Emails in Hillary probe dealt with planned drone strikes in Pakistan: Report

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NEW YORK, June 10 (APP): A series of emails between U.S. diplomats in Islamabad and their superiors in Washington involving the drone strikes sent in 2011 and 2012 were forwarded by Hillary Clinton’s aides to her personal email account and routed to her private server she kept at her home while serving as secretary of State, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

Officials told the Journal the messages, which and are at the center of an FBI investigation, were vaguely worded and did not mention “CIA” or “drones” or details about militant targets.

Those emails were sent via the “low side” computer system for unclassified matters as part of an arrangement that gave the State Department more input in whether CIA drone strikes went forward.

State Department officials told the FBI they used the less-secure system occasionally when decisions about imminent strikes had to be relayed quickly and U.S. diplomats in Pakistan or Washington did not have ready access to a more secure system, according to the report.

Law-enforcement and intelligence officials told the Journals that the State Department deliberations about the covert CIA drone programme should have been conducted over a more secure government computer system designed to handle classified information.

But the officials told the Journal no evidence exists to suggest that intelligence officials in Pakistan were able to intercept the messages.
The CIA’s drone strike programme in Pakistan is not widely reported on in the U.S. because officials have deemed it secret. But in Pakistan, it’s publicly known that American drones have killed militants and innocent civilians.

“There’s no doubt that civilians were killed that shouldn’t have been,” President Barack Obama admitted in April”.

Emails sent over the unclassified computer system sometimes were informal discussions that occurred in addition to more-formal notifications through secure communications, the officials said.

One exchange reported by the Journal came before Christmas in 2011 when the U.S. ambassador sent a note about a planned strike that sparked an email chain between Clinton’s senior advisers. Officials said the exchange was clear those involved in the email were having discussions because they were away from their officials and didn’t have access to a classified computer.