Did China hack Hillary’s server? Maybe, but don’t count on the FBI to tell you

This past week, the president tweeted that China hacked Hillary Clinton’s emails.

While a Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment, an FBI official told the media that they have “not found any evidence the servers were compromised.”

{mosads}Somehow, I don’t feel so reassured about their statement. Is it because the bureau has been recently plagued by, at a minimum, the perception of a lack of transparency, candor and accountability by one former director, deputy director, lawyer and senior intelligence agent? Is it because the FBI, in collusion with the Department of Justice, decided to give Clinton, the future anointed president, a pass on her email problems? I don’t know, but I certainly feel less than confident about what is coming out of the Hoover Building these days.

First, that Clinton retained government emails on her private server is risky business all around. We’ve come a long way since “gentlemen didn’t read each other’s mail.” Now you can count on it.

That Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert (R) disclosed that the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) discovered “Clinton’s emails from her homebrew server were funneled to a foreign entity” doesn’t surprise me.

And that the foreign entity was not Russia, but China (Gohmert didn’t say China, but I am) meets all the standards of the “Reasonable Person Test.”

When does a set of circumstances regarding possible wrongdoing rise to a level that action needs to be taken or reported? As former federal law enforcement officers, this was a question which our instructors challenged us with. The “Reasonable Person” was defined as someone with average intelligence, average experience and average common sense. Therefore, if you look at a set of circumstances through the eyes of a “reasonable person,” and it appears that a crime (or hacking) took place, action should be taken, or at least reported. The “Reasonable Person” test? Perhaps they don’t teach it at Quantico anymore.

For the past 20 years, China has followed its long-term agenda of catching up to and surpassing the United States in technology and military capabilities. One former high-ranking FBI official told us at a security conference, “Sure, working Middle East terrorism matters are cool and sexy, but we’re missing the boat. It’s China that we should be concerned with … they are stealing us blind.”

Give the Chinese intelligence services credit, they are good at what they do. They have raised Intellectual Property theft and hacking to an art. Why would China spend billions of dollars on Research and Development when they can easily purloin our “secret sauce?” A few years ago, an FBI agent called me to his office and chastised me for communicating with him openly via my company phone and email.

“Don’t do that again. You’ve been compromised. In the future, let’s only talk in person.” We both knew to whom he was referring. It was incredibly unsettling.

The fact that a foreign intelligence service can follow our communications in “real time,” is not so widely known. Certainly, the FBI and our intelligence services are not raising the clarion call.

Did China hack Hillary’s server? Maybe, but don’t count on my former employer to tell you.

Kenneth Strange served the FBI as a member of the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Newark, New Jersey and as Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General in Los Angeles. He is presently the vice president of business development for an international investigative services company.

Tags FBI Hillary Clinton Hillary Clinton Hillary Clinton email controversy Kenneth Strange Louie Gohmert Louie Gohmert

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