Archive for National Security

Hillary Clinton Sent Classified Information Over Email While at State Department, Review Finds – Wall Street Journal



WASHINGTON—An internal government review found that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent at least four emails from her personal account containing classified information during her time heading the State Department.

In a letter to members of Congress on Thursday, the inspector general of the intelligence community concluded that Mrs. Clinton’s email contains material from the intelligence community that should have been considered “secret”—the second-highest level of classification—at the time it was sent. A copy of the letter to Congress was provided to The Wall Street Journal by a spokeswoman for the inspector general.

As a result of the findings, the inspector general referred the matter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s counterintelligence division. An official with the Department of Justice said Friday that it had received a referral to open an investigation into the potential mishandling of classified information. Initially, a Justice Department official said Friday morning the investigation was criminal in nature, but the department reversed course hours later without explanation.

“The department has received a referral related to the potential compromise of classified information. It is not a criminal referral,” an official said.

Read more here.


FBI director says Islamic State influence growing in U.S. – USA Today

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

WASHINGTON — In a dramatic assessment of the domestic threat posed by the Islamic State, FBI Director James Comey said Thursday there are “hundreds, maybe thousands” of people across the country who are receiving recruitment overtures from the terrorist group or directives to attack the U.S.

Comey said the Islamic State, also known as ISIL, is leveraging social media in unprecedented ways through Twitter and other platforms, directing messages to the smartphones of “disturbed people” who could be pushed to launch assaults on U.S. targets.

“It’s like the devil sitting on their shoulders, saying ‘kill, kill, kill,”’ Comey said in a meeting with reporters.

The FBI director’s comments come in the midst of a federal investigation into a foiled attack in Garland, Texas, involving two ISIL sympathizers, one of whom, Elton Simpson, was long known to federal authorities.

Comey said Thursday that hours before the attempted Garland attack, FBI agents sent a bulletin to local authorities indicating that Simpson may have been interested in traveling there from Phoenix to attend the conference featuring controversial cartoon depictions of the prophet Mohammed. At the time, Comey said, agents did not have specific information that Simpson had targeted the meeting.

The 30-year-old Simpson and associate Nadir Soofi, 34, were fatally shot by a police officer Sunday night after the pair launched a bungled attack on the conference.

Read complete article here.


Critics pounce after Obama talks Crusades, slavery at prayer breakfast – The Washington Post

Who's side is he on?

Who’s side is he on?

President Obama has never been one to go easy on America.

As a new president, he dismissed the idea of American exceptionalism, noting that Greeks think their country is special, too. He labeled the Bush-era interrogation practices, euphemistically called “harsh” for years, as torture. America, he has suggested, has much to answer given its history in Latin America and the Middle East.

His latest challenge came Thursday at the National Prayer Breakfast. At a time of global anxiety over Islamist terrorism, Obama noted pointedly that his fellow Christians, who make up a vast majority of Americans, should perhaps not be the ones who cast the first stone.

“Humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history,” he told the group, speaking of the tension between the compassionate and murderous acts religion can inspire. “And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”

Some Republicans were outraged. “The president’s comments this morning at the prayer breakfast are the most offensive I’ve ever heard a president make in my lifetime,” said former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore (R). “He has offended every believing Christian in the United States. This goes further to the point that Mr. Obama does not believe in America or the values we all share.”

Obama’s remarks spoke to his unsparing, sometimes controversial, view of the United States — where triumphalism is often overshadowed by a harsh assessment of where Americans must try harder to live up to their own self-image. Only by admitting these shortcomings, he has argued, can we fix problems and move beyond them.

“There is a tendency in us, a sinful tendency, that can pervert and distort our faith,” he said at the breakfast.

But many critics believe that the president needs to focus more on enemies of the United States.

Read complete article via Critics pounce after Obama talks Crusades, slavery at prayer breakfast – The Washington Post.


Obama: Afghanistan won’t be ‘source of terrorist attacks again’ | Fox News


President Obama pledged that Afghanistan will no longer “be a source of terrorist attacks again,” a week before the U.S. is set to end its combat mission in the Middle Eastern nation.

“We’ve been in continuous war now for over 13 years. Next week we will be ending our combat mission in Afghanistan,” Obama told troops in Hawaii late Thursday, celebrating Christmas.

“Because of the extraordinary service of the men and women in the armed forces, Afghanistan has a chance to rebuild its own country,” he said. “We are safer. It’s not going to be a source of terrorist attacks again.”

Though the American combat mission in Afghanistan is nearly completed, at least some troops are scheduled to stay in the nation until the end of 2016.

via Obama: Afghanistan won’t be ‘source of terrorist attacks again’ | Fox News.


Govt: China could take down U.S. power grid –


Washington (CNN) — China and “probably one or two other” countries have the capacity to shut down the nation’s power grid and other critical infrastructure through a cyber attack, the head of the National Security Agency told a Congressional panel Thursday.

Admiral Michael Rogers, who also serves the dual role as head of U.S. Cyber Command, said the United States has detected malware from China and elsewhere on U.S. computers systems that affect the daily lives of every American.

“It enables you to shut down very segmented, very tailored parts of our infrastructure that forestall the ability to provide that service to us as citizens,” Rogers said in testimony before the House Intelligence Committee.

Rogers said such attacks are part of the “coming trends” he sees based on “reconnaissance” currently taking place that nation-states, or other actors may use to exploit vulnerabilities in U.S. cyber systems.

A recent report by Mandiant, a cyber-security firm, found that hackers working on behalf of the Chinese government were able to penetrate American public utility systems that service everything from power generation, to the movement of water and fuel across the country.

Read complete article via Govt: China could take down U.S. power grid –


Working for ICE ‘is Hell right now,’ as Obama plans amnesty for illegals |


Morale among officers at Immigration and Customs Enforcement, already low, has reached a new bottom as illegal immigrants expecting amnesty from President Obama taunt and ridicule the overworked officers, according to a new report.

“Yes,” said one, “working for this agency is Hell right now.”

That was the latest message to immigration policy critic Jessica M. Vaughan, director of policy studies for the Center for Immigration Studies. She has charted the woes of the officers who carry out the president’s orders.

In a new paper, she wrote:

“The president’s gradual, calculated dismantling of our immigration system has caused morale to plummet in the agencies of the Department of Homeland Security. Career immigration officials have courageously objected in public, and sometimes resorted to lawsuits to draw attention to the administration’s subversion of the law. In denial about their principled objections to his scheme, now the president is hoping to stifle their voices by offering them a pay increase as part of this outrageous plan. His assumption that they are motivated by money shows just how little respect he has for the men and women who have devoted their careers to public service in immigration.”

Vaughan told Secrets that she has been concerned about morale in ICE and raised the issue with Homeland Secretary Jeh Johnson.

RELATED: Obama immigration plan keeps up to 5 million from deportation

She said that officers are concerned that illegals with criminal records are being released under Obama’s policies, and that some immigrants taunt the officers, believing that the policies protect them.

“Some have told me that illegal alien criminals they have arrested have even taunted them, saying they know the ICE officers can’t do anything to them because of Obama administration policies,” Vaughan told Secrets.

The officers have raised the issues at “town hall” meetings with their superiors.

Read complete article via Working for ICE ‘is Hell right now,’ as Obama plans amnesty for illegals |


‘Trojan Horse’ Bug Lurking in Vital US Computers Since 2011 – ABC News


National Security sources told ABC News there is evidence that the malware was inserted by hackers believed to be sponsored by the Russian government, and is a very serious threat.

The hacked software is used to control complex industrial operations like oil and gas pipelines, power transmission grids, water distribution and filtration systems, wind turbines and even some nuclear plants. Shutting down or damaging any of these vital public utilities could severely impact hundreds of thousands of Americans.

Hackers Breach White House’s Unclassified Computer Network

DHS said in a bulletin that the hacking campaign has been ongoing since 2011, but no attempt has been made to activate the malware to “damage, modify, or otherwise disrupt” the industrial control process. So while U.S. officials recently became aware the penetration, they don’t know where or when it may be unleashed.

DHS sources told ABC News they think this is no random attack and they fear that the Russians have torn a page from the old, Cold War playbook, and have placed the malware in key U.S. systems as a threat, and/or as a deterrent to a U.S. cyber-attack on Russian systems – mutually assured destruction.

Read complete article via ‘Trojan Horse’ Bug Lurking in Vital US Computers Since 2011 – ABC News.


Putting the ‘O’ in EbOla | National Review Online


Dear Reader (especially self-monitoring readers overjoyed that Ronald Klain has been named Supreme Allied Commander in the War on Ebola. What could go wrong?),

This will be the single greatest “news”letter of all time. It will make you laugh. It will make you cry. Pathos, logos, and ethos will leap into the San Diego Zoo bear pit of your mind and shout “Bear Fight!” When it is over, you will feel like you kissed your long-lost love both goodbye and hello at a Paris train station. You’ll be rested, as if you just woke from a nap by a waterfall using a panda bear’s belly as a pillow. While it’s not true we only use 10 percent of our brains, you will feel like that had been the case up until now. You’ll be able to cook twelve-minute brownies in seven minutes. You will never have to eat kale again. This will make total sense to you. Suddenly, whether asked to train cats to use a human toilet or use a semicolon correctly, you’ll say, “Of course, a child could do it.”

Now, even grading on my own curve, this was a remarkably stupid paragraph to write. The first rule of writing is “Sacrifice a bull to Crom before you start typing” (“Is that what we’re calling it now?” — The Couch). No, the first rule of writing is that there is no first rule, save perhaps “Always write in the language of your intended reader.”

(I mean, if I wrote this in Esperanto or Iroquois I’d lose a lot of you pretty quickly. But I believe good writing — like good jokes and good food — is whatever works. But some kinds of writing are riskier than others, which is why my Epic Poem (So epic I needlessly capitalized both “Epic” and “Poem”!) about the cancellation of Firefly molders in my desk drawer).

In fact, the reason that first paragraph was so dumb is that it violated a rule that transcends even the obscure-rightwing-free-“news”letter industry. No, really.

That rule is: Never overpromise. The common phrasing is “never overpromise and under-deliver,” but under-delivering is almost inherent in the word “overpromise.” It’s not an overpromise if you fulfill expectations. In other words, managing expectations is really important.

Read complete article via Putting the ‘O’ in EbOla | National Review Online.