A cornered Clinton is a craven Clinton, which is why we should view Hillary Rodham Clinton's latest public relations trick with practiced skepticism. "I want the public to see my email," she tweeted Wednesday night. "I asked State to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible."
I want the public to see my email. I asked State to release them. They said they will review them for release as soon as possible.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 5, 2015
If she wants us to see her email, why did she create a secret account stored on a dark server registered at her home?
If she wants us to see her email, why didn't she give State all of her email rather than a self-censored fraction of the correspondence?
If she wants us to see her email, Clinton should turn over every word written on her dark account(s) for independent vetting. Let somebody the public trusts decide which emails are truly private and which ones belong to the public.
Like everything else about the response to this controversy, Clinton's tweet is reminiscent of the 1990s, when her husband's White House overcame its wrongdoing by denying the truth, blaming Republicans, and demonizing and bullying the media. It's a shameless script, unbecoming of a historic figure who could be our next president "“ and jarringly inappropriate for these times.
In the 15 years since Bill Clinton left office, the internet has made almost everybody a researcher and a journalist—equipped to judge wrongdoing for themselves and insist upon accountability. We can now spot the lies ourselves, stand up to bullies, and remind our leaders that two wrongs don't make a right. The actions of Hillary Clinton and her team raise the question: Is she trapped on the wrong side of the bridge to the 21st century?
This is part of a pattern of bad behavior. My former employer, The Associated Press said Wednesday that it was considering legal action over years of stonewalling its requests for government documents covering Clinton's tenure as secretary of state. The AP has sought her full schedules and calendars and for details on the State Department's decision to grant a special position to a longtime Clinton aide, Huma Abedin, among other documents, the New York Times, reported. The oldest AP request was made in March 2010.
"We believe it's critically important that government officials and agencies be held accountable to the voters," said AP's general counsel, Karen Kaiser. "In this instance, we've exhausted our administrative remedies in pursuit of important documents and are considering legal action."
This is the problem: If she wants us to see her emails, Clinton would show us her emails. If she wants to be transparent, she'd be transparent. If she wants to be a modern, forward-looking leader who earns the trust of a disillusioned public, she'd call off her attack dogs, stop spinning, and do the right thing.
She would return the unseemly foreign donations to the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Foundation.
She wouldn't call them "my email." She would know that the emails of a public official belongs to the public. They're ours. Cough 'em up.
This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal.