The 6 Most Intriguing Redacted Hillary Clinton Emails That You'll Have So Many Questions About

On Monday, the State Department published over 4,000 emails from Hillary Clinton's private account as part of a court-ordered monthly disclosure. The department said that it had redacted information from approximately 150 of these emails, before eventually reducing that number to 125. According to Mark Toner, a spokesman for the State Department, none of the documents were marked as classified when they were sent, but the information in question was redacted from certain emails due to its "confidential" nature. What was in Hillary Clinton's redacted emails?

The subjects of the emails containing redactions varied. Some merely had a sentence or two redacted, while others were almost completely empty. A 2009 executive order signed by President Obama ruled that "confidential" information “reasonably could be expected to cause damage to national security” if publicly exposed, but given that "confidential" is the lowest classification of government intelligence, it doesn't appear that Clinton's redacted emails would have posed as extreme a threat as they might have if they'd been based on information from "intelligence sources and methods."

Here's a look at some of the most intriguing redactions from Clinton's emails. (There were more than 7,000 pages' worth, so this is not a comprehensive list, so much as a general look at the kinds of information that seem likely to be redacted.)

1. Gaza

This email, sent to Jake Sullivan with the subject line "Gaza," was almost entirely redacted, save for a reference to a "memcon" — a memorandum of conversation. In the days before this email was sent, the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and Gaza was partially opened, following Israel's Gaza flotilla raid and international calls for Egypt and Israel to lift or ease their blockade.

2. Remarks On Internet Freedom

In this email, which documents an exchange between Clinton, Huma Abedin, and various aides, an entire draft of a 2010 speech on Internet freedom is redacted. Given that the final remarks are available for public consumption, the redaction suggests that earlier elements of the speech were too sensitive to retain. In another thread about the same topic, the draft is similarly redacted, but Clinton agrees to speak at the Newseum on Jan. 21, 2010, after making a humorous remark about there being "something magic about that date."

3. Dalai Lama

This redaction, from an email whose subject line is "A few more words on the Dalai Lama," is particularly puzzling. And the redacted statements come from Anne-Marie Slaughter, not Clinton. In the non-redacted portion of the email, Slaughter speaks bluntly on Chinese leadership, but her remarks alluding to a debate are all redacted.

4. Get Well Soon

Clinton is merely CC'd on this email, originally sent from Cherie Blair — a British barrister and ex-wife of British prime minister Tony Blair — to Bill Clinton, with the subject line "get well soon." Another email from Blair, which requests contact information and discusses the Qatar Crown Prince, is understandably redacted. But the redaction of this forwarded email is slightly more confusing.

5. Sergey V. Lavrov

According to its subject line, this brief exchange between Sullivan and Clinton seems to focus on Sergey V. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister. Sullivan's entire message is redacted, as is most of Clinton's reply — save for the request "can you run the traps."

6. No Subject

In this email conversation between Clinton, Abedin, and Monica Hanley, the subject is redacted, making it difficult to decipher what they could have been talking about. It appears that they are talking about getting in touch with a specific person, whose name may have also made up the subject line.

According to the State Department, a quarter of Clinton's emails have been made public following Monday's document release. As The New York Times pointed out, Clinton engaged in multiple discussions regarding the security of her email and the nature of the State Department filters. Of more than 4,000 emails, 125 with redactions doesn't seem to be a large number. But the designation of certain emails as "confidential" is confusing at best.