I won’t say I’m happy that now everybody else gets to find out what I’ve been saying about the State Department’s standard operating procedure since February 2010. But I certainly do feel some sense of vindication.
On Sunday morning, BuzzFeed correspondent Michael Hastings emailed Philippe Reines, Hillary Clinton’s longtime aide and personal spokesman at the State Department, asking a series of pointed questions about State’s handling of the Benghazi fiasco, and Reines’ over-the-top attack on CNN. The emails quickly got personal, with Reines calling Hastings an “unmitigated asshole” before an exchange of harsh words on both sides.
The email chain concluded with Reines writing that Hastings should “Fuck Off” and “Have a nice life.”
You can read the whole exchange and decide for yourself which of them was behaving professionally. Here’s where Reines finally had enough of being questioned by a commoner, telling Hastings:
On Sun, Sep 23, 2012 at 1:38 PM, Reines, Philippe wrote:
I now understand why the official investigation by the Department of the Defense as reported by The Army Times The Washington Post concluded beyond a doubt that you’re an unmitigated asshole.
How’s that for a non-bullshit response?
Now that we’ve gotten that out of our systems, have a good day.
And by good day, I mean Fuck Off
I’ve given BuzzFeed a lot of grief for running interference for this administration, but I applaud Hastings’ efforts to get something out of these guys. If you’ve ever felt like government functionaries have nothing but contempt for the people who pay their salaries, here’s a perfect example. They actually get angry when they’re asked perfectly valid questions about their actions. Why won’t we stop pointing out their lies? Why won’t we give in to their evasions and stonewalling? Why won’t we just shut up?
Because they work for us. Not the other way around.