By Major Van Harl
United States -(AmmoLand.com)- Parts of the following story are from hearsay. I knew who the Air Force captain was, that was involved, but I did not know him personally.
This happened while I was stationed in Anchorage, Alaska twenty plus years ago. I will call him Captain Elmendorf. Captain Elmendorf worked in the classified world of the Air Force and had a Top Secret clearance. One day while picking up a stack of paper work to take home to work on, inadvertently a classified file got stuck to the bottom of his pile.
He had not checked out the classified file from a secured file case, and did not know the file was on his desk (allegedly). It was winter so when he got home he drove his vehicle into his garage. He removed the stack of paperwork from his car and temporarily sat it on a shelf in his garage. When he removed the stack, the classified file was left on the shelf. He never knew it was there, he never knew he had the file and since he did not check it out he never missed the file (again allegedly).
Fast forward, he moves out of his home and a retired Army Soldier moves in. The Soldier finds the file and reports it to the Air Force. Captain Elmendorf was put under investigation and eventually was punished with an Article 15, which in the civilian world equates to a misdemeanor conviction. He did not go to jail, but I understand he got passed over to Major, when promotion time came around.
In the military if an officer does not make Major he/she does not get to stay for a twenty year retirement. If you don’t stay for twenty you do not get any retirement money.
This was actually briefed to me because I was an Air Force cop and was having a review of my Top Secret clearance. I think the reviewing officer was trying to make a point to me just how sensitive my clearance was, and how easy it would be for me to ruin my military career if I screwed up the handling of classified material. When I was on active duty, all Air Force officers had at least a secret clearance. There was always the unspoken threat that if your professional or personal life became to suspect, than your clearance might just get pulled temporarily or even worse, permanently.
With no clearance you cannot do your job, and no one will trust you, even if it is not your fault.
Now if you are under investigation for mishandling of classified “what-ever” then they start looking at the people you work with, and work for. All of a sudden your classified issues become a whole lot of other people’s classified problems, and no one wants your suspected classified failings to taint them and their career. You cannot really blame them, but no one will stick out their professional neck for your classified problems.
I have been talking to old friends both still in the classified game, or retired out of that world, and they all understand what Hillary Clinton has done. She allegedly has gone beyond the unauthorized release of Top Secret classified information into the world of ultra classified Special Access Program (SAP). In the SAP classified world violators can go to prison for life, depending on the information and the reason for that information being released.
I will tell you who is going to suffer for this–they are the “little people” of the US State Department.
The classified world does not just apply to Americans in uniform. It applies to the federal civilians who work for any and all US government agencies. There has to be many low-level and some senior State Department employees who are not getting much sleep at night for what they were required to do, involving the wrongful transferring of classified material, again allegedly at the direction of Clinton and her senior staff. While the FBI may not be getting their hands on Hillary’s server in her home, I am sure they have been knocking on underlings doors.
These scared “little people” have not been saying “no” to the FBI or any other agencies that are investigating this (here we go again, allegedly) classified violation.
If a four star General had done what Hillary is alleged to have done, that General would be long gone, and many in his chain of command would have also suffered. It is a fact that in war time and peace, people have died when classified material was compromised—go look up the tragic story of the USS Scorpion (https://www.ammoland.com/2014/04/russians-killed-her-they-will-kill-more/).
One person, Captain Elmendorf, involving classified material had his military career destroyed for something that most likely was not his fault, while another person allegedly involved in a vastly enhanced classified scandal, with possible life threatening conditions, gets to run for President of the United States.
Is there a glass ceiling in the classified world, and did Hillary shatter it, or just shatter the safety of our nation?
Major Van Harl USAF Ret. / [email protected]
About Major Van Harl USAF Ret.:
Major Van E. Harl USAF Ret., a career Police Officer in the U.S. Air Force was born in Burlington, Iowa, USA, in 1955. He was the Deputy Chief of police at two Air Force Bases and the Commander of Law Enforcement Operations at another. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Infantry School. A retired Colorado Ranger and currently is an Auxiliary Police Officer with the Cudahy PD in Milwaukee County, WI. His efforts now are directed at church campus safely and security training. He believes “evil hates organization.” [email protected]