Streetwise Professor

February 1, 2016

The Buck Stops With Hillary? Unless It’s From Goldman, You Must Be Kidding

Filed under: Politics — The Professor @ 12:13 pm

Hillary’s email excuses get more lame by the day. For months her story–and she has stuck to it–is that none of the emails were marked as classified. Yesterday, when (miracle of miracles!) George Stephenopolous called her on this, her excuse became even lamer. And if I were Cheryl  Mills, Huma Abedin, or Jake Sullivan, I would be afraid, very afraid, after hearing it.

Specifically Stephenopolous asked about a non-disclosure agreement Clinton signed before becoming Secretary of State, which states: “classified information is marked or unmarked … including oral communications.” That is, marking is a sufficient, but not necessary, condition for establishing whether something is classified. The mention of “oral communications” points out the obvious issue: if marking was necessary, verbal information could never be an official secret, which is obviously absurd.

Hillary’s response? Here’s to you, Cheryl, Huma, and Jake!:

Clinton pointed to her aides, saying: “When you receive information, of course, there has to be some markings, some indication that someone down the chain had thought that this was classified and that was not the case.”

Someone down the chain is apparently responsible for establishing whether something sent up the chain should be classified.

There’s only one little problem with this. Per an Obama Executive Order on classified information (which parallels EOs of previous presidents), Hillary was an”original classify[ing] authority.”

Sec. 1.3.  Classification Authority.  (a)  The authority to classify information originally may be exercised only by:

(1)  the President and the Vice President;

(2)  agency heads and officials designated by the President; and

(3)  United States Government officials delegated this authority pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section.

(b)  Officials authorized to classify information at a specified level are also authorized to classify information at a lower level.

(c)  Delegation of original classification authority.

(1)  Delegations of original classification authority shall be limited to the minimum required to administer this order.  Agency heads are responsible for ensuring that designated subordinate officials have a demonstrable and continuing need to exercise this authority.

The “classification authority”, as the title suggests, has the authority and responsibility to classify:

Section 1.1.  Classification Standards.  (a)  Information may be originally classified under the terms of this order only if all of the following conditions are met:

(1)  an original classification authority is classifying the information;

(2)  the information is owned by, produced by or for, or is under the control of the United States Government;

(3)  the information falls within one or more of the categories of information listed in section 1.4 of this order; and

(4)  the original classification authority determines that the unauthorized disclosure of the information reasonably could be expected to result in damage to the national security, which includes defense against transnational terrorism, and the original classification authority is able to identify or describe the damage.

In brief, Hillary was the ultimate classification authority in the State Department, and everyone else in the Department was exercising that authority because it had been delegated by her to them. Further, Hillary had the authority to determine whether “disclosure of the information reasonably could be expected to result in damage to the national security.” The power to make these determinations was explicitly vested in her.

In other words: the classification buck should have stopped with Hillary. She cannot escape the authority and duties assigned her by statute and implementing executive orders.

But of course, the only bucks that stop with Hillary are those donated to the Clinton Foundation for “speaking fees” from Goldman, etc., or extracted from tuition paying college students by political sycophant university administrators.

Hillary is clearly preparing  to throw her closest aides to the wolves. “I was failed by my subordinates who failed to mark properly this information that should have been classified.”  It’s the Clinton way.

It’s also a legal travesty. The woman who believes that it is her right to be a successor of Harry Truman definitely does not live by his motto: “The Buck Stops Here.” It stops with the patsies who have to take the fall in order to protect Her Highness’s political viability.


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  1. Let’s make it simple, if one is in a cabinet-level position EVERY thing you put out as work product is classified, by definition. Allies and enemies would give anything to get insights into US policies or intentions. The only thing she could send out in an email that isn’t sensitive would be asking Bill if he’s on the porch tonight.

    Comment by The Pilot — February 1, 2016 @ 5:21 pm

  2. Have the FBI missed the bus on the emails? They’ve been investigating long enough but if they wait until she’s the candidate before hauling her in for questioning there’s going to be a HUGE row about interfering with the democratic process, blah, blah, etc.

    Comment by James Harries — February 1, 2016 @ 6:24 pm

  3. @James-The problem is the FBI has to go through the Justice Department, which will cover for Hillary. Further, Obama/the WH have on more than one occasion said that they see no crime here. Obviously sending a signal to the FBI to back off. In the military, that would be called improper command influence.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — February 1, 2016 @ 7:16 pm

  4. She’ll still beat Trump. Both are vicious overprivileged third-rate loons but Hillary is more duplicitous and has a greater sense of entitlement. It’s like Stalin versus Mussolini.

    Comment by Green As Grass — February 2, 2016 @ 6:01 am

  5. The fix is in anyway. Hilary stated a few days ago that President Obama would be a great Supreme Court justice. The quid pro quo is now out in the open.

    Comment by Scott — February 2, 2016 @ 11:16 am

  6. This blog is a right wing conspiracy designed to discredit the hard work that Hillary has done to shake down foreign governments and prop up The Clinton Foundation.

    Hillary won’t get nominated. Rubio or Cruz will be our next President and the media will designate them as white, not Hispanic.

    Comment by pointsnfigures — February 4, 2016 @ 3:08 pm

  7. @pointsnfigures-Yes. A conspiracy of one!

    Spot on re Cruz or Rubio. They will be (already are, in fact) assigned to the George Zimmerman White Hispanic demographic.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — February 4, 2016 @ 9:54 pm

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