Home Opinion Was Hillary Clinton’s email scandal a Threat yo National Security?

Was Hillary Clinton’s email scandal a Threat yo National Security?


National security is heavily related to military activity, and it is possible to brush off the idea that Hillary Clintons Email scandal was not a threat. In 2015, the head of joint chiefs Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr. said Russia was the biggest threat to America’s security followed be Islamic state (The New York Times Editorial Board). Research on Argentine Military government of 1976 to 1981 found that the military did not don’t make an objective selection, choosing what to classify threat and concentrating on certain trivial elements of the National Security Doctrine and not putting into consideration the other elements. This myopic vision was propelled by the flaws of the doctrine itself (Pion-Berlin). Any analogy that the scandal was not a threat will be selective view and be trivializing national security.

National security defined means a state where social-political values, beliefs, heritage, democracy, the way of life, governance, unity and wellbeing of citizens in a country are protected and continuously enhanced. In light of the definition, national security is not only military related threats. It’s a national security issue when the social fabric of a nation is threatened. Any activity or behavior knowingly or unknowingly that tends to threaten and expose a country to values believes among other elements is said to threaten national security. It may look trivial that former secretary of state used private email server to communicate matters of national interest, it contravenes national security laws to use such a server to disclose information that had been tagged to be top secret. Running an email server outside standard government protocol may attract both internal and external threat.

Legitimate access to high-level information by insiders poses a greater risk to national security than outsiders due to their organizational knowledge and location of valuable access (Colwill). Hillary was one such individual with unlimited access to top secret information which, according to Colwill, posed a greater threat. Her proximity to the president makes her a threat to the president who is a symbol of national unity and not just an individual. Colwill proposed proactive measures to taken for those with access to government information which should include strict risk assessment and compliance regimes. It is easy to conclude that Mrs. Clinton was, in part, participating in weakening security systems by making it easy for interested unauthorized persons to access government information. Clinton should have been subjected to this measures since she has shown levels of irresponsibility and carelessness. What is more worrying is whether someone advised her to bypass set procedures 

Clintons email scandal illustrates deliberate misconduct at the individual level as well as institutional for poor practices as regards email communications (Caron, Villeneuve, and Heide). It has since come out that there was no clear, distinctive line between State Department and Clinton’s foundation. Sending emails over a private server meant that security organs had no adequate control on the information circulated through the server. The server was susceptible to cyber-attack which would have hurt the US national values. In 2013, The New York Times in conjunction with UK’s media firm the Guardian compiled a report of how the US and UK security agencies have hacked most of online encryptions depended upon by millions of people online to safeguard their privacy. The report further suggests that there is a $250M US program that works in close collaboration with technology firms to create backdoors into their products(Ball, Borger, and Greenwald 1). If government agencies can crack encryptions secretly, then it worth noting that criminals would worse and the effects of access to such information will be devastating. For instance, access to location of all intelligence assets that protect a country. An ambush to the military may have worse consequence to the stability of any nation.

Mrs. Clinton, through her aides, attempted to delete the emails deemed to be work related from her private servers (Allen). Given her distinguished career as a public servant being a former first lady and former secretary of state, attempts to wipe out information from her servers clearly explains her awareness of the matter. It appears to be a political move since she was running for Democratic nomination for the president of United States and destroying evidence seemed the most appropriate move for her. In July 2013, Inspector General told Congress that out of the forty sampled emails, four contained classified information two of which were top secret information(Allen). Besides, the attack on US embassy in Libya which killed US ambassador may have been as a result of government policy failures. The question remains is whether she really needed a private server for work related communications when there are state dedicated resource for that purpose.

Cyber threats have moved to a whole new level, since the adoption of the internet. Today Advanced Persistent Threats are prevalent since those involved have a sophisticated degree of expertise with excessive amounts of resources invested with specific targets usually agencies and governments (Chen, Desmet, and Huygens 64). Hillary Clinton was a high-ranking government official, and that alone makes a potential target. She had access to highly classified information and using a unguarded server to communicate classified missions and instructing her aides to delete the emails (Lichtblau and Goldman) was outrightly wrong. In fact, the FBI director confirmed by saying “Hillary Clinton was extremely careless.” In light of this, Clintons email scandal cannot be taken lightly especially given her social status and her ambitions for oval office. Any president is the senior most official in any country entrusted with high-level information, some-if leaked, could result in another world war. It is not right to have an irresponsible person taking up such high-profile leadership role. 

Hillary Clinton is running for office, and she has since proved to bend the security procedures put in place to guard the country against internal and external threats. Her opponent’s chances of making it to the white house look slimmer following his major tax evasion tactics and calling himself smart for it. The Benghazi attack investigations, which happen when Mrs. Clinton was secretary of state, revolved around her office with her aides being called in to testify. Some resorted to enforced first amendment Act not to be incriminated. We might not fully know what transpired during investigations, but the nature of investigations revealed the sensitivity of the proceedings. Any proceeding that attracts enormous attention from the public and the media is deemed to be of national interest, and Hillary Clinton is lucky to be clinging on the Democratic nomination and the race for the oval office.