This afternoon, Catherine Herridge at Fox News reported that "the intelligence community has deemed some of Hillary Clinton’s emails 'too damaging' to national security to release under any circumstances."
This eighth "smoking gun" — on top of the seven an Investor's Business Daily editorial identified last week — wasn't enough to move the Associated Press Bradley Klapper from the AP's default position virtually since Mrs. Clinton's private email server was discovered, naturally referencing unidentified "independent experts," namely that "it's unlikely Clinton will be charged with wrongdoing."
Also note that Klapper, in his Friday report, refused to provide the obvious pull quote ("too damaging") Fox obtained (bolds are mine throughtout this post):
APNEWSBREAK: US DECLARES 22 CLINTON EMAILS 'TOP SECRET'
The Obama administration confirmed for the first time Friday that Hillary Clinton's home server contained closely guarded government secrets, censoring 22 emails that contained material requiring one of the highest levels of classification. The revelation comes three days before Clinton competes in the Iowa presidential caucuses.
Really, I have to stop there.
"The Obama administration"? Fox quoted "the intelligence community'; "the Obama administration" is as often at loggerheads with the intelligence community as it isn't, and describing them as one and the same is almost insulting.
Additionally, Klapper, by including the upcoming Iowa caucuses in his first paragraph, has demonstrated that he and the AP are as concerned about the politicial implications for Hillary Clinton as they are about the impact of Mrs. Clinton's reckless email practices on national security.
State Department officials also said the agency's Diplomatic Security and Intelligence and Research bureaus are investigating if any of the information was classified at the time of transmission, going to the heart of Clinton's defense of her email practices.
... Even if Clinton didn't write or forward the messages, she still would have been required to report any classification slippages she recognized in emails she received. But without classification markings, that may have been difficult, especially if the information was publicly available.
Stop right there again. Mrs. Clinton's "defense" isn't a defense. The documents involved were almost definitely "born classified." Whether "marked" or not, a person in Mrs. Clinton's position had to know they contained classified information. Or was she so clueless about national security matters that she really couldn't make such determinations? If so, she had no right be this nation's Secretary of State in the first place.
Let's go on to Klapper's jaw-dropping conclusion:
... The FBI also is looking into Clinton's email setup, but has said nothing about the nature of its probe. Independent experts say it's unlikely Clinton will be charged with wrongdoing, based on details that have surfaced so far and the lack of indications she intended to break laws.
"What I would hope comes out of all of this is a bit of humility" and Clinton's acknowledgement that "I made some serious mistakes," said Bradley Moss, a Washington lawyer specializing in security clearance matters.
Intention is irrelevant in several of the instances IBD identified.
Mr. Moss is the either the most naive person on earth, or the winner of today's Political Hack of the Day award. Mrs. Clinton and humility haven't been in the same zip code at the same time for many, many years, and it's clear from her backing away from what at least resembled an apology several months ago that she will never admit to having made genuine mistakes. In her fevered mind, the "mistakes" are really being made by those who believe any of this is more important than her White House run.
Here are the seven previous "smoking guns" identified by IBD (links were in original):
- A review by Intelligence Community Inspector General Charles McCullough found emails that contain “special access program” (SAP) information, which is available only on a “need to know” basis because exposure could put a human asset at risk.
- Just two weeks ago, an email turned up in which Clinton told an underling to strip classification markings off a document so it could be sent electronically to her personal email account.
- She is also on record berating a staffer for not sending information she was told was “on the classified system.” Hillary’s response was “just email it.”
- Before that, several emails turned up that contained information deemed “born classified” — because it contained “foreign government information” and “foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States” — which again she should have known without any markings.
- She wrote several of them herself. In one, sent to special Middle East envoy George Mitchell in late 2009, everything after “George” was deemed classified. Since she created and sent these classified emails, she can’t claim that she wouldn’t have sent them if they had been marked.
- She claimed to have turned over every work-related email on her server, but it is now clear that she didn’t.
- Clinton has been caught in lies about the security of her email server. She initially claimed that the system “had numerous safeguards” and that there “were no security breaches.” Since then, we’ve learned that it was far from secure and likely breached.
To be clear, IBD's definition of a smoking gun "means catching her in a flat lie or putting national security at risk or being unbelievably, if not criminally, negligent in her handing of classified information." Some of them are potential crimes; some aren't.
But the idea that the nation's leading wire service has essentially made up its mind, no matter how big the pile of damning evidence becomes, that Mrs. Clinton will not be charged (and, based on the language used, shouldn't be charged) is outrageous. Its subscribing newspapers, radio and TV stations are serving as conduits for this utter nonsense, and really need to find — or form — an alternative national and international news source.
The difference between the Associated Press and Pravda in the old Soviet Union is that reporters in the USSR had to follow the party line or face job loss or worse forms of censure. AP reporters follow the left's dishonest party line routinely and voluntarily, without coercion.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.