Guest post by COL Mike Ford, US Army (retired)
Hillary Clinton with Lloyd Blankfein, current CEO of Goldman Sachs
On October 15, 2016 Wikileaks released three complete transcripts from Hillary Clinton’s paid speeches to employees of Goldman Sachs.
Those transcripts were made public as attachments to a January 23, 2016 John Podesta email posted on October 16, 2016 at the Daily Caller. Podesta and three Clinton campaign staff members were among those who received the email from another member of the Clinton campaign staff. At least one of transcripts contains information that qualifies as “open and notorious” criminal act–statements or acts, known by the public, and at odds with the community’s accepted moral values.
The transcript of her speech at the 2013 IDB CEO Annual Conference, held on June 4, 2013, 8:05 P.M., at The Inn at Palmetto Bluff, Blufton, South Carolina, contains several delivered statements that may contain classified information/analysis.
As a former senior officer in the United States Army, I am very concerned that she may have disclosed very sensitive and highly-classified information. Here is just one example of several possible instances:
“One of the biggest concerns I had over the last four years was the concern that was manifested several different ways that the PLA, the People’s Liberation Army, was acting somewhat independently; that it wasn’t just a good cop/bad cop routine when we would see some of the moves and some of the rhetoric coming out of the PLA, but that in effect that were making some foreign policy. And Hu Jintao, unlike Jiang Zemin before him, never really captured the authority over the PLA that is essential for any government, whether it’s a civilian government in our country or a communist party government in China.
So President Xi is doing much more to try to assert his authority, and I think that is also good news.” (Attached to “Goldman Sachs Paid Speeches email as 06042013 GS 1.doc, pp.3-4)
If the above had been written by a political analyst working from say, the Washington Times or the Washington Post, there would be no problem.
However in this case, the “analysis” was delivered by a former Secretary of State and almost certainly based on intelligence received from covert assets and classified analysis from the Central Intelligence Agency, State Department Intelligence and a host of other intelligence providers.
Because the source of the base information and the seniority of the “analyst,” in this case a former Secretary of State, this appears, on its face, to be highly classified information–delivered to business leaders who, we can assume, are not cleared to receive it.
It’s important to note that some people can freely use certain words, terms and phrases in public discourse (like Tom Clancy and his Jack Ryan novels). However, when officials of the United States government, presumed to have actual knowledge of certain capabilities, activities and programs, use those same terms or make those same statements, those statements may constitute a criminal disclosure of classified information.
Mrs Clinton’s effort to monetize her husband’s service as POTUS, and her own service as Secretary of State, and thereby promote her aim to become the 46th President, appears to have possibly resulted in the disclosure of classified information—a felony.
Mike Ford is a former Infantry Colonel. He has served in Europe, Central America and in Southwest Asia, Commanding at the Detachment, Company, Battalion and Brigade Levels.