What the FBI Files Reveal About Hillary Clinton’s Email Server - POLITICO Magazine: "While “classified information” seems like it should be straightforward and binary—it either is or it isn’t—in practice government classification is a tricky and complicated issue. For one thing, different departments can treat the same information differently, as Under Secretary for Management Patrick F. Kennedy—a career Foreign Service officer who had started in the top position two years before Hillary Clinton came to the department—explained to the FBI. Whereas the intelligence community often “steals” information, leading it to be classified, the State Department may end up gathering that same information from nonsensitive sources and so never consider it classified; conversations with foreign diplomats may be classified or not—or later upgraded to classified if it’s determined that “the disclosure of such information might damage national security or diplomatic relationships.” (This was particularly true as governments and leaders shifted around the world.) Plus, the lines around documents and information could shift—many internal or even interagency drafts would be considered unclassified while they were being written, but would then be routinely classified when they were transmitted formally to the National Security Council.
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