Best Defense

Hmm — this made me think I may be wrong about Hillary’s email situation

The other day I was pooh-poohing the view that Hillary Clinton did something criminally wrong with her email system. After all, I said to some friends, every four-star general seems to think they can declassify information because of their rank, and VP Cheney held the same view.

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The other day I was pooh-poohing the view that Hillary Clinton did something criminally wrong with her email system. After all, I said to some friends, every four-star general seems to think they can declassify information because of their rank, and VP Cheney held the same view.

I got a pushback from retired Army Col. Derek Harvey, a leading intelligence expert whom I know from Iraq. There are “two fundamental differences” in the Clinton situation, he noted. First is “the systemic nature of this with unsecure servers and gross negligence in transmitting classified material in unclassified private systems that did not originate with her organization.” Plus, he added, “I also think there was a cabal of supporters that enabled this private effort and some of them will take deals for immunity.”

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Correction, Nov. 17, 2015: The former U.S. secretary of state is Hillary Clinton. An earlier version of this post misspelled her first name as Hilary.

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com.

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