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Practice What You Preach?

- August 25, 2015

A NEW INSPECTOR GENERAL REPORT FAULTED EMBASSY STAFF IN JAPAN FOR THE USE OF PRIVATE EMAIL TO CONDUCT OFFICIAL BUSINESS

Today, A New Report From The State Department Inspector General Noted That "In The Course Of Its Inspection, OIG Received Reports Concerning Embassy Staff Use Of Private Email Accounts To Conduct Official Business." "In the course of its inspection, OIG received reports concerning embassy staff use of private email accounts to conduct official business. On the basis of these reports, OIG's Office of Evaluations and Special Projects conducted a review and confirmed that senior embassy staff, including the Ambassador, used personal email accounts to send and receive messages containing official business. In addition, OIG identified instances where emails labeled Sensitive but Unclassified were sent from, or received by, personal email accounts." (U.S. Department Of State, Office Of Inspector General, Inspection Of Embassy Tokyo, Japan, August 2015, p. 42)

IG Report: "OIG Has Previously Reported On The Risks Associated With Using Commercial Email For Official Government Business." "OIG has previously reported on the risks associated with using commercial email for official Government business. Such risks include data loss, hacking, phishing, and spoofing of email accounts, as well as inadequate protections for personally identifiable information. Department policy is that employees generally should not use private email accounts (for example, Gmail, AOL, Yahoo, and so forth) for official business. Employees are also expected to use approved, secure methods to transmit Sensitive but Unclassified information when available and practical." (U.S. Department Of State, Office Of Inspector General, Inspection Of Embassy Tokyo, Japan, August 2015, p. 42)

  • IG Report: "Such Risks Include Data Loss, Hacking, Phishing, And Spoofing Of Email Accounts, As Well As Inadequate Protections For Personally Identifiable Information." (U.S. Department Of State, Office Of Inspector General, Inspection Of Embassy Tokyo, Japan, August 2015, p. 42)
  • IG Report: "Department Policy Is That Employees Generally Should Not Use Private Email Accounts (For Example, Gmail, AOL, Yahoo, And So Forth) For Official Business." (U.S. Department Of State, Office Of Inspector General, Inspection Of Embassy Tokyo, Japan, August 2015, p. 42)

Under Clinton, The Ambassador To Kenya Was Faulted And Ultimately Dismissed In Part For His Use Of A Private Email Account In The Embassy

While Clinton Was Secretary Of State, Scott Gration, The Ambassador To Kenya, Was Dismissed In 2012 "In Part To The Department's Resistance To His Efforts To Have Easy Access To His Gmail Account While He Served As The Top U.S. Diplomat In Nairobi." "In a lengthy e-mail to POLITICO and other news outlets, Scott Gration, a former Air Force general who served as ambassador to Kenya, brushed aside comparisons between his situation and Clinton's. However, Gration acknowledged that his dismissal in 2012 - while Clinton was secretary - was due in part to the department's resistance to his efforts to have easy access to his Gmail account while he served as the top U.S. diplomat in Nairobi. 'My experience was somewhat different than Secretary Clinton's use of her commercial account, yet I was 'fired' for the use of Gmail in the US Embassy, my insistence on improving our physical security posture, and other twisted and false allegations,' Gration wrote from Kenya, where he now works in the private sector. 'I've chosen to move on and to be better, not bitter.'" (Josh Gerstein, "Ousted Ambassador Sounds Off On Hillary Email Flap," Politico, 3/6/15)

  • A State Department OIG Report Accused Gration "Of Being Reluctant To Accept 'Clear-Cut' Decisions From Washington, Including What Inspectors Said Was A Directive That Officials Not Routinely Use Private E-Mail Account For Work Purposes." "A scathing report issued by the State Department's Inspector General in 2012 blasted Gration's tour at the Nairobi embassy, calling his leadership 'divisive and ineffective.' It also accused him of being reluctant to accept 'clear-cut' decisions from Washington, including what inspectors said was a directive that officials not routinely use private e-mail account for work purposes." (Josh Gerstein, "Ousted Ambassador Sounds Off On Hillary Email Flap," Politico, 3/6/15)

AND WHILE CLINTON WAS QUICK TO FAULT OTHERS' USE OF PRIVATE EMAIL, HER OWN SECRET SERVER AND PRIVATE EMAILS "VIOLATED POLICY"

Politico Headline: "Judge Says Hillary Clinton's Private Emails Violated Policy" (Josh Gerstein, "Judge Says Hillary Clinton's Private Emails Violated Policy,"Politico, 8/20/15)

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan Said That Clinton "She Violated Government Policy By Storing Official Messages On A Private Server When She Worked As Secretary Of State." "A federal judge has added fresh fuel to the incendiary controversy over Hillary Clinton's email, asserting during a hearing Thursday that she violated government policy by storing official messages on a private server when she worked as secretary of state. 'We wouldn't be here today if this employee had followed government policy,' said U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, apparently referring to Clinton, during a hearing on one of the many Freedom of Information Act lawsuits seeking access to her records as secretary of state." (Josh Gerstein, "Judge Says Hillary Clinton's Private Emails Violated Policy," Politico, 8/20/15)

  • Judge Sullivan: "We Wouldn't Be Here Today If This Employee Had Followed Government Policy." "'We wouldn't be here today if this employee had followed government policy,' said U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, apparently referring to Clinton, during a hearing on one of the many Freedom of Information Act lawsuits seeking access to her records as secretary of state." (Josh Gerstein, "Judge Says Hillary Clinton's Private Emails Violated Policy," Politico, 8/20/15)

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