Hamilton: Hillary’s “home-brew” server: Why all the fuss?
Folks who have never had occasion to deal with sensitive national security information as found in classified documents, may wonder why all the fuss about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s unprotected, “home brew” e-mail server? Last week, on Hugh Hewitt’s nationally syndicated radio show, former Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, said “odds are pretty high” that Secretary Clinton’s server was hacked by the Russians, Chinese, and Iranians. Satire may be the best way to explain the uproar: “The Independent Counsel engaged by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate Madame Secretary has hired the law firm of Dewey, Cheatham, and Howe (DCH) for advice on what information should be classified and at which level. DCH begins its report to the Independent Counsel with some properly marked, fictional e-mail examples, in ascending order of sensitivity:
Unclassified For Official Use Only:
(UFOUO) Attached is a list of RSVP attendees for tonight’s reception for the Ambassador of Lower Slobbovia. The dress for the evening is black tie for men and short formals or pant suits for women. See you there.–Huma
(C) Tonight, you will notice the Ambassador of Lower Slobbovia has a tick in his left eye, indicating he is under considerable stress, the cause of which we are trying to determine. Suggest you try to ignore the tick. Please recall they always vote against us in the U.N. –Huma
(S) We must postpone your scheduled flight to Upper Slobbovia set for next week. The Pentagon says the anti-missile chaff dispenser in your aircraft is inoperative, making it unsafe for you to overfly Lower Slobbovia. –Huma
(TS) We have now learned that the anti-missile chaff dispensers for the entire fleet of Air Force Special Mission aircraft are inoperative. Even Air Force One is grounded for now. –Huma
Top Secret/Special Access Program
(TS/SAP) When you greet the Ambassador of Lower Slobbovia tonight, please do not ask him how he enjoyed his trip to Monaco. The CIA bugged his office. The janitor works for CIA. So, we know he got a girl in Monaco pregnant and she is blackmailing him for millions which he is going to pay with counterfeit casino chips. –Huma. Finally, Dewey, Cheatham, and Howe forward these fictional examples of classified e-mails and, in return, collect a big fat fee for services rendered. Your tax dollars at work.”
Back to reality: It should be noted that the Special Access Program (SAP) designation can be applied to any level of classification because SAP has to do with the sources and methods by which the sensitive information is obtained from electronic listening devices, human intelligence (our spies) and/or by NSA satellite communications interceptions. It is an awesome responsibility to handle sensitive information which, if compromised, could expose the planting of a bug, could cause spies to be caught, tortured, and executed, and could cause our enemies to take extra measures to foil our communications intercept capabilities, leaving the United States blind to enemy intentions and capabilities. How big a deal is exposing sensitive national security information to potential hackers? We report. You decide.
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, is a laureate of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma University Army ROTC Wall of Fame, and is a recipient of the University of Nebraska 2015 Alumni Achievement Award. He was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the Infantry School, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.
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