I’ve had some exposure to corporate security and one of the things I’ve noticed is that much of it is based on what I think of as the “why questions.” The protection of things like data is based on thinking about why someone would want the data. The more obvious the answer the more obvious the reason to guard the data. Banks put money in vaults because it is obvious why people would steal it.
On the other hand, the great capers are often based on going against the grain of the why questions. For example, why would anyone break into the office of a psychiatrist? There’s no obvious answer so in most cases the offices are not secure. Dr. Lewis Fielding’s office was burgled in 1971, because one of his patients was Daniel Ellsberg, a notorious enemy of the people, who was in league with lunatics trying to bring down the government.
This caper from Wall Street is another good example of how “why” questions control how people guard information. You can be sure there was not a lot of people wondering why hackers would steal press releases, but now we know why and you can be sure the security of such things will be much higher.
The other value of focusing on why questions, one useful for reading the news, is to see who in the press is asking or even thinking about the why questions in a story. The proof that our press is mostly a public relations department is that they never ask the people in charge a why question. They don’t want to know why.
The Hillary e-mail story is a great example of what I’m getting at with the why questions. The only question to be asked of Hillary and her flaks is “Why did she create a secret, off-the-books, email server?” The facts show there was a rush to create this thing in time for her to start at the State Department. That was not a random act. There’s a reason and knowing the reason is pretty much the entire story.
Now, normal people familiar with the Imperial Capital think they know the answer. She wanted to avoid FOIA requests and Congressional oversight. This has become so common in DC with the bureaucracy that it is fair to call it normal. When the people in the Borg are plotting malice or mischief, they do it through private chat, e-mail and even Facebook. Big fish do it strictly to avoid Congress, which is a violation of law by itself.
For Clinton, there are no good answers to the question. If she says it was for personal use, then we come to the next “why” question. “Why did she use cutouts to create the server and have it in her house instead of at the Clinton Foundation?” That would be the obvious choice. If she was worried about keeping her private affairs private, that would have been a simple, cheap and hassle free option, one she already had available.
Of course, the other obvious question is “Why did the White House let this go on?” We know the answer to this and maybe that’s why they never ask the question, but it’s laughable to pretend that the White House did not know about this thing. The same is true of senior people at the State Department. If the press was really the press, they would be asking this every day until someone offered an answer.
The big question, the one a real reporter should be asking, but we all know will never be asked, is “Why were they stashing classified material on this server?” We now know they had sensitive signal intelligence data, particularly satellite images. Why would they want that for private use?
My theory, just to be clear, is that Team Clinton was using intel to shake down donors. Look at the hundreds of millions that have poured in from foreign sources. Anyone with eyes can see that the Clinton charities are just money laundering operations. They have raised billions and much of it from foreign sources. Giving a foreign oligarch a heads up on who is watching him should fetch a big donation.
If that sounds outlandish, remember that these are the same people who green-lighted the sale of satellite technology to China for campaign cash. These are the same people who were stealing furniture out of the White House. Even their friends say that everything is for sale with them. Building a multi-billion dollar empire through the sale of intel is not a big leap for people like the Clintons.
My bet is the answer to the why questions in this case is much worse than we are seeing so far.