work, we do not send nor receive personal emails through our government email accounts because we know that it would be both against policy and unprofessional to do so. Since none of us have any trouble keeping two simultaneous email accounts and keeping our personal email separate from our government email, regardless of whether we carry one or two phones or handheld devices, I have to conclude Clinton would have had no trouble doing the same if she desired to do so. Furthermore, one of the many people who surround the Secretary of State seemingly at all times could have relieved Clinton of the burden of carrying around those oh so heavy  phones and handheld devices.

Why Clinton Did What She Did

“The only conceivable reason why Clinton would have wanted to use a personal email account set up on a private server for all of her government-related emails was the desire to be able to control, and possibly restrict and or prevent, access to her communications in a manner that would not have been possible if she used her government email address and email account for all of her work-related communications. Keep in mind, those reading this, that as explained previously, all emails related to Clinton’s job are the property of the government and the American people.

Did Clinton Really Never Have a Government Email Address?

“The subject of government email addresses and accounts reminds me of how surprised I was to read of the claim that no government email address was ever created for Clinton. I believe that the way things have worked at my agency for as long as I have been associated with it has been that a government email address is automatically created for each and every new employee, contractor, and I would assume appointed official as well, as soon as a she or he comes on board. Could it be the truth is that Clinton had a government email address all along and just did not want to use it?

55,000 Pages of Emails

“Before I wrap up I want to make a few last points. Clinton stated that there were 55,000 pages of emails on her personal server and they were divided about equally between government emails and personal emails. Does anyone with a fulltime job send and receive the same amount of personal and work emails? I estimate that I send and receive ten times as many work emails as personal emails. Should we believe that Clinton’s situation was that different?

The “Everybody Does It” Defense

“On numerous occasions Clinton and her supporters  have attempted to defend her handling of email by comparing her to other government officials. I do not allow my six-year-old child to get away with the “everybody does it” defense. We should not allow Clinton to get off the hook by using the same excuse.

“The reader can now breathe easy knowing that I am going to finish with a prediction of what will happen next. It is without question then, that the FBI’s investigation of Clinton’s email scandal will result in its recommendation to the Justice Department that she be indicted for her improper handling of restricted information found on her personal email server. What follows will be one of the most interesting chapters of American political history. I will blog about it very soon.”

In my original blog post on Clinton’s email scandal I asserted: “Journalists and commentators have done a poor job….Key details have been left out of the story. The true significance of certain facts has not been made clear. If you believe that I have proved my case, check back in with my blog again soon for I plan to write about what I think will be the ultimate resolution of Clinton’s email scandal.

If you enjoyed this blog post, please consider sharing it on Facebook or Twitter.

 You may also want to follow my blog and follow me on Twitter (T.J.Kong @Ride_the_bomb).

You can email me at T_J_Kong@yahoo.com. I always welcome suggestions for blog topics.

 I also have a YouTube.com channel called: “Ride the Bomb!” See https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpauuMnQBSI2FWgFiScj2mw

I believe in free speech and so I approve all blog comments. No exceptions.

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Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Email Scandal and the Records Management and Information Security Awareness Training Mandated by the Federal Government

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In February I authored a lengthy blog post about Secretary Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. In return I received good feedback on my work, but discovered that I had written too much for some to ingest at one time. As a consequence, I decided to partition what I wrote into several separate segments and repost all of it. This second part concerns the records management and information security awareness training mandated by the federal government.

Records Management and Information Security Awareness Training

A month ago I wrote: “I have been associated with a particular U.S. government agency since about the time Hillary Clinton became secretary of state. Every year I have been on the job I have received training and had to be certified in records management and information security awareness.

“The training for both consists of a series of PowerPoint slides with a narrative audio track. After working through the slides one must take a multiple choice quiz. If one receives a grade of at least 85% certification is granted. A lower grade means the quiz must be repeated until the requisite score is achieved. Each year every federal government employee and federal government contractor (and I have to assume every appointed federal government official as well) connected with my agency is notified that they must again sit for the trainings, take the quizzes and be recertified. Failure to become recertified by a fixed deadline means that a person is locked out of and therefore cannot use and access any of the applications and databases needed to do our jobs. New hires are barred from doing their jobs until they complete the trainings for the first time.

“For the purposes of this discussion I am going to lump records management training and information security awareness training into one. The training has always included a slide that explains the U.S. government policy on using personal email accounts to conduct government business. In the most plain and simple language possible government employees and government contractors (and I have to assume every appointed government official as well) are told that they should never use a personal email account to conduct government business unless they find themselves in a situation where they temporarily have no alternative. In such a circumstance, government workers and government contractors (and I have to assume appointed government officials as well) are instructed that they must, at the first available moment, forward a copy of all emails sent and received that relate to government business to their own government email address. (This has always been a part of the training and for this reason I was surprised when on November 26, 2014 President Barack Obama signed into law an update of the Federal Records Act which spelled out the fact that these messages must be forwarded to government email address.) The training has always made clear that this requirement is in place because government email accounts are the official repository for emails that constitute active federal government records.

“The training likewise has never failed to cover how to properly handle documents that are not “releasable” to the public and therefore restricted for any number of reasons. Potential threats from hackers both foreign and domestic always received good coverage and the importance of using secured government computer networks to protect such restricted information is driven home. Applicable federal government laws and regulations regarding records management and the proper handling of restricted documents is another feature of the training that has always been present. We are even provided with links to additional resources for those who cannot understand basic English sentences.

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Records Management and Information Security Awareness Training Provided to Hillary Clinton

“The records management and security awareness training provided to Secretary Hillary Clinton, who never used her government email account and only used her personal email account to send and receive emails related to government work, and a number of high-ranking State Department officials who reported to Clinton and very often used a personal email account to conduct government business as well, was undoubtedly much more detailed and intense than that described above. I also have no reason to doubt that Clinton and the others were required to be retrained and recertified yearly just as they would be if they were connected to my agency.

“I therefore do not hesitate to state unequivocally that Hillary Clinton and the others not only were entirely cognizant of the fact that the manner in which they utilized personal email accounts in the course of performing their jobs was absolutely indefensible but they were reminded of this fact on a yearly basis.”

In my initial blog post on Clinton’s email scandal I asserted: “Journalists and commentators have done a poor job….Key details have been left out of the story. The true significance of certain facts has not been made clear. Important inferences that can and should be made have not been.” Check back in with my blog again soon for the rest of my opinions on Clinton’s email scandal.

If you enjoyed this blog post, please consider sharing it on Facebook or Twitter.

 You may also want to follow my blog and follow me on Twitter (T.J.Kong @Ride_the_bomb).

You can email me at T_J_Kong@yahoo.com. I always welcome suggestions for blog topics.

 I also have a YouTube.com channel called: “Ride the Bomb!” See https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpauuMnQBSI2FWgFiScj2mw

I believe in free speech and so I approve all blog comments. No exceptions.

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Governor Martin O’Malley and the Horse He Rode In On

Last month I wrote a blog post on the Democrat party also-rans. While searching for some photographs that would complement my text, I came across a striking number of funny and odd images of Governor Martin O’Malley. These images, and my commentary on them, are the topic for this blog post.

General Confusion

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I do not claim to be an expert on such matters, but this appears to be a mule and not a horse. A mule, for those who do not know, is a horse and donkey hybrid. From the time of the War of 1812 period which the uniform he wears in the photograph dates to (his wearing modern dress shoes add to the silliness of the image), until the end of the U.S. horse cavalry, no self-respecting army officer would have ridden a mule in public. To do so would have been seen as self-degradation to a very high degree since it was looked upon as beneath his station. It also would have subjected the officer to public ridicule. During the American Civil War, cavalrymen who rode mules were jeered with the refrain: “Here’s your mule!” Since many reenactors are very knowledgeable about history, it would not surprise me if at least one of them who was present on the day this photograph was taken yelled this line at O’Malley . I am sure he would have been oblivious to what it meant if he had heard it.

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O’Malley is riding a different animal in this photograph. However, even if he had been riding a thoroughbred, appearing in public in an 1812 army officer’s uniform was just plain undignified for a sitting governor of a state. At least he is wearing riding boots.

He’s All Hands

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O’Malley often makes weird hand gestures when he speaks. I found so many examples of this that I began to wonder if I could have filled up my hard drive with them.

WTF?

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Some photographs of O’Malley are so strange that no commentary on them is necessary.

The Shirtless Wonder

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O’Malley seems to love appearing in public with no shirt.

The Gov.’s Bar Band

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He has long fronted a bar band called, no surprise here, “O’Malley’s March.” (As you can see for yourself, the band even has their own t-shirts.) I located many images of his performing in this band while he was governor.  The fact that he made time to pursue a semiprofessional music career while in office proves he was not devoting enough time to being governor. Maybe if he had spent more time doing his day job he could have done something about the conditions in Baltimore during the period that led up to the Baltimore riots of April 2015.

Career politicians like O’Malley have been surrounded by political consultants most of their adult life. Such people coach politicians on every possible aspect of their public image. The fact that these images exists at all suggests that O’Malley pays no mind to his consultants. Only a person with an almost unbelievable ego would do so. Someone who is sure that they know best and so is dismissive of expert advice is the last person one would want in political office. Nonetheless, it will not be long before he is elected to some Maryland elected office or other. This is what career politicians like O’Malley, who does not appear to have ever held a real job like the rest of us, do.

If you enjoyed this blog post, please consider sharing it on Facebook or Twitter.

 You may also want to follow my blog and follow me on Twitter (T.J.Kong @Ride_the_bomb).

You can email me at T_J_Kong@yahoo.com. I always welcome suggestions for blog topics.

 I also have a YouTube.com channel called: “Ride the Bomb!” See https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpauuMnQBSI2FWgFiScj2mw

I believe in free speech and so I approve all blog comments. No exceptions.

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The Significance of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Having Submitted Her Emails in Paper Format In Response to F.O.I.A. (Freedom of Information Act) Requests and Government Investigations

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Last month I wrote a long blog post about Secretary Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. I received positive feedback on the composition, but learned that I had written too much for some to digest in one sitting. I have therefore decided to break up what I wrote into several different segments and repost it. This first part deals with why Clinton’s having submitted her emails in paper format is so significant.

A month ago I wrote: “I can think of no good reason why the emails were not turned over in electronic form. Perhaps this is why, to my knowledge, Clinton  has never even attempted to offer an explanation as to why she did not just delete the personal emails on her server and subsequently give over the server with all of her government business-related emails intact.

Impact of Clinton Submitting Her Emails in Paper Format

“A consideration of the impact of Clinton’s submission of her emails in paper may help us understand her decision. If the emails were submitted in electronic format, they could have been keyword searched and so efficiently and effectively examined by both Congressional investigators and those who made F.O.I.A. requests for Clinton’s communications. Emails in paper format could not be keyword searched. The work of both those investigating Clinton’s email scandal and individuals interested in learning about how Clinton did her job as Secretary of State could not be done as well or as fast.

“It is true that the paper versions of Clinton’s emails may have been scanned by investigators and therefore turned into searchable digital copies. However, this effort would be a time consuming process in addition to coming at significant and unnecessary expense to the tax payer. Furthermore, the optical character recognition technology utilized in the process offers an accuracy rate of between about 85 to 90%. Keyword searches done of the emails on Clinton’s server would not be 100% reliable.

“It is obvious why someone in Clinton’s shoes would care not about defying the spirit of the F.O.I.A. and make the work of those who want to mine her emails for information that could hurt her during a presidential run as difficult and as slow going as possible. As far as the investigations of her are concerned, doing all she could to a slow down investigators is a classic strategy deployed by politicians at the center of a scandal. As the investigations dragged on Clinton and her supporters have been able to proclaim that despite the fact that the investigations have gone on seemingly forever, no end has been reached. The implication is meant to be that if Clinton were guilty of anything the investigations would have been wrapped up by this time. Clinton hopes that if enough time passes, the voters will reach “investigation fatigue,” become sick and tired of hearing about the story and no longer care that the final chapter of her email scandal story will reflect very badly upon her.

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True Copy

“In order to understand the full significance of Clinton’s printing her emails and deleting the electronic versions of these communications one must be familiar with the Information Science concept of a “true copy.” A true copy, a term I am not aware has been brought up by anyone in connection with Clinton’s email, is one that is identical to the original in terms of information content. Embedded in the electronic copies of Clinton’s emails was information that could be accessed through digital forensics. Since the printed emails did not include this digital information they were not technically a “true copy” of the electronic originals and Clinton’s deleting the electronic versions made her guilty of the serious federal crime of destroying original federal government records. I must admit, however, that the standard I am applying here is more strict than the one the federal government uses. To put it another way, Clinton has committed a crime but will not be held legally accountable for her action. We have then yet another example of a government official’s tiptoeing on the line between legal and illegal.

We May Never Know

“What may be the most impactful reason why Clinton’s having deleted all of her original emails and passed along what she asserts are paper copies of government business related emails are ones I have not yet touched upon. If the F.B.I. are not able to recover all emails from the server that Clinton had directed be 100% erased we will never know whether she was being truthful when she said that she printed all government records on the server and only deleted personal emails.

Clinton’s Paper Emails May Have been Doctored

“What seems to have been lost on all who commented on Clinton’s email scandal is that it would be a simple matter for someone to doctor the content of an email on Clinton’s server, print out the doctored version and delete the original undoctored version.  It has already been learned that some of the emails on Clinton’s server were either sent to or received from other personal email accounts. Since the investigators will not have access to all of these other personal email accounts, it will not be known for certain that all the paper copies submitted by Clinton are in every way an accurate reflection of the text of the emails that were found on the server at the moment they were first sent or received unless the F.B.I. is successful in recovering all emails deleted from Clinton’s server.

File Attachments

“Yet another troubling aspect of Clinton having deleted her emails and passed paper copies along is the impact of her doing so on file attachments. I am again shocked that no person has mentioned, at least as far as I know, that if she had submitted her emails in electronic form, one would have been able to open and read all file attachments associated with these emails. If the F.B.I.s digital forensic experts do not succeed in a 100% recovery of all deleted emails on Clinton’s server any files attached to her emails may forever remain a mystery. Perhaps this is how Clinton wanted it.”

In my original blog post on Clinton’s email scandal I asserted: “Journalists and commentators have done a poor job….Key details have been left out of the story. The true significance of certain facts has not been made clear. Important inferences that can and should be made have not been.” Check back in with my blog again soon for the rest of my opinions on Clinton’s email scandal.

If you enjoyed this blog post, please consider sharing it on Facebook or Twitter.

 You may also want to follow my blog and follow me on Twitter (T.J.Kong @Ride_the_bomb).

You can email me at T_J_Kong@yahoo.com. I always welcome suggestions for blog topics.

 I also have a YouTube.com channel called: “Ride the Bomb!” See https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpauuMnQBSI2FWgFiScj2mw

I believe in free speech and so I approve all blog comments. No exceptions.

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A Postmortem on the 2016 Democrat Presidential Also Rans as of February 21, 2016

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As of February 21, 2016, four Democrat politicians have dropped out of the presidential race. Below are my thoughts on the candidacy of each one. I cover them in alphabetical order by last name.

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Lincoln Chafee

Senator Lincoln “Bah humbug!” Chafee served as a Liberal Republican senator from Rhode Island from 2000 to 2006. After losing his seat to a Democrat, he switched his allegiance to the Democrat party, though he was officially an independent until 2013. No former Republican senator could ever hope to be the Democrat candidate for president. I must assume Chafee ran for the nomination only to burnish his resume and thereby increase his speaking fees. He may also be angling for a cabinet position in a future Democrat administration. Barring this, I do not see him continuing in politics.  Republican voters will not take him back and he could never beat a lifelong Democrat in an election.  He could turn up next in academia. I think he will be most remembered for trying to officially change the name of the Christmas tree at the Rhode Island State House to a “holiday tree.”

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Lawrence Lessig

Who?

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Martin O’Malley

Martin O’Malley is the quintessential career politician. I am not aware that he has ever held a real job like the rest of us. Because Secretary Hillary Clinton is a woman and the Democrat party has plunged off the left edge of the political landscape, O’Malley never had a chance. He won election to governor of Maryland in 2007 and presided over the state while things went to heck in Baltimore. O’Malley left office about three months before the Baltimore riots of April 2015 but deserves a share of the responsibility for the conditions in the city during the period that led up to them. No matter. He will go on to serve in some Maryland elected office or other. Its what career politicians do.

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Jim Webb

That Senator Jim Webb was another former Republican was the first strike against him in the eyes of Democrat primary voters. Worse for Webb was a long and honorable association with the U.S. military that did not culminate in a low point of his throwing his medals away on the U.S. Capitol. lawn. I believe he ran for president for the same reason that Chafee did. His prospects going forward are pretty much the same as Chafee’s.

If you enjoyed this blog post, please consider sharing it on Facebook or Twitter.

 You may also want to follow my blog and follow me on Twitter (T.J.Kong @Ride_the_bomb).

You can email me at T_J_Kong@yahoo.com. I always welcome suggestions for blog topics.

 I also have a YouTube.com channel called: “Ride the Bomb!” See https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpauuMnQBSI2FWgFiScj2mw

I believe in free speech and so I approve all blog comments. No exceptions.

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An Expert and Insider Opinion on Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Email Scandal

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Journalists and commentators have done a poor job discussing Secretary Hillary Clinton’s email scandal. Key details have been left out of the story. The true significance of certain facts has not been made clear. Important inferences that can and should be made have not been.

Records Management and Information Security Awareness

I have been associated with a particular U.S. government agency since about the time Hillary Clinton became secretary of state. Every year I have been on the job I have received training and had to be certified in records management and information security awareness.

The training for both consists of a series of PowerPoint slides with a narrative audio track. After working through the slides one must take a multiple choice quiz. If one receives a grade of at least 85% certification is granted. A lower grade means the quiz must be repeated until the requisite score is achieved. Each year every federal government employee and federal government contractor (and I have to assume every appointed federal government official as well) connected with my agency is notified that they must again sit for the trainings, take the quizzes and be recertified. Failure to become recertified by a fixed deadline means that a person is locked out of and therefore cannot use and access any of the applications and databases needed to do our jobs. New hires are barred from doing their jobs until they complete the trainings for the first time.

For the purposes of this discussion I am going to lump records management training and information security awareness training into one. The training has always included a slide that explains the U.S. government policy on using personal email accounts to conduct government business. In the most plain and simple language possible government employees and government contractors (and I have to assume every appointed government official as well) are told that they should never use a personal email account to conduct government business unless they find themselves in a situation where they temporarily have no alternative. In such a circumstance, government workers and government contractors (and I have to assume appointed government officials as well) are instructed that they must, at the first available moment, forward a copy of all emails sent and received that relate to government business to their own government email address. (This has always been a part of the training and for this reason I was surprised when on November 26, 2014 President Barack Obama signed into law an update of the Federal Records Act which spelled out the fact that these messages must be forwarded to government email address.) The training has always made clear that this requirement is in place because government email accounts are the official repository for emails that constitute active federal government records.

The training likewise has never failed to cover how to properly handle documents that are not “releasable” (or “controlled”) to the public and therefore restricted for any number of reasons. Potential threats from hackers both foreign and domestic always received good coverage and the importance of using secured government computer networks to protect such restricted information is driven home. Applicable federal government laws and regulations regarding records management and the proper handling of restricted documents is another feature of the training that has always been present. We are even provided with links to additional resources for those who cannot understand basic English sentences.

Records Management and Information Security Awareness Training Provided to Hillary Clinton

The records management and security awareness training provided to Secretary Hillary Clinton, who never used her government email account and only used her personal email account to send and receive emails related to government work, and a number of high-ranking State Department officials who reported to Clinton and very often used a personal email account to conduct government business as well, was undoubtedly much more detailed and intense than that described above. I also have no reason to doubt that Clinton and the others were required to be retrained and recertified yearly just as they would be if they were connected to my agency.

I therefore do not hesitate to state unequivocally that Hillary Clinton and the others not only were entirely cognizant of the fact that the manner in which they utilized personal email accounts in the course of performing their jobs was absolutely indefensible but they were reminded of this fact on a yearly basis.

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The Operable Question

Despite her obvious misconduct, Clinton and her supporters have tried to defend her behavior with regard to email. For the longest time Clinton had been saying that she never sent or received any classified material on her personal account and personal home server. Just this month she revised her position and stated that she “never sent or received any material marked [italics mine] classified ….”

The operable question is did Clinton send or receive on her personal email server emails containing any information that was not “releasable” (or “controlled”) and therefore restricted. Both career civil servants and the Obama appointee and Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles I. McCullough have already answered this question in the affirmative. Just four days ago it was reported that McCullough declared twenty-two of her emails were restricted at the highest level possible. In fact, they are of such a sensitive nature that not even a single word from them can be released to the public.

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What Clinton Did and How She Characterized It

Before I predict how things will ultimately shake out I want to back up a bit. Clinton stated that all of the emails on her personal email server were examined in order to determine which constituted federal government records and which were purely personal in nature. Clinton wants the voters to believe that it was up to her, or in this case her attorneys, to decide which met the criteria of a federal record. Both federal law and regulations make clear that it is not within the authority of any appointed government official, government employee, or government contactor to decide what is and what is not a record. The definition of a federal record is spelled out in federal law and regulation. It is the duty of every government official, employee and contactor to preserve all federal records because these records are the property of the government and the people of the nation and not the government official connected with them. The argument I am making is more than just semantical. I believe Clinton may have chosen to characterize things in the manner she has to cover herself just in case it is shown that she failed to print and thereafter attempted to delete any federal records from her personal email server.

Clinton’s Personal Attorneys

As mentioned above, Clinton assigned to her personal attorneys the task of reading through the emails on her personal email server. When I learned this it struck me as odd. I had not known that it was even permissible for a government official, employee or contractor to pass of their legal obligation to preserve federal records under federal law and federal regulations to other individuals. Did Clinton’s personal attorneys have security clearances? Where these clearances high enough for them to see the information on her email server? I do not know the answers to either of these questions.

Cinton’s Printing Her Emails

I was likewise perplexed when I read that Clinton’s emails were printed and so handed over to the State Department in paper format. I can think of no good reason why the emails were not turned over in electronic form. Perhaps this is why, to my knowledge, Clinton  has never even attempted to offer an explanation as to why she did not just delete the personal emails on her server and subsequently give over the server with all of her government business-related emails intact.

A consideration of the impact of Clinton’s submission of her emails in paper may help us understand her decision. If the emails were submitted in electronic format, they could have been keyword searched and so efficiently and effectively examined by both Congressional investigators and those who made F.O.I.A. (Freedom of Information Act) requests for Clinton’s communications. Emails in paper format could not be keyword searched. The work of both those investigating Clinton’s email scandal and individuals interested in learning about how Clinton did her job as Secretary of State could not be done as well or as fast.

It is true that the paper versions of Clinton’s emails may have been scanned by investigators and therefore turned into searchable digital copies. However, this effort would be a time consuming process in addition to coming at significant and unnecessary expense to the tax payer. Furthermore, the optical character recognition technology utilized in the process offers an accuracy rate of between about 85 to 90%. Keyword searches done of the emails on Clinton’s server would not be 100% reliable.

It is obvious why someone in Clinton’s shoes would care not about defying the spirit of the Freedom of Information Act and make the work of those who want to mine her emails for information that could hurt her during a presidential run as difficult and as slow going as possible. As far as the investigations of her are concerned, doing all she could to a slow down investigators is a classic strategy deployed by politicians at the center of a scandal. As the investigations dragged on Clinton and her supporters have been able to proclaim that despite the fact that the investigations have gone on seemingly forever, no end has been reached. The implication is meant to be that if Clinton were guilty of anything the investigations would have been wrapped up by this time. Clinton hopes that if enough time passes, the voters will reach “investigation fatigue,” become sick and tired of hearing about the story and no longer care that the final chapter of her email scandal story will reflect very badly upon her.

True Copy

In order to understand the full significance of Clinton’s printing her emails and deleting the electronic versions of these communications one must be familiar with the Information Science concept of a “true copy.” A true copy, a term I am not aware has been brought up by anyone in connection with Clinton’s email, is one that is identical to the original in terms of information content. Embedded in the electronic copies of Clinton’s emails was information that could be accessed through digital forensics. Since the printed emails did not include this digital information they were not technically a “true copy” of the electronic originals and Clinton’s deleting the electronic versions made her guilty of the serious federal crime of destroying original federal government records. I must admit, however, that the standard I am applying here is more strict than the one the federal government uses. To put it another way, Clinton has committed a crime but will not be held legally accountable for her action. We have then yet another example of a government official’s tiptoeing on the line between legal and illegal.

We May Never Know

What may be the most impactful reason why Clinton’s having deleted all of her original emails and passed along what she asserts are paper copies of government business related emails are ones I have not yet touched upon. If the F.B.I. are not able to recover all emails from the server that Clinton had directed be 100% erased we will never know whether she was being truthful when she said that she printed all government records on the server and only deleted personal emails.

Clinton’s Paper Emails May Have been Doctored

What seems to have been lost on all who commented on Clinton’s email scandal is that it would be a simple matter for someone to doctor the content of an email on Clinton’s server, print out the doctored version and delete the original undoctored version.  It has already been learned that some of the emails on Clinton’s server were either sent to or received from other personal email accounts. Since the investigators will not have access to all of these other personal email accounts, it will not be known for certain that all the paper copies submitted by Clinton are in every way an accurate reflection of the text of the emails that were found on the server at the moment they were first sent or received unless the F.B.I. is successful in recovering all emails deleted from Clinton’s server.

File Attachments

Yet another troubling aspect of Clinton having deleted her emails and passed paper copies along is the impact of her doing so on file attachments. I am again shocked that no person has mentioned, at least as far as I know, that if she had submitted her emails in electronic form, one would have been able to open and read all file attachments associated with these emails. If the F.B.I.s digital forensic experts do not succeed in a 100% recovery of all deleted emails on Clinton’s server any files attached to her emails will forever remain a mystery. Perhaps this is how Clinton wanted it.

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Clinton and Other Government Employees and Contractors

If you have read this far, you are probably revisiting the question of how Clinton allowed herself to get in this mess. She has stated that she used a personal email account on a personal email server to send and receive all of her government-related emails for convenience sake because she did not want to carry around more than one phone or handheld device. I think it is safe to assume that every government employee and contractor connected with the government agency with which I am associated maintains both a U.S. government email address and a personal email address. Accept for an occasional message to our significant others informing them when we are coming home late from work, we do not send nor receive personal emails through our government email accounts because we know that it would be both against policy and unprofessional to do so. Since none of us have any trouble keeping two simultaneous email accounts and keeping our personal email separate from our government email, regardless of whether we carry one or two phones or handheld devices, I have to conclude Clinton would have had no trouble doing the same if she desired to do so. Furthermore, one of the many people who surround the Secretary of State seemingly at all times could have relieved Clinton of the burden of carrying around those oh so heavy  phones and handheld devices.

Why Clinton Did What She Did

The only conceivable reason why Clinton would have wanted to use a personal email account set up on a private server for all of her government-related emails was the desire to be able to control, and possibly restrict and or prevent, access to her communications in a manner that would not have been possible if she used her government email address and email account for all of her work-related communications. Keep in mind, those reading this, that as explained previously, all emails related to Clinton’s job are the property of the government and the American people.

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Did Clinton Really Never Have a Government Email Address?

The subject of government email addresses and accounts reminds me of how surprised I was to read of the claim that no government email address was ever created for Clinton. I believe that the way things have worked at my agency for as long as I have been associated with it has been that a government email address is automatically created for each and every new employee, contractor, and I would assume appointed official as well, as soon as a she or he comes on board. Could it be the truth is that Clinton had a government email address all along and just did not want to use it?

55,000 Pages of Emails

Before I wrap up I want to make a few last points. Clinton stated that there were 55,000 pages of emails on her personal server and they were divided about equally between government emails and personal emails. Does anyone with a fulltime job send and recieve the same amount of personal and work emails? I estimate that I send and receive ten times as many work emails as personal emails. Should we believe that Clinton’s situation was that different?

The “Everybody Does It” Defense

On numerous occasions Clinton and her supporters  have attempted to defend her handling of email by comparing her to other government officials. I do not allow my six-year-old child to get away with the “everybody does it” defense. We should not allow Clinton to get off the hook by using the same excuse.

The reader can now breathe easy knowing that I am going to finish with a prediction of what will happen next. It is without question then, that the FBI’s investigation of Clinton’s email scandal will result in its recommendation to the Justice Department that she be indicted for her improper handling of restricted information found on her personal email server. What follows will be one of the most interesting chapters of American political history. I will blog about it very soon.

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