While the media is focusing your attention on the shiny object that is her email server, the real story is not being told. The circumstantial evidence indicates that Hillary Clinton, or members of her inner circle with her connivance, purloined highly classified US intelligence and either sold it, traded it, or used it for personal gain. This is not a conspiracy theory and it is not hyperbole. Stick with me for a moment.
On Monday, the inspector general for the 17 spy agencies that make up what is known as the intelligence community told Congress that two of 40 emails in a random sample of the 30,000 emails Clinton gave the State Department for review contained information deemed "Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information," one of the government's highest levels of classification.
The AP story, along with much of the rest of the media is trying to give two impressions:
First, the Clinton abstracted classifed information and included it in her emails, again AP
Clinton did not transmit the sensitive information herself, they said, and nothing in the emails she received makes clear reference to communications intercepts, confidential intelligence methods or any other form of sensitive sourcing.
Second, that there is all kinds of confusion about security classification
Nothing in the message is "lifted" from classified documents, the officials said, though they differed on where the information in it was sourced. Some said it improperly points back to highly classified material, while others countered that it was a classic case of what the government calls "parallel reporting" — different people knowing the same thing through different means.
We've all seen this behavior before with Clinton and her confederates in the media. Rose Law Firm records? Cattle futures? Whitewater? First it is "nothing to see here, move on." Next it is "it is all so complicated, how could a somewhat addled old lady possibly keep it straight?"
This is bulls***
According to the Intelligence Community IG this is what was found in the documents David Kendall turned over on the famous "thumb drive" :
Focus your attention on the last line. Now let's see what this means let's go to John Schindler of 20committee.com writing at The Daily Beast:
• TOP SECRET, as the name implies, is the highest official classification level in the U.S. government, defined as information whose unauthorized release “could cause exceptionally grave damage to national security or foreign relations.”
• SI refers to Special Intelligence, meaning it is information derived from intercepted communications, which is the business of the National Security Agency, America’s single biggest source of intelligence. They’re the guys who eavesdrop on phone calls, map who’s calling whom, and comb through emails. SI is a subset of what the intelligence community calls Sensitive Compartmented Information, or SCI. And these materials always require special handling and protection. They are to be kept in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, or SCIF, which is a special hardened room that is safe from both physical and electronic intrusion.
• TK refers to Talent Keyhole, which is an intelligence community caveat indicating that the classified material was obtained via satellite.
• NOFORN, as the name implies, means that the materials can only be shown to Americans, not to foreigners.
If you are interested in the permutations of security classifications at the TS level, this is a good primer.
The focus here is TK. This document the IC IG is talking about is satellite imagery. That is all it could have been. The Keyhole-series satellite is a recon satellite that produces imagery. It doesn't produce anything else. What the IG found is not a passing reference to classified information or something State produced independently.
How did it get there?
The information we are talking about had to have originated on a highly secure network, one that was certified to handle SCIF-level information. (See page 43 for details) At some point it migrated from a SCIF to a highly secure network to Clinton's email to her server. To get the document from the secure channel to the non-secure channel requires conscious effort. IT CANNOT HAPPEN BY ACCIDENT. This is evidenced by the fact that it appears someone stripped classifications from documents:
The claims come after the Clinton campaign stuck to the argument that the Democratic presidential candidate, while secretary of state, never dealt with emails that were "marked" classified at the time.
"Hillary only used her personal account for unclassified email. No information in her emails was marked classified at the time she sent or received them," campaign Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri said in a statement to supporters Wednesday.
But a State Department official told Fox News that the intelligence community inspector general, who raised the most recent concerns about Clinton's emails, made clear that at least one of those messages contained information that only could have come from the intelligence community.
"If so, they would have had to come in with all the appropriate classification markings," the official said.
The official questioned whether someone, then, tampered with that message. "[S]omewhere between the point they came into the building and the time they reached HRC's server, someone would have had to strip the classification markings from that information before it was transmitted to HRC's personal email."
This seems to be true because the Clinton campaign is pushing the "retroactive classification" story line and the IC IG implies that the images have been properly marked for their report which implies they were not properly marked when recovered.
Now we have a situation where a person or persons downloaded highly classified images in a SCIF environment, or scanned hard copies of documents in a SCIF (cleared persons can bring electronic devices into a SCIF and there are dozens of scanner apps for smartphones and tablets. Clinton and her clique would undoubtedly be cleared.), ported those electronic files over to a non-secure computer and emailed them to someone using Hillary Clinton's server. These particular images were emailed by or to Hillary Clinton.
If you want to stop now just remember this:
The information the IC IG is talking about a) could not have accidentally ended up in Clinton's email, b) it was altered to remove security classifications, and c) there has to be a reason someone selected this information, from among the wealth of top secret information Clinton had access to, to steal.
Why would anyone do that?
Now that we've dismissed the idea that the classified material was classified post facto, or it was mentioned in passing and accidentally ended up in Hillary's email, the question becomes one of a) why anyone would remove highly classified material from a secure environment, b) strip the security markings on highly classified satellite imagery and c) send it via un-secure email. These answers go to motive and state of mind. They wanted to sanitize the imagery as much as possible so no casual observer could tell it was classified (which asks another why? question which we will get to) and it was sent via un-secure email because the intended recipient did not have SCIF access.
What we know for certain is that Clinton could not have been contemplating saving this information for use in her memoirs because her memoirs would require State and Intelligence review and someone would have identified the imagery as TS//TK.
The beginning of a trail...
We know that Hillary Clinton relied to some degree on intelligence briefings sent to her by her loyalist and vicious attack poodle, Sid Blumenthal. This arrangement came to light when Blumethal's AOL account (I am not making that up) was accessed by a Romanian hacker nicknamed 'Guccifer.' Via Politico:
Sidney Blumenthal did not write or know the source of any of the Libya intelligence he passed on to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the top Clinton ally told investigators on the House Select Committee on Benghazi Tuesday in a closed-door deposition.
Blumenthal, subpoenaed by the committee, also did not verify any of the intelligence he forwarded to the nation’s top diplomat. Instead, Blumenthal was copying and pasting memos from Tyler Drumheller, a former CIA operative who was looking into a Libya-related business venture, and sending them to Clinton, two people familiar with his testimony told POLITICO.
“One of the folks providing her the largest volume of information was simply and merely a conduit of someone who … may have had business interest in Libya,” said panel Chairman [mc_name name='Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC)' chamber='house' mcid='G000566' ] (R-S.C.) at the end of a nearly nine-hour interview. “We have a CIA, so why would you not rely on your own vetted source intelligence agency? In this case, there was no vetting, no analysis of credibility whatsoever.”
In her early months in office, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in contact with unofficial adviser Sidney Blumenthal more often and on a wider range of topics than was previously known, a set of about 3,000 Clinton emails released Tuesday night by the State Department revealed.
While Blumenthal’s role as a provider of off-the-books intelligence reports on Libya has stirred controversy, the newly disclosed emails show he also acted as an intermediary with officials involved in the Northern Ireland peace process and shared advice with Clinton on issues from Iran to British politics to how to blame China for the breakdown of global climate talks.
Blumenthal claims he didn't actually know anything, that he was only an intermediary passing information from a former CIA official, Iraq War critic (I know, those are redundant terms) and would-be political player named Tyler Drumheller.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had access to the world’s top intelligence agencies and their resources, but at the most turbulent moment of her tenure as the nation’s top diplomat, she received a stream of intelligence on Libya and the Benghazi attack by a former CIA official working outside the government, sources said.
Since his retirement, Drumheller has also contributed to various Democratic politicians, according to records maintained by the Center for Responsive Politics. In 2005, he contributed a combined $800 to the Senate campaigns of former Sens. Mark Pryor and Mary Landrieu, and donated $500 to Rep. Bill Pascrell, D-New Jersey, in 2011, the Center for Responsive Politics said.
We know at least two Clinton cronies followed her to State: Cheryl Mills (Chief of Staff) and sweet Huma Abedin (Deputy Chief of Staff). They also had Clinton foundation email addresses. Both Mills and Abedin held the status of 'special employees' which allowed them to hold other jobs while working at State. Mills was on the board of NYU's Abu Dhabi campus, general counsel for NYU, and on the payroll of the Clinton Foundation. Abedin worked for an investment consultancy called Teneo Holdings and was also on the payroll of the Clinton Foundation. We don't know their security access but it would be safe to say they saw everything Hillary did.
What happened to the imagery?
Either Clinton sent top secret material via her private email to herself to archive for grins or the Clinton server was only a way station on its way somewhere else. Simply keeping the images for some future use doesn't make sense to me as it is a high risk-low payoff action. The more likely scenario is that something was done with the images, something that benefited one or more Clintons.
A logical route would be Clinton gets info from Blumenthal who gets info from Drumheller. Clinton sends info to Blumenthal who sends info to Drumheller.
But if Blumenthal, or someone like him, handled the outgoing classified information did they also act as a bag man, collecting money for the imagery?
What did Drumheller, or someone like him, get for his efforts if he received the imagery? Was he merely a bit player at the fringe of Democrat politics who was releasing his inner Walter Mitty by sending bulls*** intel analyses to Hillary? Maybe in hopes of become Director of Central Intelligence after her coronation? Did he get paid by Clinton? Or was the operation a quid pro quo where he received classified materials that he could sell to others and curry favor and impress others to gain access to other political players? Did someone in Abu Dhabi get the images? Or did they end up at Teneo Holdings to help bolster some investment decision? One of these answers is better than the others.
...or it could have been run of the mill Clinton corruption
Alternatively, once could ask were these images and other information used to sweeten the pot for various kleptocrats and dictators who paid extortionate amounts of money for speeches by Bill Clinton? Suppose a Third World dictator... let's imagine in Central Asia... paid Bill Clinton... let's just throw a number out there... $500,000 for a speech. Suppose as part of the deal that Clinton client also received satellite imagery or signal intercepts that increased their life expectancy. Is there any evidence of this? No. But neither is there any proof it didn't happen. As we learned during the administration of GHW Bush, it is not the quality of the evidence that requires an investigation, rather it is the seriousness of the allegation.
Searching for a fall guy
Clinton's story is "I didn't know squat." That is as plausible as Obama's Justice Department wants to make it. But either someone gave her the images and she sent them or they had log in access to her email and sent them for her. Her only real defense, given her access to classified material and a Keyhole satellite image would have been instantly recognizable, is that someone used her email to send it.
But how did they get into Hillary's email? Did Hillary handle the images? I don't think she had the technical chops -- and is way too smart -- to scan/download satellite imagery, strip the security classification, and email them. Did Cheryl Mills, an attorney, do this? Lawyers do stupid stuff all the time but usually it has the patina of cleverness attached. That leaves Huma.
With no security classification, Sid Blumenthal has plausible deniablity. He can say he got the images (this is assuming that at some point he did receive them) but assumed they were unclassified.
This makes one logical fall guy Tyler Drumheller. Drumheller would instantly recognize the Keyhole imagery so stripping the security classification wouldn't muddy the water much for him if it ever went to court. But anyone he gave/showed the imagery to would not necessarily know the source which could provide some degree of cover. Unfortunately, we will never know Mr. Drumheller's true role in this as he
visited Fort Marcy Park died of pancreatic cancer on August 2, 2015.