From Reuters comes another twist in the Hillary Clinton email scandal, as intelligence agencies point out that some of her emails contained text that very closely matched America’s most highly-classified documents:
The agencies did not find any top secret documents that passed through Clinton’s server in their full version, the sources from Congress and the government’s executive branch said.
However, the agency reports found some emails included passages that closely tracked or mirrored communications marked “top secret,” according to the sources, who all requested anonymity. In some cases, additional classification markings meant access was supposed to be limited to small groups of specially cleared officials.
Under the law and government rules, U.S. officials and contractors may not transmit any classified information – not only documents – outside secure, government-controlled channels. Such information should not be sent even through the government’s .gov email network.
According to Reuters’ sources this is based on two reports submitted to Congress by the intelligence community’s Inspector General – one from the CIA, and the other from the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency. Neither agency was willing to comment on the record.
This is not entirely new – we’ve known for a while about Clinton’s helpful little cut-and-paste house elves, who violated the “air gap” between secure systems and Clinton’s illicit mail server by copying information from classified documents and pasting it into her emails, with the security headings conveniently removed.
These new reports from the intelligence community represent what Reuters describes as “the first formal declarations by U.S. spy agencies detailing how they believe Clinton violated government rules when highly classified information in at least 22 email messages passed through her unsecured home server.”
Reuters’ sources said some of the top-secret material pertained to CIA drone strikes against Islamists in the Middle East and South Asia, which the news agency notes has been the subject of public media reports. That’s completely irrelevant – nothing about the laws Hillary Clinton trampled upon allows government employees to disregard classification because they believe the information is already available to the public.
This brings us back to the core argument that Clinton, as Secretary of State, did not have the authority to unilaterally declassify documents for her own convenience. In this respect, no matter what the emails contained, the Clinton scandal is an existential threat to American national security. If she gets away with it, others will follow suit, and the discipline necessary to maintain a secure intelligence system will dissolve.
Also, intelligence experts have noted that even if a particular bit of classified info has been reported on by the media, it still jeopardizes America’s security interests to have high-ranking officials confirm those reports, and perhaps offer insights that were not provided by media sources. There’s no doubt hostile foreign spies would find Clinton’s correspondence useful after raiding her server.
At any rate, there’s more than just semi-public info on drone strikes against jihadis at stake here.
“One source said the reports identified some information in messages on Clinton’s server that came from human sources, such as confidential CIA informants, and some from technical systems, such as spy satellites or electronic eavesdropping,” Reuters writes.
That’s all very valuable information for foreign agents, and it could easily have put the lives of human intel sources at risk. Indeed, it’s highly likely that at least one of the CIA assets discussed in a super-sensitive Clinton email is dead.
“It was unclear what the congressional committees that received the classified reports, the House and Senate intelligence and foreign relations panels, will do with them,” Reuters concludes. “The contents cannot be discussed publicly. The committees requested intelligence reports in connection with their efforts to ensure that government secrets are appropriately protected.”
Clinton, on the verge of wrapping up her sham primary against Bernie Sanders, has been counting on the very security protocols she violated to keep the details of her emails secret, dragging out the revelations until she can win the Presidency and become eternally untouchable. It’s crystal clear that our vital secrets were not “appropriately protected.” The question is what everyone – from the Justice Department and Congress, to the American people – is prepared to do about it.