Hillary: Focused on Emoticons and Monkey Butts?

It’s becoming a monthly tradition — on the last day of the month, the State Department unloads thousands of Hillary Clinton’s emails.

While Clinton maintains she never used her personal server to send or receive classified information, between 600 and 700 emails have been classified retroactively since the monthly releases began in May, according to Politico. The latest batch this month includes over 7,000 pages of new documents.

NPR recently published a story about Hillary Clinton’ latest email release and included “emoticons” and “monkey butts” in the title.  Yes, those are real subjects in the former Secretary of State’s emails.  The new email releases, of course, should not show any of those “retroactively” classified emails referenced above.   What they do show are things like this:


So, there’s the Monkey Butt.  Here are the emoticons:

Clinton is 😦 about her Blackberry

When the secretary updated her phone, she lost a crucial ability. “I am quite bereft that I’ve lost the emoticons from my latest new old berry. Is there anyway I can add them?” Aide Philippe Reines writes her back, with what even admits is far too long of an answer for such a short question. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

:-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-( :-) :-)

OK, that emoticon email was pretty dull.  Let’s get back to those “retroactively” classified emails.  That is a little bit more foxy.

So far, we haven’t seen any reports that Mrs. Clinton actually sent any classified emails.  We do know that she received a significant number of classified emails.  The intelligence community (IC) analysis shows that some of the emails are classified up to the TOP SECRET//SI//TK//NOFORN level.  What does this mean?  The three classification levels (TOP SECRET, SECRET and CONFIDENTIAL) are ranked in order of the damage that compromise would do to national security.  TOP SECRET is the highest category, and is information that would cause exceptionally grave damage to national security if compromised.

The emails in question are even more sensitive than TOP SECRET with the additional caveats of SI and TK.  Let’s just say that the type of information held to be that level is extremely sensitive.  NOFORN means no foreign nationals can access the information.

By President Obama’ Executive Order 13526 (December 2009) the Secretary of State (among select other senior officials) was given the authority to classify documents up to and including the TOP SECRET level? Very few high-level positions within the government have Original Classification Authority (OCA). Very few.  Included in this executive order was an annual training requirement:

All original classification authorities must receive training in proper classification (including the avoidance of over-classification) and declassification as provided in this order and its implementing directives at least once a calendar year.

This is a Secretary of State that did not recognize highly classified information when she saw it. As an Original Classification Authority, she was obviously in over her head.

Did she even attend the required annual training?  Did she not know what she didn’t know?

She and her staff protected TOP SECRET//SI//TK//NOFORN level was protected as it if were UNCLASSIFIED.

Was it because she couldn’t recognize the difference, or was she just too focused on emoticons and monkey butts?



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