Obama's Faint Praise of Hillary is Either Machiavellian or Dumb (New at Reason)

The president characterizes his former secretary of state's use of a private email server as "careless," but under the law it's negligence.


Does President Obama even want Hillary Clinton to

Carelessness or espionage?
Flickr/Marc Nozell

be the next occupant of the Oval Office?

It's hard to tell, based on recent comments he made regarding his former secretary of state's controversial use of a private email server while conducting official government business. Speaking with Fox News' Chris Wallace, the president described Clinton's use of a non-secure server as "careless," a characterization which Andrew Napolitano thinks "may actually harm her in the eyes of the public or even serve as a dog whistle to the FBI."

Napolitano adds:

Carelessness is a species of negligence, and espionage, which is the failure to safeguard state secrets by removing them from their proper place of custody, is the rare federal crime that can be proved by negligence — to be precise, gross negligence.

As president, Obama's Department of Justice has prosecuted for espionage both a sailor who took a selfie on a submarine and a Marine used a personal Gmail account to warn his superiors of an imminent al-Qaida attack.

If that's the bar for espionage, what should be made of the more than 2,000 classified emails that ran through Clinton's server?