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Corrupt Government
See other Corrupt Government Articles

Title: House Republicans’ national security-threatening impeachment stunt, explained by an expert
Source: Vox
URL Source: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-poli ... mpeachment-intelligence-eoyang
Published: Oct 23, 2019
Author: Alex Ward
Post Date: 2019-10-23 17:43:42 by Willie Green
Keywords: None
Views: 110
Comments: 6

House Republicans on Wednesday stormed a secretive facility at the Capitol in which the Democrat-led impeachment inquiry was conducting a deposition of a Pentagon official on US policy toward Ukraine. In doing so, they put America’s national security at risk.

That area, known as a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF), is designed to securely store intelligence and make it harder for foreign spies to obtain its secrets.

That didn’t matter to about two dozen GOP lawmakers led by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), a close ally of President Trump, who stormed the SCIF in an effort to sit in on the deposition. Republicans have long complained that Democrats haven’t given them enough access to the closed-door depositions, claiming House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) is running a “kangaroo court.”

Many of Trump’s allies will applaud the stunt as a combative way to defend the president and make Democrats look bad. But the problem is that House Republicans may have jeopardized US national security with this play.

Mieke Eoyang, a former top House Intelligence Committee staffer and now national security expert at the Third Way think tank in Washington, thoroughly explained why in a now-viral tweetstorm.

“The SCIF itself is a secure facility designed to prevent electronic eavesdropping so members of Congress can receive highly classified information about how the nation collects information on its adversaries, and on *very* sensitive intelligence operations,” she wrote Wednesday morning. “Foreign adversaries are constantly trying to figure out what goes on inside those rooms to figure out what the US knows about them, to out US high-level sources in their governments, to know what the US government knows and use it against us.”

And who might foreign adversaries target to get such information? Why lawmakers, of course.

“Members of Congress (and their electronic devices) are high-value targets for compromise by foreign intelligence services,” Eoyang continued. “Members of Congress have access to a wide range of sensitive information, including, in the case of these members, conversations with the President of the United States” and “tend to be lax in their security protocols.”

What should Republican Congress members have done instead of forcing their way into the SCIF?

Eoyang says they “should give over their electronic devices for scanning to ensure no malware was on them, and that they have not compromised the SCIF. If they don’t want to give them up, they should have checked them before entering.”

In other words, House Republicans may have just made it easier to spy on America. No matter one’s anger level at the Democratic-led inquiry, that is clearly too high a price to pay.

To get Eoyang’s full views on this, you can read her entire Twitter thread below:

A few words on why Gaetz stunt to storm the SCIF to disrupt Laura Cooper's deposition is a VERY serious national security problem.

Note, I worked in that SCIF for HPSCI and handled cybersecurity issues while there.

— Mieke Eoyang (@MiekeEoyang) October 23, 2019

Aside from disrupting the testimony of a DoD official shedding light on the President's attempts to extort a sham investigation into the child of his most feared political rival by withholding military aid that Congress gave to resist a Russian invasion...— Mieke Eoyang (@MiekeEoyang) October 23, 2019

Storming the SCIF without respecting the security protocols that require people to leave their electronic devices *outside* the space, is actually compromising our national security.— Mieke Eoyang (@MiekeEoyang) October 23, 2019

First, the SCIF itself is a secure facility designed to prevent electronic eavesdropping so members of Congress can receive highly classified information about how the nation collects information on its adversaries, and on *very* sensitive intelligence operations.— Mieke Eoyang (@MiekeEoyang) October 23, 2019

Foreign adversaries are constantly trying to figure out what goes on inside those rooms to figure out what the US knows about them, to out US high-level sources in their governments, to know what the US government knows and use it against us.— Mieke Eoyang (@MiekeEoyang) October 23, 2019

The facilities are carefully designed and controlled to ensure that electronic signals, surveillance methods, or other listening devices do not compromise the information discussed in these rooms. I will not, for obvious reasons, go into details.— Mieke Eoyang (@MiekeEoyang) October 23, 2019

Bringing electronic devices into a SCIF, and this SCIF in particular is *very* problematic, especially when done by members of Congress.

Because Members of Congress (and their electronic devices) are high-value targets for compromise by foreign intelligence services.

— Mieke Eoyang (@MiekeEoyang) October 23, 2019

Members of Congress have access to a wide range of sensitive information, including, in the case of these members, conversations with the President of the United States. They travel internationally, receive emails from the public, and meet with foreign dignitaries.— Mieke Eoyang (@MiekeEoyang) October 23, 2019

As politicians, they're also highly sensitive to revelations of derogatory information, which means that foreign adversaries are very interested in collecting same.— Mieke Eoyang (@MiekeEoyang) October 23, 2019

They also tend to be lax in their security protocols. This means they may not know they have been compromised. For example, their phones can be turned into listening devices without their knowledge. https://t.co/NSCUgd1EjP— Mieke Eoyang (@MiekeEoyang) October 23, 2019

This is why outside HPSCI there is a security guard and a series of cabinets for people to leave (and lock) their electronic devices while they are inside the room.

Failure to follow this protocol can violate the security of the entire SCIF.

— Mieke Eoyang (@MiekeEoyang) October 23, 2019

After an incident like this happens, countermeasures have to be taken to ensure the SCIF is not compromised. It is a time-consuming, technical process, which again, I will not discuss.— Mieke Eoyang (@MiekeEoyang) October 23, 2019

But in "storming the SCIF" without observing the security protocols, Rep. Gaetz et al, endangered our national security & demonstrated they care more about a political stunt than protecting intelligence information.

I cannot emphasize enough how serious this is.

— Mieke Eoyang (@MiekeEoyang) October 23, 2019

To ensure that the information was secure, the members should give over their electronic devices for scanning to ensure no malware was on them, and that they have not compromised the SCIF.

If they don't want to give them up, they should have checked them before entering.

— Mieke Eoyang (@MiekeEoyang) October 23, 2019

So, to recap:

To disrupt testimony from a DOD official on how the President endangered national security for both the US and Ukraine by withholding military aid, the President's allies further endangered national security by storming the SCIF with their electronic devices.

— Mieke Eoyang (@MiekeEoyang) October 23, 2019


Poster Comment:

Matt Gaetz has crossed the line and should be censured & expelled from Congress...

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Begin Trace Mode for Comment # 2.

#2. To: Willie Green (#0)

Republicans have long complained that Democrats haven’t given them enough access to the closed-door depositions, claiming House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) is running a “kangaroo court.”

But that's not worthy of a full-length article. Trying to participate is.

misterwhite  posted on  2019-10-24   9:32:10 ET  Reply   Untrace   Trace   Private Reply  


Replies to Comment # 2.

#3. To: misterwhite (#2)

Trying to participate is.

GOP members of the House Intelligence Committee were entitled to participate and did.

The GOP asshats who barged in were NOT members of the Intelligence Committee and knowingly violated national security protocols to pull off this publicity stunt. Their subversive actions should be considered an act of Treason. The GOP already had legitimate representatives in the room, the other asshats should be sent to prison.

Willie Green  posted on  2019-10-24 10:08:46 ET  Reply   Untrace   Trace   Private Reply  


End Trace Mode for Comment # 2.

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