H/T Right Scoop
H/T Right Scoop
This woman looks like she’s on meds. So they will do nothing to prevent it from happening again.
Via Free Beacon:
State Department spokesperson Elizabeth Trudeau said Friday that the State Department stands behind the visa process that allowed a terrorist into the United States.
“Are you satisfied that Malik’s application process followed the proper protocol?” one reporter asked Trudeau, referring to San Bernardino shooter Tashfeen Malik, who had previously pledged allegiance to the Islamic State on Facebook.
“Yes,” she said.
“How can you say that with such assurance?” the reporter asked.
Trudeau said that she is confident that this case followed protocol because the State Department is confident in its visa process.
“Because we stand behind our screening process for visas,” she said.
Tashfeen Malik apparently gave a phony address in Pakistan, which no one checked or figured out.
Just when you think Obama’s Iran deal couldn’t get any worse, his own State Dept. reveals that Iran didn’t sign the deal nor is it ‘legally binding’. It’s just a set of ‘political commitments’ or something:
NRO – President Obama didn’t require Iranian leaders to sign the nuclear deal that his team negotiated with the regime, and the deal is not “legally binding,” his administration acknowledged in a letter to Representative Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.) obtained by National Review.
“The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is not a treaty or an executive agreement, and is not a signed document,” wrote Julia Frifield, the State Department assistant secretary for legislative affairs, in the November 19 letter. Frifield wrote the letter in response to a letter Pompeo sent Secretary of State John Kerry, in which he observed that the deal the president had submitted to Congress was unsigned and wondered if the administration had given lawmakers the final agreement.
Frifield’s response emphasizes that Congress did receive the final version of the deal. But by characterizing the JCPOA as a set of “political commitments” rather than a more formal agreement, it is sure to heighten congressional concerns that Iran might violate the deal’s terms.
“The success of the JCPOA will depend not on whether it is legally binding or signed, but rather on the extensive verification measures we have put in place, as well as Iran’s understanding that we have the capacity to re-impose – and ramp up – our sanctions if Iran does not meet its commitments,” Frifield wrote to Pompeo.
Of course we couldn’t trust Iran in the first place, but for Obama, who touted this deal as the only way to keep Iran from getting nukes, to not even get their signatures attesting to their ‘commitment’ to this so-called deal seems ludicrous. And for his State Department to then say it’s not legally binding? Just what assurances did Obama think he was getting from the Iranians to even make the guarantees he made and his numerous statements defending this deal?
Here’s the letter obtained by the NRO:
More evidence that Hillary Clinton used Sidney Blumenthal as her advisor has come to light as new State Department emails have emerged, despite her testimony that Blumenthal was never her advisor:
FOX NEWS – Newly released emails conflict with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 11-hour testimony before the Benghazi Select Committee, according to a review of the transcripts and public records.
One of the conflicts involves the role played by Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal.
Regarding the dozens of emails from him, which in many cases were forwarded to her State Department team, Clinton testified: “He’s a friend of mine. He sent me information he thought might be of interest. Some of it was, some of it wasn’t, some of it I forwarded to be followed up on. He had no official position in the government. And he was not at all my adviser on Libya.”
But a newly released email from February 2011 shows Blumenthal advocated for a no-fly zone over Libya, writing, “U.S. might consider advancing tomorrow. Libyan helicopters and planes are raining terror on cities.” The email was forwarded by Clinton to her deputy chief of staff Jake Sullivan with the question, “What do you think of this idea?”
A second email from former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in March 2011 also advocated for a no-fly zone, with Blair stating, “Please work on the non-fly zone, or the other options I mentioned. Oil prices are rising, markets are down. We have to be decisive.”
In the end, Clinton advocated for the no-fly zone and was able to gather support within the Obama administration to implement it.
In another email from March 5, 2012, Clinton appears to use Blumenthal as what is known in intelligence circles as a “cut out,” a type of intermediary to gather information, allowing the policymaker plausible deniability. In this case, the emails focused on the increasingly chaotic and fragmenting political landscape in Libya after dictator Muammar Qaddafi was removed from power.
In the one-page document, Blumenthal writes that Jonathan Powell, a former senior British government adviser to Blair, is “trying to replicate what we did in Northern Ireland by setting up secret channels between insurgents and government, and then, where appropriate, developing these negotiations.” This type of backchannel discussion helped bring about the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement in Northern Ireland.
Clinton responded two hours later. “I’d like to see Powell when he’s in the building,” with her staff responding, “Will follow up.” In both instances, Clinton’s actions further undercut sworn testimony to the Select Committee that Blumenthal was “not at all my adviser on Libya.”
Hey nothing to see here. Hillary had a great week, so said the media, when Republicans grilled her and exposed that she lied about Benghazi. So that’s what matters here, not getting to the truth.
So move along.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server to conduct official diplomatic business created many national security problems, but they may pale by comparison with the wreckage she left behind in her department’s main digital information security office.
Harold W. Geisel, the State Department’s acting Inspector General, issued eight scathing audits and investigation reports during Clinton’s tenure, repeatedly warning about worsening problems and growing security weaknesses within the Bureau of Information Resource Management, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation.
Geisel’s critical comments about the deficiencies throughout IRM carry additional weight since he was not considered an “independent” IG. Watchdog groups noted Geisel had served as a U.S. Ambassador for Hillary’s husband, President Clinton, and had never been confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
In fact, President Obama did not nominate an IG to the State Department during Clinton’s entire term. It was only in September 2013 that the Senate finally confirmed Geisel’s successor, Steve Linick, who currently occupies the the post.
After Clinton left the State Department in 2013, Linick quickly undertook remedial action to save the IRM. Barely two months after his Senate confirmation, he issued a “management alert” to State Department leadership, warning that IRM’s languishing security deficiencies since 2010 were still there.
“The department has yet to report externally on or correct many of the existing significant deficiencies, thereby leading to continuing undue risk in the management of information,” Linick said.
A spokesman for the Clinton campaign did not respond Sunday to a request for comment.
Clinton put Bryan Pagliano, her 2008 presidential campaign IT director, in the IRM in early 2009 as a “strategic advisor” who reported to the department’s deputy chief information officer. Pagliano had no prior national security experience or a national security clearance.
One of Pagliano’s jobs while working at the IRM was overseeing Clinton’s private email account and server. He recently refused to testify before Congress about his work for Clinton, citing his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
The IRM was established in 2002 by then-Secretary of State Colin Powell after the 9/11 Commission identified failure among government agencies like the FBI, CIA, Department of Defense and the State Department to exchange anti-terrorist intelligence. Powell and his successor, Condeleeza Rice, built the IRM to ensure secure communications among all U.S. embassies and consulates.
As Clinton entered the State Department, the IRM was the central hub for all of the department’s IT communication systems.
Geisel explained IRM’s primary role in one report, noting its “personnel are responsible for the management and oversight of the department’s information systems, which includes the department’s unclassified and classified networks” and “handles all aspects of information security for the department’s intelligence systems.”
Clinton instead allowed the IRM to degenerate into an office without a mission or strategy, according to multiple IG reports issued during and after her four years as the nation’s chief diplomat.
The seriousness of Clinton’s failure was summarized in a 2012 audit that warned, “the weakened security controls could adversely affect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information and information systems” used by U.S. officials around the world.
Geisel’s July 2013 inspection report issued after Clinton’s departure was so damning that the IRM became the butt of caustic comments throughout the IT world.
Network World, an IT review site, for example, headlined one of its articles on the issue with “FAIL: Your Tax Dollars at Play: the US State Department’s Bureau of Information of Resource Mis-Management.” The article charged that the IRM had become “a total joke.”
Another news outlet told its readers that the editors would “like to be able to tell you what the IRM does, but a new report from the Office of Inspector General concludes that it doesn’t really do anything.”
IRM “is evidently an aimless, over-funded LAN party with no real boss or reason to exist,” concluded reporter Jordan Brochette when the 2013 IG report was released.
Scott Amey, general counsel for the Project on Government Oversight, reviewed the IG reports for DCNF and concluded that “State’s IT security record is littered with questionable management, insecure systems, poor contract oversight, and inadequate training. The State IG’s reviews show a pattern of significant deficiencies and few, if any, corrections.”
Geisel issued his first audit of IRM in November 2009, eight months into Clinton’s term. It also was the first audit issued after Pagliano arrived at the bureau. Geisel identified many serious IT security deficiencies that year. Unfortunately, most of the problems would continue to be uncorrected throughout Clinton’s term.
One troubling observation early in Clinton’s secretaryship was that the IG found the State Department and even embassy chiefs of mission suffering from a lack of IT security training, including the lack of “security awareness training.”
The lack of IT security awareness by top State Department officials may partly explain why Clinton and her top aides saw no problems with the use of a personal email server.
Geisel also warned in late 2009 that at the IRM, he found “there were no Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for managing IT-related security weaknesses.”
In an audit about IRM in February 2010, the IG reviewed how well IRM officials were implementing Secretary Rice’s 2007 modernization and consolidation progam.
It was in this 2010 audit that the first hints emerged of poor management at the IRM. Geisel concluded the bureau’s leadership failed to satisfy vulnerable IRM field staff deployed at embassies and consulates. He called them IRM’s “customers.”
The IG “found a significant level of customer dissatisfaction among bureaus about the quality and timeliness of IT services after consolidation.”
In November 2010 Geisel issued yet another warning about shortcomings within IRM. In this report, the IG repeated that IRM “needed to make significant improvements” to address “security weaknesses,”
Once again, he emphasized that IRM had failed in providing mandatory “security awareness training” to all top security personnel. He also noted a failure to require all contractors to undergo mandatory security authorization.
“The department did not identify all employees who had significant security responsibilities and provide specialized training,” the IG charged.
The IG discovered other worrisome problems in 2010. It found officials failed to provide corrective patches for security problems in a third of the cases examined by his office. The IG also pointed to more than 1,000 “guest” IT accounts within the department’s IT systems that could provide entry paths for hackers.
Geisel further reported that the IRM had 8,000 unused email accounts and that department officials never changed the passwords on 600 active email embassy and consulate accounts.
There were also “24 of 25 Windows systems tested [that] were not compliant with the security configuration guidance.”
The damning IG reports continued in July 2011 when Geisel detailed serious problems afflicting a new IRM program called eDiplomacy that Clinton unveiled earlier that year.
Geisel was blunt: “eDiplomacy lacks a clear, agreed-upon mission statement that defines key goals and objectives. With the absence of performance measurement process, management has few means to evaluate, control, budget, and measure the success of its projects.”
Geisel painted an alarmingly negative assessment in a November 2011 audit on the IRM’s overall information security program. Specific details were redacted but the report warned for the first time of “additional security breaches,” saying “we identified weaknesses that significantly impact the information security program controls. If these control weaknesses are exploited, the department could be exposed to additional security breaches. Collectively, these control weaknesses represent a significant deficiency.”
If the breaches weren’t quickly fixed, the consequences would be harmful to “the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information and information systems.”
The IG noted in this 2011 audit that a relatively new program called OPNET suffered from nearly 10,000 defective user accounts that could be breached by hackers.
Geisel also identified another flaw in the audit – the failure of IRM officials to do “continuing monitoring” of Oracle for “control weaknesses.” Oracle is the department’s most widely used internal database management system.
A November 2012 audit repeated the earlier IG audi that with the mounting IRM deficiencies, “the department could experience security breaches. Collectively, the control weaknesses represent a significant deficiency, as to enterprise-wide security.”
The same report again pointed out that, under Clinton, IRM “had not fully taken corrective action to remediate all of the control weaknesses identified in the FY 2011 report. The weakened security controls could adversely affect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information and information systems.”
The November 2012 report again noted that training lagged and at times was non-existent. Among the positions that had not received IRM training were the department’s Chief of Mission, a deputy assistant secretary, information management specialists, information technology specialists and security engineers.
Again Geisel noted that within the bureau,“we found that all 46 employees had not taken the recommended role-based security-related training course in the [six month] time-frame, as recommended in the Information Assurance Training Plan.”
Another area of repeated failure was risk management. “The department’s risk management program for information security needs improvement at the system level.”
Geisel’s final – and most denunciatory – report on the IRM was issued in July 2013 and focused on Clinton’s final year in the department.
The report said that after years of deteriorating service, the IRM no longer performed a vital role in the department, with many of its duties usurped by other offices or simply ignored. The bureau “does not have a lead role in most of the functions it does perform and, for the most part, only compiles information generated by others,” Geisel concluded.
The IRM “does not have a mission statement outlining a vision for the office,” and “no document provides a clear connection between the work of IRM and the high-level goals outlined by the Chief Information Officer in the department’s IT Strategic Plan for FYs 2011-13.”
Under Clinton’s watch, new technologies and even social media were ignored by IRM, Geisel said, in the 2013 report that, “IRM policies do not mention the latest technologies and efforts within the department. For example, there is little mention and guidance for handling social media.”
And after four years under Clinton, the systems overseen by the IRM were still not considered user friendly.
“System owners described IRM tools as difficult to use and not user-friendly. Many commented that the tools would lock up while entering content, requiring information to be reentered. System owners attempted to share their frustrations with IRM, but to no avail.”
Perhaps Geisel’s most surprising criticisms, however, were that the “IRM is not engaged with IT strategic planning in the department,” and many of the department’s IT regulations had not been updated since 2007.
The State Department IG also compiled five classified audits of the IRM during Clinton’s tenure that were never made public.
The career bureaucrat who the State Department tapped on Tuesday to improve transparency at the agency as it deals with the Hillary Clinton email scandal recently donated the maximum amount allowed under federal law to the Democrat’s presidential campaign.
Janice Jacobs will work to improve the State Department’s processing of Freedom of Information Act requests and overhaul its record-keeping practices, the agency announced.
But Federal Election Commission records show that she donated $2,700 to Clinton’s campaign on June 22.
Along with Clinton, the State Department has come under fire for the former secretary of state’s email arrangement. The agency has been faulted for allowing Clinton and some of her aides to use the off-the-books email arrangement, which allowed her to flout FOIA requests and other inquiries.
Jacobs was appointed to former President George W. Bush to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Senegal and Guinea-Bissau from April 2006 to June 2007. She served as assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs from June 2008 to April 2014.
State Department spokesman John Kirby said on Tuesday that Jacobs will report directly to Sec. of State John Kerry and to Heather Higgenbottom, the deputy secretary for management.
The latest batch of Hillary Clinton emails set to be released by the State Department Monday evening include 150 which contain now-classified information, a spokesman for the agency has confirmed.
Through two mass releases so far – one in June and another last month – the State Department retroactively classified 63 emails Clinton sent or received during her tenure as secretary of state.
That’s in addition to several others which the Intelligence Community inspector general discovered contained information that was classified as “top secret” at the time they were sent.
During a daily press briefing Monday afternoon, State Department spokesman Mark Toner confirmed that approximately 150 of the 7,000 emails that will be released contain information that has been “upgraded” to classified. He said that while State Department staffers are still processing the emails before publishing them online Monday night, none of the emails are believed to contain information that was classified at the point of origination.
Toner said that the new release puts the State Department ahead of a schedule mandated by a federal judge in May.
“We’re producing more documents than we have in the previous three releases,” said Toner. U.S. district court judge Rudolph Contreras ordered the agency to release Clinton’s emails on a graduated schedule at the end of each month.
Clinton has downplayed the existence of classified information in her 30,000-plus emails. When the scandal over her use of a private email account and private server first broke in March, she maintained that none of her emails contained classified information. She has since altered that claim by saying that none of the emails that traversed her server contained information that was marked classified when originated.