The Incalculable Damage Done
A knowledgeable reader writes to comment on my post this morning noting the Clinton email talking points. Our reader raises an angle on the damage done that I have not seen explored elsewhere. I want to pass it on without further comment at this point:
I saw your note on Clinton emails. You and everyone else are missing the real problem and scandal. It is not the emails she saved and turned over to the State Department. It is the erased server, but not for the reasons most people are talking about.
A Secretary of State has broad SCI clearances which means she has access to sources and methods. We know now that HC had classified information on her email server because of what she turned over. What we don’t know is what she didn’t turn over. This creates a massive Counter-Intelligence (CI) problem.
The CI community knows she managed to jump the “air gap” on some information but because she erased the server they do not know the full extend of the jump. If she had turned over the server to the proper authorities the CI community could calibrate the extent of the potential damage. Now, barring a recovery of server data, they cannot. This means that CI has to treat all sources and methods to which the Secretary of State (and others potentially) was exposed as compromised.
Its even worse. By not turning over the server she prevented a forensic examine from determining if she was hacked and by what methods. She undermined any ability to exploit that knowledge to limit damage to US national security or to undermine and prevent a future use of similar hacking tools.
No matter what she says, this action has done irreparable damage to US national security. By not turning over the server she deserves at a minimum to lose her security clearance. Anyone with the level of clearance she had would be attached to a polygraph and debriefed by CI.
The Secretary chose to protect her political viability over the security of the country. Let’s hope for the country’s sake that the FBI can reconstruct her server.
This article first appeared in Powerline Blog