This post is for the real junkies when it comes to Hillary and her Great Email Escapade. I found and reproduced here the pertinent section of the State Department’s handbook for identifying emails as classified or unclassified. See if you find it as interesting as I did.
The State Messaging and Archive Retrieval Toolset (SMART) replaces legacy messaging systems such as CableXpress and Webgram to meet Department of State messaging, archiving, and information retrieval needs, which facilitates access to DOS information by the foreign affairs community. SMART messaging is available to all OpenNet and ClassNet users. (apparently “OpenNet” refers to the unclassified document handling and “ClassNet” refers to the classified portion of the system.)
The SMART Client is a custom-developed Microsoft Outlook add-in component that enables users to draft and release archive messages. When your system administrator installs the SMART Client, a SMART menu and messaging functionality is added to your Microsoft Outlook application. When you open Outlook, you will use SMART menu options, buttons, and commands to draft, release, receive, and modify archive messages.
While reading about Hillary’s trials and tribulations regarding her email “persecution” by the vast right-wing conspirators, I ran across some details related to how the responsibility for identifying the security classification of an email resides with the originating sender. Within the State Department SMART system, a security classification is carried along in the email itself. It’s initially appended by the sender and stays with the email as long as it stays on the system. If Hillary had been using the State system, she would have identified her correspondence as being unclassified, confidential, or secret when she created an email. Thus, the email would have had a security classification embedded somewhere in its data set when being transmitted through the State email network.
That makes me wonder: how was Hillary’s bastardized homegrown email server interpreting emails sent from the State Department’s SMART system? Was it stripping out classifying information or was it displayed on Hillary’s monitor/phone? She says none of the emails were identified as being classified, but those coming to her from within the SMART system would have had security information contain therein. Was the classification displayed and she just ignored it or was it intentionally stripped out before displaying.
Could it be that Hillary is lying to us? Wow – what are the chances of that?
To help understand how the internal State system worked, I found this information handbook explaining the unclassified/classified handling requirements. I found it interesting so I reproduced some excerpts here (here’s a link to the document). Note that the “documents” are labeled as “cables” in the write-up, but as indicated above, the system is described as an Outlook add-in component which is obviously an email system.
U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual Volume 5 Handbook 1 Correspondence Handbook
5 FAH-1 H-232.8 Security Classifications (OpenNet) (CT:CH-38; 08-29-2014)
a. The only available classification on OpenNet SMART is Unclassified.
Cables should be classified as Unclassified if the unauthorized disclosure of their
contents could not reasonably be expected to cause any damage to national
b. SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED (SBU) is not a classification on OpenNet.
Drafters must apply the SENSITIVE caption to an unclassified cable to include
the words SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED in the header and footer of the cable.
If you apply the SENSITIVE caption, there must be at least one paragraph
marked (SBU) in the cable. Likewise, if you mark one or more paragraphs in a
cable as (SBU), you must apply the SENSITIVE caption to the cable.
5 FAH-1 H-232.9 Security Classifications and Declassification: (ClassNet) (CT:CH-38; 08-29-2014)
a. The available classification options on ClassNet SMART are:
(1) Unclassified: Cables should be marked as Unclassified if the
unauthorized disclosure of their contents could not reasonably be expected
to cause any damage to national security. See 5 FAH-1 Exhibit H-
(2) Confidential: Cables should be classified as Confidential if the
unauthorized disclosure of their contents reasonably could be expected to
cause damage to the national security. An example of “damage” includes
release of information that might cause a foreign government to hesitate in
confiding in the United States; and
(3) Secret: Cables should be classified as Secret if the unauthorized
disclosure of their contents reasonably could be expected to cause serious
damage to the national security. Examples of “serious damage” include:
disruption of foreign relations significantly affecting the national security,
significant impairment of program or policy directly related to the national
security, revelation of significant military plans or intelligence operations,
and compromising of significant scientific or technological developments
relating to national security. See 5 FAH-1 Exhibit H-232.9(2).
b. SMART requires drafters to enter specific classification and declassification
(1) Classification without attachments: SMART requires a classification for
the cable. Apply the highest classification level that applies to any portion
of the message body;
(2) Highest classification level of attachments: If the cable includes one
or more attachments, SMART requires a classification for the
attachment(s). Apply the highest classification level required by the
attachment(s). When attachments are viewed or printed separately from a
message, the attachments retain the classification applied here; and
(3) Classification authority: SMART requires drafters to identify one of the
following as the classification authority if a classification of Confidential or
higher is applied to the cable or its attachments.
c. OCA (original classification authority):
Original classification authority (OCA) is the authority given to individuals who are designated in writing by the
Secretary of State or Under Secretary for Management to classify information in
the first instance. This designation must be either by name or position title. The
term also applies to the individual with that authority.
d. DSCG (Department of State Classification Guide):
The Department of State Classification Guide (DSCG) is the basis for derivative classification both
by individuals with OCA and those without OCA. It is the preferred method of
classification within the Department of State.
e. Derived: Derivative classification is used by individuals to classify documents
that contain classified information reproduced, extracted, or summarized from
other classified source materials. The source material must be referenced and
the pertinent classification markings must be carried forward.
f. Classified by: If the drafter applies a classification of Confidential or higher to
the cable or its attachments, SMART requires that the person who classified the
cable be identified in accordance with E.O. 13526 classification mandates.
Users must enter the name and title of the person who classified the cable.
SMART allows the option to provide an office and agency of the person who
classified the cable.
g. For additional classification guidance, see the following:
(1) 12 FAM 510, Safeguarding National Security and Other Sensitive
(2) 5 FAH-3 H-700, E.O. 13526, as amended, Telegram and SMART Email
(3) 5 FAH-1 H-132, Classification Markings.
h. If the drafter uses original classification authority to apply a classification level
of Confidential or higher to a cable, SMART requires that one or more reasons
for classifying the message as such be provided. Information may not be
considered for classification unless it concerns one or more of the classification
categories set forth in Section 1.4 of E.O. 13526. The reasons for classification
(1) Military plans, weapons systems, or operations;
(2) Foreign government information;
(3) Intelligence activities (including special activities), sources, or methods, or
(4) Foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States, including
(5) Scientific, technological or economic matters relating to national security;
which includes defense against transnational terrorism;
(6) U.S. Government programs for safeguarding nuclear materials or facilities;
(7) Vulnerabilities or capabilities of systems, installations, infrastructures,
project or plans, or protections services relating to the national security,
which includes defense against transnational terrorism; and
(8) Weapons of mass destruction.
i. If the drafter applies a classification of Confidential or higher to the cable or its
attachments, SMART requires the drafter to specify appropriate declassification
instructions. Declassify information as soon as national security considerations
permit. Declassification options are:
(1) Event (certain to occur within 25 years): When possible, choose a
specific date or event within 10 years for declassification. When choosing
an event for declassification, it must be reasonably foreseeable and not
vague or hypothetical. Events such as “when the information is no longer
sensitive” or “when countries X and Y improve relations” are not
acceptable. Examples of acceptable event entries include “at conclusion of
Spring 2013 NATO Ministerial,” “when party leader dies,” etc. If there is no
acceptable event to correlate to the declassification, choose a date, or use
25 years if no earlier time is evident;
(2) Date: SMART provides options to declassify the information in 10 years,
25 years, or on a specific date; and
(3) Exemptions (50X1-HUM): Given the extreme sensitivity of information
that would reveal the identity of confidential human sources or human
intelligence sources, and the usual need to protect such information for
lifetimes or other long durations, E.O. 13526 extends the automatic
declassification exemption for confidential human sources to 50 years.
Original classifiers may mark this type of information only, at the time of
classification, as exempt from automatic declassification at 25 years. No
other type of information may be marked with a duration greater than 25
years at the time of original classification, nor with a 50X designation.
This is all about the internal State Department system. The Secretary of State is the top dog at State and that just happened to be Hillary Clinton. She was the one who granted others the ability to create and disseminate classified State Department correspondence – she, of all people, was aware of what was classified and what wasn’t – regardless of markings or lack thereof.
Please note the reasons for classification (above) and you’ll see item (2) Foreign government information, and item (4) Foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States, including confidential sources. It seems to me that most of what the Secretary of State does relative to diplomatic relations with other countries would be considered classified.
Hillary bit off more than she could chew when she decided to set up her own personal server and it’s about to bite her in her more-than-ample ass. Hoist by her own petard, as it were.