"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.

 

 

Gedrich – Visa Waiver Program, Time to Reward Poland

Editor’s Note – The author of the following article is a Kitchen Cabinet member here at Stand Up America US. Fred served in the U.S. departments of State and Defense and traveled to Poland on official assignment when the country was ruled by communists.

When you look at which countries are already included in the visa waiver program, it is hard to understand how Poland does not already have that status.

Time To Reward Poland For Its Friendship: Let Them Join The Visa Waiver Program

By Fred Gedrich – Daily Caller

Fred Gedrich
Fred Gedrich – Former State Department career professional and National Security Analyst

President Barack Obama’s visit to Poland tomorrow is expected to demonstrate U.S. support for this strategically important and historical ally, in the wake of Russia’s aggressive actions against neighboring Ukraine. While Poles will certainly welcome the president’s visit, they will do so with some trepidation.

Obama has upset many Poles by, among other things, unilaterally canceling a negotiated missile defense deal — an action that pleased Russia but jeopardized Poland’s security; publicly referring to Nazi death camps in Poland as “Polish death camps” (for which he later apologized) during a White House ceremony intended to honor a Polish World War II resistance hero; and shunning Poland’s heroic Nobel Laureate and former president Lech Walesa for what his White House describes as him, “being too political.”

It won’t stop Russian regional aggression, but one thing President Obama can do to win the hearts of skeptical Poles is to fully commit the U.S. to getting Poland into the U.S. Visa Waiver Program.

The program began in 1986 as a way to foster better relations with friendly countries by allowing their citizens to travel visa-free to the U.S. as tourists or on business for up to 90 days. 29 of 38 countries in this program are European, and there is a strong case for adding Poland.

National wealth, a high Human Development Index, and a low security risk are three important ingredients for gaining VWP status, and Poland scores well on each count. Since shedding communism 25 years ago, Poland has seen its economy dramatically grow to 22nd in the world at $814 billion.

The 2013 United Nations Development Report classified Poland as a “very high” HDI country with its 76 years average life expectancy, 99 percent literacy rate for males and females, and $21,000 plus average annual income. And with its strong American ties, NATO membership, and participation in the Afghanistan and Iraq military coalitions, Poland clearly isn’t a security threat. Moreover, it has implemented and adopted all VWP-related security measures and information-sharing protocols asked of them by the U.S. government.Visa

One would be hard-pressed to find a better U.S. ally and friend than Poland and its people. As America fought for its independence, it did so with major contributions from Polish generals Thaddeus Kosciusko and Casimir Pulaski.

As the world faced the Cold War’s darkest days, it was two Poles, Pope John Paul II and Solidarity’s Lech Walesa, along with U.S. President Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who served as the principal catalysts for leading tens of millions out of their communist enslavement and into the sunshine of freedom.

Poles continued their tradition of standing beside their American friends in the 21st century by fighting and dying in Afghanistan and Iraq.

It should also not go unnoticed that three major waves of Polish immigration to the U.S. (1800s to World War I, World War II, and during the 1980 martial-law period) have filled the U.S. with a healthy and productive population of 10 million Americans of Polish descent which has contributed significantly to building and making this country great.

During Mr. Obama’s first term he made an unfulfilled pledge that Poland would enter the VWP during his presidency. The main obstacle is Poland has a visa refusal rate of 9.8 percent — exceeding the congressionally mandated 3 percent — which many believe occurs because of subjective U.S. consular officers make negative determinations during short interviews.

Congress is currently pursuing legislative remedies to remove that impediment, with strong bipartisan support in Senate and House bills S.223; S.744; H.R.490; and H.R.1354.  However, those attempts may unfortunately wind-up in the ash-heap of good congressional intentions like precursor bills in previous congresses, largely because the Obama administration and many in Congress want to include VWP changes in a deadlocked comprehensive immigration bill.

Poland has unsuccessfully sought entry into the VWP since becoming a free and democratic state in 1990. The U.S. failure to grant VWP status to Poland is an embarrassment to many Americans as well as a major disappointment and irritant to 38 million Poles and a succession of its leaders. Lech Walesa described VWP entry as a “matter of honor” for Poland.

Visa Waver Countries Map

President Obama has the leadership ability and/or executive power to ensure that this matter doesn’t languish in the bureaucracy or Congress any longer. It would be a wonderful gesture on the part of President Obama during his upcoming visit to reward Poland for its extraordinary enduring friendship with America by providing Poles a specific timetable for VWP admittance. Such a move would surely please Poles and their American cousins as well as reinvigorate U.S.-Poland relations.