Roger L. Simon

Barack Obama, National Security Risk

Barack Obama has made some of the stranger foreign policy decisions in American history such as going into Libya even after the Iraq debacle and making the nuclear deal with (aka billion-dollar hand-out to) Iran. Now we know why. He simply doesn’t care about our national security. He practically said as much on Fox News Sunday this weekend.

As Obama explained to Chris Wallace regarding the contents of Hillary Clinton’s email currently under FBI investigation, “there’s classified and then there’s classified.” He further opined that all Hillary was guilty of was “carelessness.”

What a bizarre and lawless thing for a president to say while a federal investigation is being undertaken by over a hundred FBI agents. Put simply, the president of the United States is a security risk.

According to The Hill, this reckless approach to national security caught the eye of none other than Edward Snowden.

To advocates for government transparency, the remarks stunk of duplicity by suggesting that federal classification rules are arbitrary and don’t apply to the Democratic presidential front-runner.

“If only I had known,” tweeted Snowden, the former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor who fled the country in 2013 before leaking reams of classified documents about global surveillance. Snowden is now facing multiple federal charges for his leaks.

Former FBI official Ron Hosko says in that same report from The Hill, “It leaves you with a sense that he [Obama] is reaching his thumb toward the scale. I think it is, as I said, unnecessary and, from an investigators’ point of view, not at all beneficial.”

So why is Obama putting his thumb on the scales of justice in this way? A retired prosecutor of my acquaintance wrote me that Obama deliberately went on Fox (something, as we know, he rarely does) to speak indirectly to FBI Director James Comey (something the president supposedly cannot do overtly or else he’d be guilty of interfering with an active case). The prosecutor thinks Obama was signaling to Comey, telling him to recommend an indictment for Hillary for negligence only, which is a misdemeanor — something for which she could pay a fine, act contrite, and then get elected president.

This depressing scenario is unfortunately a highly feasible one. But it’s hard to believe that Comey is actually listening. At least I hope he isn’t. More importantly, negligence is not an excuse for Clinton’s behavior.

An article by Politico’s Josh Gerstein attempts to exonerate (or at least free from prosecution) Clinton by comparing her favorably to David Petraeus and Sandy Berger, with whom settlements were negotiated.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who has publicly called for Clinton to be prosecuted, said her actions are more troubling than the Petraeus or Berger cases because of the sheer volume of classified material involved: More than 2,100 emails on her server are now considered classified by the State Department or other agencies.

“It is massive. It was a plan,” said Giuliani, who also served as the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan and as a top Justice Department official. “She didn’t just accidentally take it home…She took it home every night. It was like you were taking home top-secret information every night and putting it on your nightstand.”

But only about 100 of those 2100 messages were sent or forwarded by Clinton, and in many cases the information deemed classified originated with her aides or lower-level personnel. Clinton and her campaign team dispute the idea that any of the emails should be classified and have urged that those messages be released to the public, so others can judge whether any involved actual secrets. None of the messages were marked classified at the time.

Of those subsequently marked as classified, more than 96 percent have been marked “Confidential,” because they contain diplomatic exchanges or information about foreign governments. Many of those messages had already been shared on other unclassified systems, including within the State Department.

Only 100?  Well, yes, I suppose…. of the emails we know about. Gerstein makes no mention of the 30,000 or so that were erased, the relationship to the Clinton Foundation, nor the emails that actually do demonstrate intent and cognizance of the security risk, the warnings to underlings not to use private email, the testimony of the Clinton family tech now given immunity, Guccifer, etc. If this is mere “carelessness,” it would be the equivalent, as my prosecutor friend wrote, of someone getting stinking drunk, then getting into a car and driving  into a bus and killing a few dozen people before pleading ignorance.

Mere negligence? Don’t blame Gerstein. He’s writing for Politico, a propaganda organ for members of the idle liberal rich class, as Shaw might have put it. Such hopeful whitewashes are Josh’s job. Everybody’s biased, including me. Let’s hope Comey isn’t.

(Artwork created using a modified image.)

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