Secret Then--Secret Now!
I was recently going through some old records and came across a box of notes I took while in Military Intelligence training. The following information is taken directly from those notes.
In October of 1966, after completing Army basic training, I was assigned to USAINTS, The United States Army Intelligence Training School. There I began training in US Military Intelligence. One of the most critically important classes they provided was in the handling of classified documents. The heavy prison terms connected with the release of information was explained, as well as the damage that the release of items of various classifications could involve. Under the classification "SECRET," the following "serious" damage could result in the release of the information:
1. Release could jeopardize international relations of the United States.
2. Release could endanger the effectiveness of policies of vital importance to national defense.
3. Release could reveal important intelligence operations.
Significantly, a few pages later I wrote the most important note summarizing the intent of the class:
"Mortal sin= Lose or be careless with classified material."
The seriousness of the episode of Ms. Clinton's "extremely careless" handling of classified information to include Top Secret documents which can cause grievous harm to the United States has been diluted in many ways due to her candidacy and her political "clout" as a Clinton. There has been the "everybody did it" and it was non-intentional, and I was suffering brain damage at the time I was briefed about the classification thingy. And the: "I made a mistake," so that makes it all OK.
However, these excuses are all irrelevant to the simple fact that in no way can it be justified that she be allowed to have continued access to classified information. Plain and simple. Yes, that has widespread ramifications due to the election, but it is the undeniable truth.