Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to reporters at United Nations headquarters on Tuesday. (Seth Wenig/Associated Press)

I said yesterday that you could hear the gears of the Clinton machine grinding as it worked to get the e-mail story straight. Well, after eight days of planning, Team Clinton decided it was time to talk. With a stiff upper lip but an uncomfortable, perfunctory demeanor, Hillary Clinton started to build the wall of her defense.

In a brief press conference following her speech to the United Nations today, she said, “I have no doubt we have done exactly what we should have done” in terms of preserving e-mails she sent while she was secretary of state.

If you want to believe Clinton, you can. If you want to assume she is hiding some things, you can. The truth is unknowable, and the Clintons are comfortable with that. Clinton didn’t end the e-mail controversy. There is not a period at the end of the sentence, but she has given the line to her defenders and drawn a line for her opponents.

For those who are now expected to defend her, they can say she has answered the questions and her opponents are just hounding her.  But in a move that everyone knows will keep the controversy alive, she directly challenged her critics, saying that her server will remain private. That is an open invitation for subpoenas and hackers to come and get it.