While admitting a “mistake,” Hillary Clinton was largely unrepentant about the FBI calling her “extremely careless” in safeguarding national security data, another sign of a troubling double standard, says ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman.
By Melvin A. Goodman
There is a new poster child for the U.S. government’s double standard in dealing with violations of public policy and public trust — former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who will receive no punishment for her wanton disregard of U.S. laws and national security.
Clinton merely received a blistering rebuke from FBI Director James Comey, who charged her with “extremely careless” behavior in using private email servers to send and received classified information as well as using her personal cell phone in dealing with sensitive materials while traveling outside the United States.
Some of these communications referred to CIA operatives, which is a violation of a 1982 Intelligence Identities Protection Act to protect those individuals working overseas under cover.
A former CIA officer, John Kiriakou, received a 30-month jail sentence in 2014 for giving a journalist the name of a CIA operative, although the name never appeared in the media. Kiriakou’s sentence was praised by CIA Director David Petraeus, who faced his own charges for providing sensitive materials to his biographer, who was also his mistress.
In denying facts in that case, Petraeus lied to FBI investigators, who wanted to confront the general with felony charges. The Department of Justice reduced the matter to a single misdemeanor, and Petraeus received a modest fine that could be covered with a few of his speaking fees.
The treatment of Clinton is reminiscent of the handling of cases involving former CIA Director John Deutch and former national security adviser Samuel Berger. Deutch placed the most sensitive CIA operational materials on his home computer, which was also used to access pornographic sites. Deutch was assessed a fine of $5,000, but received a pardon from President Bill Clinton before prosecutors could file the papers in federal court.