A Phish Called John

How John Podesta’s email was hacked.

Oh, those dastardly Russian phishing trawlers. Hillary lost the election because they used an ultra-sophisticated hacking program only a State-sponsored entity could deploy. Then they used mind control rays to get Podesta’s aide to click on a suspicious link.

A 10 year old script kiddie could have pulled this off, even if he wasn’t a Nigerian Prince.

And, let’s not forget that what Podesta’s emails mainly revealed was the actual rigging of an American election by the DNC: The Democratic primaries. It’s why Debbie Wosname Schultz resigned as DNC Chairman.

Hacking the easy things first

There are suggestions by the CIA that Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta’s email for the purpose of helping Trump win the election. The FBI disagrees. The CIA also apparently claims the Republican National Committee was hacked, but the Russians deliberately withheld release of any information gathered by that hack.

Reince Priebus denies the RNC was hacked, and says that after conferring with the FBI.

An alternative explanation for the hack of the DNC and Podesta is that some entity other than Russia easily found the means to get into those servers via Hillary Clinton’s unprotected private server. There’s more public evidence pointing to that than there is to the Russians.

Update: Dec 13 10:50AM
Top U.S. spy agency has not embraced CIA assessment on Russia hacking

Advantage Sanders

Dem sen: Sanders has no ‘interest in foreign policy’

Democratic senator and top Clinton surrogate Claire McCaskill bashed rival Bernie Sanders on the day of the Iowa caucus as lacking the foreign policy chops needed to serve as commander-in-chief…

“He doesn’t have experience and hasn’t shown a great deal of interest in foreign policy, hasn’t really demonstrated the breadth and depth of knowledge you need to lead this country at a dangerous time.”

McCaskill has a point. Mrs. Bill’s interest in sharing state secrets with foreign intelligence agencies is well documented, and we are in a dangerous time.

Thanks, in no small part, to Mrs. Bill.

If only she’d shown a lack of interest in foreign policy, our national security wouldn’t be compromised, Libya wouldn’t be breeding ISIS, four Americans might not have died in Benghazi and she wouldn’t be on the verge of indictment.

At this point

Official: Some Clinton emails ‘too damaging’ to release

The intelligence community has deemed some of Hillary Clinton’s emails “too damaging” to national security to release under any circumstances, according to a U.S. government official close to the ongoing review. A second source, who was not authorized to speak on the record, backed up the finding.

I find it hard to believe that emails intelligence experts declare ““too damaging” to national security to release under any circumstances” can possibly be evidence of mere internecine bureaucratic catfights.

Mrs. Bill says I’m mistaken: Hillary Campaign: Withholding of Emails Just ‘Over-Classification Run Amok’

Hillary Clinton’s campaign insisted today that the former secretary of State wants the release of more than 20 emails determined to have contained top-secret information, calling the withholding “over-classification run amok.”

Indeed: What difference, at this point, does it make? Any interested foreign intelligence services already read them.

It’s a vast intelligence agency conspiracy.

Protecting the flank

Bernie is not a Democratic Presidential candidate. His role is protecting Mrs. Bill‘s left flank.

The Clintons couldn’t have invented a better way to suck the oxygen away from, for example, an Elizabeth Warren.

Bernie is triangulation raised to the next level. An old, white, crazy-uncle-in-the-attic – who isn’t even a Democrat – from a electoral vote poor State who floats all the socialist utopian canards: He makes Hillary look presidential by comparison. He lets her selectively navigate the memes that poll well with the economically ignorant.

You can’t yet run left of Bernie in this country and win, but he defends a vast space to Hillary’s left. They’ll have to get through him to get to her.

Bernie proved he knows his place last night when, on behalf of all Americans, he apologized to Mrs. Bill for inquiries into her obfuscation of corrupt co-ordination between the Department of State and the Clinton Foundation, and for her flippant disregard for basic national security considerations: “For convenience.” She accepted the apology. He accepted a reported $1.4 million in donations for his helpfulness.

You have to scroll down slightly for this clip (the first of two), to get the full-frontal cackling, bobble-head experience (watch Mrs. Bill, just listen to Bernie).

None dare call it reason

I’ve been in IT for 47 years. I’ve been responsible for protecting computer networks as CIO. I’ve been extensively involved on both sides of penetration testing and auditing of computer networks. I’ve performed forensic analysis of suspected breaches of computer security.

Any CEO who asked me to do what Hillary Clinton asked her “IT staff” to do would have found my resignation on their desk in less than 60 seconds. Any client would have been fired in less time than that.

Since it’s the Associated Press telling us one of their favored politicians invited hackers, ranging from kiddie scripters to foreign intelligence agencies, to freely peruse the clintonemail.com server: I tend to believe it is true that Hillary Clinton ran a jawdroppingly inept IT operation when she decided to keep her email secret from the Department of which she was head.

She did succeed in keeping her personal email a secret from the Department of State for a long time, which is why they eventually had to ask her to cough up Official Business emails, but it’s mindbogglingly doubtful she kept it secret from anyone else.

She said, at one point, that our government knew she had her own server because they got email addressed from the clintonemail server. Unexplained is how the invitation to invade the server known to be used for official business by SecState was kept from hackers employed by Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong-un, Xi Jinping or Ali Khamenei. Or, for that matter, the thugs who killed four Americans in Benghazi. Or, for that matter, President Obama, who found out from the newspapers.

Even if no foreign government, or terrorist cell, read Department of State email during Mrs. Bill’s tenure, can we afford to assume that to be true? As it stands, we have to assume everything was leaked. That’s worse than if we knew what was leaked: And we don’t know because she deleted 30,000 or so emails on her own recognizance, quite a number of which contradict her claim that she knew what was classified and never sent anything that was. The timing of classification doesn’t even matter.

The guy who set the server up for her is taking the 5th Amendment. Mrs. Bill left all her email in the care of a third party administrator who did not possess the necessary security clearance. She left a copy with her lawyer, another uncleared recipient. She ignored directives from her own department outlawing the use of remote access software as she used it.

And she did this, she claims (or did, at one point), for “convenience.”

Her rash and unconscionable sense of privilege, her toying with classified information at the highest levels of our government, her continual flat out lies about it… All make her unfit for the office she seeks.

Someone should ask her in tonight’s debate, “If you are elected President, do you promise not to use a home brew server for official business?”

Depends on who the definer of "marked" is

According to The Washington Post, Hillary Clinton sent emails from her private server that the State Department redacted for reasons of national security before they (StateDept) released them to the public.

Although government officials deemed the e-mails classified after Clinton left office…

The classified e-mails, contained in thousands of pages of electronic correspondence that the State Department has released, stood out because of the heavy markings blocking out sentences and, in some cases, entire messages.

The State Department officials who redacted the material cited national security as the reason for blocking it from public view.

Lest we blame the Department of State for tardiness in this matter, the first time they knew about these emails was 2 years after she left office and turned over 55,000 printed pages.

“I have said repeatedly that I did not send nor receive classified material and I’m very confident that when this entire process plays out that will be understood by everyone,” she said. “It will prove what I have been saying and it’s not possible for people to look back now some years in the past and draw different conclusions than the ones that were at work at the time. You can make different decisions because things have changed, circumstances have changed, but it doesn’t change the fact that I did not send or receive material marked classified.”

It’s certain that by the time this ends it will be understood by everyone that she kept saying what she says.

Her defense has evolved from “no classified emails were sent or received” to “they weren’t classified at the time” she wrote them. But, it appears failing to do so was a mistake.

In the small fraction of emails made public so far, Reuters has found at least 30 email threads from 2009, representing scores of individual emails, that include what the State Department’s own “Classified” stamps now identify as so-called ‘foreign government information.’ The U.S. government defines this as any information, written or spoken, provided in confidence to U.S. officials by their foreign counterparts.

This sort of information, which the department says Clinton both sent and received in her emails, is the only kind that must be “presumed” classified, in part to protect national security and the integrity of diplomatic interactions, according to U.S. regulations examined by Reuters..

Although it appears to be true for Clinton to say none of her emails included classification markings, a point she and her staff have emphasized, the government’s standard nondisclosure agreement warns people authorized to handle classified information that it may not be marked that way and that it may come in oral form..

Clinton and her senior staff routinely sent foreign government information among themselves on unsecured networks several times a month, if the State Department’s markings are correct. Within the 30 email threads reviewed by Reuters, Clinton herself sent at least 17 emails that contained this sort of information. In at least one case it was to a friend, Sidney Blumenthal, not in government.

The information appears to include privately shared comments by a prime minister, several foreign ministers and a foreign spy chief, unredacted bits of the emails show. Typically, Clinton and her staff first learned the information in private meetings, telephone calls or, less often, in email exchanges with the foreign officials.

That she has said repeatedly she “did not send or receive classified information” (the “marked classified” bit showed up later, as demonstrated in the next paragraph) contains probably the only true thing she’s said about the whole sordid mess: She’s said it repeatedly. One example from her March, 2015 UN press conference:

“I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. I’m certainly well aware of the classified requirements and did not send classified material.”

As noted here in March, the emails Secretary of State Clinton wrote weren’t marked “classified,” because Secretary of State Clinton didn’t mark them classified when she sent them.

Why not? She’s sloppy with National Security information? She actually does not know the classified requirements? She forgot she was using her own private server?

This is not, as she has portrayed it, some internecine struggle with the intelligence community over the definition of “classified.” The emails she wrote are classified according to the State Department and were classified when she sent them. It’s a security breach whether she recognized that or not. The meaning of “is” in “There is no classified information,” doesn’t change that.

National security information doesn’t become more sensitive over time, it becomes less sensitive. Otherwise, we’d wait forever for release of all the Nixon tapes, military details about the attack on Pearl Harbor and the identity of Benedict Arnold.

Can anyone come up with any explanation excusing Hillary Clinton from the allegation she sent classified email not involving incompetence? Any explanation not leading inexorably to the conclusion that she cannot be trusted with Presidential level information? Anyone?

Bueller? Bueller?

Poking through ashes in the Burn-bag

The House Select Committee on Benghazi subpoenaed all SecState Hillary Clinton’s emails related to Libya. After obtaining a two-week extension, Clinton attorney David Kendall responded by letter:

There is no basis to support the proposed third-party review of the server that hosted the hdr22@clintonemail.com account. To avoid prolonging a discussion that would be academic, I have confirmed with the secretary’s IT support that no emails…..for the time period January 21, 2009 through February 1, 2013 reside on the server or on any back-up systems associated with the server.

The top Democrat on the Benghazi panel, Elijah Cummings, said Kendall’s letter confirmed

[W]hat we all knew: that Secretary Clinton already produced her official records to the State Department, that she did not keep her personal emails and that the Select Committee has already obtained her emails relating to the attacks in Benghazi.

A comparable scenario would be if Nixon had burned the tapes. Oh, and after he knew they would be considered evidence.

Presumably, Representative Cummings would have taken Nixon’s word for it that transcripts of all relevant evidence had already been turned over.

Now I know what Mrs. Bill meant when she said, “There is no classified email.”