State Department file photo

State Department Releases Another Batch of Clinton Emails

State released over 7,000 pages of her messages, but some information now deemed classified is redacted.

The State De­part­ment has re­leased the latest batch of Hil­lary Clin­ton’s mes­sages from her time run­ning the agency, the latest dis­clos­ure from the private email sys­tem that has be­come a fo­cus of GOP polit­ic­al at­tacks in the White House race.

The over 7,000 pages pos­ted on­line, which were sent or re­ceived in 2009 and 2010, is by far the largest of the rolling monthly re­leases that State is provid­ing un­der a judge’s or­der in a high-pro­file pub­lic re­cords law­suit.

Around 150 of the newly re­leased mes­sages have been re­dac­ted be­cause an on­go­ing inter-agency re­view has de­term­ined that they con­tain clas­si­fied in­form­a­tion, State De­part­ment spokes­man Mark Toner told re­port­ers earli­er Monday.

He said that none of them were marked clas­si­fied when ori­gin­ally sent or re­ceived. Clin­ton, after ini­tially say­ing in March that there was no clas­si­fied in­form­a­tion in the sys­tem, has softened her po­s­i­tion to say that there was no in­form­a­tion that was marked clas­si­fied when sent or re­ceived.

Ac­cord­ing to pub­lished re­ports, and a scan of the mes­sages, the re­dac­ted emails in the new batch are marked “con­fid­en­tial,” which is the low­est level of clas­si­fic­a­tion.

Ques­tions about clas­si­fied con­tent has fed GOP al­leg­a­tions that Clin­ton be­haved reck­lessly with such in­form­a­tion, which is sup­posed to be sent over spe­cial se­cure net­works.  In par­tic­u­lar, the in­spect­or gen­er­al for in­tel­li­gence agen­cies has said that at least two mes­sages from a lim­ited num­ber sampled con­tained “top-secret” in­form­a­tion, the highest level of clas­si­fic­a­tion.

However, the State De­part­ment and Clin­ton’s cam­paign note that there are of­ten dis­agree­ments with­in the gov­ern­ment about what in­form­a­tion should be con­sidered clas­si­fied, and many ex­perts also say that ex­cess­ive secrecy — that is, “over­clas­si­fic­a­tion” — is a ma­jor prob­lem.

The FBI is in­vest­ig­at­ing the se­cur­ity of Clin­ton’s email sys­tem. Clin­ton turned over roughly 55,000 pages of emails from her private sys­tem to the State De­part­ment late last year. They are now be­ing re­leased as a res­ult of a Free­dom of In­form­a­tion Act law­suit brought by Vice News.

Clin­ton has said she wants the mes­sages re­leased to the pub­lic ex­ped­i­tiously. But the multi-layered State re­view, which in­cludes vet­ting by mul­tiple agen­cies, moves slowly.

Pri­or re­leases have not in­cluded any bomb­shells, but have provided a look be­hind closed doors in­to Clin­ton’s four-year ten­ure as the na­tion’s top dip­lo­mat.

They have re­vealed tid­bits such as oth­er seni­or of­fi­cials seek­ing her private emails; the wide-ran­ging scope of her in­ter­ac­tions with long­time ally Sid­ney Blu­menth­al; struggles to use a fax ma­chine; and a hand­ful of oth­er an­ec­dotes shed­ding light on her daily routine.

As be­fore, Blu­menth­al fea­tures prom­in­ently in Monday’s doc­u­ment trove.

Some of the Blu­menth­al cor­res­pond­ence in­volved two-to-three-para­graph-long memos de­scrib­ing his thoughts on the is­sues of the day. Take his memo to her about Wikileaks on Nov. 29, 2010, the day after the in­ter­na­tion­al group re­leased hun­dreds of thou­sands of State De­part­ment cables. At a press con­fer­ence on Nov. 29, Clin­ton called the re­lease an “at­tack” not only on the U.S., but also on the “in­ter­na­tion­al com­munity.”

In an email to the sec­ret­ary that even­ing, Blu­menth­al didn’t sound over the moon about her state­ment, char­ac­ter­iz­ing it as “headed in the right dir­ec­tion.” He ad­ded two para­graphs seem­ingly de­scrib­ing how State could spin the cables’ re­lease: For one, “the Wikileaks pa­pers prove that the U.S. gov­ern­ment today has been telling the truth about the threats we face in the world”; and they “prove that Amer­ic­an dip­lo­mats are hard at work at the dif­fi­cult, of­ten frus­trat­ing job of pro­tect­ing and ad­van­cing our in­terests in the world.”

Blu­menth­al also oc­ca­sion­ally for­war­ded Clin­ton art­icles high­light­ing trends or re­port­ing he ap­pears to have thought she should be aware of. In one ex­change, he sent Clin­ton a copy of an art­icle de­tail­ing the activ­it­ies of con­ser­vat­ive mega-donors Charles and Dav­id Koch pub­lished in the New York­er in 2010 with the sub­ject line: “Yes, there is a vast right wing con­spir­acy. Sid.”

An­oth­er of Blu­menth­al’s memos de­scribed his take on the GOP, out­lining for Clin­ton what his “Re­pub­lic­an sources” had to say just after the 2010 midterms and cri­ti­ciz­ing cur­rent House Speak­er John Boehner in par­tic­u­lar.

Like some earli­er re­leases, the new doc­u­ments show that the power­ful suf­fer from the same an­noy­ances and con­fu­sion as every­one else.

In one case, Clin­ton is try­ing to reach Elena Kagan a few days after she was nom­in­ated to the Su­preme Court in May of 2010. “The cell # for her be­longs to someone else ac­cord­ing to the vm. Can you get the right cell #?,” Clin­ton writes to an aide.