Hillary Clinton in Philadelphia on Sunday. The F.B.I. informed Congress on Sunday that it has not changed its conclusions about Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state because they didn’t have enough employees to actually read the emails. CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

New Flash: Clinton dismantles FBI

Why it’s impossible to read 650,000 emails in eight days

As a fan of Myth Busters, and any fun applications of science, I loved Trump’s quote, “You can’t review 650,000 emails in eight days,” and the subsequent tweet by General Flynn:

IMPOSSIBLE: There R 691,200 seconds in 8 days. DIR Comey has thoroughly reviewed 650,000 emails in 8 days? An email / second? IMPOSSIBLE RT

First, there is Wired’s analysis that shows how easy it would be to go through 650,000 emails using the same data gathering resources that the FBI uses to check for things like terrorist activities in the billions of emails sent by people every day. (Note to Trump, his campaign surrogates and supporters: this is a much bigger number than 650,000):

But just for fun, let’s test Trumps statement. How many folks at home check 50–100 emails? How long does it take? And, what methods would you use?

On average, I would say I could figure out if an email had any relevance to my topic of interest (classified national security information) at a rate of about 60 per minute. Somehow, I seriously doubt those emails for male enhancement, Russian mail order brides, ripped abs, forwarded cat videos, pizza take-out offers, get-rich quick schemes, and twitter updates are going to contain secret attachments. Second, emails asking for political donations, childrens’ causes, disaster relief, and trading in your car all get tossed — Hillary wouldn’t have read or replied to them, and neither would the Russian hackers, so there is no possible security breach here.

At that rate, two people working twelve hours a day could scan and delete all the junk mail contained in 691,200 emails.

That leaves the small fraction of emails coming from friends, family and business associates. Looking at the subjects, such as “Aunt Emily’s 95th birthday party is coming soon,” “Did you get estimates to install tile in the laundry room?”, and “Sign up for company trust-building retreat by the 10th” also get ignored and trashed by Hillary, the hackers, and even the terrorists (except for the one about Auntie’s birthday — they do like cake)

The remainder is a small number of emails from possible “suspects,” like State Department officials, campaign advisors, and big donors (GEORGE SOROS, because you can’t talk about rigged elections, liberal media bias, and Hillary’s crookedness without mentioning him, right?).

Now, I don’t know about you, but the ratio of important emails to junk is very small. I went through my usual 50–100 this morning, read no more than ten (and actually wrote a reply to only three). If we use the same ratio, about 1 in 10, that means our triage efforts have eliminated 90% of the new emails found in connection with the Weiner sexting investigation.

Now we’re down to 65,000 emails that need to be read. And most of the emails are no more than a couple of sentences like these emails that Hillary wrote, which I pulled off wikileaks doing a search for “bomb”:

Can you get me more info about the shrine?

Did anyone claim responsibility?

Great police work. I’m on the road to the shuttle — are you and CVC?

Pls print 3 copies.

Also, did you talk w Feltmann?

I’m free and at home in DC if you want to call about the article, the Middle East and Bosnia.

Agreed.

Reaction?

and the all so incriminating…

Fyi…

[BTW, the top of each of these emails reads “UNCLASSIFIED.”]

So even if we assume it takes twelve seconds to open and scan most of these emails to eliminate them, that’s 5 emails per minute, that’s 300 per hour, or 3600 in 12 hours. Now we have two shifts, so thats 7,200 in 24 hours. Multiply that by eight days and you get 57,600 emails. With three people scanning and sorting, they could get through 86,400 emails.

Considering the FBI’s first investigation claimed that there were 110 emails* containing classified information, I think one person could read through 110 emails in eight days (two emails per hour, eight hours per day for eight days).

Final Tally. With a team of six people (two to do the initial sorting, three to scan through the emails that are business related, and one to go through the actual Classified emails) you could manually sort through, scan and then carefully read all the pertinent emails out of the original 650,000 emails in eight days. The last I heard, the FBI has 35,000 employees, and given the importance to make sure that a criminal is not elected to the Presidency, doesn’t it seem possible that they could spare the manpower?

Or did Hillary dismantle the FBI, so only Comey was left to read through the emails? You decide.

But for those of us who don’t live in the right wing blogosphere, here’s how I rate Donald Trump’s claims:

You can’t review 650,000 emails in eight days: BUSTED

I know more than the generals do: BUSTED (but only by a little)


*Of the 110 emails, the State Department claimed only three contained the header “Classified.” So the FBI and Congress has spent 18 months and millions of dollars over absolutely nothing. Meanwhile, the media has “failed Americans this election season” with their obsession over every manufactured Clinton scandal screamed by the GOP.