A Very Complex Smoking Gun

The smoking gun has appeared in the Clinton email scandal. Unfortunately some aspects of it are so technical that those of us who think a megabyte is something you do at McDonald’s may struggle with it (Just for the record, I put myself in that category).

The Washington Post is reporting the story today. The headline of the story is, “Hillary Clinton‘s IT guy asked Reddit for help altering emails, a Twitter sleuth claims.”

These are the important parts of the story:

In the posts, stonetear asks for technical advice on retaining and deleting email messages that are more than 60 days old, as well as on removing the email address of an unnamed “VERY VIP” client from email archives.

“Hello all,” one of the posts begins. “I may be facing a very interesting situation where I need to strip out a VIP’s (VERY VIP) email address from a bunch of archived email that I have both in a live Exchange mailbox, as well as a PST file. Basically, they don’t want the VIP’s email address exposed to anyone. … Does anyone have experience with something like this, and/or suggestions on how this might be accomplished?”

The screen shot of one of the requests for help altering the emails:

emailsredditThe timeline:

The timing of two of Stonetear’s Reddit posts coincides with events in the Clinton email saga. One post, dated July 24, 2014, came one day after the House Select Committee on Benghazi and the State Department reached an agreement on producing records. The second, which is dated Dec, 10, 2014, and describes a 60-day email retention policy, came the same month that a longtime Clinton aide requested that their email retention policy be shortened to 60 days.

What cover up?

If you are going to do something illegal (like destroy subpoenaed evidence), you really should make sure that everyone involved has the knowledge required to do their part. This is really sloppy criminality. No self-respecting criminal would expect an IT guy to do this unless they were sure they would never be prosecuted (even if they were caught). That alone should provide food for thought.

 

 

 

Putting Roadblocks In Front Of People Looking For The Truth

For those of you sick and tired of hearing about Hillary’s emails–I am too. However, why is the investigation taking so long? Well, The Washington Examiner posted an article today that may explain that. Keep in mind that emails have already been released that show collusion between Hillary Clinton and the Congressional Committee that was investigating her.

The article reports:

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., blasted the State Department on Thursday for moving quickly to provide a requested email from Hillary Clinton’s server to Democrats on the House Oversight Committee while stonewalling requests from Republicans and the public.

During a hearing about the agency’s handling of Freedom of Information Act requests, Meadows questioned why the State Department handed over an email chain between Colin Powell and Clinton just five days after Rep. Elijah Cummings, the committee’s top Democrat, and seven other minority members asked for it while ignoring a FOIA request for that same email since 2014.

“We try to the best of our ability to respond to committees of Congress,” said Patrick Kennedy, undersecretary for management at the State Department, in defense of his agency’s treatment of records requests.

This is disgusting. We simply need to relocate everyone who has worked in Washington for the past eight years (possibly much longer), and replace them with honest people. Can government bureaucrats be honest people? I don’t know, but it seems that we should be able to do better than the corrupt bunch that is currently running our government. The political and bureaucratic class is doing everything it can to protect its corrupt rear end. The only people who can stop this are the voters. In November it will be obvious whether or not we are going to be a country or a banana republic.

Whoops!

The Hillary Clinton email story is getting old. It is getting old because the Clintons have handled it the way they usually handle scandals–stall, obfuscate, and claim a right-wing conspiracy until people get tired of hearing about it, and then refer to the scandal as old news. Well, there’s old news and there’s old news. One of the problems with the ‘old news’ in the email scandal is that new facts keep coming up–creating new news. There are two new stories that have come out recently that are relevant to the scandal.

The Washington Times is reporting today that the FBI has found nearly 15,000 emails that Mrs. Clinton did not turn over to the government after she left office.

The article reports:

Some of the new documents will contain information that is deemed private under open-records laws, but Judicial Watch, the group that forced Monday’s hearing, said many of the documents will have information that should have been public all along.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said the State Department must keep politics out of the process as it works on the messages, and said speed is important. He said the department has had the 14,900 messages for a month and hasn’t produced any of them yet.

“That’s simply not acceptable,” he said.

The 14,900 emails are on one computer disk. All told, the FBI turned over seven disks. It’s not entirely clear what documents are on the others.

The FBI said the 14,900 emails on disk one were either sent or received by Mrs. Clinton and are not duplicative of the approximately 30,000 emails she turned over and that the State Department already released, under a judge’s order.

Meanwhile, People Magazine posted an article on its website yesterday which includes the following quote from Colin Powell:

“Her people have been trying to pin it on me,” Powell, 79, told PEOPLE Saturday night at the Apollo in the Hamptons 2016 Night of Legends fête in East Hampton, New York.

“The truth is, she was using [the private email server] for a year before I sent her a memo telling her what I did,” Powell added.

The article in People Magazine also reminds us:

The reported conversation was first brought to light in journalist Joe Conason‘s upcoming Bill Clinton biography, Man of the World: The Further Endeavors of Bill Clinton, in which the writer details a dinner party held by Clinton and attended by Powell, Madeleine Albright, Henry Kissinger and Condoleeza Rice.

“Toward the end of the evening, over dessert, Albright asked all of the former secretaries to offer one salient bit of counsel to the nation’s next top diplomat,” Conason wrote. “Powell told her to use her own email, as he had done, except for classified communications, which he had sent and received via a State Department computer … [Powell] confirmed a decision she had made months earlier – to keep her personal account and use it for most messages.”

Powell’s office later released a statement to NBC News, saying he “has no recollection of the dinner conversation.” However, “He did write former Secretary Clinton an email memo describing his use of his personal AOL email account for unclassified messages and how it vastly improved communications within the State Department.”

(The italics are mine.)

No one has argued that the use of a personal email for personal, unclassified communications is a problem. The problem occurs when a private, unsecured server is set up outside of the State Department and used for classified communication. A private server simply does not have the security a server within the State Department would have. A private server is an invitation to hacking by any foreign service worth its salt. It is interesting that in his comments, Colin Powell made clear that he was not willing to take responsibility for Mrs. Clinton’s actions. She is going to have to find someone else to throw under the bus.

 

A + B Equals Whatever You Want It to

The following quotes (from ABC News) are taken from James Comey‘s statement concerning the Hillary Clinton investigation:

After a tremendous amount of work over the last year, the FBI is completing its investigation and referring the case to the Department of Justice for a prosecutive decision. What I would like to do today is tell you three things: what we did; what we found; and what we are recommending to the Department of Justice.

…I have so far used the singular term, “e-mail server,” in describing the referral that began our investigation. It turns out to have been more complicated than that. Secretary Clinton used several different servers and administrators of those servers during her four years at the State Department, and used numerous mobile devices to view and send e-mail on that personal domain. As new servers and equipment were employed, older servers were taken out of service, stored, and decommissioned in various ways. Piecing all of that back together—to gain as full an understanding as possible of the ways in which personal e-mail was used for government work—has been a painstaking undertaking, requiring thousands of hours of effort.

…From the group of 30,000 e-mails returned to the State Department, 110 e-mails in 52 e-mail chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received. Eight of those chains contained information that was Top Secret at the time they were sent; 36 chains contained Secret information at the time; and eight contained Confidential information, which is the lowest level of classification. Separate from those, about 2,000 additional e-mails were “up-classified” to make them Confidential; the information in those had not been classified at the time the e-mails were sent.

…The FBI also discovered several thousand work-related e-mails that were not in the group of 30,000 that were returned by Secretary Clinton to State in 2014. We found those additional e-mails in a variety of ways. Some had been deleted over the years and we found traces of them on devices that supported or were connected to the private e-mail domain. Others we found by reviewing the archived government e-mail accounts of people who had been government employees at the same time as Secretary Clinton, including high-ranking officials at other agencies, people with whom a Secretary of State might naturally correspond.

…Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case. Prosecutors necessarily weigh a number of factors before bringing charges. There are obvious considerations, like the strength of the evidence, especially regarding intent. Responsible decisions also consider the context of a person’s actions, and how similar situations have been handled in the past.

So what do we know?

  1. The exclusive use of a private server was against the rules. Permission was never given for that use. It is also interesting that Mrs. Clinton never made it clear that there was more than one server.
  2. Hillary Clinton did not release all of her emails (and lied–saying she did).
  3. FBI Comey said today that there were times when Hillary’s private server could have been hacked.
  4. The investigators reported that 110 emails in 52 email chains were determined to contain some form of classified information at the time they were sent, contrary to statements made by Hillary Clinton.

Mrs. Clinton has avoided an indictment, despite the fact that she obviously broke the law. This is a really sad day for American justice.

Oh, What A Tangled Web We Weave…

The real advantage to telling the truth is that you don’t have to remember what you said. As you get older, that matters. Today The Wall Street Journal posted an story by Kimberley Strassel showing how lies about her emails are becoming a problem for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Ms. Strassel notes that nothing Mrs. Clinton has previously stated about her emails has turned out to be true.

The article cites a few problem areas:

The Democratic presidential aspirant on March 10 held a press conference pitched as her first and last word on the revelation that she’d used a private email server while secretary of state. She told reporters that she’d turned over to the State Department “all my emails that could possibly be work-related.” And she insisted that she “did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material.”

Both of those statements have been proven to be false. Ms. Strassel points out that as a result the Benghazi probe, Sidney Blumenthal was forced to turn over his emails, which revealed work-related emails that had not been disclosed. Mr. Blumenthal’s emails also revealed that the emails Mrs. Clinton turned over had been altered–work related sentences and paragraphs had been removed.

Since Mrs. Clinton began turning over her emails, some of them have been designated ‘classified.’

The article points out:

We also know that the State Department has now upgraded at least 25 of Mrs. Clinton’s emails to “classified” status. State is suggesting this is no big deal, noting that it is “routine” to upgrade material during the public-disclosure process. But that’s beside the point. This isn’t about after-the-fact disclosure. It’s about security at the time—whether Mrs. Clinton was sending and storing sensitive government information on a hackable private email system. Turns out, she was. For the record, it is a federal crime to “knowingly” house classified information at an “unauthorized location.”

From what we know so far, Mrs. Clinton is guilty of a crime. However, because she is not Richard Nixon and there is no contemporary Woodward or Bernstein who are going to inform the general public as to what is going on, she is not at risk of being held accountable. This is another example of the American media choosing not to do its job. Our nation needs a media that holds our leaders accountable. Right now we don’t have one.

How Naive Do You Have To Be To Believe This?

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article today about the latest twists and turns on Hillary Clinton’s private server and private emails. A few months ago, Mrs. Clinton explained to America that she never used her private email server for classified emails. Some of us were skeptical about that statement because, as Secretary of State, a lot of her emails would be at least confidential, but that was her story. Now that many of her emails have been made public (how did that happen when she erased the server? Did only the emails that would not be seriously damaging survive?)

The article reminds us:

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton received information on her private email server that has now been classified about the deadly attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi.

The email in question, forwarded to Clinton by her deputy chief of staff Jake Sullivan, relates to reports of arrests in Libya of possible suspects in the attack.

…The information was not classified at the time the email was sent but was upgraded from “unclassified” to “secret” on Friday at the request of the FBI, according to State Department officials. They said 23 words of the Nov. 18, 2012, message were redacted from the day’s release of 296 emails totaling 896 pages to protect information that could damage foreign relations.

Because the information was not classified at the time the email was sent, no laws were violated, but Friday’s redaction shows that Clinton received sensitive information on her unsecured personal server.

…QUESTION: Were you ever — were you ever specifically briefed on the security implications of using — using your own email server and using your personal address to email with the president?

CLINTON: I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material. So I’m certainly well-aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material.

Note the statement that says the information was not classified at the time. The author of an email determines its classification. Why did the author of the emails that are now classified change their status?

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. The article includes a very interesting email exchange between Hillary Clinton and Jacob Sullivan. One email includes a second email address (after the existence of a second email address was denied).

The article concludes:

Note the e-mail address on this message — not the hdr22 address that the Clintons have insisted was the only one used by Hillary, but the hrod17 address that got exposed a few days ago. In this e-mail, it looks like Hillary used this address for her more political issues, although without looking at the whole record, it would be difficult to establish that kind of a pattern. This does show, though, that Hillary understood the significance of the collapse of that false narrative, and got her State Department staff to do pre-emptive oppo research on her behalf.

Don’t forget that this is just the first release of material. We will likely see more problems along the same lines, and that may or may not include issues of classification.

This Really Does Not Seem To Be An Innocent Mistake

The Washington Examiner is reporting today that the head of the Clinton Foundation has stated that the Foundation made mistakes in the way donations to the Foundation were reported.

The article reports:

Pally (acting Foundation CEO Maura Pally) wrote that the foundation didn’t list individual donors to its Canadian arm because national law requires charities to gain permission from individuals before disclosing them.

She also acknowledged mistakenly combining government grants with other donations in tax filings, although she said the grants were still publicly available on the foundation’s financial statements posted online.

The donations to the Foundation are in the news right now, but the more interesting part of the Clintons financial story is the exorbitant speaking fees President Clinton began to collect from foreign countries after Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State. Again, it is questionable as to what laws (if any) have been broken, but there is certainly the appearance of dishonesty. That appearance is aggravated by the disappearing emails, which would have either provided proof of total innocence or guilt.

The Clintons have amassed a tremendous amount of wealth while serving in public office. Unfortunately, that is not unusual at the present time. The question is whether they did it by cutting the usual corners or they did it by inventing a few new corners to cut. I do know that if you or I acted in the way that they are acting, we would find ourselves in jail for a very long time.

What Happens When Government Departments Have No Inspectors General

According to the government website ignet.gov:

The concept of a statutory Inspector General (IG) was broadly introduced to the civilian side of the Federal government by the Inspector General Act of 1978 (IG Act ) . The original Inspectors General (IGs) were established in 12 Federal agencies. The concept has proved so successful that today, there are 72 statutory IGs across the Federal government .

Statutory IGs are structurally unique within the Federal government. The stated purpose of the IG Act is to create independent and objective units within each agency whose duty it is to combat waste, fraud, and abuse in the programs and operations of that agency.  To this end, each IG is responsible for conducting audits and investigations relating to the programs and operations of its agency, and providing leadership and coordination and recommending policies for, and to conduct, supervise, or coordinate other activities for the purpose of promoting economy, efficiency, and effectiveness and preventing and detecting fraud and abuse in those programs and operations. Importantly, each IG is also to keep the agency head and the Congress “fully and currently informed” about problems and deficiencies relating to the administration of agency programs and operations. The IG Act contains a variety of statutory guarantees of Office of Inspector General (OIG ) independence, designed to ensure the objectivity of OIG work and to safeguard against efforts to compromise that objectivity or hinder OIG operations. It is these guarantees of independence that make statutory IGs unique.

Now that you have read the above, there is a thought that might cross your mind, “Why didn’t the IG alert Congress to the fact that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was using a private computer server and not properly archiving emails as government records?”

Bloomberg.com posted an article yesterday that provides an explanation.

The article reports:

For five years, including all of Clinton’s time as secretary, the State Department’s Office of Inspector General never had a confirmed inspector. Instead, it was lead by acting inspector Harold W. Geisel, a former ambassador who was accused of being too cozy to agency leadership by transparency groups like the Project on Government Oversight. Throughout the first half of President Obama’s first term, the absence of a State Department Inspector General while internal scandals and Benghazi rocked the department drew bipartisan criticism. 

“For no one to raise concerns, it’s almost impossible to believe,” said Danielle Brian, the executive director for POGO (Project on Government Oversight). 

The article explains that POGO has highlighted the frequency of vacancies in the Inspectors General offices. The fact that the State Department had no IG during Hillary Clinton’s term is what allowed the use of a private computer service and the lack of proper archiving of records.

The article at Bloomberg concludes:

By September 2013, several months after Clinton left State, the department finally had a permanent inspector, and the department recently released a report documenting how few e-mails the State Department has saved for government records. But the long-time gap, as well as the ones at other agencies, raise questions about what other problems aren’t being investigated.

“If there was any confidence that those were robust office then people within the agency or others would have turned to them,” Brian said. “I have to believe that at some point we’ll find out that there were people who were saying ‘Why am I getting this weird email from what should obviously be state.gov?’”

Just another brick in the wall.

The Baggage Increases

Hillary Clinton seems to be the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination in 2016, but things keep turning up. Yesterday Hot Air posted a story about the Clinton Foundation‘s adventures in Haiti. It’s a rather complicated story (complete with videos), so I can understand why the major media has not paid a lot of attention to it. A soundbite will simply not tell the story. It is a typical Clinton scandal, involving money and influence–the Clintons make money and questionable people (or countries) gain influence.

Please follow the link above to read the entire story.

Here is the conclusion:

So to sum up, the foundation rifles money from the nefarious human rights violating Algerian regime through donations that were in breach of Hillary’s agreement with the Obama administration when she joined it, kept them secret while being lobbied more heavily than before on the human rights concerns at State, and when caught about the appearance of impropriety with the donations, pointed to the good work done in Haiti. Naturally, the ones protesting the loudest are the Haitians, who think the Clintons have used the island nation as their own personal front company to funnel money. One of the few natural resources the island apparently has is gold in them thar hills. One company gets the permit, and of the seven billion people who populate Earth who could possibly be chosen to join the advisory board, it’s Tony Rodham, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s brother, and all apparently without Hillary Clinton’s knowledge. With the ability to beat the odds like this, you’d think Hillary would skip the presidential aspirations altogether and try and make some real money. I mean, she could totally make a killing betting on cattle futures or something.

Sure glad we can trust her. If she can run this shell game in Haiti for five years, she can totally decide which emails are public and which ones are private, right?

This really isn’t anything new.

This Is A True Story

There is a special election in Massachusetts today to fill the Senate seat John Kerry vacated when he became Secretary of State. Someone I know took her children with her when she went to vote. They are very young children, and the poll worker said to them, “You’ll be able to vote when you are 21.” Think about that for a minute–that was a poll worker–shouldn’t she be aware of the voting age? It’s not only the voters who are unaware of what is going on–it’s the poll workers!

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