I posted earlier today on the interview CNN’s Brianna Keilar had with the doughy little Clinton spokes-toad on the subject of Hillary Clinton’s serial flouting of federal laws and regulations covering the handling of classified information. One of the key statements
BBIANNA KEILAR: But some were classified at the time…
KRISTINA SCHAKE: She disagrees with that. And so were the professionals who were emailing her that information. She received emails from more than three hundred experts at the State Department and other agencies who understand the classified system and they disagree. So that’s a disagreement about that. But again she has said this was a mistake and she’s taking responsibility for it.
Funny she should say that. The very left Vice News reports on the answer they have received to a FOIA request concerning Hillary Clinton’s emails:
Two secret letters the FBI sent to the State Department have revealed for the first time that the bureau’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server, and the classified emails sent through it, stemmed from a so-called “Section 811” referral from the Intelligence Community’s Inspector General (ICIG). The ICIG determined that classified, national security information in Clinton’s emails may have been “compromised” and shared with “a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power.”
The two letters, dated October 23, 2015 and January 20, 2016, and marked “For Official Use Only,” were written by Peter Strzok and Charles H. Kable IV, the section chiefs of the FBI’s counterespionage section, and sent to Gregory B. Starr, the assistant secretary at the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security. They were written while the FBI was investigating Clinton’s use of an unsecure, private email server and the dissemination of classified information.
“The potential compromise was identified when, as part of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request [by VICE News], the U.S. Department of State (DoS) and the ICIG reviewed electronic mail (email) communications from the private email accounts previously used by a former Secretary of State during her tenure at DoS,” Kable wrote. “An initial review of this material identified emails containing national security information later determined by the US Intelligence Community to be classified up to the Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information Level.”
Nothing new there. The only thing keeping any foreign intelligence service from using her private server as a virtual flea market of classified United States information was sheer lack of ambition. And, as FBI Director James Comey said, if the server was penetrated by a foreign intelligence service it would no be unusual to find no trace of that penetration. As the old saying goes, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
Then there is this stunner:
Kable had asked Starr to review a DVD the FBI sent containing the emails and to conduct a classification review of the communications. He requested that State “de-conflict” its response with any other classification review requests the State Department received from other government agencies.
“What [the de-confliction request] means is that FBI anticipates that different classification judgments may have been rendered concerning some of the individual [emails] under review,” Aftergood said. “That’s an extremely important point in this whole saga, in which there are conflicting official opinions about the classification status of various emails.”
Last month, the FBI turned over to VICE News documents revealing that Clinton exchanged nearly two-dozen top secret emails from her private server in 2011 and 2012 with her deputy chief of staff, Jacob Sullivan, her chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, and Deputy Secretary of State William Burns. The State Department said the contents of the 22 emails were so highly classified that not even the subject matter could be disclosed.
The core of Hillary Clinton’s defense runs in three threads. First, and easiest to dismiss, is that the classified information was not marked as such. This claim is not even true but, even were that the case, Clinton knew, or should have known, that conversations between US ambassadors and heads of state are classified. That the names of CIA operatives are classified. Et cetera, et cetera. The second thread is that the secret information she scattered about the internet was not secret at the time. It is true some of the emails were deemed classified retroactively. But even if we are in a charitable mood and give her those we are still talking about at least 110 emails containing classified information. What makes this worse is that we don’t know who the recipients of these “unmarked” emails forwarded them to. And we don’t know what was in the 30,000-plus emails that Hillary’s minions decided to delete because they allegedly were “private.” The third thread is that this is all a huge misunderstanding. Sure, she says, some agencies are considering the information to be classified but I relied on the advice of State Department professionals and they said it wasn’t. Essentially:
What they are referring to is listing the subject of the email on what is called a Vaughan Index where agencies have to declare documents they have that are responsive to a FOIA request but are being totally withheld.
This new data point destroys the last two Clinton defenses in detail. Some of the information was definitely classified when it was sent. And, according to “State Department experts” at least 22 emails contained information so classified that even the subject of the emails could not be revealed.
Of course, this doesn’t matter in and of itself. The FBI has moved onto looking for white nationalist, sovereign citizens under their beds. The attorney general is of escorting transgendered men into girls locker rooms. And the GOP is saddled with a candidate who is at least as buffoonish and compromised by foreign intelligence services as Hillary Clinton.