WASHINGTON — Computer contractor Yiman F. Salim must have felt like
a plumber. The White House e-mail-archiving system had sprung yet
another leak, and Salim was called in again to help fix it.
It was April 1999, and she’d found a new problem with the Automated
Records Management System put together by the Clinton-Gore team to store
and search electronic messages, as required by a 1994 law.
This time, ARMS was rejecting all in-coming e-mail sent to White
House users whose first name starts with the letter “D.”
The “bleeding” started in November 1998 — the same month, curiously
enough, that a more than two-year gap in records for e-mail sent to the
White House server used by President Clinton and his staff had ended.
Some 500 users were affected.
So just as Salim and other Northrop Grumman technicians had fixed one
leak, another one started (though the letter “D” leak sprung across all
five main White House e-mail servers).
Congress, a federal court and the independent counsel have demanded
the White House search for the missing e-mail from Clinton’s server and
turn it over to them as part of their outstanding subpoenas in various
Of the estimated million e-mails missing, some are said to involve
the Jones-Lewinsky case, Filegate and 1996 Clinton-Gore fund-raising.
Meanwhile, scarce attention has been paid to all the letter “D”
e-mails that escaped White House archives from November 1998 to June
But they may carry national security significance.
Internal White House documents recently obtained under subpoena by
Congress show that the letter “D” problem affected 10 times more White House users working at the National Security Council than did the previous archiving problem.
ARMS failed to capture e-mail sent to just two NSC staffers from August 1996 to November 1998.
But from November 1998 to June 1999 — a tense period for the White House, which covered the run-up to the May 1999 release of the Cox report on Chinese espionage — ARMS rejected incoming messages to 21 National Security Council staffers.
One of them is David Halperin, then a director of foreign-policy speechwriting at NSC. His father, Morton Halperin, works at the State Department. He became director of State policy planning in 1998.
A long-time China booster, the senior Halperin urged in the ’60s that the U.S. extend diplomatic recognition to Red China and work for its admission into the United Nations.
In the ’70s, he traveled with pro-China lobbyist Henry Kissinger to then-Peking as an NSC staffer before heading the Center for National Security Studies, a spin-off of the pro-Marxist think tank Institute for Policy Studies. CNSS also is aligned with the National Lawyers Guild, which was formed with the aid of Comintern, or Communist International.
A recent book has linked Halperin to the KGB. And a former State expert on the former Soviet Union told WorldNetDaily recently that
Halperin showed up on U.S. embassy briefing cards during the height
of the Cold War as a “communist agent.”
Halperin, a Clinton appointee, has worked tirelessly for banning U.S. nuclear weapons, as well as any U.S. spying on groups suspected of un-American activities.
Fifteen State laptops containing highly classified intelligence information have gone missing recently. One of them was checked out to Halperin’s office. Two officials have been punished, but not Halperin.
It’s not clear if the Halperins exchanged e-mails in late 1998 or early 1999. During that time, National Security Adviser Sandy Berger and others on his team were locked in fierce negotiations with the bipartisan Cox Commission over how much of the explosive findings to declassify. Berger, a former China lobbyist who argued for censoring most of the report, managed to redact about a third of it.
Berger spokesman David Leavy’s e-mails also are missing for that period.
Adding to suspicions is the White House’s recent admission, overlooked by the press, that still another computer “glitch” — only recently discovered — knocked a two-year hole in all National Security Council e-mail records over a period covering the full length of the Cox investigation, which was launched in early 1998 to look into Clinton approving rocket technology transfers to China.
The gap, as revealed in U.S. court testimony by lawyers for the White House, stretches from June 1997 to August 1999 — a period that also covers the Thompson committee’s Chinagate fund-raising hearings, which began in early July 1997, as well as the belated FBI investigation of Los Alamos scientist Wen Ho Lee, now on trial for mishandling nuclear secrets.
The gaps mean there is no searchable computer record of any messages sent during that time to the National Security Council from outside government agencies, including the FBI, the Attorney General’s office, the Pentagon, Energy, State or the CIA. Any e-mails sent by the Democratic National Committee would also be out of reach.
One of the technicians working on the NSC’s e-mail archiving system at the time was none other than Tung “Eric” Duong, the contractor the White House has hired to head the court-ordered e-mail reconstruction project that’s been hampered by technical setbacks and delays.
Duong, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Vietnam, worked with NSC staffer Brian Cooper, according to a Sept. 4, 1998, memo from White House computer-records manager Tony Barry.
Duong’s Small Business Administration profile, which lists Barry as his lead reference, also shows he’s been cleared by White House security to handle “Secret” information. He worked in the White House from July 1997 to September 1999.