By Michelle Seiler-Tucker, Special for USDR
While former President Bill Clinton was shocked to learn that the artist who painted a portrait of him hanging in the National Portrait Gallery had also discreetly included Monica Lewinsky’s dress shadow in the painting, the rest of the nation was shocked to learn that Hilary Clinton only used a personal email address during her tenure as Secretary of State. And it turns out that her more casual way of conducting business may have violated federal requirements. It is extremely unusual for such a high-office official to use their personal account professionally. I’d give her a break if she slipped up between her different mobile in boxes occasionally, but it turns out that she didn’t even have a government email address. Fortunately, this is not the norm within our government, since it’s an obvious security risk in addition to being more difficult to track email records.
It wasn’t until two months ago that Clinton’s advisers reviewed tens of thousands of emails from her personal account before deciding which to hand over to the State following the department’s efforts to be in compliance with federal record-keeping requirements. It seems ludicrous that the department would justify one of its top cabinet-level officers to exclusively use her private email account for all conducts of government business. Under federal law, letters and emails—both written and received—are considered government records and are supposed to be retained so that anyone and everyone can go through them. There are exceptions to this law, but Hillary doesn’t fall under that category! Even more troublesome is that it is not clear whether the private email account included any cyber security measures, given the sensitivity of her diplomatic activity. She regularly corresponded with foreign nations. Who, what and how much sensitive information did she put at risk?
So will there be any reprimanding for her careless and deceptive-like behavior? While there are penalties for not complying with federal record-keeping requirements, I do not think she will suffer any consequences. However, her chance at the white house is over. This nation is already struggling with cyber-security controversies spanning from foreign hackers, terrorists fears, to criticisms that our own government is trying to block what transparency remains between it and the American people. The key to winning the presidential election is either the illusion of a candidate who is being transparent and open with the people, or even perhaps we’ll get the real thing and not an illusion.