Glenn Reynolds: Kissinger’s lessons in FOIA evasion – USA Today

Hillary Clinton’s problem is that she isn’t as smart asHenry Kissinger. And I’m not talking about her performance as secretary of State (though I could be) but rather about how she got into her festering, possibly criminal mess with insecure emails and an unauthorized private server.

Henry Kissinger is smart. When he left as secretary of State, he wanted to make sure that his communications (it was phone records then since email didn’t really exist) weren’t available to political enemies under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). That was tricky, since FOIA is supposed to be biased in favor of disclosure, with the presumption being that anything that isn’t exempt by law must be turned over on request, with close calls going to the requester.

To defeat this, Kissinger — without consulting the National Archives or a similar office at the State Department — removed his phone call records from the State Department to the Nelson Rockefeller estate; less than two months later he donated them to the Library of Congress, under agreements that the records would not be made public for many years without the consent of the other parties to the calls, which was unlikely to be forthcoming.

The problem is, Hillary isn’t as smart as Henry Kissinger. She flat-out refused to useState.gov email despite repeated instructions to do so, and the recent State Department Inspector General’s report was damning. As intelligence expert John Schindler writes: “Any foreign intelligence service worth its salt would have had no trouble accessing Ms. Clinton’s emails, particularly when they were unencrypted, as this column has explained in detail. Yet, Hillary was more worried about the American public finding out about what she was up to via FOIA than what foreign spy services and hackers might see in her email.  What she was seeking to hide so ardently remains one of the big unanswered questions in EmailGate. Hints may be found in the recent announcement that Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, the former head of the Democratic National Committee and a longtime Clinton intimate, is under FBI investigation for financial misdeeds, specifically dirty money coming from China.”

The bottom line is that Hillary was more concerned about the American people seeing her emails than foreign intelligence agencies.  Think about that for a moment.

There’s an interesting aside to this whole thing.  On May 25th, the damning Inspector General Report by the State Department on Hillary’s email fiasco was sent to Congress.  An earlier report on this same material was disclosed on January 14th in a letter written by the Intelligence Community Inspector General stating that held within the contents of some of Hillary’s emails on her illegal server were references to SAPs.

SAPs or “Special Access Programs” are the blackest of the black in terms of Black Budget programs.  The article linked above in reference to the Intelligence Inspector General’s letter is the first time I have ever seen a major news source reference SAPs.  SAPs and the even more secretive USAP’s (U is for Unacknowledged) are the most guarded secret programs within the Black Budget.  Many SAPs and almost all USAPs are so secret that no members of Congress are “read in” (ie given information on) to these programs.  Depending on the level of secrecy, they might be funded by the federal black budget if it’s a more “open” SAP/USAP or narco trafficking if the SAP/USAP is highly secretive (relatively speaking).

The chain of command does not apply to SAPs/USAPs.  A Lieutenant might be read into a USAP but the General of his division might not be.  If the General questions the Lieutenant about the USAP or merely the existence of the USAP, the Lieutenant will deny any such program exists.  What makes these USAPs even more impenetrable is the fact that over the past several decades, many of them rest with private industry.  The reason for this is more security.  Documentation on an ultra-black USAP could potentially be revealed by a FOIA request.  But if the bulk of that documentation and program resides with Lockheed, Bechtel, Northrop, etc, then that information is no longer with the Federal Government, it’s private intellectual property of a corporation.  No FOIA for that.   We don’t even know what’s in the Colonel’s secret blend of 11 herbs and spices because of intellectual property law in this country.  Good luck on finding out what those military mega-contractors are doing.

So why did Hillary have access to SAPs and USAPs?  And could it have any connection to one of her other interests?

 

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