By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
It appears that Hillary Clinton adviser Sidney Blumenthal has a network of military and intelligence connections that made him anathema to the Obama White House. Blumenthal must know something about Obama that kept him from getting a State Department job under Hillary.
Congress has the power to compel Blumenthal to testify in public about how he collected intelligence information on Obama and other matters for the use of Mrs. Clinton, before and during the time she was Secretary of State.
The New York Times reports that when Clinton was Secretary of State, she used Blumenthal as an unofficial adviser and sent his memos to “senior diplomatic officials” about such topics as Libya. Blumenthal’s contacts included Clinton friends, a private military contractor and one former CIA spy, among others, the paper said. It appears some of them were trying to do business in Libya.
The CIA spy was identified as Tyler Drumheller, described by the paper as “a colorful former Central Intelligence Agency official.”
In the course of reporting this information, the Times said that Blumenthal “had been barred from a State Department job by aides to President Obama…” But why? This question goes unanswered.
It might have something to do with how Blumenthal gained access to information and who else might have gotten access to the same information.
As the Times notes, it appears that the Romanian hacker known as “Guccifer” breached Blumenthal’s email account and discovered correspondence he sent to Mrs. Clinton. Some of this material had to do with business in Libya. A story about this correspondence ran in Gawker and Pro Publica under the headline, “Leaked Private Emails Reveal Ex-Clinton Aide’s Secret Spy Network.” The story said that some of the memos were marked “confidential” and relied in many cases on “sensitive” sources inside the Libyan opposition, in addition to Western intelligence and security services.
The publication Slate has a series of questions that need to be asked of Hillary about Blumenthal, his relationship with Hillary, and his controversial connections.
One of the proposed questions: “Did you ever consider hiring Sidney Blumenthal as an employee in your State Department? And, if so, did the Obama administration block such a move, as has been reported? Did the White House know that he provided you with unofficial advice nonetheless?”
Again, the question is why the Obama White House reportedly blocked Blumenthal from working in the State Department.
I think we know the answer, and it has nothing to do with business in Libya or anywhere else: Blumenthal had the goods on Obama’s mysterious past and controversial communist connections that made him susceptible to blackmail by foreign agents and interests.
When Hillary Clinton was running against Barack Obama for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, Blumenthal was acting as a Hillary adviser and circulated a memorandum about Obama’s communist connections. The political left was shocked.
In a May 9, 2008 column in The Huffington Post, Peter Dreier, the E.P. Clapp Distinguished Professor of Politics at Occidental College in California, complained that Blumenthal had “circulated an article taken from the fervently hard-right AIM website” that was entitled, “Obama’s Communist Mentor.” I was the author.
This was, of course, the column about Obama’s relationship with Communist Party operative Frank Marshall Davis.
The column was completely accurate, but Dreier tried his best to play down the revelations. He wrote:
“The Kincaid article that Blumenthal circulated sought to discredit Obama by linking him to an African-American poet and writer whom Obama knew while he was in high school in Hawaii. That writer, Frank Marshall Davis, was, Kincaid wrote, a member of the Communist Party. Supported by no tangible evidence, Kincaid claimed that Obama considered his relationship to Davis to be ‘almost like a son.’ In his memoir, Dreams from My Father, Obama wrote about meeting, during his teenage years, a writer named ‘Frank’ who ‘had some modest notoriety once’ and with whom he occasionally discussed poetry and politics. From this snippet, Kincaid weaves an incredulous tale that turns Davis into Obama’s ‘mentor.’”
It appears that Dreier was only one among many on the left who received this information, but he was the only person who went public and attempted to discredit it.
Notice how Dreier attempts to play down the substantial evidence of the relationship by using terms like “no tangible evidence” and an “incredulous tale.” At the same time, Dreier was astonished that “a self-professed liberal operative like Blumenthal” had been circulating “anti-Obama attacks” from “highly-ideological and militant right-wing sources.”
It must not have occurred to Dreier that the information being distributed by Blumenthal was accurate and had been verified by Hillary’s associates. It would appear that Blumenthal had the connections necessary to verify that kind of information—and perhaps to add some more important details to it.
Blumenthal’s contacts included that “colorful” former CIA spy, Tyler Drumheller, who “served as the CIA’s top spy—the division chief for the Directorate of Operations (DO)—in Europe until he retired in 2005.” It’s safe to say that Drumheller was well-positioned to have knowledge of intelligence operations throughout the world, then and now.
Considering that we now know that Blumenthal had military and intelligence connections, it is likely that Blumenthal had the information about Obama’s communist connections in Hawaii and Chicago checked out and verified. He would have concluded that the Davis connection to Obama was enough to disqualify the then-senator from Illinois from the White House.
Dreier used the terms “fervently hard-right” and “highly-ideological and militant right-wing sources,” in order to discredit the information. But the original revelation about Davis came from a left-wing source, Marxist historian Gerald Horne. He had spilled the beans about Obama’s mentor “Frank” being Frank Marshall Davis, a notorious communist with a 600-page FBI file.
The Davis material circulated by Blumenthal was just one tidbit of negative material that Dreier says had been circulating against Obama almost every day over a six-month period during the 2008 campaign, This material, he complained, “attacks Obama’s character, political views, electability, and real or manufactured associations.”
It looks like Blumenthal recognized that the Frank Marshall Davis relationship to Obama was real political dynamite and something that could sink the candidate. If Blumenthal had confirmed all of this—and he might have even had more damaging information—we have to wonder whether the information was obtained by others for possible use as blackmail material against Obama. After all, if a Romanian hacker got access to some of the more sensitive material, it seems at least possible that it was made available to others.
The additional question is why Hillary never used the damaging information against Obama. The answer to that, quite clearly, is that Obama made a deal with Hillary so she could become his Secretary of State. That part of the deal went forward, but when Hillary said she wanted to bring Blumenthal into the State Department as her trusted adviser, somebody in the Obama White House rejected that outright. Hillary may have been told that her job at State was for the taking if she would keep Blumenthal under control. She had to have known that Blumenthal was involved in circulating information about the Obama-Davis connection, since The Huffington Post had publicized it.
Hillary continued to use Blumenthal in an unofficial capacity, collecting information and intelligence on Libya and perhaps many other sensitive topics. Did she use this secret spy network to gather intelligence on Obama himself? That question is far more important than whether Blumenthal had friends who did business in Libya.
The New York Times reported that Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, planned to subpoena Blumenthal, “for a private transcribed interview.” Reuters now reports that the subpoena has been served, demanding that Blumenthal appear before the House committee on June 3 to give a deposition.
Under no circumstances, however, should this be conducted in private and behind closed doors. The American people are entitled to hear the truth in an open and public setting.
What did Blumenthal know about Obama? And when did he know it?
By: Benjamin Weingarten
Recently there have been several stories published regarding secretive American refugee resettlement programs under which a disproportionately high percentage of Muslim immigrants are being dispersed across the United States, an issue that Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina has brought to the State Department with respect to a town in his Congressional district.
Ann Corcoran, a patriotic citizen living out on a farm in rural Maryland has been the providing oversight that Congress has not on this issue for years via her blog, Refugee Resettlement Watch.
In the book, Ms. Corcoran makes the case that the federal government at the urging of the United Nations is accepting thousands of immigrants each year, including from Muslim-majority countries hostile to the U.S., without concern for assimilation or any of the national security implications of such decisions. Corcoran believes that these programs aid and abet those individuals seeking to fulfill an element of jihad of hijra, in a bid to ultimately spread Islam and Shariah law in America.
The hijra … is the Islamic doctrine of immigration. And Muhammad instructed his followers that one of the five responsibilities … that Muslims are supposed to do — one of them is to migrate and that migration is a form of jihad. And the refugee resettlement program as it is now constructed in the United States is now bringing large numbers of Muslims into the country from countries that hate us. We’ve brought over 100,000 Somalis, we have brought over 100,000 Iraqis — and most of the Iraqis … are Muslim. We’re about to admit potentially 11,000 Syrians, 93% so far that have come into the country are Muslim — into the country that the United Nations have picked for us. And thus, I’m making the case that the refugee resettlement program — that is by the way where the UN picks our refugees, U.S. State Department distributes them around the country is in fact a significant contributor to the hijra to America.
While Americans may be aware of the fact that as Corcoran argues during our interview, there are refugees being resettled all over the country with little to no local control over such programs or federal oversight — assisted by leftist religious groups that are taxpayer funded — perhaps less noticed is an alliance between leftist activists and big business enabling jihadists to come into the country, as we have seen for example in the Somali population of the Minneapolis area.
… [T]he financial driving factor behind this … is cheap labor, which goes across all of these immigrant areas. The meat packers out in places like Minnesota have enormous power. And they’re working with left-wing foundations to convince local elected officials that this is all just a wonderful thing, diversity is a wonderful beautiful thing, but there’s really — money is driving this… And of course there’s the ideology, and the need for Democrat voters, or the wish for more Democrat voters… But there’s a big money component to all of this. And that’s why you see these elite Republicans supporting this program because it involves big money, big business, I call it “big meat” for example.
… I should mention that for example with the meat packers, they were using illegal immigrant labor for the longest time. Well first off, they used to pay I’m told by people who worked in the meat industry, that they used to pay very well, good wages to American workers. Then they discovered the illegal alien. Well that didn’t work out so well because they were getting busted. And then the next thing they discovered was the refugees as a source of cheap labor. And it’s especially mean to the refugees I think because the refugees are captive essentially — they can’t just walk away from the job or go back to their home country or anything, so they’re really captive cheap labor… So there’s a big driving force there behind it. And it’s a convenient thing — you’ve got the hard leftist who wants the Democrat voters joining forces with the elite Republicans who with big business and financial backers — and it’s a terrible combination that’s a juggernaut essentially against the average American citizen worker.
As a microcosm of what is occurring, Ms. Corcoran told us about a situation she is studying that has recently come to light in St. Cloud, Minnesota:
Title: Refugee Resettlement and the Hijra to America (Civilization Jihad Reader Series) (Volume 2)
Author: Ann Corcoran
Purchase this book
… There’s a couple of men out in Minnesota near St. Cloud who did some research on their own, and here’s what they found … St. Cloud by the way is part of [former Rep.] Michelle Bachmann’s district … [T]here’s apparently a foundation called the Blandin Foundation — a left-wing foundation — that takes elected officials, and it’s hooked up with I’m told The Hormel Foundation which is a meat company foundation, and they take elected officials and community leaders and they train them for a week with this diversity training and then they send them back to their communities expecting them to carry the water on how wonderful diversity is for the community. And as a reward, the community gets little grants for little things that they might need … the community might get a new soccer field if they’re sufficiently welcoming… So there’s this cabal of foundations — left-leaning foundations, the meat industry and elected officials — all working together to shove diversity down the throats of their communities, and the community is rewarded with grant money if they’re sufficiently welcoming to the new Somalis. But then there’s this other factor in there: The local cronyism kicks in and the local builder gets the job of building the new subsidized housing facility that they’re gonna put the Somalis in. And the car dealer is happy to get money selling cars to the new refugees, so that there’s this money component that flows through the whole thing. In the meantime the average citizen out there who says “Whoa whoa whoa, this is changing the culture of our community,” is shoved out by this combination of supposed Republicans in some cases, and foundations, left-leaning foundations and big business… And of course they don’t care about the jihad aspects of all of this… It’s all about money I’m sorry to say.
During our interview, which you can find in full below, we also had a chance to discuss several other issues including:
- How Ms. Corcoran became an activist on the issue of refugee resettlement
- The theological background of “hijra”
- The size and scope of America’s refugee resettlement programs
- The danger of diversity visas
- The complicity of leftist religious groups with the government in perpetuating these programs
- The states rights issues at play
- And much much more
Note: The links to the book in this post will give you an option to elect to donate a percentage of the proceeds from the sale to a charity of your choice. Mercury One, the charity founded by TheBlaze’s Glenn Beck, is one of the options. Donations to Mercury One go towards efforts such as disaster relief, support for education, support for Israel and support for veterans and our military. You can read more about Amazon Smile and Mercury One here.
By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media
The liberal media remain derelict in their duty to vet presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s record on Benghazi, just as they have abandoned any pretense of holding the Obama administration accountable for the many “phony” scandals including the IRS scandal, Fast & Furious, or even the VA scandal. We at Accuracy in Media have repeatedly exposed the mainstream media’s reluctance to question the Obama administration narrative on issues that might threaten their agenda.
Recent offenders circumventing the need to vet Mrs. Clinton’s and President Obama’s Benghazi record include CNN, Reuters and The New York Times—all of which consider themselves premier sources of information.
Rather than waiting for the process of sifting through and then reporting the details of the approximately 30,000 emails that former Secretary of State Clinton has submitted to the State Department—only about half the reported total 62,320 emails on her private email server—CNN instead turned to anonymous government sources for its alleged scoop. CNN’s Elise Labott wrote on April 27 that “the sources who described the emails said they offer no ‘smoking gun’ on Clinton’s actions in the days and weeks leading up to the attack or while the siege on the U.S. facility was ongoing.”
The next day Reuters published a very similar article by Mark Hosenball citing “two people familiar with the material” who made broad, sweeping claims about the information contained within those emails.
CNN’s Labott clearly stated that, like The New York Times’ Michael Schmidt, she was “not permitted to review the emails ahead of their release, but several government officials characterized them and offered detail on some of them on the condition of anonymity.”
But no “smoking gun” email from Mrs. Clinton is necessary to break this scandal wide open or prove that a Benghazi cover-up is still alive and well. And none may ever materialize from that corner, given her decision to wipe clean her private email server. Assertions by media organizations that releasing her emails, which were vetted by Clinton aides before being turned over to the State Department, will somehow clear her record are simply an attempt to throw sand in the eyes of the public.
In addition, Labott reports that “Several former Clinton staffers have told CNN [that Mrs. Clinton] did the vast majority of work in person or on the phone, which is evident by her emails.” Thus, evidence that could prove to be a smoking gun may not exist under those circumstances, even if Mrs. Clinton had directly influenced the security situation in Benghazi or participated in a post-attack cover-up.
Evidence has already been released demonstrating that the former Secretary of State’s aides became aware that this was a terrorist attack about a half an hour after the initial attack began on the Special Mission Compound in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012. It strains credulity to presume that these aides did not inform then-Secretary Clinton of the known facts at that time.
“Mrs. Clinton actually issued a statement on the night of [the attack] stating, ‘Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet,’ a clear reference to the Internet video,” I noted in a recent column criticizing Schmidt’s reporting.
The public record has already established that President Obama, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, AFRICOM’s Carter Ham, and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey were all told that the assault in Benghazi was a terrorist attack almost immediately after they began. Yet the President and his administration still continued to blame a YouTube video titled “The Innocence of Muslims.”
As revealed in their book, 13 Hours, the Annex Security Team (AST) was also told by employees of the Central Intelligence Agency to stand down three times before they unilaterally left the CIA Annex one mile away and went to the aid of the beleaguered diplomatic personnel at the Special Mission Compound.
Labott continued, writing that CNN’s anonymous sources “added that contrary to charges by Republican lawmakers like McCain, there is no evidence that a ‘stand down’ order was given to prevent American forces from responding to the violence in Benghazi and none of the emails suggest Clinton was involved in any sort of cover-up regarding its response to the attack.”
Similarly, Hosenball writes that people “familiar with the emails” told him that the email cache “contains no support for Republican accusations that Clinton was involved in efforts to downplay the role of Islamic militants in the deadly 2012 attacks on U.S. installations in Benghazi” and “do not demonstrate that Clinton…was personally involved in decisions that resulted in weak security at the Benghazi outposts.”
“If the sources wouldn’t show them the documents, why are they so confident that what they are being told is the truth—especially if the information is self-serving to the administration, as these revelations clearly were,” I wrote regarding The New York Times.
The same standard should apply to CNN and Reuters.
The point is, how can all these reporters be certain they are getting the facts, sight unseen?
More information regarding the truth about the Benghazi scandal could become available in the near future. Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) requested that Mrs. Clinton appear publicly before the Select Committee in May and June, and has now “received more than 4,000 pages of documents and notes from the State Department’s Benghazi Accountability Review Board” investigation, according to USA Today. Rep. Gowdy offered for Mrs. Clinton to testify under oath that all the necessary documents had been submitted to the Select Committee, testimony which he says “would probably shut off that line of inquiry.” He was referring to the issue of how the emails were turned over from her private server to the State Department.
Mrs. Clinton, through her attorney David Kendall, stated this week that she is willing to take questions from Rep. Gowdy’s Select Committee—but only one time, and only in public. She is refusing the committee’s request to meet twice: once in private to discuss her controversial email usage while at the State Department, and once in public to talk about Benghazi. She has also refused to turn over her email server to the committee, but said that she did turn the rest of her emails over to the State Department. Whether any of the more than 30,000 emails that she destroyed contained communications about Benghazi, or any business of the Clinton Foundation that might reveal coordination over donations, may never be revealed. The public is instead being asked to blindly trust Hillary’s claims that the emails were all personal and had nothing to do with either one of these situations.
Both Labott and Hosenball reported last week that the State Department could be releasing Mrs. Clinton’s emails to the public very soon. With the deadline getting closer, why not just wait until the emails are released and review their actual contents? Instead, these three news organizations published “scoops” which only serve to reiterate and perpetuate the Obama administration’s Benghazi narrative.
Although certain mainstream media organizations refuse to acknowledge the facts about the ongoing Benghazi scandal, turning a blind eye to the truth is no excuse for taking the administration’s word about documents which will soon become public. Not that there are likely to be any smoking guns in these soon-to-be-released emails. The decision to publish articles based on the word of unnamed administration officials instead of demanding to see Mrs. Clinton’s emails first has perpetuated the image of these news outlets as little more than propaganda mouthpieces for the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton.
By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media
The CCB’s interim report found last year that:
- The war in Libya was not only unnecessary, but the administration quashed possible truce talks between itself and Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi at a crucial juncture.
- The United States switched sides in the War on Terror, facilitating the provision of weapons to al Qaeda-linked rebels during the Libyan civil war.
These two actions fostered the climate for the preventable September 11, 2012 terror attacks. Yet many in the media seem uninterested in exploring the reasons why the United States intervened in Libya in the first place, or the role that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, now running for president, played in pushing the United States to intervene there.
President Obama’s decision to aid al-Qaeda-linked rebels and switch sides in the War on Terror in Libya also reveals his core foreign policy strategy—that America’s enemies should not be considered adversaries, but as allies or strategic partners, regardless of the foreign leaders’ totalitarian ideology, whether or not these countries oppress their citizens, and whether or not future governments will facilitate Islamic terror.
“The failure to attempt to rescue these Americans amounts to a dereliction of duty,” stated the report. Three Annex Security Team members later confirmed that they were told by the CIA to stand down three times.
The findings of our report ring even more true today as more and more evidence has been found of a government cover-up on Benghazi. As I recently wrote, Obama administration leaders’ early knowledge that these were terror attacks indicates that our government deliberately misled the public during an election season. These leaders, including President Obama and Secretary Clinton, then blamed terror attacks against Americans on an Internet video about the life of Muhammad.
The question is not who is responsible, but rather when will the ringleaders be held accountable?
The CCB had also been calling for a Select Committee on Benghazi, long before our Interim Report was issued last April 22nd. When the Select Committee on Benghazi was finally established on May 8, 2014, with Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) as chairman, it was a move widely applauded by the CCB and others determined to see the truth come out and people held accountable. However, there have only been three public hearings to date. But Gowdy recently told me that they have conducted more than 20 transcribed interviews in private since January, including with key people never before interviewed by any previous congressional investigatory committee. So the investigation continues behind closed doors. The Committee has requested a private interview with Mrs. Clinton by May 1st.
“I expect the negotiations to be ongoing,” said Gowdy, according to The Washington Times. “I think she’ll come twice. …I hope she will.” But according to a letter sent on April 22nd from Mrs. Clinton’s attorney, David Kendall, she is willing to address the committee in public, but not in private. Perhaps that has something to do with the rules limiting the amount of time each Member can question her in a public hearing.
As we move deeper into the presidential political season, the stakes and the stagecraft become more complicated. But truth and accountability remain the ultimate purpose of these investigations.
While Newsmax indicates that the Select Committee’s investigative findings will likely be issued in 2016, what America already knows about this scandal makes it clear that the ensuing government cover-up serves as a Rosetta stone for widespread abuse-of-power and dishonesty by the Obama administration.
As it did last year before this issue made the media spotlight, the CCB will continue its fight to uncover the truth about Benghazi. We have filed a number of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and sued the administration to obtain access to documents which will aid the push for administration accountability.
The liberal media have and will likely continue to label Benghazi as a “phony scandal,” despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. But the CCB will continue to provide the public with additional revelations, despite the fact that a complicit media and the Obama administration would prefer they never come to light.
Hat Tip: BB
By: Bethany Stotts
Accuracy in Media
Exclusive to Accuracy in Media.
Clinton’s 2016 presidential chances undoubtedly have been harmed by the revelation that she exclusively used a private email address while serving as Secretary of State. But while the media remain mired in calculations about whether Mrs. Clinton can survive this latest crisis, and who the villains are in this unfolding story, additional questions call out for answers.
Mrs. Clinton made many claims at her press conference on Tuesday. The media shouldn’t simply regurgitate them wholesale, as the AP has done, but rather they should approach them with due skepticism.
“Well, the system we used was set up for President Clinton’s office, and it had numerous safeguards,” said Mrs. Clinton. “It was on property guarded by the Secret Service and there were no security breaches. So, I think that the use of that server, which started with my husband, certainly proved to be effective and secure.”
In contrast, Philip Bump reports for The Washington Post that the domain, clintonemail.com, was established “the same day that Clinton’s confirmation hearings began before the Senate.” That is suspicious timing for a system allegedly set up to support her husband’s office.
The professional assessment by security experts quoted in the media seems to be that Mrs. Clinton’s private email was vulnerable to hacking. “The system could have previously been hardened against attack, and left to get weedy and vulnerable after she left government,” writes Sam Biddle for Gawker. “We don’t know. … With Clinton’s off-the-books scheme, there are only questions.”
“We can only go by what Clinton says,” reports USA Today.
Mrs. Clinton told the press that she had set up the account for both private and work-related emails to avoid the inconvenience of having to set up two phones and two separate accounts, but that, in retrospect, she should have thought better about it. She offered few answers about the actual details of her server, and avoided questions about whether she would subject it to independent analysis, asserting that she had done her full duty by turning over 30,490 vetted emails to the State Department.
There were about 60,000 emails in total, she said—but after the private vetting process, controlled by her and her advisors, she has since deleted the private ones. “At the end I chose not to keep my private personal emails—emails about planning Chelsea’s wedding, or my mother’s funeral arrangements, condolence notes to friends, as well as yoga routines, family vacations—the other things you typically find in inboxes,” she said. Yet the Select Committee on Benghazi’s Chair Trey Gowdy indicated that no emails have been turned over to Congress covering the duration of her 2011 trip to Libya.
Mrs. Clinton apparently expects the media to swallow whole the argument that all her emails on that trip regarded personal affairs.
What can be established at this juncture is depressingly disturbing for national security.
“…security experts consulted by Gawker have laid out a litany of potential threats that may have exposed [Mrs. Clinton’s] email conversations to potential interception by hackers and foreign intelligence agencies,” writes Biddle. This, despite Mrs. Clinton’s assertion that there were no breaches.
Problems identified by Biddle’s sources include that the URL log-in was accessible by anyone in the world, and could have been linked to an “administrative console interface to the Windows machine or a backup,” allowing the possibility that Mrs. Clinton’s emails could have been copied in their entirety by hackers. And, as of March, reports Biddle, “the server at sslvpn has an invalid SSL certificate.” Without a valid SSL certificate there is no third-party indicating that the key is still good, and not hacked.
“An exact physical address could not be determined” for the server, but Internet records indicate that it’s in Chappaqua, New York, reported Bloomberg News.
The server, as of March 4, was on “factory default for the security appliance” when it could have been “replaced by a unique certificate purchased for a few hundred dollars,” making it vulnerable to hacking, it reports.
But, the paper hedges, “While Clinton didn’t have a classified e-mail system, she had multiple ways of communicating in a classified manner, including assistants printing documents for her, secure phone calls and secure video conferences.”
Similarly, Mrs. Clinton asserted at the press conference that she never sent classified information through her private email.
It is not necessary to reveal classified information directly to jeopardize national security or the international diplomatic process. As Thomas Patrick Carroll, formerly of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Directorate of Operations, explained in 2001 for the International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, “classification usually has relatively little to do with the information itself, but a lot to do with the protection of sources and methods.” His given example was how a foreign minister’s personal assistant might have a private conversation with that minister and obtain “the minister’s private observations on the matter,” later relaying this to U.S. intelligence for their exploitation. These types of inside observations prove invaluable for all foreign intelligence services.
If Mrs. Clinton’s email was hacked, then foreign governments such as Iran, China, Russia, and others, might have gained access to her private internal musings about diplomatic talks as she worked out the details with her staff—an intelligence treasure trove.
One must also ask, if Mrs. Clinton refused to set up a government email, how high was that refusal relayed? If it wasn’t relayed to the very top by security specialists, then why not?
Mrs. Clinton was sworn in on January 21, 2009. A couple months after she took office, in March of 2009, the University of Toronto and TheSecDevGroup issued their report on Ghostnet, a cyberespionage network established by an unknown party to mine data from the Tibetans. They found “real-time evidence of malware that had penetrated Tibetan computer systems” which was connected to a large network of 1,295 infected computers in 103 countries—almost 30 percent of which were high-value targets such as ministries of foreign affairs.
The authors of the report found “that GhostNet is capable of taking full control of infected computers, including searching and downloading specific files, and covertly operating attached devices, including microphones and web cameras,” and was sent through “contextually relevant emails” that look like real emails.
Granted, the mechanism of action for Ghostnet would not have been the same as that which could have compromised the server that Mrs. Clinton was using. But few can claim ignorance about the degree of threat posed by the use of insecure systems at the time.
The Ghostnet network compromised computers at the “ministries of foreign affairs of Iran, Bangladesh, Latvia, Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei, Barbados and Bhutan; embassies of India, South Korea, Indonesia, Romania, Cyprus, Malta, Thailand, Taiwan, Portugal, Germany and Pakistan.”
Even if the Obama administration’s appointees lacked the know-how to anticipate cyber threats when they took office, they were undoubtedly immediately educated about the dangers by the government’s more knowledgeable members. Bob Gates, the former Director of Central Intelligence, and later Defense Secretary under Obama, commented in his 2014 book, Duty, that “A number of the new appointees, both senior and junior, seemed to lack an awareness of the world they had just entered.” He noticed that “fully half” of those in the Situation Room had their “cell phones turned on during the meeting, potentially broadcasting everything that was said to foreign intelligence electronic eavesdroppers” and he ensured that such behavior stopped.
The Ghostnet story made page A1 of the New York Times in March 2009. Can this administration really claim innocence about the security threats posed by an insecure, private email server when Clinton served as Secretary of State? How much did President Obama know, and when?
It now appears that the Obama administration received questions from Gawker’s John Cook about the ramifications of Clinton’s private email use back in 2013. The Obama administration has likely spent at least those two years—if not much longer—covering for Mrs. Clinton. Her press conference to explain her exclusive use of private email fails to satisfy, and the press should continue demanding answers until this presidential hopeful provides some real ones.
By: Kenneth R. Timmerman
Accuracy in Media
Exclusive to Accuracy in Media
Until Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) revealed last week that his Benghazi Select Committee was investigating Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for her official State Department communications, no one had a good explanation for why none of the Congressional committees that had previously investigated Benghazi had ever cited a single Hillary Clinton email in their reports.
Congressional Democrats had been pooh-poohing Gowdy’s investigation, claiming that all the important questions about Benghazi had been “asked and answered” by previous committees.
Now the best that Gowdy’s counterpart, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), can do is object to subpoenas (especially when they are issued to Hillary Clinton in person, through Counsel), and to huff and puff about the investigation becoming a “surrogate” for the “Republican National Committee.”
What a change a single revelation can bring.
We now learn that Hillary Clinton not only used a private server, maintained at her Chappaqua, New York home for official communications, but that she never used a government email at all. Not once.
No [email protected], or [email protected] or anything of the kind. Just multiple accounts on her family server, clintonemail.com, including [email protected], the same address used by former Clinton White House aide Sidney Blumenthal to communicate with her on Benghazi and related matters.
Federal prosecutors recently finished up their case against former CIA Director David Petraeus, who was conveniently forced to resign just three days after the November 2012 elections, before he could clarify what he knew about Benghazi. (Given that Petraeus had just returned from a September 2, 2012 trip to Ankara, Turkey, where he had been trying to tamp down publicity due to an arms shipment from Benghazi to the Syrian rebels, he certainly knew a lot.)
In a widely criticized decision, they forced him to plea bargain one count of a misdemeanor in exchange for dropping more serious charges. The full extent of the FBI’s case against Petraeus involved him sharing personal, hand-written notebooks with his biographer.
Prosecutors noted that the CIA had installed a SCIF—a specialized high-security area—in his Arlington, Virginia home where he could safely store classified materials brought home from the CIA. That facility was dismantled by the CIA without incident two months after Petraeus resigned from the Agency.
The prosecutors never accused Petraeus of improperly storing U.S. government classified materials either in the SCIF or elsewhere. Nor did they accuse him of sending classified materials over an unsecure server.
If they could prosecute Petraeus on one count of improperly handling classified material (he kept those personal notebooks in a rucksack in his attic), one can only speculate how many thousand counts of mishandling classified information could be brought against Mrs. Clinton. Of course, she denies having sent classified information over her personal server, but in that case how did she communicate on classified matters with her envoys and subordinates?
Was the private server at her residence designed, installed, and maintained by a U.S. government security agency? Was it connected to the government’s Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet) and physically separated from the open Internet?
The Sid Blumenthal memos, sent from his AOL account to Hillary’s private email server, suggest that this was not the case. If so, the former Secretary of State was breaking the law—big time.
When the memos first surfaced in 2013—posted to the Internet by a Romanian hacker known as “Guccifer” —neither the State Department nor their purported author acknowledged their authenticity. Given that they initially surfaced on the website of Russia Today, Vladimir Putin’s reliably anti-American TV network, that was enough to consign them to oblivion as yet another Internet hoax.
Now we learn that former CIA official Tyler Drumheller apparently helped to gather the “intel” that Blumenthal sent to Hillary on the Benghazi attacks and other political developments inside Libya.
This is extremely significant because the initial memo sent by Blumenthal, dated September 12, 2012, cites “a sensitive source,” who purportedly met with Libyan President Magarief shortly after the attacks began and claimed that a YouTube video sparked the “protest” against the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi.
Magarief himself never said such a thing, although the memo is worded to suggest that he did. He blew up when he heard Susan Rice make that claim on the Sunday talk shows after the attack, as I write on pages 347 and 348 of Dark Forces: The Truth About What Happened in Benghazi.
Drumheller became infamous for several earlier pieces of disinformation. As European Division chief at the CIA’s Directorate of Operations in 2001 and 2002, he was the one who planted the phony evidence about the Niger uranium contract that was later used by the media during the Valerie Plame affair to claim that George W. Bush had “lied” about Saddam Hussein’s WMD programs. On three separate occasions, he passed the Niger information up the food chain as validated intelligence, when the CIA had been warned that it was not (see page 63 of my book Shadow Warriors).
Then-CIA Director George Tenet was so fed up with Drumheller that he spent seven full pages in his memoir debunking claims by Drumheller regarding the defector known as CURVEBALL that Tenet said were simply untrue.
Drumheller and Sid Blumenthal have a history together. In 2007, Blumenthal used Drumheller as a source to “prove” that Bush had “lied” about pre-war intelligence on Iraqi WMD. Drumheller and Blumenthal went on to work in Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2007 and 2008.
So was the Guccifer/Blumenthal memo intended as disinformation, written after Hillary Clinton put out her statement on the night of the attacks blaming them on a YouTube video? Or was it actually the source of Hillary’s false claim about the video, written and sent by someone on the ground in Libya who was attempting to plant the story?
Many reporters, myself included, have submitted Freedom of Information Act requests to the State Department, asking for all documents and communications that would show how Mrs. Clinton’s statement came to be worded as it was finally released. Where are all the drafts? Who commented on them? What did it say initially? How was it changed? By whom?
We have much of that information for the Susan Rice talking points, but nothing at all for Hillary Clinton’s statement on the evening of the attacks.
Given that there is not a single mention of a protest or the YouTube video in all the documents released to Congress, which included real-time communications from Tripoli and Benghazi from the State Department and CIA that night, exactly how Mrs. Clinton came up with that idea could provide key insight into what actually happened in Benghazi, and why.