Hillary Clinton’s email probe took an interesting turn Friday when an explosive report in the Wall Street Journal revealed that she approved CIA drone attacks in Pakistan, which were responsible for claiming the lives of hundreds of civilians, using her cellphone.
The report comes on the heels of Clinton declaring herself the Democratic presumptive nominee and on the back of the endorsements she gained from President Barack Obama and Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren. However, on the same day that Obama voiced his support for Clinton, White House press secretary Josh Earnest described FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s private email system as “criminal,” fueling speculation about the nature and the full scope of the probe.
Multiple sources now confirm that the emails the FBI has in its possession discuss CIA drone attacks in Pakistan, which were responsible for claiming the lives of hundreds of people, including 200 children, according to data collected by Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
Critics of the Obama administration argue that his tenure at the Oval Office has seen the United States launch multiple drone attacks on foreign lands, with Salon reporting that the Obama administration has approved 370 drone attacks in Pakistan alone during that period. According to the report, Clinton, as the head of the State Department, approved many of those CIA drone assassinations using her cellphone.
In 2011, the State Department entered into a secret arrangement with the CIA, giving it an amount of say on whether or not a drone attack was to take place. No drone attack post-2011, then, could be conducted without the explicit approval of the State Department, and as the Secretary of State, Clinton was bestowed with the power to approve those attacks.
According to the report, CIA officers began notifying diplomats in the U.S. embassy in Pakistan’s capital city, Islamabad, of planned attacks from 2011 onward. The diplomats then conveyed this information to their seniors at the State Department, who, eventually, turned to Hillary Clinton and her aides for permission.
On more than one occasion, Clinton’s aides sought an approval by sending her emails on her private server, which, as several security experts have already pointed out by now, was vulnerable to hackers as well as foreign intelligence agencies snooping around for classified information.
Security experts believe the fact that Hillary Clinton approved drone attacks in Pakistan and other countries on her cell phone — those same attacks that were part of a highly secretive arrangement called the drone program — does not only speak of the flimsiness with which the former Secretary of State conducted sensitive business on her private server, it offers undeniable proof that Clinton was reckless and incompetent in her capacity as the head of the country’s security.
Jeremy Scahill, one of the world’s leading experts on the secretive CIA drone program, said that if a Republican had done the same thing as Hillary Clinton, liberals would have been more direct in their criticism.
“So many liberals poo poo the Hillary email scandal for totally partisan reasons. If it was a Republican, they would be going bananas.”
What the new report essentially does is shed light on the way that Hillary Clinton repeatedly breached protocols, but more importantly, it brings into focus how Hillary compromised the security of a nation.
Clinton used her unsecured private server to approve some of the most covert assassinations CIA has carried out over the last few years, and that in itself is a magnanimous error that no person spearheading the security of the nation should be allowed to commit more than once.
If Hillary Clinton could make that mistake repeatedly during her time as the Secretary of State, what makes us so sure that it won’t happen again if she becomes president?
[Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images]