The American People are not generally knowledgeable about the laws regarding Classified Information. I was not only a Fighter Pilot and Provisional Wing Commander in the Air Force, I was also an Intelligence Analyst at the National Security Agency and graduate of the Air War College. Please permit me to unravel the astonishing FBI Director’s nonsense you watched on TV.
The overwhelming majority of Security Clearances are at the Secret level and most classified information is Secret or lower. Unauthorized disclosure of Secret information would cause “serious damage” to national security.
I was at a Fighter Wing where only two people on the base had a Top Secret Clearance, the Chief of Intelligence and myself. There are many laws and regulations regarding safeguarding classified information such as the Espionage Act of 1917. Therefore, it was necessary for me to perform many additional duties to protect our very few Top Secret Documents. According to US Code, “Top Secret shall be applied to information, the unauthorized disclosure of which reasonably could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security that the original classification authority is able to identify or describe.”
You learned that the FBI found information on Secretary Clinton’s emails that was above Top Secret. It was so sensitive that even members of Congress were not authorized to view it. As high as a Top Secret Clearance is, it’s not high enough to authorize the holder of the clearance to even walk through the doors at NSA, CIA or most of the 15 other Intelligence Agencies.
I do not believe even the Secretary of State would be able to enter the Communications Center at the U.S. Department of State, it is likely run by NSA or an outside agency.
But even if a person has a Security Clearance above Top Secret, that person cannot have access to any information unless he or she has A NEED TO KNOW. When I was a young Airman I had an operation on my shoulder in an Air Force Hospital in Japan. Because I had a Security Clearance above Top Secret, a Full Colonel was in the operating room and by my bedside during the operation and my recovery just in case I revealed something classified under sedation. If I had revealed classified information, the doctors and nurses would have been briefed and security clearances would have been run on every one of them. National Security is taken seriously outside the cozy confines of a few DC politician’s offices.
If Ms Clinton did nothing else except give thousands of emails to her lawyers for review, she committed a felony. Even if her lawyers had active US Security Clearances above Top Secret, they did not have the need to know information that could cause exceptionally grave damage to national security. I doubt that they had those clearances anyway!
As President Obama has so forcefully stated, “This is not a Reality Show!” Indeed, when Barack Obama, Loretta Lynch, James Comey and Hillary Clinton play loosey-goosey with national security, people die. Can we the people have any expectation that they protect the Nuclear Launch Codes or War Plans any better than the Presumptive Democratic Nominee for President protected national secrets on her private server?
If Ms Clinton’s malfeasance only merits a wink and a nod, what would she have to do to elicit prosecution? Is Obama, Lynch, Comey and Hillary the best we can do? Is their lack of performance okay with you because they’re not bombastic and they love our enemies? Don’t we owe more to our men and women on the front lines of the War Against Global Terrorism?