back to article State Department finds 22 classified emails in Hillary’s server, denies wrongdoing

The US State Department is to release another 1,000 emails from the 55,000 found on Hillary Clinton’s private (and insecure) email server, saying that 22 contain material that is classified, but wasn’t at the time the messages were sent. "The documents are being upgraded at the request of the intelligence community because …

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  1. gerdesj Silver badge

    Spot the oxymoron

    I've given up with trying to quote and [sic] etc. After de bullshitting and trimming (this is an abbreviation):

    1,000 emails include 22 that contain material that is classified, but wasn’t at the time the messages were sent.

    Re-read the above carefully and note the words "wasn't at the time".

    This is a carefully placed piece of wank against a politico against whom I nearly don't care about and who is running for a position in a country I call foreign. Why should I care?

    I care about facts or at least a reasonable argument about what is factual.

    1. Grikath Silver badge

      Re: Spot the oxymoron

      Oh, it's even better.. They contain a "category" that has at a later date been made "top secret".

      Could easily be there's nothing special in the emails per sé, a "category" is such a nice catch-all.

      I can think op a couple that sound good in theory, but can render the most innocuous remarks as "Top Secret".

    2. Big John Silver badge

      Re: Spot the oxymoron

      Uh, guys, this article is a full brown-nosing for Mrs. Clinton. The actual truth is that she is guilty of major federal felonies and probably every bit of sensitive stuff she had on that insecure server is in the hands of the Chinese and Russians, at least. She knows this and it's eating her candidacy alive.

      Notice the pathetic (and false) "Bush did it too" defense. Hillary herself could have written this article.

      1. Grikath Silver badge

        Re: Spot the oxymoron @ big john

        "and probably every bit of sensitive stuff she had on that insecure server is in the hands of the Chinese and Russians, at least."

        That's a probably.. Not proof then..

        Not that there hasn't been a spate of leaks from just about every important section of the US govt in the public domain, hasn't it? At least professional Spais are supposed to be subtle and ideally won't leave much trace.

        But hey! It's Election Season! Moar! Mudslinging! Well done chaps.... well done...

        1. Big John Silver badge

          Re: Spot the oxymoron @ big john

          It's immaterial if the data was taken or not. She had hundreds of these classified files in her possession on that server, and that alone is enough to burn anyone else. All that stuff had to be copied off the secure server she had access to and was placed on hers. That is criminal. Then she ordered staff to remove the classified tags from those files so she could send them via unsecured email. Very criminal. All the while she swore up and down that none of this was happening. Liar.

          As the Lurker says, if she skates on this there is no more rule of law for politicians in the US, at least if they are Democrats.

      2. oldcoder

        Re: Spot the oxymoron

        It isn't sensitive UNTIL someone declares it is sensitive.

        I've had to handle several public mail servers that were given information that later was labeled "secret"... A few even "top secret".

        What counted was whether it was so labled AT THE TIME OF TRANSMISSION...

        AND whether the sender knew it was identified.

    3. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Spot the oxymoron

      Apparently Foggy Bottom does not understand US law. It is the originating agency that sets the classification not any recipient or intermediary one. The US spookhauses are saying (off the record mostly but in letters to Congress) they classified some of the information at top secret and even higher. Migrating the information from one system is apparently a felony. There also appears to be a conspiracy, some aides actually did the dirty work at Hildabeast's prodding.

      The sense growing over here is that Hildabeast and cronies should heading to the Big House not the White House. But the concern is she will not be indicted which means the rule of law is toast and the various feral overlords are not that much different than any totalitarian goons past or present - pick up favorite analogy.

    4. tom dial Silver badge

      Re: Spot the oxymoron

      The emails are reported to contain classified material. That is consistent with the Clinton campaign claim that the messages were not classified, but almost certainly indicates either carelessness or malfeasance within the State Department that reaches the Secretary's office if not the Secretary herself.

      Of course none of it would have been much of an issue if she had not, violating both law and regulation, deployed a private (not to say quite insecurely configured) server to conduct government business. Instead, she would have done email on State Department systems either in the office or remotely using a government provided VPN and examined classified information either in hard copy or using systems attached only to a secure network that did not interface with the public internet (and secret and above possibly in a physically secured and electromagnetically isolated interior room).

      Every article I have seen, including this one, treats this much more lightly than it warrants, as do a large fraction of comments, both here and elsewhere.

      1. Grikath Silver badge

        Re: Spot the oxymoron

        "The emails are reported to contain retroactively classified material. That is consistent with the Clinton campaign claim that the messages were not classified, "

        FTFY...

        1. Big John Silver badge

          Re: Spot the oxymoron

          A few emails are retroactive, and all the rest were "born classified," and we now learn that some are so dangerously sensitive that even redaction cannot render them safe to release. Clinton has no defense except to lie her arse off. But then there are plenty of useful idiots who will swallow whole anything she says and then try to shout down those who don't.

          1. oldcoder

            Re: Spot the oxymoron

            some of us have actually handled public mail servers that were given secret information...

            What counts is if the sender knew it was sensitive or not.

            It is NOT the recipients fault.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Spot the oxymoron (UNLESS)

              She is deliberately running an illegal mail server in order to circumvent the official secrets act!

              Like Hillary DID!

              1. Tom 13

                Re: She is deliberately running an illegal mail server

                You're thinking too small. She wasn't running the illegal mail server in order to commit one crime. By my count it was at least three types, with each message being a new violation of the law:

                1) Handling Classified information

                2) Ensuring a record of all Official Records

                3) The Hatch Act, which prohibits Federal Officials from using their government email accounts for partisan fundraising.

                4) Hide paper trail for selling access via the Clinton Foundation.

                Note that merely trying to use her original excuse of only wanting one account (which somehow got convoluted to one device even though she's been seen with two cell phones) necessarily means she is violation of #3.

        2. tom dial Silver badge

          Re: Spot the oxymoron

          The original statement is correct, and also consistent with possible retroactive classification. The articles report that the email messages contained classified material, but those at the New York Times, Washington Post, and Associated Press feed do not state that it was classified retroactively. The closest to that was the statement quoted in the AP article that the source of the content was being investigated.

          In a general sense, all official material is born classified and not to be released publicly without explicit department or agency approval (or made available because of vulnerabilities) . The classification that applies is dependent on the origin and type of data. It probably happens rarely, but there may well be instances in which publicly released material was classified (or had its classification upgraded) after the fact and efforts made to collect and destroy existing copies.

          Removal of established classification information and copying information from a higher level to a lower without the associated classification marks certainly violate department or agency policy and instructions, and probably violate the law.

          1. Tom 13

            Re: The original statement is correct

            No, the original statement is a flat out lie. We've been through this already. Much of the information being identified as classified was by its nature "born classified". As such it is ALWAYS classified regardless of markings, which was the first lie $Hrillary told with respect to THIS scandal.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Spot the oxymoron

          Since it is only the Clinton campaign that is claiming that these items were *retrospectively* made classified, I think world + dog should take that claim with a veritable mountain range of salt.

          You should be aware, that retrospective classification is very rare and is the result of mistakes in most cases.

          Why, for Jesus H Christ's sake do so many want to just swallow the Clinton spin !

      2. Tom 13

        Re: Clinton campaign claim that the messages were not classified

        Only because you believed the first Clinton lie (and probably all the rest of the afterward).

        Data in not classified based on whether or not the message has headers that says it is classified. Data is classified based solely on whether or not it meets the requirements to be classified. AND as both a handler and originator of classified material $Hrillary had a duty to KNOW what was classified and what wasn't.

        And yes they HAVE released the email in which she clearly instructed her minions to strip the headers and send the information unclassified.

      3. FyveSyx

        Re: Spot the oxymoron @ Tom Dial

        I am with you here Tom. I worked with classified information for 8 years in the past. I know first hand that one of the most important things they drill into your head is how to maintain a security posture so that you don't have slip ups. Admittedly, this is my first time hearing that information can be unclassified and then made Top Secret SAP retroactively. I'm only aware of the other way around. That being said, there should have NEVER been a private e-mail server to conduct government business. We are taught that we (even the peons simply working a govt contract) are targets because of the information we have or had access to. The Sec. of State is so high profile that EVERY precautionary measure should have been taken to protect that info, even if it wasn't classified at the time. It, more than likely, was 'sensitive' at least or else it would not have retroactively made it all the way to Top Secret SAP. We may never know what those e-mails contained, and quite frankly I don't care. I care about keeping our information from prying eyes that would/could use it against us.

        Now, that being said, there is one alternative, though I think less likely to be the case. This IS election season. Saying a number of e-mails had to be retroactively classified and now can't be released can do serious damage to a campaign where a candidate's trustworthiness is showing signs of anemia. But again, I doubt this to be the case.

    5. Charles Manning

      Re: "wasn't at the time".

      To say that the emails contained info that wasn't classified at the time is surely disingenuous for at least the following reasons:

      1) Deals that the State Secretary is making are often inherently not-yet-classified because the deal is the info itself. Expecting that yet-to-be generated info should have been classified is ridiculous. That is the whole point of controlled email services: you don't always know what is classified/sensitive at the time it is generated so you apply the precautionary principle: treat it all as sensitive classified info until you have reason to declassify it.

      I couldn't get away with the same rationality releasing buggy code: "oh well, I didn't know it had a bug at the time.". No, I have to treat all code as buggy until I test the hell out of it, including getting it tested by others, and "prove" that it is solid before I ship it.

      2) So 22 out of 1000 emails were eventually classified and ended up on an unsecure server. She still leaked the classified info onto an insecure server whether she did it before or after it was classified.

      3) Apart from the lack of security, the other thing that is being questioned is her lack of judgement. After all this time in high-flying politics, she determined that those 22 documents were not sensitive enough to be treated with caution. Clearly they were sensitive enough if the info was later classified. She clearly lacks the "nose" for what is sensitive and what is not. Do you really want a Prez like that?

      1. Grikath Silver badge

        Re: "wasn't at the time".

        "I couldn't get away with the same rationality releasing buggy code: "oh well, I didn't know it had a bug at the time.". No, I have to treat all code as buggy until I test the hell out of it, including getting it tested by others, and "prove" that it is solid before I ship it."

        Oh Charles... Nice ethic, but..... Which market in vulnerabilities was there again? On both sides of the fence? Ahhhh..... You had me in stitches there...

        But let's see.. Assuming you are entirely correct, and ms. Clinton should immediately and irrevocably spend a fair amount of time cooling her heels at the States' expense..... Why specifically her? It's not as if the last decade has not had a rather luxurious selection of US officials who have done the same, similar, or even worse. That's made it out of the country into international news. Gods know how much has played out that didn't even make that grade..

        What happened to those others? ummm.. lemme see....

        1. Big John Silver badge

          Re: "wasn't at the time".

          > "It's not as if the last decade has not had a rather luxurious selection of US officials who have done the same..."

          @grikath, I call BS on this. Let's hear you name some of these US officials, and don't forget to describe exactly how their actions are the same as Mrs. Clinton's crimes. Oh, and their party affiliation and level within the party would be nice. I won't accept some low-level flunky in Podunk, NJ with a rap sheet a mile long, okay?

          Frankly I can't think of a single example of any past Cabinet Member ever doing (or being caught doing) anything close to what Hillary has done, except maybe for Obama himself...

          1. Lars Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: "wasn't at the time".

            Please Big John, in a two party system you are for either the Republicans or the Democrats or for nothing like half of the Americans looking at the percentage of people who vote. But while you are for the Republicans should you not also recognize Republicans like a guy who had to resign as a president and one who started the dumbest American war in modern times. I am an outsider, perhaps an advantage as my heart and soul is not locked in to either one party. In my own country I am probably as locked in as you are, then again I can recognize it, ponder about it, and I have the advantage of not living in a one or two party system. Listening the the GOP candidates I cannot find anything of value nor for the Americans or the rest of the world, then again I find more among the Democrats. Your choice. perhaps you should evaluate your sociate in a more honest and critical manner like your part in this world.

            1. Big John Silver badge

              Re: "wasn't at the time".

              "But while you are for the Republicans should you not also recognize Republicans like a guy who had to resign as a president and one who started the dumbest American war in modern times."

              @Lars, I would like to respectfully set you straight on a couple of points.

              One, Republicans don't like Nixon any more than anyone else, and far less than the Democrats like the Clinton crime family.

              Two, where did you get the idea that Nixon started the Vietnam War? That particular event happened under Kennedy, a Democrat, and it was escalated under Johnson, another Democrat. Nixon inherited a horrific mess created by those two Democrats (very typical), and then Nixon was conveniently blamed by the Left for the entire war (also very typical). The same war (BTW) that the Left insisted Nixon was losing (when we weren't). And the same Left that pressured Congress to cut off all aid to South Vietnam after Nixon was gone, causing their downfall and the slaughter of millions by the Viet Cong.

              So please don't try to revise history that I lived thru, okay? I won't allow it to stand.

              1. Lars Silver badge
                Happy

                Re: "wasn't at the time".

                I was referring to Iraq. I would blame the French for Vietnam although it was a dump decision by the USA to first finance the French and then take over the war.

          2. Grikath Silver badge

            Re: "wasn't at the time". @ Big John

            "I call BS on this. Let's hear you name some of these US officials, and don't forget to describe exactly how their actions are the same as Mrs. Clinton's crimes. Oh, and their party affiliation and level within the party would be nice. I won't accept some low-level flunky in Podunk, NJ with a rap sheet a mile long, okay?"

            here

            juicy bits here

            corruption maybe?

            here be dragons

            not-so-small-fry then?

            Ummm.... pick and choose? The lists are quite extensive, even if you limit yourself to just the past 10 years..

            1. Big John Silver badge

              Re: "wasn't at the time". @ Big John

              Gee wizz, and I specifically stated "...and don't forget to describe exactly how their actions are the same as Mrs. Clinton's crimes." I did this because I figured you might try to dump a list of all politicians caught bending for the last 200 years on me. And yet you ignored my suggestion and did exactly that.

              Is this all you got?

          3. Tom 13

            Re: Let's hear you name some of these US officials

            I'll name one. And he's the official who actually confirms you're point that $Hrillary should already be behind bars:

            David Petraeus, (R) who barely missed spending the rest of his life breaking rocks for sharing a notebook with someone who had a clearance but wasn't actually authorized to see the data in the notebook. That is, the person had the necessary level of clearance, but hadn't been read into all the programs listed in the notebook.

        2. Dan Paul

          Re: "wasn't at the time".

          So you are an avowed shill for Hillary and still don't understand that General David Petraeus was drummed out of the service for treating classified material in exactly the same callous manner as Hillary Clinton did. Not only that, but the level of secrecy was far greater in Hillary's case than in the Petraeus' case.

          Maybe you should stop commenting on US politics, because YOU haven't got a clue what you are speaking about.

      2. oldcoder

        Re: "wasn't at the time".

        Right... You require the recipient to be clairvoyant.

        It isn't sensitive UNTIL AFTER someone labels it as such.

      3. Tom 13

        Re: So 22 out of 1000 emails

        This is another lie by distraction. As of the middle of December 2015 the number of classified messages is over 1000. El Reg's other significant omission is the reliable report that at least 5 messages have been deemed so damaging to national security that they WILL NOT BE RELEASED EVEN IN REDACTED FORM. The reason is that they provide operational details for Human Intelligence and since the raw emails are likely to be in the hands of foreign intelligence agencies it would confirm even the redacted information to those agencies.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Spot the oxymoron

      You actually *believe* the Clinton spin !!???!!

      Oh sure, there's lots of information that is completely open and everyone knows, then suddenly it's "top secret" and classified.

      Hey, I have a couple of bridges and some top quality "seaside" real estate for sale that you are probably interested in by the sounds of it.

      But Clinton will not be prosecuted or even charged over this. Not because there isn't illegality involved, but because Clinton is fireproof. Laws, schmlaws....they're for the little people.

    7. Dan Paul

      Re: Spot the oxymoron (Yes, YOU!)

      http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/30/us/politics/22-clinton-emails-deemed-too-classified-to-be-made-public.html?_r=0

      Of the 1,000 emails that shouldn't be on her server, there are 22 MORE emails that are so highly classified that the DoJ reviewers had to be "read in" to the program (IE added to the allowed list) and that the subject of the emails can never be seen outside those few people. They are so highly redacted that they will never be released to the public!

      Is that factual enough for you? If not then shut up and stop commenting about politics that you obviously don't understand but seem to want to shill for the second greatest liar and thief I have ever seen in my life.

      Carefully placed? You mean like all the anti Republican comments carefully inserted by the left leaning NWO at the Register?

    8. Tom 13

      Re: Spot the oxymoron

      Wrong word. The correct word is "Lie".

      The data most certainly WERE classified, and higher, at the time they were sent. We know this from several sources, not the least of which is an unclassified email in which $Hrillary directed her minions to remove the classification headers and send as unclassified.

  2. fallen2stealth
    Facepalm

    Um... da fuq

    Okay, so I am supposed to care about the emails that were not classified when sent but (due to operations of my government that had not happened at that time) are now asked to be treated as classified by the IC who are separate from the Department of State. (So not classified at that time and was at that time a State issue... now classified due to military operations or some such that have taken place.)

    But, you know, this is the big issue... not the failure of OPM and the Department of State over the last 14 years to protect their systems. This server, with out proof that it is compromised is the issue... not the ones that lost MILLIONS OF PEOPLES RECORDS... you know... kinda in violation of the Privacy Act of 1974... a little.

    1. tom dial Silver badge

      Re: Um... da fuq

      As a present beneficiary of OPM paid credit and identity theft watching, I do not see that either of these events should be taken to excuse or downgrade the importance of the other.

    2. Tom 13

      Re: Um... da fuq

      Liar. They WERE classified at the time they were sent. $Hrillary explicitly instructed her minions to remove the classified headers and send it via unsecured channels.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Um... da fuq

        "Liar. They WERE classified at the time they were sent. $Hrillary explicitly instructed her minions to remove the classified headers and send it via unsecured channels."

        And how do we KNOW this?

  3. phil dude
    WTF?

    Olbigatory YM quote

    Bernard: That's another of those irregular verbs, isn't it? I give confidential press briefings; you leak; he's being charged under section 2A of the Official Secrets Act

    A pox on both the Elephant and Donkey for turning partisan, stalemate, politics into a rewarding profession.

    P.

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

      Re: Olbigatory YM quote

      International politics are tricky. A lot of what is actually good statecraft when done at the top levels (Prez, SecState, ambassador, etc.) would be a violation/illegal on the lower levels. And only time will tell if it was a good call or not. A problem, obviously. Solution: select persons whose personal integrity is held in high regard. Which of course poses the next problem...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It could be much much worse...

    T R U M P could win.

    1. Grikath Silver badge

      Re: It could be much much worse...

      nope.. that would be a good thing..

      The rest of the world would then be *sure* the US has completely lost its marbles and can prepare for a preschooler with power tantrums sitting on top of one of the worlds' largest nuclear arsenals.

      Not a pretty thought, but at least we'd be *sure* .

    2. Raumkraut

      Re: It could be much much worse...

      I'm personally not so sure that Trump winning would be as bad as the doomsayers are proclaiming. It's not like the US President is an absolute monarch - AFAIK most every decision they make can be either blocked or overturned by Congress. I can't see Trump being able to get anything too wacky done, before he's impeached on some technicality.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It could be much much worse...

        "get anything too wacky done"

        Reagan?

      2. h4rm0ny

        Re: It could be much much worse...

        >>"It's not like the US President is an absolute monarch - AFAIK most every decision they make can be either blocked or overturned by Congress"

        Tell that to Obama. He's currently using a technicality to enact his own laws and bypass Congress because the Republicans would block him. And lots of Democrats and media are supporting him despite it being undemocratic because he's one of theirs. If a Republican did the same they'd have a blue fit.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It could be much much worse...

          So I take it you opposed George Bush's use of Executive Orders 291 times as against Obama's 224? Clinton's 364 looks high, but then Reagan used them 381 times. And given that an overwhelming majority of Americans actually want gun control, who is being democratic? A president imposing a few sensible gun safety rules or a senator ignoring his constituents because he is paid by the NRA?

          1. Big John Silver badge

            Re: It could be much much worse...

            Executive Orders are not inherently evil. Have you looked at the list? Huge numbers of mundane but important governmental changes that are not quite worth all the bother of the congressional process.

            The difference with Obama is that his are far more sweeping and will affect the public in a big way. That sort of change is the purview of Congress, not the President. Obama just can't accept that Congress won't kiss his ass any more, so he's trying to assume their powers, as wannabe dictators will do.

            And about your assertion that "...an overwhelming majority of Americans actually want gun control...", that lie is old and tired, and should be taken out back and shot.

            Americans are buying guns at record rates and have been since Obama was elected. We know that our guns are the only thing giving Obama and the hard-core Left pause when they consider how to gain permanent control over the population. Basically we'd rather live with the problems guns create than live with Emperor Barrack Hussein Obama the First.

            And no, we don't expect to stand off the US Military; our bullets are meant for any brownshirt goons that he might try to raise against us. Obama hinted at just that when he was elected. Remember this gem from his first campaign?

            "We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded."

            And now he's trying to organize the local police thruout the country into one big organization, supposedly because they are all racists who love to kill little black boys skipping down the street.

            And he's going to use executive orders to do so.

      3. Tom 13

        Re: either blocked or overturned by Congress.

        You obviously haven't been paying attention to our current mini-Mao.

    3. Velv Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: It could be much much worse...

      Scary fact...

      There hasn't been a Republican Presidency since 1928 that didn't have either a Bush or Nixon on either the Presidential ticket or Vice Presidential ticket.

      1. phil dude
        WTF?

        Re: It could be much much worse...

        yeah, but if we get another Clinton it will start to look a bit too much like family entrenchment (I'm being polite).

        It will be Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama-Clinton.

        80% from same familys.

        100% fuc*ed

        P.

        1. Chris G Silver badge

          Re: It could be much much worse...

          So it could be 8 years of the Hildbeast and if she doesn't nuke somebody's real estate because they won't sell it to her, she could be followed by 8 years of another Bush. By which time if Obarmy has been inducted into the US chapter of the NWO Illuminati, his kids will be about ready for their turn.

          Trump would be the fly in the oinkment, if he gets in I am going to brush up on my bunker building skills, even if it'sonly to get away from the rubbish he spouts.

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