Monday, 01 February 2016

Clinton and Associates (Accomplices?) Set Up Hidden Network to Hide E-Mails

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Records recently disclosed by the Department of State as part of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit reveal that Hillary Clinton — and senior officials within the State Department — acted to set up a hidden computer network to allow Secretary of State Clinton to access her private e-mail server without going through the secured — and archived — government network.

The revelation came to light Monday when Judicial Watch made public the records received as the result of a court order in its FOIA lawsuit about the private e-mail server and account Mrs. Clinton used during her time as secretary of state. According to a release by Judicial Watch, the records included an e-mail thread detailing plans to "set up a stand-alone PC in the Secretary's office, connected to the internet (but not through [the government] system) to enable her to check her emails from her desk."

Over a two-day period right after Mrs. Clinton was sworn in as secretary of state, several officials at the Department of State discussed the best ways to set up a computer so that Secretary Clinton could check e-mail without having to access her private server over government channels. From the Judicial Watch release:

The email exchange discussing plans to provide Clinton a separate computer to skirt the internal State Department computer network begins with a message from Mills to Lukens in which she requests Clinton being able to access her emails through "a non-DOS [Department of State] computer." The email discusses how the stand-alone computer can be set up and why it is "a great idea" and "the best solution."

Some familiar names appear in the "To," "From," and "Cc" fields in the e-mails: Huma Abedin (shown in photo with Hillary) is there, as well as Cheryl Mills. Other names include Patrick Kennedy, Lewis Lukens, and Daniel Smith.

The e-mail thread destroys any doubt that Mrs. Clinton and her associates (perhaps accomplices would be a better word) were aware that they were keeping her e-mails "off the grid."

The e-mail thread started on January 23, 2009 — two days into her new job. Cheryl Mills e-mailed Lewis Lukens a "series of questions."

From: Cheryl Mills
Sent: Friday, January 23, 2009 6:45 AM
To: Lukens, Lewis A
Subject: Re: Series of questions

Lew – who can I talk to about:

1. Can our email be accessed remotely through the web using a non-DOS [Department of State] computer like my laptop?
2. I am traveling to the M-E – will my DOS bb work there and is there a cell phone attached?
3. Spoke to Dan [Daniel B. Smith, former DOS executive secretary] re: bb for HRC (and reports that POTUS is able to use a super encrypted one which)
4. Spoke to Dan re: setting up Counselor office for HRC so she can go across hall regularly to check her email

Lewis Lukens responded the next morning. He copied Huma Abedin, Patrick Kennedy, and Daniel Smith:

From: Lukens, Lewis A
To: cmills [REDACTED]
Cc: Habedin [REDACTED]; Kennedy, Patrick F; Smith, Daniel B
Sent: Saturday, Jan. 24, 19:10:33 2009
Subject: Re: series of questions

We have already started checking into the NSA bb. Will set up the office across the hall as requested. Also, I think we should go ahead (but will await your green light) and set up a stand-alone PC in the Secretary's office, connect to the internet (but not through our system) to enable her to check her emails from her desk. Lew.

That evening, Patrick Kennedy responded to Mills and copied Lukens, Abedin, and Smith:

From: Kennedy, Patrick F This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
To: Lukens, Lewis A <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>; Cheryl Mills
Cc: Huma Abedin; Smith, Daniel B <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Sent: Sat, Jan 24 19:48:25 2009
Subject: Re: Series of questions

The stand-alone separate network PC is [a] great idea

Abedin replied almost immediately including everyone in the reply:

From: Huma Abedin
To: Kennedy, Patrick F; Lukens, Lewis A; Cheryl Mills
Cc: Huma Abedin; Smith, Daniel B
Sent: Sat Jan 24 19:48:27 2009
Subject: Re: Series of questions

Yes we were hoping for that if possible so she can check her email in her office.

Later that night, Lukens replied to Kennedy:

From: Lukens, Lewis A
Sent: Saturday, January 24, 2009 8:26 PM
To: Kennedy, Patrick F
Subject: Re: Series of questions

I talked to Cheryl about this. She says a problem is hrc does not know how to use a computer to do email – only bb [Blackberry]. But, I said would not take much training to get her up to speed.

As Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton put it, "These emails are shocking. They show the Obama State Department's plan to set up non-government computers and a computer network for Hillary Clinton to bypass the State Department network." Furthermore, the State Department admitted to Judicial Watch that "Hillary Clinton was never issued secure State Department computing devices."

Judicial Watch has accused Mrs. Clinton of having "deliberately thwarted FOIA by creating, using, and concealing the '' record system for six years." The e-mails seem to show that is precisely the case.

This lays to waste Mrs. Clinton's non-apology that she had used personal e-mail as a "convenience" and that had she realized the trouble, she would have done differently. She seems to have known exactly what she was doing. She didn't do it for "convenience." It appears that she — and those who had to set it up for her and teach her to use it — went to great troubles. That is the very definition of inconvenience. She appears to have made the choice to use her private e-mail server — and skirt the State Department system entirely — in order to avoid the archive system that is built into the State Department network.

One big question is why this was allowed in the first place. How did Mrs. Clinton escape scrutiny for the six years that she held the office of secretary of state? How did she get away with sending and/or receiving more than 1,340 e-mails containing classified information?

As The New American reported Monday, she had none of the oversight that other secretaries of state have had. As Clinton Alexander wrote:

An integral part of nonpartisan congressional oversight is the Office of Inspector General. Inspectors general are appointed by the president and serve a critical role in independent investigations into government operations. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) serves a key role in independent investigations ensuring mandatory policies are being followed, investigating fraud and abuse allegations, and monitoring communications procedures. Policies and procedures that would prevent a secretary of state from using an outside personal e-mail server to communicate sensitive and classified government information are a good example of OIG responsibilities.

Except that during Mrs. Clinton's entire term as secretary of state, the Office of Inspector General was vacant. Hillary Clinton appears to have used that vacancy to run her office — and her e-mail server — pretty much any way she wanted to. After all, since the cat was away, the mouse could play.

Before Clinton was appointed secretary of state, the last Inspector General to hold that office was Howard J. Krongard. He served from 2005 to 2008. The New American quoted him as saying, "It's clear she did not want to be subject to internal investigations." He also said he believes her decision not to set up the e-mail address was an intentional, premeditated decision. This revelation seems to confirm that.

With the recent letter sent by the Inspector General to high-ranking lawmakers and Tom DeLay's claim that the FBI is ready to recommend that she be indicted, this new piece of the puzzle could be the missing piece that causes a perfect storm for Mrs. Clinton.

Her numbers are declining. Her support is evaporating. And the buzzards are circling. Cue the fat lady.

Photo of Hillary Clinton with Huma Abedin: AP Images

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