- - Tuesday, May 26, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

There’s a media consensus that there’s no “smoking gun” in the emails that Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of State and presidential candidate, has “persuaded” the department she presided over for so long to release to the public.

But the teasing continues. To begin with, there was the problem that she had used a personal Internet server for conducting both government and non-government business. Now there’s a hint that maybe there was more than one server.

Several former secretaries of State had used such private servers before her, and it was never a good idea to mix personal and government business, particularly government business so crucial to national security. That’s why the rules were changed before Mrs. Clinton got to Foggy Bottom. The rules now prohibit using personal servers for government business. Knowingly or not, and it’s difficult to imagine that a sharp lawyer would not know about the new rule, she violated the rules. Never mind, she said, she would turn over all the government emails on her server to the State Department.

But then we were told that she would release only the emails she thought relevant. Over the next few weeks and months, we can expect more data dumps, some more incriminating than others. When and where the rest of them will be submitted to public purview is another matter. She has done us the service, we are told, of eliminating another 30,000 emails which were “personal.” We are instructed to accept her assertion that this is so, although there’s a fine mixture of personal and government business in the emails already released. That contradicts her assertion that the emails were segregated and that some (or most) did not relate to government business.

There are larger issues at stake. Few emails have emerged about the disaster in Benghazi, which resulted in the assassination of an ambassador and three other Americans while Hillary was sleeping late. The record is far from complete. It’s necessary not only to analyze such a disaster so it won’t be repeated, but there are questions with more dismal implications.

More emails are needed to reveal the complete role of Sidney Blumenthal, the private citizen who was sending emails to her with policy suggestions, which she duly passed on to State Department aides. Mr. Blumenthal was at the time entangled with commercial interests, presumably oil, seeking a foothold in Libya. That may not be a smoking gun, but it’s a gun glowing red hot.

The State Department must have the entire record of the Clinton era at the department for policy and historic records. These are important, for example, to the understanding of the Islamic State, known also as ISIS and ISIL. Gen. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the president of Egypt, bombed Islamic State positions after the barbarians made a spectacle of executing three-dozen Egyptians for the crime of their faith as Christians. The Islamic State threatens much of Libya’s oil, which would enable Islamic terrorists to gain further financial resources.

Unless Mrs. Clinton has destroyed computers in her home in Chappaqua, New York, there’s a strong likelihood that technicians, who can often work magic, can recover the flushed emails. The complete record of Mrs. Clinton’s tenure in Foggy Bottom should be in State Department custody.

The solution to all this is clear. The computer server housed in her home should be given to a neutral party, perhaps one chosen jointly by the congressional investigating committee and the Clintons, so their contents can be restored to their rightful place.

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