John Schindler: BREAKING: Hillary Clinton Put Spies’ Lives at Risk – The Observer

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CK MacLeod

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  1. Avatar Morat20
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    If this man is correct, then Congressional Republicans knew all of this when they grilled Clinton for 11 hours. But they never brought it up.

    So how to square the circle? Do I assume Congressional Republicans were covering for Hillary Clinton? Or do I assume Schindler is a bit of a hack with some problems of his own?

    And indeed, looking into Mister Schindler — how would he know these things, actually? How would he personally confirm this? These emails are unreleased, are they not? He’s doesn’t work for the government, so he wouldn’t be reviewing these documents. He’s not with the CIA, the NSA, or any other branch of government. He used to be a NSA analyst, but he’s a professor now.

    So how can he “confirm this”? I flat-out call shenanigans. Or “bullshit” is common parlance.

    I will continue to cast my vote with historical outcomes: He can’t, it continues to be a nothing-burger bloated by desperate, desperate hope that somehow Clinton did something finally, and yet AGAIN a bunch of people are going to be shocked when Lucy moves the football.

    It’s either that, or Congressional Republicans decided they wanted to cover for Hillary Clinton, a state of affairs my mind can’t even begin to comprehend.

    FWIW, Schindler has been claiming this is true for like 6 to 8 months now…and yet the smoking gun is always around the corner. Next time, I suppose, Lucy won’t move the football…Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Morat20
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      says:

      3d Chess? They want her locked into the nomination then they suddenly bring out all their live ammunition for the general or something? I don’t believe it for a second, no political bunch on either side could sit on that secret for that long but that’s all I can imagine.

      Otherwise it looks like nothingburger still.Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to North
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        says:

        Yeah, I don’t see that either. I suspect the simpler solution is this — it’s a game of telephone, and people are hearing what they want to hear.

        Me too, even. Except I’ve at least got the consolation of knowing my assumptions are that (1) Hillary is not totally incompetent nor mustache-twirling evil and (2) the GOP Congressional hearing in question at least actually tried to find a scandal as it conducted a hearing into the scandal.

        Neither of which seems to require a huge leap of faith, whereas “There’s super classified emails as Blumenthal emailed Hillary with contact information of all our spies!” requires (1) Blumental having that information, him emailing that information, and nobody on the House committee or Clinton’s staff going “Hey, wait a second…”.

        I suspect it’s projection. I mean, that has been the GOP playbook — accuse your enemies of your own flaws. And let’s face it, in terms of exposing our own classified sources for fun and partisan profit, it wasn’t the Obama administration that let slip a name publicly…Report

        • Avatar CK MacLeod in reply to Morat20
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          says:

          This all isn’t a new theme for Schindler, but he does claim to have new information not available – or publicly comment-able – at the time of the Hillary hearings. He was also among those highly critical of the GOP’s performance, and precisely for emphasizing all of the wrong things. Anyway, people other than committed Democrats and Hillary-ites had rather different reactions to her performance than you two seem to.

          As for Schindler’s expertise, he claims, I think credibly, still to be in contact with intelligence officials, foreign and domestic, and with others in the know, though this statement is as far out on a limb as I’ve seen him go in the direction of saying he’s heard specific things of interstellar significance.

          I often find him in insufferable, by the way, and have criticized him frequently and at length – though never in relation to the “Gawker”-level matter, which I consider irrelevant to any serious discussion of the charges he’s making, or to the possibility that his views are representative for a significant group of people in the intelligence community, including many currently serving.Report

          • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to CK MacLeod
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            says:

            Yes, shockingly, people who already think Hillary personally laughed as people died at Benghazi weren’t convinced by her performance. Outside of the conservative bubble, nobody cares about Benghazi, partly because of the facts of the matter, but also because after close to 30 years of attaching a -gate to everything they do short of breathing, people don’t care about Clinton scandals anymore.Report

          • Avatar Morat20 in reply to CK MacLeod
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            says:

            This all isn’t a new theme for Schindler, but he does claim to have new information not available – or publicly comment-able – at the time of the Hillary hearings.

            You mean someone leaked classified information to him so he can slam Hillary for leaking classified information? Hmm. Interesting way to tackle it, I suppose.

            And I read the article — no, he doesn’t claim there’s new emails. He’s talking about emails held back from the FOIA request (there’s actually an included link to an FOIA site), which is the same 20 or so emails we discussed last week and the week before (the ones Clinton is stating were things like people discussing a public news story on drones, and were ‘classified’ because of the drones –even if all the information in the email was from the public story).

            He’s literally claiming that OF the entire set of emails given to Hillary, some of the ones still being processed for FOIA requests (and held back as classified) contain this Super Sekret Information.

            Which means they eluded the Congressional Republicans.

            I’m gonna say this once again: There are no new emails. These are FOIA requests for stuff the Congressional Committee already saw.

            Schindler’s entire thesis rests solely on Republicans deciding to cover for Hillary Clinton — a committee that leaked selectively a number of emails in an attempt to damage her, with each one turning out to be…nothing. (In fact, the “smoking gun” he quotes — well, talks about since he hasn’t seen it and is relying on anonymous sources — is about Blumenthal apparently emailing Clinton, which is an interesting way for Clinton to mishandle classified information. I mean, getting it from a guy not working for the government? You’d think they’d be investigating how Blumenthal got it! Unless, of course, it was something like….emailing about a NYT article on drone warfare….)

            I am shocked at how credulously you chase this football. Surely the last year of this would have induced a bit of skepticism, at least a “wait and see” attitude instead of plastering an incendiary snippet based on….the same crap it’s always been.

            And that, again, relies on the Republican committee to be either so incompetent as to not find the obvious scandal when searching for that scandal — or cover for Hillary Clinton. Good lord.Report

          • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to CK MacLeod
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            says:

            I’ve always found secret revelations from anonymous sources to be about one step above the village prophet telling us all what God has to say (and that we should all let him sleep with our wives). It’s almost inevitably self-serving nonsense. I’m sure Schindler has plenty of friends in the intelligence community, but we’ll never know if he’s telling the truth about what they’re saying, and even if he is, he doesn’t know if they’re telling the truth.

            It’s along the lines of every reporter in the world having 3 NSA “sources” who all have terrible and unsubstantiated things to say about the Snowden documents.Report

  2. Avatar CK MacLeod
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    says:

    Morat20: I am shocked at how credulously you chase this football.

    I’ve told you how I’ve read his claims – what he appears to be claiming. The statements – from an individual knowledgeable and experienced regarding intelligence matters, with scholarly qualifications as well, not some random crank with a radio microphone or a web site somewhere – are being widely disseminated. I don’t presume to be able to judge them fairly or definitively. I’m not qualified to accept or reject them.Report

    • Avatar CK MacLeod in reply to CK MacLeod
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      says:

      (…And if this new salvo hadn’t been launched over the weekend, forcing the Clintonistas to respond in the way that Schindler described, I would have been happy to let this matter rest with the other recent thread. This item was somewhat of an update.)Report

      • Avatar Morat20 in reply to CK MacLeod
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        says:

        I think you might have been better served to dig into this man’s previous writings first. As noted, he’s of the opinion that Sidney Blumenthal is running a private intel agency for Hillary that was forwarding Hillary information gleaned from his own “sources” (apparently either at the CIA, the NSA, or some foreign spy agency). Totally believable, right?

        Then he castigates Blumenthal (who doesn’t work for the government here, remember that) for not properly classifying the info he sends to Hillary. Because, um, that’s not explained but he should have. Because private people should know the proper classifications and code words for sending information TO the government?

        Then there’s the dark allegations that Hillary was selling secrets to donors, and that the FBI is totally investigating that!

        Yes, because that’s also happening. I hear she twirled her mustache, shared a glass of vodka with Putin as they laughingly talked about how to murder US citizens, and then she went on to ban Christmas.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to CK MacLeod
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      says:

      And I’ve pointed out the obvious rebuttal:

      1) He’s discussing the same emails that’s been the topic for the last week, that Clinton has called for to be released, and claims includes such things as commentary about a news article because the news article was about a drone strike that was classified. Even though the newspaper had reported it.
      2) He’s using anonymous sources, and heavy rhetoric — apparently the entire intelligence community is in revolt. (Which I don’t need to tell you fits neatly into a long established, false, urban legend about Democrats — surely you’ve seen the heavily passed around stuff about how the Marines secretly gave Clinton/Obama the “We don’t respect you” salute?).
      3) He’s using anonymous sources, has not seen the emails himself, and uses hyperbolic rhetoric (see point 2) common in urban legends about Democratic politicians.

      And most damningly:
      4) These are emails the House committee (or was it Senate? Thought it was House) impaneled to investigate Clinton’s emails all saw. These are not “new” emails, freshly discovered. They are emails given to the Committee that are not being subject to FOIA requests. Which means if he is correct than Republicans out to draw Hillary’s blood somehow missed emails with this stuff in them

      That last ALONE should set your BS detector off. It should set his off, and it doesn’t — which is pretty damning for a guy who claimed to be part of the intelligence committee. Maybe he was part of Cheney’s B-team?

      Look, I read the article. He said anonymous people told him anonymously that this is totally legit this time. Also, that these anonymous people told him the entire CIA and NSA basically hated Clinton, just like those Marines hate Obama.

      I don’t think you get to hide behind ” I’m not qualified to accept or reject them.” with something like that. They didn’t find new emails. This isn’t a new story. This guy has been pounding this drum for a year, and yet neither you nor he seems to want to answer the obvious question: “If it’s true, why didn’t it come out in the hearing designed expressly to hit Hillary Clinton with her emails, run by a committee that hates Hillary Clinton worse than they do Satan, and with access to each and every freakin’ email?”

      Look, you can hide behind ” I’m not qualified to accept or reject them.” all you want. It doesn’t make your lunging kicks at the football any more explicable. Because, repeating myself, a bunch of really motivated people with access to every single email and a forum designed to hit Hillary on the head with them did not make these claims.

      So why on earth would you entertain, given the history of this particular “scandal”, that somehow there’s an intelligence community in revolt and that it’s not just classified stuff, Hillary is now emailing out lists of secret agents? Jesus Christ, that doesn’t even pass the smell test unless you’re working under the assumption Hillary is actively evil and traitorous OR so incompetent as to be unable to tie her shoelaces — and her staff is also one, the other, or both.

      Oh, and she’s either mailing — or GETTING — these lists from Sidney Blumenthal? Forget the name attached to it, the article is a seething mess of WTF.

      Starting with:

      his column has previously detailed how Mr. Blumenthal was running an impressive private intelligence agency for the Secretary of State, and that his emails to Ms. Clinton inexplicably included highly sensitive Top Secret Codeword intelligence from the National Security Agency. Since Mr. Blumenthal’s emails were illegally accessed by a private hacker, they can be safely assumed in to be in the hands of numerous foreign intelligence services. There’s a lot here that the FBI needs to unravel to understand EmailGate’s full complexity – and illegality.

      Really? Blumenthal is running a private intelligence agency for Hillary, which included tons of NSA top secret info?

      It gets better if you follow the links. He’s previously claimed Clinton was effectively selling NSA and CIA secrets to donors! That sounds legit.Report

  3. Avatar Stillwater
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    says:

    Man, the hits keep coming…

    But the price was worth it: two devices is one too many!!Report

  4. Avatar Chris
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    says:

    enacted due to the murder of the CIA’s station chief in Athens after his cover was blown by the left-wing media

    Fast, and also loose.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Chris
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      says:

      MALLORY: Agent Hector Ruíz, who had infiltrated “el frente rojo”, was killed last night when his cover was blown.
      LANA: How in the world did his cover get blown?

      (flashback) ARCHER: Ruíz. Hey, man. Talk to these chicks, all right? Tell them how we’re really Isis agents. They don’t believe me. hello! Señor wingman!

      ARCHER: He probably just got careless.
      MALLORY: I’m sure Hector didn’t get —
      ARCHER: Oh, come on! Ruíz was a loose cannon. He played it fast, and he played it loose.Report

  5. Avatar Morat20
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    says:

    I can confirm that the FoxNews report, which lacks any specifics about exactly what was compromised, is accurate.

    That’s my favorite quote.

    Because he can’t. He hasn’t seen the emails.Report

  6. Avatar j r
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    says:

    Discussions with Intelligence Community officials have revealed that Ms. Clinton’s “unclassified” emails included Holy Grail items of American espionage such as the true names of Central Intelligence Agency intelligence officers serving overseas under cover.

    This just does not pass the smell test. Why would the Secretary of State be sending or receiving emails with this sort of information? I’ve never been privy to communication between cabinet level officials, but I’ve seen my share of documents at the TS level and higher and this just isn’t how it’s done.

    The basic problem is that this sort of human intelligence (HUMINT for short) would most likely never be in a Top Secret email that made it off the secure system. HUMINT is handled as Sensitive Compartmentalized Information, which basically means that pieces of related information are handled separately from each other. An intelligence analyst who sees various bits of SCI may put the pieces together in a classified report, but that analyst would leave out the compartmentalized bits. In other words, you wouldn’t put the name of a source in the same document as the information coming for that source.

    Sounds like whoever wrote this story and/or “leaked” this information has seen one too many spy movies.Report

    • Avatar CK MacLeod in reply to j r
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      says:

      j r: Sounds like whoever wrote this story and/or “leaked” this information has seen one too many spy movies.

      http://20committee.com/about/Report

      • Avatar j r in reply to CK MacLeod
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        says:

        Not sure how that is a response to my comment.

        My point in referencing spy movies is that leaking the identities of undercover intelligence operatives is a very popular McGuffin (both Skyfall and one of those Mission Impossible movies have used it recently). Schindler can himself understand intelligence work very well, but still choose to make his point in a way speaks more to the popular imagination of intelligence work than the reality of it.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to j r
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      says:

      “I’ve seen my share of documents at the TS level and higher and this just isn’t how it’s done.”

      Does your experience of “how it’s done” include any sort of transfer of classified documents to unclassified, uncontrolled storage without the involvement of security representatives?Report

      • Avatar Troublesome Frog in reply to DensityDuck
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        says:

        I’m not @j-r, but I’ll say that in my experience the answer is definitely no.

        What does happen all the time is that people accidentally synthesize classified material from unclassified material and send it around via unsecured channels. This is sometimes because what makes things classified is the combination of random bits of unclassified data. More often, it’s because we classify way too much stuff.

        There’s also the fact that even once the cat’s out of the bag on something that was legitimately classified, we pretend it’s still a secret that nobody knows. See Snowden. Forwarding an NYT article containing classified stuff that the whole world knows about becomes “transmitting classified information” via unsecured channels.

        We don’t know exactly what happened here, but this smells a lot like at least some of the accusations are careful spinning of one of those more common cases.Report

  7. Avatar Mike Schilling
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    says:

    Does Schindler have a list?Report

  8. Avatar bookdragon
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    says:

    Out of curiosity, what did Schindler say about the Valerie Plame affair?

    Even apart from Morat20’s and j r’s excellent points, if he dismissed that, I’m inclined to dismiss him as a conservative hack with a political agenda.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to bookdragon
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      says:

      Anyone possessing political memory will recall that this law was also the centerpiece of the 2003 scandal surrounding Valerie Plame, a CIA NOC officer whose identity appeared in the media after it was exposed by the George W. Bush White House. Ms. Plame became a liberal icon of sorts, complete with high glamour, while the affair became an obsession for much of the mainstream media, despite the fact that the spy was physically unharmed by the leak.

      Indeed, Valerie Plame parleyed the ruckus into a successful post-CIA career and she remains in the limelight. In a perverse irony, last weekend she was in New Hampshire campaigning for Hillary Clinton. Neither Ms. Plame nor much of the media seem interested in their candidate’s far greater compromise of classified information, including the identities of NOCs like Valerie Plame once was.

      Report

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