by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium
I’m getting tired of hearing about Hillary Clinton’s emails, but there seems to be a general ignorance about why this subject is important. Meanwhile, Hillary is getting away with murder and the media is giving her a general pass while others would be and have been fried for doing similar dumb things with classified information. Therefore, I am going to attempt to illustrate why this important while avoiding divulging classified information myself.
If however, I do run amok of federal law in this blog, and the F.B.I. comes knocking at my door, I’m just going to ask for a Hillary pass and see how well that works out for me. Here goes!
In my 22-year career as an Army Officer in the National Guard and later in the Army Reserve, I was in a position to use and disseminate classified information. Mostly it was due to my duties as a Transportation Officer, first as a transportation manager at Fort McCoy for 18 months beginning in 2004 and later as a transportation officer in the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division deployed to Iraq for the long tour in 2006-2007. Here is what I’ve learned about classified information, specifically in what is known as a SCIF.
Well, a SCIF, or Sensitive Compartmentalized Information Facility, is a secure room where normal people with Secret and Top Secret clearances with the US government go to get their classified information, either digital, documents, e-mail or what have you. I found a detailed description of the requirements of a SCIF online at the following website and I find that it is an adequate description of the SCIFs I’m familiar with. You can find that definition here. Bottom line up front, in order to access secret compartmentalized information you must pass into a small room that is specially set up for that purpose. It usually has one door, a set of computers set up on a specialized internal secret Internet system that doesn’t touch the world wide web, and you are banned from going into that secure area with cell phones, cameras or other recording devices. If you go into a secure briefing area, the same rules apply. Someone is usually manning the door, you sign in and are granted special credentials. If you are not on a list of secure personnel, you are banned from entering. It’s very inconvenient, but it is meant to prevent intentional or unintentional data spillage of classified information. Facilities that have SCIFs or classified briefing areas are usually surrounded with barbed wire and have an armed guard at the main gate.
(So why the Hell does someone like Hillary Clinton suddenly get classified information on an unsecure device like a Blackberry?! Are unicorns real?! I’ll tell you how. An assistant went inside the SCIF, stole classified documents at the behest of the Secretary of State, took off the classified markers and set it unsecure to the Secretary’s Blackberry, that’s how. It was all for the convenience of Hillary Clinton! It’s also illegal.
So why all this security? Why is the government so hell-bent on keeping secrets in the first place? To understand that, one must understand why certain data is classified. Bottom line up front, when it touches the security and safety of a deploying soldier going into a combat zone, the data of his or her arrival into the combat theater is classified, because knowledge of his or her arrival date by the enemy can lead to that soldier’s death by ambush. That’s it in a nutshell. Here is a real life anecdote.
When I arrived at Fort McCoy Wisconsin in 2004 I was the commander of a Transportation Movement Control Team, the 789th MCT. My eight-man team was dissected into different roles upon arrival and we were employed with the local garrison unit there that served to help mobilize and deploy soldiers and their equipment to Afghanistan, Iraq and other theaters of operation. I worked as a transportation manager for the post in what is called a MUIC, Mobilizing Unit Inprocessing Station. Basically every bit of information I touched in the orchestration of my job was Top Secret.
Inside my office I had a wall covered with acrylic and compartmentalized like a spreadsheet where I could track all the data points touching the mobilization and deployment of all units coming in and going out of Fort McCoy. It wasn’t my brainchild, but it was the brainchild of the retired Air Force Colonel turned civilian contractor who was my boss at the time. (The idea of an Army officer reporting to a civilian contractor is probably the topic of a completely different blog post, but there it is.) In order to work in my office, you had to be credentialed by the post and have a special badge just to get in the door. I couldn’t cover the wall every time an unauthorized person came into the room, so if you didn’t have clearance, you didn’t get in. Done.
I would often get calls from different state area commands wondering about the status of units I had mobilized to the post. Basically the two-star state Adjutant Generals wanted to know when their units were departing from theater or arriving back home so that they personally could see them off or welcome them home. I was not authorized to give that information on the phone over an unsecure line! In order to share that information, I had to get the post security manager involved and have him send that information through the proper channels through secure phone calls or email, available at that individual state’s SCIF.
Later in my mobilization to Fort McCoy the Good Idea Fairy attacked me and I decided to digitize the data I was putting on my wall in dry erase marker and e-mail to the various authorized personnel. I even proposed to display it in view screens over my desk so that VIP visitors from the respective states could see it. The security manager caught wind of this and just about had an aneurism! I was creating a SECRET document I was told, which I intended to share outside of SECRET channels, and that was a big NO-NO!! I was eventually allowed to build my document, but it had to be classified and sent through secure channels only, thus avoiding the big mess and prosecution for me, and people I worked with in the office.
Things got a little different when I was deployed with First Brigade Combat Team as a transportation officer in the S4 logistics section. In my office, which in and of itself was considered a SCIF, I had two kinds of computers on my desk, one for SECRET information, one for UNCLASSIFIED information. Neither system talked to each other. I knew which one was which because the image I had on the desk top, along with the stickers on each told me so. We were instructed that at no time would data from one system be allowed to contaminate the other. You could not take a thumb drive, plug it into a SECRET computer, download information from that computer and then share it with a non-secure system. That was VERBOTEN! I had a soldier in my office do that very thing. He plugged a CD into his secure device, burned some data, then he transferred it to his non-secure machine, where he proceeded to edit out the secure data points and share with other units through non-secure email. The Information Nazis swooped in with their jackboots and took the soldier’s computers away. Both computers had to be wiped and basically what he got back were brand new computers without any old data on them. In addition, since the data spillage wasn’t intentionally harmful, the soldier was given a permanent letter of reprimand in his file and a slap on the wrist. It could have been much worse!
Hillary Clinton, the former Secretary of State, a person who should have known better, transmitted and received thousands of emails which contained classified information. As a cabinet level officer, I am 100 percent certain that the Secretary of State has a security IT manager who briefs her on what she can and cannot do with classified information. That guy or gal should be made to testify to congress! He is on the hook for whatever he did or did not brief to the Secretary of State!
Indeed, the guy who set up the nonsecure server in Bill Clinton’s basement bathroom has lawyered up repeatedly about his role in setting up this machine to facilitate the massive secure data leak at the request of Hillary Clinton. There was a reason Hillary did this. All of her business emails are ordered to be preserved as governmental documents and are reviewable by members of Congress. Some of the unclassified material is even available to the public via FOIA or Freedom of Information Act request. Hillary knew this and purposefully set up the server anyway as to avoid transparency required of her as a government employee working for the people. And the F.B.I. gave her a pass the other day saying there was no intent to do harm. F.B.I. Director Comey said in fact that there was no precedent to prosecute an official where there was no intent. What?!! Comey should check his records a little more closely!
Indeed, the F.B.I. could take a short journey down memory lane to April of 2015 to when it successfully prosecuted Iraq War Hero David Petreaus who was the general who successfully brought an American Victory in Iraq and had him crawling to court on his knees where he reluctantly plead guilty to a misdemeanor for doing exactly what Hillary has been doing, mishandling classified information. General Petreaus handed over classified information to a reporter, who was also his lover and biographer. For this crime he was found guilty and given two years probation and fined $100,000. I don’t know any misdemeanor that carries that big a fine, but I’m not a lawyer. That is amazing!
The New York Times, that liberal bastion of media, has said that the F.B.I. was decidedly miffed at the time that the court brought so low a ruling and did not follow through and jail the former general and C.I.A. director. Can you imagine?! You can read the full NYT article here. Here’s a small quote from the story.
“The sentencing was a disappointing one for F.B.I. officials, who believed that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. had given Mr. Petraeus preferential treatment by allowing him to plead guilty to a misdemeanor and recommending that he receive probation instead of prison time. Federal judges are not bound by such recommendations, but they almost always follow them.
“Although the judge overseeing the case, David C. Keesler of United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, agreed to the probation sentence, he added $60,000 to the government’s suggested fine of $40,000. Judge Keesler did not give an extensive explanation for why he raised the fine, saying it was necessary because of “the seriousness of the offense.”
So I guess the only excuse for the discrepancy between General Petreaus and Hillary Clinton is that Clintons are immune from prosecution.
What does liberal bastion of propaganda and Hillary cheerleading Huffington Post have to say about the discrepancy? Let’s go back in the time machine to when the General was being prosecuted and then fast to today following the F.B.I. decision not to prosecute.
From the Huffington Post dated Jan. 12, 2015 from an article by Chris Weigant. You can see the whole article here entitled: Petraeus Must Be Prosecuted!
Here is a small excerpt.
Barack Obama’s Justice Department has brought more than twice as many prosecutions for the crime of leaking confidential information to journalists as the combined total of all presidents back to Woodrow Wilson. Having set this record, there are now only two choices for President Obama and Eric Holder (or his successor): Either pardon Petraeus for any and all leaks or prosecute him to the full extent of the law, in exactly the same way as the other seven were treated. At this point, whether you agree with Obama’s track record of such prosecutions, you’d have to admit that anything else would be indefensible hypocrisy and elitism.
This paragraph would be as equally meaningful and appropriate if you just take out the name Petreaus and insert the name of Clinton. But really three things are clear in the prosecution of anyone by the Obama administration’s justice department: one, all prosecutions are politically motivated, i.e. Petreaus is viewed as a political rival and Clinton is an ally, although a tenuous one; two, the lack of prosecution for Clinton is just Obama protecting his own legacy as there is no doubt that the email scandal and the contents of those emails reflect negatively on him; and three, the rule of law under an Obama administration and in the future a Clinton administration does not apply the same to the common person, you and mean, as it does with the political leftist elite.
There might also be noted a fourth lesson learned. That is, that the main stream media is a propaganda arm of the liberal progressive party and cannot be counted on to weigh facts and evidence equally when it comes to national scandal. Just look at what the Huffington Post says about the Hillary email scandal as opposed to what they said about Petreaus. Huffington Post column by Cynthia Dill dated July 10, 2016, “House Republicans should focus on solving problems, Not Hillary Clinton!”
“House Republicans on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee think if they pull every little “gotcha” string, the Clinton mantle will unravel. They desperately insist nothing will turn into something, so here we are again.
“Clinton told committee members in an epic 11-hour hearing on Benghazi on Oct. 22, 2015, that “there was nothing marked classified on my emails, either sent or received.”
That last phrase of the quote above is a flat out lie. A civil rights attorney like Dill should no better. That is not what Director Comey said. Like most blue blood liberals, they think we are all stupid and won’t actually find the video.
For those of us who are not members of the political elite or their propaganda arm, i.e. those of us living in Fly-Over Country, Hillary IS THE PROBLEM. We are sick and tired of corrupt politicians in Washington DC making up different rules for themselves than they do for us!
This is not a pro-Trump column, nor is it a pro-Petreaus column. The General had a position of public trust, he personally and repeatedly called upon soldiers in his command to do the right thing. In the meantime he was cheating with his wife with a biographer and feeding her classified information for a book she was writing about him. When you act immorally while in public office, you should get the punishment that you deserve. It seems that justice is meaningless to this department of Just Us and if we elect a politically corrupt power hungry person like Hillary Clinton to the highest office in the land, we are all to blame. We had good choices for this political season and we rejected them. If Hillary is elected president and the corruption continues, as it most certainly will, we will be getting the government that we deserve.
A personal note to Cynthia Dill of Huffington Post, but first read this quote from her column.
“Americans don’t want police officers to be shot, and we don’t want black men to be shot by police officers. We don’t want our kids to be shot at school, and we want our kids to go to college. We don’t want war with North Korea or to be infected by the Zika virus, and we don’t want income inequality or childhood poverty. What we want is economic security and safety for our families and an opportunity to get ahead. Surely those tasked with governing should be doing something meaningful to address these pressing issues when they are on the clock.”
Those are all great things to have, Cynthia! I would like to add a few items of my own! We as Americans would prefer that our law enforcement officers not be the scape-goat for every corrupt, career-climbing political hack every time they are forced to shoot a worthless, murderous thug. We would prefer politicians that recognize that the world is at war with Radical Islam and that the war won’t be done until all the terrorists are dead. We would prefer that the liberals in this country respect our constitutional right to self-defense the same way we respect their right to make asses out of themselves through the use of the First Amendment. We would prefer that our Ambassadors i.e. Chris Stevens and his loyal employees and members of the C.I.A. and force protection services, when they ask for military protection, they get it, immediately, and without question so we don’t have to see their flag draped caskets coming home on airplanes!! We would prefer that if that does happen, and it unfortunately did, that the politicians responsible for withholding help would be held accountable, publically shamed and forbidden from ever again holding public office! We would prefer that our politicians tell the truth to the families of those who die in service of our country!
And, I look forward to a day when Americans feel it is morally reprehensible to murder an unborn baby as much as it is now morally reprehensible to kill a tiger or a gorilla!
There’s my list Cynthia. I think it’s a good one. Have a nice day!
A young Captain Griffith managing the madness at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin circa 2004.