Monday, July 11, 2016

Clinton Emails

F.B.I. Directory Comey testified before Congress on July 7.  He explained why he was recommending that Hillary Clinton not be prosecuted for her handling of classified emails.  Naturally, Democrats supported Comey’s decision and Republicans questioned the logic of Comey’s conclusion.  It is an extremely complex case dealing with tens of thousands emails of various classifications.  This has allowed Hillary Clinton’s supporters to obscure the situation.  If the investigation had been narrowed to find out if the most highly classified information was compromised and if that compromise was significant, the results would have been clearer.
Were Clinton’s emails hacked?  Director Comey stated, “We did not find direct evidence that Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail domain, in its various configurations since 2009, was successfully hacked.”  Marcel Lazăr Lehel, who calls himself Guccifer, claimed that Clinton’s server was, “like an open orchid on the Internet” and that it “was easy … easy for me, for everybody.”  It is claimed that Lehel has admitted he was lying about accessing Clinton’s server.  However, there is no doubt that he hacked Sidney Blumenthal’s emails to Clinton in March 2013.  He distributed four of Blumenthal’s emails to the media but only Russia Today published them.

Was Clinton’s server an “open orchid?”  Congressman Chaffetz asked Director Comey, “are you implying in that statement that the private email servers of Secretary Clinton were perhaps less secure than a Gmail account?”  Comey responded, “Yes.”  Congressman Blum claimed that “the going rate to hack into somebody’s Gmail account; $129, for corporate emails they can be hacked for $500 or less.”  Director Comey claimed, “it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal e-mail account.”  If these “hostile actors” do not have every one of her emails, they are not doing their job.  Putin’s Kremlin has one of the most sophisticated cyber warfare systems in the world.  Even the North Koreans and every Islamic terrorist group can probably raise the cash needed to access unsecured emails.

Many of Clinton’s emails were confidential.  Intelligence reporters are under pressure to produce and much of the information marked confidential -can be obtained in open sources and its release will have no effect on national security.  However, seven e-mail chains among Clinton’s emails concerned matters that were classified at the Top Secret/Special Access Program (SAP) level.  This is the highest security classification, more sensitive than Top Secret.  The Inspector General and members of congress are can not have access to this information without “a need to know.”  This classification contains sources and methods of collection that could put human assets at risk.   In her defense of Clinton former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright claimed, ”She (Clinton) has said she made a mistake, and nobody is going to die as a result of anything that happened on emails.”  Bush administration Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, General Jerry Boykin, disagreed with Albright.  Boykin asserted “. . . China and Russia and even North Korea access through cyber attacks to the names of the people that are helping us and the sources and methods that we’re using to get that intelligence. People can be killed as a result of that!”

The investigation also looked into whether classified information was improperly stored in violation of the federal statute making it a felony to mishandle classified information either intentionally or in a grossly negligent way.  The Inspector General found that 30,000 emails had been copied to a thumb drive in the possession of former Secretary Clinton’s attorney, David Kendall.  Kendall kept the information in a safe in his private law office.  Director Comey testified that Kendall did not have a security clearance.  However, Congressman Elijah Cummings claims that he did.  His security clearance is actually irrelevant because he certainly did not have “a need to know” for the possession of SAP material.

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