By Rene C. Sotolongo
Have you ever heard of Wen Ho Lee? What about General David Petraeus or John M. Deutch? And what do these individuals have to do with Hillary Clinton? Everything.
Wen Ho Lee is a Taiwanese American scientist who worked at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. It was there that Lee worked on computer models and simulations for nuclear explosions. As such, he had access to classified information.
In December of 1999, Lee was indicted on charges of stealing secrets about the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Allegedly stealing these secrets for the People’s Republic of China. But here is the catch. Federal investigators were unable to prove these charges.
In fact, the documents in Lee’s case held an original security classification of “Protect As Restricted Data.” However, later in the case, they were reclassified as “SECRET.” This provided the government the ability to charge Lee with a crime.
But unlike Hillary Clinton, Lee did not have the political influence to avoid prosecution. Nor did he have the resources to mount a defense. He pleaded guilty to one felony count of illegal retention of classified information. His career was over.
Hillary Clinton is compromised. She is a threat to our National Security. Of that, there is no doubt…
Then there is the case of General David Petraeus. On September 6, 2011, General David Petraeus was sworn in as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Less than a year later, investigators discovered Petraeus was having an affair. The FBI confronted Petraeus who denied having shared any classified information with his autobiographer and mistress Paula Broadwell.
An investigation ensued. General Petraeus resigned and plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified materials. His career ended.
And then there is the case of former CIA Director John Deutch. John Deutch was the subject of an internal investigation regarding the improper handling of classified information during the late 1990’s. Here are some of the most pertinent findings of that investigation:
- Former DCI John Deutch was specifically informed that he was not authorized to process classified information on government computers configured for unclassified use. (Hillary also decided it was more convenient to just use a personal email server instead.)
- Throughout his tenure as DCI, Deutch intentionally processed on those computers large volumes of highly classified information to include Top Secret Codeword material.(Ditto for Hillary during her tenure as Secretary of State.)
- Because Deutch’s computers configured for unclassified use had connections to the Internet, all classified information on those computers was at risk of compromise. Whether any of the information was stolen or compromised remains unknown. (Ditto for Hillary.)
- On August 1, 1995, Deutch was made aware that computers with Internet connectivity were vulnerable to attack. Despite this knowledge, Deutch continued his practice of processing highly classified material on unclassified computers connected to the Internet. (Ditto for Hillary. In fact, staffers that called attention to the issue were threatened with dismissal.)
Does any of this sound familiar? It should. Many of the actions by both General Petraeus and John Deutch have striking resemblances to those actions of Hillary Clinton.
But Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server goes beyond the pale in comparison to the actions of Petraeus and Deutch. In fact, the State Department itself identified and acknowledged that Mrs. Clinton sent over 1,340 classified emails through her personal email server. The FBI has since discovered that Hillary’s lawyers unilaterally deleted close to 1,000 emails between Petraeus and Hillary.
Mr. Lee was prosecuted, ultimately pleading guilty to mishandling just one piece of classified information. Mrs. Clinton is at 1,340 and counting.
General Petraeus resigned. He lost his career for sharing secrets with his mistress. And yet, over 1,000 emails between Petraeus and Hillary are deleted, and nothing is investigated or done in regards to Hillary’s actions.
And John Deutch? Deutch had agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor for mishandling government secrets on Friday, January 19, 2001, but President Clinton (Hillary’s husband) pardoned him during his last day in office. The pardon came just two days before the Justice Department could file the case against him.
But all of this pales in light of the damage done to our National Security.
There is a reason why the military and the federal government have clearly designated classified and unclassified computers. There is a reason why every single individual with access to classified information must sign a “Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement.” The threat to our National Security is just too great.
And this leads us to the private email server used by then Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.
Anyone in information systems security will tell you that no system is ever 100 percent secure. It is why the military, the federal government, and even large corporations spend millions on protecting their secrets.
How much did Hillary Clinton spend on securing her server? What programs and systems were put in place? No one knows. And that should be a cause for concern.
Just look at the recently proven hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s computers by Russian agents. The Washington Post reports that two Russian intelligence agencies hacked the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) database.
“The intruders so thoroughly compromised the DNC’s system that they also were able to read all email and chat traffic.”
According to Forbes Magazine, the Post story is related to Clinton’s private server in several ways. But, the one that concerns me the most is this:
The Post story shows that even a major civilian organization can scarcely protect itself from a “skilled and determined state like Russia.” If the DNC’s cyber secrets are open to Russian intelligence hackers, the odds are overwhelming that they have Clinton’s private emails as well, especially given that Clinton’s private server was a target of the highest value.
Anyone in intelligence will tell you that the “Holy Grail” for Russian intelligence operatives is uncovering compromising material that can be used to embarrass, manipulate or blackmail foreign political leaders.
Given what we know and what we can logically piece together, how in good conscience can Hillary Clinton still be running for President of the United States?
If she is unwilling to withdraw from the race, then at the very least she should be treated like everyone else who mishandles classified information.
As Edward Morrissey so eloquently stated; “Those with much lower profiles have done prison time for violations much less deliberate than the secret server Hillary Clinton used to avoid constitutional oversight by Congress and the courts.”
Bottom line: Hillary Clinton is compromised. She is a threat to our National Security. Of that, there is no doubt.
Rene C. Sotolongo is an OpsLens Contributor and a retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer who served for over twenty years as an Information Systems official. Sotolongo also specialized in homeland security and counterterrorism.