Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton insists she did nothing wrong by running all of her government communications, including classified material, through her unsecured, home-brewed computer server. Perhaps she’s forgotten one of her husband’s final acts in the Oval Office: issuing a presidential pardon to former CIA director John Deutch. Deutch’s offense? Keeping classified material on unsecured home computers.
The pardon came just as Deutch was reportedly going to cop a plea with the Justice Department. Deutch headed the CIA from May 1995 to December 1996. Several days after he left the agency, classified material was discovered on a government-owned computer at his house in Bethesda, Md. Additionally, unsecured classified magnetic media were found in the study. According to the CIA inspector general’s report, the computer had been “designated for unclassified use only.
” Unlike the current administration’s six-month delay in obtaining Clinton’s computer, the feds moved almost immediately in the Deutch case. Within ten days of discovering the errant material, they retrieved the hard drive from Deutch’s computer. A formal security investigation was opened within a month.
that the government didn’t let Deutch’s lawyer pick and choose which e-mail communications to turn over. Rather, a “technical exploitation team, consisting of personnel expert in data recovery, retrieved the data from Deutch’s unclassified magnetic media and computers.”
As the investigation progressed, the IG discovered that Deutch had “continuously processed classified information on government-owned desktop computers configured for unclassified use during his tenure as DCI [director, CIA] [and that] . . . these unclassified computers were located in [his] Bethesda, Maryland and Belmont, Massachusetts residences, his offices in the Old Executive Office Building, and at CIA Headquarters.”
Notice that the government didn’t let Deutch’s lawyer pick and choose which e-mail communications to turn over.
The computers, as configured and used, were “vulnerable to attacks by unauthorized persons.” The report stressed that “all [computers] were connected to or contained modems that allowed external connectivity to computer networks such as the Internet.” The information the security team retrieved from these computers included “Top Secret communications intelligence” as well as information on the “National Reconnaissance Program.”
The IG criticized senior CIA officials for not taking appropriate action against Deutch when they were apprised of the results of the security investigation. That was one of the reasons the IG “initiated an independent investigation.”