When asked by CBS News' Bill Plante about when he learned about the unethical – and most likely illegal – use of a private email account, complete with home-based servers, for official government correspondence, Mr. Obama replied, "The same time everybody else learned it, through news reports." He continued, "the policy of my administration is to encourage transparency...and that's why my emails, the BlackBerry that I carry around, all those records are available and archived."
Effectively proving that this response was coordinated, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said he "wouldn't be surprised" if the President learned about the issue through the newspapers. Valerie Jarrett, Mr. Obama's "Rasputan-like" senior advisor, made a statement equally as incredulous as the one issued by the President in asserting that she never received an email from Mrs. Clinton's private email account and was unsure if anyone in the inner-sanctum of the White House ever did either.
All of these alibis are issued in the face of credible reports that Clinton's personal staff had made the informed decision to suppress the news of the email account after the White House, State Department and Clinton's personal office learned this past August that House Republicans had been provided information proving that Clinton used a private email account to conduct official government business, including the possible transmission of secret and sensitive documents, to a server that Qualys SSL Labs rates an "F" for security.
Let's take a breath and consider these alibis; all of the realities that would have to exist for these alibis to be even remotely palatable.
If, in fact, President Obama was unaware that his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, was not using a government issues secure email account, reality would mandate that he never – not once – received an email from her. Is it possible that in an age of instant communication, and in a White House where everyone is connected to their Blackberries and iPhones, that not one email was sent from the Secretary of State – whose position in presidential succession is fourth in-line – to the President? To borrow a phrase from Mrs. Clinton, one would have to employ a willing suspension of disbelief to even consider the thought.
But, let's – for the moment – assume that Mr. Obama never did receive an email from his chief diplomatic officer, even as the Arab Spring was exploding, and even as the "reset" with Russia was afoot. Let's assume that his senior advisors were playing "gatekeeper" with Mrs. Clinton's correspondence. That would create a reality where Mr. Obama's senior-most advisor, Valerie Jarrett, was not receiving the Secretary of State's emails. Further, if we are to believe the picture the White House press secretary is painting we have to believe that no one in the White House was receiving email from the Secretary of State, again, as the Middle East was aflame, Mr. Putin was positioning aggressively toward the Ukraine, North Korea was acquiring nuclear weapons capability, etc.
All that assumed, this would create a reality where the President, the upper-echelons of the White House and everyone attached to it was completely non-communicative with the US Secretary of State during one of the most troubling times the world has ever seen. At best this scenario proves ineptitude heretofore unseen in the Executive Branch of the United States government. At worst, it proves collusion at the highest levels of government to provide plausible deniability to the President and his senior staff; collusion so debilitating that it corrupted communications between the President and his chief diplomat to the world.
Further, to consider these fantasy scenarios is to acquiesce to the truth that someone at the White House knew Mrs. Clinton was using a personal email account and chose not to report the violation of Obama Administration policy to superiors.
But I have drifted too far into the unrealistic. One would have to believe in unicorns and the tooth fairy to believe that the President and his Secretary of State never communicated by email for the total of Mrs. Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State.
Sorry, Mr. President, but I simply don't believe you. You are now the "boy who cried media."