Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Hillary Clinton's Email Issue isn't Relatable

I work in an office where email is EVERYTHING. We have regular back-and-forth emails between supervisors of different units to discuss procedures and save a lot of them to justify why we arrived at the procedures we have and how we arrived at them, so that if any question comes up, we can go back to the archives and understand what was going on at the time to generate whatever procedure we adopted or changed. Some supervisors have email archives that go back a decade or so.

If our email server ever goes down, we feel like amnesiacs, a little, with information we kind of recall, but are a little unsure of. It's stressful to have conversations that aren't written down so that they are transparent and available for later use.

I wouldn't ever consider using my work email for private business--there are written guidelines against it. And I wouldn't consider using my private email account(s) to do anything work-related. (And obviously "Strangely" business is different from my "government name" business.) So to me, the idea that having a single email address is simpler makes no sense at all. I have always had multiple addresses since I've been online. The idea that there are people in government that have sent no emails or minimal emails in their careers seems impossible--I mean, what is it like to farm communications out through a secretary or aide as a gatekeeper? I dunno. It just seems unthinkable to me to get through a single day without sending a dozen emails or receiving a couple dozen. Or saving a mess of them for CYA.

This isn't to say I fall either way where Clinton's private email server is concerned. I just feel like it's unrelatable to me that business and personal aren't easily separable and that multiple accounts don't actually make things easier to compartmentalize--but then again I wonder if the issue isn't also generational. For me, my apps are extensions of how I work (I am a multiple-tab girl), but maybe some people are more single-task? (Not that I'm being judgmental or ageist--I know people my age and younger who seem tech-averse as well. But if a job calls for it, doesn't one have to adapt?) Also, I've heard commentary that the Federal email system was somehow inadequate to requirements--that seems also staggering. Like, wouldn't that be a priority thing to fix, what with the importance of communications for, well, everything, but especially urgent matters?

I'm left with the impression that being Secretary of State is waaaayyy different from what I do (no kidding!) but I'm flummoxed somehow that it isn't, you know. More the same.


StringOnAStick said...

I sad fact is that federal technological anything (other than military, except the VA) is and always has been way, way behind the times. Congress never funds that stuff and the agencies are huge, so making a big change in systems is huge. I figure Clinton did her own email server because (1) she was right about the vast right wing conspiracy,(2) the available State Dept stuff was old and antiquated, and (3) she had an aide who could magically set up a system that would work and she'd have control over it.

My main concern about her doing this is the poor judgment/paranoia that seems apparent, and not recognizing what a shitstorm it would become; seriously, she didn't think ahead enough to see that one coming?

Yastreblyansky said...

One thing that is waayyyy different is the number of things a secretary of state doesn't use email for, which is practically everything important. Scott Shane's article in NYT on the question of whether there were any classified emails clarifies:

Clinton aides pointed out other factors that reduced the need to use the personal email account for sensitive matters. As secretary of state, Mrs. Clinton was almost always accompanied by one or more aides with secure government BlackBerrys, laptops or other devices that could be used to send classified material at her direction.

“Classified information was viewed in hard copy by the secretary while in the office,” according to a statement from her office on Tuesday. “While on travel, the department had rigorous protocols for her and traveling staff to receive and transmit information of all types.”

Her office said that while serving as secretary, Ms. Clinton “communicated with foreign officials in person, through correspondence and by telephone.” Her staff’s review of her emails “revealed only one email with a foreign official,” one from the United Kingdom, the statement said.

The story's headline says "Experts are skeptical" but by the end it's hard to see what they're skeptical about. There's really not much going on other then certain folks trying to generate some excitement.

Yastreblyansky said...

than not then goddammit

Vixen Strangely said...

I think this explanation is pretty reassuring--I mean, emails might not be 100% secure, but remote hacking a piece of paper doesn't really happen (I guess with a well-placed spyglass? Not very wieldy...) Wouldn't that be the clearest way to explain the nontroversy then? "You aren't missing anything."

Formerly Amherst said...

Hi Vixen, I will not burden you with my opinions relative to all this. Particularly as I am on the other side of the political spectrum (more or less).

I will simply say that I very much hope that this next election is not a contest between a Bush and a Clinton. Are there so few possible candidates in the US that we have to be treated to some kind of a replay of ambitions by politically dynastic families?

How about a country in which we have no more Bushes and no more Clintons displaying all of their well-known chicanery?

Vixen Strangely said...

The fear I have about a Bush vs Clinton contest is a clash of Clinton Derangement Syndrome meets Bush Derangement Syndrome, with accusations of shadiness on both sides, real shadiness on both sides, and the media performing predictably--as in, horribly.