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Wed Oct 23, 2019, 11:36 AM

Why the Gaetz et al SCIF stunt is a VERY serious national security problem

Mieke Eoyang ✔ @MiekeEoyang, 10:47 AM - Oct 23, 2019

A few words on why Gaetz stunt to storm the SCIF to disrupt Laura Cooper's deposition is a VERY serious national security problem. Note, I worked in that SCIF for HPSCI and handled cybersecurity issues while there.

Aside from disrupting the testimony of a DoD official shedding light on the President's attempts to extort a sham investigation into the child of his most feared political rival by withholding military aid that Congress gave to resist a Russian invasion.

Storming the SCIF without respecting the security protocols that require people to leave their electronic devices *outside* the space, is actually compromising our national security.

First, the SCIF itself is a secure facility designed to prevent electronic eavesdropping so members of Congress can receive highly classified information about how the nation collects information on its adversaries, and on *very* sensitive intelligence operations.

Foreign adversaries are constantly trying to figure out what goes on inside those rooms to figure out what the US knows about them, to out US high-level sources in their governments, to know what the US government knows and use it against us.

The facilities are carefully designed and controlled to ensure that electronic signals, surveillance methods, or other listening devices do not compromise the information discussed in these rooms. I will not, for obvious reasons, go into details.

Bringing electronic devices into a SCIF, and this SCIF in particular is *very* problematic, especially when done by members of Congress. Because Members of Congress (and their electronic devices) are high-value targets for compromise by foreign intelligence services.

Members of Congress have access to a wide range of sensitive information, including, in the case of these members, conversations with the President of the United States. They travel internationally, receive emails from the public, and meet with foreign dignitaries.

As politicians, they're also highly sensitive to revelations of derogatory information, which means that foreign adversaries are very interested in collecting same.

They also tend to be lax in their security protocols. This means they may not know they have been compromised. For example, their phones can be turned into listening devices without their knowledge.

This is why outside HPSCI there is a security guard and a series of cabinets for people to leave (and lock) their electronic devices while they are inside the room. Failure to follow this protocol can violate the security of the entire SCIF.

After an incident like this happens, countermeasures have to be taken to ensure the SCIF is not compromised. It is a time-consuming, technical process, which again, I will not discuss.

But in "storming the SCIF" without observing the security protocols, Rep. Gaetz et al, endangered our national security & demonstrated they care more about a political stunt than protecting intelligence information. I cannot emphasize enough how serious this is.

To ensure that the information was secure, the members should give over their electronic devices for scanning to ensure no malware was on them, and that they have not compromised the SCIF. If they don't want to give them up, they should have checked them before entering.

So, to recap: To disrupt testimony from a DOD official on how the President endangered national security for both the US and Ukraine by withholding military aid, the President's allies further endangered national security by storming the SCIF with their electronic devices.


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Arrow 48 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why the Gaetz et al SCIF stunt is a VERY serious national security problem (Original post)
fleur-de-lisa Oct 2019 OP
ramen Oct 2019 #1
dalton99a Oct 2019 #2
atreides1 Oct 2019 #6
shanti Oct 2019 #22
renate Oct 2019 #38
2naSalit Oct 2019 #3
fleur-de-lisa Oct 2019 #4
Initech Oct 2019 #44
Bayard Oct 2019 #5
LuvNewcastle Oct 2019 #12
RobertDevereaux Oct 2019 #7
Backseat Driver Oct 2019 #8
Qutzupalotl Oct 2019 #9
crickets Oct 2019 #19
LineLineReply .
jberryhill Oct 2019 #29
Hermit-The-Prog Oct 2019 #10
LuvNewcastle Oct 2019 #14
True Blue American Oct 2019 #30
moondust Oct 2019 #11
apnu Oct 2019 #13
tritsofme Oct 2019 #21
apnu Oct 2019 #24
NewJeffCT Oct 2019 #39
usaf-vet Oct 2019 #43
tritsofme Oct 2019 #45
usaf-vet Oct 2019 #46
MFM008 Oct 2019 #15
gratuitous Oct 2019 #16
RVN VET71 Oct 2019 #34
bdamomma Oct 2019 #17
NewJeffCT Oct 2019 #40
bdamomma Oct 2019 #47
demmiblue Oct 2019 #18
crickets Oct 2019 #20
struggle4progress Oct 2019 #23
Lars39 Oct 2019 #25
Garrett78 Oct 2019 #26
Polly Hennessey Oct 2019 #27
Initech Oct 2019 #28
SCVDem Oct 2019 #31
demmiblue Oct 2019 #32
srose58089 Oct 2019 #33
renate Oct 2019 #42
George II Oct 2019 #35
Kid Berwyn Oct 2019 #37
Kid Berwyn Oct 2019 #36
Pepsidog Oct 2019 #41
calimary Oct 2019 #48

Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 11:38 AM

1. This is total insanity.

I am stunned

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 11:40 AM

2. Another day, another proof that Republicans will go to extraordinary lengths to protect the traitor.

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Response to dalton99a (Reply #2)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 11:49 AM

6. Not only Trump

These people are protecting themselves. My theory is that the remaining Republicans in the House have either been compromised by the Russians(face it the Russians are better at compromising, then the US has ever been), or the money going into their campaigns has been from foreign sources and they've been aware of it for some time now...and Trump has the books that shows who received what and which foreign entity they received it from!!!

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Response to atreides1 (Reply #6)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 12:45 PM

22. Nailed it!

Follow the money!

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Response to atreides1 (Reply #6)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 02:26 PM

38. when I first heard about this breach of security, I thought "wow, they must *actually* support Trump

Which seems so unlikely. He's always making them look like sycophants and their party look corrupt and lawless.

But yeah. You must be right. I mean, I absolutely adore Elizabeth Warren, but I wouldn't hang my own ass out to dry for her. I wouldn't hang my own ass out to dry for anyone, even family, if they'd done something criminal. There must be more than a weird admiration for him going on here.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 11:40 AM

3. Meltdown expected... nt

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 11:41 AM

4. By the way, THESE IDIOTS JUST COMMITTED A FELONY!

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Reply #4)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 04:34 PM

44. Does it matter at this point? They'll scream "fake news".

Or concoct some half-assed conspiracy theory that's 100% bullshit. These guys are drunk with power and they will let everyone know it.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 11:48 AM

5. Not being funny...

But don't they lock the doors?

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Response to Bayard (Reply #5)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 12:11 PM

12. That's what I'm wondering.

Were there guards at the doors and were they pushed aside? I don't see how they could have such a sensitive meeting without precautions being taken, such as locking the doors.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 11:50 AM

7. Horrendous, unacceptable, the tactics of fascist thugs.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 11:52 AM

8. It's been awhile - is there resolution of this situation?

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 11:54 AM

9. There were reports on Twitter that one of the disruptors was FILMING.

Why that matters: it allows foreign governments who might have compromised the phone or be receiving the video feed to PINPOINT THE LOCATION OF WITNESSES IN THE ROOM.

If, as I suspect, Russia was behind the brain injuries of diplomats in Cuba, they could use this info and capability to target Cooper and anyone else who testifies — to send a message. They might even be able to target Democratic leaders in the room. (On edit: the diplomats in Cuba were in their living quarters and not in a SCIF; nevertheless, not much is known about the capabilities of the suspected weapon.)

I hope the Democrats can rearrange the room somehow to at least move the witness.

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Response to Qutzupalotl (Reply #9)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 12:38 PM

19. Video - this is probably taken by press but

as it is, you can see at least one person with a phone on, obviously taking vids as he goes by.


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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 11:56 AM

10. the delay was the point

"After an incident like this happens, countermeasures have to be taken to ensure the SCIF is not compromised. It is a time-consuming, technical process, which again, I will not discuss. "


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Response to Hermit-The-Prog (Reply #10)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 12:14 PM

14. Yes. Trump is planning a big distraction and needs more time to pull it off.

The GOP doesn't want bombshells coming out of these meetings before they're able to do their deed.

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Response to LuvNewcastle (Reply #14)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 01:23 PM

30. Did you see

How quick they rushed Trump out of the room after that self glorifying stunt? Not one question and he was 50minutes late. They must have had an awful time dragging him out, making him presentable, calm enough to make a speech.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 12:03 PM

11. Congressional hooligans.

Lock them up to prevent further hooliganism and security breaches.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 12:13 PM

13. These are all House members?

If so, they can be punished by the House. Dear Nancy Pelosi, its time to bring the claws out. Don't be nice.

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Response to apnu (Reply #13)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 12:44 PM

21. How do you suppose she punish them? Aside from censure

I’m not sure the toolbox is very deep.

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Response to tritsofme (Reply #21)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 12:47 PM

24. doesn't have to be deep

But there's the Sergent-in-Arms, plus revocation of security clearances if they have any.

But censure is a powerful, if public and often symbolic tool. There are ramifications with voters, fundraising, and partnerships on the Hill.

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Response to apnu (Reply #24)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 02:32 PM

39. Revocation of security clearance should be a given

unfortunately, expulsion from the House requires a 2/3 vote

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Response to tritsofme (Reply #21)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 04:28 PM

43. Start by taking away any committee assignments.

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Response to usaf-vet (Reply #43)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 04:43 PM

45. The majority party does not choose committee assignments for minority members.

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Response to tritsofme (Reply #45)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 04:52 PM

46. Thanks for the clarification.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 12:26 PM

15. Pelosi

Needs to drop the blade on these bastards.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 12:31 PM

16. I'd say Republicans don't care about national security

And that this stunt proves it, but I've been informed here that that's just "barking orders" and not to be done. So, by all means, don't jump to the conclusion that Republican's don't care about national security, and if you think that these House members should face some consequences for their actions, well that's wrong, too! So just cut it out, everybody.

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Response to gratuitous (Reply #16)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 01:34 PM

34. If the situation had been reversed, with Repubs being "invaded" by Dems,

the GOP and its sad excuse for an orange haired leader would be calling for 2nd amendment solutions.

But as the situation was not reversed, I expect Fox and other platforms of right wing nuttery will simply pooh pooh the security breach and grin about how these fools got over on the Libs and how the Libs are such snowflakes, blah, blah, blah.

As an very left-leaning Independent believer in non-violence, I'd settle for putting the lot of them, including Gohmert and Gaetz -- oh, for sure Gohmert and Gaetz -- in public stocks and placing a "public urination permitted here, donations accepted" sign over each of their sad, traitorous, miserable heads.



(Oh God, we are so screwed as a nation! The division between the left and right gets wider and more formidable daily. Trump worsened it, but the GOP has been working to keep it deep and un-bridgeable since Carter lost to Reagan.)

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 12:31 PM

17. I hope Ms. Pelosi

can round up these thugs.

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Response to bdamomma (Reply #17)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 02:33 PM

40. I believe she is at a funeral today

which is why Gaetz tried his shenanigans

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Response to NewJeffCT (Reply #40)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 05:17 PM

47. Could be related

to her brother that passed away. It just never stops.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 12:33 PM

18. K&R

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 12:42 PM

20. K&R

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 12:47 PM

23. They should be reminded on the rules governing the secure location, together with the standards

of behavior expected for House members, and these matters should be referred to the Ethics Committee for its recommendation

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 12:50 PM

25. They should have been arrested and every damn phone confiscated

and examined.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 12:50 PM

26. If they don't get charged with and found guilty of committing a felony, it won't matter.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 12:56 PM

27. Can't they just lock the doors?

Where was security? If we continue to be afraid of these idiots, they will win.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 01:03 PM

28. The GOP thinks they are entitled to absolute power.

Like Patriots fans thinking they are entitled to a Super Bowl win. This stunt reminds us of what they are after.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 01:28 PM

31. Use of deadly force

 

Would be authorized.

Same as Area 51.

To even take a picture of a classified area is a crime. Worse when you know better.

They have violated our highest security and cost taxpayers money to rescue the chamber.

Censure at least. Better, jail

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 01:30 PM

32. ...

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 01:34 PM

33. Trump conspired with House Republicans to obstruct impeachment hearings by storming secure room: rep

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Response to srose58089 (Reply #33)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 02:37 PM

42. OMG. What an absolute criminal he is

And it looks like they're just realizing that they're criminals too:

Republican lawmakers led by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) on Wednesday stormed into the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) in the House of Representatives to disrupt the closed-door impeachment inquiry hearings taking place.

Many of these GOP lawmakers subsequently sent out tweets informing followers that they were offering updates from within the SCIF, which means that they very likely broke security protocols by bringing unsecured phones with cameras into what is supposed to be a secure location.

After apparently realizing that they’ve opened themselves up to potentially being denied future security clearances, many of these lawmakers posted followup tweets letting people know that it was their staffers outside of the SCIF who were tweeting.

“All tweets sent out when I’m in the SCIF are being transmitted to staff for publication,” wrote Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ).

https://www.rawstory.com/2019/10/gop-lawmakers-scramble-to-backtrack-after-realizing-their-scif-stunt-broke-security-protocols/

What asshats. Asshats who try to throw their staff under the bus, apparently. But how would their staffers have received anything if the representatives hadn't taken their cell phones in?

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 01:35 PM

35. He looks good in orange:

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Response to George II (Reply #35)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 01:42 PM

37. Too bad his college roommate isn't around to tell us his story.

Death ruled suicide. Odd, seeing how the FSU Freshman had a bright future to look forward to.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 01:36 PM

36. TRAITORS put themselves ahead of their country.

Should be brought up around election time, but until then, it bears repeating:

TRAITORS put themselves ahead of their country.

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Wed Oct 23, 2019, 02:37 PM

41. Great info. Thanks!

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Response to fleur-de-lisa (Original post)

Thu Oct 24, 2019, 12:08 AM

48. Lock him up.

At least keep the other motorists and pedestrians 🚶 n the road around him safe from Representative Reprehensible.

We also saw your mugshot, Matt. On Rachel Maddow’s show. No wonder you stand with the Orange Menace. Orange is your color too (as in the well-dressed prison inmate).

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