• Your Serve, Hillary: Email Scandal Deepens

    August 12, 2015

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Embassy/State



    March 10: Hillary admits she used a personal email server while Secretary of State, claiming it was because she did not want to handle multiple devices. She adamantly said there was no classified on her server, and that she would never turn the hardware over to anyone. “I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material.”

    “We have no indication that Secretary Clinton used her personal e-mail account for anything but unclassified purposes,” State Department deputy spokesperson Marie Harf said.

    The devices argument died instantly in a hail of photos of her using multiple devices. Information released yesterday shows that not only did Hillary have classified information on her server, the tiny sample the State Department allowed the Inspector General from the Intelligence Community to review contained very highly classified material. Hillary was forced to turn her hardware over to the FBI.

    Let’s break it down a bit.

    That Classified Material

    Seven emails are currently being reviewed by an inter-governmental agency, led by the FBI, to determine whether or not they are classified. Two other emails were classified as top secret by the CIA, according to information circulated by Senator Chuck Grassley.

    Grassley said in a statement that: “two of the four emails that the office had previously described as ‘above Secret’ were, in fact, classified at the Top Secret/SI level. According to the Intelligence Community Inspector General, the other two emails, which intelligence community officials said were classified by the State Department at the time they were sent, are being reviewed by the State Department to determine what the current appropriate level of classification should be.”

    TS//SI//TK//NF

    In fact, the two emails in question were marked TS//SI//TK//NF. What does all that mean?

    TS = TOP SECRET
    SI = Special Intelligence (SIGINT)
    TK = TALENT KEYHOLE (from satellites)
    NF = NOFORN (US eyes only)

    America has a basic, three-tiered classification system: Confidential, Secret and Top Secret. Hillary exposed the highest level of classification, on par with what Edward Snowden and David Petraeus did. Chelsea Manning is in jail for only Secret level documents.

    After information is considered Confidential, Secret or Top Secret, handling tags apply. These further indicate how the contents should be treated, given where it came from, those “sources and methods” one hears about that when known to an adversary, tell them not only what we know, but how we know it.

    SI and TK together indicate the information came from electronic spying, eavesdropping of some sort, and satellite-based. An adversary would know, after seeing what was on Hillary’s server, that they were being monitored from space and that the U.S. satellites were specifically capable of picking up whatever was discussed in those emails. The argument about how, post-Snowden, all of the world “knows” they are being monitored is one thing, but hard proof in a specific instance is another level of “knowing” that will allow an adversary to take specific countermeasures.

    Lastly, the NF means that the information is of such sensitivity that it cannot be disclosed even to America’s closest allies, typically the “Five Eyes” group: Australia, Canada, Great Britain and New Zealand. Sharing among the group is so broad that the U.S. even gave them access to information pulled electronically by the NSA from inside the equivalent of Japan’s Oval Office.

    As for any security Clinton may have used on her server, it is important to note that Top Secret materials within the government are not only processed on special hardware, they must be read inside of special rooms with physical security.

    A friend of this blog also wrote in to say:

    “Unclass, class up to Secret, and TS/SCI are processed and retrieved on three distinct systems; employees have separate log-ons for each. You can’t ‘accidentally’ send a classified doc to an unclass address.

    “So, for HRC or her colleagues to have gotten classified info into an unclass system, they would have had to copy or ‘gist’ it into the class system, while omitting the markings. As you and others have noted, the material remains classified. This is a deliberate decision to ignore law and regulations. If you then use a non-State server and your personal, unencrypted phones… the likelihood of compromise is high.”

    It is also important to note that Clinton’s email server was not encrypted for at least her first three months of foreign travel, including her using the system on a visit to China.


    What’s Next

    With Clinton’s server (as well as the two thumb drives her attorney held with duplicate contents) now in possession of the FBI, all of the emails she did not delete are available for analysis. Depending on how the other emails, the ones she claimed were personal, were deleted, they may also be forensically salvageable.

    Yet all that only will add to the growing pile of what happened.

    The key question of what will be done with the amassed data, such as some sort of prosecution, remains hanging. It is not a partisan statement or an exaggeration to say that any other government employee found to have held such highly classified data on an unclassified system would have lost her job, her security clearance and likely faced judicial charges.

    Clinton’s limited defense options are already in the trial balloon stage, fronted by a State Department that should be a neutral entity at this point now that the case has moved to the FBI.

    “Department employees circulated these emails on unclassified systems in 2009 and 2011 and ultimately some were forwarded to Secretary Clinton,” said State Department spokesman John Kirby. “They were not marked as classified.”


    What affect any of this will have on voters is even a larger question fully unresolved.



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    Copyright © 2019. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

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  • Recent Comments

    • person unknown said...

      1

      Peter, great overview of the issues and stakes. I hope you can this objective and sober analysis into the MSM.

      A couple of additional points:

      unclass, class up to Secret, and TS/SCI are processed and retrieved on three distinct systems; employees have separate logons for each. You can’t ‘accidentally’ send a classified doc to an unclass address.

      So, for HRC or her colleagues to have gotten classified info into an unclass system, they would have had to copy or ‘gist’ it into the in class system, while omitting the markings. As you and others have noted, the material remains classified. This is a deliberate decision to ignore law and regulations. If you then use a non-State server and your personal, unencrypted phones . . . the likelihood of compromise is high.

      I hope this issue doesn’t get bogged down into stupid insults (“hag” “bitch” etc.) which discredit the real arguments. Plenty of patriotic Americans

      08/12/15 10:30 AM | Comment Link

    • person unknown said...

      2

      Sorry, hit “send” to soon. Last sentence should read:

      Plenty of patriotic Americans, of both parties, should worry about the double standard Clinton seems to expect.

      08/12/15 10:31 AM | Comment Link

    • starknakedtruth said...

      3

      “…it is important to note that Top Secret materials within the government are not only processed on special hardware, they must be read inside of special rooms with physical security.”

      Better be careful there PVB. Blogging about secret materials having to be read in secret rooms will get you into trouble with the government.

      Oh wait….never mind.

      08/12/15 11:08 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      4

      Person unknown: I believe the notion of being patriotic varies today. The majority of Americans are very afraid of truly revolutionary change and will gladly allow the ruling elite (Hillary’s group) the “slack” they’ve always enjoyed. They consider supporting compliant continuity (the status quo) as the highest form of patriotism because they are just plain afraid that anything different will mess up their lives bigtime.

      08/12/15 2:00 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      5

      A follow up. Many historians surmise that only 1/3rd of population supported the American Revolution against British rule. That number seems right to me when trying to ascertain how many citizens today -regardless of their lot in life- would actually take up arms against the 1%.

      08/12/15 2:45 PM | Comment Link

    • Bruce said...

      6

      08/12/15 4:48 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...

      7

      Peter said:
      “What affect any of this will have on voters is even a larger question fully unresolved.”

      Yeah, well she’s already doing her immediate best to quell any unrest in her support camp….

      http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/08/12/clinton-campaign-tries-to-calm-supporters-on-email-scandal-you-might-hear-some-news-over-the-next-few-days/
      person unknown said…
      quote”I hope this issue doesn’t get bogged down into stupid insults (“hag” “bitch” etc.) which discredit the real arguments.”unquote

      Discredit? Hahaha…Yeah, well too bad. This fucking bitch deserves it. Once I saw her speech the day Ray McGovern was arrested and brutally beat up while she kept on giving a speech on “human rights”, I decided right then and there, she fully deserved the label..cunt. As for discrediting the “real arguments”…hahahahahaha…here? Bwahahahahahahahahaha! Your funny. Apparently, you haven’t been around these parts very long. Peter has drug every issue imaginable related to Clinton through the mill. But stick around. We’ll be glad to toss those “arguments ” around the campfire. But don’t be offended if I throw a few off color nom de plumes in the mix. After all..we’re talkin about someone who would cut your balls off while talkin on a smartphone if she thought it would get a vote.

      08/12/15 4:58 PM | Comment Link

    • Clinton’s Evolving Email Defense Does Not Hold Water | Ghosts of Tom Joad - Peter Van Buren said...

      8

      […] are handed a piece of paper marked TOP SECRET//SI//TK/NOFORN (explained here). On the paper are written the negotiating positions of the Chinese Foreign Minister, whom you will […]

      08/15/15 8:47 PM | Comment Link

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