A special intelligence review by the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency of two emails that Clinton received on her personal account while secretary of state — including one about North Korea’s nuclear weapons program — supports a finding by the inspector general for the intelligence agencies that the emails were marked “Top Secret,” when Clinton received them. Clinton’s campaign disagrees with the conclusion and notes that agencies within the government often have different views of what should be considered classified:
Our hope remains that these releases continue without being hampered by bureaucratic infighting among the intelligence community, and that the releases continue to be as inclusive and transparent as possible.
State Department spokesperson:
Classification is rarely a black and white question, and it is common for the State Department to engage internally and with our interagency partners to arrive at the appropriate decision. Very often both the State Department and the intelligence community acquire information on the same matter through separate channels. Thus, there can be two or more separate reports and not all of them based on classified means. At this time, any conclusion about the classification of the documents in question would be premature.
Sterling is sentenced to three-and-a-half years in federal prison for giving journalist classified information about an operation to retard Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Judge Brinkema says she was swayed to reduce the sentence — which could have been between 19 years and seven months at the low end and 24 years and five months on the high end — due to Sterling’s accomplishments, but that he had caused particular damage by effectively revealing the identity of a man working with the CIA and that he deserved a harsher penalty than other recently accused leakers because he had not pleaded guilty and admitted wrongdoing.
If you do knowingly reveal these secrets, there’s going to be a price to be paid.
Sterling’s lawyers praise the sentence:
In some cases, the jury gets it wrong. That said, the judge today got it right.
Brinkema allows Sterling to remain out on bond untilprison officials determine when and where he will serve his sentence.
CIA director Brennan demands an indepth review of the agency’s organizational structure in a letter dated September 24, of which non-classified parts are released by the CIA.
As I have mentioned several times over the past year that I have become increasingly convinced that the time has come to take a fresh look at how we are organized as an Agency. The need for integration has never been greater. The complex national security issues we face today, and the extent to which those issues cross geographic and functional boundaries, challenge our ability to leverage the entire breadth of capabilities the CIA has to offer.
A CIA interrogator writing under a pseudonym publishes a document (full text here) covering many aspects of the debate over enhanced interrogation techniques (EITs), especially the effectiveness of the techniques. The document is reported to challenge conclusions of the upcoming Feinstein report on EITs. The interrogator says he underwent ‘soft-sell’ and ‘hard-sell’ interrogation techniques himself as part of a survival course, and was able to maintain lies during the ‘soft-sell,’ verbal-only questioning:
I then learned the difference between “soft-sell” and “hard-sell” by way of a large interrogator who applied enhanced techniques promptly upon the uttering of my first lie…I learned that I would rather sit across from the most talented interrogator on earth doing a soft-sell than any interrogator on earth doing a hard-sell—the information I had would be safer because the only consequences to my lies come in the form of words. I could handle words. Anyone could.
Ask any SERE Level C graduate which method was more effective on him or her—their answer should tell you something about the effectiveness of enhanced techniques, whether you agree with them or not. In my case, I learned that enhanced techniques made me want to tell the truth to make it stop—not to compound my situation with more lies.