How Is Hillary Clinton Murdering America With Her Emails Today?
If you've been looking at the internet or the television, you've been hearing about an FBI document dump that spells more #SCANDAL for Hillary Clinton, over how the FBI allegedly colluded with Patrick Kennedy at the State Department to do quid pro quos to each other, regarding the retroactive classification of a Hillary email, and OMG WTFGHAZI!!!!!1!!! JAIL HER!
Let's take a deep breath and get clear on a bit of background information.
Hillary Clinton has said from time to time that agencies of U.S. American government often bicker about what should and should not be classified, what level of classification a document should receive, and so on. In fact, she's said this bickering is "the process by which the government, and sometimes in disagreement between various agencies of the government, make decisions about what can and cannot be disclosed.” Current Secretary of State John Kerry has said there's a "massive amount of overclassification" throughout the agencies of the government, and that things that are unclassified are often later deemed classified by one agency, but another agency is like "Nuh uh!" and then everybody's bickering again. To be clear, the presence of Hillary Clinton in the halls of government is not the cause of this bickering. It's just How Things Are.
Last year, Think Progress quoted Peter Swire, a Georgia Tech law and ethics professor and an expert who served on Obama's NSA review panel in 2014, explaining these murky waters:
“Many of the critiques [of Clinton] show a total ignorance of how document classification works" [...]
“We live in a world where intelligence comes from many different sources, and one agency treats a piece of news as classified and another treats it as unclassified,” Swire said. “It’s possible for something to be classified in one area of government and that classification status be unknown to everyone else."
OK, are we all clear on that?
Understanding that bit of background, let's look at this article from the New York Times about the latest document dump, and see if it means Hillary Clinton is the literal AOL Antichrist, who should burn in Gehenna for her sins:
The new batch of documents indicated that in one particular case, a senior State Department official, Patrick F. Kennedy, pressed the F.B.I. to agree that one of Mrs. Clinton’s emails on the 2012 Benghazi attack would be unclassified — and not classified as the bureau wanted.
What remained unclear from the documents was whether it was Mr. Kennedy or an F.B.I. official who purportedly offered the “quid pro quo”: marking the email unclassified in exchange for the State Department’s approving the posting of more F.B.I. agents to Iraq.
Officials at both the F.B.I. and the State Department said Monday that no deal had been struck, or even offered, over the classification of Mrs. Clinton’s private emails. They noted that the Benghazi email in question had been made public with a sentence blocked out, meeting the F.B.I.’s demand for classification. They also said no additional F.B.I. agents had been posted overseas.
BURN HER! BURN HER! BURN HER! Wait, that just sounds like the FBI bickering with Foggy Bottom. Boring. Was Hillary even there, breathing fire and mocking God?
There is no indication from the documents that Mrs. Clinton was aware of the discussion.
Lame. So State dudes are arguing with FBI dudes over whether a few Hillary Clinton emails should be retroactively classified, and it seems from the documents that maybe either Patrick Kennedy, or maybe an FBI dude, was like, "I will do your thing if you do my thing, and that is called a quid pro quo, according to Latin. In the American language, we call it a reach-around."
And now both agencies say "Nah bro, that is not what happened." According to Newsweek, Michael Toner, a spokesperson for State, says the conversation about the department's desire to declassify this one Hillz email and the FBI's desire for more agents in Iraq was more of a "While I have you on the phone" type thing:
"After the conversation took place about the upgrading classification, at the end of that, there was a kind of, 'Oh, by the way, hey, we're looking at how we want more slots" in Iraq, Toner said, calling it a "clear pivot" in the topic of conversation. [...]
The FBI also confirmed both topics were raised in the same conversation, and that the FBI official who discussed the email and Iraq with Kennedy had since retired.
[wonkbar]<a href="http://wonkette.com/603709/why-hillary-clinton-will-not-rot-in-jail-for-aggravated-emailing-your-ultimate-emails-wonksplainer"></a>[/wonkbar]It should be noted that the documents in question are notes from the FBI's investigation into Hillary's email server. Do we all remember how that investigation turned out, and how FBI Director James Comey, a Republican, concluded that, though Hillary and her team were "extremely careless" with how they handled classified information -- the FBI always says that about State -- Hillary committed no crime?
Donald Trump is tweet-raging that this is "unbelievable" and Paul Ryan is making meow sounds about a "cover-up." Trump's Russia-lovin' foreign policy "adviser" Michael Flynn told the Times this is "undeniable proof" that She Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken "colluded with the F.B.I., D.O.J. and State Department to cover up criminal activity at the highest levels." Quite a stretch, Mister Crazypants, since she wasn't even involved in the discussion!
These dinguses are doing this because they know average Americans don't have one dang fuckin' clue how this stuff all works. But if Republicans say "NEW EVIDENCE OF DEVIL HILLARY CORRUPTION BENGHAZI ANGERRRRR!!!" they know most people aren't going to read through the truly boring documents for themselves, and then educate themselves on Classification, How Does It Work, in order to make an informed decision as to what this all means. Because why would they? Hell, we'd argue that Joe Batshit in Alabama actually shouldn't be expected to understand the inner workings of intra-agency classification processes in the United States government.
But, for Trump and the GOP, this just adds to the giant pile of evidence Hillary-haters can't actually explain, but can confidently point to as proof Hillz is THE WORST, because Fox News and Donald Trump say it means she's the worst, therefore that must mean she is the worst, end of story, case closed, FRY HER AND PUT HER IN JAIL.
Twenty-one days until the election, y'all. Twenty-one days.