Omarosa Admits Blatant Security Violation [VIDEO]
Omarosa Admits Blatant Security Violation [VIDEO]
From the very beginning of Trump’s term in office, leaks have been an issue. These leaks have revealed everything from sensitive information about personnel issues to information that I would consider at the very least sensitive enough to impact national security. But in my opinion, none have been more egregious than the recent admission by former White House staffer Omarosa Manigault-Newman that she intentionally snuck a phone into one of the White House’s situation rooms and secretly recorded White House Chief of Staff John Kelly firing her.
The White House situation room is actually a sensitive compartmented information facility (SCIF). Highly classified intelligence briefings take place in those rooms (there are several), and recording devices such as phones and even recordable media are strictly forbidden.
And yet, here is this opportunistic, bitter, obviously vengeful harpy admitting publicly and proudly that she violated security protocols by bringing a recording device and using it in one of the nation’s most sensitive areas! The public admission is at the 10:10 minute mark in this video. Listen to it.
There have been several “tell all” books – mostly filled with speculative garbage, as far as I can tell (no, I haven’t read any of them, other than excerpts here and there) – about Trump, his presidency, and his administration. Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury,” seems to have unraveled before it took off. And Omarosa’s tome seems to be also destined for the discount rack of your local Barnes and Noble shortly after publication.
But I’m not concerned about her book as much as I’m concerned about her blatant violation of security protocols.
Anyone who has worked in the national security field knows that SCI needs to be guarded and protected. Sensitive information reveals sources and methods used to collect intelligence, and revealing it to the public – and ultimately our enemies – has resulted in sources being compromised, threatened, and killed. That’s why we have SCIFs. That’s why the government spends a lot of money on these secure rooms – because we otherwise risk giving our enemies access to not only reporting, but sensitive policy discussions, intelligence assessments and leadership intentions, which are as good as gold to any adversary seeking insight into how best to cripple and defeat us.
Treating confidential information as not confidential may assist our adversaries. For example, we now know that various emails to and from Hillary Clinton’s private, non-secure server disclose Chris Stevens’ location, movement, future meetings, and whereabouts in the months shortly before his death. John Christopher “Chris” Stevens was the U.S. Envoy to Libya murdered on 9/11/2012, the anniversary of 9/11. The evidence now indicates that the murder was not spontaneous but coordinated and planned in advance. The FBI Director said that Clinton’s use of her personal email abroad could have allowed “hostile actors” to access her account.
The White House Situation Room is a series of SCIFs, and security protocols apply when entering these rooms. Yes, government officials watched the bin Ladin raid from one of these rooms, so taking recording devices and using them inside these facilities is not something anyone who actually gives a damn about their country does.
DNI guidelines on portable electronic devices in SCIFs acknowledge the dangers these little computers can pose when taken into secure locations. The initial guidance was published in 2005, and the sophistication and proliferation of smart phones has multiplied innumerably since then. In 2010, the Navy published an explanation about why cell phones should not be allowed in SCIFs.
Although we refer to them as mobile “phones,” any cellular device is actually a mobile radio, one that receives and transmits just like any other radio. Further, they do a fair amount of transmitting and receiving on their own outside of your oversight or control. Cellular networks operate on two distinct sets of channels — the traffic channel where your calls and data sessions are conducted, and the control channel, which handles network maintenance, operational tasks and text messages. (See: “Putting Text to the Test.”)
Some of the tasks that are conducted over the control channel include the phone letting the cellular network know where it is (and, by extension, where you are), call set-up and initiation. The control channel can also put the phone in diagnostic mode, which includes turning on the microphone. This, in a nutshell, is the primary reason that cellular devices are not allowed in classified spaces.
Using the control channel, an adversary or run-of-the-mill hacker could turn on the microphone — without any visible change in the phone’s appearance — and freely listen in. Thus, you have just brought a bug into an area where classified information is now being transmitted into the ether. Not a pleasant scenario.
In addition to the inherent cellular vulnerabilities, all electronic equipment is capable of emitting electronic emanations. This is where TEMPEST (Transient Electromagnetic Pulse Emanation Standard) practices come into play. TEMPEST refers to the shielding of these electromagnetic emanations, which is different from the actual interception of these emissions.
Some intelligence agencies provide secure lockers for their employees in which they can store their cell phones before coming to work. Other agencies ban cell phones from the premises completely and recommend that employees turn them off while their vehicle is parked in the lot. The US government has long been concerned about cell phone spying in the DC area, given how many government employees are milling about, and yet, here’s this woman – a White House staffer, who more likely than not had access to at least some sensitive information that adversaries could use to assemble credible intelligence assessments about our policies and intentions – took a cell phone into the SCIF and turned it on to record another White House official!
This is what really gets my goat!
Omarosa is obviously not stupid. She has at least some understanding of precautions that need to be taken before entering a secure facility; even if she had no idea, the security officer that sits outside the SCIF area in the West Wing asks you if you have any cell phones or other recording devices on you and directs you to place them in the lockers located right outside the heavy door.
And yet, Omarosa took a cell phone into the SCIF and recorded her boss, knowingly and willfully disobeying the direction of the security officer who no doubt directed her to leave her phone in the locker!
In 2008, a Naval Reservist named Bryan Nishimura pleaded guilty to a far lesser crime of having some classified information from his Afghanistan deployment in his home. An investigation showed he never intended to distribute these materials, and the briefings and other records he had weren’t even SCI. Nishumura still received two years of probation and a $7,500 fine.
Omarosa freely admits she took the recording device into a SCIF, turned it on, recorded the conversation, and willfully distributed it by allowing the news media to broadcast it. She’s proud of it. She talks about it publicly with no remorse and not even a hint of fear of prosecution!
“If I did not have this recording, people would still believe the false, incredible story that I was running around the White House,” Omarosa told Todd. “… So yes I recorded myself and I have no regret about it.”
She seems more upset at the alleged “threat” to her supposed “reputation” supposedly referred to by John Kelly in that conversation – which is a load of hot garbage, because as a former supervisor, I can tell you that when I spoke with a problem employee about leaving, I tried to keep it as peaceable as possible to help them avoid burning bridges and find other employment that may be a better fit – than she is about her security violations.
That’s not a threat – unless you’re a disgruntled employee who got canned and are using the victim card to deflect criticism onto your former boss.
I note that Omarosa also is not concerned that he mentions her apparent lack of integrity “It’s come to my attention over the last few months that there’s been some pretty, in my opinion, significant integrity issues.”
She doesn’t give a damn that Gen. Kelly told her the integrity issues and her conduct were so severe, that had she been in the military, she probably would have been subject to a court martial, such as her use of White House vehicles for her commute.
She’s all about using that victim card to paint herself as a martyr and her former boss as a racist, and she’s willing to sacrifice national security protocols to advance that narrative.
Can someone please go arrest her now?