Thursday, August 13, 2015

They are going after Huma

The Clinton email pseudoscandal is going into high-weirdness mode. I am particularly struck by this Poltico story which claims that the focus is now on Hillary's aide Huma Abedin. The underlying presumption here is that Huma is some sort of Islamic sleeper agent -- a baseless claim which has long been a right-wing fear-fantasy.

It's sad to see Politico go along with that nonsense.

For a reasonable response to the right's hysteria about the emails, go here. Basically, what you're not being told is that the classifications were retroactive. The material was not classified at the time, according to this McClatchy report.
Revelations that dozens of Clinton’s emails now include classified information has prompted an FBI inquiry into whether classified information was improperly stored on her private server and a thumb drive held by her attorney. The news has sparked fear among national security experts that the federal government’s secrets may have been exposed or even hacked. However, the two inspectors general said the material in Clinton’s email was not marked as classified at the time.
It seems to me very possible that there are many people in the intelligence community who would prefer to see a Republican win in 2016. Such a person might want to cause trouble for Hillary by deciding after the fact that a relatively innocuous document must now be considered Top Secret.

If she did not knowingly send an email with classified info, there is no crime. And realistically speaking, why would she use a private server to transmit classified information? To whom would she send it? What practical purpose would have been served?

It's obvious to everyone that she used a private email server to avoid the kind of legal fishing expeditions that made Judicial Watch famous. That's all that's going on here. The Secretary of State wasn't involved in espionage.
I think you're grasping at straws here. The idea of an "innocuous" document being subsequently classified TOP SECRET is absurd. The FBI, and everyone involved in the investigation, are well aware of what types of information should be classified, and at what levels. Innocuous information doesn't become sensitive by slapping a classification label on it, and sensitive information doesn't become innocuous by snipping off the classification markers.

Believe me, any past or present government employee who ever had access to classified information, especially at the higher classification levels, is appalled that someone in her position would have used a private server for her official business, since they are well aware that such behavior by a regular employee would probably lead to prison.

Regarding your final point, I'm not aware that anyone is accusing Hillary of being involved in active espionage. The concern is that she bypassed the systems the US government has in place to protect sensitive information, thus making this information vulnerable to intercept by foreign governments, hackers, etc.

My primary objection to her as President, like yours, is her warmongering approach to international affairs, but her use of this e-mail system is also, to me, unforgivable.
"Innocuous information doesn't become sensitive by slapping a classification label on it.

Oh reeeaaallllly?

There has been an INSANE amount of over-classification going on. And an insane amount of over-reclassification.

I would draw your attention to the following Fox News piece:

A Fox news report quoting an intelligence insider -- who, naturally, goes unnamed -- to the effect that someone under Hillary may have stripped away classification data...? Yet McClatchy (more trustworthy that Fox, you will surely agree) says that the documentation was not classified at the time...

The reek of rat grows ever stronger.

Keep in mind, we don't even know what we're dealing with. The stories I've been reading stink of propaganda. They are written in such a way as to convey the impression that we are talking about a document containing America's most important satellite data. For all we really know at this point, we could be dealing with one document containing a satellite photo of Lake Titticaca, or something else more-or-less equivalent to the stuff you get on Google Earth. We just do not know and should not presume. (As I said: Over-classification has been a big problem for decades.)

Well, I DO presume this much: There would be no practical reason for Hillary to put something genuinely threatening to national security on that server.

Now, that said, if you want to speculate based on hideously incomplete information, let's do so. I'm always up for that kind of fun.

As established in a previous post, Guccifer was looking for communications involving Sidney Blumenthal. As established in a previous post, Guccifer is your basic conspiracy nut. He was pursuing an insane theory that Sidney and Max Blumenthal were pro-Israel neocon secret agents (which is like accusing John Wayne of being a Soviet spy). Since Blumenthal had business interests in Libya, I do think that it is fair to suggest that the documents in question concerned that country. We don't KNOW that, but it certainly seems possible.

So at worst -- at WORST -- what could we we dealing with here? Maybe Hillary sent Sidney a satellite photo of the consulate after it was torched? Big deal. We have ground level photos of the same thing. We're hardly talking about a leak comparable to, say, what was done to Valerie Plame.

Now, if there were satellite photos of the weapons transfer which Sy Hersh described -- well, that WOULD be something. But I don't think that anyone would be dumb enough to put a document about that on that server.

Hm. Sudden thought: Could someone have PLANTED a document on that server? I've hinted, in at least one previous post, that Guccifer had help getting "in." After all, he was just a cab driver with poor hacking skills. So it's pretty easy to see how he might have functioned as a dupe in a very clever scheme.

Nevertheless, no-one has yet said that we are talking about something that could have posed a true threat to national security. Until someone DOES say that -- by which I mean, someone speaking objectively and knowledgeably and on the record -- then I feel comfortable with my post.

I have a question no one seems to know how to answer. For 4 years of working as a part of an administration why no one upon receiving an e-mail from her point out that's not kosher or something? I am sure she sent tons to the WH and DOJ and other agencies. How about the IT department. Shouldn't that be their job. I can't imagine she was that scary. I smell a rat.
Wasn't forcing Hillary Clinton to release her emails, extortion? If the FBI has this much clout, then shouldn't all of Hillary Clinton's emails been CC'd to the FBI?
I feel comfortable with your post, Joe. This is an ongoing, intentional smear campaign that should surprise no one. The Clinton's have been Enemy #1 since they entered national politics. Remembering the Whitewater/Vince Foster high marks in Republican opposition warfare, I see more of the same with an extra measure of desperation from the GOP. The Republican field is in major disarray. The Donald complicates the mess but the mess, the craziness, the nativist ignorance and bombastic undertones are part and parcel of the current Republican candidate pool. The Donald has merely highlighted the dysfunction to the point that GOP candidates are trying to out do the Donald. Good luck with that!

Huma Abedin's loyalty has always been questioned to the point of labeling her a mole for the Muslim Brotherhood or HRC's lesbian lover or . . . God knows what. This whole smarmy strategy creeps me out, convincing me evermore that the Republicans should never be allowed within a 10 mile radius of the White House. The Republicans are truly demented!

Van Buren, the "We meant well" author, former state dept guy, has a post up at Zero Hedge that develops previous commenter's point further: about the double standard for Hillary Vs ordinary employees. Regular employees are not given the benefit of the doubt about "how" classified something is, and retroactive classification still counts.

Van Buren:

In October 2011 I wrote this blog post, which linked to an alleged State Department confidential cable on the Wikileaks site. The document in question was and still is online for all the world to see. State has never acknowledged publicly its authenticity or its classification. I merely linked to it. Based on that link, the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security conducted a full investigation into my ability to continue to hold the Top Secret security clearance I had held without incident for 23 years. They concluded I was no longer to be trusted.

It's absolutely fucking disgusting the way Van Buren was treated. Even fucking Wikileaks is considered classified even though it's all in the public. See the level of security bullshit they impose on everyone? Did Hillary lift a finger as Sec State to say, fuck this, my employees won't be abused like this? No she was supported these rules and had to have signed off on them (in the case of WikiLeaks docs). Ordinary employees get treated like shit in America, just like ordinary citizens before the courts get treated like shit.

Yes, I agree all this over-classification is utter BS, but at some point the elite need to held to all the inane laws they've created for the rest of us, whether as employees or citizens. Especially someone like Hillary, who was on watch as some of these inane rules were implemented and enforced (as in Van Buren case).
You get the most interesting drive by comments Joseph, from obvious plants (Tristero, for instance.......has this alias ever posted here before? I don't think so.....I mean really, who in America is not aware of the ridiculous over-classification of documents by the past 2 administrations???). I'm not a fan of Hillary, but so far, this all appears to be a set up. She is actually electable (much to my dismay), so she must be mired in scandal at all costs. It will be interesting to see how this develops, as I have no dog in this hunt, so to speak. I would prefer if Hillary was NOT the Democratic nominee, but as Joseph has pointed out previously, she might be the only one that can actually win. Of course, even that notion seems absurd when you look at the Republican "field" of candidates. Would any of those nut cases have stood a chance 20 or 30 years ago? Of course not. Every last one of them would have been a laughing stock and not taken seriously at all. So, of course, Hillary must be discredited in whatever way can be found. Funny they won't go after her for the thing that most matters, her state department performance (and obvious war mongering). Because, of course, that is the one thing the GOP agrees with her on! What interesting times we live in........
Whenever I hear.. her state department performance or her accomplishment yada yada... I always have these unsortable feeling. of course it usually comes from someone that will NEVER see anything positive about her. I don't know if its their problem or not because she is the kind of person you can't be neutral and for that matter fair about. But there is also those crowds who have this strange ideas about the power and (in their mind) the limitless influence of the state dep. over the world. They think s/he can waltz in any country or nation in and out order them around and wave a magic wand and walah... middle east sorted out south east china domesticated Russia begging for our forgiveness. It doesn't matter how many centuries even before US was even a country the conflicts existed; hillary you have 4 years get on with it what are waiting for. As it come down to it they have NO respect towards other groups outsides the US. They don't see the others.
All the progressive media players from 2008 are starting to reveal themselves as concern trolls about Hillary Clinton.
Salon publishes a piece from Camille Paglia (a friend of Arianna Huffington) about the Clintons that isn't even worth discussing, Politico is coming out.
The big one will be Daily Kos, which amazingly seems ok with Hillary Clinton at the moment. The Atlantic should fall in line, as will Time and Newsweek. Huffington Post will probably be the last one to do so in an effort to look fair to Clinton supporters.
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