Does the US Postal Service qualify as an intelligence agency? If you work for the US Postal Inspection Service, it seems you might just in fact be a member of the intelligence community. That means that you have to fill out what’s called an SF-86 Security Clearance form. Abigail Spanberger is a former CIA operations officer who previously worked for the US Postal Inspection Service. She’s running on the Democratic ticket for Congress in Virginia and her unredacted SF-86 apparently ended up in the hands of the Congressional Leadership Fund, which is Paul Ryan territory.

Evil acts of espionage were to blame if you believe other Democrat candidates with backgrounds in intel or the military like retired Lieutenant Colonel Amy McGrath who’s gunning for a seat in Kentucky. Here’s Colonel McGrath dressing down some anonymous, theoretically-GOP, n’er-do-well, good-fer-nuthin’ leaker:

If this was deliberately leaked, it’s a despicable act by a political party that loves to tout its national security credentials, but then goes after those who worked to provide it.

Who cares about Bruce Ohr or Glenn Simpson when you have Post Office security clearances ending up in the hands of GOP PAC’s?! This must be collusion! Let’s start impeachment proceedings against whoever is responsible for this!

Maybe not quite so fast. A day or so later, the USPS fessed up to making a clerical error – albeit an important error that sheds light on how government agencies, the Post Office included, have detailed and elaborate protocols on how to respond to FOIA requests for details on a candidate. Something that is standard practice in politics and has been for some time. It appears that someone screwed up in what information they released to America Rising. What seemed to have happened is an unredacted SF-86 with all of Spanberger’s sensitive personal details was mistakenly released to America Rising, who passed it on to the Congressional Leadership Fund.

America Rising is a conservative PAC that provides opposition research on Democratic candidates. A Red Fusion GPS if you wish, although Fusion GPS’s true colors are closer to green, with shades of blue and even a little red when necessary.

The Colonel from Kentucky is not impressed. And in Virginia, Spanberger is insisting that foul play was involved – despite USPS spokesperson Dave Partenheimer insisting that it was “because of human error.” Lawsuits are being launched and Spanberger, McGrath and others are doing their best to fan the flames of their own outrage in order to gain an edge. For example, in Virginia’s 7th district where Spanberger is up against David Brat – whose shock primary win over David Cantor back in 2014 heralded the voter rebellion in both parties that was to come in 2016.

So yes, a botched SF-86 in a FOIA request by a PAC clearly requires shock and awe tactics from a retired Colonel and a former spy. It just feels a touch manufactured, if you’ll forgive me. But hey, it might work and in a mid-term election that’s all about setting the groundwork for impeachment proceedings against a sitting president, anything that paints GOP/conservative PAC’s as scheming and underhanded is worth a shot.

Comments