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First Hillary, Now Chuck Hagel: Former Secretary Of Defense Also Used Private Email

For all the administration's scaremongering about hackers hacking into every possible electronic source that is connected to the internet (and in the case of StuxNet, those that aren't as Iran found out the hard way), it appears that the biggest culprit when it comes to lax communication security was the administration itself. And not just Hillary: moments ago NBC revealed that none other than former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, who as a reminder resigned in November following intense scapegoating by Obama who needed to a sacrificial calf following the disastrous midterm elections, also used a personal, non-supervised email address.

 

According to an NBC investigation, the White House emailed former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel at a private email address during his time in charge of the Pentagon, according to an investigation by the News-4 I-Team.

Hagel used two separate BlackBerrys, one of which accessed a private email account and was used for at least a “limited number” of government emails, a Pentagon aide told the I-Team.

 

On at least one occasion, in October 2013, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough wrote to a group of US Cabinet Secretaries and copied a private address: cthsd24@gmail.com – an email that is believed to belong to Hagel.

 

McDonough wrote to the official, “.gov” email addresses of other Cabinet members. Hagel’s official, “.mil” email address is not seen, but "cthsd24@gmail.com" is listed as a recipient.

 

When asked about the Gmail account, a Pentagon spokesman said Hagel used two separate phones while serving as Secretary of Defense, including both a governmental and private email account.

 

“He understood the need to keep the two separate and to keep government business on his official e-mail," the spokesman said. "On some limited occasions an email may have been sent to or from the wrong account.”

Why two accounts? So that when a FOIA request comes knocking, the appropriate response team can legitimately claim all appropriate emails have been tendered. Of course this only refers to emails under a government account; Hegel's account on his personal email are untouchable under FOIA unless explicitly released.

A Pentagon spokesman says Hagel’s successor, Defense Secretary Ash Carter, also had separate personal and governmental email accounts.

 

A White House spokeswoman declined to comment on why McDonough used a private email address for a government email to a Cabinet member. She referred the I-Team to a prior statement from the White House press secretary about email practices.

 

The statement reads, “It’s the responsibility of the agencies to maintain their own records management plan, if you will, but they certainly do that in close coordination with the experts at NARA, at the National Archives and Records Administration.”

 

The Pentagon spokesman told the I-Team said personal email correspondence with other official accounts “would also be retained per policy.”

He said, “Emails received and created by the Secretary of Defense on official e-mail are maintained in accordance with the Federal Records Act (44 USC 3301), DoD and OSD policy and regulations."

For those confused, a pattern has emerged: the Obama administration has turned a blind eye, and in fact may have encouraged, its members to use one or more email accounts for a very simple reason: to avoid the potential humiliation of a FOIA-based or legal discovery request, and limit public accountability. Because once the public demands transparency via FOIA, the only discoverable information would be limited to whatever did not take place on the private account. And there, as Hillary Clinton would like the idiot public to believe, one should just trust these people's judgment that whatever they deleted was very much private, non-confidential, and not in any way a matter of public record.

The most transparent administration ever, indeed.

Of course, all that it would take is for someone on the other side of cthsd24@gmail.com (hegel wasn't as tricky as Hillary to set up his own email server) or hdr22@clintonemail.com, to show that they are in possession of an email that should have been sent via a traceable, government route, and let the civil litigiation commence. Or rather, it would commence if all the judges in the US didn't happen to have "two accounts" themselves...