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FCW : April 30, 2016
April 30, 2016 FCW.COM 15 The Defense Department released 1,336 pages of messages and attach- ments involving Secretary Ash Carter’s personal email account on March 25 in response to Freedom of Information Act requests from multiple news organizations. Carter and his advisers hope the release of the email messages, which contain no classified information and often cover routine administrative tasks, will put to rest concerns about the nature of his personal email use. One such critic is Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), an oversight hawk and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee who wrote Carter in February expressing concern that his private email was vulnerable to hacking by foreign spies. Carter’s use of a personal email account for official business con- tinued for months after the public revelation that Hillary Clinton had exclusively used a private server for official business throughout her tenure as secretary of State. That Carter continued the practice during the uproar over Clinton’s email arrangement baffled many observers, especially given that Carter was no stranger to government email procedures. Before becoming Pentagon chief, he had served as deputy Defense secretary and as undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics. The released email messages show that Carter used his personal account with varying frequency for 10 months after being sworn in as Defense secretary in February 2015. The New York Times first reported on Carter’s use of a personal email account last December, at which time Carter, through a spokesman, said the practice was a mistake and had ceased. The last message in the batch appears to be an auto-reply Carter set for his personal email on Dec. 18, two days after the Times report. “I am no longer utilizing personal email for the remainder of my time as secretary of Defense,” the message said. “If you need to get in touch with me regarding a personal matter, please contact me on my cell phone. If you are contacting me pertaining to business, please contact my assistant, [redacted]. Please know that anything you send to the .mil address will be a part of official government records.” Carter’s messages are often heavily — and sometimes fully — redact- ed; they cover the mundanities of navigating one of the world’s largest bureaucracies. There are, however, several buried nuggets that shed light on Carter’s management style and the way the private sector is receiving his overtures and angling for his attention. Below are the highlights for FCW readers. DOD RELEASED REAMS OF MESSAGES ASSOCIATED WITH SECRETARY ASH CARTER’S PERSONAL EMAIL ACCOUNT THAT SHED LIGHT ON HIS APPROACH TO MANAGEMENT AND PRIVATE-SECTOR OUTREACH BY SEAN LYNGAAS 0430fcw_014-016.indd 15 4/4/16 9:37 AM
April 15, 2016
May 15, 2016