Mishandling Classified Information Usually Results in Clearance Suspension: Except for Hillary Clinton
Standard procedure is to suspend the security clearance of anyone who is suspected of mishandling classified national security information while an investigation is conducted to determine the severity of the incident and the culpability of the offender. Once the investigation is completed a review of all the information is done to determine whether to reinstate the security clearance or initiate the denial/revocation process.
However, according to a recent news article, this does not apply to high ranking political figures like Hillary Clinton. We have all heard about Clinton and the private email server she used while serving as the Secretary of State. Allegedly, Clinton mishandled classified information sent via email that was classified at the Top Secret/SCI level and allowed two of her staff members who were not cleared at that level access to the information. We all know that SCI has specific access, handling, and safeguarding requirements and usually involves processing within a SCIF. Any email containing this type of information has to be sent using the appropriate level classified network (JWICS). Apparently none of these procedures were required or put in place by the State Department.
Within the Intelligence and DoD Communities swift action is taken to suspend the individual’s clearance and access pending the outcome of an investigation regardless of position or rank. Apparently the State Department marches to its own tune and selectively determines which rules apply regarding national security information when it comes to its’ powerful political figures. Sounds to me like convenience was chosen over regulations and requirements.
This whole thing is kind of shocking. It involves sustained disregard for the safeguarding of classified information. Just think of the “let’s get to the bottom of this” SPINs which involve secret-level information which was contained and the computers and networked were scrubbed. Didn’t Petraeus’ violation involve only secret-level information? Still bad, but not TS-SCI stuff. I know one thing though, if Hillary has to go away for a stretch at FPC-Alderson, watch out women of Westchester County, NY.
I can’t be sure of the level of clearance I held while on active duty because it was so looooong ago, but I know this, had I mishandled even low level classified documents, I would have been reduced in rank and my security clearance revoked.