Hillary Clinton has received some unexpected support concerning classified information on her private email server.
Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, used Clinton’s email scandal as an example of government overreach in classifying material.
Assange appeared on New York Public Radio to discuss the issue of restricting information, according to the Washington Post.
“There’s obsessive overclassification,” Assange said. “It’s basically because you can get into real trouble – as Hillary is seeing – for under-classifying.”
With no repercussion for restricting too much information, conservative classification is encouraged.
A similar argument has been made by Conor Friedersdorf for The Atlantic. How the federal government handles sensitive and classified information differs based upon the usefulness of the material. Classified information gets leaked to benefit high-ranking officials. When it puts government actions and officials in an admirable light, leaks get a benign treatment. If it’s critical or brings bad press, however, the government prosecutes the leaker, or talking heads fret about threats to national security.
Were a low-level bureaucrat to store classified information on a private email server, the matter would be serious. When Hillary Clinton does the same, though, it’s a non-issue and a distraction.
While Hillary most certainly has a point about over-classification, the way the law gets applied is objectionable. Assange and Friedersdorf have important points about classified information, and it makes them strange bedfellows with Clinton on this issue.