Unraveling The Abuse Of Intelligence Gathering

Opposition research is part of any good political campaign. To some extent, dirty tricks also appear in political campaigns. Politics is a blood sport, and many of our politicians are extremely Machiavellian. However, when government agencies are used against a political candidate, we have ventured into something dangerous and illegal that must be stopped. That is the place we find ourselves with the FISA Warrants issued to spy on the Trump campaign.

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article about the abuses of FISA during the 2016 presidential campaign. It is a very complex article, but I will attempt to post some of the highlights. I strongly suggest that you follow the link above to read the entire article and watch the video.

The article reports:

Way back when CTH first began the deep dive into the systems and processes that were deployed in the 2015/2016 election cycle we eventually came to the conclusion that everything of substance, within the larger intelligence abuses, revolved around DOJ and FBI abuses of the FISA process.

As an outcome of multiple research deep-dives we then focused on a specific foundational block of that usurpation, the fraudulent application presented to the FISA Court by officials within the FBI and DOJ-NSD (National Security Division).  The October 21st, 2016, application to the FISA Court for surveillance authority upon U.S. person Carter Page; and by extension the Donald Trump campaign.

Throughout all further inquiries this central component remains at the center of the issue.  Unlawful surveillance is the originating principal behind Operation Crossfire Hurricane; it is also the originating issue within the Peter Strzok “insurance policy”; additionally, it is the originating aspect to the Clinton/Steele dossier; etc. etc. the list is long.  Chase any of the corrupt threads back to their source of origin and you eventually come back to the surveillance authority within the FISA processes.

The article explains what is being done to prevent future FISA abuses:

FISA is a process, and when used appropriately, within all guidelines, is essentially a surveillance tool. However, it is a tool that is entirely subject to the honor of the user. If the user is corrupt, or holds corrupt intent, the tool easily becomes a weapon. That’s what happened in 2015, 2016 and likely long before that. The weaponization is so easy to initiate that NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers admitted the intelligence community could not adequately prevent it. So Rogers went about eliminating massive aspects to it, completely.

…The movement of the U.S. Cyber Command, literally into another combatant command, essentially merging NSA into a functional branch of the U.S. military, is clear evidence that people like Admiral Mike Rogers took action, in hindsight, knowing the Obama administration weaponized data collection, a function of government, for political benefit. Now, in hindsight, the action they took in May of this year all begins to make sense.

The article includes a statement by Rod Rosenstein about the FISA warrant he signed:

…We sit down with a team of attorneys from the Department of Justice. All of whom review that and provide a briefing for us for what’s in it. And I’ve reviewed that one in some detail, and I can tell you the information about that doesn’t match with my understanding of the one that I signed, but I think it’s appropriate to let the Inspector General complete that investigation. These are serious allegations. I don’t do the investigation — I’m not the affiant. I’m reviewing the finished product, sir.

Loosely translated Rosenstein is saying that he doesn’t have the courage to take on the deep state so he is letting the Inspector General deal with it.

The article concludes:

Many of those DOJ-NSD officials who participated in the Rosenstein briefing, or assembled the underlying briefing material, left after the time-period in question (June 2017).  Additionally, almost all of the FBI officials left, retired, resigned after this time-period.  There was also massive exit of all of corrupt support officials from inside the DOJ-NSD and FBI when the Page/Strzok text messages surfaced (December 2017) and the evidence of the political operation became public.

However, as all of these *inside* officials left the DOJ and FBI, another entire set of *outside* DOJ and FBI officials replaced them; and the originating counterintelligence operation was rebranded and handed over to Robert Mueller.

The inside government usurpation operation became an outside government usurpation operation, essentially using contract agents hired by the inside group prior to exit.  The remaining fragments of the ‘insurance policy‘ are in the hands of Robert Mueller’s team.

We need to gather intelligence to protect ourselves from people in other countries who mean us harm. However, we also need to protect ourselves from people within our government who abuse our intelligence gathering capabilities.

 

 

Sometimes The Double Standard Is Breathtaking

Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial today about data collection.  Oddly enough, the editorial was not about Facebook and the Trump campaign.

The editorial states:

In 2012, the Obama campaign encouraged supporters to download an Obama 2012 Facebook app that, when activated, let the campaign collect Facebook data both on users and their friends.

According to a July 2012 MIT Technology Review article, when you installed the app, “it said it would grab information about my friends: their birth dates, locations, and ‘likes.’ “

The campaign boasted that more than a million people downloaded the app, which, given an average friend-list size of 190, means that as many as 190 million had at least some of their Facebook data vacuumed up by the Obama campaign — without their knowledge or consent.

If anything, Facebook made it easy for Obama to do so. A former campaign director, Carol Davidsen, tweeted that “Facebook was surprised we were able to suck out the whole social graph, but they didn’t stop us once they realized that was what we were doing.”

This Facebook treasure trove gave Obama an unprecedented ability to reach out to nonsupporters. More important, the campaign could deliver carefully targeted campaign messages disguised as messages from friends to millions of Facebook users.

The campaign readily admitted that this subtle deception was key to their Facebook strategy.

“People don’t trust campaigns. They don’t even trust media organizations,” Teddy Goff, the Obama campaign’s digital director, said at the time. “Who do they trust? Their friends.”

According to a Time magazine account just after Obama won re-election, “the team blitzed the supporters who had signed up for the app with requests to share specific online content with specific friends simply by clicking a button.”

The effort was called a “game-changer” in the 2012 election, and the Obama campaign boasted that it was “the most groundbreaking piece of technology developed for the campaign.”

First of all, if you have any expectation of privacy on Facebook, you need to get rid of that expectation immediately. Privacy on Facebook does not exist. Do not write anything on Facebook that you wouldn’t want to see on the front page of The New York Times. Other than than there’s no problem.

The editorial concludes with an observation about the double standard:

More important, the vast majority of people involved in these data-mining operations had no idea they were participating. And in the case of Obama, they had no way of knowing that the Obama campaign material cluttering their feed wasn’t really just political urgings from their friends.

There is one other big difference: how these revelations were received by pundits and the press. In 2012, Obama was wildly celebrated in news stories for his mastery of Big Data, and his genius at mining it to get out the vote.

We were told then about how the campaign “won the race for voter data,” and how it “connected with young voters.” His data analytics gurus were treated as heroes.

This is not to say that Facebo0k doesn’t deserve criticism. Clearly, its data-protection policies have been slipshod.

But the recent fury exposes a massive double standard on the part of those now raising hell.

When Obama was exploiting Facebook users to help win re-election, it was an act of political genius. When Trump attempted something similar, with unclear results, it’s a travesty of democracy and further evidence that somehow he stole the election.

Welcome to the new world of elections–candidates will gather information anywhere they can. It is up to the public to guard their own privacy.

There Is A Good Alternative To Common Core

Common Core has come under fire for many reasons. It is an untested academic standards program the involves data mining activities that make the NSA look like amateurs. The program claims it is not curricula, but a close examinations shows that it controls curricula by controlling a test program that has put undue stress on our schoolchildren. There are also a number of child development specialists who have stated that much of the material included in Common Core is inappropriate for the age groups receiving the instruction.

There is a better way to educate our children than Common Core. The North Carolina Education Plan has been developed in North Carolina as an alternative to Common Core. The developers of the North Carolina Education Plan (NCEP) recently met with Classroom Teachers Association of North Carolina President, Judy Kidd and Steve Oreskovic in Greensboro, North Carolina.

The goal of the meeting was to form an alliance to move the NCEP forward in North Carolina. One of the major items on the agenda in moving NCEP forward is to end the Kindergarten Entry Assessment (KEA). This aspect of Common Core forces schools to collect information on children, including photographs and biometric data. It is the first link in the K through work force chain that is envisioned for this and future generations.

These are some of the problems with the KEA: 1) Teachers must evaluate, profile students and being an electronic portfolio on each five year old entering the system. This profile contains clinical areas such as Emotional & Social Development. These areas are not only clinical in nature, but are very subjective. 2) Data collection cannot be secured. Using a “unique identifier” (UID) does not guarantee the child’s name cannot be hacked. If pictures and videos are used to determine performance level, identification of any child is easily obtainable. The data collection goes outside of the schoolhouse and follows the child for five years into the workforce. 3) Where is the data going to be stored? What data will be part of the Statewide Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) and Common Education Data Analysis & Reporting System (CEDARS)? Where does the data go? Raleigh, Washington? It is national in scope. 4) Do parents know this data is being collected for the child until adulthood?

There are other issues with Common Core, such as unfunded mandates in the form of Microsoft computer update and software licensing requirements [understandable when you consider that Bill Gates (founder of Microsoft) is one of the major financial backers of Common Core]. Common Core is expensive compared to the NCEP.  Despite its claims, Common Core does not embrace the concept of Critical Thinking in its curricula. It is also untested.

The North Carolina Education Plan has been presented to the North Carolina Academic Standards Review Commission. They are in the process of studying the NCEP and other options as they prepare to make their recommendations to the state. Hopefully North Carolina will be the first state to adopt its own home-grown program for providing a quality education for the students in the state.