Hillary Clinton stored classified information on her personal email server while she served as Secretary of State, marking the latest instance of a massive security breach of the U.S. which has gravely damaged it and its allies.
CNSNews.com reported on July 27 that inspectors general for the Department of State and the Intelligence Community confirmed that private email server Clinton used while she was Secretary of State contained emails that had classified information.
The inspectors general for the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Intelligence Community issued a joint written statement late Friday afternoon asserting that emails that Hillary Clinton had on her personal email account while she was Secretary of State, and that she kept on a personal server after she left the government, “contained classified information when they were generated,” “remain classified today” and “should never have been transmitted via an unclassified personal system.”
Clinton (or one of her confidants) also apparently retains a thumb drive with even more classified information on it, another breach of standard security protocols for U.S. government personnel.
U.S. government personnel who store classified information in unauthorized manners are often subject to having their possessions seized by the U.S. government. It’s possible the government might even arrest them. To date, the government hasn’t seized Clinton’s server or other property that potentially contains improperly stored classified information. She also remains a top-tier candidate for the Democratic Party for the 2016 presidential election.
The news that Clinton violated proper methods of storing and transmitting classified information is the latest in a line of disastrous security violations at the strategic level of the U.S. government that have occurred over the past several years. The Chinese recently stole a massive amount of data on U.S. personnel that could damage intelligence and security efforts for years.
Prior to these damaging incidents Edward Snowden stole and disclosed a still unknown amount of intelligence to a variety of people. And before that Army Private Bradley Manning stole and disclosed a large amount of U.S. intelligence to hostile entities.
These national security breaches will not remain at the top of the news cycle for long. But the consequences for the U.S. and its allies - which both use the information and help collect it - will be felt for years. And the consequences will be severe, perhaps of even an existential nature for one or more countries.
A nation cannot lose and disclose so much of its intelligence and expect it and its allies to suffer no harm from it.
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