Lift Hillary’s Security Clearances!

Lift Hillary’s Security Clearances!

© David Burton 2016

Hillary Clinton

     Well, the FBI report on Hillary Clinton’s use of her private e-mail server has now been released, and the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee is not going to jail. As she is want to say: "What difference does it make?" With the release of the FBI report, it’s safe to say that Hillary didn’t steal state secrets to give to our enemies; she didn’t copy classified information to sell to Wikileaks; and she didn’t violate security with any apparent criminal intent. However, what seems abundantly clear is that she knowingly ignored security laws, protocols and procedures because, in her arrogance, she decided that our nation’s laws didn’t apply to her!

     What’s perhaps most disturbing about Hillary’s behavior in this and similar matters is the fact that she first failed to admit that she had violated security protocols and federal laws and then had the chutzpah to lie about it. When confronted with the facts and her lying, she then lamely and belatedly claimed that she had only been doing what previous Secretaries of State had been doing – i.e. because someone else had, perhaps inadvertently, broken the law, it was okay for her to knowingly do the same. According to Her Majesty Hillary: Classified emails. Unclassified emails. What difference does it make? After all, isn’t she above the law? Security rules apply to everyone else - not to her!

     Hillary Clinton has exhibited an arrogance, an “I’m above the law” attitude, and a total disregard for the rules, protocols and laws governing access to and the handling of classified material. In spite of the FBI report stating, “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.”, (Ref. 1) it seems obvious that Clinton’s actions were not the result of stupidity or ignorance of the law. She and her staff decided to ignore and circumvent the law. Hillary Clinton unilaterally decided that she was above the laws governing national security! What she did was not some simple inadvertent lapse in security. She didn’t forget to lock her safe with classified material in it one day. She didn’t leave a classified document unattended on her desk by mistake. She didn’t forget to burn or shred some classified notes. Instead, Hillary decided to ignore the rules that applied to everyone else.

     In March 2015, Hillary Clinton loudly exclaimed, “I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There was no classified material. I’m certainly well aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material.” (Ref. 2) These were outright lies!

     Contrast what Hillary said with what FBI Director James B. Comey said in the just-released FBI Report. “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.(Ref. 3) Let’s remember that this applies only to the emails that the FBI saw. “The FBI also confirmed that Clinton failed to hand over ‘several thousand’ work-related emails to the State Department and assessed it ‘likely’ that there were others ‘that are now gone’ because Clinton and her attorneys ‘deleted all e-mails they did not return to State, and the lawyers cleaned their devices in such a way as to preclude complete forensic discovery.’" (Ref. 4)

     “. . . the FBI concluded that Clinton and her lawyers failed to provide the State Department with all work-related emails and likely destroyed federal records.” (Ref. 4)

     Clinton’s actions did not simply involve low-level Confidential information, but “eight chains of email contained ‘Top Secret’ information, a classification the law limits to information whose unauthorized disclosure could be expected to cause ‘exceptionally grave damage to the national security.’ (Ref. 4)

     “Hillary Clinton permanently deleted all the emails on the private server she used to do official business as secretary of state, . . .
      - - -
     "Thus, there are no ... e-mails from Secretary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state on the server for any review, even if such review were appropriate or legally authorized, . . .
      - - -
     "Not only was the secretary the sole arbiter of what was a public record, she also summarily decided to delete all emails from her server, ensuring no one could check behind her analysis in the public interest, . . .” (Ref. 1) Doing so meant that Clinton violated the government's policies on email use and records retention along with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

     What the FBI found was not trivial security breaches. “For example, seven email chains concern matters that were classified at the Top Secret/Special Access Program level when they were sent and received.
     “There is evidence to support a conclusion that any reasonable person in Secretary Clinton’s position . . . should have known that an unclassified system was no place for that conversation.
(Ref. 1)

     As to saying “What difference does it make?”, the differences is that our national security was put in jeopardy by Secretary Clinton’s actions. She might not care, but there are others among us who do care about this nation’s security. As stated in the FBI report, “We do assess that hostile actors gained access to the private commercial email accounts of people with whom Secretary Clinton was in regular contact from her personal account. We also assess that Secretary Clinton’s use of a personal email domain was both known by a large number of people and readily apparent.
     “She also used her personal email extensively while outside the United States, including sending and receiving work-related emails in the territory of sophisticated adversaries. Given that combination of factors, we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal email account.
(Ref. 1)

     While Hillary Clinton will not be criminally prosecuted for mishandling classified material, it would be more than appropriate for her security clearances to be lifted. As the FBI report states, “To be clear, this is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequences. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions.(Ref. 3)

     During my more than forty-year working career, I held national security clearances at a number of levels. Had I done what Hillary did, I would almost certainly have lost these clearances and, quite possibly, faced jail time. For anyone who has held security clearances, it is crystal clear that she knew and understood that what she was doing was illegal. To receive her security clearances she had to have been briefed on just what was classified and why, and she had to have received instructions on how to handle classified material, along with the associated security processes and procedures.

     So, to protect our vital national interests from further “inadvertent disclosure”, I urge that Hillary Clinton’s security clearances be immediately revoked!

     If Hillary Clinton could not follow the laws and protocols concerning our national security when she was Secretary of State, one would be justified in asking how could we expect her to adhere to and follow the laws of the united States as enumerated in our Constitution should she be elected president?

     In the interest of full disclosure, let me state that, as things now stand, come November, I will hold my nose and vote for Hillary Clinton. The alternative is far worse than Her Majesty Hillary. I wonder what it would be like to have a president without accesss to classified information?


  1. Comey’s message:There’s two sets of rules, Adriana Cohen, Boston Herald, Page 5, 6 July 2016.
  2. Hillary Clinton deleted all email from personal server, Chris Frates, CNN, 28 March 2015.
  3. ’No charges are appropriate’, Boston Herald, Page 4, 6 July 2016.
  4. FBI demolishes Hillary Clinton's email defense , Douglas Cox, CNN, 5 July 2016.


  07 July 2016 {Article 256; Politics_32}    
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