David Petraeus saw his career come to an end for mishandling classified information.
Sandy Berger was punished for mishandling classified information.
Scooter Libby got it worst of all. And he did virtually nothing.
Remember Scooter Libby?
Libby was the Bush aide who went to prison for having a bad memory. He was hunted down and persecuted by Peter Fitzgerald who was looking for the scalp of the person who allegedly leaked the name of Valerie Plame.
Libby went to prison and he wasn’t even the leaker. Richard Armitrage was. Jennifer Rubin:
Right Turn readers know my view that former vice president Dick Cheney’s chief of staff Scooter Libby was dealt a severe injustice by prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald who knew early on that another official, Richard Armitage, had leaked Valerie Plame’s name. Fitzgerald asserted that Libby had lied to prosecutors rather than mistakenly recalled a phone call with now-deceased reporter Tim Russert. The case should never have gone forward (or, if it had, a memory expert should have been permitted to testify), and President George W. Bush should have granted Libby a full pardon before leaving office. (As an aside, Libby’s memory was notoriously bad as now-Fact Checker and then-State Department reporter Glenn Kessler’s testimony in the case confirmed. As Glenn has summarized it, Libby told the FBI that he told Kessler about Plame; Kessler testified he did not. So Libby was convicted for telling the FBI he didn’t tell Russert about Plame and falsely admitted to telling Kessler about Plame—when he did not. If this was a “cover up,” it was the oddest in history, but it does seem in retrospect that Libby’s memory was awful.) Getting back to the conviction, it cannot be forgotten that Armitage and his boss Colin Powell deserve our scorn for not coming forward early on to exonerate Libby.
It is argued that Fitzgerald engaged in prosecutorial abuse:
Mr. Fitzgerald, who had the classified file of Ms. Plame’s service, withheld her State Department cover from Ms. Miller—and from Mr. Libby’s lawyers, who had requested Ms. Plame’s employment history. Despite his constitutional and ethical obligation to provide exculpatory evidence, Mr. Fitzgerald encouraged Ms. Miller to misinterpret her ambiguous notes as showing that Mr. Libby brought up Ms. Plame.
He already knew Libby was not the source of the leak. Libby ends up in prison for having a bad memory. Criticism of Fitzgerald came from several quarters:
On August 28, 2006, Christopher Hitchens asserted that Richard Armitage was the primary source of the Valerie Plame leak and that Fitzgerald knew this at the beginning of his investigation. This was supported a month later by Armitage himself, who stated that Fitzgerald had instructed him not to go public with this information.Investor’s Business Daily questioned Fitzgerald’s truthfulness in an editorial, stating “From top to bottom, this has been one of the most disgraceful abuses of prosecutorial power in this country’s history…The Plame case proves [Fitzgerald] can bend the truth with the proficiency of the slickest of pols.”
In a September 2008 Wall Street Journal editorial, attorney Alan Dershowitz cited the “questionable investigation[s]” of Scooter Libby as evidence of the problems brought to the criminal justice process by “politically appointed and partisan attorney[s] general”. In April 2015, also writing in The Wall Street Journal, Hoover Institution fellow Peter Berkowitz argued that statements by Judith Miller, in her recently published memoir, raised anew contentions that her testimony was inaccurate and that Fitzgerald’s conduct as prosecutor was inappropriate.
Libby did essentially nothing and went to prison. Hillary Clinton mishandled classified information. The Inspector General for the intelligence community sampled 40 Clinton emails and concluded that 10% of them contained classified information. Moreover, it was determined that the emails “were classified when they were sent and are classified now.”
That’s unfortunate for Hillary, who continues to assert something different:
“But the facts are pretty clear,” Clinton said. “I did not send or receive anything that was classified at the time.”
The matter has been referred to the Justice Department where it is likely to die. The FBI has begun an investigation. Apparently the server she used to conceal her communications from everyone is the same one she used for her 2008 campaign.
It has been established that Clinton DID send classified information over her private email system. Her argument that it wasn’t classified at the time of transmission is both stupid and laughable. It was her obligation to properly handle classified information. It was her obligation to check it ahead of time. Clinton’s argument is that she is an idiot and it hard to argue against it.
At Breitbart John Sexton conducted an interview with Peter Van Buren, a former State Department diplomat. He had this to say about the handling of potentially classified information:
It’s very hard for me to understand why she’s saying that except that she may not have much else to say in her defense and she doesn’t want to admit it. The most important thing to understand about classification is that the information itself is inherently classified or it’s not. Labels are applied as a matter of convenience, if you will, and a matter of standardization so that I know we’ve all agreed this is confidential, not secret, and therefore it’s handled under the procedures for confidential. But at the end of the day, it’s the information itself that is inherently classified or not.
Information gets classified one of two ways. One is what’s called derivative classification. If you and I are working at the State Department and I give you a secret document and you write a longer piece based on that secret document. Your piece must be classified at least secret, derived from the source document. So anything they got from the intelligence agencies or the military that originally had a classification on it is itself classified. Whether they excerpt a sentence or they try to talk about it obliquely, it has derivative classification.
The other way that something gets classified is by its originator. So you go out and you meet an Iranian diplomat who tells you all sorts of juicy stuff and you come back and you write a report about that. You’re the first person to touch that and you assign a classification to that. You are given training as part of this to understand that information is supposed to be classified. So if Huma and Hillary are bouncing emails back and forth talking about how best to approach the Chinese next week, they are expected to exercise a level of judgment to know that that information is extremely sensitive and should have been labeled classified because it was in fact something that was classified under the executive order which lays down a set of things that are classified.
The bias here could not be worse than it is. Obama has put one left wing stooge into the AG chair after another. What Clinton has done screams for accountability yet it is very unlikely that will come to pass. At worst, Clinton ought to face trial, be convicted and imprisoned. At best, she has proven to be unfit for the handling of sensitive materials.
It is not debatable that Clinton intentionally secreted her emails. It is highly likely that that she was involved in affairs that would bring her world crashing down on her head were all the emails to be recovered. It is my opinion that she enjoyed the financial reward of trading her position for cash donations to her foundation and to her husband’s speaking career. Let us not forget that in so doing, she was also enjoying the cash herself as what Bill collects is also hers. I believe that’s what she’s really hiding.
Finally, when is someone going to call her out? She reamed out Dick Cheney for having a secret email account. Why are we not entitled to ream her out now for exactly the same reasons?
Is there no one in the press to ask about her duplicity and disingenuousness?