Of leaks and oaths and voter lists

So we have yet another government contractor accused of leaking top secret documents to the media or other persons. In this case, Reality Winner now finds herself arrested and charged. According to media reports, the government narrowed it down to Winner being one of only six who printed out the documents in question and the only one in e-mail contact with the journalist in question. More, the media reports that she has admitted to being the leak. Even so, her attorney says she will plead not guilty and looks forward to her day in court.

Now, tell me this, am I the only one hearing Charlie Sheen in the back of my mind yelling, “Winner!”?

This revelation, if you can call it that, comes on the heels of a discussion I had with someone not long ago about what it means to make and oath and who will actually feel the moral need to stick to said oath.

Every member of the military, every person holding a top secret clearance pledges to uphold their oaths to the United States. The oaths may be different in verbiage but they all come down to one simple premise: the person taking them pledges to act in a certain way. In Winner’s case, she pledged not to violate the trust placed in her by her employer and by the United States not to reveal top secret information without prior authorization. If the media reports are accurate, she not only violated those oaths but she did so willingly and knowingly and has admitted to doing so.

So what is it she is alleged to have leaked?

From what I can tell, she supposedly leaked information that the NSA (or one of the other alphabet agencies) had proof the Russians attempted to hack voter registration rolls shortly before the election. Two things struck me when I heard that. First, that the Russians attempted to hack to rolls. Second, that the information they were after is, at least in Texas, available to any candidate. How do you think you get those targeted phone calls and mailings each election cycle? The candidates can ask for a list of those who voted in the previous election or primary. That gives the candidate not only the voters’ names but much more, including their voting history (limited but yes).

Something else to consider. If the Russians really wanted to influence the election, they would have been doing this much earlier and would have been doing more than “attempting” to hack. After all, early voting now comprises in many states the majority of votes cast. I know that here in Texas, you no longer have to present one of a limited number of statutorily recognized reasons to be allowed to cast an early ballot. Instead, polls are open for approximately 2 weeks prior to the election to allow anyone who wants to avoid the lines on election day the chance to vote.

Now, if the Russians were trying to hack in to see how the vote was going, that’s a different thing. But none of the reports I’ve seen or heard have said that. Even if they were trying to see how the vote was going, it was a too little too late. Unless, of course, they are playing a long game — something that wouldn’t surprise me one bit.

Still, are we ready to admit the Russians understood better what was happening in our country than the Democratic Party’s candidate and long-time politico Hillary Clinton? I don’t know about you but it worries me that a supposed ally, a country we have been at loggerheads with more often than not, might understand our country and our voters more than a woman who was First Lady, senator, Secretary of State and presidential nominee for a major party.

If that was the case, it should be a wake-up call not only to both the Democratic and Republican Parties but to all of us.

But getting back to Reality Winner.

If the evidence proves beyond a reasonable doubt that she did violate her oaths, she should not only be prosecuted but she should feel the full force of the law coming down on her head. Her own political beliefs matter not. Nor does her concern about any particular issue. She pledged to do a certain job and, as part of the job, not to reveal national secrets and she violated that oath. She can’t claim she didn’t know what she was doing. She served six years in the military and held a top secret clearance there. In the private contractors sector she held a similar clearance. She would have been told exactly what that meant and she willingly agreed to uphold the oath.

If she violated it, and it appears she did, she should now pay the consequences.

Of course, this being the day and age where a certain segment of our populace seems to believe themselves above consequences, you can expect to hear them coming to her defense because Trump! or Bush! or whatever.

The time has come to tighten security and to make sure those who violate it and break their oaths learn there are consequences and they will rain down on them and there is no umbrella, figurative or literal, capable of protecting them.


  1. If my reading of initial reports was true, she was one of six – at that site, who printed the report. Why a Pashtun translator would have access to Russia-related intelligence is a whole other matter.

    1. I had wondered the same thing about why she had access. To me, it proves there are gaps in the process that need to be addressed.

      1. Why? she was hired by the obama administration. That should be a red flag right there. Secondly, there was evidence all over her social media that she was a hardcore ‘rat supporter. That would be a plus in the idiots obama placed in charge of HIRING these fools. They had this convoluted idea in their head that even though Trump was in charge now, some democrat somewhere would swoop down and save them. And that’s no lie. That IS their mentality.

        “I’m pretty, white and cute,” Winner allegedly told her sister, adding that she would braid her hair and cry in court to gain attendees’ sympathy.

    1. I’ve long said there are some crimes where the punishment does need to be public. Part of punishment is to “encourage” others not to do the crime. But you lose that by delaying punishment for years and then doing it in a closed location where no one but a very few actually see what happens.

  2. If there is a 10 year maximum prison sentence for this leak, she should get 11. Comey should also be prosecuted for leaking.

    1. I’ve read reports that she admitted to downloading secret files onto a thumb drive while still in the AF. Not only has no one found the thumb drive, she has also been to Qatar since then. Leaking information may be the LEAST of her charges.

  3. I was in the military long ago and worked with classified stuff. Breaking my promise not to reveal anything I did or saw was was such a foreign concept to me I couldn’t even imagine doing it. I still can’t.

    1. Every friend and family member I’ve spoken with who served (or who are currently serving) int he military agree with you. They also said they would deserve whatever happened to them if they did violate those oaths.

  4. “If the evidence proves beyond a reasonable doubt that she did violate her oaths”

    She admitted to law enforcement that she did it. What more proof do you need?

    1. Basically, I want to see exactly what she said and not what someone else says she said. Mind you, i have no doubt she said what is alleged.

  5. “the Russians attempted to hack voter registration rolls shortly before the election.”

    Amanda, there’s a third thing that should have hit you: these are the same rolls that Democrats know contain inaccurate data: dead people, people registered in multiple jurisdictions, etc. Yet every attempt to remove inaccurate information, and every attempt to verify that only citizens eligible to vote are entered there, are met by howls of “bigot”, “raaaaacist”, “voter suppression”, and furious legal challenges by those same Democrats.

    And now they want us to believe that it’s a matter of grave national security concern that the Russians may have made the inaccurate more inaccurate? What a bunch of lying hypocrites.

  6. I have yet to see anyone explain how hacking voter registration rolls would be helpful in trying to influence the election. Did Russia have thousands of agents in the country illegally that they could register and then vote? If they tampered with actual voter records, say by eliminating them, virtually every state has some system of provisional ballots that could be used even if a voter’s registration was wiped out. I just don’t get what the advantage would be or how they would even use it.

      1. That stone may also have had more than one target. See my comment about voter registration and recall that Trump has already asked for an investigation into the voting system.

        “Let me get this straight: a matter of grave national security justifying impeachment and overturning the election last week is now a raaaaacist act when we take steps to determine how widespread it was and how to clean out incorrect information and prevent it from happening again?”

    1. “I have yet to see anyone explain how hacking voter registration rolls would be helpful in trying to influence the election. ”

      Simple. Take a look at this story and then tell me that the plan wasn’t for someone to pick up those ballots, fill them out, and send them in.


      “His wife, Madalena Mosna, noted their 89-year-old neighbor lives by herself, and, “Eighty people can’t fit in that apartment.””

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