Yesterday the Office of the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community (IC IG) sent a congressional notification to intelligence oversight committees updating them of the IC IG support to the State Department IG [attached].

The IC IG found four emails containing classified IC-derived information in a limited sample of 40 emails of the 30,000 emails provided by former Secretary Clinton. The four emails, which have not been released through the State FOIA process, did not contain classification markings and/or dissemination controls. These emails were not retroactively classified by the State Department; rather these emails contained classified information when they were generated and, according to IC classification officials, that information remains classified today. This classified information should never have been transmitted via an unclassified personal system.

IC IG made a referral detailing the potential compromise of classified information to security officials within the Executive Branch. The main purpose of the referral was to notify security officials that classified information may exist on at least one private server and thumb drive that are not in the government’s possession. An important distinction is that the IC IG did not make a criminal referral––it was a security referral made for counterintelligence purposes. The IC IG is statutorily required to refer potential compromises of national security information to the appropriate IC security officials.

***

It’s no longer a question of whether Hillary! Clinton will be the Democratic nominee for president in 2016; it’s only a question of when she will drop out of the race rather than face humiliation a second time.

Losing a state like Colorado by nine points to Scott Walker (who will be the GOP standard-bearer in 2016) would mean an electoral disaster for the Democrats is in the offing. If it’s not close in Colorado or Iowa, it means the Democrats would likely lose every swing state, including Walker’s own Wisconsin, and be confined to their electoral ghettos in New England and on the West Coast.

Crazy as it seemed only a couple of months ago, look for both Al Gore and John Kerry to start testing the waters by the fall. Now, Democrats are running around with their hair on fire.

***

Clinton maintains a higher absolute favorable rating from Americans than any of her official rivals for the 2016 Democratic nomination. In contrast to the relative prominence of numerous candidates on the Republican side, she remains the only Democratic candidate known well enough by a majority of Americans for them to rate her, which helps Clinton maintain a higher overall favorable score.

Sanders is still an unknown to a majority of Americans, with just 44% able to rate him compared with Clinton’s 89%. Total familiarity drops still further among the other three announced Democratic candidates: to 23% for former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley at 22% and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee at 17%. With slightly more Americans viewing each of these candidates unfavorably than favorably, their favorable scores reach no more than 11%.

***

As of Friday, Clinton’s attorney, David Kendall, was still negotiating terms for his client’s appearance, Ware said.

On the grounds of simple fairness and in order to make appropriate preparation possible, the scope of the questioning be consistent with the scope set forth in the resolution establishing the Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi,” Kendall wrote, according to a committee press release on Friday.

Clinton had long offered to testify in public, but the committee chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), had initially said he preferred a private interview. Although he said he was trying to keep the session from becoming a circus, Clinton’s team objected on the grounds that a closed session could allow Republicans to selectively leak unflattering details.

***

If you doubt that mishandling classified information is a crime, remember that Gen. David Petraeus — sentenced to serve two years on probation and to pay a $100,000 fine for “mishandling” classified information.

It’s important to note that the Times made a mess of its article we reported on yesterday, which originally stated the “inspectors general have asked the Justice Department to open an investigation into whether sensitive government information was mishandled in connection with the personal email account Hillary Rodham Clinton used as secretary of state.” As we reported, even by the time we wrote about it the Times had softened the article. Today there are even more heavily edited versions of the Times story which is now headlined, ‘Inquiry Sought in Hillary Clinton’s Use of Email.’ The Times now has published two separate “corrections”:

This correction in an article using criminal in the headline; ‘Criminal Inquiry Sought in Hillary Clinton’s Use of Email’

***

By now most people know the story of code breaker Alan Turing in WWII. Winston Churchill said he made the single largest contribution to winning the war. More than guns, ships, tank or aircraft, information is power. Information enables one to wield power with grace and subtlety. With the right information a less powerful military can prevail. Without information power is a blunt instrument, and one must overwhelm one’s opponent with massive amounts of it. With information only small force need be applied in critical areas to carry the day. That’s why there are secrets. The less our opponents and enemies know, the more powerful we are.

Clearly Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are blunt instruments. They let our enemies have information because they do not understand its value. Obama bluntly forces Obamacare on an unwilling nation – an exercise in raw power.

Problem is our national enemies know how to use information and the hubris that comes with the exercise of blunt raw power usually defines one of the critical areas where the effectiveness of smaller forces can be multiplied.

***

The New York Times modified its article about a potential criminal investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of her private email account in a “small but significant” way at the request of Clinton’s presidential campaign, according to Politico’s Dylan Byers.

TheBlaze previously noted that the New York Times inexplicably changed the lede of its story shortly after publication, and New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt said early Friday: “It was a response to complaints we received from the Clinton camp that we thought were reasonable, and we made them.”…

The change is small, but it removes the direct focus from Clinton by shifting the sentence into the passive tense.

In the original lede, it discusses a criminal investigation “into whether Hillary Rodham Clinton mishandled sensitive government information.”

In the revised version, it discusses a criminal investigation”into whether sensitive government information was mishandled in connection” with Clinton’s email account.

***

***

Hillary Clinton’s campaign team was surely reveling in the national media’s distracted focus on the messy Republican presidential primary late Thursday night when they got the news. Immediately, her campaign team sprang into action and began the familiar process of muddying the waters and misdirecting reporters with a magician’s mastery. The New York Times had revealed that two independent inspectors general requested that the Justice Department open a criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton for possibly jeopardizing national security by handling classified information on her personal “homebrew” email server. By morning, however, the Times story had been edited several times. Struck from the account was the contention that Clinton had “mishandled sensitive government information” and in its place was the claim that “information was mishandled” by… someone. The lead reporter on that story confessed that the alterations were made at the Clinton campaign’s “reasonable” request. The Associated Press dutifully followed the Times lead and noted that the IG’s referrals do not suggest wrongdoing by Clinton personally – merely her subordinates at the State Department.

Several hours later, the Justice Department indicated that the referrals they received were not criminal, leading to pushback from New York Times reporters who claimed that their sources were solid. Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for the Inspector General’s office is standing by the contention that classified information that was classified as such was sent to Clinton’s private email address. Something bizarre is happening.

All that is clear at the moment is that a classic bit of Clintonian obfuscation skillfully executed by Hillary’s rapid response shop and her campaign’s press secretary, Nick Merrill, is afoot. Reporters and commentators immediately began litigating the story as reported in the Times and not the revelation that Clinton’s email practices are now a criminal matter. The story isn’t the story; the reporters who exposed the story are the story. It’s only a matter of time before Republicans “pounce” and probably “overplay their hand.”

***