By: Richard Pollock
- Two retired colonels say former Secretary of State and failed 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton should have had her security clearance pulled.
- One, retired Col. James Williamson, was surprised Clinton was not included in the White House’s announcement that it was considering revoking six former national security officials’ security clearances.
- The colonels’ organization, OSPEC, twice asked then-Secretary of State John Kerry in 2015 to suspend the security clearances of Hillary Clinton and her aides, Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin, and Jacob Sullivan.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was not named in the White House’s Monday announcement that it was considering revoking six former national security officials’ security clearances, a 33-year special forces veteran noticed.
President Donald Trump is considering revoking the security clearances of former CIA Director John Brennan; Comey; former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper; former Director of National Security Michael Haden; former National Security Adviser Susan Rice; and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
Those former officials have criticized Trump, yet Clinton — the president’s 2016 rival — was not included on the list.
“Frankly, I was shocked that Hillary, the chief culprit, was omitted,” retired Col. James Williamson told The Daily Caller News Foundation. Williamson, who was in special operations for 30 years and has held a top-level security since 1982, is president of OSPEC, a nonpartisan organization representing retired special forces and intelligence community officials.
“There is more than ample evidence that Hillary Clinton committed, whether its gross negligence, or, as [former FBI Director James] Comey would like to say, extreme carelessness,” Williamson told TheDCNF. “Just from the documented evidence, there was enough to prosecute. If there’s evidence to prosecute, then there’s certainly grounds to pull somebody’s clearance.”
OSPEC Vice President retired Col. James Waurishuk agreed.
Clinton “moved classified information from the State Department to a private server,” Waurishuk, who served on the National Security Council and on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told TheDCNF. “Her clearance should have been immediately revoked and proper action taken to have her removed. She still carries that crime.”
“She was a risk,” he continued. “That is one of the things you look at. Is this person a risk? And yes, she was a risk. From that standpoint, she should have her clearance revoked.”
OPSEC wrote to then-Secretary of State John Kerry twice in 2015, asking him to suspend Clinton’s security clearance in the wake of disclosures that she sent all of her official government emails through a private server that was housed in her private home in upstate New York.
An Aug. 5, 2015 letter asked Kerry to suspend the security clearance since there was evidence her server had been hacked.
“Unfortunately, there is ample evidence that this private server was inadequately protected from foreign intelligence penetration and malicious ‘hacking,’” the letter said.
An Aug. 15 letter said, “When you recklessly compromise Top Secret Sensitive Compartmented Information, you compromise the security of the United States.”
“We now know Mrs. Clinton’s personal email and server contained national security intelligence classified at the highest possible level,” it continued. “Because it was on her personal system and the information was classified at the time the emails were sent, that intelligence is now considered to be compromised.”
“The standard procedure is that all individuals involved would have their access to classified information suspended pending an investigation,” the letter stated with emphasis added.
The letters also suggested that Kerry suspend the security clearances for three of Clinton’s top aides: Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin, and Jacob Sullivan.
Comey, as then-FBI director, said during a July 5, 2016 announcement that Clinton’s email server held “very sensitive, highly classified information.”
Comey said investigators didn’t find that “direct evidence” was hacked by hostile actors, but added that, “given the nature of the system and of the actors potentially involved, we assess that we would be unlikely to see such direct evidence.”
“We do assess that hostile actors gained access to the private commercial e-mail accounts of people with whom Secretary Clinton was in regular contact from her personal account,” he continued.
Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert, who serves on the House Committee on the Judiciary, said on July 12 that the intelligence community’s inspector general told him Clinton’s emails were sent to “an unauthorized source that was a foreign entity unrelated to Russia.”
“The importance of a clearance can’t be overstated in maintaining the national security of this country and its operative,” Williamson told TheDCNF. “Like we’ve seen in the past, compromising any type of classified information can have truly lethal consequences where people die. And it’s happened.”
Representatives for Clinton did not respond for a request for comment.
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