State Department: Yeah, exposing top-secret info on unsecured e-mail chains is “a serious matter”
posted at 10:01 am on February 11, 2016 by Ed Morrissey
Well, that’s good to know. Almost a year after the revelation about Hillary Clinton’s unauthorized home-brew e-server and months of State Department blather about “overclassification” being the real issue, their spokesman finally admits that passing top-secret information through it is “a serious matter.” Better (seven years) late than never, I suppose (via Guy Benson):
The reporter pushing the spokesman into this statement is Fox News’ Catherine Herridge, who along with Pamela Browne has been garnering scoop after scoop on the e-mail scandal. Herridge manages to push the spokesman into tacitly confirming her reporting on how “at least a dozen e-mail accounts” had access to the unprotected top-secret information. Note that he raises no objections to Herridge’s question, not even after she repeats it with those details.
It’s enough for retired Defense Intelligence Agency chief Gen. Michael Flynn, who served in that role for President Barack Obama, to call for Hillary to withdraw from the presidential race:
Flynn and other high-ranking former intelligence officials told TheDCNF they are alarmed that some of the nation’s most highly classified documents contained in a secretive program called the Special Access Program (SAP) were transferred to Clinton’s unclassified home server.
The documents “had to be moved off electronically or removed out of the secure site physically, then it had to be put onto an unclassified email system,” Flynn said. “Someone who does this is completely irresponsible, but totally unaccountable and shows a streak of arrogance to the American public that is unworthy of anyone thinking they can run for President of the United States.”
“This is unbelievable,” Flynn said. “I don’t think anybody should be talking about her being potentially the next President of the United States.”
He’s not the only intelligence professional to make that case. The Daily Caller’s Richard Pollock quotes several intel veterans about the dangerous nature of these revelations:
Placement of SAP-classified information on a non-secure server was the “single, most dangerous security violation that can ever happen to the United States,” said Col. James Waurishuk, former deputy director of intelligence for the U.S. Central Command.
SAP material was “the most stringently compartmented and protected information in the entire U.S. government,” said Waurishuk, who worked on the White House National Security Council during former President George H.W. Bush’s tenure.
Special Forces Col. James Williamson (Ret.) told TheDCNF that SAP classified documents are “the most sensitive of sensitive information” and that normal classified storage facilities, called Special Compartmentalized Information Facilities (SCIF), cannot provide adequate protection for SAP information.
Until a week ago, the State Department had played along with Hillary’s defenders in claiming that the information exposed was of little consequence and the subject of inter-agency disputes — which, by the way, is no defense against exposure of other agencies’ classified data. The State Department decision to withhold these 29 e-mails, and their tacit admission of “serious” spillage of top-secret information, is a significant change in posture. That should have Hillary and especially her aides very, very worried.