Hillary Clinton emails - security

Mr. Putin and Hillary Clinton’s e-mails
by Michael Scheuer
non-intervention.com (his blog), 2015-11-05

[I have added the emphasis and the explicit reference to Mr. Netanyahu.]


The use America’s enemies will make of Mrs. Clinton’s e-mails will be pretty much as follows:
  • Because the Russians, Chinese, Iranians, Israelis, and others have all of Hillary’s unencrypted e-mails,
    as well as those e-mails sent to her by others in the same channel,
    their problem is not if to use them against her,
    but only the timing of when to use them.
  • For each of these foreign governments it would be singularly unproductive
    to use this great, once-in-a-lifetime intelligence asset
    before the presidential election.
    Foreign leaders would gain little but the acute embarrassment of Mrs. Clinton and the outgoing Obama regime
    from pre-election publishing in either their domestic media or via leaks to Western journalists.
  • The impact of pre-election publication, moreover,
    might cost Mrs. Clinton the presidency and she is — far and away —
    the favorite candidate of the Russians, Chinese, Israelis, and Iranians
    precisely because they have each stolen her communications
    and can use them to compromise her in the very same Oval Office
    that played host to feminist-hero Bill’s sexual suborning of a young female intern.
  • Mr. Putin and his regime, among U.S. enemies,
    are in the cat-bird seat in regard to blackmailing Mrs. Clinton
    because they have her e-mails
    and they know what Hillary, Bill, the State Department, and the Clinton Foundation did
    to advance the interests of Russia and other foreign states and companies —
    and the Clinton’s personal wealth —
    while she was Secretary of State.

In sum, Mrs. Clinton’s e-mails are a treasure of personal and — given it is the Clintons — almost certainly salacious information.
As this is written, foreign leaders and their intelligence services may well know
who Bill and/or Hillary are sleeping with,
which of Secretary Clinton’s official decisions were made to benefit a foreign nation and/or the Clintons,
how many movie stars were exchanging gossipy e-mails with her while Ambassador Stevens and his team died,
what Obama administration scandals she knew of and helped the president and other cabinet members to evade,
what means she used to undercut Obama to advance her political aspirations, etc.
If such matters are discussed in Hillary’s e-mails, moreover,
the e-mails sent to her will give the public equal insight into the unsavory/illegal activities of her correspondents.

Also, and more important, Mrs. Clinton’s e-mails and the responses to them are a treasure for U.S. enemies
because they deal with her official diplomatic activities,
as well as present and planned U.S. government policies — and those of our allies — that pertain to them and their interests.
Those e-mails, too, are being reviewed by Mr. Putin, Mr. Rouhani, [Mr. Netanyahu,] and their minions
to identify which can best be used to threaten “President” Clinton with exposure
if she refuses to compromise U.S. national interests and foreign-policy objectives.

When attempts by foreign governments are made to suborn an elected Mrs. Clinton — and they will be —
she will be faced with two choices.
First, she can refuse to cooperate
and immediately and publicly inform Americans about the matter in her resignation speech,
thereby destroying much of the value of the e-mails to America’s enemies.
Second, she can agree to be suborned,
accept large tranches of well-laundered cash from her new foreign employer;
and pretend to be looking out for America while actively undercutting U.S. security.

Of the two, the latter choice seems more likely because of
(a) the long and well-documented public record of Mrs. Clinton’s and her husband’s seemingly insatiable greed;
(b) the reality that she and he are quite comfortable with and experienced at working for a foreign power,
given the decades they have been taking “campaign contributions” from U.S.-citizen Israel-Firsters
in return for compromising U.S. security on Israel’s behalf; and
(c) the simple fact that
if she cared a tinker’s damn about U.S. security and the republic’s survival
she would have never, ever broken the law by using an unencrypted e-mail system for government business while secretary of state.

One must wonder how FBI Director Comey and the FBI and Attorney General Lynch and the Justice Department will ignore the foregoing reality
when they refuse to indict the obviously guilty Mrs. Clinton?

Oh, yes, I forgot, they are Democrats beholden to an anti-American Democratic president.
As such the party and power must always come first,
and all other Americans and their security, country, and liberty must always take the hindmost.

Lois Lerner redux, I suppose you might call it.

[As of 2015-11-05, I have added the following comment in his blog to this article:]

Mike, you omit the culpability of the IC in this.
Surely some of her email communications were with her fellow members of the National Security Council, and also with lower level government employees who were cognizant of the risks she was running through her private server, and also the fact that ALL communications of members of the NSC are prime collection targets for any big league intelligence operation.
Surely at least one of those was knowledgeable and responsible enough to pass this information, and his concerns about it, through the appropriate COMSEC channels to the U.S. government agency with overall responsibility for U.S. government communications security, the National Security Agency.
Not to mention the probability that said agency does general monitoring (sniffing and scanning) of Internet traffic for matters of intelligence interest, such as senior U.S. officials screwing up their communications.

The question is:
What did said agency do with this hot potato that had fallen in its lap?
My expectation would be that its officials mulled it over, than discussed the matter with their counterparts in the ODNI and the NSC.
But what happened then?
Surely there must be an audit trail somewhere in the IC of what the IC knew about this matter and what it did about it.
Somebody, some IG or member or body of Congress, really needs to ask that agency what it knew about HRCs communications, and what it did about that knowledge.

On 2015-11-13, I submitted (but Scheuer chose not to publish it)
the following response to Dr. Scheuer's response to my 11-05 comment:

Yes, at some point, or several points, there was an interface or interaction between the world of security and the world of politics on this matter.
I think it is vital, for a number of reasons, to put on the public record
as much as possible (i.e., without causing further harm to security) of
what that interaction was.
In particular,
if we assume that DIRNSA brought the professional concerns of his communications security specialists to the attention of the DNI,
the questions would be:
Did the DNI concur with those concerns, and forward them to his superiors and to the NCS staff?
If not, why not?
If so, did the NCS staff bring those concerns to the president?
If not, why not?
If so, since the president evidently did not direct the secretary of state to cease and desist with her use of her private server and use a government email system for her official duties,
and since even Mrs. Clinton has now, in 2015, acknowledged that her usage was a mistake,
Congress must ask the president
why he ignored the advice of his security experts in this matter.
That would answer the question of,
given that so many security-minded people are making such a big deal over this matter in 2015,
why these security matters were not satisfactorily settled in the 2009-12 time frame.

Further significance of this is that,
while Patrick Kennedy and others in the State Department worked for the secretary,
and thus were in no position to give her orders,
NSA, ODNI, and NSC staff worked, not for her, but for the president.
Thus if their concerns were ignored,
this reflects, not on Hillary, but on Obama.
And that should be documented.


Hillary’s EmailGate Goes Nuclear
Does the latest release of Hillary’s State Department emails include highly classified U.S. intelligence?
By John R. Schindler
Observer.com, 2016-01-09


But the biggest problem may be in a just-released email
that has gotten little attention here, but plenty on the other side of the world.
An email to Ms. Clinton from a close Clinton confidant late on June 8, 2011
about Sudan

Sent: Wednesday, June 8, 2011 11:46 PM
To: H
Subject: H, Memo, Sudan intel. Sid
turns out to have explosive material in it.
This message includes a detailed intelligence report from Sid Blumenthal,
Hillary’s close friend, confidant and factotum,
who regularly supplied her with information from his private intelligence service.
Just who was paying for that "intelligence service"?
And why was he providing it to the U.S. Secretary of State?
What was he hoping to get in return?
This smells to high heaven.]


However, the uncredited June 8 memo,
which Mr. Blumenthal labeled as “Confidential”—
his personal classification system, apparently—
but which the State Department has labeled Unclassified,
doesn’t appear to be from Drumheller,
whose assessments were written just like CIA intelligence reports.
This is not.


[Schindler's article includes the text of the email.
It certainly does sound like information that can scarcely have come from
anything but a very sensitive source.]

In fact, the June 8, 2011 Blumenthal report doesn’t read like CIA material at all,
in other words human intelligence or HUMINT,
but very much like signals intelligence or SIGINT.
(For the differences see here).
I know what SIGINT reports look like, because I used to write them for the National Security Agency, America’s biggest source of intelligence.
SIGINT reports, which I’ve read thousands of,
have a very distinct style and flavor to them and Blumenthal’s write-up matches it,
right down to the “Source Comments,”
which smack very much of NSA reporting and its “house rules.”

But is this an NSA assessment?
If so, it would have to be classified at least Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information,
a handling caveat that applies to most SIGINT,
and quite possibly Top Secret/SCI, the highest normal classification we have.
In that case, it was about as far from Unclassified as it’s possible for an email to be.

No surprise, NSA is aflutter this weekend over this strange matter.
One Agency official expressed to me “at least 90 percent confidence”
that Mr. Blumenthal’s June 8 report was derived from NSA reports,
and the Agency ought to be investigating the matter right now.

There are many questions here.
How did Mr. Blumenthal, who had no position in the U.S. government in 2011,
and hasn’t since Bill Clinton left the White House 15 years ago,
possibly get his hands on such highly classified NSA reporting?
Why did he place it an open, non-secure email to Hillary,
who after all had plenty of legitimate access, as Secretary of State,
to intelligence assessments from all our spy agencies?
Moreover, how did the State Department think this was Unclassified
and why did it release it to the public?

It’s possible this Blumenthal report did not come from NSA,
but perhaps from another, non-American intelligence agency—but whose?
[Just whom might Blumenthal be in bed with, other than America?]
If Mr. Blumenthal was really able to get top-level intelligence like this for Hillary,
using just his shoestring operation, and get it into her hands a day later,
with precise information about the high-level conspiracy that was just discussed over in Sudan,
the Intelligence Community needs to get him on our payroll stat.
He’s a pro at the spy business.

State Department Documents Show that
NSA Rebuffed Hillary Clinton’s Attempts to Obtain a Secure Blackberry

Judicial Watch Press Release, 2016-03-16

(Washington, DC) –

Judicial Watch announced today that it obtained State Department documents revealing that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton repeatedly sought to obtain “Blackberry-like communications,” but was rebuffed by the National Security Agency due to security and cost concerns. The National Security Agency’s Information Assurance Directorate response was “shut up and color.” The emails show that Clinton demanded Blackberry devices that could be used by her and her staff in her office’s Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF).

The documents were obtained in response to a court order in an April 28, 2015, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, Judicial Watch, Inc. v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:15-cv-00646), filed after the Department of State failed to comply with a March 10, 2015, FOIA request seeking following:
Any and all records of requests by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton or her staff to the State Department Office Security Technology seeking approval for the use of an iPad or iPhone for official government business; and

Any and all communications within or between the Office of the Secretary of State, the Executive Secretariat, and the Office of the Secretary and the Office of Security Technology concerning, regarding, or related to the use of unauthorized electronic devices for official government business.

In an email dated February 13, 2009, Senior Coordinator for Security Infrastructure, Bureau of Diplomatic Security Donald R. Reid reveals that the request to obtain secure Blackberry technology for Clinton was denied. When Clinton aides sought to compel the NSA’s cooperation by asking about the security arrangements for President Obama’s Blackberry, the exchange apparently became heated. According to Reid:
[W]e began examining options for S [Secretary Clinton] with respect to secure “Blackberry-like” communications … the current state of the art is not too user friendly, has no infrastructure at State and is very expensive…each time we asked the question “What was the solution for POTUS?” we were politely told to shut up and color … NSA opened the door for us to establish requirements and they would try to help…

While our noses are out of joint for how this was handled, the issue will be what kind of support will NSA be offering to meet S demands (basically, wireless comm in Mahogany Row) …

In a subsequent email from Reid dated February 18, 2009, Clinton’s penchant for Blackberry technology is described as an issue of “personal comfort” growing out of her becoming “hooked” on her Blackberry during the 2008 presidential campaign:
Here’s the results of our meeting yesterday… as I had been speculating, the issue here is one of personal comfort … S [Secretary Clinton] does not use a personal computer so our view of someone wedded to their email (why doesn’t she use her desktop when in SCIF?) doesn’t fit this scenario … during the campaign she was urged to keep in contact with thousands via a BB … once she got the hang of it she was hooked … now everyday [sic], she feels hamstrung because she has to lock her BB up … she does go out several times a day to an office they have crafted for her outside the SCIF and plays email catch up … Cheryl Mills and others who are dedicated BB addicts are frustrated because they too are not near their desktop very often during the working day…

The February 17, 2009 meeting details showed that Hillary Clinton was personally pushing for a special Blackberry device:
Meeting: Ms. Mills described the requirement as chiefly driven by Secretary Clinton, who does not use standard computer equipment but relies exclusively on her Blackberry for e-mailing and remaining in contact on her schedule, etc. Ideally, all members of her suite would be allowed to use Blackberries for communication in the SCIF; [Redacted] was not the primary driver, but if possible would be a plus.

Apparently, Blackberry security waivers were issued during the tenure of former Secretary of State of State Condoleezza Rice, according to an email from an unidentified, redacted source dated February 17, 2009. But because the high volume of these waivers became an issue, they were phased out over time. The unnamed source wrote:
Ms. Mills has witnessed the use of Blackberries in other sensitive (but perhaps not SCI fed spaces); she asked some excellent questions about what might be possible and prudent. She also asked about precedent; former Secretary Rice had received waivers for her staff; however, use expanded to an unmanageable number of users from a security perspective, so those waivers were phased out and Blackberry use was not allowed in her suite …

Yesterday, Judicial Watch filed a plan in federal court for “narrowly tailored discovery” into Clinton’s email. Reid is among the proposed witnesses.

“These documents show that Hillary Clinton knew her Blackberry wasn’t secure. Then why did she use it to access classified information on her illicit email server?” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The FBI and prosecutors ought to be very interested in these new materials.”

Clinton tried to change rules to use BlackBerry in secure facility for classified information
By Catherine Herridge, Pamela K. Browne
Fox News, 2016-03-16

Less than a month after becoming secretary of state,
and registering the personal email domain that she would use exclusively for government business,
Hillary Clinton’s team aggressively pursued changes to existing State Department security protocols
so she could use her BlackBerry in secure facilities for classified information,
according to new documents released under the Freedom of Information Act.

“Anyone who has any appreciation at all of security, you don’t ask a question like that,”
cybersecurity analyst Morgan Wright told Fox News.
“It is contempt for the system, contempt for the rules that are designed to protect the exact kind of information that was exposed through this email set up. “

Current and former intelligence officials grimaced when asked by Fox News
about the use of wireless communications devices, such as a BlackBerry,
in a SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility)
emphasizing its use would defeat the purpose of the secure facility,
and it is standard practice to leave all electronics outside.

A former State Department employee familiar with the Clinton request emphasized security personnel at the time thought the BlackBerry was only for unclassified material,
adding their concerns would have been magnified
if they had known Clinton's email account also held classified material.

“When you allow devices like this into a SCIF,
you can allow the bad guys to listen in,” Wright added.

A February 17, 2009 email marked SECRET and cleared through the NSA says,
“Ms. Mills described the requirement as chiefly driven by Secretary Clinton,
who does not use standard computer equipment
but relies exclusively on her Blackberry for emailing and remaining in contact on her schedule etc.
Ideally all members of her suite
would be allowed to use Blackberries for communication
in the SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility)”

Cheryl Mills was Clinton’s chief of staff from 2009-13.

The emails, obtained by Judicial Watch as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit also show that
a specialized NSA team was brought in
to assess the vulnerabilities and feasibility of using wireless communications,
including within a secure facility.

The NSA State Department liaison, whose name was withheld,
told Mills in a now highly redacted email:
“Sometimes the distinction between what can be done
and what is, or is not, recommended to be done differ;
this is one of those instances.
(State Department Diplomatic Security) DS’s response illustrates
their level of concern based on their extensive professional expertise. “

Another memo from Mar‎ch 2009, obtained by Judicial Watch through its FOIA lawsuit, from Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security Eric Boswell to Mills explicitly warned,
“the vulnerabilities and risks associated with the use of Blackberries
in Mahogany Row [seventh floor executive offices]
considerably outweigh their convenience.”
Clinton has claimed she used the personal account and BlackBerry for convenience.

Clinton never used a State Department issued BlackBerry.
It is not clear from the documents whether Clinton and her team
went ahead and used their BlackBerrys in SCIFs despite the concerns, including those of the NSA.
Though a state department official said
"no waiver allowing PDAs within Mahogany Row was granted.".

A February 18 2009 email from the State Department’s Senior Coordinator for Security Infrastructure, Donald R. Reid, states
“…once she (Clinton) got the hang of it, she was hooked,
now every day, she feels hamstrung because she has to lock up her BB up.
She does go out several times a day
to an office they have crafted for her outside the SCIF
and plays email catch-up.
Cheryl Mills and others who are dedicated BB addicts are frustrated
because they too are not near their desktop very often during the working day…”

The reference to a secondary office for Clinton appears to conflict with a February statement from the State Department that no stand-alone computer was set up outside Clinton’s main office on the executive floor, known as Mahogany Row, to check her personal account.

On February 25, Fox News pressed the State Department spokesman
about a January 2009 email, also obtained by Judicial Watch,
between Under Secretary for Management Patrick Kennedy and then Clinton chief of staff Mills
where Kennedy said it was a “great idea”
to setup a stand-alone PC for Clinton to check her email.

The State Department said Wednesday no computer was set up

but confirmed there was a space created to accommodate Clinton's personal email use.
"There is an area dedicated to supporting the secretary
outside but in the immediate vicinity of
the secretary's secure office.
Secretary Clinton, as with anyone, could use such non-SCIF spaces to check personal devices.," a State Department official said.

Clinton did not use a government-issued BlackBerry that was certified as secure for government use.
Under Secretary for Management Patrick Kennedy recently told the Benghazi Select Committee that
he knew about Clinton's personal account from the earliest days,
but did not understand the extent of its use,
even though he sent State Department business to Clinton via the Clintonemail account.

[Gee, wouldn't you think the under secretary for management
would have been made very well aware of how Hillary was communicating?
Don't you think someone at State would have informed of him about this,
at least just on a "FYI" basis?]


Hillary Faces National Security Establishment ‘Uprising’ Over Emails
by Richard Pollock
Daily Caller, 2016-03-16


Not all are so sanguine about non-partisanship at the National Security Division of the Justice Department.
There have been concerns about the impartiality of its head,
Assistant Attorney General John Carlin,
who was appointed largely on the recommendations of White House lawyers who previously worked with him at the FBI and at the NSD.

Carlin was chief of staff to then-FBI Director Robert Mueller from July 2009 to July 2011 and prior to that was deputy chief of staff for seven months. In the latter position, Carlin worked for Lisa Monaco, who is now in the White House Counsel’s office. Carlin reportedly was nominated over the objections of then-Attorney General Eric Holder.

Former U.S. Attorney Joseph DiGenova told TheDCNF that, while the division is non-political,
Carlin is a person “who is known to have very political instincts,” somebody who is “extremely political.”

A 2013 Foreign Policy article by Shane Harris said the White House influence over Carlin was troubling to many Washington lawyers.

“There should be some walls between the Justice Department and the White House. The White House should not have a direct feed,” said an unnamed former government official who didn’t support Carlin’s nomination.

Harris, who is now with The Daily Beast, wrote Carlin’s close relationship with top lawyers in the White House counsel’s office “has created an impression among many national security lawyers in Washington that Carlin is the White House’s inside man at the Justice Department.”

Still, Carlin has supporters from the Bush administration. In a December 2013 letter to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, 11 former Justice Department officials expressed “strong support” for Carlin, saying, “he understands the importance of building consensus, while at the same time pursuing the objectives that he believes are right and in our national interest.”

Among the signers of the letter were former Attorney General Michael Mukasey and Bush’s former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff.

Wainstein told TheDCNF he believes it’s unlikely the White House will overrule an indictment approved by the NSD. “There are very strict lines that prevent the White House from ‘interfering’ with a particular case,” he said.

Emails: Clinton sought secure smartphone, rebuffed by NSA
AP, 2016-03-17


Newly released emails show a 2009 request to issue a secure government smartphone to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was denied by the National Security Agency.

A month later, she began using private email accounts accessed through her BlackBerry to exchange messages with her top aides.

The messages made public Wednesday were obtained by Judicial Watch, a conservative legal advocacy group that has filed numerous lawsuits seeking the release of federal documents related to Clinton's tenure as the nation's top diplomat.


Clinton's desire for a secure "BlackBerry-like" device, like that provided to President Barack Obama, is recounted in a series of February 2009 exchanges between high-level officials at the State Department and NSA. Clinton was sworn in as secretary the prior month, and had become "hooked" on reading and answering emails on a BlackBerry she used during the 2008 presidential race.

"We began examining options for (Secretary Clinton) with respect to secure 'BlackBerry-like' communications," wrote Donald R. Reid, the department's assistant director for security infrastructure. "The current state of the art is not too user friendly, has no infrastructure at State, and is very expensive."

Reid wrote that each time they asked the NSA what solution they had worked up to provide a mobile device to Obama, "we were politely told to shut up and color."

Resolving the issue was given such priority as to result in
a face-to-face meeting between Clinton chief of staff Cheryl Mills,
seven senior State Department staffers with five NSA security experts.

According to a summary of the meeting,
the request was driven by Clinton's reliance on her BlackBerry
for email and keeping track of her calendar.
Clinton chose not to use a laptop or desktop computer
that could have provided her access to email in her office, according to the summary.

Standard smartphones are not allowed into areas designated as approved
for the handling of classified information,

such as the block of offices used by senior State Department officials,
known by the nickname "Mahogany Row" for the quality of their paneling.
Mills said that was inconvenient,
because they had to leave their offices and retrieve their phones to check messages.

Mills also asked about waivers provided during the Bush administration
to then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
for her staff to use BlackBerrys in their secure offices.
But the NSA had phased out such waivers due to security concerns.

The department's designated NSA liaison, whose name was redacted from the documents,
expressed concerns about security vulnerabilities inherent with using BlackBerry devices for secure communications or in secure areas.
However, the specific reasons Clinton's requests were rebuffed
are being kept secret by the State Department.


There are currently at least 38 lawsuits, including one filed by The Associated Press, seeking records related to Clinton's service as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013. On Tuesday, Judicial Watch filed a discovery motion in one of those cases seeking to question eight former State Department staffers under oath, including Mills and Reid. The judge overseeing the case indicated last month he was strongly considering allowing lawyers from the group to question Clinton's former aides.

"These documents show that Hillary Clinton knew her BlackBerry wasn't secure,"
Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch, said Wednesday.
"The FBI and prosecutors ought to be very interested in these new materials."

Hillary Has an NSA Problem
The FBI has been investigating Clinton for months—
but an even more secretive Federal agency has its own important beef with her
By John R. Schindler
Observer.com, 2016-03-18

For a year now, Hillary Clinton’s misuse of email during her tenure as secretary of state has hung like a dark cloud over her presidential campaign. As I told you months ago, email-gate isn’t going away, despite the best efforts of Team Clinton to make it disappear. Instead, the scandal has gotten worse, with never-ending revelations of apparent misconduct by Ms. Clinton and her staff. At this point, email-gate may be the only thing standing between Ms. Clinton and the White House this November.

Specifically, the Federal Bureau of Investigation examination of email-gate, pursuant to provisions of the Espionage Act, poses a major threat to Ms. Clinton’s presidential aspirations. However, even if the FBI recommends prosecution of her or members of her inner circle for mishandling of classified information—which is something the politically unconnected routinely do face prosecution for—it’s by no means certain that the Department of Justice will follow the FBI’s lead.

What the DoJ decides to do with email-gate is ultimately a question of politics as much as justice. Ms. Clinton’s recent statement on her potential prosecution, “it’s not going to happen,” then refusing to address the question at all in a recent debate, led to speculation about a backroom deal with the White House to shield Ms. Clinton from prosecution as long as Mr. Obama is in the Oval Office. After mid-January, however, all bets would be off. In that case, winning the White House herself could be an urgent matter of avoiding prosecution for Ms. Clinton.

That said, if the DoJ declines to prosecute after the Bureau recommends doing so, a leak-fest of a kind not seen in Washington, D.C., since Watergate should be anticipated. The FBI would be angry that its exhaustive investigation was thwarted by dirty deals between Democrats. In that case, a great deal of Clintonian dirty laundry could wind up in the hands of the press, habitual mainstream media covering for the Clintons notwithstanding, perhaps having a major impact on the presidential race this year.

The FBI isn’t the only powerful federal agency that Hillary Clinton needs to worry about as she plots her path to the White House between scandals and leaks.
For years, she has been on the bad side of the National Security Agency, America’s most important intelligence agency, as revealed by just-released State Department documents obtained by Judicial Watch under the Freedom of Information Act.

The documents, though redacted, detail
a bureaucratic showdown between Ms. Clinton and NSA
at the outset of her tenure at Foggy Bottom.
The new secretary of state, who had gotten “hooked” on her Blackberry
during her failed 2008 presidential bid,
according to a top State Department security official,
wanted to use that Blackberry anywhere she went.

That, however, was impossible,
since Secretary Clinton’s main office space at Foggy Bottom
was actually a Secure Compartment Information Facility,
called a SCIF (pronounced “skiff”) by insiders.
A SCIF is required for handling any Top Secret-plus information.
In most Washington, D.C., offices with a SCIF,
which has to be certified as fully secure from human or technical penetration,
that’s where you check Top-Secret email, read intelligence reports
and conduct classified meetings that must be held inside such protected spaces.

But personal electronic devices—your cellphone, your Blackberry—
can never be brought into a SCIF.
They represent a serious technical threat that is actually employed by many intelligence agencies worldwide.
Though few Americans realize it,
taking remote control over a handheld device,
then using it to record conversations,
is surprisingly easy for any competent spy service.
Your smartphone is a sophisticated surveillance device—on you, the user—
that also happens to provide phone service and Internet access.

As a result, your phone and your Blackberry always need to be locked up before you enter any SCIF.
Taking such items into one represents a serious security violation.
And Ms. Clinton and her staff really hated that.
Not even one month into the new administration in early 2009,
Ms. Clinton and her inner circle were chafing under these rules.
They were accustomed to having their personal Blackberrys with them at all times,
checking and sending emails nonstop,
and that was simply impossible in a SCIF like their new office.

This resulted in a February 2009 request by Secretary Clinton to the NSA, whose Information Assurance Directorate
(IAD for short: see here for an explanation of Agency organization)
secures the sensitive communications of many U.S. government entities,
from Top-Secret computer networks, to White House communications,
to the classified codes that control our nuclear weapons.

IAD had recently created a special, custom-made secure Blackberry for Barack Obama, another technology addict.
[I am unclear on what "secure Blackberry" means.
Does it mean that it can be used to send and receive unclassified information within a SCIF?
Or does it mean that it can be used to send and receive classified, possibly SI, information within such a space?]

Now Ms. Clinton wanted one for herself.
However, making the new president’s personal Blackberry had been a time-consuming and expensive exercise.
The NSA was not inclined to provide Secretary Clinton with one of her own simply for her convenience:
there had to be clearly demonstrated need.

And that seemed dubious to IAD since there was no problem with
Ms. Clinton checking her personal email inside her office SCIF.
Hers, like most, had open (i.e. unclassified) computer terminals connected to the Internet,
and the secretary of state could log into her own email anytime she wanted to right from her desk.

But she did not want to. Ms. Clinton only checked her personal email on her Blackberry:
she did not want to sit down at a computer terminal.
As a result, the NSA informed Secretary Clinton in early 2009 that they could not help her.
When Team Clinton kept pressing the point,
“We were politely told to shut up and color” by IAD, explained the state security official.

The State Department has not released the full document trail here,
so the complete story remains unknown to the public.
However, one senior NSA official, now retired,
recalled the kerfuffle with Team Clinton in early 2009 about Blackberrys.
“It was the usual Clinton prima donna stuff,” he explained,
“the whole ‘rules are for other people’ act that I remembered from the ’90s.”
Why Ms. Clinton would not simply check her personal email on an office computer,
like every other government employee less senior than the president,
seems a germane question,
given what a major scandal email-gate turned out to be.
“What did she not want put on a government system,
where security people might see it?”
the former NSA official asked, adding,
“I wonder now, and I sure wish I’d asked about it back in 2009.”

He’s not the only NSA affiliate with pointed questions about
what Hillary Clinton and her staff at Foggy Bottom were really up to—
and why they went to such trouble to circumvent federal laws about
the use of IT systems and the handling of classified information.
This has come to a head thanks to Team Clinton’s gross mishandling
of highly classified NSA intelligence.

As I explained in this column in January,
one of the most controversial of Ms. Clinton’s emails released by the State Department under judicial order
was one sent on June 8, 2011, to the Secretary of State by Sidney Blumenthal,
Ms. Clinton’s unsavory friend and confidant
who was running a private intelligence service for Ms. Clinton.
This email contains an amazingly detailed assessment of events in Sudan,
specifically a coup being plotted by top generals in that war-torn country.
Mr. Blumenthal’s information came from a top-ranking source
with direct access to Sudan’s top military and intelligence officials,
and recounted a high-level meeting that had taken place only 24 hours before.

To anybody familiar with intelligence reporting,
this unmistakably signals intelligence, termed SIGINT in the trade.
In other words, Mr. Blumenthal, a private citizen
who had enjoyed no access to U.S. intelligence for over a decade
when he sent that email,
somehow got hold of SIGINT about the Sudanese leadership
and managed to send it, via open, unclassified email,
to his friend Ms. Clinton only one day later.

NSA officials were appalled by the State Department’s release of this email,
since it bore all the hallmarks of Agency reporting.
Back in early January when I reported this,
I was confident that Mr. Blumenthal’s information
came from highly classified NSA sources,
based on my years of reading and writing such reports myself,
and one veteran agency official told me it was NSA information
with “at least 90 percent confidence.”

Now, over two months later,
I can confirm that
the contents of Sid Blumenthal’s June 8, 2011, email to Hillary Clinton,
sent to her personal, unclassified account,
were indeed based on highly sensitive NSA information.
The agency investigated this compromise and determined that
Mr. Blumenthal’s highly detailed account of Sudanese goings-on,
including the retelling of high-level conversations in that country,
was indeed derived from NSA intelligence.

this information was illegally lifted from four different NSA reports,
all of them classified “Top Secret / Special Intelligence.”
Worse, at least one of those reports was issued under the GAMMA compartment
which is an NSA handling caveat
that is applied to extraordinarily sensitive information
(for instance, decrypted conversations between top foreign leadership, as this was).
GAMMA is properly viewed as a SIGINT Special Access Program, or SAP,
several of which from the CIA Ms. Clinton compromised
in another series of her “unclassified” emails.

Currently serving NSA officials have told me they have no doubt that
Mr. Blumenthal’s information came from their reports.
“It’s word-for-word, verbatim copying,” one of them explained.
“In one case, an entire paragraph was lifted from an NSA report”
that was classified Top Secret / Special Intelligence.

How Mr. Blumenthal got his hands on this information
is the key question,

and there’s no firm answer yet.
The fact that he was able to take
four separate highly classified NSA reports—
none of which he was supposed to have any access to—
and pass the details of them to Hillary Clinton via email
only hours after NSA released them
in Top Secret / Special Intelligence channels
indicates something highly unusual, as well as illegal, was going on.

Suspicion naturally falls on Tyler Drumheller,
the former CIA senior official who was Mr. Blumenthal’s intelligence fixer,
his supplier of juicy spy gossip,
who conveniently died last August before email-gate became front-page news.
However, he, too, had left federal service years before
and should not have had any access to current NSA reports.

There are many questions here about
what Hillary Clinton and her staff at Foggy Bottom were up to,
including Sidney Blumenthal, an integral member of the Clinton organization,
despite his lack of any government position.
How Mr. Blumenthal got hold of this Top Secret-plus reporting
is only the first question.
Why he chose to email it to Ms. Clinton in open channels is another question.
So is:
How did nobody on Secretary Clinton’s staff notice that this highly detailed reporting
looked exactly like SIGINT from the NSA?
why did the State Department see fit to release this email, unredacted, to the public?

[Another question is why the U.S. Secretary of State
would be using supposed intelligence from a private source,
when the USG has the CIA and NSA to gather intelligence;
also State has its INR, and Defense has its DIA.]

These are the questions being asked by officials at the NSA and the FBI right now.
All of them merit serious examination.
Their answers may determine the political fate of Hillary Clinton—
and who gets elected our next president in November.

State Department says halts review of Clinton emails at FBI request
By Arshad Mohammed
Reuters, 2016-04-02

The U.S. State Department has suspended plans for an internal review of whether classified information was properly handled in former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's emails at the request of the FBI, a spokeswoman said on Friday.


On Jan. 29, the State Department said 22 emails sent or received by Clinton had been upgraded to top secret at the request U.S. intelligence agencies and would not be made public as part of the release of thousands of Clinton's emails. It said that none of the emails was marked classified when sent.

At the time, the department also said it would conduct an internal review on whether the information in the emails was classified at the time it passed through Clinton's private clintonemail.com account run on a server in her New York home.

The State Department consulted the FBI about this in February, and in March the law enforcement agency asked the State Department to halt its inquiry.

"The FBI communicated to us that we should follow our standard practice, which is to put our internal review on hold while there is an ongoing law enforcement investigation ," State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau told reporters.

"The internal review is on hold, pending completion of the FBI's work," she added." We'll reassess next steps after the FBI's work is complete."


Was an Asian government reading Hillary Clinton’s emails in February 2009?
by Stewart Baker
Washington Post (Volokh Conspiracy), 2016-04-05

I continue to be fascinated by the very early chapters of the Hillary Clinton homebrew email saga.
For one simple reason:
the clintonemail.com server apparently didn’t have the digital certificate needed to encrypt communications until late March 2009 —
more than two months after the server was up and running,
and after Secretary Clinton’s swearing-in on January 22.

Two questions are raised by this timing:
First, why didn’t the server have encryption from the start?
And second, why did it get encryption in March,
at a time when Clinton should have been extraordinarily busy getting up to speed at State,
not messing with computer security protocols?

The simplest answer to the first question is that the lack of a certificate was just a mistake.
But what about the second?
What inspired the Secretary to get an encryption certificate in March when her team hadn’t bothered to get one in January or February?

[Maybe there was just a delay in getting everything set up,
and they didn't think anything really important was passing through the computer
in those first two months?
Things like that happen.]

The likely answer to that question is pretty troubling.
There now seems to be a very real probability that
Hillary Clinton rushed to install an encryption certificate in March 2009
the U.S. intelligence community caught another country reading Clinton’s unencrypted messages during her February 16-21, 2009, trip to China, Indonesia, Japan, and S. Korea.

Thanks to FOIA lawsuits, the State Department has released a few documents from this early period.
They show that Clinton began using the clintonemail.com server as early as January 28, 2009, just after her inauguration.
Other messages from Cheryl Mills used the server in early February.

Even as she kept her homebrew server, Clinton and her staff were fighting to hang on to their Blackberries, just like President Obama.
That provoked resistance from the State Department’s top security official, Assistant Secretary Eric Boswell.
On March 2, he sent the Secretary a memo — “Use of Blackberries on Mahogany Row” — declaring that
“the vulnerabilities and risks associated with the use of Blackberries in Mahogany Row [the State Department’s seventh floor executive offices] considerably outweigh their convenience.”

On March 11, at a staff meeting, Clinton seemed to throw in the towel on her Blackberry, telling Boswell that she had read the memo and “gets it.”
We know this from correspondence among Boswell’s staff.

But what’s fascinating and troubling is something else in the correspondence.
One staff message says that during Clinton’s conversation with Boswell,
“her attention was drawn to a sentence that indicates
we [the diplomatic security office] have intelligence concerning this vulnerability during her recent trip to Asia.”

I am struck by the mix of delicacy and insistence in that phrasing.
It seems likely that Clinton’s attention was drawn to that sentence because the intelligence was about Secretary Clinton’s own communications security, something a discreet diplomat would not want to say directly in written communications.
Clinton certainly acted like the intelligence concerned her.
She asked Boswell to get her “the information.”
On March 11, Boswell is told by his staff that the report is already on the classified system, and he is reminded that he had already been briefed on it.
Presumably he conveyed it to Clinton soon after March 11.

Eighteen days later, Clinton’s server acquires a digital certificate supporting TLS encryption, closing the biggest security hole in her server.

I suppose this could all be coincidence, but the most likely scenario is that the Secretary’s Asia trip produced an intelligence report that was directly relevant to the security of Clinton’s communications. And that the report was sufficiently dramatic that it spurred Clinton to make immediate security changes on her homebrew server.

Did our agencies see Clinton’s unencrypted messages transiting foreign networks? Did they spot foreign agencies intercepting those messages? It’s hard to say, but either answer is bad, and the quick addition of encryption to the server suggests that Clinton saw it that way too.

If that’s what happened, it would raise more questions.
Getting a digital certificate to support encryption is hardly a comprehensive response to the server’s security vulnerabilities.
So who decided that that was all the security it needed?
How pointed was the warning about her Asia trip?
Does it expand the circle of officials who should have known about and addressed the server’s insecurity?
And why, despite evidence that Clinton was using the server in connection with work in January and February, did Clinton turn over no emails before March 18?

We don’t know the answers to those questions, and they may have perfectly good answers. But they do suggest that the investigation should be focusing heavily on who did what to clintonemail.com in January through March of 2009.

President Obama Hedges On Clinton’s Email Server Jeopardizing America’s Secrets
Chris Wallace interview with President Obama
Fox News Sunday video (2:09), 2016-04-10


WALLACE: Last October, you said that Hillary Clinton’s private e-mail server did not jeopardize national secrets.


OBAMA: I can tell that you this is not a situation in which America's national security was endangered.


[If Obama was not in communication with those investigating the situation,
how can he know that?
He can't.
Either Obama was just talking through his hat,
or his claim that he is not in communication with the investigators is a lie.]

WALLACE: Since then, we’ve learned that over 2,000 of her e-mails contained classified material, 22 of the e-mails had top-secret information. Can you still say flatly that she did not jeopardize America’s secrets?

OBAMA: I’ve got to be careful because, as you know, there have been investigations, there are hearings, Congress is looking at this. And I haven’t been sorting through each and every aspect of this.

Here’s what I know: Hillary Clinton was an outstanding Secretary of State. She would never intentionally put America in any kind of jeopardy.

And what I also know, because I handle a lot of classified information, is that there are -- there’s classified, and then there’s classified. There’s stuff that is really top secret top secret, and there’s stuff that is being presented to the president or the secretary of state, that you might not want on the transom, or going out over the wire, but is basically stuff that you could get in open source.


WALLACE: But last October, you were prepared to say, "She hasn’t jeopardized."

OBAMA: Yes. Well --

WALLACE: And the question is, can you still say that?

OBAMA: I continue to believe that she has not jeopardized America’s national security.
Now what I’ve also said is that -- and she has acknowledged --
that there’s a carelessness, in terms of managing e-mails,
that she has owned, and she recognizes.

But I also think it is important to keep this in perspective. This is somebody who has served her country for four years as secretary of state, and did an outstanding job. And no one has suggested that in some ways, as a consequence of how she’s handled e-mails, that that detracted from her excellent ability to carry out her duties.

WALLACE: Mr. President, when you say what you’ve just said, when Josh Earnest said, as he did -- your spokesman -- in January, the information from the Justice Department is she’s not a target, some people I think are worried whether or not -- the decision whether or not, how to handle the case, will be made on political grounds, not legal grounds.

Can you guarantee to the American people, can you direct the Justice Department to say, "Hillary Clinton will be treated -- as the evidence goes, she will not be in any way protected."

OBAMA: I can guarantee that. And I can guarantee that, not because I give Attorney General Lynch a directive, that is institutionally how we have always operated.

I do not talk to the Attorney General about pending investigations. I do not talk to FBI directors about pending investigations. We have a strict line, and always have maintained it, previous president.

WALLACE: So, just to button this up --

OBAMA: I guarantee it.


OBAMA: I guarantee that there is no political influence in any investigation conducted by the Justice Department, or the FBI, not just in this case, but in any case.

WALLACE: And she will be --

OBAMA: Full stop. Period.

WALLACE: And she will be treated no different --

OBAMA: Guaranteed. Full stop. Nobody gets treated differently when it comes to the Justice Department, because nobody is above the law.

WALLACE: Even if she ends up as the Democratic nominee?

OBAMA: How many times do I have to say it, Chris? Guaranteed.

Obama Comments on FBI Investigation in Clinton Email Scandal Discussed
Chris Wallace, George Will, Ann Gearan, Karl Rove, Bob Woodward discuss the interview
Fox News Sunday Panel, 2016-04-10
[The discussion of the Clinton emails ends at about 5:50.]

Morning Joe: Obama Like Clinton’s Comm. Director Trying to Exonerate Her From Email Investigation
Morning Joe panel discusses Obama/Wallace interview
Fox News Morning Joe show, 2016-04-11

[This show is summarized at Breitbart here.]

[A comparison to Alice in Wonderland : "Verdict first".

The message to the FBI: your investigation doesn't matter.
What she did is not a national securtiy violation.

Scarborough: "The investigation is rigged."]

Judge Napolitano on Obama's Arrogance & Hillary's Lying about FBI Email Investigation
Maria Bartiromo, Judge Napolitano and others
Fox Business News, 2016-04-11

[The best line comes at the end:
"Edward Snowden in Moscos said
'There's classified and there's classified?
I wish I'd known that.' "]

An attorney's five takeaways from Obama's defense of Clinton's emails
by Greg Jarrett
Fox Opinion, 2016-04-11

Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace sat down with President Obama last week to discuss, among other things, the legal imbroglio over Hillary Clinton’s emails.
As a journalist, I was fascinated by the political implications of the president’s defense of his former secretary of state.
As a lawyer, I was stunned by his logic and reasoning which seemed, at times, tortured.
Here are my five takeaways from the conversation which aired on Sunday.


How does he know? He doesn’t. He was speculating. Hackers may well have gained access to her unsecured server… and we simply don’t know it.

Hacking is often surreptitious. Many victims don’t even know it when they’ve been hacked. The Chinese, Russians and other adversaries have a long history of hacking to obtain American secrets. Which is exactly why unsecured servers are a risk to national security. So, Obama’s claim is baseless and without real knowledge. No one, not even the president, knows every occasion when hackers succeed or fail.



Yet, he did precisely that in the interview!
He all but proclaimed Clinton’s innocence
by offering his opinion that she did nothing legally wrong
(that is, his repeated description of “careless, not intentional”).

Obama was too clever by half.

Presidents are not supposed to interfere directly with pending cases.
So, what did Obama do? He interfered indirectly.

As president, he wields a huge megaphone.
He shouted his desire to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and FBI Director James Comey in a nationally televised interview.
Of course they saw it and/or read about it.
They now know what he wants them to do.
The question is…will they do it?


She claims some of her predecessors did the same thing. Incorrect.
None of them had their own private, unsecured servers in their homes on which they conducted their business exclusively.
Even if they did, Clinton’s defense is the equivalent of saying,
“it’s okay to rob banks because other people do it.”

She also claims the materials were not “marked” classified.
That’s utterly irrelevant under the statute.
It is the content, not the markings, which make matters classified.
Indeed, it doesn’t matter if they are marked or unmarked.

If Clinton wants to claim she did not recognize the classified materials without the markings,
then she would be arguing her own incompetence.

In a court of law, incompetence is not a defense.

Gregg Jarrett is a Fox News Anchor and former defense attorney.

Past cases suggest Hillary won’t be indicted
A POLITICO review shows marked differences between her case and those that led to charges.
By Josh Gerstein
Politico, 2016-04-11: 04/11/16 05:26 AM EDT

Obama’s not meddling in Clinton email probe, White House insists (Story also at the Washington Post:
Obama’s comments on Clinton email raises concerns of bias)
The statement comes after the president defended his former secretary of state publicly,
drawing criticism that he may be influencing the investigation.
The Associated Press, 2016-04-12

WASHINGTON — President Obama says he believes his former secretary of state did not intentionally endanger national security in her handling of classified information.
But he also says he’s not trying to influence his administration’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

The White House was under pressure Tuesday to reconcile those two statements, asserting Obama’s public defense of Clinton was not an attempt to meddle in an ongoing probe and that federal investigators will not be swayed by the boss’s views.


The White House routinely dodges questions about ongoing Justice Department investigations, saying it does not want to appear to be trying to influence the outcome. Obama’s decision to twice express his thoughts seems to cast aside some of that caution in favor of defending a political ally and former administration official.

“It does raise concerns for prosecutors,”
said Peter Henning, a law professor at Wayne State University and a former federal prosecutor.
“If it’s a close case, how am I to judge whether to pursue charges
when the president has said he doesn’t think there’s anything there?
I don’t think it will prejudice any decision, but it certainly gives the appearance of that.”

The White House said Obama’s comments are based solely on publicly available information.
The president has not asked for or received a briefing “on the confidential elements of the ongoing investigation,” Earnest said.
In the interview, Obama said: “I haven’t been sorting through each and every aspect of this.”

The president made assurances he would not intervene.

“I do not talk to the attorney general about pending investigations.
I do not talk to FBI directors about pending investigations.

[White House spokesman] Earnest’s reassurances came amid growing criticism
that Obama had put his finger on the scale
with recent comments describing Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state as mere “carelessness.”
In an interview with Fox News Sunday,
Obama seemed to embrace the Clinton campaign’s suggestion that the root of the controversy is over-classification –
that too much government information is classified by bureaucrats after the fact.
And most notably, Obama weighed in with his views on Clinton’s intent.

“She would never intentionally put America in any kind of jeopardy,”
he said of Clinton, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.


AP: White House stumbling to explain Obama’s dismissal of Hillary e-mail scandal
by Ed Morrissey
Hot Air, 2016-04-13


“Without influence”? [Quoting White House spokesman Josh Earnest.]
Like, say, the man in charge of the executive branch —
their boss, in other words —
going on national television to assert that
he thinks they’re wasting their time?
Heaven forfend!
And that’s definitely rain falling on your heads, not … well, you know.


So here’s the question:
Does the Department of Justice pursue an indictment
given the repeated statements of Lynch’s boss on the matter?
Probably not, unless Comey personally recommends it
and makes it known that he won’t cooperate with an effort to bury it.
Remember, Comey has more than 140 agents working on this investigation,
making it larger than the operation that netted the worst mole in FBI history, Robert Hanssen.
If Lynch ends up feeling as strongly as Comey,
does she defy Obama and the White House?
Or perhaps opt for the more passive-aggressive strategy of appointing a special counsel?
At this point, with as much interference as Obama has created with his repeated public statements,
that option may be the only way to ensure some sort of integrity in the final decision.

Obama Dings Hillary on Email Scandal
by Judge Andrew Napolitano
Newmax, 2016-04-14

President Barack Obama's recent remarks to my Fox News colleague Chris Wallace about Hillary Clinton's email issues were either Machiavellian or dumb.

It is difficult to tell from them whether
he wants the mountain of evidence of her criminal behavior presented to a federal grand jury or
he wants her to succeed him in the White House.

He cannot have both.

His efforts to minimize his former secretary of state's diversion of emails from government-secured servers to her own non-secure home server by calling it "careless" may actually harm her in the eyes of the public or even serve as a dog whistle to the FBI.

That's because carelessness is a species of negligence, and espionage, which is the failure to safeguard state secrets by removing them from their proper place of custody, is the rare federal crime that can be proved by negligence — to be precise, gross negligence.

Gross negligence is the failure to perform a high legal duty with the great probability of an improper result — for example, driving a car 90 miles per hour in New York's Times Square.

The high legal duty Clinton had was to safeguard state secrets; the improper result is the exposure of those secrets contained in her emails.

What did she do that was criminal, and who was harmed by her behavior?

Clinton knowingly diverted all of her governmental emails from secure government servers to her own non-secure server in her New York residence. Among the 60,000 emails she diverted were 2,200 that contained state secrets.

Because the essence of espionage is the removal of secrets to non-secure venues, the crime is complete upon removal.

So Obama's statement in the Wallace interview that Clinton caused no harm is irrelevant.

In espionage cases, the government need not prove that the defendant caused any harm.

Obama's further effort in the Wallace interview
to minimize the classification of secrets
into the statutory categories of "confidential," "secret" and "top secret"
by snarkily commenting that "there's classified and then there's classified"
is not what one would expect
from someone who has sworn to take care that all federal laws are enforced.

Obama has interpreted that duty so as to permit his Department of Justice to prosecute for espionage both a sailor when he took a selfie inside a nuclear submarine and sent it to his girlfriend, and a Marine lieutenant who correctly warned his superiors about an al-Qaida operative masquerading as an Afghan cop in an American encampment, but mistakenly used his Gmail account to send the emergency warning.

The evidence of Clinton's failure to safeguard state secrets is overwhelming because of the regularity of its occurrence. The evidence is well-grounded, as some of the secrets were too grave for the FBI to review and all came from her own server.

And the evidence is sufficient to indict and to convict because it was obtained legally and shows a four-year pattern of regular, consistent, systematic violation of the laws requiring safeguarding.

Obama's suggestion that some secrets were not really secret is also irrelevant, because Clinton, like the president, swore to recognize secrets and to keep them secret, no matter her opinion of them.

The FBI knows this and is taking it far more seriously than the president or Clinton.

Just last week, the team investigating Clinton sought and received the extradition to the U.S. of a man who was imprisoned in Romania for computer hacking.

One of those he hacked is Clinton's confidant Sid Blumenthal, to whom she sent many emails containing state secrets. What will the hacker tell the feds he saw?

Clinton's surrogates began taking her legal plight seriously in the past few weeks by arguing that her behavior was no different from that of other former high-ranking executive branch officials who occasionally and accidentally took top-secret documents home or discussed top-secret information in non-secure emails and that the consequences for them were tepid or nonexistent.

Yet there is no comparison between these occasional lapses and the planned and paid-for four-year diversion of secrets that Clinton orchestrated. Moreover, there is no instance of unprosecuted behavior that her supporters can cite that involves the sheer volume and regularity of the failure to safeguard that we see here.

Though the government need not prove intent, there is substantial evidence of Clinton's intent to commit espionage from three sources. One is Clinton's email instructing an aide to remove the "secret" designation from a document and send it to her from one non-secure fax machine to another.

The second is the Blumenthal hacking incidents, which occurred during her tenure as secretary of state and which did not stop her from emailing him from her home server.

The third is a federal rule that permits the inference of intent from a pattern of bad behavior, of which there is ample evidence in this case.

On the same weekend that the president was damning Clinton with faint praise and cynically offering what he must have known were irrelevant legal defenses, Clinton continued her pattern of persistent public laughing about and dismissing the significance of the FBI investigation of her.

That attitude — which is recorded and documented by the FBI — must have caused many of those investigating her to conclude that she understands the predicament she is in but is minimizing it. Or she may be a congenital liar who is lying to herself.

Either way, they await with eager anticipation their interrogation of her, should she foolishly submit to one.

Intel Vets Urge Fast Report on Clinton’s Emails
A group of U.S. intelligence veterans is calling on President Obama
to expedite the FBI review of former Secretary of State Clinton’s alleged email security violations
so the public can assess this issue in a timely fashion.
by Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
CommonDreams.org, 2016-05-24


It may be somewhat difficult for those not as immersed in national security matters as we have been to appreciate the seriousness of the offense, including the harm done in compromising some of the most sensitive U.S. programs and activities. This is why we write.

Pundits and others are playing down the harm. A charitable interpretation is that they have no way to gauge what it means to expose so much to so many. We do know, and our overriding concern is to protect the national security of our country from further harm. It would be a huge help toward this end, if you would order Attorney General Loretta Lynch to instruct the FBI to stop slow-walking the email investigation and release its findings promptly.
[I]f the results of the FBI investigation remain under lock and key, dangerous pressures are likely to be exerted on the most senior U.S. officials by those who have the key – as we explain below.


‘It Wasn’t That Bad’

All those directly or peripherally involved in the investigation of the Clinton email issue know very well that it could have a direct impact on who is likely to become the next President of the United States, and they will be making decisions with that reality in mind. They know that it is with you that “the buck stops,” and they are sensitive to signs of your preferences. Those were not difficult to discern in your commencement address at Howard University on May 7, in which you strongly advocated the same basic policy approaches as those espoused by one Democratic presidential candidate – Hillary Clinton.

Your White House has also made excuses for deliberate security violations by Secretary Clinton that would have gotten senior officials like us fired and probably indicted. We look with suspicion at what we see as contrasting and totally inappropriate attempts by the administration and media to play down the importance of Secretary Clinton’s deliberate disregard of basic security instructions and procedures.


[On 2016-05-29, I (KHarbaugh) added the following comment to the above-linked article at the Common Dreams web site:]

I am interested in how the system allowed this "mistake" to be made,
why it did not compel Clinton to do as other normal people do, and use separate email accounts for her personal and work communications.
In particular,
surely some of her email communications were with her fellow members of the National Security Council, and also with lower level government employees who were cognizant of the risks she was running through her private server, and also of the fact that ALL communications of members of the NSC are prime collection targets for any big league intelligence operation.
Surely at least one of her correspondents was knowledgeable and responsible enough to pass this information, and his concerns about it, through the appropriate COMSEC channels to the U.S. government agency with overall responsibility for U.S. government communications security, the National Security Agency.
Not to mention the probability that said agency does general monitoring (sniffing and scanning) of Internet traffic for matters of intelligence interest, such as senior U.S. officials screwing up their communications, and so had discovered the problem with its own surveillance practices.

The question is:
What did said agency do with this hot potato that had fallen in its lap?
My expectation would be that its officials mulled it over, than discussed the matter with their counterparts in the ODNI and the NSC.
But what happened then?
Surely there must be an audit trail somewhere in the IC of what the IC knew about this matter and what it did about it.
Somebody, some IG or member or body of Congress, really needs to ask that agency what it knew about HRCs communications, and what it did about that knowledge.

In fact, I believe the following questions need to be asked and answered:
1) What did NSA know about Hillary’s email setup while she was Secretary of State?
2) What did they do about that knowledge?
3) Is the NSA IG looking into those questions, and if so,
will (a sanitized version of) his report be released to the public?
4) What is the legitimacy of former NSA executives, Michael Hayden for one,
publiclly carrying on about what a terrible thing her setup was,
how the communications of officials in her position are a prime target of all the peer competitors of the United States,
if their very organization was aware of what was going on at the time it was going on
and did nothing to stop it at that time?
Remember, security is NSA's middle name.

Hillary Clinton Posted Names of Hidden Intelligence Officials On Her Email
by Patrick Howley
Breitbart, 2016-06-02

Hillary Clinton’s email: Is the FOIA security review endangering CIA officers?
By Stewart Baker
Washington Post Volokh Conspiracy, 2016-06-06

Did NSA Try to Destroy Hillary Clinton?
Allegations are circulating that the National Security Agency may be behind the massive hack of Hillary Clinton and her party
By John R. Schindler
Observer, 2016-08-08


The Clinton campaign and the DNC have stated forthrightly that
they see a Russian hand behind this dirty operation
[the leak of the DNC emails],
with the Kremlin using Wikileaks as their fence for stolen emails.
As I detailed in a recent column,
that’s a very plausible answer that’s supported by the facts we know so far.

It’s also the conclusion of most American intelligence agencies.
Although the criminal incident is under FBI investigation,
that Kremlin-linked hackers were behind the cyber-pillaging of the DNC
is widely accepted in the Intelligence Community,
which has tracked the hackers in question for years.


The agency has viewed her with distaste for years, beginning with her antics as the newly appointed Secretary of State in early 2009, when her demands to disregard basic security regulations about her Blackberry raised the ire of the agency’s information assurance experts.
Some at NSA saw the disaster of EmailGate developing, and were powerless to stop it.

["and were powerless to stop it"?
Sure, the NSA has no control over non-NSA personnel,
but they do have access to the president through several channels,
both through the DNI and DOD.
And they surely have the charter within the USG
to raise concerns about USG COMSEC as they deem appropriate and necessary.

The question, which I have repeatedly asked on the Internet but seen no answer to,

Did they pass their concerns up their reporting channel to the president?
If they did, what was the response?
If not, why didn't they?


Worse was what transpired in EmailGate, which witnessed Hillary’s “unclassified” email including reams of very highly classified information—some of it from NSA.
The agency is especially unhappy about what I revealed previously in this column,
how Top Secret-plus NSA reports wound up being copied verbatim in “personal” emails sent to Clinton by her friend and factotum, Sid Blumenthal, back in 2011.

Although NSA determined beyond doubt that Blumenthal—who had no position in the Obama administration and did not have active security clearances—somehow got his hands on Top Secret / Special Intelligence NSA assessments only hours after they appeared in classified channels, then retyped them in his personal, unsecured email, which was sent to then-Secretary Clinton.

Some of the information Blumenthal emailed to Hillary’s “private” server included GAMMA reporting, which as I explained previously, “is an NSA handling caveat that is applied to extraordinarily sensitive information (for instance, decrypted conversations between top foreign leadership, as this was). GAMMA is properly viewed as a SIGINT Special Access Program, or SAP, several of which from the CIA Clinton compromised in another series of her ‘unclassified’ emails.”

The agency was hopping mad about that compromise of its “crown jewel” information, and they were even more displeased that the FBI decided to punt on prosecuting anybody for that notorious incident. “In wartime, we shoot people for compromising GAMMA,” explained an unhappy NSA senior official:
“But the FBI was clearly told to look the other way by the White House—so they did.”

[I can see the WH mandating that the FBI give Hillary a pass on what she did.
But I cannot see that free pass extending to whoever, if this is what happened,
moved information at the Gamma level into a non-secure environment.
That's a no-brainer violation of the law.

But I cannot see Comey's statement that
"no reasonable prosecutor would prosecute a case against Hillary"
(that's a paraphrase of what he said)
applying to the situation Schindler describes above.
Anyone who has access to Gamma is made very clear on their duties to protect it.
If someone didn't, then they should be prosecuted.
No ifs, buts, maybes, or politics should interfere.]


EmailGate and the Mystery of the Missing GAMMA
Hillary Clinton’s ‘unclassified’ email included highly classified NSA information—why didn’t the FBI mention this fact?
by John R. Schindler
Observer.com, 2016-09-06


Three more email chains contained Sensitive Compartmented Information or SCI, which was almost certainly SIGINT from NSA. SCI always requires special protection and handling. In fact, you’re only allowed to access it inside a specially-built Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, a SCIF (pronounced “skiff”) in spy-speak. Any exposure of SCI brings severe penalties—at least if you’re not named Clinton.

It’s nice to see the FBI finally confirm just how much highly classified information got exposed here, but I reported this many months ago from Intelligence Community sources, including that Hillary’s “unclassified” emails included Top Secret SAP information from CIA and Top Secret SCI information from NSA.

Which leads to a troubling matter: What the FBI did not mention in its big data dump on EmailGate.

As I told you in this column back in January, Hillary emails included very highly classified intelligence from NSA. In early June 2011, the secretary of state received a long email from her longtime friend and factotum Sid Blumenthal regarding Sudan. This was an astonishingly detailed assessment of high-level political and military machinations in that country, specifically inside information about coup plotting.

This explosive information was timely and deep in the weeds on Sudanese happenings. It’s difficult to see how Blumenthal—a lawyer and Washington fixer, no sort of Africa hand or James Bond—got his hands on such juicy intelligence. As I’ve noted, “Blumenthal’s information came from a top-ranking source with direct access to Sudan’s top military and intelligence officials, and recounted a high-level meeting that had taken place only 24 hours before.” How did Sid obtain this amazing scoop for Hillary?


The term GAMMA never appears in the paperwork the Bureau released last week.

Why not? It’s normal that the FBI will keep any highly classified information from public view, even if it’s been all over the internet thanks to Hillary’s emails. However, it behooves the FBI to let the public know the full extent of classified information that was compromised in EmailGate.

What the Intelligence Community terms the “fact of” what happened—meaning classified details are omitted—is something the public has a right to know before November 8. Details aren’t necessary—those are rightly kept classified—but the FBI needs to level with the American people. Not admitting that above-top-secret NSA information was compromised only furthers the Clintonian cover-up at this point.

Why has the FBI now let her off the hook for her role in the compromise of extraordinarily classified American intelligence? Any normal citizen who put compartmented SIGINT on the open internet would be frog-walked into federal custody without delay.

The public has a right to know how Top Secret/SCI and GAMMA intelligence, some of our country’s most tightly guarded secrets, wound up in Sid Blumenthal’s hands, quickly. It’s unpleasant to besmirch the dead, but if Tyler Drumheller was the source of this purloined NSA information, we need to establish that—including where he got it from. And if Blumenthal’s conduit here wasn’t Drumheller, then who was it?

This is important because if Hillary Clinton becomes our next president—which at this point looks more likely than not—we can be certain that her trusty sidekick Sid Blumenthal will have an important role in her White House, no matter what his ostensible job title may be. The American public needs to know the full truth about EmailGate, especially regarding its compromise of highly classified information, before our fast-approaching election.

Hillary Clinton responds to question re her emails from a retired naval flight officer at the Commander-in-Chief forum
NBCnews, 1016-09-08