Sensitive e-mails removed from unclassified electronic archives: US State Department

, 5:55 PM IST

Washington : The United States Department of State has removed dozen sensitive e-mails sent to the personal accounts of former secretary of state Colin L. Powell and the staff of his successor Condoleezza Rice from its unclassified electronic archives.

A memo about the move was released by the agency’s watchdog.

Washington post reported that the department’s undersecretary for management Patrick F. Kennedy wrote in a memo to department’s inspector general Steve Linick that two e-mails sent to Powell and 10 e-mails sent to aides, who worked for Rice, have been placed in secure storage.

The action in this regard was initiated based on Linick’s recommendation as part of his review of record preservation by five secretaries and their staffs after the e-mail became a common means of communication.

At that time, none of the messages sent was marked as classified or secret until Linick pointed the e-mails may have contained potentially sensitive material because of the subject matter.

Meanwhile, Powell disapproved the State Department’s decision to retroactively classify them after reviewing the messages himself.

“I do not see what makes them classified,” Washington Post quoted him as saying.

Powell’s statement bolsters the argument of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton that some of her e-mails have been subjected to over-classification. (ANI)