When you look up Sharyl Attkisson this is what you find, “Sharyl Attkisson is a nonpartisan Investigative Journalist who tries to give you information others don’t want you to have. What you do with it is your own business. Do your own research. Seek advice from those you trust. Make up your own mind. Think for yourself.” That is a pretty accurate description of a lady who works hard to report the truth.She has received numerous awards for her investigative reporting and was under surveillance during the Obama administration because she got too close to the truth in her reporting about Fast and Furious.
On her website, she recently posted a timeline of all of the illegal surveillance carried out by the Obama administration. Please follow the link to see the entire timeline. I am going to focus only on the part beginning in the summer of 2016.
The article reports:
The FBI reportedly tries to obtain a secret FISA court order to monitor communications of Trump adviser Carter Page, alleging that Page is acting as a Russian agent. The application is turned down but approved in October when the anti-Trump “dossier” is included to justify the wiretap application.
It’s not yet known publicly, but CNN later reports that the Obama Justice Department wiretapped Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort before the 2016 election over Russia ties, closed the investigation, then began surveillance anew sometime in the fall and continued it through the early part of 2017.
Trump opponents “shop” to reporters a political opposition research “dossier” alleging Trump is guilty of various inappropriate acts regarding Russia. The information is unverified (and some of it is false) and the press doesn’t publish it, but a copy is provided to the FBI.
September 26, 2016:
It’s not publicly known at the time, but the government makes a proposal to the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) court to allow the National Counter Terrorism Center to access “unmasked” intel on Americans acquired by the FBI and NSA. (The Court later approves as “appropriate”.)
October 7, 2016:
Former vice chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff James Cartwright pleads guilty in a leak investigation to lying to the FBI about his discussions with reporters regarding Iran’s nuclear program.
October 26, 2016:
At closed-door hearing before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the Obama administration disclosed that it had been violating surveillance safeguards, according to Circa. It disclosed that more than 5 percent of its searches of the NSA’s database violated safeguards promised in 2011.
November 8, 2016:
Donald Trump is elected President.
November 2016-January 2017:
News reports claim Rice’s interest in the NSA materials accelerates after President Trump’s election through his January inauguration. Surveillance reportedly included Trump transition figures and/or foreign officials discussing a Trump administration.
FBI secretly monitors and records communications between Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak and Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who later became President Trump’s national security adviser.
After Trump’s election, Obama officials take steps to ensure certain intelligence gathered regarding Trump associates is “spread across the government.” One Obama official would later say it’s because they were afraid once Trump officials “found out how we knew what we knew,” the intelligence would be destroyed. However, Obama critics later theorize Obama officials were working to mount opposition to Trump’s presidency.
December 15, 2016:
National Security Adviser Susan Rice later reportedly acknowledged that the Obama administration spied on Trump officials in Trump Tower on this date, but claimed it was incidental to the administration’s spying on the foreign leader they were meeting with: the UAE crown prince. Rice also reportedly admitted to “unmasking” the names of the Trump officials who met with the crown prince, saying it was important to know who they were, although the identities of Americans are supposed to be strictly protected except in extraordinary circumstances. Trump officials who met with the crown prince reportedly included: Steve Bannon, Jared Kushner and Gen. Michael Flynn.
January 10, 2017:
The media reports on the leaked anti-Trump “dossier” compiled by a political opposition research group containing unverified and at least partly untrue allegations of misconduct involving Trump and Russia.
January 12, 2017:
The Obama administration finalizes new rules allowing the National Security Agency (NSA) to spread certain intelligence to 16 other U.S. intel agencies without the normal privacy protections.
President Obama commutes all but the last four months of Manning’s sentence for leaking intelligence information to WikiLeaks.
February 2, 2017:
The news reports that five information technology (IT) computer professionals employed by Democrats in the House of Representatives are under criminal investigation for allegedly “accessing House IT systems without lawmakers’ knowledge.” The suspects include three brothers identified as Abid, Imran and Jamal Awan “who managed office information technology for members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and other lawmakers.” The brothers were said to have been employed by three Democrats on the Intelligence Committee and “five members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs which deal with with many of the nation’s most sensitive issues and documents, including those related to the war on terrorism.”
February 9, 2017:
News of the FBI recordings of Lt. Gen. Flynn speaking with Russia’s ambassador is leaked to the press. The New York Times and the Washington Post report that Flynn was captured on wiretaps discussing current U.S. sanctions, despite Flynn’s earlier denials.
The Washington Post also reports the FBI reviewed Flynn’s calls with Russian ambassador and “found nothing illicit.”
I realize that is a long list, but there are a few things in it that stand out to me. President Trump took office on January 20th. Why would President Obama change long-standing rules on handling intelligence eight days before leaving office? Why have we heard nothing about any consequences the Awan brothers have suffered because of their activities? Why were there no consequences for the spying on Trump Tower?
The timeline of the increased unmasking during the transition period and during the early days of the Trump administration is very telling. This looks like the setting up of a shadow government to make sure the previous illicit activities were not discovered. I firmly believe that General Flynn was targeted because he was smart enough and had been around Washington enough to figure out quickly what was going on. Had General Flynn stayed on the White House staff, I suspect there might already be some people on trial for their misdeeds. That may well have been the reason he was targeted. The reason he is still being targeted is that those who broke the law want to make sure he is never put in a position to uncover their misdeeds.