The furor over the revelation that Hillary Clinton used a private email account throughout her tenure as secretary of state (and did not even have an official State Department account) misses the point.
By behaving in the reckless manner, Mrs. Clinton has jeopardized our national security. The issue is not what Mrs. Clinton wanted to hide from domestic critics, but whether she risked hacking of confidential and secret State Department information by the cyber-warfare masters of the Kremlin.
AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon
The Romanian hacker "Guccifer" (real name Marcel-Lehel Lazar) was interviewed by the New York Times in November 2014 from a Romanian prison where he was serving a jail term. Notably, the Times made no mention of Guccifer’s hacking of Clinton confidante, Sydney Blumenthal’s, confidential emails to then Secretary Clinton in 2013 concerning matters of national security. Instead, the Times spoke of Guccifer's hacking of the two Bush presidents and military advisors.
In March 2013, Guccifer distributed four Blumenthal emails sent to Clinton’s private email@example.com to world news organizations, including Russia’s Pravda, Moscow Times, and the Kremlin’s foreign propaganda arm, RT.
Among all the journalists and news organizations that received Guccifer’s hacked material, only RT published two of Blumenthal emails, both relating to Libya and Benghazi. As I wrote at the time: “The RT selection of excerpts appears to fit into [Vladimir] Putin’s agenda” of unhappiness with the overthrow of Mummar Gaddafi, the sinister role played by the CIA in Libya, and the coordinated pattern of Al Qaeda attacks throughout the Middle East.
The hacked Blumenthal emails were greeted by media silence, other than brief mentions by Fox News, the Tea Party, and conspiracists. Thomas Lifson, writing at the time in the American Thinker, about the media silence on the pilfered Clinton emails, said: “The [main stream media] glory in the history of purloined information, and count the stolen Pentagon Papers during the Vietnam War as a journalistic triumph. So what is the media sitting on?"
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during the Valdai discussion club on October 24, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images
Well, after two years of ignoring the issue, the New York Times finally broke this story with the revelation that Mrs. Clinton used a private e mail account during her tenure as secretary of state.
We knew this already from Guccifer. The new news is that Clinton used her private firstname.lastname@example.org exclusively and did not even have an official State Department account. The Times notes that “Mrs. Clinton is not the first government official — or first secretary of state — to use a personal email account on which to conduct official business. But her exclusive use of her private email, for all of her work, appears unusual.”
The general tone of the Times story is that Clinton’s violation of record-keeping rules is a matter of primary concern to the National Archives and historians.
Putin’s Kremlin has one of the most sophisticated cyber-warfare systems the world has ever seen.
According to Smoking Gun (which broke the story in 2013), when Guccifer breached Blumenthal’s account, he discovered Clinton’s email address email@example.com. When Guccifer supplied Russia’s RT, an official Kremlin media agency, with the Blumenthal emails, it's a distinct possibility that he supplied the Clinton email address as well.
If not, Kremlin cyber-security would have been keenly interested and could have used the Guccifer emails as guides to find the Clinton email address on its own. If either had happened, the Kremlin would have had Mrs. Clinton private email address since 2013 – an account, which apparently has no special security protections. If the Kremlin penetrated Clinton’s email account, it would have the most complete record of her secretary of state correspondence outside of the Clinton inner circle.
If my concerns are correct, Mrs. Clinton placed the national security of the United States at risk in using a private email account for all her State Department business and has disqualified herself from running for president.
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