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Email, History, and the Public Trust

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Today the top three National Societies of Archivists posted this statement.

Joint Statement on Conducting Public Business in Non-Government Email Accounts (June 2015)

Yes, I support Bernie.  However, I post this not to dig at Hillary. I believe this is a policy issue and not just mudslinging. I don't think that congressional investigation is necessarily merited in this particular email fracas. This is a policy issue not a scandal.

However, I am an government records archivist, and I'm sorry if I offend some Hillary supporters: this was/is a really big deal.  Yes, I get it, many other officials also used private email. I don't care they shouldn't have.  Citizens of the United States who achieve top level government rank, DO NOT WORK FOR THEMSELVES.  That means we the people own your communications, we own the record of your actions as a public official.  If you don't like it, don't run for or accept posting to a public office.  

The Secretary of the State is one of the most important cabinet level positions. Historically it was the stepping stone to the White House, and maybe it will be again. :)  In order to understand our history, we must have access to the records of history. Therefore it is unacceptable for a public official (especially those of very high policy level rank) to choose to circumvent the policies and procedures for securing and ensuring that the record of their public life is fully recorded.

As the SAA, COSA, and NAGARA point out by not mentioning HRC, this is not about the email scandal this is about the public trust. This should not be a partisan or election year issue, this is an issue that impacts the health of our democracy.  I hope that the congress , the president, and the candidates listen.


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