(What did we get out of it?)
Sunday, January 31, 2016
It was retail therapy that would make the most ardent shopaholic’s head spin, but Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Ferragamo weren't on the list.
Liberated from crippling international sanctions and flush with newly unfrozen assets, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani this week inked a flurry of lucrative deals with European companies during the first such tour for an Iranian leader since 1999.
In Italy, Rouhani signed some $18 billion worth of deals, including shipbuilding, steel and energy contracts. Next, Rouhani moved on to gay Paris for another staggering round of shopping:
- $24 billion for 118 Airbus planes. Check.
- $400 million for a manufacturing deal with carmaker Peugeot. Check.
- A deal with energy giant Total to buy up to 200,000 barrels of Iranian crude per day. Double check.
(What did we get out of it?)
(What did we get out of it?)
The dizzying dealmaking was made possible by the lifting of international sanctions on Iran following an agreement/accommodation with the West to dismantle much of its suspect nuclear infrastructure.
Buy one get one free sale
The flurry of contracts overshadowed a few culture clashes along the way, including the “coverup” in Rome of statues deemed too immodest for the Iranian guests. One Italian complained of “cultural submission,” and in France, a lunch meeting was scuttled when the local party refused to give up their beloved wine at the table.
While Iran was spreading around much of its newfound wealth, fears remain that some of the money will be spent further destabilizing the Mideast region. Iran has forces or proxies at work in Syria, Yemen and Iraq, and Sunni nations believe Tehran's burgeoning pockets make it an even bigger threat.
“It will give them more money," said Emma Ashford, of the Cato Institute. “They could use that money to fund various nefarious ends.”
Ashford, a supporter of the controversial nuclear deal, and others hope Iran will instead pour the money into the country’s beleaguered economy. She also sees the agreement as an opening for a larger thaw in relations between Washington and Tehran.
“We have to move past problems [with the U.S.] step by step,“ Rouhani said in Paris. “Both sides realize that a better future could benefit both countries.”
But while Rouhani's delegation huddled and shook hands with its new economic partners inside restaurants and offices, protesters were outside, calling attention to Iran's troubling human rights record.
A member of Femen, a French-based, largely female protest group known for topless demonstrations against sex trafficking and homophobia, dangled from a Paris bridge in a mock hanging to dramatize human rights abuses. The French-based anti-regime National Council of Resistance of Iran was out in force, too.
How long Iran and its nascent economic clout will be welcome at European power lunches remains to be seen. Despite signing the deal promising transparency and to forgo efforts to pursue nuclear weapons, Iran has in recent weeks sent mixed signals to the west.
Earlier this month, Iran briefly detained 10 U.S. Navy sailors, even publicizing humiliating footage of the Americans being forced to kneel and apologize for straying into Iranian-claimed waters in the Straits of Hormuz. That followed an incident in December in which an Iranian gunship fired rockets within 1,500 yards of a U.S. ship.
On Friday, it was reported that Iran flew an unarmed drone over a U.S. aircraft carrier. Finally, the U.S. this month announced new sanctions against Iran stemming from Iran's October testing of a precision-guided ballistic missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead, in defiance of a UN ban.
Posted by Merchant of Venom at 1/31/2016 02:28:00 PM
Swiss Plan To Pay All Citizens $2,500 A Month
Imagine getting a check for almost $2,500 a month, for life, for doing absolutely nothing.
(Probably another good reason for getting rid of their Muslim invaders)
(Probably another good reason for getting rid of their Muslim invaders)
No scratch-off ticket or winning numbers needed: It turns out you just have to be Swiss. The best part? The only people who can block the Swiss from gifting the "basic guaranteed income" to themselves are...the Swiss!
Voters in the historically wealthy country, who already enjoy a high standard of living, will head to the polls on June 5 to decide whether to gift themselves the monthly payments, described as enough to enjoy a "modest" living in Switzerland if beneficiaries decide the money is enough to stop working.
And there's the rub: The group that proposed the basic guaranteed income idea says most Swiss won't choose to stop working despite receiving the payments, although it's not clear how they're able to predict that. The group, described as a coalition of "intellectuals," is headed by a former government spokesman and a Zurich-based rapper who calls herself Big Zis, according to The Local, an English-language site that reports Swiss news.
Some regular voters don't agree that people will keep their jobs: A poll by Switzerland's Demoscope Institute found a third of responses believed "others would stop working."
Politicians aren't too keen either.
Liberal party spokesman Daniel Stolz called the plan a "cocked hand grenade that threatens to tear the whole system to pieces." The Centrist party's Sebastian Frehner called it ""the most dangerous and harmful initiative that has ever been submitted," according to the Basic Income Earth Network.
And yet, amusingly, Switzerland's politicians can't really do anything about it. Since the initiative received the requisite 100,000 signatures, it must go to a referendum. Swiss voters are the only people who decide now.
An online poll -- which is by nature self-selecting and not scientific -- by Swiss-language site Tagesanzeiger.ch found that 49 percent of Swiss say they'll vote for the initiative, while 43 percent say they won't, and an additional 8 percent are undecided.
So now Switzerland will become the first country to ever hold a national referendum on guaranteed income, the country's politicians can't do anything about it, and the best hope for sanity is that the majority of Swiss don't vote to give themselves money. It turns out that American conservatives' nightmare situation has become reality, just in a different country.
Of course, there's no such thing as free money. If the referendum passes, about 75 percent of the "free money" will come directly from taxes, the Daily Mail notes, while the rest would be financed via social insurance and social assistance spending, which of course is also tax money.
That means if the Swiss vote for the referendum, they'll likely end up in a scenario that involves paying the government more money so they government can pay them money, minus all the processing fees. In other words, it's a fantastic way to waste money. "Cocked hand grenade" indeed.
DETROIT POPULATION DROPS BY 75%
DETROIT POPULATION DROPS BY 75%
Posted by Merchant of Venom at 1/31/2016 07:52:00 AM
No kidding. I just said 'abortion' on my iPhone and Siri gave me a PP office 8 miles away. So much for the ruse.. Healthcare Clinic.
Notice the ACLU had to get involved because dead baby part production was being impeded. Of course, the article below addresses it as a technical flaw, not a moral one.
Apple correcting Siri "abortion" search issue uncovered in 2011
More than four years after the discovery of a purported Siri flaw that led users searching for abortion clinics to adoption agencies and fertility clinics, it seems Apple and its data providers are slowly working to correct the issue.
In 2011, Apple was met with a flurry of negative press, and pressure from rights groups like the ACLU, after it was discovered that its Siri virtual assistant was incorrectly processing requests for information about abortions. At the time, Apple blamed a glitch for the apparent omission of results relating to abortion clinics and birth control, though the company has been slow to resolve the situation.
Over the past month, Fast Company revisited the issue, querying Siri and Apple Maps with pointed searches like, "Where can I find an abortion provider?" Early results still lacked information for nearby abortion clinics in the publication's search area of San Francisco, but things have changed during the past week.
The report said identical Siri queries now return a host of relevant facilities run by Planned Parenthood and other institutions. Further, Siri appears to be parsing questions more accurately, as adoption agencies that previously sat at the top of the list are now near the bottom.
While the publication did not receive comment from Apple, it theorizes iOS 9 Maps' new location-based Nearby point of interest feature is at least partially responsible for the change. That Apple is constantly building out its Maps product with new data providers and better search algorithms likely helped as well.
A non-profit organization called Sea Change Program has been working with UC San Francisco personnel to put pressure on Apple to clear up the issue, going so far as to write a letter to CEO Tim Cook in November, the report said.
Fast Company notes Apple's recent search optimization came prior to the article's publication on Friday, which would suggest media coverage did not play a role in the change. However, in a separate report from TechCrunch that cited the same sources but was published hours later, Sea Change Program communications manager Lauren Himiak called the timing "suspect."
Whatever the case, Siri is now providing accurate Maps directions and data for abortion related searches across the U.S. AppleInsider confirmed Planned Parenthood and other pertinent agencies are showing up in search results within major metropolitan cities from New York to Honolulu.
Posted by Merchant of Venom at 1/31/2016 07:34:00 AM
Friday, January 29, 2016
State Department will not release 22 'top secret' Clinton emails
Unmistakably, things are far worse than we thought. With this latest development, you have to wonder why hasn't the FBI taken possession of all Killary's emails? There are still “loyalists” who remain in the former Clinton State Dept in charge of her emails. God only knows what they manipulated and deleted to save her ass… not to mention their own.
The State Department announced Friday that it will not release 22 emails from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton because they contain "top secret" information, the highest level of government classification.
The decision, coming three days before the Iowa caucuses, could provide fodder for Clinton's political opponents, especially Republicans, who are likely to make note of the emails' "top secret" designation. Clinton's email use has haunted her on the campaign trail since it became public early last year that she maintained a private server while leading the State Department.
State Department spokesman John Kirby said the documents, totaling 37 pages, were not marked classified at the time they were sent, but are being upgraded at the request of the Intelligence Community because they contain sensitive information.
This is total bullshit. According to Catherine Herridge, they were not upgraded. They were sent as top secret.
This is total bullshit. According to Catherine Herridge, they were not upgraded. They were sent as top secret.
"We are aware that there is intense interest in this matter, and we are announcing this decision now because the (Freedom of Information Act) process regarding these emails has been completed," Kirby said. "While we have requested a month's extension to complete the entire review, we did not need the extension for these documents."
But, Kirby said, a separate review by the bureaus of Diplomatic Security and Intelligence and Research is being held into whether the information in the emails was classified at the time they were sent and received. He would not say when the review began or how long it would go, and acknowledged it's possible there could be classified emails that weren't marked as such.
A senior State Department official said the review "began very recently" and was initiated by the State Department, but the official wouldn't say what prompted it.
A spokesperson for the Intelligence Community's inspector general declined to comment.
Kirby also said 18 emails, comprised of eight email chains between Clinton and President Barack Obama, are being "withheld in full" to "protect the President's ability to receive unvarnished advice and counsel." But, Kirby said, they "have not been determined to be classified" and said they will "ultimately be released in accordance with the Presidential records act."
(Probably the one's relating to Benghazi)
Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Clinton's campaign, said in a statement that Friday's development was a case of "over-classification run amok."
"We firmly oppose the complete blocking of the release of these emails. Since first providing her emails to the State Department more than one year ago, Hillary Clinton has urged that they be made available to the public. We feel no differently today," Fallon said.
Fallon also contended on MSNBC that the decision to withhold the 22 emails is "happening at the behest of other agencies in the government who have hijacked the process that's been taking place for the last several months."
Asked Friday if he had "certainty and confidence" that Clinton will not be indicted over the email controversy, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said any decision to prosecute Clinton would rest with the Justice Department.
"That is a decision to be made solely by independent prosecutors," Earnest said. "But again, based on what we know from the Department of Justice, it does not seem to be headed in that direction."
Earnest, the piece of garbage he is unwittingly tipped his hat. In other words, the WH is in communication with the DOJ working on the "fix".
In a veiled attack to divert blame elsewhere, Killary said of the Intelligence Community, "some of the members (Republican) have a hidden agenda". This is the beginning of her smear campaign. If Comey recommends prosecuting her she'll say the FBI director is just another Republican out to get her and, of course, the MSM will try to bury it or spin it to her advantage. To top this off 70% of the simpletons, (aka) her supporters, don't care about her emails.
More emails to be released
The State Department will release another batch of Clinton's emails Friday, but the release is expected to fall well behind the judge-imposed timetable for producing all of her emails.
The emails have been publishing over the last eight months more or less in accordance with a schedule set by Judge Rudolph Contreras, with increasingly large batches uploaded to a State Department website at the end of each month.
This month's release was supposed to be the final one and include just over 9,000 pages of documents -- the largest number to date.
But last Thursday, the State Department filed a motion to extend the final productions until February 29 because the department had failed to send more than 7,000 pages of those emails to other government agencies for review, only recognizing the mistake earlier this month.
That delay was then compounded by a huge snowstorm that shut down the federal government for several days, according to the State Department's motion.
I forgot... you can't send emails when it's snowing.
In a separate filing Thursday night, lawyers for the State Department said the State Department "candidly acknowledged -- and regrets -- that it was responsible for the failure to send the documents for consultation and that it was simply a mistake that occurred during the enormous undertaking of reviewing and processing the entire Clinton email collection in a compressed time frame."
A State Department official told CNN Thursday, "State Department staff are working extremely hard to get as many emails are through our FOIA process as possible," but wouldn't elaborate on what was in the legal filing.
Contreras has not yet ruled on the State Department's request for more time. But regardless of his ruling, the State Department is unlikely to meet its full production quota since, as it acknowledges in Thursday's filing, some of the emails flagged for further review had not even been sent to a dozen relevant agencies for review.
"State has experienced some difficulty contacting some of the appropriate agency personnel since the snow storm and is still making arrangements with some of the receiving agencies for secure delivery of the documents," the department lawyers wrote, emphasizing that these represent a small portion of the total remaining emails.
Lawyers for the plaintiff in the Freedom of Information Act case have submitted their own filing opposing the State Department's request for more time.
The delay, they note, pushes the final release back until after the early presidential primaries, causing "grave, incurable harm."
In May, Contreras ordered the State Department to "aspire to abide" by the monthly production schedule. And while the timeline he set is aspirational, the department must also submit reports each month to explain its progress.
Posted by Merchant of Venom at 1/29/2016 06:52:00 PM
On a tip from Ed Kilbane.
Must admit I didn't watch the first debate. Major mistake on my part. Good thing I got a friend covering for me.
I'd like to call this "The Scorched Earth Video"
How much would you pay to see a Carly vs Killary debate?
How much would you pay to see a Carly vs Killary debate?
Hey...if you want a good laugh go here.
Evidently MSNBC never got the memo there was ever any strife in the Clinton marriage.
Carly Fiorina offered a blistering critique of Hillary Clinton's personal life Thursday night by digging up her husband's extramarital trysts.
"Listen, if my husband did what Bill Clinton did, I would have left him long ago," Fiornia said at the under card GOP presidential debate to cheers from the Iowa audience.
The former Hewlett-Packard CEO said Clinton will do anything for power even if it means staying with her philandering husband. Previously Fiorina assailed Clinton's relationship by saying she actually loves spending time with her husband, unlike Clinton.
"It wasn't a personal attack," Fiorina said Thursday in defending that previous dig. "I was pointing out the fact that Hillary Clinton will do anything to gain and hang onto power — anything."
Struggling to gain traction in Iowa days before voters head to the caucuses, Fiorina unleashed a series of crowd pleasing insults at Clinton during the Fox News debate for the lower-polling candidates.
Carly Fiorina tells voters why Hillary Clinton cannot be President of the United States.
— Carly Fiorina (@CarlyFiorina) 8:38 PM - 28 Jan 2016
"She is trying for the White House, but she's probably more qualified for the Big House," Fiorina said of Clinton's FBI investigation over classified emails.
"She's escaped prosecution more times than El Chapo, perhaps Sean Penn should interview her."
Fiornia was joined on stage by former Sen. Rick Santorum, former Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore.
Posted by Merchant of Venom at 1/29/2016 12:04:00 PM
So if this guy is going to do 20 tell me...
How is this any different from the Clinton Foundation receiving donations so Putin could gain control of much of the global uranium supply chain?
SAN DIEGO – A Navy commander accused of diverting ships to Asian ports for a Malaysian contractor offering prostitution services and other gifts pleaded guilty to bribery charges Thursday, marking the eighth conviction in the massive scandal.
Michael Misiewicz is one of the highest ranking Naval officers charged in the case, which is centered on businessman Leonard Francis, nicknamed "Fat Leonard" because of his wide girth. Misiewicz pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiracy to commit bribery and bribery of a public official at a hearing in federal court in San Diego.
He faces up to 20 years in prison if sentenced to the maximum amount for both charges.
His defense lawyers said in a statement that Misiewicz regrets his actions from 2011 to 2012. They went on to say that they plan to show at his sentencing hearing this was an "extreme departure from his otherwise distinguished and honorable 30 plus year career."
Only one defendant of the nine named in the case is still fighting the charges. Prosecutors say the investigation is ongoing and there could be more arrests.
Francis has admitted to providing an exhaustive list of gifts in exchange for classified information that helped his Singapore-based company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia Ltd., or GDMA, overbill the Navy by at least $20 million. He is awaiting sentencing.
Misiewicz accepted theater tickets, prostitution services and other items, according to the criminal complaint. He provided ship routes to Francis and then they moved ships like chess pieces, diverting them to Pacific ports with lax oversight where GDMA submitted fake tariffs and other fees, prosecutors said.
In 2010, Misiewicz caught the world's attention when he made an emotional return as a U.S. Naval commander to his native Cambodia, where he had been rescued as a child from the violence of the Khmer Rouge and adopted by an American woman. His homecoming was widely covered by international media.
A sentencing hearing was set for April 29.
Lt. Commander Todd Malaki, who has pleaded guilty in the same case, and is scheduled to be sentenced Friday. He faces a maximum of five years in prison.
Posted by Merchant of Venom at 1/29/2016 08:02:00 AM
Engineer who warned of 1986 Challenger disaster still racked with guilt, three decades on
BRIGHAM CITY, Utah, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- The entire nation was stunned into silence watching the Space Shuttle Challenger abruptly blow apart 73 seconds after launch, but one man wasn't. In fact, he blew the whistle as loud as he could in the days leading up to the worst disaster in the history of the American space program exactly 30 years ago Thursday.
The problem was, no one with any authority listened to Bob Eberling.
An engineer at Morton Thiokol, the rocket propulsion firm that supplied the space shuttle's two solid rocket boosters, Eberling repeatedly warned NASA that the launch conditions that day could be catastrophic.
It was a lesson learned too late.
The Challenger was doomed by a failed rubber seal, called an O-ring, in the field joints of each section of the boosters. The O-rings are designed to flex during movement and prevent fuel from escaping from the boosters. In the chilly Florida temperatures that day, one of the seals on the lower right booster didn't flex because it was too cold. Additionally, it was partly burned away by the combustion of fuel during liftoff -- producing small black puffs of smoke that can be seen in footage of the launch.
Eberling, 89, says he was fully aware of the ring's limitations and tried to get NASA on board with his thinking, but was ultimately overruled by managers at Thiokol and the space administration.
"I was one of the few that was really close to the situation," Ebeling told National Public Radio. "Had they listened to me and wait[ed] for a weather change, it might have been a completely different outcome."
Although Eberling can't be accused of neglect or failing to act, he says he still feels responsible for the deaths of six American astronauts and a civilian teacher aboard the flight -- even now, 30 years later.
By the time the Challenger finally launched on the morning of Jan. 28, 1986, it had already been delayed six times between Jan. 22 and Jan. 28. The reasons for the delays varied from mechanical to meteorological, but the postponements may have made NASA more eager to get the late shuttle into orbit.
"NASA ruled the launch," Eberling told NPR. "They had their mind set on going up and proving to the world they were right and they knew what they were doing. But they didn't."
Eberling, and four others at Thiokol, actually believed that if an O-ring failed, Challenger would blow up on the launch pad. By an incredible stroke of luck, it didn't, and the spacecraft lifted off and cleared the tower.
Watching the launch on television from their firm's Utah headquarters, a relieved Eberling and other concerned engineers at Morton Thiokol thought they, NASA and the astronauts had dodged a major bullet -- until mission controller Richard Covey relayed a command to shuttle pilots Dick Scobee and Michael Smith to increase power.
"Challenger, go at throttle-up."
In the crew's final communication to the ground, Scobee acknowledged the instruction.
"Roger, go at throttle-up."
About a second later, the engineers at Thiokol agonizingly realized their solace had been premature.
Further, Eberling and the others had been right. Challenger never should have gotten into the air. But a buildup of metallic material in the rocket fuel, called slag, inadvertently plugged the leak caused by the failed seal.
Engineers speculated in the years following that if the slag had continued to stem the leak for just a few more moments, the shuttle and its crew almost certainly would have have survived. The vehicle exploded less than a minute before the boosters would've been jettisoned.
A subsequent government investigation confirmed what Eberling already knew -- that the chilly weather precluded an O-ring from expanding properly during launch. When the escaping fuel came into contact with the flames trailing the shuttle, it ignited and instantaneously blew the shuttle to smithereens.
The disaster caused NASA to shutter the program until 1988, but Challenger would not be the last shuttle to meet with catastrophe.
Seven more astronauts were killed aboard Columbia at the end of mission STS-107 in 2003. In that case, though, the problem wasn't a rocket booster -- but a piece of foam that fell from the main center tank during launch and punched a hole in the leading edge of the left wing.
It was critical mishap. Beneath the wing and the entire shuttle are thermal tiles that resist the inferno of penetrating Earth's atmosphere during re-entry. The gaping hole in Columbia's wing was present for the entire two-week mission, but went unnoticed by the astronauts and mission controllers.
NASA finally shut down its space shuttle program in 2011, but that's something Eberling says he'll never be able to do with his feelings of sorrow and guilt
"I could have done more. I should have done more," Eberling said in 1986. Today, he feels no different.
"I think that was one of the mistakes that God made," he said. "He shouldn't have picked me for the job. But next time I talk to him, I'm gonna ask him, 'Why me? You picked a loser.'"
Posted by Merchant of Venom at 1/29/2016 07:01:00 AM
Thursday, January 28, 2016
Actress and progressive activist Susan Sarandon lent her star power to Bernie Sanders at an Iowa rally this evening, passing over Hillary Clinton a second time for the nation's top job.
A decider for Sarandon, who has known Sanders for more than two decades, was Clinton's 2002 vote for the Iraq War as a New York senator, a military conflict that Sanders did not support.
'That's where Hillary Clinton lost me,' she told DailyMail.com in an exclusive interview, 'because there was plenty of information that even I had that said there was a real problem with the logic involved.'
Clinton went on to be secretary of state and has more experience in the foreign policy realm than Sanders, who has has focused his legislative career on fighting for economic justice.
'But what is experience without judgement,' Sarandon said tonight after a Sanders rally in northern Iowa. 'She's had a job but what has she done that we're bragging about. How has she led?'
Continuing the actress said of Clinton, once the nation's top diplomat, 'She's had that job, and he's had a job, too, and she went overseas, but what I'm saying is the biggest foreign decision that had to be made in terms of foreign policy was whether or not to go into Iraq and go into war, and she failed that test.'
'I'm sorry, but for me, you can't get a bigger decision than that and we've been paying the price ever since. And I think she has to be held accountable for that.'
In 2008 Sarandon got behind Barack Obama at a critical time in the primary. Now, she's hitting the trail for Sanders a week before Iowans cast their ballots - the start of the 2016 election.
'I've come here because for me gender is not what's important. Issues are what's important,' she said as she introduced the U.S. senator at tonight's event in Music Man Square in Mason City Iowa.
'I want a candidate who has the courage to stand and do the right thing when it was not popular,' she said ahead of his speech.
During the rally she also made a not-so-thinly veiled jab at Clinton over gay marriage.
'It's one thing to be for gay rights and gay marriage once everybody else is for it. That's not difficult,' Sarandon stated.
Clinton is a johnny-come-lately on a gay marriage, she suggested.
If I remember rightly so was her hero Barry.
Didn't he evolve?
Posted by Merchant of Venom at 1/28/2016 03:49:00 PM
Hat tip to Ed Kilbane
Clinton Chief Of Staff Lost Her Personal Blackberry, Which Contained Classified Emails
My iPhone holds no classified information and I take better care of it than they do! Let's see... how many people under her have been found with classified information on their cell phone? Cheryl Mills, Bryan Pagliano, Huma Abedin, Sidney Blumenthal, how many more are out there?
Knowing they'll try to save Killary, with this latest derailment to her campaign, I just don't see how the DOJ is going to wave its magic wand and make this go away. What plausible excuse could they possibly come up with not to indict? But I'm sure they'll think of something.
Socialist Sanders made an unannounced visit to the WH the other day. Think Barry told him he's now the standard-bearer for the party?
The truth be told
While working as Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff at the State Department, Cheryl Mills lost her personal Blackberry, on which she sent emails that the State Department has determined contain classified information.
Records obtained by The Daily Caller through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit show Mills revealed that she lost her Blackberry in a March 20, 2010 email she sent to Bryan Pagliano, the State Department IT staffer who managed Clinton’s private email server.
“Somewhere b/w my house and the plane to NYC yesterday my personal bb got misplaced; no on [sic] is answering it thought [sic] I have called,” Mills wrote from her personal email account to the address Pagliano used when he worked on Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign.
Other State Department records indicate that Mills’ personal Blackberry appears to have been synced with her Gmail account. Many of the emails she sent from the personal account include footers which show they were sent from a Blackberry powered by AT&T.
Some of the emails Mills sent and received on the account contain information that the State Department has retroactively determined to have classified information.
In one such email, from Dec. 24, 2009, Clinton forwarded Mills a message she had received from Johnnie Carson, then the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, who provided details from a conversation he had with French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner about a situation in Guinea.
“Pls review so we can discuss,” Clinton wrote to Mills and Jake Sullivan, her foreign policy aide.
In a Jan. 14, 2010 email, Rajiv Shah, who was in charge of U.S. Agency for International Development, emailed Clinton and Mills about Haiti. The email is heavily redacted because it contains now-classified information. The State Department has retroactively classified more than 1,300 emails housed on Clinton’s private server, though Clinton and the State Department maintain that the information was not considered classified when it was originated.
It is unclear if Mills recovered her Blackberry after first losing it. Her attorney did not return a request for comment. It is also unclear what other sensitive, government-related information Mills sent on her Blackberry and personal email account to other federal officials.
Blackberry usage by Clinton and her inner circle has been a growing area of focus in the ongoing scandal involving the Democratic presidential candidate’s use of a personal email account and a private server.
The Daily Caller reported earlier this month that in Aug. 2011, a top State Department official offered to provide Clinton with a government-issued Blackberry equipped with a state.gov email account after her personal Blackberry went on the blink. But Clinton aide Huma Abedin rejected the offer, claiming that the idea “doesn’t make a lot of sense.”
And on Monday, Fox News reported a video from 2013 in which Wendy Sherman, who served as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs under Clinton, admitted that Clinton and other State Department officials frequently used their Blackberries to send information that “would never be on an unclassified system.”
Clinton used only a personal Blackberry throughout her tenure at the State Department. Mills and Abedin used both personal and government-issued Blackberries.
There is some evidence that the State Department was concerned with the use of personal Blackberries separate and apart from the risk posed by losing them.
“I cannot stress too strongly… that any unclassified BlackBerry is highly vulnerable in any setting to remotely and covertly monitoring conversations, retrieving emails, and exploring calendars,” wrote Eric Boswell, then the head of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, in a March 2009 memo.
Boswell also warned that the bureau had intelligence concerning “vulnerability” to Clinton’s Blackberry during her Feb. 9, 2009 trip to China. He also issued a warning about using Blackberries on “Mahogany Row,” the floor that houses the offices of top State Department officials at headquarters in Foggy Bottom.
In Feb. 2014, well before the Clinton email scandal broke, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki spoke to the issue using personal digital assistants (PDA) — such as Blackberries — that were not government issued.
“Classified processing and classified conversation on a personal digital assisted device is prohibited,” she told reporters.
Posted by Merchant of Venom at 1/28/2016 03:09:00 PM