– Clinton E-Mails Reveal “Top Secret Drone Talk” As She Hands Over “Blank” Server To Feds (ZeroHedge, Aug 14, 2015):
At this point it’s probably safe to say that Hillary Clinton wishes she had taken a page out of John McCain’s book and simply refused to use e-mail.
Bowing to pressure from GOP lawmakers, the former First Lady and, until recently anyway, presumed Democratic nominee, turned over her personal e-mail server to the FBI earlier this week.
Like the decision to make thousands of pages of e-mails public, the move was designed to show that Clinton has nothing to hide. Predictably, the exact opposite has happened. An attorney for the Colorado-based company that managed Clinton’s private e-mail said the server the FBI got “is blank and does not contain any useful data.” Here’s a bit more color from Bloomberg:
After acquiring the server on Wednesday, agents are attempting to determine whether e-mails may have been backed up on another machine, said the official, who asked for anonymity. The official said it’s one of the next logical steps in the agency’s investigation into whether the former secretary of state’s private e-mail account handled classified information.
Barbara Wells, an attorney for Platte River Networks, a Denver-based company that has managed Clinton’s private e-mail since 2013, said in a phone interview Thursday that the server turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation “is blank and does not contain any useful data.” But Wells added that the data on Clinton’s server was migrated to another server that still exists. She ended the interview when questioned further, declining to say whether the data still exists on that other server and who has possession of it.
Clinton said she turned over paper copies of 30,490 e-mails relating to government business from her tenure. She said another 31,830 personal messages—including yoga routines and condolence messages—were deleted. Clinton’s critics have questioned whether she should have been the one to make the call about what to turn over to the government and what to hold back.
FBI investigators likely will first look to see if the deleted e-mails can be recovered, said Toren, a partner with the law firm Weisbrod Matteis & Copley Pllc.
However, the e-mails and any other data on the server could have been permanently deleted if the operating disk was overwritten—a process known as wiping, said Philip Lieberman, president of Lieberman Software Corp., a cybersecurity company based in Los Angeles.
“If the disk itself at the lowest level was wiped, it’s probably not recoverable,” Lieberman said.
“If only files were wiped, it’s probably recoverable.”
The renewed scrutiny couldn’t come at a worse time. As we noted earlier this week, Bernie Sanders has surged ahead in the New Hampshire polls, suggesting that Clinton may be beatable after all.
Not helping the cause are audit results which show that out of a random sample of 40 drawn from the 30,000 e-mails Clinton turned over to the State Department, two contained information that the CIA now thinks should have been marked “classified.”
As we discussed last week, government officials with a security clearance are expected to exercise good judgement when it comes to their handling of potentially sensitive material irrespective of whether it’s officially marked as classified. Clinton apparently did not do so and now, it appears that some of the information contained in the two e-mails mentioned above might have been related to “top secret”drone activity. Here’s AP, which broke the story:
The two emails on Hillary Rodham Clinton’s private server that an auditor deemed “top secret” include a discussion of a news article detailing a U.S. drone operation and a separate conversation that could point back to highly classified material in an improper manner or merely reflect information collected independently, U.S. officials who have reviewed the correspondence told The Associated Press.
The drone exchange, the officials said, begins with a copy of a news article that discusses the CIA drone program that targets terrorists in Pakistan and elsewhere. While a secret program, it is well-known and often reported on. The copy makes reference to classified information, and a Clinton adviser follows up by dancing around a top secret in a way that could possibly be inferred as confirmation, they said. Several officials, however, described this claim as tenuous.
But a second email reviewed by Charles McCullough, the intelligence community inspector general, appears more suspect. 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.
The emails came to light Tuesday after Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, reported that McCullough found four “highly classified” emails on the unusual homebrew server that Clinton used while she was secretary of State. Two were sent back to the State Department for review, but Grassley said the other two were, in fact, classified at the closely guarded “Top Secret/SCI level.”
In other words, no one can say for sure whether what Clinton said about the drones referenced top secret information or not and maybe that’s the real problem here. This is an exercise in futility that is only necessary because Clinton broke protocol and then lied about it. Using a personal server to exchange e-mails with government officials when you are Secretary of State would be a bad idea even for the pure of heart with the best intentions and needless to say, quite a few people would not describe Clinton in those terms.
In any event, how these two e-mails are ultimately described by intelligence officials may end up mattering quite a bit. “The sourcing of the information could have significant political implications as the 2016 presidential campaign heats up,” AP claims.
For Americans, it now appears there is a very real possibility that the 2016 Presidential election will pit the ardent socialist Bernie Sanders against the symbol of cruel capitalism Donald Trump.
And how surreal would that be?
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“You must choose, but choose wisely”