“You’re a softie underneath that tough-girl exterior — which I am too!”
October 22, 2015 11:11 AM   Subscribe

What 12,000 Emails Tell Us About Being Hillary Clinton “… right now I’m fighting w the WH operator who doesn’t believe I am who I say I am and wants my direct office line even tho I’m not there and I just (g)ave him my home # and the State Dept # and I told him I had no idea what my direct office # was since I didn’t call myself and I just hung up and am calling thru Ops like a proper and properly dependent Secretary of State – no independent dialing allowed.”
posted by OnceUponATime (87 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
I thought Bernie Sanders made it clear we weren't going to talk about this anymore.
posted by wabbittwax at 11:19 AM on October 22, 2015 [35 favorites]


Yeah I'm really not sure how I feel about reading through someone else's somewhat involuntarily released emails (by which I mean, they weren't deemed 'too private' but they are still being released under orders), or a summary of what's in them.

I skimmed briefly to see if there was a discussion or even acknowledgement of the ethics of that in the article but didn't see anything at the beginning or end.
posted by nogoodverybad at 11:33 AM on October 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


"Yeah I'm really not sure how I feel about reading through someone else's somewhat involuntarily released emails"

Non-classified work emails from public officials should be a matter of public record, are they not?
posted by I-baLL at 11:35 AM on October 22, 2015 [20 favorites]


I learned Hillary Clinton sometimes goes by the nickname Gertie or Gert, which is pretty darn neat.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:39 AM on October 22, 2015 [7 favorites]




How do you even prepare for back-to-back phone meetings with ten different foreign ministers and one President of Romania? Eleven Wikipedia tabs? Huma Abedin sitting across from you doing the neck-cutting motion when you make an IKEA joke to the Norway guy?
posted by theodolite at 11:42 AM on October 22, 2015 [24 favorites]


Non-classified work emails from public officials should be a matter of public record, are they not?

Maybe? Maybe not? We're all human and email is one of those pervasive spaces where people treat it like in person conversations. We probably shouldn't, but I have sympathy for anyone that would have their email, no matter what their job was, gone over with an eye towards public scrutiny. We wouldn't expect every phone and in person conversation recorded. The fact that email leaves a permanent because it is intrinsic to that media doesn't necessarily mean it should be treated as other written documents.

I mean, I don't think the law agrees with my way of thinking. But I wish there were a more humane way to deal with issues like this.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 11:44 AM on October 22, 2015 [15 favorites]


on the one hand, politico is the worst. just, absolutely the worst. lower than the bottom of the barrel, full of stuff by people who don't think politics actually matters, a bunch of right-wing lickspittles who value being perceived as savvy over being intelligent or even right about anything ever.

but on the other hand, I'm pretty sure they just got played by the Clinton team, and that's awesome. because everything I read before I was like "uhh I shouldn't be reading this" and noped out was all about how genuinely difficult the job of secretary of state is, and about how she managed to be both deeply devoted to her life-consuming job and also deeply human while doing it. Clinton and her people have here turned a potentially embarrassing story into a direct refutation of the lamest things the mass media outlets have been saying about her.

I don't agree with her politics — sometimes I think deep down she's still sort of the Goldwater Republican she was as a teenager — but god damn do I respect her skill and style.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:47 AM on October 22, 2015 [39 favorites]


"but I have sympathy for anyone that would have their email, no matter what their job was, gone over with an eye towards public scrutiny. "

Transparency in government is what limits corruption in government. so, yeah, it does depend on what somebody's job is.
posted by I-baLL at 11:48 AM on October 22, 2015 [7 favorites]


(I understand your feelings about this in other cases but in case of government officials this is quite necessary.)
posted by I-baLL at 11:49 AM on October 22, 2015


Non-classified work emails from public officials should be a matter of public record, are they not?

Only work related emails are public record. Non-work related, private emails are not required to be public record. This goes back to the days of paper records. Each individual is supposed to make a copy and file work related correspondence. Other papers get pitched.
posted by JackFlash at 11:51 AM on October 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


I wonder if there's a count of the "let's discuss this on the phone" emails.
posted by GuyZero at 11:56 AM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


I wonder if there's a count of the "let's discuss this on the phone" emails.

This would be routine. The email systems of government are not considered secure for classified information. If you need to discuss classified information you need to use encrypted telephones, wire services or personal meetings.
posted by JackFlash at 12:05 PM on October 22, 2015 [7 favorites]


Also, as an aside to the email question- why are we still doing the Benghazi hearings? With the jackass that admitted what we all knew, that it was theater to make Clinton look bad. And now we've got a collection of emails the opposition can use. It won't even need to be anything bad, or illegal, just anything that they can make seem unappealing. From personal communication style to policy discussion.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 12:11 PM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


" The email systems of government are not considered secure for classified information. If you need to discuss classified information you need to use encrypted telephones, wire services or personal meetings."

The government does have email systems for classified information. It's all on SIPRNet.
posted by I-baLL at 12:16 PM on October 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


Yeah I'm really not sure how I feel about reading through someone else's somewhat involuntarily released emails

Oh, about John Brennan....
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:17 PM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


The whole email thing is just a political foxhunt. As Clinton has testified, email was a very minor part of her routine. She didn't even have a computer. She just used her Blackberry mostly like an instant messaging service to keep in touch with where people were, their status, latest news headlines. Her substantive work was done using encrypted phones, encrypted wire services, couriers and private meetings. Regular government email is not secure for classified information, so you're not going to find must substance in her emails.
posted by JackFlash at 12:18 PM on October 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Also, as an aside to the email question- why are we still doing the Benghazi hearings?

We're doing the Benghazi hearings because it is trivial to bait the right fringe of the Republican Party into humiliating themselves in public. It's almost kinda funny.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:18 PM on October 22, 2015 [7 favorites]


The government does have email systems for classified information. It's all on SIPRNet.

SIPRNet is way more than just e-mail systems.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:19 PM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


The government does have email systems for classified information. It's all on SIPRNet.

That is for special purposes such as transmission of classified cables to embassies or field generals. Government employees' .GOV email accounts are not on SIPRNet.
posted by JackFlash at 12:21 PM on October 22, 2015


why are we still doing the Benghazi hearings?

Because Republican House committee members still have the power under House rules to call the hearings even if the world now knows it's nonsense.
posted by aught at 12:22 PM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Public availability of work-related emails has a negative impact on government effectiveness. When everything you communicate could later be seen and parsed for out-of-context pull quotes by a political enemy, that has a chilling effect on communication. When you can't communicate easily you can't work as well. In general the effect is to make government entities that much more risk-averse, and they are pretty risk-averse already. In the US the fear of controversy will tend to drive people in a more right-ward/conservative direction.

I don't see why all work process stuff as opposed to materials more directly related to the final decisions needs to be totally transparent.
posted by zipadee at 12:24 PM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


"That is for special purposes such as transmission of classified cables to embassies or field generals. Government employees' .GOV email accounts are not on SIPRNet."

Yes, I was just correcting the statement that the government doesn't have secure email systems and has to use voice calls, wire services, and personal meetings for classified communication.
posted by I-baLL at 12:27 PM on October 22, 2015


Oh, about John Brennan....

Ok, allow me to rephrase: I'm not sure how I, personally, as an individual, feel about reading through entirely inconsequential emails of a public figure that have no bearing on what was done in their job, their job performance, or any potentially shady things they may have done while performing their duties.

Whistleblowing or leaks of violations against human rights or privacy or just general shitting on the constitution are in a very different category. I should think this would be pretty obvious. 'Could you please get me a cup of coffee and also the fax machine isn't working' when paired with little personal trappings feels invasive to me. This is what I mean when I say I'm not sure how I feel about it, and I think it's questionable to release them.

Why do I think it's questionable? Because I think it's invasive and unnecessary and distracting from literally anything else that is actually important. What exactly do we gain by releasing these kinds of emails? It feels like tabloid fodder to me. It's not my business and by reading them I feel like I'm contributing to what frankly I consider to be a really gross celebrity culture.

These emails were already screened to remove the more personal ones, and people who are gonna gripe about that aren't gonna gripe any less just because these everyday emails made it through. Any emails screened out from release are going to, in some people's minds anyway, be hiding something.

I get that they had to release a significant bulk of emails as appeasement but it's theater anyway, I'd just rather not take part in it.
posted by nogoodverybad at 12:36 PM on October 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


I don't see why all work process stuff as opposed to materials more directly related to the final decisions needs to be totally transparent.

It's not easy to separate. A lot of the important decision making occurs in the "process" meetings.

For example, in 2001, Dick Cheney's first project was to set up the Energy Task Force to define government policy and regulations. It required a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to get even the names of the people Cheney was meeting with to create the policies and regulations. Turns out all of his meetings were with representatives of Exxon, Conoco, Shell, BP, Enron and coal companies. None involved environmentalists or scientists. Some of these executives may have benefited financially from advance notice of proposed rules. So transparency in process is just as important as final decisions.
posted by JackFlash at 12:37 PM on October 22, 2015 [11 favorites]


How do you even prepare for back-to-back phone meetings with ten different foreign ministers and one President of Romania? Eleven Wikipedia tabs? Huma Abedin sitting across from you doing the neck-cutting motion when you make an IKEA joke to the Norway guy?

In my experience, you have a lower-ranking staffer spend hours on research for each call, which is then summarized down to one sheet of paper and then skimmed over before the call. (I used to have to do stuff like this on a smaller scale - like "our org wants money from Wherever, so how do we formally refer to the Ambassador of Wherever and what issues is he passionate about." I'd throw in whatever I could find, including personal interests. Felt very stalkery!)
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:38 PM on October 22, 2015 [13 favorites]


why are we still doing the Benghazi hearings?

We're talking about a crew that's voted to repeal Obamacare more than fifty times. If there's a dead horse available, they're just going to keep beating it to death.
posted by octothorpe at 12:39 PM on October 22, 2015 [22 favorites]


why are we still doing the Benghazi hearings?

The best/worst part of them is listening to Rep. Duckworth actually asking questions about what went wrong, institutionally, and how we could -- institutionally-- improve security in the future. It's like staring into a parallel reality where the people calling the hearings actually cared about Bengazhi as anything other than a way to attack Clinton.
posted by cjelli at 12:43 PM on October 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'm really not sure how I feel about reading through someone else's somewhat involuntarily released emails

"I took the unprecedented step of asking that the State Department make all my work-related emails public for everyone to see," said Secretary Clinton. "I am very proud of the work that I and my colleagues and our public servants at the department did during my four years as Secretary of State, and I look forward to people being able to see that for themselves." Sounds like she wants you to read them.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 12:50 PM on October 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


> Also, as an aside to the email question- why are we still doing the Benghazi hearings?

I know this sound crazy that people are even thinking about the next Presidential election already, as laughably distant as it is, but apparently Hillary's going to be running for president, someday, in the near future when the campaigns get underway.

Just not now; can you imagine having to endure 12 months of an election? Maybe 16 or 18? What a nightmare that would be.

This is all just a dream, right? Wake me, please!
posted by Sunburnt at 12:51 PM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well, as a terminally nosy person, I found this article very charming. GERTIE!
posted by sonmi at 12:58 PM on October 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


Also, as an aside to the email question- why are we still doing the Benghazi hearings?

I had been debating making this a FPP earlier, but here goes:

Benghazi Biopsy: A Comprehensive Guide to One of America’s Worst Political Outrages

(It's from Newsweek, which I gather has a paywall if you've read some number of articles this month.)

It's the very best thing I've read about the whole sham. Dismantles every one of the Republican myths and talking points, and re-summarizes the known timeline of what actually went down. It's a long read, but extremely thorough and worth it to follow the flow of the whole thing.

Here's from a section about the email situation:
For example, the committee’s interim report from May included the false—and clearly political statement—describing Clinton’s use of a personal account as “the former secretary of state’s unusual email arrangement with herself.” No, this was an arrangement made with the State Department allowed under the rules listed in the Federal Register, which is why Colin Powell had the exact same set-up when he was secretary of state under former President George W. Bush. While that doesn’t mean the approach is wise, it’s hardly unusual given that a Republican who held Clinton’s job did it too.

Senior White House staffers and presidential advisers did the same thing during the Bush Administration; at least 88 officials—including the White House Chief of Staff and Karl Rove, the president’s senior adviser—used personal emails to conduct official business over a private internet domain called gwb43.com, which was maintained on a server at the Republican National Committee. More than 22 million of those emails were deleted.

...By comparison, Clinton’s use of her personal email was more limited than Powell’s. In his book It Worked For Me, he wrote that he used a personal email account set up on a laptop to exchange information not only with his principal assistants and ambassadors but also with foreign ministers overseas. Like Clinton, he used a second email account for classified information. Powell has also said he did not preserve any of the emails from his personal account from the time, either by printing them or saving them on a storage device. None of this is to suggest that Powell did anything wrong. It does, however, raise a question Republicans have yet to answer: Why is Clinton’s use of private emails a controversy, much less a scandal, if Powell’s was proper?
Plenty more in the full article - like how the State Dept.'s email is known to be pretty insecure and has been through a couple of major hacker attacks, so Hillary's emails were actually more secure on her private server - without it, Russian hackers would've had them all long ago.

(Also a section on the committee's questioning of Sidney Blumenthal, and why Gowdy is ducking demands from Democrats to release the full transcript of it, because it will almost certainly show that the committee is only interested in finding dirt on Clinton, not on anything to do with the actual Benghazi attack. This was a point that just caused an argument during the hearing today, right before they broke for lunch.)
posted by dnash at 1:09 PM on October 22, 2015 [28 favorites]


TAPPER: Obviously Al Qaeda was responsible for the terrorist attack of 9/11, but how do you respond to critics who ask, if your brother and his administration bear no responsibility at all, how do you then make the jump that President Obama and Secretary Clinton are responsible for what happened at Benghazi?

JEB BUSH: Well I — the question on Benghazi which, is hopefully we’ll now finally get the truth to, is was the place secure? They had a responsibility, the Department of State, to have proper security. There were calls for security, it looks like they didn’t get it. And how was the response in the aftermath of the attack, was there a chance that these four American lives could have been saved? That’s what the investigation is about, it’s not a political issue. It’s not about the broad policy issue, is were we doing the job of protecting our embassies and our consulates and during the period, those hours after the attack started, could they have been saved?

TAPPER: Well that’s, that’s kind of proving the point of the critics I was just asking about, because you don’t want to have your brother bear responsibility for 9/11 and I understand that argument and Al Qaeda’s responsible, but why are the terrorists not the ones who are responsible for these attacks in Libya?

BUSH: They are, of course they are but — of course they are, but if the ambassador was asking for additional security and didn’t get it, that’s a proper point and if it’s proven that the security was adequate compared to other embassies, fine, we’ll move on.
About damned time.

(via Salon/CNN)
posted by JoeZydeco at 1:19 PM on October 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Huma Abedin sitting across from you doing the neck-cutting motion when you make an IKEA joke to the Norway guy?

Given that IKEA is Swedish, the Norway guy probably has an even better IKEA joke to contribute.
posted by Kabanos at 1:25 PM on October 22, 2015 [7 favorites]


Now all we need to do is get the emails from Condi Rice, Colin Powell, Dick Cheney, George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld (if he used email).

Would love to see those in comparison.
posted by Chuffy at 1:34 PM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Meanwhile Wikileaks has been given the private AOL email for the current CIA director. They started publishing them yesterday. All kinds of interesting details about Iran strategy to how he wanted congress to address torture. The relative coverage by the media is depressing. Here is CNN for example.
posted by humanfont at 1:40 PM on October 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


I love watching hrc in the video dnash linked. She is great even if I don't agree with her on a lot.
posted by sio42 at 1:40 PM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


oh god why did I turn on the benghazi hearings? I am actively embarrassed looking at the republicans grandstanding. the sense that they don't actually give a damn about the stuff they're talking about is palpable. these guys almost certainly cheered when they found out that American diplomats had been killed.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:44 PM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


the State Dept.'s email is known to be pretty insecure and has been through a couple of major hacker attacks, so Hillary's emails were actually more secure on her private server - without it, Russian hackers would've had them all long ago.

I usually like Newsweek, but man. There's a difference between "secure" and "perhaps got lucky and/or didn't have enough security and auditing to know whether or not they had been hacked, and not really wanting to know the answer to that question that badly."

Gaaaa, public officials, just use your freaking work email for work like the rest of us schlubs. It's really not that hard.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 1:51 PM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hillary hired a firm that provides secure email for VIPs and celebrities. They are apparently well regarded and probably better suited to protect her email than whatever government contractor/lowest bidder manages the State Department exchange server.
posted by humanfont at 1:54 PM on October 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


these guys almost certainly cheered when they found out that American diplomats had been killed.

Mitt Romney battened on it immediately. It kind of backfired for him eventually.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:02 PM on October 22, 2015


There's a difference between "secure" and "perhaps got lucky and/or didn't have enough security and auditing to know whether or not they had been hacked, and not really wanting to know the answer to that question that badly."

I don't think that's a fair assessment of the situation. From the Newsweek piece:
But government records show that no hacker has been found to have gained access to Clinton’s private server, something that is far easier to determine given the limited number of accounts it holds and the comparative ease of running security analytics through such a small system. Nor was there any other form of unauthorized intrusion into the email, and no one else had access to the account itself. In fact, after Clinton left government, multiple hackers tried to break into the system but failed. The server was located at Clinton’s home, which is guarded by the Secret Service. Numerous security consultants, IT specialists and government experts put systems in place to prevent breaches; those systems were continuously updated to account for new spyware, malware, viruses and related hacking techniques.
So yes, Clinton's server did have "enough security and auditing," and no, it wasn't hacked.

You're right about "just use your work email," even Clinton says so. The piece isn't calling her server a better arrangement, he's just revealing that all the wailing about "OMG SECURITY" is nonsense. It was a mistake, sure, but not a mistake unique to her, yet somehow the Repubs have tried to paint it as somehow uniquely sinister. They've got their buddies at Fox regularly suggesting she's under criminal investigation over it, but she's not and never has been.

(Frankly, I think it's clear that even if she had used State Dept. email, the Repubs on the committee would still have found some reason they could pile onto to suggest she did something wrong so they could scour through all of them looking for dirt.)
posted by dnash at 2:15 PM on October 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


"Just my little opinion, they weren’t very professional when it came to protecting people….All I can say is they missed something here and we lost four Americans.”

How is one life worth any thousand like a snively pogue like Westmoreland?

Years of this crap from Benghazi and we spent, what, a week and a half on 9/11 and had to pull teeth to do that? This guy was pushing feel good half ass Jesus freak bills while people in service were attacked in Karachi, Tashkent, Athens, Istanbul, the embassy in Yemen was hit while this guy was running unopposed, not a word about that, not a word about shutting down an attack a few years later (’09). November 17 fires an rpg at an embassy under Bush, the silence is deafening. More security, for what? Doing a heckova job Brownie.

But now a college dropout who never picked up a weapon in his life, yeah, he knows all about how to conduct operations. Woods who? Doherty who? They must be fuckups because they’re dead.

Don’t have inconvenient political beliefs if you want to be a hero. Any good ol boy who can fill out paperwork to get into office can piss all over your grave.

“I don't agree with her politics — sometimes I think deep down she's still sort of the Goldwater Republican she was as a teenager — but god damn do I respect her skill and style.”

Skill and style are her politics. I disagree with her on some of the issues. And some quite deeply. But, as much as I (personally) like her, this is who she is. She's about winning. Sometimes at all costs.
D.C. now is like Gog and Magog going at it. What's the substance? Doesn't seem to matter to anyone.
Biden proved himself best person for the job by bowing out.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:21 PM on October 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


"Hillary hired a firm that provides secure email for VIPs and celebrities. They are apparently well regarded and probably better suited to protect her email than whatever government contractor/lowest bidder manages the State Department exchange server."

Wait, is that accurate? I remember reading that she had her normal tech guy set up her server and then later they moved it to some cloud based email provider.
posted by I-baLL at 2:25 PM on October 22, 2015


(and I haven't been able to read the Newsweek article yet due to the paywall)
posted by I-baLL at 2:26 PM on October 22, 2015


Hillary hired a firm that provides secure email for VIPs and celebrities

WaPo: "Responsibility for setting up and maintaining the server that handled personal e-mail communications for Bill and Hillary Clinton passed through a number of different hands, starting with Clinton staffers with limited training in computer security and eventually expanding to Platte River [in 2013]"

AP: The findings suggest Clinton's server "violates the most basic network-perimeter security tenets: Don't expose insecure services to the Internet"

The Newsweek article makes some unsubstantiated claims, and that just bugs me because I like most of their reporting.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 2:30 PM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]




It's unfortunate that the hearings are undermined by political grandstanding on the part of Republicans and Democrats alike, because if we want to put Eric Snowden on trial for how he managed classified data, under the paradoxical pretext that we are a nation of laws, then perhaps it would be a smart idea to hold a potential future President to the same legal standards in how she handled the same kind of information, especially since we do not know apparently know what was classified and what was not, or whether what Hillary Clinton released to the public is the full extent of what was sent through her servers.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 3:03 PM on October 22, 2015


Sorry, Edward Snowden, not Eric Snowden.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 3:34 PM on October 22, 2015


I've noticed that press coverage of Benghazi has done a terrible job of restating the basics of the events and accusations . Like every NPR segment for example just skips that . I remember when it happened and I've been baffled all along as to what the outrage is. Embassy has not great security but it's a balancing act to be available vs bring in a fortress . Unstable country and situation changes on the ground. Protests turn violent and people die. Everyone feels awful about it. So ... It's all Hilary's fault ? I don't get it. I'm way more outraged every time I hear that one party deliberately holds a vote or meeting at a time and place intended to shut out opposing votes . Because that's DELIBERATE ASSHOLERY. Benghazi was clearly an UNFORTUNATE ACCIDENT . People are idiots.
posted by freecellwizard at 3:40 PM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]



why are we still doing the Benghazi hearings?


Because Republicans are masochists?
posted by notreally at 3:41 PM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's not easy to separate. A lot of the important decision making occurs in the "process" meetings. For example, in 2001, Dick Cheney's first project was to set up the Energy Task Force to define government policy and regulations. It required a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to get even the names of the people Cheney was meeting with to create the policies and regulations. Turns out all of his meetings were with representatives of Exxon, Conoco, Shell, BP, Enron and coal companies. None involved environmentalists or scientists. Some of these executives may have benefited financially from advance notice of proposed rules. So transparency in process is just as important as final decisions.

I understand all that. But you can provide information on all meetings with outside parties, with summaries of the general topics discussed, and post those publicly. In fact, this is already generally required under the Sunshine Act and should be universal if it isn't. But when you get into work process and deliberation emails you are interfering with the ability to freely reflect on and consider the full range of options you have, including the controversial ones. You are also interfering with the willingness to reach out to marginalized or controversial groups. That is just not a good tradeoff to give that up just so some lefty journalist can write the 1,000th piece excorciating Dick Cheney in the Huffpost. (I mean, was there ever any doubt that Dick Cheney's Energy Task Force would be a sellout? Can't you tell that from its recommendations alone?).

Liberals and progressives have a much stronger interest in ensuring government works really well than the right wing does. Making everything public interferes with that. I've seen it happen up close.
posted by zipadee at 4:04 PM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


After reviewing the public record. From 2008-2013 Clinton's email server was hosted at her house in NY. The location has 24x7 physical security by the Secret Service. The server was setup and run by the former IT director of Clinton's 2007-2008 Presidential Bid. While not a security expert he would appear to have the necessary professional experience to manage a secure server. Then in 2013 it was taken over by Platte River an IT services email provider that amoung other things had provided email services to other VIPs and celebs.
posted by humanfont at 4:18 PM on October 22, 2015


I learned Hillary Clinton sometimes goes by the nickname Gertie or Gert, which is pretty darn neat.

She also goes by OGB or Ol' Gertie Bastard if you Wu-Tang.
posted by hal_c_on at 4:21 PM on October 22, 2015 [8 favorites]


notreally: "why are we still doing the Benghazi hearings?


Because Republicans are masochists?
"

Nah - they're hoping this leads to a stained blue dress in Hillary's closet so they can crucify her like they did Bill. I mean - Monica came from how many fucking years of hammering Bill over Whitewater. They want to find something inconsequential to nail her to the wall (not that cheating on your wife is inconsequential, but come the fuck on -- sorry "Lying under oath").
posted by symbioid at 4:58 PM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wow, can't believe the hearing is -still- going. Don't they realize that every hour that passes makes Clinton look stronger and this farce of a hearing look more like the witchhunt it is?
posted by longdaysjourney at 5:18 PM on October 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


With such scrutiny, she could just get elected for being _human_.
posted by xtian at 5:21 PM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


If I hadn't already been planning to vote for Clinton I'd certainly be voting for her after this bullshit. What a travesty.
posted by Justinian at 5:31 PM on October 22, 2015 [9 favorites]


None of you understand... (via)
posted by tonycpsu at 5:35 PM on October 22, 2015 [16 favorites]


Looks to me like the Elephants in the room just got her elected. What an embarrassing cluster....
posted by sammyo at 5:46 PM on October 22, 2015


Were you alone?
posted by Thorzdad at 5:49 PM on October 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


"After reviewing the public record. From 2008-2013 Clinton's email server was hosted at her house in NY. The location has 24x7 physical security by the Secret Service."

What does a physical presence by the Secret Service have to do with the security of an email server?

" The server was setup and run by the former IT director of Clinton's 2007-2008 Presidential Bid. While not a security expert he would appear to have the necessary professional experience to manage a secure server."

How was the server "secure" if somebody who set it up was not an expert in security? The server was running remote desktop and vnc on default ports which were exposed to the internet and picked up by that internet "census" scan that I think we covered here on MeFi.

" Then in 2013 it was taken over by Platte River an IT services email provider that amoung other things had provided email services to other VIPs and celebs."

If i remember correctly, the emails were transferred to them. I don't get the "provided email services to other VIPs and celebs" talking point. AOL, Verizon, T-Mobile, all are used by VIPs and celebs for email service but that doesn't make them in any way secure. Actually putting her email into the cloud made it less secure since now a lot more people would have had access to it since now almost all of the employees of Platte River would've been able to access it plus it would've been a lot more susceptible to phishing attacks. Sounds unlikely, you say? A few days ago a group of kids hacked the CIA director's personal email accounts (Verizon and AOL) by using phishing techniques. If you're hosting your own server, at least, then you probably won't fall for a phishing attempt by somebody posing as you. However you hand your data off to some company then the gloves are off. Anyways, the CIA director email hack brings me to my theory:

""why are we still doing the Benghazi hearings?"

Because what else are they going to attack her on? Any actual criticism with meat on it can be applied exactly the same way to them. Even the email scandal as they're probably making the very same missteps with their own personal email accounts (if they even use email). My theory is that they really can't attack her on anything of substance without the attacks coming right back at them and biting them on the butt (not in a good way, I mean.) So we're getting this theatre. At least it sounds like it's entertaining.
posted by I-baLL at 5:54 PM on October 22, 2015


Scalzi: ATTENTION INTERNET: Please update your memes now.

She had to have been coached to put that attitude face on. It's so deliciously perfect.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:02 PM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


why are we still doing the Benghazi hearings?

"Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping." -Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)
posted by dirigibleman at 6:11 PM on October 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Well, I tellya, I was on the fence about voting for Hillary Clinton but after seeing her humanity and today her incredible INCREDIBLE composure in a situation where most people would crack, she's got my vote. The guy running the hearing is a bully plain and simple but he was a completely ineffective bully.
posted by bluesky43 at 6:13 PM on October 22, 2015 [9 favorites]


Hillary's reaction to the questioning.
posted by plastic_animals at 6:20 PM on October 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


Days like these are when Twitter shines:

Trey Gowdy? or Trey Gowdy?
You decide.

Voter reaction.

No shit, Sherlocks.

Summing it up.
posted by longdaysjourney at 6:27 PM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


You're a person named McCarthy, and you decide to lead some hearings--thank you from a grateful nation of editorial cartoonists.
posted by box at 6:29 PM on October 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


How to poorly stretch a single page of talking points to 12 hours. One would have thought that would have been a more impressive page given the millions of dollars in research costs thus far.
posted by jaduncan at 6:33 PM on October 22, 2015


Sounds boring and normal to me.

Now Kevin Johnson's e-mails, on the other hand, must be a real fucking lulu....
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:35 PM on October 22, 2015


Seriously, I love Twitter.
posted by longdaysjourney at 6:48 PM on October 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


completely aside from the emails, there is something preposterous about how poorly her email server was set up. You would think the clintons have the financial resources and contacts to hire a highly skilled sysadmin, but no...

VNC was exposed to the public internet on an outside IP.

RDP was exposed to the public internet on an outside IP.

the register

ap.org

those are HUGE glaring errors, you never expose VNC to the world... even if you're not going to use it. VNC itself (unless tunneled through SSH) is unencrypted. that setup should have been port 25 only. considering the importance of her position, if she wanted her own personal email server, the sysadmin who ran it should only have been able to access it via predefind public/private key VPN (it should not have even had port 22 listening to the world), and hillary herself would have been able to access email through first establishing a connection via VPN client.

Said VPN client would be running on a trusted, vetted, professionally administered workstation/client platform (custom secured software image on a laptop, or a smartphone set up for her by a highly skilled admin) and then IMAP4/TLS.
posted by thewalrus at 7:36 PM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


I also need to add that the fact it was physically in her home was a HUGE fuckup. I don't care about the security argument about "it was in a secure place guarded by the secret service". Its physical location matters very little, its network security matters far more. Several news sources report that it was down for several days following hurricane sandy. Why? Because it's extremely poor practice to put anything that requires five or six nines of uptime on the far end of a residential singlehomed internet connection. I don't care how rich the clintons are, they cannot obtain a network connection as reliable as something in a major telecom/hosting facility. Something with twelve diverse fibre routes in and out of it and triply-redundant three phase power from three separate substations.

That server should have been located in somewhere vitally important to telecom infrastructure as a whole, as and such, it would have been safer. I'm talking about a 'core' east coast Internet infrastrutcure site like 60 Hudson, the NAP of the Americas, or one of the Equinix facilities in Ashburn VA.
posted by thewalrus at 7:44 PM on October 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


> The government does have email systems for classified information. It's all on SIPRNet.

Fun SIPR trivia tidbit: The US military runs their own IRC and XMPP/Jabber servers. Have seen chat logs with people on FOBs in Kunar consisting of messages like "brb, incoming mortar fire".
posted by thewalrus at 7:46 PM on October 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


completely aside from the emails, there is something preposterous about how poorly her email server was set up.

Given that government officials are not supposed to use email for classified information and given that all of the work emails on Clinton's server have been released to the public, why are you so concerned that Clinton's emails were theoretically exposed to the public.
posted by JackFlash at 8:12 PM on October 22, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'm going to vote for Clinton if she gets the nomination because it would be insane not to (and hey, why not two historical defecit-correcting presidents in a row?), but please, whatever your loyalties, don't vote for any candidate solely on the basis of their being able to stay cool under pressure, or based on how charming they seem in one or more public appearances because those are terrible reasons to vote for anybody in the absence of more relevant information about their deeper character. That's basically a persona-based voting calculus, and personas are tricky little bastards prone to deceiving. The most terrible kinds of people that live and breathe can stay cool under pressure and make audiences adore them just as adroitly.

Luckily, Clinton has a long track record of public decision-making we can refer to to decide for ourselves how sound her judgement is and what she's really about as a person. But whoever you eventually vote for, consider this me asking you as a personal favor: Don't let the song and dance and public performance of the election spectacle distract you from the reality of who the candidates are and how they're most likely to govern in practice based on all (reliable) information available, please.

A huge part of our problem IMO is the influence celebrity culture has on our politics--and by that, I don't mean Matt Damon's having political opinions is a problem, BTW. I mean that we think about and evaluate our politicians on pretty much the same shallow criteria we do our celebrities. (Although we do give our pols a reasonably generous handicap on their looks relative to our more popular celebrities; Kennedy may have been considered good looking for a President, for example, but he would never have cut it as a leading man in Hollywood for long, once the fashion for his type faded. Sanders--well, it probably doesn't and shouldn't matter quite as much as it does to us what he looks like either.)

Clinton definitely comes out looking better than her opponents do in most of these scandals, which makes sense because she's obviously a better person and very skilled at managing appearances. But those traits might not be the most valuable traits we could/should be selecting for in our pols. And very, very bad people have demonstrated themselves adept at those skills throughout history, too, so let's not consider only those traits this time around, like we did when (for another example) Dubbya got elected twice for looking strong and decisive.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:47 PM on October 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


The whole email thing is just a political foxhunt.

No it isn't. It's a snipe hunt.
posted by carping demon at 8:58 PM on October 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


She also goes by OGB or Ol' Gertie Bastard if you Wu-Tang.

They call her Ol' Gertie Bastard, 'cuz no man is a father to her style.
posted by jonp72 at 6:47 AM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've noticed that press coverage of Benghazi has done a terrible job of restating the basics of the events and accusations. . . . Protests turn violent and people die. Everyone feels awful about it. So ... It's all Hilary's fault? . . . . People are idiots.
posted by freecellwizard at 5:40 PM on October 22 [+] [!]


Well, to be fair (to the Republicans on the committee? Why?), one of the main dissumulations of the Rs was that Clinton's assertion that some people characterized the attack as stemming from a protest was actually Clinton herself creating and spreading the malicious lie that it was the result of a protest. There is no evidence (now) that it was a result of a protest or connected in any way to a protest against that "movie."
They tried to trim her specific remark but were incapable of actually making it look like she had lied, except to thos already inclined to believe them.
It was similar to how they asserted that President Obama never called it a "terrorist act" because he only called it "Terrorism." Just more Republican tilting at windmills in the hopes that the media visuals would stick in people's minds. The truth doesn't matter as long as you can control the appearance of truth in the eyes of enough people.

(I am soooooooo not a fan of Secretary Clinton, but she handled herself admirably yesterday.)
posted by Seamus at 6:53 AM on October 23, 2015


It was similar to how they asserted that President Obama never called it a "terrorist act" because he only called it "Terrorism.

"Acts of Terror", but I honestly don't care. This whole thing makes Republicans seem like a child playing some high stakes game of "B-but you said!" over and over again.

And it's kinda funny how some of the above posters can't even let this be a moment of small victory for Democrats without either mentioning not to be hoodwinked by Clinton or that they certainly don't like Clinton, no sirree!
posted by FJT at 8:55 AM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


And it's kinda funny how some of the above posters can't even let this be a moment of small victory for Democrats without either mentioning not to be hoodwinked by Clinton or that they certainly don't like Clinton, no sirree!

In a world where every hiccup is a partisan act, declaring something a win without pointing out that you aren't a fan of the person just makes your declaration another predetermined political position, right?
I am only partially kidding.
I listened/watched the whole damn thing except for during two hours of phone calls and one hour of picking up the kid. I talked back to the computer and raged at the committee. I will admit that I am a political junkie but this was something different.
The fact that a person who doesn't align politically with her is able to side with Secretary Clinton on her performance in this charade is a significant point.
posted by Seamus at 9:07 AM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't agree with her politics — sometimes I think deep down she's still sort of the Goldwater Republican she was as a teenager — but god damn do I respect her skill and style.

I'm right there with you. I talked to another friend of mine yesterday that essentially echoed this sentiment, and I've heard it intimated from others. I made sure I could vote in the primary for my state next May, just so I could cast a vote for Bernie, but I look at this and think 'Yep, she'd probably do a good job as Prez.' Then, I think about the current GOP frontrunner and weep for my country. When did it all go so wrong?
posted by eclectist at 9:19 AM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Dubbya got elected twice for looking strong and decisive.

He got elected once, he was appointed to his first term, extra-Constitutionally, by the Supreme Court (even though he lost). There is enough smoke in the room about Ohio in 2004 to suspect that maybe his second election was also questionable, but technically, he did win one election.
posted by Chuffy at 9:50 AM on October 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


According to the article, a Serbian hacker who does port scans of IP address space claims to have identified that the clintonemail.com server had open tcp/ip ports which are commonly associated with VNC and Remote Desktop. This information has not been confirmed. It's possible that the port scan is in error. It is even possible that the Serbian hacker who provided the data has some ill feelings against the Clinton's given the NATO bombing of Serbia under Bill Clinton.

Furthermore even if VNC and RDP were enabled, against best practice it is very unlikely that Hillary would of made that decision or understood the consequences. She hired someone with the professional credentials and work experience to perform the job adequately. Absent facts and working form assumptions and rumors one can easily paint any system admin as incompetent and a fool. The key fact that we do know is that none of the investigations and audits of the sever has uncovered any evidence that her server was breached. After participating in many security audits, very few systems are out there that can't be improved.

What does a physical presence by the Secret Service have to do with the security of an email server?

Ensuring physical security of the server is the cornerstone of system security. That's why pen tests need to include attempts to gain unauthorized physical access. If a hacker can get physical access to the box, you are screwed. Having the secret service on site 24x7 along with regular sweeps for electronic surveillance is a hell of a lot better than what you would get in some data center in Virginia.
posted by humanfont at 10:58 AM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


That pretty scan reports an open VNC or RDP port is completely meaningless. Most of my systems have their firewalls configured such that scans (for services that use TCP, anyway) will show open ports but only allow the connection to be actually established from preauthorized IP addresses.

Additionally, application level access control may allow a connection to be made, but only actually runs the service if the connection is made from an authorized IP.

Or it could be a honeypot service. Or maybe they were exposed to the whole Internet. Depending on patching policy and which specific VNC server is in use, that may or may not be a problem. Given the lack of evidence of an intrusion, it seems not.
posted by wierdo at 11:53 AM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]




why are we still doing the Benghazi hearings?

My favorite answer so far: (The piece isn't really quite as over the top as this quote might suggest)

"What Benghazi promised the paranoid faithful, or still promises – we can’t presume that one embarrassing hearing will bring an end to this charade – was a chance to turn the tide, to strip the scales from the eyes of their benighted and deluded fellow countrymen and reveal the scope of the hideous plot to destroy America. For the conspiratorial right-wing hive mind, Benghazi is the gate and the key to the gate, like H.P. Lovecraft’s ancient and indescribable entity Yog-Sothoth. But as with the One-in-All and All-in-One of the Lovecraftian universe, opening that gate leads only to madness and oblivion: What lies beyond is the “amorphous blight of nethermost confusion which blasphemes and bubbles at the center of all infinity,” otherwise known as the legislative agenda of the House Freedom Caucus."
posted by advil at 11:11 AM on October 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


« Older Let's do the Time Warp again, AGAIN   |   Gif that's what's for dinner Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments