President Barack Obama says Hillary Clinton showed a degree of “carelessness” in using a private email server as secretary of state, but never jeopardized national security.
“I continue to believe that she has not jeopardized America’s national security,” Obama told “Fox News Sunday” in a wide-ranging interview. “What I’ve also said is that — and she has acknowledged — that there’s a carelessness, in terms of managing e-mails, that she has owned, and she recognizes.”
Well, compared to the administration as a whole, one could argue that Hillary Clinton's email evasion just bounces the rubble in jeopardizing our national security.
But I digress.
In the military, commanders aren't supposed to express their opinion on a case lest subordinates slant the outcome to conform to the commander's preference. That is considered "command influence."
And when the president hasn't wanted to express their opinion on an issue they don't wish to comment on, they haven't been shy about relying on the ongoing nature of an investigation to clam up.
So why didn't the president decline to comment as the investigation continues?
Of course, the president is at risk in this issue since he and the rest of the government knew that Hillary Clinton's email was not secured and they did not blow the whistle and have her stopped.
And even if it is true that no truly classified information was sent or received--and that is utterly false since some emails aren't even being released as too secret even years after their creation--the president under-plays the value of just reading or following the routine emails.
Quantity has a quality of its own, and traffic analysis can reveal a lot about how we react to a crisis and who we speak to during emergencies or whether there a pre-event "buzz" that telegraphs our initiatives (you may recall how pizza deliveries to the Pentagon surged just prior to Desert Storm, if memory serves me).
But if President Obama hasn't made it clear to the FBI and others investigating this utterly Clintonian disregard for anyone but their family that the president would like this investigation to go away, he made it crystal clear--and on Fox News to make the message extra enjoyable for the president to deliver (so we know why the president agreed to go on).
There's a lot of this command influence going on these days.
We'll see if a lame duck president has command influence, I suppose. Perhaps subordinates are made of sterner (and more ethical) stuff than the administration hopes.
UPDATE: Blog minds think alike.
UPDATE: Wow. Even on MSNBC ... Tip to Instapundit.
UPDATE: I don't know whether the president is clumsily trying to push the FBI to go easy on Clinton; or whether the president is trying to pose as a defender of Clinton who tried hard to protect her when the indictment comes down.