FBI Investigation Confirms Hillary Ran a Shadow HUMINT Operation
CIA veteran Kent Clizbe and I authored an extensive analysis and assessment in February on how Hillary Clinton ran a shadow human intelligence (HUMINT) operation while she was Secretary of State. Documents the FBI released on Sep. 2 regarding its investigation into Clinton’s illegal email server partially confirm a key part of what we wrote.
Kent and I noted in, “Hillary Clinton’s Shadow HUMINT Operation,” that Hillary was running an unauthorized HUMINT operation while she was Secretary of State. We noted why this was wrong and how it damaged national security.
Sidney Blumenthal was a key person in the HUMINT operation. We noted that he was providing Hillary with reporting in a format similar to what the U.S. intelligence community uses.
At least a portion of those alleged emails have since been verified to be authentic because the U.S. Department of State officially and lawfully released some of the emails that Mrs. Clinton sent through her private email server. And these authenticated emails prove that the appearance that Mrs. Clinton was receiving privately collected and reported intelligence from Messrs. Blumenthal and Drumheller was reality.
Some of the authenticated emails from Mrs. Clinton’s private server bear a close resemblance to real HUMINT reporting, complete with accompanying operations cables that partially describe their sources. . . .
In short, Secretary of State Clinton had organized and run a private HUMINT operation, with Mr. Blumenthal apparently having served as her de facto Director of Intelligence and Mr. Drumheller apparently having served as her de facto Deputy Director of Operations (DDO) . . . all without the U.S. government officially knowing about it.
On page 26 of the first document the FBI released in September on its investigation into Hillary’s illegal email server it noted the same thing in strikingly similar wording.
According to Blumenthal, the content of the memos, which addressed topics to include Benghazi and foreign political developments, was provided to him from a number of different sources to include former USIC employees and contacts, as well as contacts within foreign governments. The memos contained a notation of “CONFIDENTIAL” and then often included a source summary statement similar to those frequently found in the USIC intelligence products. Blumenthal indicated he was not tasked to provide this information to Clinton; rather, he provided it because he deemed the information helpful, which Clinton occasionally acknowledged via e-mail. Clinton often forwarded the memos to Sullivan asking him to remove information identifying Blumenthal as the originator and to pass the information to other State employees to solicit their input. According to e-mails between Clinton and Sullivan, Clinton discussed passing the information to the White House, other USG agencies, and foreign governments.
Kent and I also noted how irresponsible and damaging to national security it was for Hillary to rely on her unprofessional HUMINT operation.
Collecting and evaluating HUMINT is a time-consuming, labor-intensive and expensive process. There are a lot of things that professional HUMINT collectors … need to verify before they will certify they have solid sources/assets. For instance, a professional HUMINT collector must ask and answer the following questions: How can I verify my source has access to the information they’re giving me? How can I verify that my source’s information is accurate? How do I know my source isn’t being fed false information without him knowing it? How does my source’s information compare with what other sources (human and other intelligence disciplines) reveal? Is my source’s information timely and relevant? What consequences might come to my source and me for receiving and using his information?
In short, HUMINT is difficult to collect and evaluate correctly even when you have the money and resources that only can come from the backing of a government. It’s easy to be fooled even with this level of support.
With this understanding, think about how irresponsible it was for Mrs. Clinton to rely on the information being provided to her by her private, un-vetted shadow HUMINT operation. She had no way of knowing if the intelligence she was receiving from it was accurate. Some of it was accurate (such as the information that terrorists, and not people protesting over the “Innocence of Muslims” video, were responsible for the Benghazi attack) but then again, some of the rumors we all hear are true too. Other information that she received from her shadow HUMINT operation (and of which we don’t yet know about) undoubtedly was inaccurate.
Page 6 of the second document the FBI released on its investigation into Hillary’s illegal email hints at the same damage although in a slightly different and roundabout way.
SIDNEY BLUMENTHAL is a longtime friend of CLINTON who frequently sent information he thought would be useful. CLINTON sometimes read and forwarded the information to appropriate personnel, but in other instances did not have the time to read his email. After reviewing an email dated January 31, 2011 with the subject line “hrc memo intel egypt 013111.docx,” CLINTON stated [REDACTED] was a retired CIA officer, but she had no concerns regarding the sources of the memos being classified. CLINTON viewed the content as journalistic because BLUMENTHAL did not have a clearance and was not in government at that time. CLINTON did not request the memos, but commented BLUMENTHAL is a prodigious writer whose information was sometimes accurate and sometimes not. After reviewing an email dated June 24, 2012 with the subject line “Re: H: Here it is: latest, latest, intel on MB/SCAF inside deal, Sid,” CLINTON commented it was a confusing time in Egypt and State was trying to obtain all of the intelligence it could on Egypt. However, she had no concerns regarding the classification of the email.
So the federal government has officially confirmed a key portion of what Kent and I wrote in our assessment.
Yet Hillary Clinton still has not suffered any legal consequences for her shadow HUMINT operation and remains a leading figure in the Democratic Party.
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