OK, this is not some email whose classified marking Hillary Clinton is quibbling was added after the fact. This is paper copies of classified government documents that then-Secretary Clinton’s top State Department aide, Huma Abedin, had been instructed to burn. Instead, she left in the map pocket on the door of her car.
The Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross explains that this is yet another revelation from the records obtained by Judicial Watch via a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the State Department. Abedin’s carelessness is revealed in an July 20, 2009 email to Lauren Jiloty, Clinton’s personal assistant. Here is the email, which asks Jiloty to do her a favor and transfer the documents (identified as “a bunch of burn stuff”) to a more secure location — viz., the trunk of her car.
Clinton defenders will emphasize that the email doesn’t specify that the “burn stuff” is classified. But as Ross notes, the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Manual contains rules relating to the burning of agency materials and records. One section of the manual states that only classified material are to be burned. It reads:
Burn bags must contain only the classified material that is to be destroyed. Personal documents, trash, recyclable materials, metal objects (such as binder clips and acco fasteners), string, twine, spiral bindings, cleaning cloths, food, or any other object that is not classified material should not be placed in a burn bag.
In an update to his original article, Ross writes that a State Department advises that in some cases, burn bags can be used to dispose of information that is sensitive but unclassified:
Material disposed of in ‘burn bags’ is not limited to classified information. As the regulations state, Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU) and Personally identifiable information (PII) documents are often burned,” the official said, referring to another section of the Foreign Affairs Manual.
This hardly detracts from the big picture hinted at by the email. That is that the Clinton State Department, far from being the tight ship Mrs. Clinton has portrayed the agency as, was run capriciously and with little regard for protocol or the law. Why should Americans realistically expect that she will do a more careful and scrupulous job running the entire country?