Worst. Election. Ever.

May 5, 2016

satire head desk

Yuval Levin provides yet another example of why:

For many years now, it has been the practice of the intelligence community to start providing classified intelligence briefings to the presidential nominees of the two major parties (those who aren’t incumbents, who get them anyway) soon after the party conventions. This year, that will mean giving these very sensitive briefings to a woman who is clearly guilty of gross failures to protect classified information and a man who seems less trustworthy and disciplined about what he allows out of his mouth than almost everyone in America. Just a snapshot of this less than glorious election year.

I’m going to wake up and realize this was all a bad dream, right?

Right??


Hillary’s Email: can she be inaugurated from inside a jail cell?

January 20, 2016
Above the rules.

Above the rules.

The latest bombshell, which begs the question, “Do we have any secrets left?”

Intelligence officials have discovered sensitive national security information on Hillary Clinton’s server that goes beyond the “top secret” level, the intelligence community inspector general told lawmakers in a letter last week.

In a copy of the Jan. 14 correspondence obtained by POLITICO, Intelligence Community Inspector General I. Charles McCullough III told both the Senate Intelligence and Senate Foreign Relations committees that intelligence agencies found messages relating to what are known as “special access programs,” or SAP. That’s an even more restricted subcategory of sensitive compartmented information, or SCI, top secret national security information derived from sensitive intelligence sources.

Emphasis added.

If this selfish, imbecilic, entitled exemplar of our governing elites (God help us) doesn’t face prosecution for this, then equality before the law for all is dead in America.

Charles Krauthammer:

A new report that Hillary Clinton’s personal server contained information about “special access programs” makes her handling of sensitive material “worse than what Snowden did,” Charles Krauthammer said tonight.

“What people have to understand is that there is nothing higher, more secret than an SAP,” Krauthammer said on Tuesday’s Special Report. “From some people I have talked to, this is worse than what Snowden did because he didn’t have access to SAP.”

“The reason it’s [so sensitive] is if it’s compromised, people die,” he said. “It also means that operations that have been embedded for years and years get destroyed and cannot be reconstituted. This is very serious.”

Emphasis added.

It’s hard for me to describe just how much that woman and her family –including her daughter, who seems to be a chip off the old money-grubbing block– disgust me. She was privy to the deepest, most sensitive secrets held by the government in trust for the American people, for our safety and prosperity in a dangerous world.

And yet she treated them like afterthoughts, with no regard to the consequences. The nation’s interests —our interests— were subordinated to her desire to avoid FOIA requests, to her Nixonian need for secrecy and control.

The closest Hillary Clinton should ever come to the Oval Office is on a bus passing nearby on its way to deliver her to federal prison.

 


The truth about immigration reform and “amnesty”

October 24, 2015

An essay worth reading on illegal immigration, amnesty, and Trump’s charlatanism.

agconservative

It’s time to talk about “amnesty” because a large portion of the entertainment wing is claiming this is a defining issue and using it to justify their support for a far-left candidate (Donald Trump).

Let’s address a few things before a full discussion of amnesty:

  • Every Republican currently in the race supports doing border security first. The differences between all of the candidates on security are almost non-existent. Some may argue about trust, but the candidate with the biggest promises (Trump) is also the one who has changed the most positions and proven the least trustworthy. In 2012, Trump claimed that Romney lost the election because he was too “mean-spirited” towards illegal immigrants with his talk of self-deporting, which makes no sense given his current advocacy for mass deportation and harsh rhetoric towards Latinos. Also, Trump met with illegal immigrants in 2013 and assured them he supported their position…

View original post 1,083 more words


Video: Carly Fiorina links Iran and Planned Parenthood

September 17, 2015

From last night’s debate. I didn’t watch, but it sounds like it was a good night for her and Senator Rubio, and not so good a night for Donald Trump. Back to Fiorina, this was impressive. She’s clearly earned her place in prime-time debates.

Leadership. I’d almost forgotten what it sounded like.

 


Quote Of The Day: 2015 is the new 1938 edition

September 12, 2015
x

The fruit of appeasement

National Review’s David French on Democrats voting for the Iran deal:

It’s entirely appropriate that the Democrats filibustered Republican efforts to block the Iran Deal on September 10. After all, the Democrats — now fully the party of jihadist appeasement — are the primary political repository of September 10 thinking, but without the excuse of ignorance. We know what jihadists are capable of. We know their war aims. And yet the Democrats overwhelmingly voted to grant the world’s most powerful terrorist state a $150 billion economic stimulus, access to international arms markets, and access to ballistic missile technology – without even stopping their nuclear program or establishing a viable inspection program

Remember that. Democrats know just how bad a deal Obama and Kerry have crafted: that’s why they filibustered the cloture motion — the cowards didn’t want to be on record voting to let genocidal maniacs in Tehran get their hands on nuclear weapons. It doesn’t matter, however; the public knows the Democrats own this fiasco-in-the-making.

And for those who forget, we’ll make sure to remind them. This is unforgivable.

To paraphrase Cato the Elder: Factio Democratica delenda est.

PS: Click through to the original post for video explaining the subject line.


How much damage has @HillaryClinton done to our national security?

September 10, 2015
x

Hillary’s legacy

While everyone focuses on just what Hillary did when she routed all her (classified, top secret) work emails through an unsecure private email server, the question left hanging is just how much damage was done to our national security by having our secrets left in the open like laundry on the line.

I’ve assumed any intelligence service worth its pay –especially, but not exclusively, those of our enemies– was of course reading these communications. But Stanley Kurtz points out the harm done even if no one did:

“There’s a widely held belief among American counterspies that foreign intelligence agencies had to be reading the e-mails on Hillary’s private server, particularly since it was wholly unencrypted for months….senior counterintelligence officials are assuming the worst about what the Russians and Chinese know.”

So America’s intelligence agencies are assuming that every communication of America’s Secretary of State for months or more was read by our adversaries. Isn’t that likely to amount to one of the worst intelligence breaches in American history? And here’s the kicker. Even if we got lucky and the Russians and Chinese didn’t actually intercept some or all of Hillary’s e-mails, our intelligence agencies now have to behave as if they did.

Doesn’t that mean that we are now making massive changes to the sources and methods of our intelligence? Are we now withdrawing valuable agents? Are we trying to replace methods that cannot be easily replicated? Are we now forced to rebuild a good deal of our intelligence capabilities from the ground up? Are we not suffering tremendous intelligence damage right now, regardless of what foreign intelligence services did or did not manage to snatch from Hillary’s server—simply because we are forced to assume that they got it all?

The extent of this train wreck will itself be secret: that’s the nature of intelligence work — you don’t want your enemy to know you know how much they know.

But the fact itself that we have to go through all this because of her sense of entitlement and her miserable judgment should be enough for any reasonable person to disqualify her from ever holding another office, let alone the presidency.

It should also land her before a judge and jury.


All is well, America. @HillaryClinton has apologized AND taken responsibility

September 8, 2015
x

“Quick! Bill! Slip me another excuse!”

Well, this makes everything better, now, doesn’t it?

Hillary Clinton on Tuesday apologized for the scandal surrounding her private State Department email server, and said in a new interview with ABC News that she takes full responsibility.

Using an unauthorized and unsecured email server “was a mistake. I’m sorry about that. I take responsibility,” she told David Muir in a “World News Tonight” interview that will air later this week.

Clinton’s apology marked a sharp departure from when she said earlier this month that she owes no apology for using a private email server when she worked the top position at State.

Let’s be honest about this: they only reason Lady Macbeth is apologizing is that she has seen her “inevitable” march to the White House crippled by a poorly run campaign and a scandal that would have anyone else facing a judge in federal court. She got in front of the cameras with Muir because her poll numbers among Democrats have collapsed 15-20 points since July. In survey groups these days, the word most commonly associated with her is “liar.” Apologize? She’s so desperate, I’m surprised she didn’t go on her knees to Canossa.

How bad have thing’s gotten? She’s using stupidity as an excuse:

Clinton said she used the personal email account for convenience and did not give the issue much thought when she started her job as secretary of state.

“I was not thinking a lot when I got in. There was so much work to be done. We had so many problems around the world. I didn’t really stop and think what kind of email system will there be,” she said.

Just what we need, America: a Chief Executive who doesn’t think a lot…

But, to answer my question above, no, this does not make everything better.

Let’s forget her lack of sincerity. She’s about as sincere as her husband was when he denied having sex “with that woman.” She’s taking “responsibility” while expecting not to be held responsible. No one except the most die-hard Clinton droid will believe she means a word of this or is willing to be held accountable for serious violations of federal law. Her hope is that an act of public contrition, no matter how pro forma, will be enough to start defusing this scandal.

Well, it isn’t. The information she allowed to be placed on that unsecure server includes some of the most sensitive national-security secrets of the United States, which by law people of her rank in the government are expected to recognize and handle appropriately. But, instead of using the approved government email system, she had her own private server to, I assume, kept her doings away from pesky FOIA requests. If you or I had done anything remotely similar, we would have gone through “interrogation Hell” until we cried for our mommies and then were hauled into court. And you can bet your last dollar that the Russians, the Chinese, and any foreign intelligence agency worth their salt read everything on her server. They would have to be incompetent not to.

Sorry, Hillary. An apology just doesn’t cut it.

RELATED: Jonah Goldberg on Hillary — “Who cares if she apologized?”


Former Aide to Democratic Front-Runner to Plead the Fifth. #emailgate

September 2, 2015
Above the rules.

Above the rules.

As Lt. Joe Kenda of the entertaining “Homicide Hunter” like to say when he’s about to nail a suspect, “Well my, my, my.”

A former State Department staffer who worked on Hillary Rodham Clinton’s private e-mail server tried this week to fend off a subpoena to testify before Congress, saying he would assert his constitutional right not to answer questions to avoid incriminating himself.

The move by Bryan Pagliano, who had worked on Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign before setting up the server in her New York home in 2009, came in a Monday letter from his lawyer to the House panel investigating the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

The letter cited the ongoing FBI inquiry into the security of Clinton’s e-mail system, and it quoted a Supreme Court ruling in which justices described the Fifth Amendment as protecting “innocent men . . . ‘who otherwise might be ensnared by ambiguous circumstances.’ ”

Yeah, setting up a private email server that carried Top Secret information without proper security and against all the rules is awfully ambiguous.

Why do I think a deal may soon be made?

The FBI is investigating whether Clinton’s system — in which she exclusively used private e-mail for her work as secretary of state — may have jeopardized sensitive national security information.

There’s no “may” about it. She even asked for classified information to be sent to her personal server:

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Her campaign is done.

via UrbanAchievr


Hillary Clinton exposed our most precious national secrets. She should be in prison.

September 2, 2015
x

I know nothing! No-THING!!

If there are US national secrets more than our spy satellite data, we’ve never heard of them. They are our eyes into the heart of hostile lands. They are classified at so high a level, they have their own email system and can only be looked at in secure rooms. Letting our enemies see this data would give them invaluable knowledge of what we know and what our satellites’ capabilities are.

Good thing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, She Who Would Be Our Next President, transmitted this information over an unsecured home server:

One of the most serious potential breaches of national security identified so far by the intelligence community inside Hillary Rodham Clinton’s private emails involves the relaying of classified information concerning the movement of North Korean nuclear assets, which was obtained from spy satellites.

Multiple intelligence sources who spoke to The Washington Times, solely on the condition of anonymity, said concerns about the movement of the North Korean information through Mrs. Clinton’s unsecured server are twofold.

First, spy satellite information is frequently classified at the top-secret level and handled within a special compartment called Talent-Keyhole. This means it is one of the most sensitive forms of intelligence gathered by the U.S.

Second, the North Koreans have assembled a massive cyberhacking army under an elite military spy program known as Bureau 121, which is increasingly aggressive in targeting systems for hacking, especially vulnerable private systems. The North Koreans, for instance, have been blamed by the U.S. for the hack of Sony movie studios.

Allowing sensitive U.S. intelligence about North Korea to seep into a more insecure private email server has upset the intelligence community because it threatens to expose its methods and assets for gathering intelligence on the secretive communist nation.

We know emails to Clinton’s top unofficial adviser Syd Blumenthal were hacked: had she shared this or other Top Secret information with him? And Clinton’s server was so unsecure it was  certainly penetrated by the Chinese, the Russians, and maybe the Saturnians. North Korea hacked Sony; how hard would it have been to hack Clinton’s server and find out what we knew about their nuclear program?

This is a frakking nightmare.

And it’s also a felony:

(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.

(h/t Ed Morrissey)

And that exactly fits this satellite data. It doesn’t matter what she “knowingly knew” or whether the material had the proper classification tags on it. She has enough experience know how sensitive this material is and what her responsibilities were. Her motives are irrelevant: her actions are the crime.

Forget Lady Macbeth’s presidential aspirations; those are dead, it’s just the corpse still twitching. But, if there is any justice left in America, she will be charged and face trial for this — with prison to follow.

PS: Oh stop laughing. I know, I know. A Clinton held accountable? A guy can dream, can’t he?

PPS: A bit of humor from a friend on Twitter, after this news came out:

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We laugh, lest we cry.


Are jihadis stalking military families in Colorado and Wyoming?

August 5, 2015
"Still the JV?"

The JV comes to the Rockies?

Via Dana Loesch.

As I’ve often said after 9/11, they’re still trying to kill us. We may be tired of war, but the enemy isn’t. And, thanks to our now-supine military posture in the Middle East, these refugees from a medieval psych ward are carrying out their oft-repeated threats to bring the fight to us. Here. In the United States.

In Greeley and Cheyenne:

An alert has been issued by the FBI to all law enforcement agencies in Colorado and Wyoming involving U.S. military families and concerns about who may be watching them.

The alert says Middle Eastern men are approaching families of U.S. military members at their homes in Colorado and Wyoming. It mentions Greeley and Cheyenne, Wyoming as the specific areas.

In one case last May the wife of a military member was approached in front of her home by two Middle Eastern males. The men stated that she was the wife of a U.S. interrogator. When she denied their claims the men laughed. The two men left the area in a dark-colored, four-door sedan with two other Middle Eastern males in the vehicle.

The woman had observed the vehicle in the neighborhood on previous occasions,” the alert states.

Similar incidents in Wyoming have been reported to the FBI throughout June 2015.

“On numerous occasions family members of military personnel were confronted by Middle Eastern males in front of their homes.”

The FBI’s alert says Middle Eastern men attempted to gain personal information about military members and family members through intimidation. Those family members reported feeling scared.

The alert says the men haven’t been identified and the FBI isn’t sure if the incidents all involve the same men.

While the FBI is cautious in what it says to the press, they, the DoD, and Homeland Security have to be taking this seriously. Both al Qaeda and ISIS have repeatedly threatened to launch jihad attacks in the United States, and I for one take them at their word. We’ve already suffered attacks in the past –Little Rock, Ft. Hood, the D.C. sniper, and Chattanooga, to name a few– and the failures of our foreign policy since Obama took charge (and especially his pusillanimous reaction to the threat from ISIS) has only emboldened them. This is why the George W. Bush administration, whatever else it got wrong, had the right idea to take the fight to the enemy on their turf, to not give them a chance to attack us at home, again.

The Obama administration rejected that strategy, and now what are very likely jihadis are here to strike terror into our hearts per Muhammad’s command, for example in Qu’ran 8:60:

And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of Allah and your enemy and others besides them whom you do not know [but] whom Allah knows. And whatever you spend in the cause of Allah will be fully repaid to you, and you will not be wronged.

Emphasis added.

I hope those military families are well-armed.


#ChinaHack: That does it. I want executions.

June 17, 2015
x

OPM network security specialist

This Ars Technica article about today’s House hearing on the Chinese hacking of almost the entire US government personnel database opens with a recounting of the deserved reaming the head of OPM and its CIO received from Chairman Chaffetz (R) and his committee. But, that was not the nut of the article. Oh, no. The crucial piece of information was buried in the next to last paragraph. See if you can spot it.

Some of the contractors that have helped OPM with managing internal data have had security issues of their own—including potentially giving foreign governments direct access to data long before the recent reported breaches. A consultant who did some work with a company contracted by OPM to manage personnel records for a number of agencies told Ars that he found the Unix systems administrator for the project “was in Argentina and his co-worker was physically located in the [People’s Republic of China]. Both had direct access to every row of data in every database: they were root. Another team that worked with these databases had at its head two team members with PRC passports. I know that because I challenged them personally and revoked their privileges. From my perspective, OPM compromised this information more than three years ago and my take on the current breach is ‘so what’s new?'”

Repeat after me: the Chinese (1) had frakking root access (2) to those databases!! That made them top-level administrators with access to everything. All the supposedly secure, classified data on every background check of every US employee investigated by OPM. And who knows what else they could do while they had access?

I’m almost speechless. To Hell with firing people: this is so weapons-grade stupid that only a firing squad will do.

Pour encourager les autres.

via CinnaminM and John Schindler

Footnotes:
(1) Please. Don’t even try to tell me a root-level administrator working in China was not -at the least- turned by Chinese intelligence, if not an active agent.
(2) See.


I was wrong: the #ChinaHack is indeed an espionage “Pearl Harbor”

June 17, 2015

Blown covers?

The other day I mildly disputed Jim Geraghty’s description of the break-in by the Chinese of the OPM’s database as a “cyber-Pearl Harbor.” After all, I offered, bad as the hack was (and it was bad), there was no destruction of an important national security asset, unlike the sinking of much of the Pacific Fleet by the Japanese back then. But I was wrong. I missed the smoking wreckage made of our espionage capabilities:

But there’s an even more serious aspect of this compromise: the threat it poses to American intelligence operations abroad, particularly to officers serving under various false identities, or “covers,” overseas. The Intelligence Community employs myriad cover mechanisms to protect the true identity of its spies posted outside the United States. Cover protects our officers and allows them to conduct their secret work without drawing as much attention to themselves. While many intelligence officers pose as diplomats, that is only one option, and some covers are deeper than others. Regardless, all espionage covers are based upon credible narratives that rely on plausible details. Through a process the Intelligence Community calls back-stopping, any officer’s cover needs to look real and check out if tested. Thus, an American spy who is posing as an oil executive, for instance, has to have a “legend” in that industry that bears that out. Think business cards, company websites, or a team of ersatz oil industry colleagues. Just as another intelligence officer who poses as a diplomat better have his or records in State Department systems, to look plausible.

And now the Chinese have their hands on a database (which may be for sale) that could allow them to sniff out whose bio is real and whose is a cover. To continue:

For American spies abroad, this can be a matter of life or death, and any personnel sent into countries where they could be targeted for kill or capture—which in the age of the Islamic State is a depressingly long list—need to be deeply concerned about how much the OPM breach has complicated, and perhaps threatened, their lives. How bad this is was explained by Joel Brenner, who from 2006 to 2009 served as the Intelligence Community’s top counterintelligence official. Describing the hack as “crown jewels material, a goldmine” for China, who Washington insiders believe is behind the theft, Brenner added: “This is not the end of American human intelligence, but it’s a significant blow.” The only good news in all this is that several of our big spy services like CIA and NSA don’t rely on outside agencies for security clearances. They do their own background investigations, while ninety percent of the Federal government relies on OPM. But that’s cold comfort since the CIA uses other federal agencies as cover so often. Besides, given the enormous extent of this compromise, which gets worse with each new revelation, many are wondering how much information the Chinese don’t have at this point.

Indeed. Remember all the security problems, potential and proven, pointed out regarding Obamacare? Anyone care to bet that those problems have been fixed and that someone hasn’t already riffled though the records of millions of applicants, or used Obamacare’s myriad connections network connections to other agencies to break in elsewhere? Add to that the Snowden operation, Bradley Manning’s data theft, the likely Russian hack of the White House (via the State Department), and you’re left wondering if anyone in the federal government has any real concern or even competence with data security.

More immediately, the Obama administration came into office proclaiming itself the most tech-savvy administration, ever. One would think they would be enraged, not just by these acts of war by China, but the gross, utter, bumbling incompetence displayed by their department heads. And yet, in spite of having been warned for years that the OPM servers were insecure, all they can do is offer free credit monitoring. No resignations. No firings. No consequences.

Except for our clandestine agents in the field.


ISIS camps in Mexico near Texas and New Mexico borders?

April 14, 2015
Seal of the new Caliphate

They’re here?

That’s the frightening report from Judicial Watch, an anti-corruption group that’s built a good reputation for forcing government departments to give up information they’d rather the public not see. This is a little out of their bailiwick, but nonetheless a cause for concern:

ISIS is operating a camp just a few miles from El Paso, Texas, according to Judicial Watch sources that include a Mexican Army field grade officer and a Mexican Federal Police Inspector.

The exact location where the terrorist group has established its base is around eight miles from the U.S. border in an area known as “Anapra” situated just west of Ciudad Juárez in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Another ISIS cell to the west of Ciudad Juárez, in Puerto Palomas, targets the New Mexico towns of Columbus and Deming for easy access to the United States, the same knowledgeable sources confirm.

During the course of a joint operation last week, Mexican Army and federal law enforcement officials discovered documents in Arabic and Urdu, as well as “plans” of Fort Bliss – the sprawling military installation that houses the US Army’s 1st Armored Division. Muslim prayer rugs were recovered with the documents during the operation.

That ISIS would like to strike the United States is a given, and the choice of setting for these bases is a good one: Mexico has little control over this area (some would argue the narco-traficantes really run the border region), and the areas on the US side are understaffed for law enforcement, the terrain is hard to monitor, and the routes are already popular with human and drug smugglers, who I’m sure wouldn’t be averse to taking the caliphate’s cash. Once past the border, there’s a wealth of targets, from schools, to towns, to casinos in Vegas and military bases — a veritable smorgasbord for Muslims waging jihad fi sabil Allah.

It’s not as if this is a new threat, either. Representative Duncan Hunter claimed ISIS fighters were caught sneaking into the US some time last year. A Hizbullah network was broken up in Tijuana, just south of California, while jihadist groups are actively trying to gain converts among disaffected Mexicans. And that’s just in Mexico: Hizbullah is active in Venezuela and the border region between Brazil and Paraguay. It shouldn’t be at all surprising that ISIS would look to our southern border as an avenue of attack. We should only be wondering when we’ll be hit, not if.

Is ISIS staring at us from south of the Border? I don’t know, and it’s fair to point out that Judicial Watch’s sources are unidentified. But, given what we know about our enemies and their goals, it’s also all too plausible.

That’s a reason so many of us are border hawks: not so much illegal immigration per se, but who might be hiding among the immigrants.

via The Blaze


Iranian defector: US acting as Tehran’s advocates in nuclear negotiations

March 28, 2015
x

Such a deal…

I’ll admit to confirmation bias: I’ve suspected this all along —

In his television interview, Mr Mottaghi also gave succour to western critics of the proposed nuclear deal, which has seen the White House pursue a more conciliatory line with Tehran than some of America’s European allies in the negotiating team, comprising the five permanent members of the UN security council and Germany.

“The US negotiating team are mainly there to speak on Iran’s behalf with other members of the 5+1 countries and convince them of a deal,” he said.

Amir Hossein Mottaghi was a close aide to Iranian President Rouhani and ran his campaign’s public relations. He defected when he decided it was impossible to work as a real journalist anymore, rather than as a parrot for the regime. (1) So, he defected in Switzerland when he went their ostensibly to cover the negotiations. (2)

Defector reports are always to be taken with several grains of salt, since they have reason to say things their hosts want to hear, but this is credible to me, given the insane concessions we seem to be making.

It’s a strange thing when I find myself rooting for the failure of an American president’s diplomacy and his consequent embarrassment, but that’s the blunt truth. If Mottaghi is right, we’ve gone from appeasement to collusion against our own interests and those of our allies. This is shaping up to be a horrifically bad deal with potentially catastrophic consequences; the humiliation of Barack Obama to thwart it would be a small price to pay.

via Daniel Halper

Footnote:
(1) It took him this long to realize this?
(2) Good thing he didn’t defect at our embassy. Obama might have been tempted to return him to show our “good faith.” And I’m only half-joking.


Hillary Clinton used private email for her State Dept. business. *All* of it. Updated: More private accounts?

March 3, 2015

800px-Hillary_Clinton_official_Secretary_of_State_portrait_crop

Remember, peasants, the rules are for you to follow. For Our Betters In Washington (all bow), they’re only suggestions:

Hillary Rodham Clinton exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state, State Department officials said, and may have violated federal requirements that officials’ correspondence be retained as part of the agency’s record.

Mrs. Clinton did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department. Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act.

It was only two months ago, in response to a new State Department effort to comply with federal record-keeping practices, that Mrs. Clinton’s advisers reviewed tens of thousands of pages of her personal emails and decided which ones to turn over to the State Department. All told, 55,000 pages of emails were given to the department. Mrs. Clinton stepped down from the secretary’s post in early 2013.

I want you to consider that bold portion carefully: the Secretary of State was conducting all her official correspondence, including classified material (remember: “exclusively”), on a private email account. That would include not only correspondence with her aides and other departmental and government figures, but exchanges with foreign governments — governments in Moscow, Beijing, Jerusalem, Cairo, Berlin, London, Tokyo, Ouagadougou… you name it. If this article is correct, it was all on a private email system, which is notoriously insecure.

And yet it was her aides, no doubt including consigliere Cheryl Mills, who decided what would be turned over to State. (Did they have a shredding party?)

I’d say the arrogance is astonishing, but this is the Clintons we’re talking about. “Entitlement” is emblazoned on their family crest.

And it’s not as if Lady Macbeth or anyone she worked with didn’t know about these regulations; they’d be part of every orientation and, if you’re too important to attend the ethics orientation, you’d have an aide who knew the rules. So, she had to have known and thus knowing violated the FRA.

On top of that, anyone she corresponded with knew. Her aides, State employees, officers of other departments, the White House… Surely they noticed “clintonemail.com” in the send line? At least some among them had more brains than a turnip and realized she was using an insecure service.

Did no one say anything to her?

Don’t be silly.

Did foreign intelligence services or rogue hackers break into this account?

I’d be shocked if they hadn’t. And I hope to God Clinton was at least using high-grade encryption.

Oh, and I bet you can guess what the elephant in the living room is, can’t you? One word: Benghazi

As Ed Morrissey at Hot Air reminds us, it was odd that the investigating committees looking into the Benghazi massacre found so little in her departmental correspondence. Now we know why — it was all in a private account that was hidden from Congress. From the NYT article, again:

The existence of Mrs. Clinton’s personal email account was discovered by a House committee investigating the attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi as it sought correspondence between Mrs. Clinton and her aides about the attack.

Two weeks ago, the State Department, after reviewing Mrs. Clinton’s emails, provided the committee with about 300 emails — amounting to roughly 900 pages — about the Benghazi attacks.

Mrs. Clinton and the committee declined to comment on the contents of the emails or whether they will be made public.

The State Department, Ms. Psaki said, “has been proactively and consistently engaged in responding to the committee’s many requests in a timely manner, providing more than 40,000 pages of documents, scheduling more than 20 transcribed interviews and participating in several briefings and each of the committee’s hearings.”

Again, note the portion in bold. State turned over those emails to the committee (presumably Rep. Gowdy’s Select Committee) two weeks ago, but Clinton’s huscarls decided what State would get two months ago.

Oh, yeah. Sure. They included everything and anything related to Benghazi and Libya. You betcha.

One point to keep in mind: At least for emails to other government employees, those who received La Clintona’s messages should still have them, assuming they also weren’t on private accounts that have since been scrubbed. That means the Select Committee has a lot of work ahead of it to identify those recipients and subpoena copies of those mails. Have fun, Chairman Gowdy!

A last consideration: This has been a bad sennight or so for the Clintons. Revelations about the bribes questionable donations to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State, now this news about her secret email account and continuing speculations about any other pants shoes to drop about Bill’s relationship with billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein — all these bear on her judgement, competence, and honesty, her qualifications to be President.

And all this has come out in such succession that one has to wonder if someone with a trove of embarrassing information who also dislikes the Clintons hasn’t decided to drop dime after dime on her to sympathetic press outlets, MSM organs that would like to see someone else, someone more pure in her progressivism, as the Democratic nominee.

Who needs House of Cards when you have the Clinton’s providing the drama and intrigue?

PS: And before someone can say “the Bush people did it, too!”, sure, though some of the “scandals,” such as the US Attorney firings, were ginned-up nothing-burgers. However, none of these figures did their government business wholly on private accounts and none sent classified information over those accounts, as Hillary certainly had to have, since she used this account “exclusively.”

UPDATE: Per Congressman Gowdy, it appears that Hillary Clinton had more than one personal account.


Ben Sasse (R-NE) on the Iran negotiations: the administration is “explicitly tolerating a renegade nuclear program”

February 25, 2015

The junior senator from Nebraska nails it in this video. Unlike our administration, he seems to have a clear understanding of both the ramifications of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons and the Obama administration’s feckless, delusional approach. Well worth watching:

via Fred Fleitz, who writes:

Obama officials defend their approach to the nuclear talks because they claim a final deal will be subject to robust verification by IAEA inspectors. This argument is hard to take seriously since Iran has never fully cooperated with the IAEA and has specifically refused to cooperated with IAEA inspectors during the talks and cheated on the interim agreement which set up the talks.Moreover, yesterday’s revelations (if they are true) by the NCRI, an Iranian dissident group, that Iran has been operating a secret facility where it has been developing advanced uranium centrifuges and may be enriching uranium adds to the suspicion that Tehran cannot be trusted with any dual-use nuclear technology.

It’s a shame Senator Sasse isn’t leading the negotiations, rather the buffoonish John Kerry.


For the good of the nation, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson should resign

February 19, 2015
Jeh Johnson

Jeh Johnson

It’s been tough to stomach the vacuous platitudes and the detached-from-all-reality prescriptions being offered at the White House’s three-day “summit” on “Countering Violent Extremism,” which is their latest laughable response to the threat from Islamic terrorism and jihad — though they’ll never use those words in a connected sense. It’s always an amorphous “violent extremism,” as if we should be just as worried about the threat from radical Presbyterians as much as the danger posed by Muslims waging jihad fi sabil Allah.

First there was the President’s own op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, in which, among other fatuities, he tells us we must deal with “legitimate grievances” that lead to “violent extremism,” perhaps meaning a Harf-ite jobs-for-jihadis program. I’m sure the fighters flocking to ISIS to burn people alive and buy sex slaves would lay down their arms if they only had a 9-5 with two weeks off.

Then there was Secretary of State Kerry’s blather about violent extremism and the need for unity and an “action agenda.” If anyone can find any intellectual substance behind his words, you’re a far better detective than I.

But those insults to our intelligence can be shrugged off as more of the mush that masquerades as a genuine foreign and national security policy in the administration. We’ve heard it all before, though it’s harder to take in such concentrated doses.

What can’t be shrugged off, however is a slanderous insult against the American people, especially when offered by the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Speaking at the CVE summit, Secretary Jeh Johnson said:

[W]e in the administration and the government should give voice to the plight of Muslims living in this country and the discrimination that they face. And so I personally have committed to speak out about the situation that very often people in the Muslim community in this country face.

Excuse me? What “plight?” Considering the horror visited upon America on September 11th, 2001, Muslims in the US have been treated with remarkable restraint and even kindness, as many people went out of their way to show they weren’t holding them to blame for the massacre their co-religionists wrought. In fact, in the most recent figures available, the FBI reports that there are more than three-times as many hate-crimes against Jews as against Muslims.  (1)

Will Secretary Johnson “give voice” to the tragic plight of Jews in America, too?

Later in the same article, Power Line’s John Hinderaker writes:

This is simply insane. Does the Obama administration think that pleading guilty–falsely–to discriminating against Muslims is somehow going to pacify ISIS, al Qaeda, Hezbollah and the rest? And what, exactly, is the “plight” of American Muslims? How does it compare with the plight of Muslims who live in Syria, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Libya and elsewhere in the Islamic world?

Not to mention the plight of Christians and Jews who live in those places, to the extent there are any left. A funny thing about that: if, as Johnson assures us, “the Islamic faith is one about peace and brotherhood,” what, exactly, happened to all those Christians and Jews? The administration is delusional, but one constant, no matter the context, is its reflexive instinct to condemn America.

Like I said, it’s one thing for Obama and Kerry to spew nonsense; perhaps I’ve become jaded to their drivel, but Secretary Johnson is specifically charged with the protection of Americans in the American homeland. For him to abase himself before the conference attendees and lend credence to the Islamic victim narrative with false accusations against his own people is beyond excuse and renders him unfit for his office.

I’d say he should do the decent thing and resign, but I’ve long stopped expecting decency from the typical Obama appointee.

Footnote:
(1) The recent murders of three Muslims in North Carolina, which apologists from the president down to CAIR were quick to imply were rooted in “Islamophobia,” appear instead to have been the horrifying result of a dispute over parking. But even if they had been motivated by religion, they would have been among the strikingly few examples of anti-Islamic violence in the US.


Is there anyone lower than a Senate Democrat?

February 4, 2015
"Senate Grinch"

“Senate Grinch”

I’m really not sure, after this stunt:

In a shocking move, Senate Democrats today filibustered all funding for the Department of Homeland Security. They refused to allow the DHS funding bill, which has already passed the House, to be brought up for a vote. This means that funding for DHS, including its many vital national security functions, will soon run out.

Why would Democrats vote unanimously to shut down DHS? Because the funding bill excludes the implementation of President Obama’s patently illegal and unconstitutional subversion of the nation’s immigration laws. The Democrats’ position is: either you go approve of and pay for the president’s illegal acts, or we will shut DHS down.

Note that “unanimously” includes supposed bridge-building moderate Joe Manchin (D-WV), who says he’s in DC to “get things done.” Remember this lesson: there is no such thing as a moderate or conservative Democrat, not when it counts — in a vote. They’ll say all the right words their voters want to hear about being “centrist” and standing against the president, but, when push comes to shove, they still vote with their progressive leadership.

But then, what else should we expect from a caucus still lead by Harry Reid, who as Majority Leader turned himself into a human roadblock against almost any bill passing, even amendments his own party members wanted considered? When it came to being “Dr. No,” Reid made Andrei Gromyko look like a paragon of cooperation.

Now in the minority, he apparently plans to do the same thing, all to protect Obama’s anti-constitutional usurpation of the Congress’ power to write our laws.

Again, what should we expect from the man who ran as fast as he could to a microphone to stab our Armed Forces in the back and scream “all is lost” just as they were about to begin a major campaign against al Qaeda?

Harry Reid is a venal, mean-spirited old wretch of a man whose idea of the “national interest” extends no further than his party’s caucus chamber and who couldn’t give a tinker’s cuss about his responsibilities to the Constitution.

The Senate will be improved immeasurably once he retires.

More from Politico.


Why an Iran nuclear deal probably won’t happen

November 17, 2014
c

Islamic Bomb

November 24th is the formal deadline for a “nuclear deal” between Iran and the group of nations, lead by the United States, that for some reason doesn’t want a government that sees its role as bringing about the Islamic “End Times” and destroying Israel to get its hands on nuclear weapons.

I know, I know. “Islamophobes.”

Anyway, the assumption has been that the Obama administration is desperate for a deal for several reasons: Obama himself wants his “Nixon to China” moment, something he can’t tout a a rare foreign policy success; the administration wants Iranian cooperation against the even more psycho ISIS and has decided that allowing Iran to get a bomb is the price it will have to pay — the agreement is then a sham cover for this; and perhaps that Obama and his national security team think that Iran having a nuclear weapon is unstoppable (they’ve even bragged about preventing Israel from doing something about it), but that the problem can be managed.

But Michael Ledeen, a sharp observer of the Iranian regime for many years, doesn’t think a deal will happen. He offers several reasons, but here are the two I think most salient:

–On the other hand, we also know that Khamenei does NOT want a deal with the Great Satan, and he has no interest in securing Obama’s legend. He is sick, he may well believe that he has limited time left on this earth, and he doesn’t want his legacy to read: he came to terms with Satan;

–So why would Khamenei make a deal? Answer: he’d make one that plainly humiliated the United States. And what does that look like? Answer: sanctions get nullified, he keeps his nuclear program, and Obama doesn’t get a visa to Iran;…

But he won’t sign, because…

Sanctions are crumbling anyway, and he’s got his nuclear program running along. Nothing happens when he tells the UN inspectors to go away without conducting their inspections. And he doesn’t think Obama will ever do anything seriously mean to him or his country.

I agree; Khamenei and his allies allies are getting everything they want, so what incentive does he have to give up on a project that’s been their dream since Khomeini seized power? Sanctions? Bah. They only hurt the common people, and Khamenei couldn’t care less about them. Besides, the mullahs are doing Allah’s Will. And there is absolutely no chance Barack Obama would ever try to use force to enforce them or stop the program, so… Why not just string us along until he can, again, leave us with egg dripping down our national face? They’ll get us to give them everything, then Tehran will renege at the last second and dare us to do something about it. After testing a bomb to prove their point.

Every president since Reagan has thought he could reach a grand bargain with Iran, but Iran has seen itself as being at war with us since 1979. We’ve only fitfully acknowledged that, even when they’ve been killing our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan and launching terror attacks worldwide.

Unless we open our eyes, they’re going to keep playing us for suckers until that lovely bomb is finally in their hands.


ISIS fighters caught sneaking into the US?

October 8, 2014
Seal of the new Caliphate

Seal of the new Caliphate

That’s the explosive charge made by Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA) last night on Greta van Susteren’s program:

Van Susteren: Hold on. Stop for one second.

Hunter: They are going to be bombing American cities coming across from Mexico.

Van Susteren: Let me ask a question. You say that they are coming in the southern border, which changes all the dynamics Do you have any information that they are coming in through the southern border now?

Hunter: Yes.

Van Susteren: Tell me what you know.

Hunter: At least ten ISIS fighters have been caught coming across the border in Texas.

Van Susteren: How do you know that?

Hunter: Because I’ve asked the border patrol, Greta.

Van Susteren And the border patrol just let’s ISIS members come across the border?

Hunter: No. They caught them at the border. Therefore, we know that ISIS is coming across the border. If they catch five or ten of them, you know that there are going to be dozens more that did not get caught by the border patrol. That’s how you know. That’s where we are at risk here, is from ISIS and radical Islamists coming across the border. Once again, they don’t have a navy, air force, nuclear weapons. The only way that Americans are going to be harmed by radical Islam — Chairman Dempsey said the same thing. He said that’s where the major threat is here, that’s how these guy guys are going to infiltrate through America and harm Americans.

If Hunter is right (as Jim Geraghty points out, he’s not known for being a hysteric) that ISIS terrorists have been caught at the border, then he’s also right to point out the risk that others have gotten through whom we don’t know about. At least, we the public don’t know about them. If they exist, I hope to God the FBI knows about them and is tracking them and about to make arrests. If they don’t know where they are –again, assuming Hunter is right and they exist– things could well get awfully scary, awfully fast.

It’s a given that jihadists from ISIS, al Qaeda, and other groups want to attack us, and our borders, particularly the southern one, are a huge weakness. Gee, maybe those of us calling for stiffer border security weren’t just a bunch of racist, nativist nutjobs after all.

PS: See Jim’s post for a worrisome quote from a Democratic congressman.