The Evidence Is In The Edits

Yesterday BizPacReview posted an article about a recent tweet by Sharyl Attkisson. The tweet shows the original language James Comey proposed to use about Clinton classified email and the edited version.

This is the information in the tweet:

The original sentence: “There is evidence to support a conclusion that Secretary Clinton, and others, used the private email server in a manner that was grossly negligent with respect to the handling of classified information.

The edited sentence: “Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate the laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in very sensitive, highly classified information.”

So what’s the difference?

 US Code Sec. 793 (f) says:

(f) Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer-

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

The article further comments on the difference made by the editing:

A social media user offered a stellar explanation of just what the altered sentence achieved.

“And ‘Intent’ was not part of the relevant law. Mishandling classified information for ANY reason was a violation, & a lack of intent should have had no effect on a decision to prosecute,” the tweet read. “Comey simply invented an reason not to act. Then he watered down even that bogus explanation.”

The question now becomes, do we actually have equal justice under the law?

The Fight For Honest News Continues

John Hinderaker at Power Line posted a story today about Sharyl Attkisson, the investigative reporter who resigned from CBS’s Washington Bureau in March of this year.

Ms. Attkisson tells her story in her book Stonewalled: My Fight For the Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.

In the book, Ms. Attkisson describes the hacking of her computer while she was at CBS:

Attkisson says the source, who’s “connected to government three-letter agencies,” told her the computer was hacked into by “a sophisticated entity that used commercial, nonattributable spyware that’s proprietary to a government agency: either the CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency or the National Security Agency.”

The breach was accomplished through an “otherwise innocuous e-mail” that Attkisson says she got in February 2012, then twice “redone” and “refreshed” through a satellite hookup and a Wi-Fi connection at a Ritz-Carlton hotel.

The spyware included programs that Attkisson says monitored her every keystroke and gave the snoops access to all her e-mails and the passwords to her financial accounts.

“The intruders discovered my Skype account handle, stole the password, activated the audio, and made heavy use of it, presumably as a listening tool,” she wrote in “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.”

But the most shocking finding, she says, was the discovery of three classified documents that Number One told her were “buried deep in your operating system. In a place that, unless you’re a some kind of computer whiz specialist, you wouldn’t even know exists.”

“They probably planted them to be able to accuse you of having classified documents if they ever needed to do that at some point,” Number One added.

It is scary that our government is involved in this sort of thing.

John Hinderaker comments on Ms. Attkisson’s story:

If the Obama administration hacked into a reporter’s computers, used them to spy on her, and even prepared to frame her for a potential criminal prosecution by planting classified documents, aren’t we looking at the biggest scandal in American history? Perhaps I’m forgetting something, but I can’t come up with anything to equal the stunning lawlessness on display here–if what Attkisson says is true (which I don’t doubt), and if the administration is the guilty party.

John Hinderaker suggests that she file a lawsuit against the offending agency. Ms. Attkisson’s story is another example of a government that is out of control.

Sharyl Attkisson Continues Her Work As A Good Reporter

I have previously posted articles about the work of Sharyl Attkisson, who left the Washington bureau of CBS News after realizing that they were not interested in actual investigative reporting on the Obama Administration. She is continuing her work as an independent reporter, using the tools often used by Judicial Watch to get information from a less-than-transparent Obama Administration.

The Daily Signal is reporting today that Sharyl Attkisson has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services to obtain information about the rollout of ObamaCare last year.

The article reports:

The former CBS News reporter and Emmy award-winning journalist won’t be going alone; the legal group Judicial Watch will represent her in court.

The lawsuit follows four unsuccessful Freedom of Information Act requests. In October 2013 and again in June of this year, Attkisson requested information from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) concerning the efficiency and security of the HealthCare.gov website.

All four requests went unanswered.

The government’s GSA website explains the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA):

The 1966 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) permits any person to request access to federal agency records or information. Federal agencies are required to disclose records upon receipt of a written request, except for records that are protected from disclosure by nine exemptions or three exclusions in the Act.

Another government website lists the exceptions:

1) classified national defense and foreign relations information,

(2) internal agency rules and practices,

(3) information that is prohibited from disclosure by another law,

(4) trade secrets and other confidential business information,

(5) inter-agency or intra-agency communications that are protected by legal privileges,

(6) information involving matters of personal privacy,

(7) certain information compiled for law enforcement purposes,

(8) information relating to the supervision of financial institutions, and

(9) geological information on wells.

The article in The Daily Signal reports:

Attkisson admits that her lawsuit can never produce these lost documents “out of thin air,” but she said a court might help “get to the bottom of what occurred.”

Unfazed and optimistic, Attkisson wrote on her website that “It doesn’t hurt to try.”

We need more Sharyl Attkissons!

This Lady Has More Courage Than All Of Congress

Sharyl Attkisson has set up a website. I strongly recommend that you follow the link and visit the site. Ms. Attkisson resigned her job at CBS after encountering significant interference in her reporting on Fast and Furious, Benghazi, and other administration scandals. At one point her computer was hacked. She is a fantastic investigative reporter who was blocked from doing her job. The website is organized by topic, with links to various stories she has written on specific topics. I wish her the best and hope her website gets a million hits!

 

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This Isn’t A Surprise, But It’s Sad

Yesterday Newsbusters reported that Sharyl Attkisson has resigned from CBS News. Ms. Attkisson’s coverage of the Fast and Furious scandal won an Edward R. Murrow Award in 2012.

Politico reported Monday:

Attkisson, who has been with CBS News for two decades, had grown frustrated with what she saw as the network’s liberal bias, an outsize influence by the network’s corporate partners and a lack of dedication to investigative reporting, several sources said. She increasingly felt that her work was no longer supported and that it was a struggle to get her reporting on air.

At the same time, Attkisson’s reporting on the Obama administration, which some staffers characterized as agenda-driven, had led network executives to doubt the impartiality of her reporting. She is currently at work on a book — tentatively titled “Stonewalled: One Reporter’s Fight for Truth in Obama’s Washington” — that addresses the challenges of reporting critically on the administration.

…Attkisson joined CBS News from CNN in 1993. She served as an overnight anchor for two years before becoming a Washington-based correspondent, a position she held until this week. She has won five Emmy awards for her reporting on Fast and Furious, the Red Cross, Republican fundraising, TARP and border patrol.

Ms. Attkisson is a very good investigative reporter, and I hope she can find a job where her skills will be appreciated and she will be able to bring us more great reporting.

 

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Do Americans Really Have A Right To Privacy?

The argument in Roe v. Wade was about Americansright to privacy. This isn’t an article about abortion, but I think it is interesting to remember that argument in light of everything that is happening in America today–the NSA is spying on Americans, the IRS is targeting Americans, political opposition is being targeted, etc. Don’t Americans have the right to express themselves privately? Are we losing that right if we don’t agree with the people in power?

On Monday, CBS in Philadelphia reported that Sharyl Attkisson’s computer had been hacked. Ms. Attkisson is a CBS reporter who was pursuing stories on both Fast and Furious and the attack at Benghazi. I posted an article about her in May concerning her problems with the Obama Administration because of her reporting.

The article reports Ms. Attkisson’s comments on the hacking::

“Whoever was in my work computer, the only thing I was working on were work-related things with CBS were big stories I guess during the time period in questions were I guess Benghazi and ‘Fast and Furious.’ The intruders did have access to personal information including passwords to my financial accounts and so on, but didn’t tamper with those, so they weren’t interested in stealing my identity or doing things to my finances. So people can decide on their own what they might have been trying to do in there.”

…“We’re continuing to move forward aggressively, CBS News takes this very seriously, as do I. I think whenever an unauthorized party comes into the home of an American, whether it’s any private citizen or journalist and gets in their house, searches their computers — these are computers my family uses — and they’re inserting or removing material for whatever their reasons are, I think that’s a really serious and disturbing matter and we’re gonna follow it up and keep pursuing it.”

It will be interesting to see how far CBS News takes this investigation. I have a feeling that they may not like what they find and may be reluctant to report it.

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