Hillary Clinton Never Came Close to Compromising National Security

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Since everyone is going bonkers over the fact that Hillary Clinton sent and received some emails containing classified information, here’s a quick reminder that we’ve known this for a long time. We’ve also known just what that classified information was. Here is Fred Kaplan:

As anyone who’s ever had a security clearance will tell you, the labels secret and confidential mean next to nothing…. Top secret information is another matter, but the stuff that showed up in Clinton’s private email wasn’t so special. Seven of the eight email chains dealt with CIA drone strikes, which are classified top secret/special access program….Everyone in the world knows about these strikes; nongovernment organizations, such as New America, tabulate them; newspapers around the world—including the New York Times, where some of the same reporters are now writing so breathlessly about Clinton’s careless handling of classified information—cover these strikes routinely.

The other top secret email chain described a conversation with the president of Malawi. Conversations with foreign leaders are inherently classified.

If you choose to believe that top secret is top secret, and it doesn’t matter if the classification was ridiculous, that’s fine. Knock yourself out. The rest of us can examine Emailgate in a real-world sense and try to decide if Hillary Clinton actually did anything that might have compromised national security. The answer, pretty clearly, is no. We’ve seen virtually all the emails. We know what the top secret emails were about. We know that Russia could have hacked into her server and read every word and learned nothing of interest.

Hillary was still careless, and she still shouldn’t have done it. But for anyone interested in actual national security, it’s pretty clear that she never came close to compromising anything even remotely important. We’ve known this for many months. We still know it. And all the faux outrage from Republicans in Congress won’t change it.

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