Sunday, October 23, 2016
Photo: Frances Presley Rice, Lieutenant Colonel (USA Retired)
“My American Journey” is the story about my rise from abject poverty 72 years ago to what I have become today due to opportunities available only in America, the greatest nation on earth.
FBI Prosecuted General Cartwright for Mishandling Classified information And Hillary Clinton Should Be Prosecuted
For mishandling ‘top secret’ information and lying about it, she should be prosecuted.
By Andrew C. McCarthy — October 22, 2016
So now Hillary finally knows what the “(C)” stands for in government documents: It’s Cartwright . . . as in four-star Marine General James E. Cartwright, the retired 67-year-old former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the expendable federal official against whom laws protecting classified information actually get enforced.
(C), see? Oh wait — sorry. I don’t mean to confuse Mrs. Clinton by starting this second paragraph with “(C)”. After all, as she diva-’splained to the FBI, she could only “speculate” that “(C)” must have something to do with organizing paragraphs “in alphabetical order.” Speculation was necessary, she said, apparently with a straight face, because she didn’t really know what “(C)” meant.
The question arose because the “(C)” designation — applicable to classified information at the confidential level — turned up in at least one of Clinton’s personal e-mails. Those would be the e-mails that, she repeatedly insisted, never, ever contained classified information. Or at least, that’s what she insisted until government agencies confessed that hundreds of the e-mails do contain classified information. Then Clinton’s “never, ever” tale morphed into the more narrowly tailored lie that there were no e-mails “marked classified.” Alas, that claim could not withstand examination of the e-mails, during which the “(C)” markings were found . . . whereupon the explanation underwent more, shall we say, refining. Thus the final, astonishing claim that she didn’t know what the markings meant, along with the laugh-out-loud whopper that maybe it was all about alphabetical order.
Yeah, that’s the ticket!
In case you’re keeping score: When a person being prosecuted for a crime changes her story multiple times, as if she were playing Twister (kids, ask your parents), the prosecutor gets to prove each of the evolving lies at the trial. As you’d imagine, juries grasp that the truth doesn’t need an editor. That’s why people whose explanations can’t keep up with the evidence are pretty much a lock to get convicted.
But that’s when it’s “(C)” as in Cartwright, not Clinton.
General Cartwright pled guilty this week to making false statements to FBI agents who were investigating his mishandling of classified information. The general admits to falsely concealing his communications with two journalists. They involved “Stuxnet,” a covert American–Israeli operation to infect the computer systems that controlled Iran’s main nuclear-enrichment facility. The information was top secret, regarding a crucial program. Its exposure caused diplomatic problems and threatens our spy agencies’ relationships with foreign intelligence services, which are based on the ability to keep secrets secret.
Still, compared with Clinton, Cartwright is a piker. As the Washington Post’s Josh Rogin reports, Cartwright appears to have been a “confirming” source. That is, reporters from the New York Times and of Newsweek already had the Stuxnet intelligence (from some other leaker whom the administration has not prosecuted). Cartwright merely acknowledged the information’s accuracy — and, he says, only after it had appeared in published news reports. His claimed purpose was to prevent additional intelligence from being published to the detriment of our national security. This does not excuse his conduct, but it may go a long way toward explaining why the Justice Department charged only a felony false-statement count, not a classified-information offense.
Clinton, by contrast, willfully set up a homebrew e-mail system. Given that the secretary of state’s duties preponderantly involve intelligence matters, this made it inevitable that classified information would unlawfully be transmitted and stored on non-secure servers (i.e., outside the multi-layered protection of the government’s classified communications system). Thus did the FBI find, for example, that of the 110 e-mails on Clinton’s non-secure system that were — contrary to her claims — classified at the time she sent or received them, eight involved top-secret information.
What does “top secret” mean? Under the executive order signed in 1995 by Mrs. Clinton’s husband, President Bill Clinton, it is information the mishandling of which “could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security.” With such an enormous level of threat, extraordinary restrictions on access are imposed to limit the possibility of exposure. That’s why the government generally comes down like a ton of bricks on offenders, or at least offenders not named Clinton.
Even these extraordinary measures, however, are deemed insufficient when the information is designated as “SAP” (“special access program”) — as seven of Mrs. Clinton’s were. Because mishandling top-secret SAP programs could expose either intelligence-gathering efforts that are critical to protecting American lives or intelligence sources who gravely imperil themselves in order to acquire life-saving intelligence for the United States, access to such information is on an even more extremely limited “need to know” basis. Yet, Clinton made them vulnerable to everyone.
Fully 36 of Clinton’s e-mails fell into the “secret”-information category. That designation applies when information “could be expected to cause serious damage to national security” if transmitted or stored in an unauthorized manner. “Serious” is not as weighty as “exceptionally grave,” but it is, well, serious. That’s why people usually get prosecuted for compromising it.
Unlike Cartwright, Clinton did not just communicate with a couple of reporters who already knew the information in question. She made previously concealed intelligence massively vulnerable to capture by foreign intelligence agencies and hackers. On this point, the FBI’s rationalization that it found no evidence of capture is meaningless. As the FBI director conceded, competent cyber-thieves do not leave traces of their intrusions.
That brings us back to “(C),” the designation that applied to at least seven of Clinton’s e-mails at the time she sent or received them, and that now covers thousands more because government intelligence agencies adjudged them too sensitive to disclose publicly. Again, “(C)” does not really stand for “Cartwright” or indicate alphabetical ordering. It is, instead, the designation for “confidential” information that, if mishandled, could “cause damage to the national security.” This means its mishandling is a significant offense, even if the damage is not likely to be “exceptionally grave” or “serious.” That’s why its compromise often results in prosecution, or at least severe sanctions such as termination of employment or loss of security clearance.
In light of General Cartwright’s prosecution for lying about his mishandling of classified information, it is worth revisiting Mrs. Clinton’s representation to the FBI that she did not know what “(C)” meant.
For four years, Clinton was secretary of state, a job in which classified information is stock-in-trade. On starting her tenure, Clinton signed a document acknowledging that she had “received a security indoctrination concerning the nature and protection of classified information.” In the last paragraph, right over her signature, Clinton acknowledges that she has been provided with the aforementioned executive order signed by her husband in 1995 — the one that explains, in painstaking detail, what classified information at the confidential level is.
Naturally, when later asked about it by the FBI, Clinton denied any recollection of this security indoctrination. Yet in her memoir, Hard Choices, Clinton vividly recounts receiving thorough training to guard against the omnipresent danger of espionage. Indeed, she recalled that, when she traveled, she and her staff would leave “BlackBerrys, laptops — anything that communicated with the outside world — on the plane, with their batteries removed to prevent foreign services from compromising them.” Further, based on the training she’d gotten, she took to reading intelligence information
inside an opaque tent in a hotel room. In less well-equipped settings we were told to improvise by reading sensitive material with a blanket over our head.
These mountains of documents she scrutinized involved such matters as the Snowden leaks, the NSA program, the Libyan civil war, Mubarak’s fall and the Muslim Brotherhood’s rise, the Saudi role in 9/11, the Iraqi nuclear and missile programs, the Benghazi siege, the arming of “rebels” in Libya and Syria, the deterioration of Libya, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and on, and on. And that’s not the half of it. Before heading the State Department, she spent eight years in the U.S. Senate, most of that time as a member of the Armed Services Committee. It was wartime, and the major national controversies centered on classified information. She therefore had to pore over intelligence that, for example, supported the Iraq invasion, was derived from interrogations, measured the success of the “surge,” and so forth.
If there is one thing Clinton has emphasized in her presidential campaign, it is her “readiness.” Whether she was on Capitol Hill or at Foggy Bottom, she wants you to know, she was never the phone-it-in type. She did all her homework, and then some.
Well, in those classified documents she studied lo those dozen years, the “(C)” designation is ubiquitous. It often appears numerous times in a single document — even on a single page. Yet, despite spending a decade-plus as a daily, top-level consumer of classified information, Clinton looked a room full of FBI agents and federal prosecutors in the eye and told them she didn’t know what the “(C)” designation meant.
Mrs. Clinton has told many preposterous lies, but that has to be the most outrageous of the lot.
Unlike Clinton, Cartwright was not a deft political climber. He maneuvered himself into President Obama’s good graces by siding with the White House on military planning for Afghanistan, in the process double-crossing his former patrons, including former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. As these things tend to go in Gomorrah-by-the-Potomac, Cartwright’s detractors engineered a smear campaign against him — rumors of an alleged affair — that led Obama to renege on a promise to elevate him to Joint Chiefs chairman. So by the time he got jammed up on the Stuxnet leak, he was alone, without allies to bail him out.
When you’re expendable, it’s amazing how zealous law enforcement can be. Remember Clinton’s case, in which the Justice Department refused to open a grand-jury investigation or issue subpoenas to compel production of evidence? Remember how Justice gave immunity to any Clinton ally who wandered near jeopardy? With that in mind, get a load of the self-congratulatory press release Justice issued after Cartwright pled guilty:
We conducted a thorough and independent investigation included collecting tens of thousands of documents through subpoenas, search warrants and document requests, and interviewing scores of current and former government employees.
As these columns have observed, the Justice Department and FBI conduct themselves very differently when they are trying to make a case rather than not make a case.
“No, no, no,” they counter, “we treat everyone equally.” In fact, the FBI makes a cameo appearance in the Cartwright press release to state a solemn vow (my italics):
The FBI will continue to take all necessary and appropriate steps to thoroughly investigate individuals, no matter their position, who undermine the integrity of our justice system by lying to federal investigators.
Really? No tolerance for lying? Well then:
Hillary Clinton said she did not know what “(C)” meant.
Hillary Clinton told the FBI she could not recall any training regarding how classified information was to be handled, and yet she wrote extensively about it in her memoir, and — as a condition of getting access to such information — she signed a government declaration attesting that she had gotten precisely such training.
And speaking, as the FBI did, of “the integrity of our justice system”: Hillary Clinton swore in an affidavit, filed in federal Freedom of Information Act litigation, that she had directed that “all my e-mails . . . that were or potentially were federal records” — meaning: anything related to State Department business — “be provided to the Department of State, and on information and belief, this has been done.” This affidavit was filed in August 2015: seven months after her homebrew server system became a public controversy — seven months to review the facts before making these sworn representations to a federal court. Contrary to what she stated, the FBI found that thousands of Clinton’s work related e-mails were not provided to the State Department, and at least three of these withheld e-mails contained classified information.
Moreover, in sworn testimony before the House Benghazi Committee, Clinton not only repeated the false claim that she had provided the State Department with “all of my work-related emails.” She further represented to the Committee that, in segregating what was work-related from what was purportedly private, her lawyers “went through every single email.” Plainly, this is not true.
This week, after General Cartwright’s guilty plea, the Justice Department and the FBI thumped their chests and told us that if any government official, no matter how powerful, mishandles classified information and then lies about it, that official will be prosecuted — at least for the false statements.
Well . . . how about it?
— Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior policy fellow at the National Review Institute and a contributing editor of National Review.
Saturday, October 22, 2016
By Mark Tapscott
In Friday’s court-ordered release of Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails, an exchange between her and Huma Abedin further undercuts her claim that she opted to use a private server for “convenience.”
According to the 2010 email, which appears to have been withheld despite clearly being work-related, Abedin wrote to inform Clinton that her emails were going to spam and that she should begin using an official state.gov address to fix the problem.
See the email and comment from the RNC below:
“Once again, Hillary Clinton’s claim that she set up her illicit private server for ‘convenience’ has been shown to be a complete lie.
Given that more than half of Clinton’s non-governmental meetings were with Clinton Foundation donors, it’s clear the server was always about covering up pay-to-play corruption at her State Department.” – RNC spokesman Michael Short
In 2010, Clinton State Department Aide Huma Abedin Said To Clinton “We Should Talk About Putting You On State Email Or Releasing Your Email Address To The [State] Department” Because Her Emails Were Going To Recipients Spam Folders.”
Here’s the text of the email and further below is the image of that email:
“We should talk about putting you on state email or releasing your email address to the department so you are not going to spam. Its (sic) not the phone message system, its (sic) the device delay.” (Huma Abedin, Email To Hillary Clinton, State Department FOIA, 11/13/10)
MORE CLINTON CORRUPTION REVELATIONS:
Career FOIA and Department of Justice officials are casting doubt on Patrick Kennedy’s dubious explanation for why he appeared in an FBI report negotiating a “quid pro quo” deal with an agent trying to change the classification of a Hillary Clinton email.
Foreign Policy Magazine reports:
Kennedy said on Tuesday that “I wanted to better understand a proposal the FBI had made to upgrade one of former Secretary Clinton’s emails prior to its public release.”
But he also flatly denied that the issue of FBI Iraq slots and the classification issue were raised in the same breath.
But on Tuesday, the unnamed FBI official revealed himself as Brian McCauley in interviews to the Washington Post and Politico.
The now-retired agent, who served as the FBI’s deputy assistant director for international operations, said for weeks he had been trying to get the State Department to sign off on his request to send two FBI employees to Baghdad.
In May 2015, Kennedy finally called back. Former Justice officials and FOIA experts questioned why Kennedy would reach out to McCauley, of all people, to “better understand” the bureau’s views on the specific classification decision.
“There is no way that Mr. Kennedy contacted the Deputy Assistant Director of International Operations to understand a proposed FBI classification decision, which would be made by an entirely different component of the FBI,” said Kel McClanahan, the executive director of National Security Counselors, an organization that specializes in litigation and FOIA requests to acquire government documents related to national security.
“The only reason Mr. Kennedy, who would be very familiar with this office and its area of expertise, would contact Mr. McCauley, would be to discuss international operations, in this case, the placement of FBI agents in Baghdad.” Bradley Moss, a Washington lawyer specializing in national security and disclosure law, added that the “explanation just doesn’t make sense.”
ICYMI: Yesterday, the RNC called on the State Department Inspector General to launch an investigation into the quid pro quo allegations.
The Republican National Committee is calling for an investigation into allegations that a State Department official pressed an FBI official to downgrade a classified email designation. In exchange, a "quid pro quo" was discussed. The RNC filed a letter to the State Department’s inspector general on Tuesday, demanding an investigation into an allegation made public Monday, when the FBI released 100 pages of documents related to its investigations into Hillary Clinton’s private email server while she was secretary of state. According to the FBI’s notes, an unnamed official in the bureau’s records management division alleged that Patrick Kennedy, undersecretary of state for management, pushed to have a classified email downgraded to unclassified it appeared in exchange for State allowing the FBI to place agents in more countries.
New emails are casting doubt on Hillary Clinton’s sworn testimony that she did not discuss her private server with her IT staffer Bryan Pagliano.
The Washington Examiner reports:
Emails recovered from Hillary Clinton's server by the FBI and made public Wednesday cast doubt on the former secretary of state's own testimony about her email use.
Responding to a set of questions under oath last week, Clinton said through her lawyer that she did not recall discussing her server with Bryan Pagliano, the IT aide whose immunity deal was the first to emerge publicly from the year-long FBI probe.
"Secretary Clinton states that she does not recall having communications with Bryan Pagliano concerning or relating to the management, preservation, deletion, or destruction of any emails in her clintonemail.com email account," Clinton testified through her lawyer, David Kendall, after raising objections to the question.
But emails provided to conservative-leaning Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act show Clinton included Pagliano in discussions about her Blackberry, iPad and server when her network experienced problems in 2012.
The Clinton campaign “plotted to raise a bundle of campaign cash but then use the government to attack opponents for trying to do the same thing.”
The Wall Street Journal editorializes:
The WikiLeaks email dumps are giving voters some insights into the realities of hardball politics.
It isn’t pretty.
Take the recent disclosures that show how the Clinton campaign plotted to raise a bundle of campaign cash but then use the government to attack opponents for trying to do the same thing.
The Clinton brain trust plotted to raise as much money as possible under current campaign laws, which they certainly have.
As everyone has reported, no candidate in history has raised more big money from more rich donors than Mrs. Clinton has.
But having cashed in themselves, the Clinton campaign then plotted to use the government’s campaign-finance enforcement machinery to harass their opponents for raising money.
And sure enough, the political left has ginned up a media campaign to change the FEC, and the Justice Department announced intensified scrutiny of campaign fundraising.
We criticized both moves, and we hope that has helped deter some nasty partisan abuse.
One of the many reasons we oppose limits on campaign donations is that politicians inevitably use them to punish their opponents.
The Clinton campaign emails show this calculation in especially cynical form.
Complied by the RNC.
Friday, October 21, 2016
Fox News reports:
Just hours after Hillary Clinton dodged a question at the final presidential debate about charges of "pay to play" at the Clinton Foundation, a new batch of WikiLeaks emails surfaced with stunning charges that the candidate herself was at the center of negotiating a $12 million commitment from King Mohammed VI of Morocco.
One of the more remarkable parts of the charge is that the allegation came from Clinton's loyal aide, Huma Abedin, who described the connection in a January 2015 email exchange with two top advisers to the candidate, John Podesta and Robby Mook.
Abedin wrote that "this was HRC's idea" for her to speak at a meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative in Morocco in May 2015 as an explicit condition for the $12 million commitment from the king. "She created this mess and she knows it," Abedin wrote to Podesta and Mook.
A top Clinton Foundation official said he could name “500 different examples” of conflicts of interest.
Bloomberg News reports:
A top official at the Clinton Foundation said he could name “500 different examples” of conflicts of interest, including some involving former President Bill Clinton, according to more of the e-mails purportedly hacked from the account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman.
The official, Doug Band, allegedly wrote on Nov. 17, 2011, that he had been required to sign a conflict-of-interest statement as a board member of the foundation’s Clinton Global Initiative, but that the former president “oddly” didn’t have to sign one “even though he is personally paid by 3 cgi sponsors, gets many expensive gifts from them, some that are at home etc”.
Liberals are “taking offense” at the Clinton campaign’s swipes at them in newly released emails.
Some of the left's most influential voices and groups are taking offense at the way they and their causes were discussed behind their backs by Clinton and some of her closest advisers in the emails, which swipe liberal heroes and causes as "puritanical," "pompous", "naive", "radical" and "dumb," calling some "freaks," who need to "get a life."
Goodwill for Clinton, as well as confidence in key advisers featured in the emails including John Podesta, Neera Tanden and Jake Sullivan, is eroding as WikiLeaks continues to release a daily stream of thousands of emails hacked from Podesta's Gmail account that is expected to continue until Election Day.
Hillary Clinton may have revealed classified information on U.S. nuclear strike capabilities during Wednesday night’s debate.
The Twitterverse was aflame in the hours after Wednesday night's debate with questions about whether or not Hillary Clinton divulged classified information about the country's nuclear arsenal.
"There's about four minutes between the order being given and the people responsible for launching nuclear weapons to do so," Clinton said, explaining the quick decision-making required of a commander in chief and questioning Donald Trump's fitness for the job.
But questions soon began to emerge about whether Clinton was too specific in her description of nuclear launch times and had perhaps revealed something she learned in a classified setting.
Complied by the RNC.
Thursday, October 20, 2016
Bill Clinton's fundraising activities at the Clinton Foundation raise serious questions -- questions that only a special prosecutor can answer. (AP)
Average people have a far less benign view of what's gone on at the Clinton Foundation. And it looms as a major problem for Clinton as she pursues the presidency.
In our latest IBD/TIPP Poll, taken the week of Aug. 26 to Sept. 1, shows that Americans are increasingly wary of the Clinton Foundation's questionable practices, which IBD has written about extensively. The poll of 934 adults has a margin of error of +/- 3.3 percentage points.
The ups and downs of the Clinton Foundation, it turns out, are of big interest to average Americans. Some 72% in the IBD/TIPP Poll said they are following it.
Perhaps more significantly, of the 72% who are following it, three-fourths — or 77% -- believe that donors to the Clinton Foundation received special access and favors from the State Department while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.
And there is, surprisingly, bipartisan agreement on this: Some 55% of Democrats agree that the Clintons used public office to dispense favors to their foundation's friends.
Yet, those investigating both the Clinton email scandal and the related questions about the Clinton Foundation have been met with hostility by Clinton partisans.
FBI Director James Comey, who all but indicted Hillary with his words when he announced he would not prosecute her, this week even had to defend his decision to release more documents from his investigation.
For the record, his investigation — and subsequent testimony to Congress — found that Hillary lied repeatedly about her home-brew email server and about sending and receiving classified information on it. All of these are crimes.
But even bigger questions are now being raised about the cozy ties between the Clinton Foundation and Hillary's State Department. Though she promised an arms-length relationship to the foundation when she was first named secretary of state, at least 181 Clinton Foundation donors — companies, individuals, even countries — lobbied the State Department during her years there.
Indeed, more than half the non-government people who met with Hillary — 85 of 154 — while she was in office gave money to the Clinton Foundation. Those donors, together, gave as much as $156 million to the Clinton Foundation, according to an Associated Press analysis.
It strongly suggests a quid-pro-quo relationship, given that the State Department can act as a favor-giver and gatekeeper for business deals and other lucrative arrangements around the world.
It reeks of a corrupt pay-to-play system based on a major conflict of interest, in which Hillary Clinton was ideally positioned to grant government favors to those who had already enriched her, her husband Bill and her daughter, Chelsea, by giving boatloads of money to the eponymous family foundation.
Charles Ortel, a highly regarded Wall Street financial expert, took a look at the Clinton Foundation's books over the last year or so and this week published his partial conclusion: "To informed analysts, the Clinton Foundation appears to be a rogue charity that has neither been organized nor operated lawfully from inception in October 1997 to date ... it is a case study in international charity fraud, of mammoth proportions."
Based on what appears to be repeated violations of the law and a shocking disregard for the minimal ethics requirements of government officials, it's time for a special prosecutor of Hillary Clinton to look into both the family foundation and the emails.
Our polling shows Americans would definitely support such a move, either before or after the election.
According to IBD/TIPP, nearly two-thirds (63%) think a special prosecutor should be appointed. And 88% of Republicans and 68% of Independents want a special prosecutor to look into the possible misconduct. The sentiment that something wrong has taken place is overwhelming.
To save the nation from another failed presidency, it's time to put this issue to rest by naming a special prosecutor.
By Victor Smith
The analysis of the debate that Trump won comes from Frank I. Luntz, an American political consultant, pollster, and “public opinion guru” best known for his focus groups during the past few debates.
Overview: It is clear Donald Trump came out on top. When Hillary Clinton was questioned about the Clinton Foundation money laundering she ignored it. Usually that’s a sign of someone lying and trying to avoid the subject. Donald Trump’s strong points were trade and fixing a corrupt system.
Focus Group Reactions:
Hillary Clinton Supporters Like Donald Trump’s Stance On The Economy
When Donald Trump spoke about Hillary Clinton’s failures, even her own supporters sided with Donald Trump.
Hillary Clinton’s answer on the Clinton Foundation was a failure.
Voters liked when Donald Trump held the State Department Accountable.
Voters Liked Donald Trump’s Response to NAFTA and TPP.
When Hillary Clinton started blaming Russia, the voters didn’t like it.