I was reading the twitterz today and was surprised by some of the people in my feed, who “claim” to have some experience in IT, try to explain away that Hillary having an email server was not a big deal. In fact, one person was a little taken aback that a reporter thought having an email server in her own home was a big deal.
Incredibly, he called the entire thing bogus because the reporter was technically ignorant. His followers were quick to give him quite the backslap.
As someone who has been in IT for over 30 years, let me just say this: It’s not a big deal to set up an email server in your private residence. I did this when I was a consultant working from home. Most internet service providers will sell you business class service to your home including giving you public IP addresses. All you would then need is a computer with enough storage and capability to run software to manage your email. Costs vary depending on the hardware and software you get, but for Clinton, a few thousand dollars to run good software and have ample storage would never be a problem.
So from that point, I get the techie’s position, except it is a red herring. Who cares if the reporter knows or doesn’t know how much is involved in setting up an email server? To most people, an email server is just some nebulous technical thing that manages the email and, if there is ever a problem, we go get the IT person down the hall to fix it. To them, the IT people are the equivalent of Gods and “what they do is far beyond what I need to know, just get my damned email fixed!”
The point that leftie techies miss – because when you play in their world, everything else is just a distraction – is that, for someone like Clinton, it was a deliberate and intentional act to set up a private email server that she was going to use regardless of the email resources available at the State Department. And the fact that she spent the money getting it installed and working prior to her appointment, shows her intent to keep everything controlled, if not go beyond the law.
There is no way that she was not aware of the State Department’s email infrastructure. She could have easily said, “You know what, I have my own email system, and I don’t want to learn a new one.” That would have been almost plausible, except her internal policy stance for her underlings was quite different. And since there is no evidence that she had the system certified or even reviewed for compliance to Federal archiving statutes and regulations, she can’t claim ignorance of the law, or that the Government has everything.
The other part of this is that, as a Federal official, she has a responsibility to ensure accountability and that all laws and regulations are followed. She doesn’t get the privilege of doing things in secret, private, away from government oversight. By using a system that wasn’t certified, meaning the procedures for monitoring, securing, and archiving her emails were never reviewed nor were those processes put into place for her, she can effectively use it for any purpose she wants.
In this case, she was using it as her “official email” as well as for personal business. There is nothing wrong with a government official using an official email address for personal reasons. Unless, of course, you’re also using it to communicate with people who might be funding your foundation where you have access to contacts around the world. In that sense, those activities may influence you to some extent on how you interact with foreign dignitaries as part of your diplomatic duties and represent an egregious conflict of interest.
So techies, you can’t see the inherent problem here? Of course not. Hillary is your girl! She put an email server in her home! Not a big deal of course, but that’s just awesome! Those of us who have worked with the big boys in corporate America and in Government know, however, there are rules; rules that are intended to protect the integrity of the organizations that go beyond your official position. And as the leader of that organization, you have a fiduciary duty and obligation to follow the laws, rules and regulations to protect the integrity of that institution for the shareholders or stakeholders. For Secretary Clinton, those stakeholders are the citizens of this country.
Being a person that looks at the positive, look on the bright side. Despite that fact she had no single foreign policy achievements during her tenure as Secretary of State, she was able to get an email server installed and managed successfully. I’m sure that will be useful if she decides to become an email consultant.