J. Edgar Brennan

For those of you too young to remember some of the antics of J. Edgar Hoover as Director of the FBI. Some of the actions of the FBI and intelligence community under President Obama are reminiscent of those actions.

The website biography includes the following about J. Edgar Hoover:

During the Cold War, Hoover intensified his personal anti-Communist, anti-subversive stance and increased the FBI’s surveillance activities. Frustrated over limitations placed on the Justice Department’s investigative capabilities, he created the Counter Intelligence Program, or COINTELPRO. The group conducted a series of covert, and oftentimes illegal, investigations designed to discredit or disrupt radical political organizations. Initially, Hoover ordered background checks on government employees to prevent foreign agents from infiltrating the government. Later, COINTELPRO went after any organization Hoover considered subversive, including the Black Panthers, the Socialist Workers Party and the Ku Klux Klan.

Hoover also used COINTELPRO’s operations to conduct his own personal vendettas against political adversaries in the name of national security. Labeling Martin Luther King “the most dangerous Negro in the future of this nation,” Hoover ordered around-the-clock surveillance on King, hoping to find evidence of Communist influence or sexual deviance. Using illegal wiretaps and warrantless searches, Hoover gathered a large file of what he considered damning evidence against King. 

In 1971, COINTELPRO’s tactics were revealed to the public, showing that the agency’s methods included infiltration, burglaries, illegal wiretaps, planted evidence and false rumors leaked on suspected groups and individuals. Despite the harsh criticism Hoover and the Bureau received, he remained its director until his death on May 2, 1972, at the age of 77.

Does any of this sound familiar?

In December 2014, The Atlantic posted an article titled, “A Brief History of the CIA’s Unpunished Spying on the Senate.” Under that title is written, “President Obama’s choice to lead the intelligence agency has undermined core checks and balances with impunity.” Those are not encouraging words.

Below are some excerpts from The Atlantic article:

Late last week, that internal “accountability board” announced the results of its review. If you’ve followed the impunity with which the CIA has broken U.S. laws throughout its history, you’ll be unsurprised to learn that no one is going to be “dealt with very harshly” after all. “A panel investigating the Central Intelligence Agency’s search of a computer network used by staff members of the Senate Intelligence Committee who were looking into the C.I.A.’s use of torture will recommend against punishing anyone involved in the episode,” The New York Times reports. “The panel will make that recommendation after the five C.I.A. officials who were singled out by the agency’s inspector general this year for improperly ordering and carrying out the computer searches staunchly defended their actions, saying that they were lawful and in some cases done at the behest of John O. Brennan.”

…Brennan and the CIA have behaved indefensibly. But substantial blame belongs to the overseers who’ve permitted them to do so with impunity, including figures in the Obama administration right up to the president and Senate intelligence committee members who, for all their bluster, have yet to react to CIA misbehavior in a way that actually disincentivizes similar malfeasance in the future. President Obama should fire John Brennan, as has previously been suggested by Senator Mark Udall, Trevor Timm, Dan Froomkin, and Andrew Sullivan. And the Senate intelligence committee should act toward the CIA like their predecessors on the Church Committee. Instead, the CIA is asked to investigate its own malfeasance and issue reports suggesting what, if anything, should be done.

The article includes a quote from The New York Times:

Mr. Brennan has enraged senators by refusing to answer questions posed by the Intelligence Committee about who at the C.I.A. authorized the computer intrusion. Doing so, he said, could compromise the accountability board’s investigation.

“What did he know? When did he know it? What did he order?” said Senator Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat who is a member of the Intelligence Committee, said in an interview last week. “They haven’t answered those basic questions.”

The article concludes:

Senator Levin, you’re a member of a coequal branch. You’ve flagged outrageous behavior among those you’re charged with overseeing. What are you going to do about it?

Obviously nothing was done about it. John Brennan remained the head of the CIA until January 2017. He was not retained as the CIA Director when President Trump took power.

We are at a crossroads. This article indicates that the misuse of government spy agencies has been going on for a long time. The people responsible have never been held accountable. We have a choice–we can hold the people responsible for the misuse of spy agencies accountable or we can see the illegal spying on political enemies continue. What has been done to President Trump and some of the people around him could be done to any American if the people responsible are not held accountable. Was it really necessary to roust an unarmed senior citizen and his deaf wife out of bed with a S.W.A.T. team in the middle of the night when he was charged with lying? Unfortunately this could be the future of America.

One Of The Main Alligators In The Swamp

Yesterday The Washington Times posted an article about Rod Rosenstein and his position in the swamp that is Washington, D.C.

The article reports:

Mr. Rosenstein, one of the most powerful men in the Department of Justice, threatened to investigate members of Congress and their staff if Congress continued to fulfill its constitutional responsibility to oversee the increasingly rogue federal department.

Move over J. Edgar Hoover. Rod Rosenstein has officially taken your place as the most power-drunk, nefarious, crooked blight on justice to ever preside in the Department of “justice.”

The popularity of Congress may be in the toilet, but self-dealing rogue prosecutors with unlimited power to punish political opponents and put people in jail are so far down the toilet they are fertilizing daisies in Denmark.

In a statement to Fox News, a DOJ official denied that Mr. Rosenstein threatened Congress in a bizarre statement — that confirmed Mr. Rosenstein did precisely that.

The Deputy Attorney General was making the point — after being threatened with contempt — that as an American citizen charged with the offense of contempt of Congress, he would have the right to defend himself, including requesting production of relevant emails and text messages and calling them as witnesses to demonstrate that their allegations are false,” the official said.

After admitting Mr. Rosenstein threatened Congress for overseeing his department, the DOJ official went on to reiterate that the threat remains.

Congress is assigned the job of overseeing the Department of Justice. Mr. Rosenstein’s thuggery is totally unacceptable.

The article points out the difference between Rod Rosenstein and Eric Holder, neither of which were particularly interested in following the U.S. Constitution:

Ex-Attorney General Eric Holder was an ideological crusader and political thug, hell-bent on maximizing the power of the president for whom he worked. Mr. Holder was never elected anything, but he was working for a guy who did get elected. Twice.

Mr. Rosenstein is a thousand times worse and so much more dangerous. He never got elected anything — and he is blatantly giving the middle finger to anyone elected by the people to oversee him and his increasingly lawless department.

Mr. Rosenstein believes he is — literally — above the law. He is answerable to no one. Legal accountability is beneath him. The public be damned.

Firing Mr. Rosenstein would be a step toward draining the swamp. Hopefully that step will be taken in the near future.

The Problem With The FISA Warrants On Members Of The Trump Campaign

Breitbart today posted a partial transcript of a discussion between FOX News host Martha MacCallum and Representative Louie Gohmert (R-TX) that occurred last night. The discussion was related to items discussed in a congressional hearing that was held yesterday.

Here is the that transcript:

MACCALLUM: Here now, Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert. Good to see you this evening, sir. Thank you very much for being here.

GOHMERT: Glad to see you. Those are the scene, by the after my colleague across the aisle said that he admitted her nary word about Russian influence. I went ahead and said, I’m glad he brought it up basically because we need to talk about the Russian collusion in try to get uranium and the killing of that story. So, we brought up the Russian collusion with the Clinton State Department. So, anyway —

MACCALLUM: While I’m a student, that is usual in these environments. There were two different agendas that were in deeply at work today in the hearing room. But I’m —

GOHMERT: Well, Martha, we really wanted to get to the truth.

MACCALLUM: Well, want to know why you asked for those specific names. Do you believe that the people that you named in that hearing today need to be removed from the investigation or from the FBI? Why did you pick their names?

GOHMERT: Well, this is the only place I have to ask the FBI director if he knows of anything like that. There are indications that there will be other issues dropped in the future, and I wanted to know his position. So, all I can say is stay tuned.

MACCALLUM: So, you have reason to believe that the individuals that you named in there today may be added to the list of Peter Strzok and Bruce Ohr? They maybe removed?

GOHMERT: Martha, you know, before I was a judge and a chief justice, I tried lawsuits and this is the opening stage of where you gather information, and that’s the way I took it. I wanted to know what McCabe knew before we take any other steps. So, I’ll be glad to talk to you when we have other information.

MACCALLUM: Well, we’ll look forward to that. You know, the underlying umbrella question here, though, is whether or not the FBI and the DOJ were involved in perpetuating the initial — the initiation, I should say of this dossier. And that’s the big question about why Bruce Ohr was meeting with Christopher Steele and was also meeting with Fusion GPS Glenn Simpson?

GOHMERT: Oh, it’s outrageous. And we still need to know, and I know Ron Desantis did a great job, you know, in pointing out, we need to know, if you took a politically contrived and paid for dossier that ended up being totally false, and you use that as a basis to go to the foreign intelligence surveillance court and get a warrant to survey all members of the opposition presidential election team. If that’s the case, then the FBI has been co-opted and corrupted beyond perhaps even the sorriest days of the FBI’s time when J. Edgar Hoover was wiretapping Martin Luther King.

MACCALLUM: Congressman Louie Gohmert, thank you very much, sir. Good to see you tonight.

GOHMERT: Thank you, Martha, more to come.

The misuse of FISA to spy on an opposing political campaign is exactly what the opponents of the Patriot Act feared. The FBI and Justice Department were so totally politicized under the Obama Administration that the entire upper leadership may need to be fired. That is unfortunate, but it shows the danger our republic would have been in if Hillary Clinton had been elected–the politicization of these departments would have continued unchecked, and we would essentially be living in a country where holding political views not in agreement with those in power would be criminalized.

Some Historical Perspective On This Unlawful Combatant Thing

The information below is taken from the FBI website detailing famous cases and criminals:

Shortly after midnight on the morning of June 13, 1942, four men landed on a beach near Amagansett, Long Island, New York from a German submarine, clad in German uniforms and bringing ashore enough explosives, primers, and incendiaries to support an expected two-year career in the sabotage of American defense-related production. On June 17, 1942, a similar group landed on Ponte Vedra Beach, near Jacksonville, Florida, equipped for a similar career in industrial disruption.

The purpose of the invasions was to strike a major blow for Germany by bringing the violence of war to our home ground through destruction of America’s ability to manufacture vital equipment and supplies and transport them to the battlegrounds of Europe; to strike fear into the American civilian population; and to diminish the resolve of the United States to overcome our enemies.

By June 27, 1942, all eight saboteurs had been arrested without having accomplished one act of destruction. Tried before a military commission, they were found guilty. One was sentenced to life imprisonment, another to 30vyears, and six received the death penalty, which was carried out within a few days.

Two of these men were American citizens–Ernest Peter Burger had become a naturalized American in 1933 and Herbert Hans Haupt had entered the United States as a child, gaining citizenship when his father was naturalized in 1930.

The FBI website reports:

All eight were found guilty and sentenced to death. Attorney General Biddle and J. Edgar Hoover appealed to President Roosevelt to commute the sentences of Dasch and Burger. Dasch then received a 30-year sentence, and Burger received a life sentence, both to be served in a federal penitentiary. The remaining six were executed at the District of Columbia Jail on August 8, 1942.

Why is the person who bombed the Boston Marathon being treated differently than these men?

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