– Inquiring minds want to know…

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I watched Mrs. Clinton’s press conference on Tuesday regarding her recent e-mail troubles. For some strange reason, she began by discussing women’s rights and the Iranian nuclear negotiations. Perhaps this was a smoke screen. I listened to her explanation about e-mails during her tenure as Secretary of State but wasn’t satisfied. As citizens, we want assurances our government workers are working diligently and not exposing themselves to hacking of information, thereby allowing the misappropriation of our country’s intelligence. We also do not want to see our systems inappropriately used for personal purposes, just like any business. In addition, the government needs to be able to control and safeguard all pertinent records for future reference, which is the purpose of the National Archives.

The first question is, why didn’t Mrs. Clinton use the government’s e-mail system? According to the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Manual Volume 12 on Diplomatic Security, “It is the Department’s general policy that normal day-to-day operations be conducted on an authorized AIS (Automated Information System), which has the proper level of security control…” It goes on to read, “The Department is expected to provide, and employees are expected to use, approved secure methods to transmit SBU (Sensitive But Unclassified) information when available and practical.” This begs the question, Who approved her use of her e-mail server (clintonemail.com)? If it wasn’t approved, it wasn’t proper to use it.

Some journalists point out every Secretary of State for the last couple of decades has used private e-mail. Such claims are attempting to establish precedence, but it certainly doesn’t make it right. I never understood this logic. If you want precedence, let’s consider U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Scott Gration who, in 2012, was forced to resign his post for using private e-mail outside of the department’s secure system. If this is good for an Ambassador, how about the Secretary of State?

Mrs. Clinton should answer why she needed a separate e-mail server. Unless she can come forward with valid answers, the assumption will be she has something to hide. Certainly, it cannot mean a person can only use one e-mail account on a handheld device, as she suggests. People have used multiple e-mail accounts on a single device for a long time.

Second, did Mrs. Clinton transfer all of her records to the National Archives as prescribed by law? Obviously not. If she had, Congress could readily obtain them and this wouldn’t have flared up into an issue. If she is still in private possession of any e-mails on her server, she is in violation of the rules she was obliged to enforce.

Third and final, did Mrs. Clinton instruct the employees in the State Department as to security of e-mails? Allegedly she did, but I have scoured the Internet and cannot find anything to substantiate this.

The policies regarding e-mail security are universally applicable for all federal government agencies. This means people like Lois Lerner, formerly of the IRS, is probably guilty of violating federal policy.

Not surprising, the federal statutes were written by attorneys and appear to be voluminous. It will likely take some time to sort them out and determine if Mrs. Clinton is guilty of anything. However, let us not forget she is also a graduate of the Yale Law School and served a stint as a Congressional legal counsel, Senator, and former Chair of the Legal Services Corporation, not to mention she is married to another attorney. In other words, she should have known better.

Keep the Faith!

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Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at [email protected]

For Tim’s columns, see:  timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2015 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mon, Wed, Fri, 12:30-3:00pm Eastern); WZIG-FM (104.1) in Palm Harbor,FL; and KIT-AM 1280 in Yakima, Washington “The Morning News” with hosts Dave Ettl & Lance Tormey (weekdays. 6:00-9:00am Pacific). Or tune-in to Tim’s channel on YouTube.

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