Distinction in travel journalism
Is independent travel journalism important to you?
Click here to keep it independent

13 Aug, 2015

U.S. Security Experts Demand Immediate Suspension of Security Clearances for Hillary Clinton and staff members

ALEXANDRIA, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–August 12, 2015 — Scott Taylor, President of Special Operations Education Fund (OPSEC), announced today that OPSEC is again calling upon Secretary of State John Kerry to immediately suspend any and all security clearances presently held by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; her former Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills, her former Deputy Chief of Staff, Jake Sullivan and her advisor Huma Abedin until final adjudication of any violations of national security regulations or laws.

On August 5th, OPSEC called on Secretary Kerry to suspend the clearances. We have had no response to our request nor do we see evidence that the Secretary has moved to protect the national interest despite the headline-generating news that Mrs. Clinton’s personal email system contained Top Secret Sensitive Compartmented Information. http://opsecteam.org/download/080315_Letter.pdf

“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. 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.”

Taylor stated that “OPSEC knows that protecting classified and other sensitive information from unauthorized disclosure and hostile hacking is absolutely critical to our national security. The lives and effectiveness of the Special Operations and Intelligence communities depend on it.”

Recent confirmation by I. Charles McCullough III, Inspector General for the Director of National Intelligence, that emails stored and transmitted on her personal server contained top secret and higher levels of classified information demonstrates there were egregious violations of laws and regulations, including at least one federal criminal statute (Title 18 USC 1924: Unlawful removal and storage of classified information “without authority and with the intent to retain such documents or materials at an unauthorized location) which required referral to the FBI Counterterrorism Division and the Department of Justice.

“We are perplexed by the failure of Secretary Kerry to suspend immediately the clearance or all parties involved with Mrs. Clinton’s server,” continued Taylor. “We again call on Secretary Kerry to immediately suspend any and all clearances held by former Secretary Clinton and any other former or current State Department employees or contractors who used the private email server or transmitted information using any email addresses associated with that server.”

OPSEC is a non-partisan grassroots advocacy organization of former members of Special Operations Forces and the Intelligence Community. OPSEC is focused on protecting U.S. Special Operations Forces and national intelligence assets from political exploitation, misguided policies, and intentional misuse of classified information, all of which expose them and their families to greater risk and reduce their ability to keep Americans safe. More information about OPSEC can be found at www.OpSecTeam.org.