Murdock: 'Clueless' Clinton spent 6 years on Senate Armed Service Committee

NEW YORK -- Hillary Clinton spent six years on the Senate Armed Services Committee--from 2003 to 2009. Given this experience, it defies all belief--as Clinton claimed to the FBI--that she knew nothing ... nothing about classified documents, how t...

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MURDOCK_DEROY_2010 -- Deroy Murdock oped columnist. (SHNS photo) (Newscom TagID: shnsphotos139735) [Photo via Newscom]

NEW YORK - Hillary Clinton spent six years on the Senate Armed Services Committee-from 2003 to 2009. Given this experience, it defies all belief-as Clinton claimed to the FBI-that she knew nothing ... nothing about classified documents, how they were marked, or even that she should clam up about human intelligence agents.

Clinton waved off the 2,113 classified emails on her outlaw, private server, according to the FBI, by asserting that she "could not recall...any training or guidance provided by State" on classified materials. Also, Clinton "did not pay attention to the 'level' of classified information" and could not address classified matters without asking her subordinates. "She relied on State officials to use their judgment when emailing her and could not recall anyone raising concerns with her regarding the sensitivity of the information she received at her email address."

The FBI concluded: "Clinton did not recall receiving any emails she thought should not be on an unclassified system."

If Clinton had devoted her Senate years to Food Stamps and art subsidies, her pleas might be plausible. But after six years on SASC, it is uncontrollably laughable that she was clueless about classified documents.

Those now laughing include several senators who served on SASC, with Clinton and subsequently. They said that SASC offers a high-level education on managing classified data; this education belies Clinton's professed ignorance.


Former Sen. Jim Talent, R-Mo., spent six years on SASC with Clinton. He remembers reviewing and discussing classified records and topics with colleagues inside secure rooms. Senate employees locked and then guarded the entrances. Senators were free to take notes-so long as they left them behind.

"Phones and Blackberries had to be checked at the door," Talent told me. "It was a rigorous and thorough process, and no one who has gone through it could doubt the importance of protecting the integrity of classified information."

Talent also scoffed at Clinton's oft-repeated claims that the secrets on her lawless email system were not "marked classified."

"I can't recall any instance of a classified document that was not marked as such," Talent said. "At the SASC, the measures taken to ensure the protection, including the proper marking, of classified information, were and are rigorous."

Clinton most likely was briefed on classification protocols, as was her fellow Democrat, Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill. She told the Washington Times how her legislative assistant explained this to her.

"There was basically a sit-down with my military LA, who was military, to talk about what was and wasn't [classified] and how to handle it," McCaskill said. "And there was some discussion about when we went into classified sessions."

Former Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., rejects Clinton's defense that a document had to be marked classified in order for her to know she had to protect it.

"If the information was about a program you knew to be covert or disclosed sources and methods," Chambliss told me, "you automatically knew it to be classified."


Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., a senior SASC member who served with Clinton, was not amused when the FBI determined that "deliberation over a future drone strike did not give her cause for concern regarding classification."

"She knows from her time on SASC the sensitivity of ongoing military operations and the risk of telling the enemy what we are going to do in future operations," Inhofe told me. "Hillary Clinton should be concerned about releasing any information regarding ongoing and future military operations to include drone strikes. This puts the mission at risk and puts the lives of our military members and Americans at risk."

"She has no excuse," Inhofe added in exasperation. Since she joined SASC, "Hillary Clinton has had access to classified information for over 13 years, [including] six as a U.S. senator and four as Secretary of State. How much time does it take to get a 'grasp' on handling our national security?"

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