Oh my: Hillary e-mail contained “operational” intel; Update: State proposed workaround for nonsecure system; Update: NOC lists?

posted at 10:41 am on February 1, 2016 by Ed Morrissey

“Convenience” has a high price, no? According to a new exclusive report from Fox’s Catherine Herridge and Pamela Browne, the State Department had to take the unusual step of hiding 22 e-mails from Hillary Clinton’s secret server completely from public view because they expose operational intelligence, which could damage “sources, methods, and lives.” The top-secret intelligence data didn’t come from a single exchange over a purportedly interagency dispute, but from across the entire time Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State:

Highly classified Hillary Clinton emails that the intelligence community and State Department recently deemed too damaging to national security to release contain “operational intelligence” – and their presence on the unsecure, personal email system jeopardized “sources, methods and lives,” a U.S. government official who has reviewed the documents told Fox News.

The official, who was not authorized to speak on the record and was limited in discussing the contents because of their highly classified nature, was referring to the 22 “TOP SECRET” emails that the State Department announced Friday it could not release in any form, even with entire sections redacted. …

The official emphasized that the “TOP SECRET” documents were sent over an extended period of time — from shortly after the server’s 2009 installation until early 2013 when Clinton stepped down as secretary of state.

We have analyzed this in terms of 18 USC 793 in the past, which makes gross negligence in handling this kind of data a felony. It’s worth pointing out again, especially given that this statute does not require that such data carry a classification, although it certainly helps for prosecutions:

(f) Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

Mike Pompeo makes the point that no one could possibly mistake the serious nature of intelligence at this level:

“There is no way that someone, a senior government official who has been handling classified information for a good chunk of their adult life, could not have known that this information ought to be classified, whether it was marked or not,” he said. “Anyone with the capacity to read and an understanding of American national security, an 8th grade reading level or above, would understand that the release of this information or the potential breach of a non-secure system presented risk to American national security.”

Pompeo also suggested the military and intelligence communities have had to change operations, because the Clinton server could have been compromised by a third party.

“Anytime our national security team determines that there’s a potential breach, that is information that might potentially have fallen into the hands of the Iranians, or the Russians, or the Chinese, or just hackers, that they begin to operate in a manner that assumes that information has in fact gotten out,” Pompeo said.

Someone had to convert this data from secure systems — and most likely SCIF containment — into Hillary’s e-mail system. Even if that person isn’t Hillary, she set up the server for her “convenience” and required her aides to use it. She would have seen the intelligence, and her clearance and signoffs make her responsible to deal with spillage of highly classified material into non-secure systems. On top of that, she kept possession of this information in her home on an unsecured and unauthorized computer — and then shared the database with unauthorized data-management companies. Those are all violations of 18 USC 1924.

Hillary put lives and national security at risk. Not only should she be disqualified for public office, she should be facing charges.

Update: Hillary Clinton’s response? “I take classified information seriously.” All evidence to the contrary, of course.

In reference to 18 USC 1924, here is the statute:

(a) Whoever, being an officer, employee, contractor, or consultant of the United States, and, by virtue of his office, employment, position, or contract, becomes possessed of documents or materials containing classified information of the United States, knowingly removes such documents or materials without authority and with the intent to retain such documents or materials at an unauthorized location shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.

(b) For purposes of this section, the provision of documents and materials to the Congress shall not constitute an offense under subsection (a).

(c) In this section, the term “classified information of the United States” means information originated, owned, or possessed by the United States Government concerning the national defense or foreign relations of the United States that has been determined pursuant to law or Executive order to require protection against unauthorized disclosure in the interests of national security.

Note that unlike 18 USC 793, prosecution under 1924 does require material to have been classified — but that could be any level of classification, from Confidential all the way to Top Secret/Compartmented, SAP, HCS, etc. Information bearing all of those classifications have been redacted from Hillary’s e-mails at least 1,300 times, and kept secure entirely in the case of these 22 e-mails.

Update: Question: What did the State Department know, and when did it know it? Answer: Almost everything, and almost immediately. In fact, State proposed a workaround on security so that Hillary could access her home-brew e-mails at the office:

The State Department proposed created a “standalone” computer operating on a separate network for Hillary Clinton shortly after she took helm as the nation’s top diplomat in 2009, according to newly released emails.

Clinton’s personal computer would be “connected to the internet (but not through our system) to enable her to check emails from her desk,” State Department official Lewis Lukens wrote on Jan. 24, 2009, days after Clinton was sworn in as secretary of State.

“The stand-alone seperate [sic] network PC is on on [sic] great idea,” Under Secretary for Management Patrick Kennedy responded.

“Yes we were hoping for that if possible so she can check her email in her office,” agreed Huma Abedin, Clinton’s longtime aide and her deputy chief of staff at the time.

Say, remember all of those FOIA cases in which State insisted that they had no record of Hillary e-mails responsive to those requests? I’ll bet the judges presiding in those cases do.

Update: NOC lists? Intelligence analyst John Schindler says his sources confirm Fox’s report, but the damage is much greater than first thought:

I can confirm that the FoxNews report, which lacks any specifics about exactly what was compromised, is accurate. And what was actually in those Top Secret emails found on Hillary’s “unclassified” personal bathroom server was colossally damaging to our national security and has put lives at risk.

Discussions with Intelligence Community officials have revealed that Ms. Clinton’s “unclassified” emails included Holy Grail items of American espionage such as the true names of Central Intelligence Agency intelligence officers serving overseas under cover. Worse, some of those exposed are serving under non-official cover. NOCs (see this for an explanation of their important role in espionage) are the pointy end of the CIA spear and they are always at risk of exposure – which is what Ms. Clinton’s emails have done.

Not only have these spies had their lives put in serious risk by this, it’s a clear violation of Federal law. The Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982, enacted due to the murder of the CIA’s station chief in Athens after his cover was blown by the left-wing media, makes it a Federal crime to divulge the true identity of any covert operative serving U.S. intelligence if that person has not previous been publicly acknowledged to be working for our spy agencies.

People really go to jail for breaking this law. John Kiriakou, a former CIA officer, recently emerged from two years in prison for unauthorized disclosure of classified information, including exposing the identity of an Agency colleague who was serving under cover.

Wow. If this is true, it could be the greatest security breach since Robert Hanssen. Guy’s advice is worth considering, too:

Proceed with caution, indeed — but there’s a reason why the State Department can’t even release the fully redacted e-mail messages.


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Comment pages: 1 3 4 5

Is the video of the cop shooting Tamir Rice PROOF of wrongdoing?

blink on February 1, 2016 at 5:24 PM

Proof? Like a measure of alcohol content?

Tlaloc on February 1, 2016 at 5:28 PM

The point is you see the redactions and assume that must mean classified info,

It’s called an educated guess, something they obviously you didn’t learn in whatever fake engineering classes you took.

The primary purpose of redaction is to protect sensitive information. Even assuming a very high failure percentage of 5, that still leaves ~1235 emails that have a high chance of being classified (not counting the 22 SAP emails).

Can you not think for yourself?

nobar on February 1, 2016 at 5:28 PM

So that would make you……?

fbcmusicman on February 1, 2016 at 5:27 PM

Not an idiot, since I’m not surprised that politicians lie.

Tlaloc on February 1, 2016 at 5:29 PM

If the FBI recommends bringing charges and Lynch doesn’t act within 1 business day, Congress needs to appoint a special prosecutor to prosecute the case.

It seems as though the FBI will be making their recommendation fairly soon, and it seems reasonable to give Lynch and Obama 24 hours to do the right thing before taking over.

Given that the FBI has 100 people working on the investigation, there is no need to appoint a special prosecutor unless they do not release their findings in a timely fashion or Lynch does not act on their recommendation.

talkingpoints on February 1, 2016 at 5:31 PM

That’s not what you previously wrote, but you’re welcome to correct yourself.

Your assertion that the redactions mean that they NEVER contained classified information despite assertions from IGs, etc, is completely delusional.

blink on February 1, 2016 at 5:30 PM

I think that was about the same time he was trying to decide whether he wanted “plausible” or “possible” to be the benchmark for dismissing alternatives, notwithstanding the fact that such hypotheses were discounted on both levels.

The Schaef on February 1, 2016 at 5:32 PM

Actually, that’s exactly it.

Tiaioc: A=B

Tiaioc: B=C

blink: So, your arguments boil down to A=C.

Tiaioc: NO, THEY DON’T. THAT’S UNFAIR. I NEVER ACTUALLY WROTE THAT AS MY ARGUMENT!

Tiaioc = Lying Crybaby

blink on February 1, 2016 at 5:28 PM

Let’s take an example from this very thread.

All you have are emails of hers that State chose to redact and which you falsely assume must have been due to classified materials.

Tlaloc on February 1, 2016 at 5:00 PM

So why would they be redacted?

nobar on February 1, 2016 at 5:12 PM

1) maybe they contain PII or the like but not classified info…

Tlaloc on February 1, 2016 at 5:19 PM

When did this change to “maybe”? You just definitively claimed that the premise that the emails were redacted because they had contained classified information was a false assumption.

blink on February 1, 2016 at 5:23 PM

That’s unambiguously you misreading my argument and assigning to me an argument I didn’t make, but you aren’t smart enough yo parse my argument in the first place so you think I changed things when of course I didn’t.

Real world example of you being an idiot and misunderstanding my argument.

Tlaloc on February 1, 2016 at 5:33 PM

It’s called an educated guess, something they obviously you didn’t learn in whatever fake engineering classes you took.

The primary purpose of redaction is to protect sensitive information. Even assuming a very high failure percentage of 5, that still leaves ~1235 emails that have a high chance of being classified (not counting the 22 SAP emails).

Can you not think for yourself?

nobar on February 1, 2016 at 5:28 PM

And so long as you acknowledge that it is a guess on your part we have no problem (unless you think guesses count as evidence).

Tlaloc on February 1, 2016 at 5:35 PM

Of some note:

Hot Air allowing this Tlaloc to troll thread after thread with lies and loon rants is in fact some real evidence of a non sane approach to this problem of wasted lives and wasted time on responding to this useless troll.

In fact quite insane to keep on with the keeping this thing on board.

My last time to type any thing about these three and some of the other useful fools.

Time marches on, we have a country to fix, they add not one thing to the solution.

Less than zero.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on February 1, 2016 at 5:35 PM

Not an idiot, since I’m not surprised that politicians lie.

Tlaloc on February 1, 2016 at 5:29 PM

Well, it’s nice to know that you’re OK with defending a lady who has no qualms whatsoever about bold-faced lying in the presence of their very own child, and bold-face lying to the American public.

fbcmusicman on February 1, 2016 at 5:36 PM

The assertion that redaction means they MUST contain classified information is a false one.

Tiaioc on February 1, 2016 at 5:27 PM

That’s not what you previously wrote, but you’re welcome to correct yourself.

blink on February 1, 2016 at 5:30 PM

actually that’s exactly what I wrote, nitwit:

All you have are emails of hers that State chose to redact and which you falsely assume must have been due to classified materials.

Tlaloc on February 1, 2016 at 5:00 PM

thank you for proving once again that you can’t read for a d*mn.

Tlaloc on February 1, 2016 at 5:37 PM

Your assertion that the redactions mean that they NEVER contained classified information despite assertions from IGs, etc, is completely delusional.

blink on February 1, 2016 at 5:30 PM

Good for me then that I said no such thing, huh?

Tlaloc on February 1, 2016 at 5:38 PM

Tlaloc on February 1, 2016 at 5:35 PM

I demonstrate the guess concept because you won’t ever accept that they were classified, where as I am sure that they are. It’s your problem that the easiest answer makes the Dem candidate a 20-to-life criminal and you just want to keep making excuses over it.

nobar on February 1, 2016 at 5:38 PM

How did Comrade Clinton perform her function as Secretary of state without receiving classified material on her server?

She claimed to have worked in person.

Tlaloc on February 1, 2016 at 4:37 PM

1. Then why did she have an e-mail server?

Torcert on February 1, 2016 at 4:52 PM

I guess you should ask her.

Kenny Bania on February 1, 2016 at 4:56 PM

Lol! Lack of reading comprehension duly noted.

Torcert is asking you why you think she had an e-mail server.

We’d love to see your answer. Feel free to wander back and give it to us when your DNC handlers give you one!

(Starts fleabrain powered snowdial)

PS. getting back to your Lie that right-wing news sources always “lie horribly”, let me guess-you still believe that the C-BS “news” story that was exposed as a Journalistic Fraud in 2004 is still true, even though that scandal resulted in the longtime C-BS Chief Anchoring/Managing Editor losing his job in disgrace and the “producer” of that sham being fired.

So, how many times have you gone to see the new comedy film “Truth”? A clue for you-the correct name for that piece of junk should be “Pravda”. Are you going to buy it when it comes out on BluRay too?

Del Dolemonte on February 1, 2016 at 5:09 PM

Clearly our Comrade from the national Socialist Left has to carefully skirt the issues.

In this case avoiding the rank contradiction in her answer.

Torcert on February 1, 2016 at 5:38 PM

Warning... do not read the following if you are in the process of imbibing any type of beverage that could be damaging to your keyboard:
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Clinton: ‘I’m asking people to hold me accountable’ http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/267696-clinton-im-asking-people-to-hold-me-accountable

Torcert on February 1, 2016 at 5:44 PM

Tune in next time, when someone draws an inference and you fault them for not going by the words you wrote.

The Schaef on February 1, 2016 at 4:42 PM

Took less than one hour…

All you have are emails of hers that State chose to redact and which you falsely assume must have been due to classified materials.

Tlaloc on February 1, 2016 at 5:00 PM

And so long as you acknowledge that it is a guess on your part we have no problem (unless you think guesses count as evidence).

Tiaioc on February 1, 2016 at 5:35 PM

And now I’m sure you’re going to cry like a baby that I accurately characterized your argument.

blink on February 1, 2016 at 5:41 PM

Blink infers a characterization based on what is far and away the most plausible reason for a redaction to exist (alternative theories included the government not knowing which of its own information to classify, and deliberately falsifying a classification to troll a small conservative blog).

Tlaloc then criticizes him for not taking his words verbatim.

The Schaef on February 1, 2016 at 5:46 PM

Tlaloc on February 1, 2016 at 5:33 PM

I didn’t misread anything. You just HATE being held accountable for what you write.

blink on February 1, 2016 at 5:39 PM

Most from the national Socialist Left do not want to be held accountable for their false narratives and lies.

Torcert on February 1, 2016 at 5:47 PM

Not an idiot, since I’m not surprised that politicians lie.

Tlaloc on February 1, 2016 at 5:29 PM

Actually, it’s an idiot ideologue as you will accept as the sole and absolute truth the lies that progressive politicians tell. It also describes one whose only standards are one’s double standards.

So funny, the State Department announces that the materials in the emails are being redacted because they are classified, and the troll says that isn’t the case. Just this weekend, 22 emails that were court-ordered to be released had to be withheld because of the high level of classification they contained.

The Obama-appointed IG states that the materials in the emails were redacted because of being classified, and the troll insists that isn’t the case…

…that regardless of those announcements, his ‘belief’ is that they were redacted for any innumerable other possible reasons. And as an idiot ideologue, no fact will shake what he wants to be true… two plus two equals five and while A equals B and B equals C, A is never equal to C.

Athos on February 1, 2016 at 5:55 PM

The truth is easy to remember. It never changes.

The slow journey from “I followed the law” to “It was convenient” to “I thought it would be better” to “I should have explained it better” to “I never received classified emails” (???) to “They weren’t marked classified” to “It’s a right-wing conspiracy” to “It’s an inter-agency conflict” to “Let me make an analogy that has nothing to do with the subject” can lead to confusion.

A smart person would have started at “I thought it would be good but I made a mistake and I’m asking my boss for forgiveness” and never had to say another thing.

Meremortal on February 1, 2016 at 5:58 PM

Cross posted from another thread. May be the thread winner for every post about this fetid subject.

itsspideyman on February 1, 2016 at 6:01 PM

All you have are emails of hers that State chose to redact and which you falsely assume must have been due to classified materials.

Tlaloc on February 1, 2016 at 5:00 PM

From July 31, 2015

Washington (CNN)A new tranche of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails from her private server, released Friday, have been heavily redacted with sensitive information kept from public view.

The State Department itself says that emails were ‘heavily redacted’ to keep ‘sensitive information from the public’.

From CBS Sept 1, 2015

WASHINGTON –The State Department released roughly 7,000 pages of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s emails Monday, the biggest release of emails to date. The emails were, as they have been in past releases, heavily redacted.

The 7,000 emails included about 150 that have been censored because they contain information now deemed classified.

Still, the increasing amounts of blacked-out information from Clinton’s email history as secretary of state will surely prompt additional questions about her handling of government secrets while in office and that of her most trusted advisers.

Still want to insist that the items that were redacted were done so because they didn’t contain classified information?

Athos on February 1, 2016 at 6:02 PM

Washington (CNN)A new tranche of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails from her private server, released Friday, have been heavily redacted with sensitive information kept from public view.

This section from my previous post belonged in quotes. It’s directly from the CNN article.

Athos on February 1, 2016 at 6:03 PM

Wow, the Washington Post’a Registered Democrat Chris Cillizza is now a non-credible conservative news source!

From 12:04 PM ET this afternoon:

WaPo link

Three days before the Iowa caucuses, a key part of Hillary Clinton’s explanation for the controversy surrounding her email system fell through when the State Department said it had found classified and even top-secret information on the private email server she used exclusively during her time as secretary of state.

-snip-

And yet, doubts remain — largely centered around the ongoing FBI investigation of the Clinton email setup. (To be clear, Clinton has never been a target of the FBI investigation.) The worry among Democrats is that all of the smoke surrounding Clinton might be masking a fire that could jeopardize the party’s chances of holding the White House in November if she is their nominee.

The State Department announcement goes directly to that concern. Clinton had long maintained that the leaks of information regarding classified information on her private email server were largely the result of an overzealous intelligence community and part of a broader interagency spat. State finding the same thing that the intelligence community had found regarding what was on Clinton’s server suggests that her narrative has been disrupted in a serious way.

The part bolded prove that Hillario! has been Lying, and it comes from a Democrat reporter at a Democrat newspaper.

“Cillizza is lying too!” ~ Klinton Kultists

Del Dolemonte on February 1, 2016 at 6:17 PM

Del Dolemonte,

Truth is the final cleanser needed nothing else needed.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on February 1, 2016 at 7:11 PM

Tlaloc then criticizes him for not taking his words verbatim.

The Schaef on February 1, 2016 at 5:46 PM

Shakespeare said it best:
“Do you bite your thumb at me sir?!”
“No… But I do bite my thumb.”

Skywise on February 1, 2016 at 7:26 PM

Which pretty much bears out my original assertion

GrumpyOldFart on February 1, 2016 at 4:42 PM

Only if “bears out” means “completely contradicts.”

Tlaloc on February 1, 2016 at 4:53 PM

My original assertion:

Tlaloc and everdiso won’t admit this story is genuine unless/until it gets reported in Salon, Daily Kos and New Republic.

And even then, only maybe.

And even if Lynch prosecutes her and gets a conviction, they’ll contend that she was framed by the VWRC.

GrumpyOldFart on February 1, 2016 at 2:41 PM

Your response:

Frankly, if you got an indictment I’d freely admit the story had become an actual scandal, rather than just another rightwing freakout.

Tlaloc on February 1, 2016 at 2:50 PM

You do not concede that having the FBI recommend indictment would matter, and you are careful to call it a “scandal” rather than a “crime.”

Since you have already stated that the report of Obama’s IG is not “evidence,” but merely “just another rightwing freakout,” I can’t imagine why the recommendation of the FBI would be “evidence” in your eyes either.

As for the distinction between a “scandal” and a “crime”… if you treat the two terms as synonymous, does that mean Bill Clinton’s dalliance with Monica Lewinsky was not a scandal? Or do you consider that a crime? And if they are not synonymous, then my point stands. You’d consider it a “scandal” in terms of being politically damaging, but it’s not a crime, just a rightwing witch hunt that succeeded.

So how does your answer contradict my assertion then?

GrumpyOldFart on February 1, 2016 at 7:52 PM

“Do you bite your thumb at me sir?!”
“No… But I do bite my thumb.”

And remember that leading up to that, Sampson first tries to answer in a technically accurate but incomplete manner, and when pressed, asks Gregory aside if the law’s on his side if he says yes.

So the scene is even more appropriate in its full context.

The Schaef on February 1, 2016 at 8:16 PM

Well in the first place the ‘liberal echo chamber’ doesn’t exist. It is the conservative retreat from the MSM (and other neutral sources) that has resulted in a conservative echo chamber. Second off MSM and liberal news sources don’t have the horrible history the right does of lying. Finally, yes, anonymous sources on the left should be treated with some skepticism, just not the total skepticism of those on the right.

Tlaloc on February 1, 2016 at 2:09 PM

That’s one of the finest examples of circular reasoning I’ve ever had the misfortune to read.

Dreadnought on February 2, 2016 at 12:47 AM

Is Bania still here, or did he go to the Hillario! Victory Party in Iowa?

Del Dolemonte on February 2, 2016 at 1:50 AM

Frankly, if you got an indictment I’d freely admit the story had become an actual scandal. My parents said the very same thing about Richard Nixon in 1974, long before I surprised them with my unplanned arrival!

Kenny Bania on February 1, 2016 at 2:50 PM

Richard Nixon was never indicted either. So according to your “logic”, he was never guilty either.

TRICKY DICKY-

Del Dolemonte on February 2, 2016 at 10:47 AM

Tlaloc on February 1, 2016 at 2:09 PM

That’s one of the finest examples of circular reasoning I’ve ever had the misfortune to read.

Dreadnought on February 2, 2016 at 12:47 AM

More like “circular firing squad”

Del Dolemonte on February 2, 2016 at 10:48 AM

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