Perhaps nobody on the planet knows more about intelligence protocol than Edward Snowden. If Snowden says it's "completely ridiculous" to believe that Clinton's emails were safe, then yes, it's fair to include his viewpoint in any critique of Hillary Clinton's latest controversy. In addition, since I believe Senator Bernie Sanders is desperately needed at this point in U.S. history, and electing Clinton or a Republican would essentially be nominating the same president on war and foreign policy, it's important to address relevant analysis of the email controversy.
There seems to be a bizarre paradigm of thought among some Democrats that prevents any scandal associated with Hillary Clinton from being a part of debate or discussion. When Anthony Weiner questioned the legitimacy of Sanders running as a Democrat, or when Senator Claire McCaskill attacked Bernie for being "too liberal" and "extreme," ironically there was never any uproar or indignation among those who claim to support unity among progressives.
Just recently, a pro-Clinton super PAC tried to link controversial statements made by Hugo Chavez to Bernie Sanders. Also, let's not bring up Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign against Barack Obama. If you don't think Clinton's 3 AM ad in 2008 contained a "racist sub-message," then read the analysis of a Harvard sociologist and remember the viewpoint ("black people are incensed over all of this") of South Carolina's James Clyburn.
Therefore, since we know that some Clinton supporters have no qualms about comparing Bernie Sanders to a Fox News socialist or even linking him to Hugo Chavez, let's simply address reality while others genuinely "go negative." The reality is that other intelligence experts have come to the same conclusion as Snowden.
However, even before the email issue, it's important to note why Sanders will defeat Clinton even without a breakthrough from the FBI or CIA.
One look at the Huffpost Pollster interactive chart shows why Sanders will win the Democratic nomination and the presidency. This election will be about polling trajectory and nothing else, when it comes to analyzing public opinion. Without billionaire donors and simply with a grass roots effort, Bernie Sanders has gone from 4% support on January 12, 2015 to 27.5% on September 27, 2015. No, Sanders doesn't need to go negative on anyone. Stating the obvious, however, isn't negative. If Bernie Sanders can get to 7 points within Clinton, without an official statement from the FBI about Clinton's emails being a threat to national security, then imagine if Snowden is correct.
What if Edward Snowden is correct to believe that it's "completely ridiculous" to think Clinton's emails were safe? If this is true, then it's feasible to foresee a breakthrough in the FBI investigation. Yes, it's logical to assume that national security was jeopardized if Snowden and others feel Clinton was reckless with her intelligence protocol. We're then looking at a Bernie Sanders landslide victory in the Democratic primaries.
Edward Snowden isn't part of a GOP conspiracy and has no incentive other than to illustrate a relevant viewpoint, when he addressed Clinton's private emails and server. I have no incentive to write this piece other than to highlight a key distinction between two Democratic candidates. Also, I am voting only for Senator Bernie Sanders and nobody else.
In addition, the person weighing in on this topic is more than just an expert on intelligence and national security issues. First, Snowden is a whistleblower who fostered a national discussion about domestic spying. His actions weren't treason, resulted in "needed transparency" and we've had a national debate about civil liberties and the Bill of Rights because of his actions. Furthermore, if Clinton can store classified and "Top Secret" emails (whether or not many were retroactively classified is irrelevant, there were also "born classified" emails) and the FBI owns the server of a presidential candidate, then as I've advocated, bring Snowden home.
Yes, Bernie Sanders will win the presidency because of his bold message and policies, but since Clinton's PAC's and supporters will inevitably fabricate a narrative about Sanders, the least any writer can do is simply state the facts. A POLITICO article titled Snowden: No way Hillary's private server was secure highlights why the Democratic Party should be concerned about Hillary Clinton in a general election:
Edward Snowden blasted Hillary Clinton's assertion that her State Department emails were secure on a private server, calling the notion "completely ridiculous" in excerpts of an interview with Al Jazeera English published Thursday.
"When the unclassified systems of the United States government, which has a full-time information security staff regularly gets hacked, the idea that someone keeping a private server in the renovated bathroom of a server farm in Colorado, is more secure is completely ridiculous," Snowden said, referring to the physical location of the server hosted by Denver-based Platte River Networks.
Simply claiming something is legal doesn't make it right, and Snowden goes on to say that if anyone acted like Clinton, "they would not only lose their jobs and lose their clearance, they would very likely face prosecution for it."
In my analysis of 2016, I've tried my best to make relevant distinctions between Sanders and Clinton. In my recent appearances on Ring of Fire and The Benjamin Dixon Show, I highlight why Clinton had essentially been a Republican on issues ranging from war and foreign policy to gay marriage, Keystone XL, the TPP, and other topics. As for my views on foreign policy, I've also appeared on Ring of Fire to discuss my thoughts on Dick Cheney and Jeb Bush.
With Snowden's commentary of Hillary Clinton's email practices, however, my opinions on politics take a backseat to the potential of a president who can't type an email without a nationwide scandal. You might think Hillary Clinton would make a fine president, but you can't say Edward Snowden doesn't know anything about intelligence protocol.
Another article in The Hill titled Snowden: Clinton's email server 'a problem', highlights Snowden's belief of why Clinton failed to keep intelligence secure:
"This is a problem because anyone who has the clearances that the secretary of State has, or the director of any top level agency has, knows how classified information should be handled," he said, according to excerpts of an Al Jazeera interviewairing Friday.
"If an ordinary worker at the State Department or the Central Intelligence Agency ... were sending details about the security of the embassies, which is alleged to be in her email, meetings with private government officials, foreign government officials and the statements that were made to them in confidence over unclassified email systems, they would not only lose their jobs and lose their clearance, they would very likely face prosecution for it," he added.
Therefore, Clinton's email server, at least according to one of the top experts on the planet pertaining to intelligence protocol, is "a problem." It's also an issues because unlike the excuse of "convenience," top officials know exactly how "classified information should be handled."
As for Snowden's comments, don't think Democratic superdelegates and party officials aren't worried about the email issue. A New York Times article titled Hillary Clinton's Handling of Email Issue Frustrates Democratic Leaders explains why the DNC is already worried:
Democratic leaders are increasingly frustrated by Hillary Rodham Clinton's failure to put to rest questions about her State Department email practices...
Interviews with more than 75 Democratic governors, lawmakers, candidates and party members have laid bare a widespread bewilderment that Mrs. Clinton has allowed a cloud to settle over her candidacy -- by using a private email server in the first place, since it was likely to raise questions about her judgment, and by not defusing those questions once and for all when the issue first emerged in March.
To simply say that nobody is concerned about this ignores the reality that leaders within the Democratic Party know that deleted emails could doom a general election.
Not everything is "Benghazi." Hillary Clinton is competing against Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination and a genuine distinction should be made, not just on issues, but on character. If you feel that Clinton's stances on war, foreign policy, and gay marriage warrant the presidency, then you might be a "Facebook liberal." As for me, I'm voting for Bernie Sanders. He doesn't need a Clinton scandal to win the Democratic nomination, but he will win the nomination in a landslide of Edward Snowden is correct.