The PJ Tatler

Where Will Hillary! Be in 2017 -- the White House or the Big House?

Hillary Clinton says she’s running for president, but at this point in the inexorably unfolding Clinton Scandals, it may be all she can do to stay out of jail:

With U.S. intelligence officials scrambling to contain damage from potentially hundreds of spy agency secrets in Hillary Rodham Clinton’s private emails, questions are mounting over why the Justice Department has not yet opened a criminal investigation against the Democratic presidential front-runner for mishandling a mountain of classified information.

While some secrecy experts believe Mrs. Clinton will be able to build a strong case that material on her server was not classified at the time it was moving through her emails, others assert that what the former secretary of state did was far more egregious than the mishandling of information that saw former CIA Director David H. Petraeus sentenced to two years probation and a $100,000 fine.

“I don’t see how the Justice Department would be able to avoid at least investigating this,” said Kevin Carroll, a former CIA officer and secrecy lawyer in Washington. “What Petraeus did was really small in comparison, because there was no exposure of any information to any foreign intelligence services.”

Yes, but Petraeus posed an outside threat to the re-election of Barack Obama, so he had to go. A more apt comparison might be to former CIA director John Deutch. From the report:

Deutch continuously processed classified information on government-owned desktop computers configured for unclassified use during his tenure as DCI. These unclassified computers were located in Deutch’s Bethesda, Maryland and Belmont, Massachusetts residences, 3 his offices in the Old Executive Office Building (OEOB), and at CIA Headquarters. Deutch also used an Agency-issued unclassified laptop computer to process classified information. All were connected to or contained modems that allowed external connectivity to computer networks such as the Internet. Such computers are vulnerable to attacks by unauthorized persons. CIA personnel retrieved [classified] information from Deutch’s unclassified computers and magnetic media related to covert action, Top Secret communications intelligence and the National Reconnaissance Program budget.

The OIG investigation has established that Deutch was aware of prohibitions relating to the use of unclassified computers for processing classified information. He was further aware of specific vulnerabilities related to the use of unclassified computers that were connected to the Internet. Despite this knowledge, Deutch. processed a large volume of highly classified information on these unclassified computers, taking no steps to restrict unauthorized access to the information and thereby placing national security information at risk.

Furthermore, the OIG investigation noted anomalies in the way senior CIA officials responded to this matter. These anomalies include the failure to allow a formal interview of Deutch, and the absence of an appropriate process to review Deutch’s suitability for continued access to classified information.

What happened to Deutch? Don’t ask me, ask the New York Times:

If the director of central intelligence transfers highly classified materials to insecure computers at his home, he may well be violating the law, and his conduct requires an immediate and full investigation. But when faced with just such actions by John Deutch in late 1996, the C.I.A. and the Justice Department badly fumbled the case. They are now scrambling to make amends, with Justice belatedly initiating a criminal investigation. But the affair once again demonstrates that the agency cannot adequately investigate itself and that Attorney General Janet Reno has consistently failed to enforce the law against top Clinton administration officials.

Mr. Deutch was a demanding and effective leader of the C.I.A. who did much in his short tenure to address the agency’s past abuses and reform its practices. But enlightened leadership does not provide immunity from the law, and Mr. Deutch’s carelessness cried out for a rigorous investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation under the direction of a seasoned prosecutor. Instead, it received cursory examination by the C.I.A. and no investigation by the F.B.I.

You’ll be astonished to learn that the Belgian-born Deutch was pardoned by Bill Clinton on his way out the door in 2001.

It seems clear that Mr. Deutch received special treatment because he was a top official, and that Ms. Reno gave him the benefit of the doubt, just as she has done for others in the administration. For an experienced prosecutor, she has an uncanny instinct for ignoring or misreading the evidence and the law when top officials are credibly accused of misconduct. Before the books are closed on this case, the actions of Mr. Deutch and his former colleagues must be carefully examined. If the evidence warrants prosecution, the high positions they held should be no barrier.

Wonder if the Times would write the same editorial about Mrs. Clinton today?