Former NSA analyst John Schindler argues at the Observer that Hillary Clinton’s latest email dump might have contained an even bigger bombshell than the message where she ordered aides to turn a sensitive faxed document into “nonpaper with no identifying heading and send nonsecure.”
Another message in the new dump has Clinton henchman Sid Blumenthal exposing what looks suspiciously like a top-level briefing on Sudan from the NSA or another government intelligence agency.
Blumenthal was not supposed to be involved in the State Department at all, according to strict instructions from the White House. Hillary Clinton has attempted to downplay the depth of his involvement in her affairs as Secretary of State, portraying him as an old friend who occasionally sent her unsolicited information she largely ignored.
In truth, as the latest document dump from the State Department affirms, Blumenthal was in regular contact with Clinton, sending her a constant stream of extensive information. Many of the reports he forwarded to Clinton were prepared by a former CIA official named Tyler Drumheller, who Schindler wryly notes, “conveniently died just before EmailGate became a serious problem for Hillary’s campaign.”
The June 2011 email Schindler highlights was described as “confidential” by Blumenthal, although the State Department considered Blumenthal’s message “unclassified.” Blumenthal sent Clinton a report about a secret plan by the Sudanese government to work with a few cooperative rebel leaders to secure control of contested oil fields.
Schindler quotes from this Blumenthal missive and discusses its contents at length in his article. The bottom line is that it appears to be highly sensitive intelligence that only a top-shelf intelligence operation could have ferreted out of the Sudanese, using the kind of “gold-plated” sources that Blumenthal’s little consulting operation didn’t usually have access to.
“It beggars the imagination to think that Sid’s private intelligence operation, which was just a handful of people, had operators who were well placed in Sudan, with top-level spy access, able to get this secret information, place it in a decently written assessment with proper espionage verbiage, and pass it all back to Washington, DC, inside 24 hours,” Schindler writes. “That would be a feat even for the CIA, which has stations and officers all over Africa.”
He also finds it suspicious that this particular Blumenthal report does not resemble the CIA house style normally employed by Blumenthal’s primary source, ex-CIA official Drumheller. Instead, it looks quite a bit like the sort of report Schindler used to write for the NSA.
And if that is the case, Blumenthal’s email to Clinton, passed through her unsecure private server, might have exposed material the NSA would have considered classified, possibly even Top Secret.
Schindler describes his old colleagues at the NSA as “aflutter” over this latest Clinton revelation, with one official expressing “at least 90 percent confidence” Blumenthal’s material was derived from NSA reports, which he should not have had any access to, let alone be able to pull hot off the griddle and serve up to Clinton within 24 hours.
It is also scandalous that the State Department did not understand the sensitive nature of the material Blumenthal sent to Clinton and classify his email accordingly.
Schindler notes the Sudanese are upset that such sensitive information about a high-level conspiracy within their own government was exposed by someone who was not supposed to be working for the Secretary of State, in an email sent through her unsecure home-brew email server, with no classification protection at all. It is a big story over at the Sudan Tribune, which published a detailed account of the plot exposed by Blumenthal’s email on Saturday.
If Schindler’s take on the Blumenthal report checks out, this is orders of magnitude worse than offenses that brought censure, and even jail time, for lesser government officials. It borders on espionage. Are Hillary Clinton and her minions really immune to every law on the books?