Dozens of Clinton emails censored for security reasons

2015-08-01 12:35
US presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. (Alex Wong, AP)

US presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. (Alex Wong, AP)

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Washington - Dozens of emails that traversed Hillary Clinton's private, unsecure home server contain national security information are now deemed too sensitive to make public, according to the latest batch of records released on Friday.

In 2,206 pages of emails, the government censored passages to protect national security at least 64 times in 37 messages. Clinton has said she never sent classified information from her private email server, which The Associated Press was first to identify as operating in her home in New York.

The Friday release brings the volume of emails publicly released by the State Department to roughly 12% of the 55 000 pages Clinton had turned over to department lawyers earlier this year.

Clinton's decision not to use a State Department email account has become a political problem for her, as Republicans seize on the disclosures to paint her as untrustworthy and willing to break rules for personal gain.

There is also the matter of the classified information that found its way onto her insecure email system.

Memos sent by the inspector general of the intelligence community alerted the FBI to a potential security violation arising from Clinton's use of a private server located in her home.

The inspector general said his office has found four emails containing classified information while reviewing a limited sample of 40 of the emails provided by Clinton.

'Egyptian proposal'

Those four messages were not marked as classified but should have been handled as such because they contained classified information at the time they were sent, the inspector general said.

Clinton has repeatedly defended her email usage, saying her private server had "numerous safeguards" and placing responsibility for releasing the documents on the State Department.

There were no obviously stunning revelations in the emails released on Friday, which reflected the workaday business of government. Some of the documents could reflect favourably on Clinton, such as a message in August 2009 about a 10-year-old Yemeni girl who had been married and divorced, and had been portrayed as unhappy in a CNN story.

"Is there any way we can help her? Could we get her to the US for counselling and education?" Clinton asked an aide, who began making calls.

Others could be controversial, such as 2009 messages from former national security adviser Sandy Berger about how to pressure Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over negotiations with Palestinians.

Among Clinton's exchanges now censored as classified by the State Department was a brief exchange in October 2009 between her and Jeffrey D Feltman, then Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs.

Clinton emailed Feltman about an "Egyptian proposal" for separate signings of a reconciliation deal with Hamas after the militant organisation balked at attending a unity ceremony. Both Clinton's email and Feltman's response are marked B-1 for "classified" and completely censored from the email release.

Earlier this year, a district court judge mandated that the agency release batches of Clinton's private correspondence from her time as secretary of state every 30 days starting June 30.

The regular releases of Clinton's correspondence all but guarantee a slow drip of revelations from the emails throughout the Democratic presidential primary campaign, complicating her efforts to put the issue to rest.

The goal is for the department to publicly unveil all 55,000 pages of her emails by January 2016, just three days before Iowa caucus-goers cast the first votes in the Democratic primary contest.

Read more on:    hillary clinton  |  us  |  security

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