What Do Hillary's Emails Say, Anyway?

by Jenny Hollander

On Friday, as promised, the State Department publicly released a batch of Hillary Clinton emails related to Benghazi, the Sept. 11, 2012 attack that left four Americans dead in Libya. The 296 emails, which total about 850 pages, according to CNN, are only a fraction of the approximately 30,000 emails that Clinton handed over to the State Department this spring. The emails had initially been scheduled for release in early 2016, according to the State Department, but a judge ruled this week that the State Department must turn over the emails in batches on a rolling basis.

So, the big questions: What can we learn from the emails? Well, at 12.30 p.m. Friday, when the emails went live on FOIA's website, the server suffered outages that left many unable to log on to read the emails. Once the dust had settled and media outlets and pundits alike began to sift through these emails, several details of note being to come to light. For example...

23 Words Have Been Classified

The Associated Press reported Friday that 23 words of the hundreds and hundreds of pages of emails had been classified and were not part of the email dump. At the time, the email was not classified — but has since been upgraded to "secret," and removed from the files released from the State Department. No word what the email was about (aside from Benghazi, obviously).

Here's the problem: Technically, classified information (albeit late to be classified) was sent to a private server, which is strictly against the rules, not to mention not what Clinton has claimed to have received: "sensitive but unclassified," in her words. That said, the information wasn't classified at the time, so her statement wasn't incorrect then.

Her Go-To Response? "Pls Print"

You'd probably type "plz," but the fact that Clinton, at 67, knows how to use the shortened version of the word at all is pretty cool. Clinton clearly prefers to see the documents referenced in her emails on paper, frequently writing "Pls print" in response to emails.

"What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger"

In an email spotlighted by the Wall Street Journal, Clinton wrote to aide Tom Nides:

Well, what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger (as I have rationalized for years), so just survive and you’ll have triumphed!

What The FOIA Page Looks Like

The FDA page is set up like an email inbox, with one line per email. You can click into the email subject line to open it in the same window, or the blue button on the second-to-left tab to open it in a new window.

Schedules Were Forwarded To Her After All

Another Wall Street Journal find was an email in which Hillary was forwarded logistical information about Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya who was killed in the Benghazi attacks. Clinton has always said that the day-to-day scheduling in regard to Sept. 11 2012 was handled by those below her.