These weren’t just ordinary secrets found in Clinton’s private server, but some of the most classified material the U.S. government has.
After months of denials and delaying actions, Hillary Clinton has decided to turn over her private email server to the Department of Justice. As this controversy has grown since the spring, Clinton and her campaign operatives have repeatedly denied that she had placed classified information in her personal email while serving as Secretary of State during President Obama’s first term. (“I am confident that I never sent nor received any information that was classified at the time it was sent and received,” she said last month.) Her team also denied that she would ever hand over her server to investigators. Now both those assertions have been overturned.Hillary Clinton has little choice but to hand over her server to authorities since it now appears increasingly likely that someone on her staff violated federal laws regarding the handling of classified materials. On August 11, after extensive investigation, the Intelligence Community’s Inspector General reported to Congress that it had found several violations of security policy in Clinton’s personal emails.Most seriously, the Inspector General assessed that Clinton’s emails included information that was highly classified—yet mislabeled as unclassified. Worse, the information in question should have been classified up to the level of “TOP SECRET//SI//TK//NOFORN,” according to the Inspector General’s report.You may have seen acronym lists like these on declassified documents before—and glazed over them. This is the arcane language of the cleared cognoscenti so let me explain what this means:
• TOP SECRET, as the name implies, is the highest official classification level in the U.S. government, defined as information whose unauthorized release “could cause exceptionally grave damage to national security or foreign relations.”
• SI refers to Special Intelligence, meaning it is information derived from intercepted communications, which is the business of the National Security Agency, America’s single biggest source of intelligence. They’re the guys who eavesdrop on phone calls, map who’s calling who, and comb through emails. SI is a subset of what the intelligence community calls Sensitive Compartmented Information or SCI. And these materials always require special handling and protection. They are to be kept in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility or SCIF, which is a special hardened room that is safe from both physical and electronic intrusion.
• TK refers to Talent Keyhole, which is an IC caveat indicating that the classified material was obtained via satellite.
• NOFORN, as the name implies, means that the materials can only be shown to Americans, not to foreigners.
In short: Information at the “TOP SECRET//SI//TK//NOFORN” level is considered exceptionally highly classified and must be handled with great care under penalty of serious consequences for mishandling. Every person who is cleared and “read on” for access to such information signs reams of paperwork and receives detailed training about how it is to be handled, no exceptions—and what the consequences will be if the rules are not followed.
In the real world, people with high-level clearances are severely punished for willfully violating such rules. At a minimum, those suspected of mishandling things like NSA “signals intelligence”—intercepts calls, emails, and the like—have their clearances suspended pending the outcome of the investigation into their misconduct. Any personal items—computers, electronics—where federal investigators suspect the classified wound up, wrongly, will be impounded and searched. If it has TOP SECRET//SI information on it, “your” computer now belongs to the government, since it is considered classified.
People found to have willfully mishandled such highly classified information often face severe punishment. Termination of employment, hefty fines, even imprisonment can result. Yes, people really do go to jail for mishandling classified materials. Matthew Aid, a writer on intelligence matters, served over a year in prison for mishandling TOPSECRET//SI information from NSA, for example. The well connected tend to avoid jail, however. Sandy Berger and John Deutsch—who both served in high-level positions under President Bill Clinton, did not go to prison for mishandling TOP SECRET intelligence (though Berger got probation and was fined $50,000).
What, then, does all this means for Hillary? There is no doubt that she, or someone on her State Department staff, violated federal law by putting TOP SECRET//SI information on an unclassified system. That it was Hillary’s private, offsite server makes the case even worse from a security viewpoint. Claims that they “didn’t know” such information was highly classified do not hold water and are irrelevant. It strains belief that anybody with clearances didn’t recognize that NSA information, which is loaded with classification markings, was signals intelligence, or SIGINT. It’s possible that the classified information found in Clinton’s email trove wasn’t marked as such. But if that classification notice was omitted, it wasn’t the U.S. intelligence community that took such markings away. Moreover, anybody holding security clearances has already assumed the responsibility for handling it properly.
“In the spring of 1974, Hillary Rodham Clinton became a member of the presidential impeachment inquiry staff, advising the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives during the Watergate Scandal.Her boss back then, Jerry Zeifman, now-retired general counsel and chief of staff of the House Judiciary Committee, tells a very revealing story concerning her work there.
According to Zeifman, a lifelong Democrat, Hillary got a job working on the investigation at the behest of her former Yale Law Professor, Burke Marshall, also Sen. Ted Kennedy’s chief counsel in the Chappaquiddick affair.
When the Watergate Investigation was over, Zeifman fired Hillary from the committee staff and refused to give her a letter of recommendation. That made the Future First Lady and Secretary of State one of only three people who earned that badge of dishonor in Zeifman’s 17-year career.
According to Zeifman,
Because she was a liar. She was an unethical, dishonest lawyer. She conspired to violate the Constitution, the rules of the House, the rules of the committee and the rules of confidentiality.
Zeifman claims that she was one of several individuals including Marshall, Special Counsel John Doar, and Senior Associate Special Counsel (and future Clinton White House Counsel) Bernard Nussbaum, who plotted to deny Richard Nixon the right to counsel during the investigation.
Zeifman believes that they were deathly afraid of putting the break-in’s mastermind E. Howard Hunt on the stand to be cross-examined by Counsel to the President. The reason being, Hunt had the goods regarding some dirty dealings in the Kennedy Administration that would have made Watergate look like a kid busting open his Piggy Bank…dealings which purportedly included Kennedy’s complicity in the attempted assassination of Fidel Castro.
Hillary and her associates were acting directly against the decision of top Democrats, up to and including then-House Majority Leader Tip O’Neill, who all believed that Nixon clearly had the right to counsel.
The reason that Hillary and the rest came up with the scheme is because they believed that they could gain enough votes on the Judiciary Committee to change House rules and deny counsel to Nixon.
In order to pull off this scheme, Zeifman says Hillary wrote a fraudulent legal brief, and confiscated public documents to hide her deception.
Hillary wanted to present in her brief that there was no right to representation by counsel during an impeachment proceeding. Zeifman told Hillary about the case of Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, who faced an impeachment attempt in 1970….
As soon as the impeachment resolutions were introduced by (then-House Minority Leader Gerald) Ford, and they were referred to the House Judiciary Committee, the first thing Douglas did was hire himself a lawyer.
Douglas was allowed to keep counsel by the Judicial Committee in place at the time, which clearly established a precedent. Zeifman told Hillary that all the documents establishing this fact were in the Judiciary Committee’s public files.
That was a mistake, per Zeifman…
Hillary then removed all the Douglas files to the offices where she was located, which at that time was secured and inaccessible to the public.
Hillary then wrote a legal brief which argued that there was no precedent for the right to representation by counsel during an impeachment proceeding…ignoring the Douglas case completely.
The brief was so laughingly fraudulent, Zeifman believes Hillary would have been disbarred if she had ever actually submitted it to a judge.
Zeifman says that if Hillary and her associates had succeeded, members of the House Judiciary Committee would have also been denied the right to cross-examine witnesses, and denied the opportunity to even be a part of the drafting of articles of impeachment against Nixon.”
There are a lot of images that race through my mind, right now, as I sit here at my computer.I remember the image of a lone terrorist, brandishing a machine gun, standing in front of the burning Benghazi Consulate.
I also remember the image of Benghazi Barbarians dragging a murdered Ambassador Chris Stevens through the streets, taking pictures every few yards, with their cell phones.
My mind envisions the image of two brave Americans, up on a roof holding off 100 Muslim Terrorists, trying desperately to hold out for help which was denied to them, until finally the overwhelming numbers which comprise the horde of barbarians, murdered them as well.
I imagine Ambassador Stevens’ elderly mother, making the trip from the West Coast to the East Coast to pick up the lifeless body of her abused and murdered son, whom she and her entire family were so proud of.
Finally, I remember the show of hypocrisy involving members of this anti-American Administration, including then-Secretary of State Clinton, solemnly welcoming the bodies of those brave Americans home.
And, then, her brazen, unfeeling statement,
At this point, what difference does it make?
I Fully expect her to make some sort of arrogant statement like that about this egregious situation.
Former Secretary Clinton…the truth makes a big difference…to the families of those that were so savagely murdered that fateful night…and to the millions of Americans who still believe in this “Shining City on a Hill”.
Americans deserve the truth.
And, you should be ashamed to be running for the office of President of the United States.
Until He Comes,