Do you know the names Christopher Boyce, David Barnett, John Anthony Walker, Jonathan Pollard, Clyde Conrad, Geneva Jones or Albert Sombolay? If you don’t, then allow me to explain. Each one of these individuals has been convicted of espionage or mishandling classified information. As a graduate student in criminal justice after leaving my career as a U S Army Counterintelligence Agent, I studied each of these individuals and the crimes they committed and the sentences they received. Some of their misdeeds were great. Albert Sombolay, for example, was a naturalized citizen born in Zaire. While serving in the Army in Germany, he provided to Jordan military information regarding Desert Storm operations, military ID cards, and chemical weapons equipment. On the other hand, Geneva Jones worked in the State Department where she provided defense information to unauthorized persons. Sombolay was sentenced to 34 years of hard labor; Jones received 37 months in prison.
More well known cases are those of Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen, both Cold War cases of espionage within the FBI and CIA, and both extremely damaging to our nation. Louis Freeh, head of the FBI at the time of Hanssen’s arrest, called the damage done by the agent grave. The acts of both men were said to have most likely caused the deaths of human intelligence agents. Both are serving life sentences in federal prison.
In 1984 Samuel Morrison who worked within the intelligence community in DC was sentenced for sending satellite imagery to a military magazine. In this case, it was not alleged that the US had been injured but that Soviet capabilities had been improved. He was convicted of espionage, but was later pardoned. Another government employee in 2005, Lawrence Franklin, was hoping to aid in the strong lined stance against Iran by passing information to American Israel Public Affairs Committee who then passed it on to Israel. He, too, was convicted of espionage and sentenced to thirteen years in prison.
Interestingly the Obama Administration has approximately 8 cases, not including Mrs. Clinton. Of course, we know about Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning and Edward Snowden, but most of us, I would guess, are not so much aware of these:
Thomas Drake: Drake was a senior executive at the NSA who passed UNCLASSIFIED information to a reporter who eventually wrote about fraud, waste and abuse at the agency. In 2007, the FBI raided Drake’s home and confiscated his computer, documents, books and other data. Drake originally cooperated with the FBI telling them about illegal activity at the agency. Eventually, the charges of espionage were dropped and he was convicted of misuse of government computers and sentenced to probation and community service.
Shamai Leibowitz: Leibowitz was a Hebrew linguist at the FBI who translated wiretapped conversations among Israeli diplomats inside the U.S. He passed classified transcripts of these conversations which described an Israeli diplomatic campaign to create a hostile environment for U.S. relations with Iran to a blogger who later published them. He was convicted and sentenced to 20 months in prison.
Stephen Jin-Woo Kim: This case is still open. Mr. Kim, a senior intelligence employee at the State Department, is charged with passing information to a reporter that North Korea might test a nuclear bomb. Wow, like they didn’t already know that? Ok. Well, Mr. Kim has pled not guilty.
John Kirakou: Mr. Kirakou is a former CIA official who was convicted of passing information related to CIA interrogation techniques, specifically waterboarding. Didn’t we already know? I thought we did under the Bush Administration.
With all of this being said, all of these individuals are looking at the Judicial Branch and they are expecting the same treatment that they were given, the same amount of disdain and contention that they were shown to be afforded to Mrs. Clinton. How can they be raked over and over the coals of justice, their lives be ruined and their families be destroyed, and Mrs. Clinton be let go? This is about fairness and justice. This is about the American way. Everyone treated the same no matter where you come from, no matter who you are. If all of these people that I have spoken of here can be held accountable for their mistakes, for their lapses in judgment, then by God, so can Mrs. Clinton.
This is about our future and our children’s future. If we continue to allow the political elite to get away with crimes, then we teach our children that laws are relative. When Daddy doesn’t obey the speed limit, then the child learns that the speed limit law really doesn’t matter. When Momma pops a grape in her mouth at the grocery store without buying the grapes, then the child learns that stealing is okay. Laws are not relative. We must hold Mrs. Clinton accountable for each and every law she has broken.