I’d rather not be working on a Friday night, but I’ve been a bum all week with this cold as an excuse and this is just too hot not to have a post about it.
The State Department acknowledged for the first time Friday that “top secret” information has been found in emails that passed through the private email server Hillary Clinton used while leading the agency, elevating the issue in the presidential campaign three days before the hotly contested Iowa caucuses.
The information was contained in 22 emails, across seven email chains, that were sent or received by Clinton, according to a State Department spokesman. The emails will not be disclosed as part of an ongoing release of Clinton’s email correspondence from her years as secretary of state, even in highly redacted form.
Catherine Herridge at Fox News actually broke the story, and she was on Greta Van Susteren’s show earlier for a fascinating segment…
The most interesting part of Herridge’s report is the part in which she talks about the intelligence community’s attitude toward the information in question and how it relates to the White House’s treatment of it. She says the FBI is “super pissed-off” about Josh Earnest’s having said he doubted there would be an indictment, and one might imagine that’s precisely right.
When Earnest weighed in with that supposition today, it was a massive red flag. Consider first: what’s the Public Relations 101 answer to anything having to do with people you’re connected with being under investigation, or your people investigating someone? You already know this: “I don’t want to comment publicly on an ongoing investigation.” That’s what everybody says – you just don’t go there. Earnest went there, and when he went there he weighed in with the idea that over 100 FBI agents were essentially engaged in wasting their time.
This on a day that the State Department in the Obama White House said they couldn’t release 22 e-mails because they had such secret information in them that it’s too dangerous for the public to even see redacted copies.
What’s the conclusion from that? Well, you’d be relatively safe if you just assumed Josh Earnest knows precisely zero about what he’s saying. But another interpretation, and the one which Herridge’s FBI contacts doubtlessly came to, is that he knows plenty – and what he knows is that no matter what the FBI finds out over the course of this investigation his boss the president is not going to let Loretta Lynch empanel a grand jury to indict Hillary Clinton.
And the FBI, from all the reports you can find, is not enamored of the idea that 100 or more of their agents have been wasting time building a rock-hard case against Hillary Clinton in a serious violation of federal law that has a deleterious effect on national security.
To say nothing of what the intelligence community is going to think. After all, let’s not forget that these super-secret Special Access Programs generally involve information generated by spies in the field who could quite possibly be tortured to death if they got caught by the Russians or Chinese or Iranians or North Koreans or Cubans or God knows who they would be spying on in service to you and me.
How happy would they be to know that their assets or even friends could get killed because Hillary Clinton had to process their work product on a private, unsecured server so as to hide the bribes she was taking to make State Department policy on behalf of scumbags foreign and domestic?
Andrew McCarthy at National Review makes an outstanding case for why the decision to refuse release of those 22 e-mails is a big deal that should raise your eyebrows…
To get a sense of the level of sensitivity we are talking about here, recall that the State Department has already released, in redacted form, some 1340 Clinton emails containing classified information. With those, it was concluded that any risk could be eliminated by redacting the sensitive information (whether the substance of the intelligence or the methods and sources by which it was obtained). With the 22 at issue, by contrast, the intelligence is deemed to be of such magnitude that no part of the emails could be disclosed.
The reasoning behind that conclusion is alarming. It is not just that the intelligence community (IC) understandably wishes to keep top secret national-defense information under wraps. Because of how recklessly Clinton and her top aides handled classified information, the IC must operate under the assumption that there are copies of these 22 emails floating around – whether in the possession of current or former government officials but unaccounted for or, worse, in the possession of, say, foreign governments that managed to hack into Clinton’s unsecured private system. If the State Department were to release publicly even redacted copies of the emails, those who may have complete copies will be able to figure out the SAP information and use that knowledge both to compromise government sources and programs, and in analyzing other U.S. government information to which they’ve gained access.
In other words, it is potentially catastrophic.
Got that? They’re assuming, or at least taking into strong consideration, that Clinton’s e-mail server was wide open to hacking by foreign intelligence agencies. That is, if they don’t already know it’s happened.
And they’re assuming that those e-mails the State Department can’t release to the American public in redacted form are already in enemy hands.
Meanwhile the Democrats are acting like this is just a misunderstanding and that the classified material was only classified after the fact, so Hillary has nothing to worry about.
But this isn’t going away. This is a major, major thing.