More fallout from the deleted Clinton emails. The State Department has ordered an internal audit of its record keeping, officials said Friday, outlining a top-to-bottom look at the agency’s practices in the aftermath of the Clinton email scandal, where revelations that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used a private email account and private server, instead of the prescribed government email during her tenure became public.
The department released a letter that Secretary of State John Kerry sent to the State Department’s inspector general asking for the review and calling it critical to “preserve a full and complete record of American foreign policy,” and for the American public to have access to that information. Among the questions he outlined were how best to retain records in light of changing technology, the agency’s global presence and increasing demands from Congress.
Department spokesman Jeff Rathke told reporters the review would include the archiving of emails as well as Freedom of Information Act and congressional inquiries. He said it was not specific to Clinton.
At the very least, the audit was caused by Clinton, a presidential candidate who has been on the hot seat because she didn’t use a government email account while in office and erased all of the emails from her private server in order to insure that no one would ever read incriminating emails.
The full trove of Clinton emails will be published on a website after they are reviewed. She says they contain no classified information. The State Department says emails pertaining to a congressional panel’s examination of the deadly 2012 attack on a US diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, will be released in advance of the others.
In the letter, Kerry said his department has undertaken significant efforts to promote preservation and transparency, including through better technology and training of staff. But he said the burden was significant, with more than 18,000 FOIA requests arriving each year that put a significant strain on diplomats whose main job is the advancement of US foreign policy. In addition, he said, congressional investigations and requests have greatly increased.
Kerry also didn’t mention Clinton specifically, but noted that officials were “facing challenges regarding our integration of record-keeping technologies and the use of non-government systems by some department personnel to conduct official business.”
He asked Inspector General Steve Linick to make several recommendations. They range from how to make improvements across more than 280 diplomatic posts worldwide to ways to streamline efforts to preserve appropriate documents. Kerry questioned whether the agency has even the resources and tools necessary to meet its obligations.
Clearly an absurd statement by Kerry. Any small business owner who uses Microsoft Outlook as an email client could easily comply with any of the government’s record keeping obligations.
Although the State Department has seemingly struggled with public records requests, with some languishing for years without being met, that is because they do not want to comply with the public disclosures. It’s not that they can’t, they don’t want to.
As for Hillary Clinton, who claimed she used a private email server so she wouldn’t have to carry two Blackberry devices, she is lying because any smart phone can easily manage multiple email accounts on one device. On the outside chance that she isn’t lying, do we really want a President who is too stupid to use a smart phone?