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由水门事件看希拉里“邮件门”

更新时间:2016-11-2 11:37:14 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Why Clinton’s Emails Matter
由水门事件看希拉里“邮件门”

It may come as a surprise that one of this country’s greatest experts on Richard M. Nixon’s many crimes is, in fact, Hillary Clinton. In 1974 she was, by many accounts, among the brightest members of the staff of the House Judiciary Committee that investigated Nixon and prepared the articles of impeachment. In this bizarre election year, it must be painful to her that she should find herself at the center of a scandal described by her hyperbolic political opponent, Donald J. Trump, as “worse than Watergate.”

希拉里·克林顿(Hillary Clinton)算得上这个国家最了解理查德·M·尼克松(Richard M. Nixon)种种罪行的人之一,这可能有点让人惊讶。1974年,从很多方面来说,在众议院司法委员会(House Judiciary Committee)负责调查尼克松一案,并准备弹劾文件的人员当中,她都算得上是最聪明的人之一。然而在这个奇异的大选之年,她却发现自己也置身丑闻中心,还被她那夸大其词的政敌唐纳德·J·特朗普(Donald J. Trump)描述为“比水门事件还糟”,这一定让她很痛苦。

But while “Emailgate” is no Watergate, there are some noteworthy echoes.

虽说“邮件门”(Emailgate)并不是水门,二者之间还是有些值得注意的联系。

For one, the controversial decision by the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, to inform Congress about new evidence in the investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s email server makes sense only if you think of what Watergate meant for the bureau. Its reputation was badly hurt by the behavior of L. Patrick Gray, its acting director at the time, and the revelations of its Hoover-era misdeeds that followed. Subsequent directors like William H. Webster, Robert S. Mueller III and now Mr. Comey have all appeared to understand that the country needs a trusted, nonpartisan F.B.I.

首先,联邦调查局局长詹姆斯·B·科米(James B. Comey)通知国会,声称对克林顿电子邮件服务器的调查发现了新证据,只有考虑到水门事件对于联邦调查局的影响,才能理解为什么会有这个争议性的决定。当时的代理局长L·帕特里克·格雷(L. Patrick Gray)的行为,乃至其后泄露的一系列调查局在胡佛时期的不当行为,严重伤害了它的声誉。后来的几任局长,诸如威廉·H·韦伯斯特(William H. Webster)、罗伯特·S·穆勒三世(Robert S. Mueller III)和现在的科米似乎都明白,这个国家需要的是一个值得信任、无党派倾向的联邦调查局。

The fact that emails on Anthony Weiner’s computer might be relevant to the investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s private email server had to be reported to an interested congressional investigative committee. If Mr. Comey had sat on the information — with part of the country already voting in the presidential election — he would have not only made the F.B.I. more of a target for partisan fury, but also made himself a target for future House investigations, since he had testified under oath that the F.B.I. had completed its Clinton email investigation.

在安东尼·韦纳(Anthony Weiner)的电脑内发现的电子邮件,可能同对克林顿私人电子邮件服务器的调查有关,这个事实必须报告给相关的国会调查委员会。如果科米压制这个消息——这个国家有一部分人已经在总统选举中投出了自己的一票——他不仅会为联邦调查局招来两党人士的怒火,也可能让自己在将来成为众议院的调查对象,因为他曾宣誓作证,说联邦调查局已经完成了对克林顿电子邮件的调查。

And there is another useful comparison to Watergate. As is clear from the F.B.I.’s investigation thus far, Mrs. Clinton and her team’s explanations of the handling of the server still seem, at best, incomplete. She ran the State Department too well for incompetence by her inner circle in handling government emails to explain everything. Perhaps as a result of scars from Republican witch hunting of the 1990s, Mrs. Clinton turned a blind eye because she did not trust civil servants to maintain her privacy. Despite the noisy, partisan chatter on the issue, the public deserves a better explanation.

还有一个和水门事件的对比也很有帮助。根据联邦调查局目前的调查结果,克林顿和她的团队对于她使用服务器的方式所做出的解释,目前看来至少是不完整的。她担任国务卿期间的工作非常出色,因此用其核心圈子在处置政府邮件方面的无能是不足以解释一切的。或许是共和党在1990年代的捕风捉影让她心有余悸,克林顿对此事视若无睹,因为她不信任公务员能够保留她的隐私。围绕着这个问题有着种种充满党派倾向的喧嚣议论,然而公众理应得到更好的解释。

I do not come at this just as a historian; for five years I supervised a group of archivists at the Nixon library, members of a profession who deal every day with balancing the public’s need and desire for official transparency with the authority of government departments to decide when their materials can be declassified.

我不仅仅是以历史学家的身份得出这个结论的;我曾在尼克松图书馆担任一个档案保管员小组负责人五年。一边是公众对于官方资料透明化的需求与渴望,一边是政府部门有权决定何时对手中的资料进行解密,这个职业每天都要在二者之间谋求平衡。

As secretary of state, Mrs. Clinton had the authority to determine the classification of most of her own communications and those of her staff members; but it was not up to her to decide what the C.I.A., the White House or any other agency might consider classified. If someone from one of those agencies interacted by email with Mrs. Clinton or her staff, there would have been a decent chance that something classified would find its way onto the Clinton family private server.

担任国务卿期间,克林顿有权为自己以及幕僚的通信联络设定密级;但是中央情报局、白宫或者其他机构怎么制定保密等级并不由她说了算。如果上述机构中有人和克林顿或其幕僚通信,那么某些机密信息便很有可能进入到克林顿家中的私人服务器上。

Had she used a government server, State Department archivists would have reviewed all of her email and then given back or destroyed (at her request) what was not considered official. Instead of letting that happen, Mrs. Clinton decided to keep all of her email and return only what she or her representatives deemed to be her official messages. It is hard to imagine that the I.T. security experts at the State Department, or any of the agencies that might have learned of her private email address, did not warn Mrs. Clinton’s staff that she was taking the risk of the inadvertent release of classified information.

如果她使用政府的服务器,那么国务院的档案保管员会查看她的所有邮件,然后返还或(应她的要求)销毁那些非公务邮件。克林顿没有那样做,而是决定保留自己的所有邮件,仅返还她或自己的代表认为是官方信息的邮件。很难想像,国务院或其他机构里知道克林顿私人邮箱地址的的IT安全专家没有提醒过她的工作人员,她这样做可能会在无意中泄露机密信息。

As a result, the email matter involves more than politics, and the F.B.I. has no choice but to investigate it. Mrs. Clinton put at risk some secrets (though very likely none of them life-threatening) and, equally important, the careers of public servants who knew about her nongovernment email address. Like former President Bill Clinton in the Lewinsky matter, Mrs. Clinton was guilty of arrogance, doing something very risky that she was most likely advised against.

结果,邮件事件超越了政治范畴,联邦调查局不得不进行调查。克林顿把某些机密信息(虽然它们很可能都不会危及生命)以及(同样重要的)那些知道她非政府邮箱地址的公务员的职业生涯置于危险境地。和前总统比尔·克林顿(Bill Clinton)在莱温斯基(Lewinsky)事件中一样,克林顿为自己的自大感到内疚,她做了一件非常危险、很可能有人建议过不要做的事情。

Yet unless the F.B.I. finds evidence among Mr. Weiner’s dirty laundry that Mrs. Clinton sought to use the power of government to hurt innocent Americans, Nixon won’t have a competitor for America’s worst official scandal. But there are very good, nonpartisan reasons the email matter won’t — and shouldn’t — just go away without further explanation by Mrs. Clinton.

但是,除非联邦调查局在韦纳的丑闻中找到证据,证明克林顿想利用政府权力伤害无辜的美国人,那么尼克松的水门事件依然无可匹敌地名列美国最糟糕政府丑闻之首。但是,除非克林顿作出进一步解释,否则邮件事件不会也不应该不了了之,这是有非常充分的、无关党派的理由的。

Should she win, as it still seems likely she will, Mrs. Clinton ought to consider taking very public steps, very soon, to reassure Americans of her commitment to the protection of official records and transparency. No one wants to have to worry that some of her future White House electronic records will go missing.

如果克林顿获胜——她似乎依然很可能会获胜——她应该考虑采取非常公开的方式,尽快让美国人确信,她下定决心保护官方记录和透明度。谁也不想还要担心将来她在白宫的某些电子记录可能会消失。

Timothy Naftali @TimNaftali是纽约大学历史与公共服务学系临床助理教授,也曾是理查德·尼克松图书馆与博物馆的创始总监。

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