Nothing Ivanka did, from what I have seen reported, resulted in the spillage of any personally identifiable information (PII). As I understand it, Ivanka sent or received about 100 emails from her personal account before fully migrating to her new enterprise email exchange server. Many of those were from people asking her what her new .gov email address was. I would add that contracting companies use their own corporate email accounts and have zero accountability. Based on what has been initially reported, from the perspective of an IASO with over a decade with the DoD, (not the IG because I would never have referred it), Ivanka wouldn’t have even been required to take the 10-question IA test, but you know what, I would be willing to bet if you asked her, she would have taken it anyway.
When someone is granted the privilege of access to a DoD or other government network, they check a box agreeing to follow the rules and regulations, of which there are many. Unintentional spillage of PII such as a social security number is quite common, and there is a mandatory punishment, the 10 question IA (Information Assurance) test. It is a joke, and all the answers are easily Googled, but everyone, from an E1 private to a 4-star General and every level government or contractor is required to take this test if they have been found to have violated cyber-security protocols. One guess how many I was able to get to comply in a decade as an IASO; none.
I have written several articles over the last 2 or so years on the Hillary Clinton email scandal from the perspective of an Information Assurance Security Officer (IASO). An IASO is the person responsible for the safety and security of all classification of data in the Department of Defense, and is usually responsible for a specific unit or department. At some point, somewhere very close to Hillary’s office there was an IASO responsible for making sure Hillary and others in her department followed the proper security protocols. Then how could Hillary get away with using a private email server you ask; the IASO was a contractor.
An IASO isn’t going to investigate spillage or leaks of classified or personally identifiable information (PII), they are responsible for detection, prevention, training and reporting. Other organizations such as the Inspector General handles the actual detailed forensics.
So as half of America was screaming “lock her up”, I was screaming “10-question IA test”. Yeah, it’s not as catchy, but the IA test is the one thing that Hillary’s actions by using a private home server for official emails absolutely, without question or exception, should have happened prior to regaining access to any government network.
Contractors, like the one Hillary had as an IASO, don’t have the same whistleblower protections as a government employee, and if they “upset the client” by enforcing the regulations, it has been my experience – without exception – that the contractor will quickly get a call from their program manager, and it won’t be pleasant. Many contractors I worked with were perfectly fine with not pushing the issue and cashing their massive checks, However, most would have reported the issue and prevented it from happening in the future if they knew they had whistleblower protection. I’m just going to come out and say it…
If you are a taxpayer and don’t think protecting whistleblowers is a good thing because some playground bully convinced you “snitches get stitches,” then you’re an idiot.
In 2013 following the Edward Snowden leak of classified information, our lawmakers told us that contractors were now protected under the whistleblower protections act, which was written as follows: Title 10, United States Code, Section 2409 (10 U.S.C. 2409), “Contractor employees: protection from reprisal for disclosure of certain information,” implemented by Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement, Subpart 203.9, “Whistleblower Protections for Contractor Employees.”
Why do I know this, because in 2015 I lost my job, clearance and career in contracting because I refused to give administrative access to a SECRET classified network because he didn’t have the required memorandum and certifications. The man yelled at me so loud that he was going to have me fired that my colleague sitting across the room heard it and filed his own official report of fraud and abuse when I did. The next day I was informed our nearly $12 million contract, which I had been working for the last 5 years, had been modified by the very same people that were named in the official report of fraud and abuse. The only modification to the contract was to remove the requirement of my position. It was modified back within a couple days of my departure, and I was replaced. I checked the whistleblower website at the Inspector General’s office and it said right at the top of the page that contractors had been added to the federal whistleblower protection act, so I assumed I would be protected for doing my job and protecting national security.
Here is the response from my request for whistleblower protection from the Inspector General’s office: “Your former employer, Dynology, is a subcontractor to Engility, the prime contractor under a U.S. Army contract. Employees of subcontractors are not covered under the provisions of the version of 10 U.S.C. 2409 applicable at the relevant time. Based on the above, we have closed your case”.
With further questioning I was told the only way contractors and sub-contractors are protected is if it is written into the contract. What company or corrupt government employee is going to write whistleblower protections into a contract that most, if not all contractors working on that contract are even allowed to read if it was? The protections were designed by our elected officials to be intentionally ambiguous and useless.
In my book, “Victim of the Swamp: How the Deep State Destroyed the 40-Year-Old Private,” I wrote about when I was working on a contract in Iraq back in 2008 and filed an official report of a pedophile. I had busted him downloading pornography of underage boys having sex with old men. This report was covered up by both my command and the company I was working for to “protect the contract and mission.” Protecting the contract is not the exception, it was an unwritten rule for every military contracting company I worked for or was a sub-contractor to of the prime.
Someone that read my book apparently reported it to Federal Agents, and an investigation was launched around this same time last year. Federal Agents came out to my residents and took a sworn, official statement. The only thing I was ever told was that other witnesses corroborated my story. I was told they would only tell a victim what they discovered, and what, if anything will be done, so I have no idea what became of this. Had I gone over their heads and pushed this to the IG, I would have been fired from a $240,000 contract and never worked again as a contractor.
This is the swamp, folks. It is the relationship between the military industrial complex and our government that I feel is the single greatest threat to our national security and defense.
Changing the laws to provide contractors with actual whistleblower protection is my next, ultimate goal. American’s have no idea how much doing this would go towards cleaning up the swamp.
Image: (Andy Katz / TNS)