Ex-special ops group blasts Clinton email decision

Ex-special ops group blasts Clinton email decision
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A group of former special operations forces and CIA officials critical of the Obama administration blasted the FBI's announcement earlier this week that it would not recommend charges against Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillicon Valley: FBI chief says Russia is trying to interfere in election to undermine Biden | Treasury Dept. sanctions Iranian government-backed hackers The Hill's Campaign Report: Arizona shifts towards Biden | Biden prepares for drive-in town hall | New Biden ad targets Latino voters FBI chief says Russia is trying to interfere in election to undermine Biden MORE over her private email server. 

The president of the group, known as OPSEC, expressed disappointment with FBI Director James Comey's conclusion that despite Clinton and her colleagues being "extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information," there was no evidence of criminal wrongdoing. 

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"I had a great deal of respect for Director Comey. This is not what I expected. I don't feel that justice was done," said OPSEC's Jamie Williamson, a retired member of U.S. Army Special Forces. 

"I know if I had done a fraction of the things that Mrs. Clinton did, we wouldn't be talking now because I would be sitting in jail many months ago," he told The Hill. 

Williamson said although the group could not speak for every member of the special operations community, "a lot of serving members" are "really pissed off" about the double standard applied to Clinton versus members of the military. 

"Any of those things would have sent a normal peon to jail," he said. "Look what it did to General Petraeus," he said, referring to the former CIA Director David Petraeus who shared notebooks with classified information with his biographer, an Army intelligence officer. 

Williamson also mentioned the case of Marine Maj. Jason Brezler, who sent a single classified report from his personal email to a base in Afghanistan to help another Marine who wanted information on a corrupt Afghan police chief. 

Brezler sent the document, but after being told by the recipient that it was a classified document sent via a private civilian account on an unsecured server, he called his superiors and told them what he had done. The Navy is seeking his discharge.  

"There's 'classified' that sends you to jail when you disclose it, and then there's special treatment if you're one of the Clintons, I guess," Williamson said. "I think that sends a terrible message...to the voting public and to anybody that holds a security clearance." 

Williamson says the group, a 501(c)(4), is not critical of Comey's decision for political reasons, and that it would go after Republicans in the same situation. However, he said, since it was Clinton's email usage under scrutiny and because she is running for president, it has become a political matter. 

"It's unfortunate that politics has clouded this whole issue," he said, but added, "It is what it is. Clinton's running for president. We're in the election season, so it is politicized, there's no doubt about it. But people should be concerned as Americans, not as Republicans or Democrats." 

The group was founded in 2012 after what he says was anger among the special operations community to the Obama administration's leaking of details about the Osama Bin Laden raid.  

The group also played a pivotal role in the creation of the congressional committee formed to investigate the administration's response to the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack. 

Williamson said the group plans to release a video before the end of the month highlighting the committee's recently-released report that was highly critical of the administration.  

The group's former president, former Navy SEAL Scott Taylor, recently defeated incumbent Rep. Randy ForbesJames (Randy) Randy ForbesBottom line Selection of Sarah Makin-Acciani shows the commitment to religious liberty Too much ‘can do,’ not enough candor MORE (R-Va.) in a primary race last month. 

Williamson said as a nonprofit, the group would not be endorsing a presidential candidate.  

"But what i can tell you is that our goal is to educate voters so that when they go to the polls, they should make an independent decision from their own research based on who's lied to the American people, who, in spite of what Director Comey has said."