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Sun Jun 12, 2016, 02:30 PM

Why did HRC use her unsecure Blackberry/Clintonemail.com when she had a secure phone/fax? [View all]

Something doesn't quite add up in the story released in the WSJ Thursday about HRC's use of her unsecure Blackberry and email to authorize drone strikes. We are told that her use of private email server was just a work-around of normal information security protocols.

As we have all known for a long time, HRC didn't like using secure computer terminals and refused to use the one installed in her office. So, her aides had to print classified messages off of secure systems and send them to her hard-copy by secure fax.

So, as the WSJ revealed, when the State Department was brought into the CIA decision-making process for authorizing drone strikes in Pakistan, she sometimes had to be contacted at home to co-authorize kill orders, occasionally late at night.

The problem, we have been told, is that she couldn't (or wouldn't) use authorized secure systems. Apparently, for this reason a secure message facility, a "SCIF", with secure terminals wasn't installed in her residence, as they are in the homes of other high government officials.

However, we know that Secretary Clinton had a "secure fax" in her home. And, she knew how to operate it. If she had a secure fax, that means she probably had a secure phone, or could have have plugged one in. She certainly could operate a business desk phone. Tens of thousands of government workers use these desk phones, just like the one shown above, some of which also operate secure faxes and video conferencing. Without a keyboard.


The WSJ reported:


Emails in Clinton Probe Dealt With Planned Drone Strikes
Source: Wall Street Journal

At the center of a criminal probe involving Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified information is a series of emails between American diplomats in Islamabad and their superiors in Washington about whether to oppose specific drone strikes in Pakistan. The 2011 and 2012 emails were sent via the “low side’’—government slang for a computer system for unclassified matters—as part of a secret arrangement that gave the State Department more of a voice in whether a Central Intelligence Agency drone strike went ahead, according to congressional and law-enforcement officials briefed on the Federal Bureau of Investigation probe. Some of the emails were then forwarded by Mrs. Clinton’s aides to her personal email account, which routed them to a server she kept at her home in suburban New York when she was secretary of state, the officials said. Investigators have raised concerns that Mrs. Clinton’s personal server was less secure than State Department systems. <snip>

Under strict U.S. classification rules, U.S. officials have been barred from discussing strikes publicly and even privately outside of secure communications systems. The State Department said in January that 22 emails on Mrs. Clinton’s personal server at her home have been judged to contain top-secret information and aren’t being publicly released. Many of them dealt with whether diplomats concurred or not with the CIA drone strikes, congressional and law-enforcement officials said.

Read more: http://www.wsj.com/articles/clinton-emails-in-probe-dealt-with-planned-drone-strikes-1465509863

This implies something else. HRC's apparent violation of laws that forbids transmission of classified information over unsecure systems can be chalked up to her unwillingness to comply with normal secure information procedures. In other words, bad judgement was used to accommodate her, but not an intentional violation of law on anyone's part. Her staff, knowing she refused to sit down to a computer terminal, merely did what they could to accommodated her desires.

So, why was she using her private Blackberry/Clintonemail.com system for the drone calls if she could have had a secure phone terminal to run the secure fax we know she had?

If we take this into consideration, it become even more difficult to understand why she used her Blackberry when at home for DOS calls.

These government issued secure phone systems can be used anywhere you can plug in a phone jack. Wiki tells us the "Data" version of the Secure Terminal Equipment (STE) phone:

Data - The Data STE provides remote access for voice, fax, data and video-conferencing. This model has two serial EIA-530A/EIA-232 BDI ports and allows for data transfers to multiple destinations.


Yet, she insisted on using her Blackberry/Clintonemail.com system for messaging such as the Top Secret joint CIA/DOS Drone targeting communications. Why, when she could have simply used a government-issued secure phone/fax?

And, of course, she could also have used an approved, secure Department issued cell phone, as was offered her at the beginning of her term. But, she refused to use that, too. Something doesn't quite add up here.

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