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Comment Re:Clinton is above the law (Score 1) 396

There is no problem with her using a private email server. I've got one in my basement, and I've had it for more than 8 years.

The problem is that she was using her private email server for federal business: first, to evade public scrutiny, which is illegal; second, for sending and receiving classified documents, which is also illegal.

The Colin Powell defense is, as I already said, bullshit. It is true that he had a non-government email address that he used to conduct government business when he was SOS, but there are three differences. First, he didn't use it for classified work - he carried two devices, as we say now. Second, the State Department didn't have a non-classified email server at the time. Third, he used a commercial email service, which means that in the event of a discovery request or subpoena a third party would be in charge of providing the records, not his own lawyers and cleaning crew.

Go read about his email leaks. He tried repeatedly to warn Hillary against using him as her defense. She eventually got the message but, like the Japanese submarine from Gilligan's Island, some of her sycophants are still fighting that lost war.

Public records from the Bush administration were a fucking mess because so many of the departments were on their own for providing email services. In response to this, a bunch of new domains and email servers were set up for official use, and the use of outside email for public business was banned. Once that was complete (2009?), Hillary even sent emails to her staff telling them not to use outside email services for state business.

P.S. Obama should indeed have noticed. StoneTear's reddit request was probably not about obscuring Hillary's email address, but Obama's.

P.P.S. Oh, and her staff knew that their boss was breaking the law, but were told to keep their mouths shut. If we'd learned about this from a whistleblower years ago, instead of from a lawsuit last year, maybe this would have blown over by now and not been a huge topic in her election campaign.

Comment Re:Looking for the exit (Score 2) 52

A Google login, whether you get it via gmail or "G Suite", ties into all of the Android apps and keeps search history and integrates it into other Google products, and runs synchronization of most app data so they can see a great deal of what you do on the phone. About the worst that you can do is turn on device management. It will take about two days to turn off and during that time it will do its very best to force your email users to put their devices under your control. After that you apparently even have control over booting of the device. It's enough to make me want to support another open phone. Mozilla just gave up the ghost on that.

Comment Re:Clinton is above the law (Score 3, Insightful) 396

I don't remember their names. Over the last few months I've heard several radio interviews with lawyers involved in these cases, mostly while driving. I tried google using bits and pieces of the stories that (I think) I remember, but I didn't have much luck.

One guy that with a case still in the process (as in, he wasn't in prison yet at the time, and maybe still isn't) was a mechanic in the Navy who took a picture or a selfie of his (classified) work area so that he could tell his kids "this is where I worked when I was away". No criminal intent, prosecuted anyway. I remember clearly one of the lawyers talking about that case said that they were preparing appeals paperwork for their other clients to have ready depending on how his use of the "Clinton Defense" went.

I mean that no one knows, in the legal sense, if they had intent or not, because it wasn't examined at trial. Criminal trials are narrowly focused on the elements of the crime. Since the laws relating to classified documents were intentionally written by Congress to exclude intent as an element, it never gets examined at trial. Prosecutors don't raise the question because they didn't need to, and defense lawyers don't bring it up because it wouldn't help. At best, it might be in an opening or closing statement, but those are just fluff.

If the courts agree that some level of intent is necessary for a conviction now, all of those cases are appealable because their trial records no longer contain facts sufficient to sustain their conviction.

If you've ever pled guilty to something in court, the judge will ask you to affirm each element of the crime. They won't take your word at it that you are guilty of jaywalking, they want you to agree that "Don't Walk" was lit, that you knew it, and that you crossed anyway. The same thing happens in a real trial. The prosecutor lists the elements of the crime and argues that you did them, the defense disputes those claims (among other defenses). If the prosecutor is successful in establishing all of the elements beyond a reasonable doubt, you get convicted.

Espionage is very hard to prove. A person doesn't have to wrap up a bundle of secret documents in a bow and sign a card saying "Here's the spy work you wanted me to do!", they can do, and have done, things that can plausibly be mere carelessness. For example, you could accidentally leave a document out on your desk instead of locking it in the safe. Oops, careless! Unless the cleaning guy is also compromised and drops it in the trash to be fetched later. Now the secrets left the building, but in a way that both of the people involved can plausibly claim they didn't intend.

And motivation can be tricky too. Cash is obvious enough, but what about blackmail? Or loss of faith in the government? Or anger at a manager or director? Want to impress a girl? Want to experience the thrill of rule-breaking at middle-age?

Because it can be so complicated, Congress also made carelessness with classified information punishable, regardless of intent. That's basically our espionage law: If you give away our secrets, or, if you allow through carelessness the conditions for someone else to steal them, we are going to prosecute you and probably throw you in prison for a while.

Comey is claiming now that the second part should be "...or, if you intentionally allow through carelessness the conditions...", which is just asinine, and if we had honest media in this country, would be seen as such by everyone.

Comment Re:Clinton is above the law (Score 5, Insightful) 396

I can answer #4. Because she fucking hid everything until a lawsuit from Judicial Watch forced the State Department to release some of the public documents generated by her term as SOS. Once the people had access to her public records, they started to notice that her email wasn't entirely on the government servers, but on her own. Then her lawyers and IT people started to panic (the infamous reddit post) because they knew that Congress would get involved soon, and it did.

The answer to #2 is that every agency seems to be in on the coverup to some extent. They have all been dragging their feet producing records, and several have "lost" drives, tapes, records, etc. IRS Commissioner Koskinen is facing impeachment for this same crap, but for a different scandal (not for Hillary's emails). Obama is probably going to need to pardon every single member of his cabinet and most of the senior management, or President Trump is going to need to build a brand new prison to house the "Most Transparent Administration in history (TM)".

#1 is crap. See Powell's email leaks. #3 is no, or at least not that I've heard of.

Here are at least three of the laws that she apparently broke:
18 US Code 793
18 US Code 798
18 US Code 1924

Whoever, being an officer, employee, contractor, or consultant of the United States, and, by virtue of his office, employment, position, or contract, becomes possessed of documents or materials containing classified information of the United States, knowingly removes such documents or materials without authority and with the intent to retain such documents or materials at an unauthorized location shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

As to your conclusion, there are guys in prison today for violations of the exact same laws, and several are now attempting to appeal their sentences. At the time they were convicted, those laws were seen as strict liability, so their trial records do not include proof of intent. If those same laws, which haven't changed, require mens rea now, at the very least they need a retrial to establish intent.

Comment Re: meh (Score 1) 460

Military meals are designed with attention to the morale factor. Even the modern MRE is designed to help the soldier feel human in unfavorable surroundings. Apollo 10 was the first to officially test real bread. Gemini Astronauts smuggled aboard a kosher corned beef sandwich but it was stale and thus had too many crumbs which went airborne. By Apollo 10 it was discovered that nitrogen-flushed bread would stay fresh for 10 days. I'll have to try that.

Comment Re:Consenting parties (Score 1) 489

just like the company that buys the launch services, and the company that insures both parties.

(You'd think that a company that's insured against rocket failure wouldn't bleat about SpaceX owing them a free flight, but that's a completely different topic.)

four and a half good reasons why that is a bad idea

In your desperate attempt to insult me, you confuse "type" with "manufacturer".

In this case, if I were a retailer of t-shirts, and had poor experiences with product from (in this example) Spectra USA -- lots of customer returns for fading dyes and ripped seams, I wouldn't forswear black t-shirts. I'd forswear black t-shirts from Spectra USA. How you can confuse "type" with "manufacturer" is beyond me.

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