Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Response to The Expected Unexpected

(See: Just Above Sunset: The Expected Unexpected)

And to (hopefully) finish up on the subject of those damned emails, we need to remember that Donald Trump is both just a bit of a dim bulb, as well as a bit of a liar.

Here’s some of what he’s been saying:
“You can’t review 650,000 emails in eight days,” Trump said Sunday in an appearance at the Freedom Hill Amphitheater. “You can’t do it folks. Hillary Clinton is guilty.”
First of all, I’ve heard that 650,000 number was probably made up; I don’t think anybody really counted them.

But second of all, when Hillary Clinton turned over all her work-related emails, plus some that were possibly work-related, they totaled about 30,000 (and printed out, came to about 55,000 pages.) What was left — her personal emails — were said to total about 33,000.

That’s makes a total of about 63,000 of Hillary's emails  which leaves, what, 687,000 emails of Anthony Weiner’s weeny? I'd think that would cut down the task by a lot.

But for argument’s sake, let’s agree with that 650,000 number. So the main question remains, "How could the FBI check through 650,000 emails in eight days?"

Shortly after Trump’s comment, a big Trump supporter who’s name is being mentioned for a possible cabinet position, General Michael Flynn, tweeted this out:
"IMPOSSIBLE: There R 691,200 seconds in 8 days. DIR Comey has thoroughly reviewed 650,000 emails in 8 days? An email / second? IMPOSSIBLE RT”
Meanwhile, geeks all over the internet had great fun with the idea that the task should take anybody eight days.

In fact, back in the days when I was doing amateur computer programing — using Apple Basic, sort of a hobbyist computer language — I’m pretty sure I could have written the code for the job and had the answers for you before noon the next day.

Come to think of it, when I googled “650,000 emails” just now, Google's response page came back immediately and was topped with this: "About 9,040,000 results (0.57 seconds)”, which should give everybody a clue to how fast computers can go these days. Hey, I knew this, and I’m older than Donald!

But if Trump and his gang won’t take it from all the geeks and would rather run it by a well-established expert in this field:
How easy would it be to cull out the duplicate emails? Outspoken journalist Jeff Jarvis posed that question to Snowden in a tweet, and got a quick response: 
Jeff Jarvis "Hey @Snowden, for context, how long would it take the NSA to dedupe 650k emails?” 
Edward Snowden "Drop non-responsive To:/CC:/BCC:, hash both sets, then subtract those that match. Old laptops could do it in minutes-to-hours.”
But there’s one more thing that Trump keeps repeating about the damned emails that he probably should be corrected on:
“The rank-and-file special agents at the FBI won’t let her get away with her terrible crimes, including the deletion of her 33,000 emails after receiving a congressional subpoena.”
No, actually, she didn’t do that … or at the very least, probably she didn't.

This is from a partial timeline from Washington Post Fact Checker Glenn Kessler, back in March of 2015:
Feb. 1, 2013: Clinton steps down as secretary of state. … 
Summer, 2014: State Department officials responding to a request for documents from the House Select Committee on Benghazi realize there are no records to or from an official State Department e-mail account for Clinton. ... 
December 2014: In response to a request from the State Department, Clinton provides 50,000 pages of printed e-mails. The Department provides 900 pages related to Benghazi to the House committee in February.
By  the way, note that this was by “request” from the State Department, not by “subpoena” from Congress.

Elsewhere, we learn that she turned all that stuff over on December 5th of 2014, and ordered her copies be deleted from the server shortly after that.

On March 2nd, 2015, the New York Times ran a story that revealed she had been using a server in her house. Two days later, the Benghazi House Select Committee issued their subpoena, although by that time, everything had theoretically already been deleted.

Or was it? This is where things get sticky.

The Clintons assigned staffer Cheryl Mills to oversee these operations, which were performed by an outside contractor, Platte River Networks (PRN), in Denver. At this point in the story, we pick up the timeline from Zerohedge.com: 
• March 4, 2015 – Hillary receives subpoena from House Select Committee on Benghazi instructing her to preserve and deliver all emails from her personal servers  
• March 25, 2015 – Undisclosed PRN Staff Member has a conference call with “President Clinton’s Staff”  
• March 25 – 31, 2015 – Undisclosed PRN Staff Member has “oh shit” moment and realizes he forgot to wipe Hillary’s email archive from the PRN server back in December…which he promptly does using BleachBit despite later admitting he "was aware of the existence of the preservation request and the fact that it meant he should not disturb Clinton's e-mail data on the PRN server."  
• June 2016 – FBI discovers that Undisclosed PRN Staff Member forgot to erase 940 emails from the gmail account he created to help with the PRN server upload

So as Tyler Durden of Zerohedge.com puts it:
[T]he Undisclosed PRN Staff Member is the only person responsible for the deletion as Mills, Hillary, President Clinton's Office were all blissfully unaware of the actions of their rogue IT guy of Platte River Networks in Denver, Colorado.
So did Hillary, as Trump claims, delete 33,000 emails after receiving a Congressional subpoena? Obviously not. But did she have anything to do with making that undisclosed PRN staffer have an “Oh, shit” moment, at which time he/she did it themselves?

For that, you have to talk to the FBI, who investigated all this, but for whatever reason — perhaps because they had reason to believe it was an innocent mistake — the FBI decided not to prosecute anyone for this.

And why hasn't the Clinton campaign been calling Trump a liar on this?

Hey, do the math! Given the fact that talking about this only drives her numbers down, the campaign didn’t even want to crow in public about how the FBI pretty much totally closed her email case down  which was much easier to do than have to try to explain some “oh shit” moment in Denver, Colorado.

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