The Washington Post’s investigation into Hillary’s e-mail scandal is revealing some very damning information. Read it for yourself and come to your own conclusions about whether you think Hillary deserves to be indicted ASAP:
(1) Clinton was annoyed by security protocols that prevented her from using her unsecure personal Blackberry for official business. She repeatedly sought, and failed to secure, an officially-sanctioned arrangement that would furnish her with enhanced convenience — then never told security officials about the private email server through which she conducted all of her business. Among other factors, it was an issue of “personal comfort” that led her to compromise national security secrets while serving as America’s top diplomat:
On Feb. 17, 2009, less than a month into Clinton’s tenure, the issue came to a head. Department security, intelligence and technology specialists, along with five officials from the National Security Agency, gathered in a Mahogany Row conference room. They explained the risks to Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s chief of staff, while also seeking “mitigation options” that would accommodate Clinton’s wishes. “The issue here is one of personal comfort,” one of the participants in that meeting, Donald Reid, the department’s senior coordinator for security infrastructure, wrote afterward in an email that described Clinton’s inner circle of advisers as “dedicated [BlackBerry] addicts.” Clinton used her BlackBerry as the group continued looking for a solution. But unknown to diplomatic security and technology officials at the department, there was another looming communications vulnerability: Clinton’s BlackBerry was digitally tethered to a private email server in the basement of her family home, some 260 miles to the north in Chappaqua, N.Y., documents and interviews show.Those officials took no steps to protect the server against intruders and spies, because they apparently were not told about it.
(2) The FBI investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s scandal is far-reaching, has involved the work of nearly 150 agents, and has been placed on an expedited track, given the timing-related sensitivities of the election season:
Investigations were begun by congressional committees and inspector general’s offices in the State Department and the U.S. Intelligence Community, which referred the case to the FBI in July for “counterintelligence purposes” after determining that the server carried classified material. The FBI is now trying to determine whether a crime was committed in the handling of that classified material. It is also examining whether the server was hacked.One hundred forty-seven FBI agents have been deployed to run down leads, according to a lawmaker briefed by FBI Director James B. Comey. The FBI has accelerated the investigation because officials want to avoid the possibility of announcing any action too close to the election.
(3) A pattern of recklessness and dishonesty:
From the earliest days, Clinton aides and senior officials focused intently on accommodating the secretary’s desire to use her private email account, documents and interviews show. Throughout, they paid insufficient attention to laws and regulations governing the handling of classified material and the preservation of government records, interviews and documents show. They also neglected repeated warnings about the security of the BlackBerry while Clinton and her closest aides took obvious security risks in using the basement server. Senior officials who helped Clinton with her BlackBerry claim they did not know details of the basement server, the State Department said, even though they received emails from her private account. One email written by a senior official mentioned the server.
(4) Hillary “began preparing to use the private basement server after President Obama picked her to be his secretary of state in November 2008.” This was her plan from the very start. The Post reports that the system “was already in place” at the Clintons’ private home in New York, having been previously set up for the former president. But other reporting reveals that a replacement server was installed by Bryan Pagliano (who has now been granted immunity by the feds), in advance of Mrs. Clinton taking the helm at State.
(5) Clinton’s inner circle’s decisions were also motivated by the secretive desire to circumvent transparency pledges issued by Obama — and by Clinton’s own campaign rhetoric:
The new president was making broad promises about government transparency that had a bearing on Clinton’s communication choices. In memos to his agency chiefs, Obama said his administration would promote accountability through the disclosure of a wide array of information, one part of a “profound national commitment to ensuring an open government.” That included work emails. One year earlier, during her own presidential campaign, Clinton had said that if elected, “we will adopt a presumption of openness and Freedom of Information Act requests and urge agencies to release information quickly.” But in those first few days, Clinton’s senior advisers were already taking steps that would help her circumvent those high-flown words, according to a chain of internal State Department emails released to Judicial Watch, a conservative nonprofit organization suing the government over Clinton’s emails. Leading that effort was Mills, Clinton’s chief of staff. She was joined by Clinton adviser Huma Abedin, Undersecretary Patrick Kennedy and Lewis Lukens, a senior career official who served as Clinton’s logistics chief. Their focus was on accommodating Clinton.…
(7) This could be the most damning passage in the whole story. Mrs. Clinton and her team were warned very explicitly about the risks associated with using unofficial, unsecured lines of communication. Mrs. Clinton personally confirmed receipt of the memo, acknowledged its contents, then promptly ignored it. A long excerpt, but worth it:
After the meeting on Feb. 17 with Mills, security officials in the department crafted a memo about the risks. And among themselves, they expressed concern that other department employees would follow the “bad example” and seek to use insecure BlackBerrys themselves, emails show. As they worked on the memo, they were aware of a speech delivered by Joel F. Brenner, then chief of counterintelligence at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, on Feb. 24 at a hotel in Vienna, Va., a State Department document shows. Brenner urged his audience to consider what could have happened to them during a visit to the recent Beijing Olympics. “Your phone or BlackBerry could have been tagged, tracked, monitored and exploited between your disembarking the airplane and reaching the taxi stand at the airport,” Brenner said. “And when you emailed back home, some or all of the malware may have migrated to your home server. This is not hypothetical.” At the time, Clinton had just returned from an official trip that took her to China and elsewhere in Asia. She was embarking on another foray to the Middle East and Europe. She took her BlackBerry with her.
In early March, Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security Eric Boswell delivered a memo with the subject line “Use of Blackberries in Mahogany Row.” “Our review reaffirms our belief that the vulnerabilities and risks associated with the use of Blackberries in the Mahogany Row [redacted] considerably outweigh the convenience their use can add,” the memo said. He emphasized: “Any unclassified Blackberry is highly vulnerable in any setting to remotely and covertly monitoring conversations, retrieving e-mails, and exploiting calendars.” Nine days later, Clinton told Boswell that she had read his memo and “gets it,” according to an email sent by a senior diplomatic security official. “Her attention was drawn to the sentence that indicates (Diplomatic Security) have intelligence concerning this vulnerability during her recent trip to Asia,” the email said. But Clinton kept using her private BlackBerry — and the basement server.
Read more: Townhall