Friday, 8 July 2016

Did Secretary Hillary Clinton break the law?                                                

The inappropriate use of a private server to conduct what were classified communications and potentially accessible to third-parties when she was the Secretary of State did not seem grave enough a breach of the law to warrant criminal charges being laid against her according to James B. Comey, the director of the FBI. He said the following in part;

“Our investigation looked at whether there is evidence classified information was improperly stored or transmitted on that personal system, in violation of a federal statute making it a felony to mishandle classified information either intentionally or in a grossly negligent way, or a second statute making it a misdemeanor to knowingly remove classified information from appropriate systems or storage facilities.” unquote

I am only guessing about her improper storage of classified information but I am forced to ask this rhetorical question, “Did she store certain classified information so she can later refer to it while writing her memoirs?” 
The director said I part;

Why did she use so many servers when transmitting classified information? And now back to the director;

“From the group of 30,000 emails returned to the State Department, 110 emails in 52 email chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received. Eight of those chains contained information that was Top Secret at the time they were sent; 36 chains contained secret information at the time; and eight contained confidential information, which is the lowest level of classification. Separate from those, about 2,000 additional emails were “up-classified” to make them confidential; the information in those had not been classified at the time the emails were sent.” unquote

Clinton actually ran a private mail server in her home during her entire tenure leading the State Department, hosting her email at the domain  Much of the criticism of that in-house email strategy has centered on its violation of the federal government’s record-keeping and transparency rules.

The Director also said;

I have so far used the singular term, “email server,” in describing the referral that began our investigation. It turns out to have been more complicated than that. Secretary Clinton used several different servers and administrators of those servers during her four years at the State Department, and used numerous mobile devices to view and send email on that personal domain. As new servers and equipment were employed, older servers were taken out of service, stored, and decommissioned in various ways. Piecing all of that back together to gain as full an understanding as possible of the ways in which personal email was used for government work—has been a painstaking undertaking, requiring thousands of hours of effort.” unquote

Let me describe the word “careless” to you.  Black’s Law Dictionary defines “careless’ to include, “absence of care”  “negligence” and “reckless”. The same dictionary defines “reckless’ as to mean, “indifference to consequences” and also, “under circumstances involving danger to life and safety to others although no harm was intended”. Negligence is defined as "the omission to do something which a reasonable person, guided by those ordinary considerations which ordinarily regulate human affairs would do." 

Now I realize that the specific setion I quoted deals with matters of national defence but surely the Secretary of State would have to also deal with matters of national defence so it is conceivable that some of the matters she texted were matters of national defence. 

But as the controversy continues to swirl, the security community is focused on a different issue: the possibility that an unofficial, unprotected server held the communications of America’s top foreign affairs official for four years, leaving all of it potentially vulnerable to state-sponsored hackers.

That is scary. Did any of the enemies of the US hack into any of those servers and get that top secret and confidential information?

The director said;

“I should add here that we found no evidence that any of the additional work-related emails were intentionally deleted in an effort to conceal them. Our assessment is that, like many email users, Secretary Clinton periodically deleted emails or emails were purged from the system when devices were changed. Because she was not using a government account — or even a commercial account like Gmail — there was no archiving at all of her emails, so it is not surprising that we discovered emails that were not on Secretary Clinton’s system in 2014, when she produced the 30,000 emails to the State Department.” unquote

If she had deleted the pertinent files; that would be evidence of her hiding evidence of her wrongdoing and that deletion would be criminal.

That was the preliminary finding by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which had concluded its investigation into Clinton’s use of a personal email system during her time as Secretary of State.  The Bureau had received the referral from the Intelligence Community Inspector General seeking answers on whether classified information had been transmitted on that personal system during her time in office.

It’s obviously that confidential information had been transmitted to someone but the question that has to be answered is who received the information and did anyone who is an enemy of the United Sates get that confidential information that she transmitted in her own personal email?  If her personal email is as secure as the official email system then it is possible that no enemy of the US received any of that confidential information.

But what is most puzzling is—why did she discuss classified information to someone on her personal email? Further was that person entitled to be given classified information?

There was a potentially two-pronged trap for Clinton: a felonious violation of a federal law on the subject of mishandling classified information either intentionally or a grossly negligent way; or the misdemeanour of knowingly removing classified information from “appropriate systems or storage facilities.” Investigations into possible intrusions were also made.

In my opinion, Comey’s statement describes a terrible wrongdoing by the former Secretary of State. As Secretary of State, she used several email servers and relevant administrators, along with a host of mobile devices to view and convey emails via personal domains. That was clearly against the law.

During the course of her stewardship at the State Department, processes of replacement, storage and decommissioning took place. This compounded the problem, rendering the trail of messages hard to find. The decommissioning in 2013 of one of the original servers, for instance, saw the removal of email software that was similar to removing the frame from a huge finished jigsaw puzzle and dumping all the pieces on the floor.  That is hardly a sign of propriety on the part of Hillary Clinton or was it a cover-up on her part?

The FBI director then referred to the issue of whether or not she and members of her staff broke the law.

“Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”

There is no doubt in my mind that the Secretary and her staff intended no harm to others but that doesn’t mean that harm doesn’t exist, especially if enemies of the United States now have top secret information that leaked from her servers and can use it to harm the United States as a nation.

Colin Powell who was the 65th United States Secretary of State did the same thing that Hillary Clinton did. It is conceivable that she concluded in her mind that if he used private servers to conduct his department’s business in, it must be OK for her to do the same especially since no one during Collin Powel’s tenure told him that it was wrong what he was doing.  

I agree with the director of the FBI that there was no criminal intent on her part to break any US law and it may be difficult for any prosecutor to come to any other conclusion. However, there is the matter of her negligence.  

Why didn't he recommend a charge of negligence as per the section I referred to? Let me ask you this rhetorical question. If you were the director of the FBI, would you want to go on the record and state that you are recommending the presumptive president of the United States to be charged with a felony when you are still going to be in office if she becomes the president of the United States? 

I am convinced in my own mind that her act and that of her staff that did what she did was an extreme form of recklessness and surely she and her staff had to know that what they were doing was putting the United States at risk.

Although the American people didn’t know about this debacle, it’s almost certain that foreign intelligence agencies did. Four of the countries around the world that have the capabilities of hacking into her servers are China, North Korea, Iran and Russia. If any of them or even if all of them did this, you can be sure that they won’t let that fact be known. And if any of them did hack into her personal servers, they may very well use the text they grabbed to bolster their intentions to harm the United States. in some manner or other.

None are so fond of secrets, as those who foolishly display them like a spendthrift who displays his money. And secrets like the spendthrift’s money; end up in circulation. Hillary Clinton should have realized that if you let your fishing hook dangle where you least expect a fish to be, surely a fish will sooner or later come onto the scene. 

The most obvious security issue with Clinton running her own email server; is the lack of manpower overseeing it compared with the State Department’s official email system. The State Department own IT security team monitors State Department servers for possible vulnerabilities and breaches, and those computers fall under the NSA’s protection, also.  

Since 2008, the so-called Einstein project has functioned as an umbrella intrusion-detection system for more than a dozen federal agencies. Though it is run by the Department of Homeland Security, it uses NSA data and vulnerability-detection methods. Clinton’s email wouldn’t have the benefit of any of that expensive government security. If she had hosted her email with Google or even Yahoo! or Microsoft, there might be an argument that those private companies’ security teams are just as competent as the those of the feds. But instead, according to the Associated Press, Clinton ran her server from her own home. Any protection it had there—aside from the physical protection of the Secret Service—would have been limited to the Clintons’ own personal resources.

In a news conference about her exclusive use of a private email account while secretary, Mrs. Clinton sought to squelch the furor about those communications, already in its second week.

She acknowledged that it would have been wiser to use a government email for official business, but said she had “fully complied with every rule” and was going “above and beyond” what was required of her in asking the State Department to make public much of her email correspondence.

She said, “I thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal emails instead of two.”  That turned out to be a stupid decision. She didn’t want her personal emails to be made public. If she felt that way, she should have used two devices, and subsequently no one would be perusing through the text of her private conversations on her private server. Her statement about using only one device for her emails was a lie. She used a number of email devices.

She also lied before Congress that she didn’t send confidential information over her personal devices. She actually ordered her staff to remove the  markings on  documents that were faxed to her home by her staff that were in fact, originally marked CONFIDENTIAL. It is a felony to lie to a congressional committee.

She insisted on a number of occasions that she did not use her server to send or receive confidential information. That was a bald-face lie.

If the Committee in Congress that questioned her about the emails chooses to turn her testimony over the FBI, she may very well be charged with perjury.
Doubts about her honesty cluster around her like black flies cluster around hapless victims in northern bushes. No matter how many times she wants to swat those black flies of doubts off of her, it will be to no avail. They will continue to zoom into her like kamikaze pilots. Her supporters will of course try to whisk them away but attempts at doing that will be like trying to whisk away a forty-foot tidal wave. It will encompass them all.

The director of the FBI said to an oversight committee of Congress on July 7th 2016 that if someone in the FBI did what Hillary Clinton did when she was the Secretary of State, there would be serious consequences for that person.

In my opinion, Hillary Clinton should face serious consequences for her conduct both as the Secretary of State and after she left that service.
The question on everyone’ mind, (other than those who support Hillary Clinton for president) is, would it be a good thing that she becomes the American’s next president?

I have listened to Hillary Clinton’s speeches and there is no doubt in my mind that she is presidential material. She also has the advantage of been a former Secretary of State and as such, she has made friends with many nations world-wide.

My concern however is that because of her colossal stupidity in using her personal servers to discuss top secret matters with others, how can anyone really be convinced that during her tenure of president, she won’t make another colossal blunder that will have a terrible effect on the welfare of the United States and perhaps other nations. Consider the blunders of former president, George W. Bush and his stupid blunders. 

Further, will anyone really believe what she tells the American people if she is their next president?  She is a bald-face liar. Like a small child caught with his or her hand in the cookie jar and denies that he or she didn’t do anything wrong, how can anyone really be sure that what she says is the absolute truth?  Although she can make her extravaganzas appear credible, she cannot make her concept of truth credible.

If she becomes the next US president and makes a colossal blunder, not only will the Americans suffer but so will other nations that support the United States.

This is something that the Electoral College will have to decide when they choose who the next president of the United States is going to be. It is going to be a difficult task. If they have to choose between the two presumptive candidates, will it be Donald Trump, the buffoon or Hillary Clinton, the fool and teller of fairy tales? 

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