January 31, 2016
Making Chicken Salad From…

This is from Paul Krugman’s blog:

Anyway, given the area I covered, I received a lot of classified reports from the CIA, the State Department, etc.. They had all sorts of warnings in capital letters on their covers: SECRET NOFORN NOCONTRACT PROPIN ORCON, I think, was the standard litany. And there was a security person who came through our offices at night, scooped up any classified documents we left out, put them in a safe, and issued citations. Between the number of classified documents I received and my continuing true identity as an absent-minded professor, I got a lot of citations — second only to Marty.

But the reason I kept forgetting to lock the things up was that none of them — literally not one, during a whole year — contained anything actually sensitive. There was nothing in any of them you couldn’t have read in newspapers, or figured out for yourself given public information.

And this is why all the frenzied outrage from the Republic Party about Hillary’s emails is such utter and complete chicken shit. There was a time when I too had access, as our embassy’s press attaché for the “secret” war in Laos, to a daily flood of highly classified material. Virtually everything we were doing in that misbegotten and murderous war made it into the newspapers in spite of (OK, a few times because of) my efforts.

The real reason for much security classification, then and now, is to protect government officials from embarrassment or even incrimination. Another powerful reason is to make your stuff seem so important that your bosses will read it. (Equally important, of course, is to make yourself feel important.)


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Posted by Jerome Doolittle at January 31, 2016 07:03 PM
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Agree re the over-classification point, but totally disagree that this is not a significant and legitimate issue.

Everyone who joins a significant organization -- publicly-traded company, major non-profit, any government entity ar any level -- is given a work email address, and invariably instructed to use it for all work-related business, and also instructed not to use personal email for business.

The reason is that the employer owns and is entitled to control all work-related communications. Also protects the emploee by making security breaches 100% the employer's responsibility.

Outside of government, essentially 100% of employees of all grades comply. Inside of government, it is in fact 100% compliance. Except Hillary. Literally except Hillary.

The issue is not the top-secret nature, or not. The issue is data security. Hillary by pulling rank took responsibility for her work data security.

What this really shows is her amazing lack of judgment. This is a lifelong theme, from the cattle futures, which Trump cleverly is saving for the general election, to her fundamental inability to understand that overseas interventions essentially always weaken America.

given that the president should be hired for his/her vision and judgment, and not for experience or skill as an administrator, the email issue is important, and deeply telling.

Wrong lady.

Posted by: on February 1, 2016 10:08 AM
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