Secrecy is to Hillary Clinton what sex was to Bill Clinton.
She has to have it. She doesn’t care if it is unwise. She doesn’t care if it does more harm than good. And enjoyment doesn’t enter into it.
She has been secretive for much of her political life, which is one reason that many people still have no clear idea of who she really is.
Which is a shame. There is much about Hillary Clinton to admire.
But there is also much to look at and ask: Who the hell does she think she is?
Her current controversy — and there always seems to be a current controversy — involves her emails as secretary of state. Instead of using an official government email account, as administration policy required, Hillary set up her own private email account, apparently at her home in Chappaqua, N.Y.
Why did she do this? We don’t know.
Who actually set up the account? We don’t know.
Was the person who set it up an expert on cybersecurity? We don’t know that, either.
Hillary had to have been aware of the global threat of email hacking, identity theft and other cybercrimes.
She also had to have been aware that foreign governments and their agencies, such as the Chinese army, had been implicated in such crimes.
And she was not exactly Ms. Nobody. She was the newly named United States secretary of state.
So what was her very first action? She set up a private email account, email@example.com, and then used it for all her emails, official and unofficial.
HDR, as people figured out when the account was made public recently, probably stood for Hillary Diane Rodham, her maiden name. Why 22? One theory is that Hillary was 22 years old when she first met Bill.
All of which would have taken the cyber experts at the People’s Liberation Army of China about 10 seconds to figure out. Which means it could have used the next 10 seconds to figure out her password.
Me, I am guessing Hillary’s password was “password.” Which seems to be about the limit of her tech savvy.
And keep in mind she used this account for every email she sent and received when she was secretary of state, from 2009 to 2013.
When she left office, she took all the emails with her as if they were her private property.
Does this make sense to you?
If it does, your name is probably hdr22.
In Hillary’s world, everybody is out to get her. Which is why she surrounds herself with ultra-loyalists, people who believe, as she does, that she is entitled to special behavior and special treatment because she is a special victim.
Hillary’s inner circle was once called Hillaryland. It was known for two things: absolute allegiance and total secrecy. Even Hillary used the term every now and then. “While the West Wing had a tendency to leak . . . Hillaryland never did,” she said.
In reality, Hillaryland leaked all the time. But they were controlled leaks, the stories that Hillary’s people wanted in the media.
There were also stories, however, that Hillary did not want in the media, and it was a major preoccupation of her staff to see that those stories never saw the light of day or got quickly dismissed if they were published.
To Hillary and her people, setting up a private email account was just another way to control the news. If it was private, they had a better chance of keeping things secret, they figured. For them, this was standard operating procedure. What was the big deal?
Well, there are several big deals. And even though it was The New York Times that broke the email story, it was The Washington Post that wrote a real fire-breather of an editorial about it March 4.
Hillary’s “decision to exclusively use a private e-mail account while secretary suggests she made a deliberate decision to shield her messages from scrutiny,” the editorial said.
Then it asked a number of questions that Hillary has not yet deigned to answer:
“How secure was the private e-mail? What was her motive? Did anyone ask why the secretary of state was breaking with an announced administration policy? Why did she not turn over the emails promptly upon leaving office? Has she withheld anything?”
True, Hillary has been the object of partisan attacks in the past and has reason to fear future attacks.
“Such fears would have had ample basis, but they do not excuse a penchant for control and secrecy that she has exhibited before — and that remains a worrying attribute as Ms. Clinton possibly enters a presidential campaign,” the editorial said.
A penchant for control and secrecy. That is not exactly the campaign slogan Hillary has been looking for.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said on “Meet the Press” Sunday: “I think that she needs to step up and come out and state exactly what the situation is. . . . From this point on, the silence is going to hurt her.”
At some point in the past, Bill probably realized that his fooling around was going to hurt him, his family and his country. But that didn’t make it any easier for him to stop.
It’s the same thing with secrecy. After a while, you don’t even realize it’s an addiction.