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.

 


No posting today

November 6, 2015
Long day

Tuckered out

It’s been a long day, and I’m too tired to care.

You might want to look at this, though. Just as a reminder that there’s no way Hillary Clinton should ever again come close to the Oval Office.


Republicans move to (finally) impeach IRS director

October 28, 2015
John Koskinen

John Koskinen

Honestly, I never thought they would really do it:

House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah) filed an impeachment resolution on Tuesday against IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, the turnaround expert who was brought in to clean up the tax agency in 2013. Mr. Chaffetz was joined by 18 fellow Republicans.

The charges focus on the destruction of magnetic tapes that contained e-mails from Lois Lerner, the former agency executive whose office gave extra scrutiny to the groups.

“John Andrew Koskinen engaged in a pattern of deception that demonstrates his unfitness to serve as Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service,” the resolution says, focusing on Mr. Koskinen’s statements last year about the agency’s efforts to retrieve documents for congressional investigations. “Commissioner Koskinen made a series of false and misleading statements to Congress in contravention of his oath to tell the truth.”

“The IRS vigorously disputes the allegations in the resolution. We have fully cooperated with all of the investigations,” the agency said in a written statement.

Of course, the IRS also said there had been no high level coordinated efforts to harass conservative and libertarian groups applying for non-profit status in the run-up to the 2012 election, and then, when that was shown to be a lie, said they couldn’t find Lois Lerner’s emails. That was also shown to be a lie. During the whole of his time in office, Commissioner Koskinen has stonewalled, obstructed, and flat-out lied to the Congress, the elected representatives of his bosses: us. His arrogance in several hearings I’ve watched has just been astounding. If not impeachment, he certainly deserves a pie in the face.

Long-time readers of this blog (all two of you) will recall that I often called for the impeachment of former Attorney General Eric Holder and that I believe Barack Obama merits impeachment and removal from office. Partly because their malfeasance and incompetence in office (1) deserve it, but also to restore some respect for Congress’ role as the representatives of the people and the states. Congress has been so reluctant to impeach and remove officials who abuse their power that it has contributed to the decline of the legislature’s status as a co-equal branch and the rise of “Crown government.” Along with denying funds, impeachment is the only weapon Congress has to hold the Executive to account.

Make no mistake, however: as the article points out, removing even a minor wretch like Mr. Koskinen will be difficult. Other than judges, Congress has gone after Executive Branch officials only twice: Grant’s Secretary of War and President Clinton, himself. Removing Koskinen requires 67 senators voting to convict, which means several Democrats would have to turn against the Obama White House, which appointed him. Ain’t gonna happen.

However, putting this malicious bureaucrat on trial would be a small first step on the road toward restoring Congress’ authority by asserting its institutional and constitutional prerogatives. In other words, you abuse your power,  you get your power taken away from you.

By all rights, this should be the first of several.

Pour encourager les autres.


Benghazi: Proof of what we knew, that @HillaryClinton is a lying suckweasel

October 23, 2015
American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

Those of us who’ve followed the story of the attack by al Qaeda affiliates on our post in Benghazi, resulting in the deaths of four Americans, including the Ambassador, have known all along that Hillary Clinton was lying about what she did and knew that night, and in her public statements afterwards. Whether about the causes of the attack, or her concern for security in Benghazi, or about what she did that night, Hillary Clinton has stonewalled Congress and dissembled –lied– to the American people, all to protect, first, Barack Obama’s reelection and then her own chances at the presidency.

One of the big questions concerns her efforts from the night of the attack, itself, and for another 10-11 days to blame the catastrophe on an obscure YouTube video made by an Islam-hating Coptic Egyptian and minor crook living in the US. The man was rousted by Orange County, CA, Sheriff’s Department on a ticky-tack parole violation and he spent about a year in jail, in fear of his life from Muslim retaliation, his First Amendment rights curb-stomped by this administration, including Hillary Clinton.

Even more appalling, just a few days after the attack and when the bodies were being returned to the US, Clinton stood before the families of the dead and promised the US would “get” the guy who made that video. She said this to their faces, in personal conversation.

Few paying attention gave the video explanation any credence, but, we now know, thanks to her appearance before the Benghazi committee yesterday, that she knew that night that it was a terrorist attack, yet she chose to lie:

Here’s what the Benghazi committee found in Thursday’s hearing. Two hours into Mrs. Clinton’s testimony, Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan referred to an email Mrs. Clinton sent to her daughter, Chelsea, at 11:12 the night of the attack, or 45 minutes after the secretary of state had issued a statement blaming YouTube-inflamed mobs. Her email reads: “Two of our officers were killed in Benghazi by an Al Queda-like group.” Mrs. Clinton doesn’t hedge in the email; no “it seems” or “it appears.” She tells her daughter that on the anniversary of 9/11 an al Qaeda group assassinated four Americans.

That same evening, Mrs. Clinton spoke on the phone with Libyan President Mohamed Magariaf, around 8 p.m. The notes from that conversation, in a State Department email, describe her as saying: “We have asked for the Libyan government to provide additional security to the compound immediately as there is a gun battle ongoing, which I understand Ansar as Sharia [sic] is claiming responsibility for.” Ansar al Sharia is al Qaeda’s affiliate on the Arabian Peninsula. So several hours into the attack, Mrs. Clinton already believed that al Qaeda was attacking U.S. facilities.

The next afternoon, Mrs. Clinton had a call with the Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Kandil. The notes from it are absolutely damning. The secretary of state tells him: “We know that the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack—not a protest.” And yet Mrs. Clinton, and Ms. Rice and Mr. Obama for days and days continued to spin the video lie.

She could tell her daughter the truth, but not the American people, not even the parents of the dead. She not only withheld the truth, she absolutely lied to them.

This is not a Republican or Democrat issue, nor is it a conservative, liberal, libertarian, or progressive “talking point.” This isn’t a case where reasonable people can disagree over policy and call it a draw.

No, this is an issue of character. Of personality. Of ethics and morals. Of not just one person’s qualifications to hold public office, but their fundamental worthiness to do so.

Hillary Rodham Clinton has shown she has no sense of duty or honor, nor even any personal decency. Nothing beyond the raw need to protect herself and her dream. It is as plain as the noses on all our faces that she would act the same way, should she become president. She would be Dick Nixon in a pants suit, but without the competence. No one, but no one who cares about the United States and, indeed, the world, should ever vote to put this loathsome creature in the Oval Office.

I’ve often referred to Hillary as “Lady Macbeth” in the past for her obvious, ruthless lust for power. Somewhere in the afterlife, Shakespeare smiles grimly: he knew her type all too well.

RELATED: The Benghazi committee bombshell.

UPDATE: Michael Haz on Twitter asks an excellent question I wish the committee had asked:

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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.


Hillary’s Sources, Methods, and Lies

September 9, 2015

An interesting discussion of how the same piece of information can wind up assigned different levels of classification by different agencies: it depends on how the information is obtained.

The XX Committee

I’ve been doing my best to explain the complex intelligence realities behind Hillary Clinton’s on-going #EmailGate scandal for months now, and we’re still far from the end of this messy saga.

Hillary’s take on what happened with her State Department “unclassified” email and her “private” server has see-sawed with the customary Clintonian lawyerly evasions, untruths, and now something approaching half-truths.

First it was: everything done was legal and acceptable.

Then came: mistakes were perhaps made, but not by me, and I’m not apologizing.

Followed by: the inevitable Clintonian sorry-not-sorry.

Now, having seen her polls dropping in rock-like fashion, we’re at: I’m kinda sorry but still nothing I emailed was “marked” classified.

The last is a particularly dishonest evasion, given that the Intelligence Community has twicedetermined that in fact TOPSECRET//SCI information was included in Hillary’s “private” email on at least two occasions. Given that’s from a sample of just forty…

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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


Well, what do you know? Lois Lerner had a secret email account, too.

August 25, 2015
"The dog ate my Blackberry!"

“Toby Miles??”

Shades of former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson’s “Richard Windsor” account and Hillary Clinton’s off-the-books (and unsecured!) email server.

Is there anyone in the federal government who isn’t conducting official business on unofficial, off-the-record accounts with fake names?

Lois Lerner had yet another personal email account used to conduct some IRS business, the tax agency confirmed in a new court filing late Monday that further complicates the administration’s efforts to be transparent about Ms. Lerner’s actions during the tea party targeting scandal.

The admission came in an open-records lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch, a conservative public interest law firm that has sued to get a look at emails Ms. Lerner sent during the targeting.

IRS lawyer Geoffrey J. Klimas told the court that as the agency was putting together a set of documents to turn over to Judicial Watch, it realized Ms. Lerner had used yet another email account, in addition to her official one and another personal one already known to the agency.

“In addition to emails to or from an email account denominated ‘Lois G. Lerner‘ or ‘Lois Home,’ some emails responsive to Judicial Watch’s request may have been sent to or received from a personal email account denominated ‘Toby Miles,’” Mr. Klimas told Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, who is hearing the case.

It is unclear who Toby Miles is, but Mr. Klimas said the IRS has concluded that was “a personal email account used by Lerner.”

In case you don’t recall, Lerner was at the center of a scandal in which the IRS stood accused of harassing conservative and libertarian “Tea Party” groups organized as 501(c) non-profit groups. First her official work emails couldn’t be found, then it was claimed her hard drive had (conveniently) crashed, then backup tapes were lost or overwritten — until the Inspector General found them after looking for all of five minutes. Oh, and Lerner took the 5th, even though she has nothing to hide. (According to her.)

Naturally, this will set off a new round of court fights and delays as Judicial Watch (which really should get a fruit basket from House Republicans for doing their job for them) seeks access to those emails. The results should be interesting. Sure, they may be wholly innocuous messages, but, then, in that case…

Why the fake name? (1)

via Conservative Intel

Footnote:
(1) Assuming it’s not in the Ashley Madison database, of course….


Sources: Formal Criminal Investigation of Clinton Coming Soon

August 20, 2015

As retired Colorado Springs Homicide detective Lt. Joe Kenda, host of “Homicide Hunter,” would say, “Well, my, my, my.” Read on for speculation on how this is an orchestrated effort by Obama to torpedo Hillary and set up a Biden-Warren ticket. *shudder*

Nice Deb

soon2

According to an NPR(*not a typo) report, federal authorities may be getting ready to step up their “inquiry” into Hillary Clinton’s “unique email arrangement” (as Trey Gowdy habitually puts it.)

“I think that the FBI will be moving with all deliberate speed to determine whether there were serious breaches of national security here,” said Ron Hosko, who used to lead the FBI’s criminal investigative division.

He said agents will direct their questions not just at Clinton, but also her close associates at the State Department and beyond.

“I would want to know how did this occur to begin with, who knew, who approved,” Hosko said.

Authorities are asking whether Clinton or her aides mishandled secrets about the Benghazi attacks and other subjects by corresponding about them in emails.

***

Why is Clinton emphasizing the idea that none of those messages were marked? Because what she knew — her intent…

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Oh, my. Is there a backup to Hillary’s unauthorized, insecure email server?

August 17, 2015
Above the rules.

What backups?

Well, this news should have Lady Macbeth shrieking: the company she hired to store the unsecure server she kept in basement at Chappaqua (and on which she kept Top Secret information) may have made a backup before wiping and storing it.

Oops.

Platte River Networks, the Denver-based cybersecurity firm Hillary Clinton hired in 2013 to maintain her old email server, says it is “highly likely” a full backup of the device was made and that the thousands of emails Clinton deleted may still exist, ABC News is reporting.

On Wednesday, Platte River gave the FBI the server Clinton used as secretary of state. The Democratic presidential candidate had stated numerous times prior to that that she would not relinquish control of the server to a third party.

But the FBI became interested in the hardware after the revelation that the Intelligent Community inspector general had determined that two emails that traversed the server contained “top secret” information. While Clinton is not believed to have sent the emails in question, the finding undermines her claims at the onset of the email scandal in March that no classified information ever landed on her server.

Platte River has said that it is cooperating with the FBI and that it is not the target of any investigation.

The company did not respond to requests for additional comment Sunday.

The details about how Clinton’s server was handled and how the data from it was transferred have remained unclear.

That could be quite dangerous for Her Majesty’s campaign, which was already creaking and popping leaks like an old rusty tramp steamer. There’s been endless speculation about what’s in those emails, ranging from criminally mishandled state secrets (which we already know is true), to evidence of exchanging favorable decisions by Hillary as Secretary of State in return for donations to the Clinton Foundation (quite likely), to evidence of her aides’ corruption, to embarrassing proof of how incompetent Hillary was at State. Or all of the above.

No wonder she was inquiring about books on securely deleting emails.

And too bad (1) Platte River may have made them useless.

Footnote:
(1) No, really. I’m all broken up about this. Can’t you tell? smiley devil

 


(Video) Klintonerdämmerung, or, “Meanwhile, back in Chappaqua…”

August 12, 2015

If you don’t do anything else today, do yourself a favor and watch this. I believe it’s another clip from “Downfall,” but, regardless, it’s screamingly funny.

smiley rofl


Fast & Furious: gun used in Garland, TX, jihad attack obtained via US “sting” operation?

August 1, 2015
Fatwa this!

An explosive convergence

We are going to be paying for the Obama administration’s madness for years to come:

Five years before he was shot to death in the failed terrorist attack in Garland, Texas, Nadir Soofi walked into a suburban Phoenix gun shop to buy a 9-millimeter pistol.

At the time, Lone Wolf Trading Co. was known among gun smugglers for selling illegal firearms. And with Soofi’s history of misdemeanor drug and assault charges, there was a chance his purchase might raise red flags in the federal screening process.

Inside the store, he fudged some facts on the form required of would-be gun buyers.

What Soofi could not have known was that Lone Wolf was at the center of a federal sting operation known as Fast and Furious, targeting Mexican drug lords and traffickers. The idea of the secret program was to allow Lone Wolf to sell illegal weapons to criminals and straw purchasers, and track the guns back to large smuggling networks and drug cartels.

Instead, federal agents lost track of the weapons and the operation became a fiasco, particularly after several of the missing guns were linked to shootings in Mexico and the 2010 killing of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in Arizona.

Soofi’s attempt to buy a gun caught the attention of authorities, who slapped a seven-day hold on the transaction, according to his Feb. 24, 2010, firearms transaction record, which was reviewed by the Los Angeles Times. Then, for reasons that remain unclear, the hold was lifted after 24 hours, and Soofi got the 9-millimeter.

(…)

A day after the attack, the Department of Justice sent an “urgent firearms disposition request” to Lone Wolf, seeking more information about Soofi and the pistol he bought in 2010, according to a June 1 letter from Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, to U.S. Atty. Gen. Loretta Lynch.

Though the request did not specify whether the gun was used in the Garland attack, Justice Department officials said the information was needed “to assist in a criminal investigation,” according to Johnson’s letter, also reviewed by The Times.

The FBI so far has refused to release any details, including serial numbers, about the weapons used in Garland by Soofi and Simpson. Senate investigators are now pressing law enforcement agencies for answers, raising the chilling possibility that a gun sold during the botched Fast and Furious operation ended up being used in a terrorist attack against Americans.

Among other things, Johnson is demanding to know whether federal authorities have recovered the gun Soofi bought in 2010, where it was recovered and whether it had been discharged, according to the letter. He also demanded an explanation about why the initial seven-day hold was placed on the 2010 pistol purchase and why it was lifted after 24 hours.

You can scroll back through the Gunwalker archives here or read Katie Pavlich’s excellent book on Operation Fast and Furious for background on this bloody fiasco. (Also, investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson’s archive) One point to emphasize is that Lone Wolf Trading was “known” for selling guns illegally because it was pressured by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms into cooperating with this “felony stupid” program, one that supplied guns to Mexican drug cartels and resulted in the deaths of over 300 Mexican civilians, police, and military, as well as two or three US federal officers.

It must be noted that Soofi bought his gun not as a straw buyer for the cartels, and the system did at first flag him, then let him pass. But questions abound: why was he flagged in the first place?  Was he thought to be a cartel-buyer? Did they have some other reason to suspect him? Would he have been blocked, having lied on his forms, if not for Operation Fast and Furious? And why was the hold released?

Though Soofi wasn’t walking the gun to Mexico, he did try to kill Americans for the horrid crime of exercising their right to free speech and criticizing Islam. And he may well have used a gun he obtained with the help of the United States Department of Justice and its subordinate agencies, all headed by then-Attorney General Eric Holder and President Obama.

We’re not done bleeding for their incompetence.

via Katie Pavlich


Bookshelf update: Sharyl Attkisson’s “Stonewalled”

June 4, 2015

Renaissance scholar astrologer

I’ve updated the “What I’m reading” widget to the right to reflect the latest item on the Public Secrets lectern, Sharyl Attkisson’s “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.”

book cover attkisson stonewalled

 

Attkisson is an award-winning investigative journalist who spent roughly 20 years with CBS before leaving in 2014. For her determined pursuit of the truth and information government and corporate officials would rather keep hidden, she’s been called a “bulldog,” a term she regards as a compliment. While Stonewalled deals with the scandals and evasions of the Obama administration and its allies, Attkisson has a reputation as a bipartisan bulldog — a pain in the tuchus to Democrats and Republicans, alike. This is what a good journalist should be.

I’m about half-way through Stonewalled and, so far, it’s been equal parts enjoyable, infuriating, and even frightening. Before discussing scandals such as Fast and Furious and the Obamacare rollout, as well as the almost equally scandalous supine attitude of mainstream journalism toward the administration, Attkisson opens with the story of her discovery that her work and personal computers, and her phone, had been hacked by a government agency during her investigation into the Benghazi massacre. Though she hasn’t yet identified in the book who she believes is responsible, I’ll note that she has filed suit against  the Department of Justice and the US Postal Service. Discovery, as they say should be interesting.

I’m reading her book in Kindle format; it’s also in soft (forthcoming) and hardcover. Regarding the Kindle edition, I’ve spotted just one lone typo and no formatting problems, which is very good for an e-book. Her writing style is straightforward, almost Hemingway-esque in its directness. If Ms. Attkisson reveals any ax to grind, it’s her firm belief that information paid for with taxpayer dollars belongs to the public, not the government.

I’ll post a review when I’ve finished.

PS: Why, yes. This is a shameless bit of shilling on my part. I like getting the occasional gift certificate that comes from people buying stuff via my link. Wouldn’t you?


Hillary has nothing to hide, and she wiped the email server to prove it

March 27, 2015
Above the rules.

Above the rules.

Keep this in mind: Hillary Clinton conducted all her State Department official correspondence on this private server. Her top, close aides at State all had accounts on this server. It is inconceivable that sensitive United States Government information  –information foreign intel services would love to have– was not stored on it. The server was astoundingly insecure; in fact, we know it was hacked.

Ergo, it is in the interests of the United State and its people to find out in a verifiable manner –not just taking Hillary’s word for it– what was on that server and if the official records of her work have all been turned over to State, as commanded by law. Also, a forensic analysis of the server is imperative to determine if anyone else had hacked it: who, when, what did they get? Beyond questions of Benghazi or the questionable dealings of the Clinton foundation, we need to know how much damage may have been done to the national security and foreign relations of our country. The potential security breach could make Edward Snowden look like an amateur.

Which is why she wiped the server:

The head of the House Select Committee on Benghazi says former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has erased all information from the personal email server she used while serving as the nation’s top diplomat.

“We learned today, from her attorney, Secretary Clinton unilaterally decided to wipe her server clean and permanently delete all emails from her personal server,” Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said in a statement Friday.

He said while it’s “not clear precisely when Secretary Clinton decided to permanently delete all emails from her server, it appears she made the decision after October 28, 2014, when the Department of State for the first time asked the Secretary to return her public record to the Department.”

Last week, Gowdy sent a letter to Clinton’s attorney asking that the email server be turned over to a third party in the hopes that an investigation could recover about 30,000 emails that her team deleted before turning the rest over to the State Department.

Gowdy said “it is clear Congress will need to speak with the former Secretary about her email arrangement and the decision to permanently delete those emails.”

Emphasis added. This wasn’t just a wipe to reinstall Window Server or whatever outdated software she was using. When she received word that State wanted those emails, she ran downstairs to hit the SCRAM button. It’s no longer a question of “if,” but “what.” What was on that server she was so desperate to hide? Whatever it was, she arrogated to herself the right to decide what was and wasn’t relevant. In spite of the law. And now we’ll likely never know.

This is like an embezzler burning down a building to hide his crime.

The high-handed corruption of the Clintons never fails to astound.


(Video) Bill Whittle on “The criminal arrogance of Hillary Clinton”

March 22, 2015

Whittle draws an interesting comparison between the arrogance and contempt for the rule of law shown by Hillary Clinton, on the one hand, and King George III on the other. More galling than her apparent crimes themselves is the attitude behind them: that the law, which, under the common law system that is our heritage from Great Britain, is supposed to apply equally to all citizens high and low, does not apply to her — nor to the governing class of which she is a part.

That is, our new aristocracy:

Time to put them back in their places, it is.


Oh, my: Obama and Hillary regularly exchanged emails

March 9, 2015

 

"It's all good. No worries!"

“It’s all good. No worries!”

To and from her private email address, hosted on a private server of questionable security in her own house.

Well, there goes any argument that The One only learned of this in his usual way, by reading the papers:

President Barack Obama communicated via email with Hillary Clinton while she used her personal email, according to the White House.

In a press briefing on Monday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that Obama did correspond with his secretary of state via her private email address.

“The president, as I think many people expected, did over the course of his first several years in office trade emails with his secretary of state,” Earnest said. “I would not describe the number of emails as large, but they did have the occasion to email each other.”

Yeah, not many emails. You know, the President of the United States and his top diplomat were just trading LOL Cat links and recipes. No way were they conducting important discussions on matters of state or sharing classified information that governments around the world would die to get their hands on. Nope. Unthinkable.

Consider: any intelligence service worth its salt hacked the Clinton’s server the moment they learned she was using a private email address, and I guarantee you someone found that out over her four-year term. And, if that happened, they now have the president’s private email address plus copies of any information she sent him and he sent her.

It would be as if China’s Ministry of State Security had a stenographer in the Oval Office.

Remember, Clinton used this email exclusively. No matter what security the White House had, the Clinton’s server was secured by the equivalent of a “No peeking” sign. What information did she and Obama share with each other? Were any classified docs sent as attachments? Edward Snowden has to be wondering why he went to all that trouble, when we were making it so easy.

Food for thought: No one with more than half a brain believes Obama didn’t notice the sender info in his emails over four years, nor knew that Hillary was running a private network. And yet if His Oneness sent classified info over unsecure lines, knowing what Hillary was doing and making no effort to put a stop to it, isn’t the POTUS himself as culpable, at least morally?

Afterthought: You know, if the committees of Congress want to know what’s in Hillary’s emails, they could just ask Wikileaks…

 


Hypocrisy, thy name is “Hillary”

March 5, 2015
Above the rules.

Above the rules.

Perfect. While Lady Macbeth was running her own private email network on her own private servers hidden in her own private home, she fired our ambassador to Kenya for… running his own private network.

Only in America; only the Clintons:

Very soon after the Ambassador’s arrival in May 2011, he broadcast his lack of confidence in the information management staff. Because the information management office could not change the Department’s policy for handling Sensitive But Unclassified material, he assumed charge of the mission’s information management operations. He ordered a commercial Internet connection installed in his embassy office bathroom so he could work there on a laptop not connected to the Department email system. He drafted and distributed a mission policy authorizing himself and other mission personnel to use commercial email for daily communication of official government business. During the inspection, the Ambassador continued to use commercial email for official government business. The Department email system provides automatic security, record-keeping, and backup functions as required. The Ambassador’s requirements for use of commercial email in the office and his flouting of direct instructions to adhere to Department policy have placed the information management staff in a conundrum: balancing the desire to be responsive to their mission leader and the need to adhere to Department regulations and government information security standards.

And I bet the parallel never occurred to her.

The brass of this clan is just amazing.


Two reasons why Hillary had the secret email account. Choose one.

March 4, 2015
x

“Emails? What emails?”

Really, you have to wonder why she (and Bill) would do something so dumb, so dangerously likely to come out and potentially cripple her presidential run.

Why, Hillary? Why??

Well, there are a couple of plausible explanations. Let’s look at both.

First, there’s the “facing the truth about herself” argument from National Review‘s Kevin Williamson: Hillary was preparing for her own failure:

Mrs. Clinton knows – she must know, at some level – that she has been grossly unprepared for every position she has held in public life other than that of first lady. She was a New York senator who knew the parts of the state more than 40 miles from a park-view room at the Plaza about as well as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. knows Muleshoe, Texas. She was a presidential candidate whose only recommendations were ovaries and a surname beloved – but not quite enough — by Democratic primary voters. And then she became a secretary of state appointed to the position mainly to appease the bruised feelings of Clintonites and to keep her from making mischief in case of a first-term Obama administration meltdown.

But she was a grossly incompetent secretary of state who knew that she was going to run for president again, and thus she took positive steps in advance to put in place protocols that would help her to mask her inadequacy. It is difficult even for her admirers to make a credible argument that her time in that office was anything other than disastrous. She knows this.

There’s really no denying any of this. Hillary’s sole means of advancing herself has been by riding the coattails of powerful men. It’s the reason she stayed with Bill, even after his serial infidelities, the most famous of which lead to her national humiliation: these men were her key to power. When she bungled the nominating race in 2008 and lost to a more nimble, younger, male candidate what everyone had assumed for years would be hers, her only hope of gaining the presidency she was inadequate to win on her own was to be a good soldier and make “the deal.”

And whenever those powerful men have given her important assignments –Hillarycare, under Bill; Secretary of State, under Obama– she’s been awful at them.

She bungled them all. She just wasn’t up to the task, whatever it was.

So, as Secretary of State, she used a private email account to hide her failings.

Like I said, “plausible.” I was willing to run with this, until further information came out. (More on that in a bit.)

The other theory is Stanley Kurtz’s. Kurtz, who also writes for NR and is a PhD in Social Anthropology, has written a couple of excellent books on President Obama. He’s a trained observer of cultural and political behavior. In his estimation, the news about the secret email account fits with a “Clinton family culture” that ingrained in her a habit, a reflexive need to evade executive responsibility:

The problems go back as far as Bill’s failed congressional campaign of 1974 and extend through a long series of cases in the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion and the Clinton White House. Typically, Hillary appeared on no flow chart and held no official authority, yet she intervened to delay or reverse existing decisions, sowing confusion. Desperate to disguise the extent of her de facto power, Hillary was driven to an obsessive secrecy that only increased the administrative chaos.

When Hillary finally secured a formal role as leader of the health-care initiative in the Clinton White House, the problem simply took on another form. Hillary circumvented the policy-planning apparatus of the White House by creating an unwieldy and hyper-secret parallel health-care bureaucracy of her own. The result was political and administrative disarray.

With direct access to Bill putting her beyond any official White House record-keeping, Hillary grew used to acting without a paper trail. To avoid that eventuality entirely, she began disguising her West Wing activities by using White House staffers as proxies, creating further confusion.

Hillary also forced White House aides to spend endless hours “erasing her fingerprints” from controversial decisions such as closing off the White House press corridor or firing White House travel office personnel to replace them with Clinton cronies. Vince Foster’s suicide may have been a direct result of Hillary’s attempt to evade responsibility for her own decisions. After erasing Hillary’s fingerprints from the travel office firings, Foster knew he’d be vulnerable to charges of having misled congressional investigators while he was under oath.

This is the more credible theory, I think, especially when one considers the news that the Clintons had, not just a private, semi-secret email for her conduct of State Department business, but their own private email servers in their home, set up by a man no one can so far trace. Consider:

Operating her own server would have afforded Clinton additional legal opportunities to block government or private subpoenas in criminal, administrative or civil cases because her lawyers could object in court before being forced to turn over any emails. And since the Secret Service was guarding Clinton’s home, an email server there would have been well protected from theft or a physical hacking.

Fits to a tee with the “obsessive secrecy” angle, doesn’t it?

I suppose one could argue that both could be true, the secrecy being a protective layer over the awareness of her own incompetence. But, whatever the truth, two things are certain: Where the Clintons are concerned, there is no shortage of popcorn-worthy drama, and there is no way she should ever be let near the Oval Office.

What do you think?


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.