The UNCLASSIFIED Cover Letter

No, this is not a classified document.

It is just a cover letter (below), and when separated from the attachments mentioned in the cover letter, it is UNCLASSIFIED.

No attachments

The cover letter indicates that the attachments in question are former Secretary of State Clinton’s emails sent over the internet.  The intelligence community (IC) analysis shows that some of the emails are classified up to the TOP SECRET//SI//TK//NOFORN level.  What does this mean?  The three classification levels (TOP SECRET, SECRET and CONFIDENTIAL) are ranked in order of the damage that compromise would do to national security.  TOP SECRET is the highest category, and is information that would cause exceptionally grave damage to national security if compromised.

The emails in question are even more sensitive than TOP SECRET with the additional caveats of SI and TK.  You will have to Google those two terms, but you should know that the type of information held to be that level is extremely sensitive.  NOFORN means no foreign nationals can access the information.   I would suggest that anyone holding cabinet rank would realize (or should have realized) that the information should not be sent over unsecure or UNCLASSIFIED email.  She was not the HUD Secretary.  This is a Secretary of State that cannot recognize highly classified information when she sees it.  TOP SECRET//SI//TK//NOFORN level was protected as it if were UNCLASSIFIED.  Was it because she couldn’t recognize the difference, or because she was reckless? Even if the information was not (yet) marked as classified, it should be clear that it is classified at a high level.  At best, we are talking about a “spillage” incident in which classified information is transmitted via a network not accredited for the sensitivity of the information.

Anyone who has ever held a security clearance would likely recoil in “I can’t believe it” horror at the thought of sending TOP SECRET//SI//TK//NOFORN information over the internet.  Then there would be the ugly, ugly repercussions…..

So here is the cover letter to the IC evaluation of those emails.  I downloaded it from Senator Chuck Grassley’s (R-Iowa) Senate website.  Don’t freak out when you see the top and bottom markings.

No attachments

Clinton Server UNCLAS cover letter

Car Alarms: The Sound of Freedom

 

This is not my YouTube video, but through this video you get the key background information for this blog post.  Interestingly enough, there are no car alarms going off in that video (recorded a few years ago).

The video shows the Retreat ceremony conducted at Fort Sill daily at 1700 hours (5pm).  The first bugle call in the video is part of bugle call “Retreat.”

retreat
Retreat

Click the musical score above to go to the Army.mil page where you can play a crisp audio file of the full version of “Retreat.”

It is said that the origins of the “Retreat” bugle call are French, and may well date back to the Crusades.  From “Retreat” to daybreak, sentries would challenge those seeking to make entry into the camp.

Following the cannon, the bugle sound is “To the Color.”  At this point, military personnel render the salute and civilians remove their San Diego Padres baseball caps and place it over their heart.   We hold this salute until the last note of “To the Color” is played.

To the Color
To the Color

As with “Retreat,” click the musical score to go to the Army.mil site to hear a crisp .mp3 audio of “To the Color.”

At Fort Sill, the flag is lowered for “To the Color,” but is immediately hoisted up again.  The national flag flies throughout the night hours with the proper spot light upon it (as the Flag Code says:  “(T)he flag may be displayed 24 hours a day if properly illuminated during hours of darkness”).

In a Time magazine piece dating back a number of years (2010), the sound of car alarms was listed as one of the top 10 most annoying sounds.  Car Alarms came in at #5 in that ranking.  While any other time, those alarms are indeed very annoying (particularly when the owner is not present to turn them off).

At 1700 hours, on Fort Sill, Oklahoma, those car alarms are not annoying.  They are the sound of freedom.

Although the above video did not record the sound of car alarms….the cannon blast causes several of them to go off every day in the Snow Hall parking lot on Fort Sill (just behind from where the video seems to be recorded).  OK, the cannon blast is really the sound of freedom…..aided by the inspiring bugle call…..but the sound of car alarms doing their thing are at least the response to the sound of freedom.

The question for each of us is this:  What is our response to the sound of freedom?

.

 

Pray for Ukraine

3A-Pray-for-Ukraine-pic-24-pwide-bw

Taken in October 2014, this photo appeared in the Lawton Constitution newspaper.  It depicts Snyder, Oklahoma residents Gerald Schulz and Erick Speck after having returned from a trip to the Ukraine.

Today on my way back from prison (at the Oklahoma State Reformatory in Granite, OK) I saw the sign across from the gas station on the north end of Snyder.  I don’t often go that route, but today I did and I needed to stop for gas.  As you can see, the sign is not overly large.  Not that the sign is not visible, but I can say that I did not see it until after I had already stopped across Highway 183.

More recently, Erick Speck returned to the Ukraine delivering knives to help the people of Ukraine to aid in their current struggle with Russia.  Mr. Speck even delivered a custom made knife from Texas to the President of the Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko in Kiev.  This knife carried an inscription from Winston Churchill which read:  “Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.”

For me, the sign carries the subtle reminder that we need to continue to pray for people around the world in great turmoil,  including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, Libya, Nigeria…..and safety for those deployed.  Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

There is a saying:  “Pray as if everything depends on God. Act as if everything depends on you.”   It is attributed to Augustine of Hippo (“Saint Augustine”) but it also appears in Reform Judaism’s Gates of Prayer siddur.  Clearly this adage cuts across faith groups.

So, Pray….and Act.  Whether bringing knives to Ukraine’s gunfight is enough to help, I don’t know.  But, it is a symbolic gesture….an act of Solidarity.

Solidarnosc

May be you blessed in your prayers and acts.

Foreign Influence

Uranium One

Prior to the mid-1990s, one of the security questions asked of candidates for security clearances was whether or not the individual had *ever* used illicit drugs. Ever.  An affirmative answer to this question constituted grounds for denial of a security clearance. This changed, however, during the early years of the Clinton administration. The change? The illicit drugs question changed from “have you ever?” to “within the previous seven years?”
If you recall, this was the era of President Clinton’s plausible deniability: “I didn’t inhale.” I was told (but I can neither confirm nor deny) that the illicit drugs change was made to allow the new President’s administration to be granted security clearances.
Speaking of former President Clinton, here are the adjudication guidelines for determining eligibility for access to classified information with regard to foreign influence.  I happen to think this is fascinating reading, but you may find it a bit dry.

Code of Federal Regulations (annual edition)
Title 32 – National Defense
Subtitle A – Department of Defense
Chapter I – OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
Subchapter C – PERSONNEL, MILITARY AND CIVILIAN
Part 147 – ADJUDICATIVE GUIDELINES FOR DETERMINING ELIGIBILITY FOR ACCESS TO CLASSIFIED INFORMATION
Subpart A – Adjudication
Section 147.4 – Guideline B-Foreign influence
July 1, 2002
Foreign influence.

(a) The concern.

A security risk may exist when an individual’s immediate family, including cohabitants and other persons to whom he or she may be bound by affection, influence, or obligation are not citizens of the United States or may be subject to duress. These situations could create the potential for foreign influence that could result in the compromise of classified information. Contacts with citizens of other countries or financial interests in other countries are also relevant to security determinations if they make an individual potentially vulnerable to coercion, exploitation, or pressure.

(b) Conditions that could raise a security concern and may be disqualifying include:

(1) An immediate family member, or a person to whom the individual has close ties of affection or obligation, is a citizen of, or resident or present in, a foreign country;
(2) Sharing living quarters with a person or persons, regardless of their
citizenship status, if the potential for adverse foreign influence or duress exists;
(3) Relatives, cohabitants, or associates who are connected with any foreign government;
(4) Failing to report, where required, associations with foreign nationals;
(5) Unauthorized association with a suspected or known collaborator or employee of a foreign intelligence service;
(6) Conduct which may make the individual vulnerable to coercion, exploitation, or pressure by a foreign government;
(7) Indications that representatives or nationals from a foreign country are acting to increase the vulnerability of the individual to possible future exploitation, coercion or pressure;
(8) A substantial financial interest in a country, or in any foreign owned or operated business that could make the individual vulnerable to foreign influence.

(c) Conditions that could mitigate security concerns include:

(1) A determination that the immediate family member(s) (spouse, father, mother, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters), cohabitant, or associate(s) in question are not agents of a foreign power or in a position to be exploited by a foreign power in a way that could force the individual to choose between loyalty to the person(s) involved and the United States;
(2) Contacts with foreign citizens are the result of official United States Government business;
(3) Contact and correspondence with foreign citizens are casual and infrequent;
(4) The individual has promptly complied with existing agency requirements regarding the reporting of contacts, requests, or threats from persons or organizations from a foreign country;
(5) Foreign financial interests are minimal and not sufficient to affect the individual’s security responsibilities.

==================================================================
Now, according to the New York Times, here is a timeline of some of the donations to the Clinton Foundation in the article “Donations to the Clinton Foundation, and a Russian Uranium Takeover.”

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/04/23/us/clinton-foundation-donations-uranium-investors.html
“Uranium investors’ efforts to buy mining assets in Kazakhstan and the United States led to a takeover bid by a Russian state-owned energy company. The investors gave millions to the Clinton Foundation over the same period, while Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s office was involved with approving the Russian bid.”
Here are some sections of that NY Times graphic:

NYT_Timeline1

NYT_Timeline2

Were the $31.3M + $8.65M in donations to the Clinton Foundation, followed by the $500K directly to former President Clinton part of a quid pro quo for Mrs. Clinton’s State Department’s vote allowing a Russian state-owned energy company to get control of significant Unites States uranium reserves?

I have to admit:  I do find the Uranium One’s motto to be darkly humorous.  “Investing in our energy.”  Think about it.
Could Mrs. Clinton receive a security clearance? Much of the security investigator’s work has already been done. Reading through the adjudication guidelines on foreign influence, and keeping in mind the high volume of donations to the Foundation and direct payments to the former president, there seems to be enough smoke there to cause further, detailed investigation. If the Clintons and their associates refuse to answer the questions…..or the answers are full of evasion and attempted subterfuge, I think there would be grounds for an unfavorable security determination. Well, if the surname was not “Clinton,” of course…..

Decoration Day

Colonel_FeltsMemorial Day, when those who gave their “last full measure” are to be remembered.
Some history from VA.gov:
“Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans — the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) — established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared that Decoration Day should be observed on May 30. It is believed that date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country.
“The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.
“The ceremonies centered around the mourning-draped veranda of the Arlington mansion, once the home of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Various Washington officials, including Gen. and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, presided over the ceremonies. After speeches, children from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan Home and members of the GAR made their way through the cemetery, strewing flowers on both Union and Confederate graves, reciting prayers and singing hymns.”
To recap, the day started as “Decoration Day,” and was about remembering and decorating the graves of those who had died in the Civil War (widely known south of the Mason-Dixon Line as “the War Between the States” or “the War of Northern Aggression”). It was to be a day of remembrance.
I met then Lieutenant Colonel Tom Felts, Sr., when he was the chief of the III Corps Analysis and Control Element (ACE) at Fort Hood, Texas. He was a very patient man, eager to make every moment as teachable as possible. He also went out of his way to make sure that subordinate units (like mine) were as completely integrated as could be, and that we knew precisely what was expected. He welcomed us to the team completely. I never met his family, and I pretty much only saw him “behind the green door” or in an expando van. Yet, he was a great mentor, and it was also clear to me that whichever room he was in…..he was the smartest guy in the room.
I moved on to a different unit, and I lost track of him.
I didn’t find out until 2007 that he was killed by an improvised explosive device (IED) in Iraq on 14 November 2006. Colonel Felts had volunteered to deploy to Iraq as a Military Transition Team (MiTT) leader, a senior advisor to the Iraqi military, and had been in country since January 2006. When he and his driver were killed by an IED on the streets of Baghdad, he became one of the most senior leaders to be killed during the conflict. He is obviously still missed by his family, but he is also still missed by those whom he mentored.
In memory of Colonel Thomas H. Felts.

The Moscow Victory Parade

SS27 Mod 2

Dateline Moscow, 9 May 2015. Russian Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) rumble through the streets of Moscow as the People’s Republic of China (PRC) soldiers march in the parade.
Did you see that the SS-27 Mod 2 (aka RS-24 Yars) ICBMs were prominent in the World War II Victory Parade held earlier this month in Moscow? They are hard to miss. These are the second in the SS-27 series that are replacing older Soviet-era systems. Some unclassified estimates say that by the end of next year, fully half of the old systems will be retired and replaced by the SS-27 series (fully complete by 2024ish). Unlike the SS-27 Mod 1’s, the SS-27 Mod 2’s are Multiple Independently targetable Reentry Vehicle (MIRV) capable.
If one hadn’t guessed it already with the occupation of Crimea and the continual push to isolate and ultimately re-conquer the Ukraine, Russia is not content to let the United States be the only world power. The systematic modernization of the Russian long range nuclear arsenal should give one pause, of nothing else — pause to ponder about what escalation could possibly bring. Would Europe and the United States go to *that* threshold to keep Ukraine free?

Chinese troops in Moscow
The PRC’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers look quite impressive during the parade. There are Youtube videos of them online, as well as quite a few photographs. The presidents of China, India, Egypt, South Africa and a number of former Soviet Socialist Republics (including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, and Azerbaijan) were present for the occasion. American and European leadership was absent, primarily as a protest over the Ukraine.

Aleksandr_Dugin
Interestingly, this division fits in well with Russian political theorist Aleksandr Dugin’s Neo-Eurasianism and his “4th Political Theory.” While there is not really the space today for a deeper analysis, nor for presenting evidence to show the importance of Mr. Dugin (described as “Putin’s Brain” by Foreign Affairs magazine), Neo-Eurasianism hopes to unite those opposed to what they describe as “the US and its unipolar hegemony” over the world. Dugin predicts that the 21st century will be one of conflict between Eurasianists and Atlanticists (i.e. the USA and its allies around the world). The Neo-Eurasianists hold that only a strong Russia, working together with its allies, can prevail against the Atlanticists.
The World War II victory parade in Moscow may be one more data point towards proving out Mr. Dugin’s prediction.
More to follow……….

Karimov’s Daughter

Gulnara-Karimova-and-Bill-Clinton-Cannes-film-festival-2009
Well, the story has been out there for awhile, but only recently has the Uzbekistan story (or at least a good size portion of the whole story) been pieced together (thanks to Peter Schweizer in “Clinton Cash”).

http://harpers.org/blog/2009/06/clintons-latest-boner-ex-president-poses-with-dictators-daughter/
Back in 2009, Harpers posted a story questioning former President William Jefferson Clinton’s judgment in posing with Gulnara Karimova, daughter of Uzbekistan’s strongman, Islam Karimova.
There were the troubling links with Karimova to the Clinton Foundation and the Russian mafia: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/06/18/googoosha-uzbek-dictator-s-daughter-is-a-disco-queen.html
Now we know some more of the story. Karimova hosted a Clinton Foundation fundraiser in Monaco with the aim of influencing former President Clinton…..in order to gain favor with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Schweizer notes that in a State Department cable, the State Department identifies the rare openness in which access to the Clintons is thought to be a way to boost personal fortunes.  Karimova clearly thought that Hillary could be influenced through Bill and through the Foundation
Since this time, Karimova has fallen out of favor with her father and is under house arrest.
Yet, did Karimov’s daughter knew something back in 2009 that Americans are just beginning to find out?

More to follow………