(…) “In the first year of his administration (December 29, 2009, to be exact), President Obama issued Executive Order 13526, entitled “Classified National Security Information.” It explains what information is deemed classified if its disclosure would cause “damage to the national security.” Beyond that, whether the classified information is categorized as “top secret,” “secret,” or “confidential” depends on how serious the damage would be.
With that as background, the order makes clear that there is one category of information that is automatically deemed classified: information from foreign governments. Section 1.1(d) of the executive order decrees: “The unauthorized disclosure of foreign government information is presumed to cause damage to the national security.”
The reason for this is plain: It is not just the often sensitive nature of diplomatic communications; it is the fact that, in order to protect our national security, the United States must rely on intelligence from foreign governments; if our government does not keep that information strictly confidential, the foreign governments will be unwilling to share it – endangering American lives. As Secretary of State, Clinton not only knew this elementary rule; it was her duty to ensure that the rule was followed throughout her department.
As has been clear from the beginning, and is now patent after the latest disclosure of a subset of 6,000 of the emails Clinton deigned to preserve, at least 125 of which reportedly contain classified information, the emails Clinton sent, received and stored via her private server system were rife with information from foreign governments. This information was born classified. It makes no difference that these emails were not stamped “top secret”; all national security officials with security clearances know that foreign government information is deemed classified and must be handled as such. Period.
Indeed, since it is the State Department that deals most directly with foreign governments, the Secretary of State has the highest obligation and interest when it comes to assuring them that the information they share with the U.S. government is being handled with appropriate care.” (Read more: National Review, 9/01/2015)