I never said this and will deny saying any of this, but…
In an article that I recently read, there was a mention of “Sensitive Compartmentalized Information (SCI)” being found in Hillary’s emails. Most civilians have no idea of what that means or the significance of it, so let me give you a quick lesson in “Security Classifications-101,” keeping in mind that I am second generation Military Intelligence and spent the first 2/3 of my life in “The Black World” of national secrets…with a five-year travel ban following my last debrief, which was near the end of Ronald Regan’s tour of duty as President.
Security levels rise like a thermometer, with “Classified” or “Confidential” as the lowest level and “Top Secret” as the top of the thermometer.
And that, boys and girls, is just the beginning of the maze of security classifications.
Think of security clearances as the “X” scale on a graph, and another seldom talked about “Y” axis on the graph which addresses “access.” The old bullshit about “need to know” is typically just bureaucrat-talk for “I simply do not want to discuss it with you,” but, under some circumstances, it address the “access” component of security clearances.
Typically, the “Y” axis does not even appear until you get into the “Secret” or “Top Secret” level classifications.
Under the Reagan administration I worked in several “SCIF’s”–those places where SCI information “lives and dies,” never to see the light of day.
You think of a “SCIF” like a big old mixed berry pie in which each slice of the pie is comprised of a different berry or fruit with a smallish circular section where the cherry resides.
The Cherry Section–“the inner circle,” as it were–has contact with each of the slices and is the only place from which all the slices can be identified, i.e., how many slices are there in this pie? The number of souls that may occupy that inner circle is a finite number of persons based on some obscure algorithm developed in the deep dark basements of the NSA.
The SCIF has copper shielding in the walls, floor, and any windows exposed to the outside world have high frequency “random noise generators” (small suction cup speakers) affixed to each pane of glass. These measures insure that the facility is completely isolated from prying eyes and ears via electromagnetic/RF/UHF or parabolic microphone probes.
In the SCIF, each person has their own office – no cubicles here. Each office has a unique cipher lock on the door. I have no idea what the person on either side if me is working on, nor do they have any idea of what I am working on.
If I am working on SCI anything, my door is locked and I am alone. If someone other than myself is in my office, the door is open and the desk is cleared of all documents.
If I need to coordinate with others, it is done in a conference room under the supervision of a senior member of the inner circle.
Our clearances inside the SCIF are of one name while the same clearance have a different name “in the clear,” i.e., outside the SCIF.
It gets more complicated than this, but you can get the drift of the workings of a SCIF from this description.
When I left that world, I went down to the security officer for my debrief. There was a lovely and very attractive young lady to do that task. She handed me my passport, and I never bothered to ask how she got her hands on my passport. She pointed out the yellow sticker on my passport, which had the name of some travel agency that I have never hear of, and I have never used a travel agency.
She informed me that if I intended to leave the country for any reason, I needed to call that number at least seven days in advance of my intended departure and let them know when, where, and why I was leaving the country.
I informed her that I lived in San Diego, and I could hop on a trolley car and be in Tijuana, Mexico, in about twenty minutes.
She smiled and told me that they were aware of that, and that if I ever chose to do so, I MIGHT do it once, but I would not do it twice. Nice lady, but no sense of humor.
The PRISM system that has made the news lately was developed in a SCIF. And I know this because I was one of the architects that helped develop it under an Artificial Intelligence contract buried in the Star Wars program.
SCIFs abound all over this country. Major commercial office buildings are popular because of the anonymity they offer, as are major-named hotels in major metropolitan areas. In the hotels, it is just another door that looks just like every other door on a uniformly boring hallway, and those who work there come and go just like every other traveling businessman or woman.
Why do I bother to explain all of this? Because when I left the Regan administration, that sweet young lady informed me that I could be looking at as many as twenty years in prison for violating the conditions of my security clearance.
And if Hillary Clinton had SCI information on that server—and we do know that the server was hacked—then she, too, should be looking at twenty years hard time.
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