"Clinton May Have Exposed State Secrets" – Gedrich

Editor’s Note – The Author of the following article is an SUA ‘Kitchen Cabinet” founding member and he is a foreign policy and national security analyst and served in the departments of State and Defense.

He visited more than 50 U.S. overseas diplomatic posts on official missions.

After its release this morning, Jen Psaki, the State Department Spokesperson finally admitted that Hillary Clinton did not sign a OF-109 separation form after all:

Jen Psaki, State Department Spokesperson: State Department Has ‘No Record’ Of Clinton Signing Separation Statement
Jen Psaki, State Department Spokesperson: State Department Has ‘No Record’ Of Clinton Signing Separation Statement

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Tuesday the agency is “fairly certain” that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did not sign a separation statement upon her departure from Foggy Bottom.

“We don’t have record of it,” Psaki admitted.

She was quick to point out that her two immediate predecessors had no signed form on record either, but that is trivial in comparison to the deep hot water Clinton should be in.

Please read on:

With Private Storage, Clinton May Have Exposed State Secrets To International Cyber Crime

By Fred Gedrich – Breitbart

ABC News recently reported that House Speaker John Boehner will soon be announcing a new congressional investigation into the dubious way former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton controlled her official State Department emails during the four years she served as the nation’s top diplomat and the two years since leaving office.

By storing the emails in an isolated server outside of State Department control in a private personal computer system, Mrs. Clinton and the State Department were able to avoid Freedom of Information Act requests from Congress and the media on sensitive topics such as Benghazi. Her actions may also have compromised national security.

Hillary Clinton Speaking at the U.N. - The Associated Press
Hillary Clinton Speaking at the U.N. – The Associated Press

Addressing the recording-keeping and record-custody issues does not address the potential national security implications of what the former Secretary did. After the President and Vice-President, the Secretary of State is the highest position in the executive branch of the U.S. Government.

The Secretary carries the President’s foreign policies and participates as a key member of the President’s National Security Council, providing advice and assistance to the President on the most important and urgent foreign policies and national security matters.

Therefore, the Secretary is an automatic target of those seeking to learn as much as possible about what is going on inside the highest levels of the U.S. Government through various forms of espionage activities.

In a hastily-arranged recent press conference at the United Nations to respond to a story published by the New York Times, the former Secretary of State discussed the unique way she stored her official government emails and presented the circumstances as more or less no big deal.

Former Justice Department officials Shannen Coffin and Dan Metcalfe and Federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, in articles appearing in National Review and Politico, disagreed with her.

In their essays on this subject, among other things, Coffin wondered whether the former Secretary falsely certified the return of all records upon her departure from the State Department; Metcalfe, a retired government FOIA expert, opined that the former Secretary’s email defense is laughable; and McCarthy argued that the former Secretary is still violating the law and the Justice Department should take custody of her server.

Being able to access any of the Secretary’s official or private communications– whether they are classified, sensitive or otherwise– would be an intelligence coup for U.S. foes and friends engaged in espionage, and could be used by them for such nefarious activities as waging economic, military and political sabotage and warfare against the United States, or mere blackmail.clinton-emails

And it is naïve for anyone to believe that U.S. adversaries like China, Russia and others – skilled in state-of-the-art electronic cyber-theft and eavesdropping and who can intrude into computer systems without detection – wouldn’t try to take advantage of a situation like this if they knew the Secretary of State’s emails were being stored in a private server.

The State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security serves as a firewall in preventing U.S. enemies and others from gaining access to U.S. classified as sensitive information, whether it is the Secretary of State or anyone else employed by the State Department.

Among other things, DS security engineers monitor and negate electronic threats, while its intelligence and information security experts educate employees on counterintelligence and possible vulnerabilities that might be exploited by foreign intelligence agencies.

To mitigate these threats, DS continually develops, tests, and updates security standards as necessary for all State Department’s computer systems and requires everyone leaving the agency, under penalties of law, to turn over all government records when their appointments or employment expires (see U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual Volume 12 – Diplomatic Security Form OF-109, PDF).

One can easily understand why the State Department’s security folks are so concerned about espionage prevention. China’s cyber-spies on several notable occasions (e.g., Titan Rain and Mandiant) successfully breached the U.S.’s most sophisticated security-protected computer systems at U.S. government agencies, sensitive military bases, defense contractors, aerospace companies through internet email intrusion. For skilled cyber-spies, hacking into someone’s private computer system requires little effort.

The responses from the former Secretary and State Department spokesperson, Jen Psaki, on this subject to date have been far less than forthcoming, especially regarding the security aspect. As Congress looks further into this matter, it might want to consider asking key current and former officials within the Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security to formally testify before Congress and ask them the following questions:

  1. Did DS know and approve of the manner in which former Secretary Clinton, and her closest State Department colleagues Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, were storing their State Department-related emails in a private computer system outside of the State Department’s span of control? If the answer is yes, did DS evaluate and certify the former secretary’s personal computer system met State Department security standards?
  2. Did DS require the former secretary to sign the State Department’s Separation Agreement, OF 109, which requires by U.S. Foreign Affairs Manual Volume 12 – Diplomatic Security, in part, that former State Department persons like Mrs. Clinton, Miss Abedin, and Miss Mills to turn over all government-related records, including emails, at the conclusion of their appointments and/or employment? If the answer is yes, does DS have a copy of the signed documents? If the answer is no, did DS officials waive the requirement to do so for these individuals?
  3. Did DS give the former secretary permission to delete more than 30,000 emails from her personal computer system before DS or a neutral arbiter could examine them?

While this list of questions is not all-inclusive, the answers to them will provide substantial insight into whether the former Secretary, her closest State Department associates, and the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security complied with some important applicable laws and regulations pertaining to the maintenance and disposition of official State Department records and applicable security standards. The American public deserves to know the answers.

 

 

Pentagon Police Security Systems Fail

Editor’s Note – We are in deep trouble electronically and our national security is at stake. This we have seen and heard many times, but when the Pentagon security systems fail ‘catastrophically’, with repairs expected to be finished by January 2015, it is time to find a new level of worry.

The cause is unknown to date but we ask, why did it take so long for this to be released to the public? The event began on January 3rd, here we are in May.

Pentagon Police Agency Hit by ‘Catastrophic’ Network Outage

By Bob Brewin – NextGov.com

The agency that manages the Pentagon Police Department and also runs networks and computers used the by the  Office of the Secretary of Defense experienced a “catastrophic network technological outage” on Jan. 3, and it could take until January 2015 to complete the repairs, an obscure document on the Federal Business Opportunities website revealed.Force Protection Agency

That document, posted on May 2, disclosed that the outage experienced by the Pentagon Life Safety System Network and Life Safety Backbone left the Pentagon Force Protection Agency “without access to the mission-critical systems needed to properly safeguard personnel and facilities, rendering the agency blind across the national capital region.”

The Force Protection Agency provides security and services to 100 military buildings in Washington, Maryland and Virginia.

The agency estimated it would take six to 12 months to “effect repairs and to upgrade the network core to mitigate future outage risks.” Repairs include recovery of data after the catastrophic network technological outage and upgrade and replacement of switches and routers.

sadfdsafaSRA International Inc. won a $56 million contract for the Life Safety System Network in 2008 that expired on April 30.

The Force Protection Agency falls under the Washington Headquarters Service, which extended the SRA contract through Oct. 31, with a value of $7.3 million, and a four month option through Feb. 28, 2015, with a total value of $11.4 million.

The sole source contract extension with SRA called for refreshed hardware and software for the Life System Safety Network, a new network design that minimizes single point failure, including dual homing, which reduces the risk of failure.

As the incumbent on Life Safety System Network contract, “SRA is the only known vendor who has expert security-cleared personnel that can immediately accomplish this urgent upgrade given their existing knowledge of the specific LSB technical and architectural challenges, and in-depth knowledge of the existing infrastructure to include the known and potential failure points of an extremely complex environment,” the Washington Headquarters Service said.

The Pentagon has not yet responded to a query submitted Sunday on the general cause of the outage nor to a query earlier Tuesday morning on whether or not it was caused by a hacker.