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As reported moments ago, in what appears to have been a surprise release, the FBI’s Vault twitter account released 129 pages of files related to the FBI’s 2001 probe into Bill Clinton’s 2001 pardon of Marc Rich.
And while NBC reported that the files were released as part of a normal subpoena, the increasingly paranoid (not without reason) Clinton campaign – and many others – immediately had questions. According to Politico, “Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign raised questions about the timing of the FBI’s release Tuesday of records on a 15-year-old investigation into President Bill Clinton’s pardon to fugitive financier Marc Rich.”
One month ago, we reported that the State Department announced some good and some bad news for transparency advocates was disclosed, when Hillary Clinton’s former employer said it would release all of the deleted work-related emails that the FBI recovered from Hillary Clinton’s private system, eliminating the possibility that the messages will remain secret. The State Dept had “voluntarily” agreed to produce non-exempt agency records responsive to Judicial Watch’s FOIA request. That was the good news. The bad news was that as we said, it remains unclear if the full set of emails would be released by the presidential election on Nov. 8.
Now we know the answer: no, it won’t.
According to a new timetable set Friday by a federal judge, most of Hillary Clinton’s deleted, and then recovered, emails won’t be made public until after Election Day. As the WSJ reports, Judge James Boasberg on Friday ordered the State Department to finish processing 1,050 pages of material for release by Nov. 4—just a fraction of what could be as much as 10,000 pages of material.
(COMMONDREAMS) A series of emails released Friday show what activists describe as “collusion” between U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and Wall Street executives to push for the passage the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
The emails (pdf), obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by the group Rootstrikers, which organizes against money in politics, include a message to Froman from a managing director at Goldman Sachs urging him to push for “robust commitments” on Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) provisions—which allow private corporations to sue governments for perceived loss of profits—to be included in the divisive trade deal.
If there was any doubt, or suspense on which side of the Hillary email scandal the “impartial” Department of Justice stands, the suspense was lifted and all was revealed yesterday when as The Hill reported, the Obama administration stepped into the ongoing Judicial Watch lawsuit and is fighting to prevent former SecState Hillary Clinton from being deposed.
Late Thursday evening the Justice Department, under US attorney general Loretta Lynch, first appointed in 1999 by none other than Bill Clinton, filed a court motion opposing the Clinton deposition request from conservative legal watchdog Judicial Watch, claiming that the organization was trying to dramatically expand the scope of the lawsuit.
As a reminder, as revealed last night, in the first deposition from the ongoing Judicial Watch lawsuit – which has obtained or seeks depositions from all SecState staffers close to Hillary – we learned thanks to State Department veteran Lewis Lukens, that not only did Hillary not know how to use a computer but that her email actually had no password protection.
The Department of Defense has admitted to using Predator and Reaper military drones in the US since 2006, according to an internal review. Inspectors for the Pentagon concluded that the missions were few in number and had not violated any laws.
A report by the Pentagon’s Inspector General (IG), dated March 2015, looked at instances when unmanned aerial surveillance (UAS) aircraft – commonly known as drones – have been flown over US territory and found them “fully compliant with laws, regulations and national policies for UAS support to domestic civil authorities.” It was made public on Wednesday, following a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by the newspaper USA Today.
– Reporter says Pentagon agreed to give up docs if he never submits another FOIA request (Washington Post June 2, 2015):
Everyone has a FOIA horror story, though the one told by Vice News investigative reporter Jason Leopold in today’s FOIA hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee deserves its very own headline.
When asked about why some agencies just refuse to cough up material, Leopold offered this example:
– Hillary Clinton Caught In Another Lie (ZeroHedge, April 1, 2015):
Three weeks ago, when Hillary Clinton was scrambling to come up with a credible lie to explain why she was using a personal server for email distribution – one that was not US government property and thus exempt from official FOIA requests – she said during a press conference at the United Nations that the reason was simple: it was simply a matter of “convenience” of carrying just one device.
“when I got to work as secretary of State, I opted for convenience to use my personal email account, which was allowed by the State Department, because I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal emails instead of two.”
As it turns out she lied. Again.
From the article:
“Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-South Carolina), who heads the House Select Committee on Benghazi, issued a subpoena for the private server that hosted Clinton’s emails as the congressional panel investigates the 2012 attacks on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
On Friday, he announced that Clinton had failed to respond to the subpoena and had wiped her server clean.”
– State Dept. reveals Hillary Clinton emailed from two devices while secretary of state (RT, March 31, 2015):
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used both her Blackberry and an iPad to email with State Department employees from her private account and server, despite previously saying she only used one device. Now the server has been wiped clean.
New emails released by the State Department show that when Clinton was secretary of state, she used her Apple iPad to communicate with employees, and that, on at least one occasion, accidentally mingled business and personal emails.
– US sets new record for denying federal files under Freedom of Information Act (Guardian, March 18, 2015):
Obama administration redacted and denied government files in record numbers for the second consecutive year, AP analysis finds
The US has set a new record for denying and censoring federal files under the Freedom of Information Act, analysis by the Associated Press reveals.
For the second consecutive year, the Obama administration more often than ever censored government files or outright denied access to them under the open-government legislation.
– The Lies End Now: “Most Transparent Administration Ever” Is No More: White House To Delete Its FOIA Regulations (ZeroHedge, March 16, 2015):
Back on October 28, 2009, then White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said the following:
… understanding what this President has done is institute the very toughest ethics and transparency rules of any administration in history… I think the President has returned to a stance of transparency and ethics that hasn’t been matched by any other White House.
… the President believes strongly in transparency… that transparency in that way in the best policy
… understand that what the President campaigned on – toughening our ethics rules, making more transparent our transparency policy – was something that he was passionate about and is proud of the progress that we’ve made in ensuring that.
And here is the president himself: “We have put in place the toughest ethics and transparency laws of any administration in history.”
Lies, lies, and nothing but lies. The lies end now.
As reported moments ago, the White House is voiding a federal regulation that subjects its Office of Administration to the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA (incidentally the same act that discovered none of Hillary Clinton’s “personal” government-business emails since they were not even stored on government property!) which as USA Today explains, makes “official a policy under Presidents Bush and Obama to reject requests for records to that office.”
– “There Are Huge Gaps” In Clinton’s Email Release, Benghazi Probe Chief Blast (ZeroHedge, March 9, 2015):
“There are gaps of months and months and months,” exclaims Rep. Trey Gowdy (who leads the committee investigating Hillary Clinton’s handling of the Benghazi attack in September 2012) as the ‘transparent’ release of Clinton’s email includes no emails at all from a seemingly critical Tripoli visit (where she has been photographed using her Blackberry). Gowdy ranted on CBS “Face The Nation” yesterday that “it strains credibility to believe if you’re on your way to Libya to discuss Libyan policy that there is not a single document to turn over to Congress.” Clinton, for now, is staying very quiet on this matter…
– Hillary Clinton’s Latest Scandal: Former SecState Exclusively Used Undocumented, Personal Email Account (ZeroHedge, March 3, 2015):
While the Hillary Clinton campaign seems unperturbed by recent problematic disclosures by Politico into the Hillary Clinton Foundation, the former first lady and current democrat presidential hopeful will have a field day explaining why, as the NYT reported overnight, Hillary – in her role as Secretary of State – “exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business” according to State Department officials in violation of “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.
Why is this a deeply troubling breach of protocol, not to say a substantial threat to national security by America’s former top diplomat? For starter, using Hotmail or Aol instead of a protected, encrypted government address leaves little to the hacker’s imagination. But what’s worse is that as a result of exclusive reliance on non-government platforms, which have no document retention policy and in fact have a “straight to trash” policy, any and all emails regarding the Benghazi scandal, many of which were FOIAed, could have been and were simply deleted without ever leaving a trace. Or as NSA Nate summarized:
— NSA Nate (@NSANate) March 3, 2015
Even the left-leaning NYT couldn’t find the appropriate damage control spin to an action that would lead many to question her common sense sensibilities as a future president:
– Another FOIA Request Denied and Anderson Cooper Slips ‘TWA 800 Shot Down’ (Truthstream Media, Oct 9, 2014):
In case you missed it…
Mel here. I thought I’d do a quick report to remind myself that there are other things going on in the world right now besides Ebola.
Things like these psychopaths in charge gleefully stoking the cold war (guess that’d be called a warm war at the moment); or the fact that former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director Leon Panetta is now claiming the war with ISIS is set to last THIRTY YEARS; and now, just a few days ago, a federal appeals court denied a fresh FOIA request regarding the 1996 TWA flight 800 “incident” off the coast of Long Island, New York…you know, in the interest of “national security”.
Well back in July while CNN’s Anderson Cooper was covering the flight MH17 “incident,” he accidentally blurted out that flight 800 was “shot down,” (what, by a surface-to-air missile perhaps?) before he corrected himself at the next possible opportunity after the next commercial break with the official government story.
– AP Reveals 8 Ways Obama’s “Most Transparent Administration Ever” Blocks Information (ZeroHedge, Sep 20, 2014):
“We have put in place the toughest ethics and transparency laws of any administration in history,” President Obama proclaimed four short years ago… However, as AP Washington Bureau Chief Sally Buzbee said recently, the fight for access to public information has never been harder, and in fact, the problem extends across the entire federal government and is now trickling down to state and local governments. Here is Buzbee’s list of eight ways Obama’s “most transparent” administration is making it hard for journalists to find information and cover the news…
Remember, this is the most transparent and open administration ever…
Though, it seems, as AP reports, that is simply not true…
– Intercept: LA Times Journalist Cleared Articles With CIA Before Publishing (Common Dreams, Sep 5, 2014):
National security reporter emailed drafts to agency for more government-friendly revisions
A former Los Angeles Times national security journalist routinely sent drafts of his articles to CIA press handlers for input and revision, the Intercept revealed on Friday.
Email exchanges between Ken Dilanian and public relations officers at the agency were discovered after the Intercept sent a FOIA request to the CIA over its relationship with reporters. In many of the emails, Dilanian promised to provide the agency with positive coverage, often going so far as to change entire drafts of articles based on the CIA’s replies.
The Intercept writes:
– Movement to Declassify 9/11 Information Gathers Momentum (Washington’s Blog, Aug 31, 2014):
9/11 Commission Chairs, Congressmen and Intelligence Officers All Call for Declassification
The 9/11 Commission Co-Chairs – Lee Hamilton and Thomas Kean – have called for the 28-page section of the 9/11 Commission Report which is classified to be declassified.
Kean said that 60-70% of what was classified shouldn’t have been classified in the first place:
Congressman Thomas Massie read the 28 classified pages of the Joint Intelligence Committee Inquiry into 9/11 (the joint Senate and House investigation into 9/11) and immediately called for them to be released to the public:
– Royal Family granted new right of secrecy (Independent, Jan 8, 2011):
Special exemptions to be written into Freedom of Information Act
– CIA employee’s quest to release information ‘destroyed my entire career’ (Washington Post, July 4, 2014):
His CIA career included assignments in Africa, Afghanistan and Iraq, but the most perilous posting for Jeffrey Scudder turned out to be a two-year stint in a sleepy office that looks after the agency’s historical files.
It was there that Scudder discovered a stack of articles, hundreds of histories of long-dormant conflicts and operations that he concluded were still being stored in secret years after they should have been shared with the public.
To get them released, Scudder submitted a request under the Freedom of Information Act — a step that any citizen can take, but one that is highly unusual for a CIA employee. Four years later, the CIA has released some of those articles and withheld others. It also has forced Scudder out.
His request set in motion a harrowing sequence. He was confronted by supervisors and accused of mishandling classified information while assembling his FOIA request. His house was raided by the FBI and his family’s computers seized. Stripped of his job and his security clearance, Scudder said he agreed to retire last year after being told that if he refused, he risked losing much of his pension.