Newly Released Email Shows Clinton Instructing Aide To Strip Header and Send Information Over Unsecured Lines After Objections Over Security

loose-lips-sink-shipsHillary_Clinton_Testimony_to_House_Select_Committee_on_BenghaziThe e-mail scandal involving former secretary of state Hillary Clinton has continued to unfold, as we have been discussing. The number of classified emails have now grown to 1340. While the vast majority have low level classification, a few contained information classified at the secret level. This is not the first such allegation of someone stripping classification headers in scandal.  The mishandling of classified information is a crime and the level of gross negligence in the use of the private server by Clinton is staggering. However, there has long been a good-faith debate over whether Clinton is being given a pass on a criminal investigation by the Obama Administration or whether her actions (while negligent) were not criminal in nature. A recent story could change that debate considerably  if critics are proven correct. One of the emails released recently reportedly shows Clinton instructing an aide to strip off classification markings from a document and to send by unsecure means. Such an act could be charged as a criminal offense under federal classification laws.  However, it is not clear that any email was sent and the Clinton staff could claim that she was referring to clearly unclassified material contained in a document.  There has been a suggestion that the material in question were “talking points” that were meant to be public or were clearly unclassified.  [Update: Clinton says that the email was never sent and that she trusted her aide to make the right choices on what could be sent.]

The 2011 email could add significant pressure for the Obama Administration, even though the House Select Committee on Benghazi said that it is not investigating Clinton’s potential mishandling of classified data through her private, home-based email server.

The email from Jacob Sullivan tells Clinton that “They say they’ve had issues sending secure fax. They’re working on it.” Clinton responds by ordering “If they can’t, turn into nonpaper w no identifying heading and send nonsecure.” To remove classification headings from a classified document is usually treated as a very serious matter, though the level of the classification is not known.

Here is one of the pertinent provisions:

such as 18 USC 793:

d) Whoever, lawfully having possession of, access to, control over, or being entrusted with any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note relating to the national defense, or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully communicates, delivers, transmits or causes to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted or attempts to communicate, deliver, transmit or cause to be communicated, delivered or transmitted the same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it on demand to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it; or

(e) Whoever having unauthorized possession of, access to, or control over any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note relating to the national defense, or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully communicates, delivers, transmits or causes to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted, or attempts to communicate, deliver, transmit or cause to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted the same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it; or

(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.

It is important to note that we do not know if the document was in fact classified or, if so, at what level. We also do not know if the aide followed the instructions, stripped the headers, and sent the information on the unprotected server. The concern raised about the transmission and reference to the headers would support the view of some classification level. Notably, this law covers any information “relating to the national defense, or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation.”

At a minimum, the instructions raise a serious question of judgment in overriding such concerns about unsecure transmissions and circumventing protections for sensitive material. Having worked since the Reagan Administration with classified information, I remained floored by all of these allegations from the exclusive use of an unsecure personal server to this latest controversy of stripping headings and overriding security objections. I remain confused as to why this is even necessary for a high-ranking official who has a host of security officers who can supply classified material in proper form and under proper controls. I can understand (even if I strongly disagree with) the effect to retain control over communications by relying exclusively on a private server. However, stripping headers of classification markings (assuming that is what happened) would appear a case where simple convenience trumped national security protections for these officials.

Again, however, we will still need to see the classification level of the information to judge the gravity of the act. Telephone books can be classified as “confidential” even though information within the documents are public. What is surprising however is that such a high-ranking officials would send an email to strip markings rather than instruct aides to find an unclassified source.

What is equally perplexing is the expression of shock by Clinton that an aide was using a private email account despite her virtual exclusive use of a personal unsecure server. In another involving Jacob Sullivan, Clinton sends an email dated Feb. 27, 2011, expressing surprise that a State Department staffer was using a personal email account. The diplomatic officer named John Godfrey wrote a detailed summary of information about Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi that was forwarded to Clinton. Clinton responds by asking for whom Godfrey works. “Us,” Sullivan writes back. Clinton replies: “Is he in NEA [Near Eastern Affairs] currently? Or was he in Embassy? I was surprised that he used personal email account if he is at State.”

In addition to the Sullivan emails, there is a rising controversy over a Sidney Blumenthal email that many believe was derived from classified sources, including the highly sensitive intelligence generated from the National Security Agency. At the time, Blumenthal held no government position even though he was actively advising Clinton on a host of issues.

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102 thoughts on “Newly Released Email Shows Clinton Instructing Aide To Strip Header and Send Information Over Unsecured Lines After Objections Over Security”

  1. Marc Clarkson,

    The Law of Nations was “…continually in the hands of the members of our Congress,…”

    Its authority is acknowledged in Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution.

    The Law of Nations includes a clear and concise definition of “natural born citizen,” “…born in the country of parents who are citizens.” Even I can understand it and I didn’t go to Harvard.

    If the candidate is not born in the country, he is NOT eligible. If the candidate does not have TWO CITIZEN-PARENTS, he is NOT eligible.

    Cruz, Rubio and Obama are NOT eligible.

    To wit,

    “… I am much obliged by the kind present you have made us of your edition of Vattel. It came to us in good season, when the circumstances of a rising state make it necessary frequently to consult the law of nations. Accordingly that copy, which I kept, (after depositing one in our own public library here, and sending the other to the College of Massachusetts Bay, as you directed,) has been continually in the hands of the members of our Congress, now sitting, who are much pleased with your notes and preface, and have entertained a high and just esteem for their author…” (2nd para) [boldface added]

    I love this line:

    “…when the circumstances of a rising state make it necessary frequently to consult the law of nations.”

    As George Mason declared, “the law of England is NOT the law of the states.”

    The American Revolutionaries had a unique opportunity to write the constitution and laws anew without being bound to England, Blackstone or any other “precedent” or “decision.”

    The American Founders consulted the Law of Nations and CUT-AND-PASTED the term and definition of “natural born citizen” into the Constitution of the United States.

  2. John Smith “The UN Secgen doesnt lead squat. Not the free world, not any world, just a bunch of bureaucrats with zero power.”

    Ummmm..United Nations Agenda 21? Even the Democrats are against it…at least the ones who know what it is.

    SOUNDS LIKE SCIENCE FICTION…OR SOME CONSPIRACY THEORY…BUT IT ISN’T.
    http://www.democratsagainstunagenda21.com/

    BEHIND THE GREEN MASK: U.N. Agenda 21
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0615494544?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

    C’mon guys…you need to catch up with this. It’s not like it’s old information!

  3. Marc Clarkson

    “I’m waiting for “Prof” Turley to weigh in on Calgary Ted’s eligibility but I don’t think the grifter complex pays great for those types of stories.”

    Bio – “Professor Jonathan Turley is a nationally recognized legal scholar who has written extensively in areas ranging from constitutional law to legal theory to tort law.”

    You make an excellent point. In an era of comprehensive lawlessness, the blog of the preeminent American constitutional scholar most resembles a comic strip. The resolution to the rogue chief executive and his wavering Attorney General is impeachment. Two of the leading presidential candidates, as is the current occupant of the office, are not even eligible. We anxiously await the definitive opinion of the Constitution from its preeminent scholar – “the thing itself speaks” – and we wait, and we wait.

    As you mention, Ted Cruz (Rubio also) was not “…born in the country of parents who were citizens.” Inherently and obviously, the highest requirement for the highest office is not one, but two citizen-parents. Cruz was born in Canada and he had only one parent who was a U.S. citizen. In 1789, the definition of “natural born citizen” existed prominently in the Law of Nations, the authority of which is acknowledged in Article 1, Section 8, and throughout the letters and writings of the Founders. The Constitution itself speaks, by differentiating between “citizen” and “natural born citizen” as the lower requirement for the Senate and Congress and the higher requirement for the higher office of President, to place a “strong check” against foreign allegiances by the Commander-in-Chief. How is it that the Founders understood and deliberately employed the phrase “natural born citizen,” which lasted for 219 years, while contemporary “candidates,” elected officials and pundits claim to have absolutely no clue what a “natural born citizen” is? We are encouraged and cajoled NOT to believe the Founders, the Constitution, the Law of Nations, the Jay/Washington letter of 1787 and the past 219 years of election practices.

    Interestingly, it is the duty of the Speaker of the House to determine the eligibility of presidential candidates. Why doesn’t that thing speak?

    “The thing itself speaks.”

    When?

  4. John Smith,
    The current POTUS has the United States not leading much of anything other than a “bunch of bureaucrats” on the hill to function as if they have “zero power” and yet here we are in an $18T debt-ridden shambles.

  5. That so many Americans are ignorant of the murders & “suicides” which have mysteriously benefited the Clintons is scary.

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB920421328276427000

    What is scarier is that this lady has been running amuck ever since and doubling down and many folks apparently want her as the commander in chief.

    What happens when she gets her hands on the assasination drones? It will make Obama look like the peace president he was supposed to have been, by comparison

  6. The UN Secgen doesnt lead squat. Not the free world, not any world, just a bunch of bureaucrats with zero power.

    1. “The UN Secgen doesnt lead squat. Not the free world, not any world, just a bunch of bureaucrats with zero power.”

      The world’s most exclusive debating society?

  7. Nick,
    Here’s a scary thought. The U.N. Secretary-General has one year remaining. Imagine Hillary in the White House and Bill or Obama heading up the U.N. Yikes!

    1. Olly – I am hoping the UN (much as I detest them) has better sense then to elect either of them.

  8. Olly, Flyboy is really just a washed out bombardier. He only has a 8% accuracy rate.

  9. Olly,
    Not just the electorate, since the media ignores or maligns Rand and Carson.

    We are being steered and played. The news is anything but fair and balanced.

  10. randyjet,
    Wow, an E-1 in the military wouldn’t need to read a law to determine Clinton should NEVER be trusted with a potato peeler let alone the Office of President of the United States. That being said, the fact you would consider defending this horrific candidate clearly demonstrates you have no credible judgment on the character of ANY of the candidates.

  11. Olly,
    Who is most trustworthy and most likely to respect the rule of law?
    Rand Paul and Ben Carson

  12. Please Don’t Vote For Hillary Clinton Just Because She’s a Woman. Watch This First. (short version)

    1. I read the law that sparked this, and so far NOBODY has cited ANY part of that law that she violated. So until some person can do this, you are all full of it and are simply lying.

  13. Hildegarde: I am sending your posted comment to your mom.

    But back to topic. I know there must be one out there in the public eye. Can someone post a copy of a Hillary email which contains some classified statements or information which is really meaningful and would help some enema. Sorry, enemy.

    1. I’m not way up on Hillary’s latest crime, but this may be the equivalent of getting George Jr. on jay walking charges or Bill Clinton on ‘not having sex with that woman”.
      Hillary’s Wall Street Donors Shock Young People

  14. Patriot: “She is guilty in millions of murders of men, women and children.”

    Prison is too good for every single person who acted with knowledge that there were NO weapons of mass destruction in Iraq; that the end game was “seven countries in five years” human life be damned. It’s too disgusting for words what these war criminals have done. If the American people don’t SOMEHOW take matters into our own hands and prevent these filthy criminals from waging more murder and mayhem I guess we get what we deserve. Day in and day out, like you, I just try to wake them UP, because it’s only united that we stand.

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