Inspector General Report Further Undermines New York Times Endorsement of Hillary Clinton

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 26, 2016 

Hillary Clinton at March 10, 2015 Press Conference Discussing Her Use of Private Email Server for Her Work While Secretary of State

Hillary Clinton at March 10, 2015 Press Conference Discussing Her Use of Private Email Server for Her Work While Secretary of State

The release of the State Department’s Inspector General report unequivocally shreds Hillary Clinton’s repeated public pronouncements that she had approval from the State Department to use a private email server in her home for all of her government work while she served as Secretary of State. In the video of her press conference on March 10, 2015 (see below), Hillary opens the subject of the private server with this statement:

“When I got to work as Secretary of State, I opted for convenience to use my personal email account, which was allowed by the State Department.”

Before the video concludes, the former Secretary of State repeats two more times that she had approval for use of the private server. The Inspector General’s report now makes it crystal clear that this is yet another example of Hillary Clinton taking liberties with the truth. The report concludes:

“By Secretary Clinton’s tenure, the Department’s guidance was considerably more detailed and more sophisticated. Beginning in late 2005 and continuing through 2011, the Department revised the FAM [Foreign Affairs Manual] and issued various memoranda specifically discussing the obligation to use Department systems in most circumstances and identifying the risks of not doing so. Secretary Clinton’s cybersecurity practices accordingly must be evaluated in light of these more comprehensive directives.

“Secretary Clinton used mobile devices to conduct official business using the personal email account on her private server extensively, as illustrated by the 55,000 pages of material making up the approximately 30,000 emails she provided to the Department in December 2014. Throughout Secretary Clinton’s tenure, the FAM stated that normal day-to-day operations should be conducted on an authorized AIS, yet OIG found no evidence that the Secretary requested or obtained guidance or approval to conduct official business via a personal email account on her private server. According to the current CIO and Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security, Secretary Clinton had an obligation to discuss using her personal email account to conduct official business with their offices, who in turn would have attempted to provide her with approved and secured means that met her business needs. However, according to these officials, DS and IRM did not—and would not—approve her exclusive reliance on a personal email account to conduct Department business, because of the restrictions in the FAM and the security risks in doing so.”

All of this is an embarrassment for both Hillary Clinton as well as the New York Times. On January 30 of this year, months before millions of Americans would have a chance to hear the inspirational message of Senator Bernie Sanders – a Presidential candidate with 25 years experience in Congress with no scandals dogging him – the New York Times editorial board endorsed Hillary Clinton as the Democratic Presidential nominee. The Times’ editorial referred to Hillary as “one of the most broadly and deeply qualified presidential candidates in modern history,” adding for good measure that “It’s not just that she’s done her homework, Mrs. Clinton has done her homework on pretty much any subject you’d care to name.”

The endorsement was so controversial that it elicited 5,705 comments and triggered a column by the public editor, Margaret Sullivan. Both the editorial board at the Times and the news reporters have since been walking back that magnanimous vote of confidence. Less than a month after the glowing endorsement, the editorial board compared Hillary to a “mischievous child,” writing:

“ ‘Everybody does it,’ is an excuse expected from a mischievous child, not a presidential candidate. But that is Hillary Clinton’s latest defense for making closed-door, richly paid speeches to big banks, which many middle-class Americans still blame for their economic pain, and then refusing to release the transcripts.”

The editorial board also responded to Hillary’s complaint earlier that week: “Why is there one standard for me, and not for everybody else?” The editors dryly noted: “The only different standard here is the one Mrs. Clinton set for herself, by personally earning $11 million in 2014 and the first quarter of 2015 for 51 speeches to banks and other groups and industries.”

Also less than a month after its endorsement, news reporters at the New York Times presented a multi-media critique of Hillary’s lack of judgment and failure to do proper homework in Libya when she served as Secretary of State. As part of a lengthy, investigative piece, the Times ran a photo with the following caption: “The president was wary about intervening, but Mrs. Clinton was persuasive. In the end, the ouster of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi left Libya a failed state and a haven for terrorists.” The same caption offers a link to a video titled: Hillary Clinton’s Legacy in Libya. The video is a harsh indictment of Hillary Clinton’s actions as Secretary of State.

Today, the New York Times is further calling into question its editorial judgment that Hillary does her “homework on pretty much any subject you’d care to name.” Under a digital headline, “Emails Add to Hillary Clinton’s Central Problem: Voters Just Don’t Trust Her,” reporter Amy Chozick writes that “The Clinton campaign had hoped to use the coming weeks to do everything they could to shed that image and convince voters that Mrs. Clinton can be trusted. Instead, they must contend with a damaging new report by the State Department’s inspector general that Mrs. Clinton had not sought or received approval to use a private email server while she was secretary of state.”

Is it possible that the editorial board of the New York Times acted hastily in endorsing Hillary Clinton? Is it possible it failed to do its own homework?

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