• Intelligence Expert Nails Reasons For Investigation Into Hillary Emails

    With news of the possible criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email use, one intelligence expert took to Twitter to sum up the situation.

    The New York Times reports that two Inspector Generals have called for a criminal probe into Hillary Clinton’s email use after news that she used her private email instead of a secure government email to send and receive classified information, which would be illegal.

    There’s a lot of confusion surrounding Clinton’s emails and their significance, but Marc Ambinder, a journalist who literally wrote the book on classified intelligence, fired off a string of tweets worth reading.

    1. What the IGs seem to want to know is whether info that was by its nature/subject/sensitivity (but w/o formal markings) classified, was

    — Marc Ambinder (@marcambinder) July 24, 2015

    2. Exchanged routinely over the private Clinton network. The chicken/egg q applies: if I generate info (Libya’s leaders are talking w X)… — Marc Ambinder (@marcambinder) July 24, 2015

    3. That an original classification authority has deemed in some other forum classified … And discussed it in general terms outside a — Marc Ambinder (@marcambinder) July 24, 2015

    4. Classified system, is it really classified? If no one formally classifies a document or fact within an email, is it really classified? — Marc Ambinder (@marcambinder) July 24, 2015

    That question will be at the heart of any investigation, and Ambinder says the answer is a definitive yes.

    “Every security officer would tell you unequivocally yes. Derivatively classified. Or you own judgment should tell you it that it …” Ambinder tweeted. “Ought to be, and it’s your responsibility as a public official with privileged access to secrets to make those distinctions.”

    Ambinder said that if someone types classified information privately emails it, that person “is legally liable if discovered.”

    “I doubt any Clinton associate would knowingly use private email for obviously classified purposes. But IGs suggesting they had obligation to ensure that any inbound or outbound email was as free of potentially classified info as possible,” Ambinder tweeted. “The targets here (if any) seem to be the people who sent emails to the Clinton accounts, not the emails that Clinton and team sent. And to be fair, making these calls is not easy. But this, of course, is why a private email domain might not have been the best idea.”

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