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The Hillary Email Double Standard

Hillary Clinton

(Photos: Hillary Clinton - Keith Kissel; silhouette - Kevin Jaako; prison bars - Xiaobo Song)

Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email address and private server while serving as the Secretary of State hasn’t fallen out of the news cycle for more than a few hours in the last few months. However, what hasn’t been addressed before now is the implication that her actions and the official response to those actions have in the fight for whistleblower protections and proper treatment. Even though Clinton has now taken responsibility for her role in this continually unfolding story, it is important to scrutinize the Administration’s response to Clinton’s actions against its response to the same offenses by whistleblowers.

When General David Petraeus received little more than a scolding from the Administration for willfully mishandling classified information, it illustrated the disparity in the treatment of high-level officials and that of whistleblowers. Clinton’s email saga does the same. Last week, The Daily Beast published a piece by the Project On Government Oversight’s Danielle Brian that explores this matter in detail:

It is essential to maintain the records of our policymakers for historical analysis so that the public can know what actions have been taken in our name by our leaders. Clinton did not maintain these records. The fact is she indisputably broke the rules, and although that is not a criminal offense, it certainly is a political one.

Even more infuriating is the disparity of treatment between the politically powerful and everyday truth-tellers. High-level officials often receive little more than a tap on the wrist for mishandling classified information. But whistleblowers seeking to expose wrongdoing and protect the public are almost without exception subjected to overzealous investigations and prosecution.

Read the full piece on The Daily Beast.

By: Elizabeth "Liz" Hempowicz
Director of Public Policy, POGO

Photograph of Elizabeth Liz Hempowicz is the Director of Public Policy for the Project On Government Oversight.

Topics: Whistleblower Protections

Related Content: Government Secrecy, Democracy

Authors: Elizabeth "Liz" Hempowicz

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