Reality Winner Reveals Deep-State Rot
There is no greater threat to national security than an NSA run by unelected, wholly unaccountable zealots.
While the American Left was plumbing the depths of its ideologically induced ignorance by conflating John Brennan’s constitutional rights with his revoked security clearance, a shining example of Deep State rot has remained largely below the radar. On June 26, Reality Winner, a 26-year-old NSA contractor arrested for leaking classified information to a news outlet, pleaded guilty as charged. Last Thursday, it was revealed the virulently anti-Trump Georgia woman faces sentencing Aug. 23. According to the prosecutors’ court filings, Winner will receive the “longest sentence served by a federal defendant for an unauthorized disclosure to the media.”
Winner was arrested on June 3, 2017 for disseminating classified information to The Intercept, which published a story two days later on a classified NSA report regarding Russian hackers and the 2016 election. She was caught when the online news publication called the NSA to confirm the story.
Despite the fact that Winner’s crime carries a maximum sentence of 10 years, federal prosecutors believe the 63-month sentence they recommended will be sufficient to deter other government workers from leaking sensitive information.
The 27 ongoing investigations into leaks of classified information revealed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions at a House Oversight Committee meeting in 2017 suggest otherwise.
Regardless, prosecutors cited prior cases to justify their recommendation. In 2013, former FBI explosives expert Donald Sachtleben received a prison sentence of three years and seven months for leaking classified information, including intel he supplied to the AP about a 2012 U.S. operation in Yemen aimed at thwarting a plot to blow up a U.S.-bound airliner. That same year, CIA veteran John Kiriakou received two and a half years in prison for disclosing a covert officer’s identity to a reporter who subsequently disclosed it to an investigator working with a Guantanamo detainee’s attorney. And in 2015, CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling was sentenced to three and a half years in prison for leaking details of a secret mission to undermine Iran’s nuclear objectives.
Unsurprisingly, Winner’s attorneys argued her conduct was less egregious than those who got lighter sentences, “including cases where the factual conduct, and information leaked, was arguably worse,” they stated.
Government prosecutors insisted they gave Winner a deal to avoid exposing government secrets in a court room. “The Intelligence Community assessed that this further disclosure of the Intelligence Report and explaining its contents would compound the exceptionally grave harm to national security already caused by the defendant,” their court filing said.
Maybe. Or maybe what would have been exposed is just how deep the Deep State rot really goes. Here is a list of statements Winner posted on Twitter under the pseudonym Sara Winners:
—"since @realDonaldTrump clearly believes in time machines, why don’t you go back to Nazi Germany" —Oct. 19, 2016
—#notmypresident#Recount2016" —Nov. 29, 2016
—"When we deploy ‘All Lives Matter’ as to correct an intervention specifically created to address anti-blackness,, [sic] we lose the way in which the state apparatus has built a program of genocide and repression mostly on the backs of Black people — beginning with the theft of millions of people for free labor—and then adapted it to control, murder, and profit off of other communities of color and immigrant communities.“ —Jan 15, 2017
—”#TrumpIsAC-nt,“ Jan, 30, 2017
—"There are many Americans protesting US govt aggression towards Iran. If our Tangerine in Chief declares war, we stand with you!” —Feb. 7, 2017
—"the most dangerous entry to this country was the orange fascist we let into the white house" —Feb. 11, 2017
How do we know Sara Winners is Reality Winner? Each of the above posts contained her picture, removing any doubt that someone else posted the messages. And while Winner, like every other American, has a constitutional right to say virtually whatever she wants, she doesn’t get immunization from the *consequences *of doing so.
And therein lies the damnable and highly likely possibility regarding what the NSA is really trying to prevent the public from seeing: according to a timeline of Winner’s activities published by Axios and corroborated by CNN, she was assigned to a U.S. government agency facility at Fort Gordon, a U.S. Army post near Augusta Georgia, and given top security clearance on February 13, 2017.
Thus, every one of the above tweets was posted before the NSA granted her top security clearance, and before she was granted access to some of the nation’s most sensitive classified intelligence.
How does a Trump-bashing, Caucasian-condemning, radical leftist who believes “white terrorist” America is engaged in genocide and repression of minorities not only get security clearance but maintain it, right up to the point she is indicted by a grand jury?
How does anyone procure any job after publicly disseminating statements demonstrating utter contempt for one’s future boss?
Are Americans supposed to believe NSA vetting procedures are so lax an agency that can ostensibly access more information than any other entity on the planet missed Winner’s social media posts? Or are those who vetted her — along with those further up the chain of command — of the same ideological mindset?
It gets worse. During the grand jury hearing, the judge denied Winner bond because prosecutors revealed she was a flight risk. “Based on evidence seized from her home, federal prosecutors detailed Winner’s alleged plans to burn down the White House and travel to Afghanistan, pledging her allegiance to the Taliban,” WSB-TV reported in June 2017.
Moreover, prosecutors recorded jailhouse calls between Reality and her sister, during which Reality revealed she would attempt to manipulate the court “by playing a cute white girl with her cute little braids and perhaps shedding some tears,” assistant U.S. attorney Jennifer Solari explained.
The breathtaking lack of maturity demonstrated by the tweets, her addled ideas about burning down the White House, etc., and the obliviousness demonstrated by the fact it didn’t occur to her jailhouse phone calls might be recorded, brings us back to that uncomfortable question: How does someone with such obvious shortcomings get a job with the world’s foremost intelligence-gathering institution?
In the midst of what looks increasingly like a coordinated deep-state effort to delegitimize a duly-elected president, the public deserves answers. Prosecutorial assertions about avoiding a trial to prevent compounding the harm to national security ring as hollow as similar — and already debunked — assertions made by the FBI and DOJ.
There is no greater threat to national security than an NSA run by unelected, wholly unaccountable zealots. Zealots who remain protected by unverified assertions of the damage exposing the machinations surrounding Winner’s hiring would ostensibly engender.
NSA Director Mike Rogers needs to get to the bottom of those machinations for the simplest of reasons: If someone as transparently radical as Winner can get hired, then the hiring process is corrupt.
Corrupted by whom?