FBI criminal investigation emails: Clinton approved CIA drone assassinations with her cellphone, report says WSJ:
FBI is investigating Hillary’s classified emails on State Dept. approval of CIA drone killings in Pakistan
By Ben Norton
An explosive new report reveals just what it is that the FBI is looking to: emails in which then-Secretary of State Clinton approved CIA drone assassinations in Pakistan with her cellphone.
From 2011 on, the State Department had a secret arrangement with the CIA, giving it a degree of say over whether or not a drone killing would take place.The U.S. drone program has killed hundreds of civilians in Pakistan and other countries.
Under Sec. Clinton, State Department officials approved almost every single proposed CIA drone assassination. They only objected to one or two attacks.
The emails that are at the heart of the FBI’s criminal investigation are 2011 and 2012 messages between U.S. diplomats in Pakistan and their State Department superiors in D.C., in which the officials approved drone strikes.
Clinton’s aides forwarded some of these emails to her personal email account, on a private server in her home in suburban New York.
These are the revelations of a report by The Wall Street Journal, based on information provided by anonymous congressional and law-enforcement officials who were briefed on the FBI’s probe.
The State Department revealed in January that 22 of the emails that were on Clinton’s private server at her home contained top-secret information. These messages were not publicly released, and an investigation was eventually launched.
The White House acknowledged in a press briefing on Thursday that the FBI probe into Clinton’s handling of classified information is a “criminal investigation.” President Obama endorsed Clinton for president on the same day.
Hundreds of civilians in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan and more have been killed by U.S. drones.
Pakistan is the site of more U.S. drone strikes than any other country. The Obama administration has carried out more than 370 drone attacks in Pakistan, killing as many as 1,000 civilians, including up to 200 children, according to data collected by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
The exact number of civilians killed is unknown, because the U.S. is very secretive about its program, and because it essentially redefines militant to mean any man of military age in a targeted area.
In 2011, some Pakistani officials pushed back against the U.S. drone assassination program, leading the U.S. State Department to ask the CIA to be more “judicious” about the timing of drone attacks. Clinton’s State Department did not oppose the CIA’s specific choice of targets, just their timing.
This led to a compromise in which the CIA gave the State Department some voice in the drone assassination process. Beginning in 2011, CIA officers began notifying diplomats in the U.S. embassy in Islamabad of planned attacks. The diplomats then conveyed the information to senior State Department officials.