Today, Democratic frontrunner for President, Hillary Clinton, has basically been given a pass by the FBI for using her personal email to transmit highly classified material while she was the Secretary of State. Although words like “extremely careless” were used in the statement issued by FBI Director James Comey, he has essentially said that because there was no willful, harmful intent, it would be inappropriate to bring charges.
I don’t have to tell the military readers of this website that this smells like bullshit. If you have been in any branch of service for more than a day, you have received an Operational Security (OPSEC) Brief and seen the posters in your unit areas. You probably know someone that has lost rank and possibly their career for saying too much about something operational on their Facebook page.
For the non-military folk, it really is a big deal. Imagine trying to plan a surprise party for your best friend. You know how hard it can be to keep the thing a secret. You have to make sure everyone involved knows how to keep a secret, and that all the guests know not to accidently spoil it. It’s pretty hard, right? Now instead of a surprise party with your friends, imagine you work with multiple intelligence agencies and coalition forces from several different countries to plan a lethal strike on one of the most dangerous and elusive people in the world. Everyone is relying on everyone else to practice good OPSEC in order for the mission to be successful. The Secretary of State is not some partially informed minion working at a chow hall at the base the strike force is located. The Secretary of State is the most important and influential decision maker in the process next to the President of the United States!
FBI Director James Comey asserts that “Mrs. Clinton should have known” that an unclassified system was no place for these highly classified and potentially dangerous messages pertaining to national security. He further explains that an ordinary government official could have faced administrative sanction for this same sort of lapse in judgment.
As I become increasingly jaded about Presidential politics in 2016, my assumption is that this will change nothing about her ability to become the next President of the United States. So how did we get to a place in America where our final choices of people to lead the world’s only super power are an “extremely careless” Hillary Clinton or … Donald Trump (too many negative adjectives to list)?