Last night the State Department released around 3000 of Hillary Clinton’s private emails to its website. To my great surprise, one short email exchange was concerning this blog (thanks to James West at Mother Jones for bringing it to my attention). The topic was a blog post that I’d written on the diplomatic fiasco that the U.S. pavilion for Expo 2010 (a.k.a the Shanghai World’s Fair) was then becoming. The people State had chosen to design, build and run it were becoming major liabilities, and I’d been very critical, both on this blog and in the U.S. media (especially at the Atlantic).
On July 11, 2009, I wrote this blog post. Not long after, Thomas Cooney, a U.S. Consular Official in Shanghai forwarded the post to several people, including Jose Villarreal, the U.S. pavilion’s commissioner-general, who forwarded it to Cheryl Mills, then Clinton’s Counselor and Chief of Staff, who in turn forwarded it to Clinton herself. Clinton then responded to Mills.
What did Clinton say? Clinton’s only email in the exchange – issued yesterday – is below. Readers will note that her comments – whatever they might be – were redacted, scrubbed!
This is a grave disappointment. After all, it’s not every day that I get feedback on my blogging from a Secretary of State (even if that feedback is six years old). What happened? Did my simple post set off a profane rage in the Secretary? Or perhaps someone at the State Department simply doesn’t want the world to know that Hillary Clinton was/is a Shanghai Scrap fan.
Whatever the truth, I’d like to know it. So right here, right now, I’m ready to make an offer. If you have access to the original email, I’m willing to exchange a hardcover copy of Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion Dollar Trash Trade, for an off-the-record look at it. But wait! If you’re willing to go on the record, I’ll not only give you a copy of Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion Dollar Trash Trade, I’ll sweeten the deal by throwing in a case of the American-brewed beer of your choice.
Reach me via the Shanghai Scrap contact form; confidentiality assured.