Annoying Things Done By Politicians

Representative Adam Schiff released the Democratic memo about FISA surveillance on Saturday (when he assumed no one would be paying attention). The memo is an effort to deflect charges that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) were weaponized for political purposes during and after the 2016 presidential campaign. The memo itself was a purely political move, and the release of the memo on a Saturday night was also a political move. The release of the memo is interesting bercause the memo does not help the Democrats’ case.

Yesterday Andrew McCarthy posted an article at National Review explaining that the memo does more damage to the Democrats’ arguments than helps them. Because of his extensive legal background, Andrew McCarthy is the perfect person to dissect this memo.

The article is detailed, and I suggest that you follow the link to read the entire article, but I will try to summarize it.

The article reports:

The memo concedes that the FISA-warrant application relied on allegations by Steele’s anonymous Russian hearsay sources that:

Page met separately while in Russia with Igor Sechin, a close associate of Vladimir Putin and executive chairman of Roseneft, Russia’s state-owned oil company, and Igor Divyekin, a senior Kremlin official. Sechin allegedly discussed the prospect of future U.S.-Russia energy cooperation and “an associated move to lift Ukraine-related western sanctions against Russia.” Divyekin allegedly disclosed to Page that the Kremlin possessed compromising information on Clinton (“kompromat”) and noted the possibility of its being released to Candidate #1’s [i.e., Donald Trump’s] campaign. . . . This closely tracks what other Russian contacts were informing another Trump foreign policy adviser, George Papadopoulos.

1) This was obviously the most critical allegation against Page. The Democrats attempt to make much of Page’s trip to Moscow in July 2016, but the uncorroborated Sechin and Divyekin meetings, which Page credibly denies, are the aspect of the Moscow trip that suggested a nefarious Trump–Russia conspiracy. That’s what the investigation was about. Far from clandestine, the rest of Page’s trip was well publicized and apparently anodyne.

2) Democrats implausibly insist that what “launched” the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation was not Steele’s allegations but intelligence from Australia about George Papadopoulos’s contact with what Democrats elusively describe as “individuals linked to Russia.”

…Even if we assume for argument’s sake that these characters had solid regime connections — rather than that they were boasting to impress the credulous young Papadopoulos — they were patently not in the same league as Sechin, a Putin crony, and Divyekin, a highly placed regime official. And that, manifestly, is how the FBI and the DOJ saw the matter: They sought a FISA warrant on Page, not Papadopoulos. And, as the above-excerpted passage shows, they highlighted the Steele dossier’s sensational allegations about Page and then feebly tried to corroborate those allegations with some Papadopoulos information, not the other way around. (More on that when we get to Schiff’s notion of “corroboration.”)

The article also notes:

…because Page was an American citizen, FISA law required that the FBI and the DOJ show not only that he was acting as an agent of a foreign power (Russia), but also that his “clandestine” activities on behalf of Russia were a likely violation of federal criminal law. (See FISA, Section 1801(b)(2)(A) through (E), Title 50, U.S. Code.) It is the Steele dossier that alleges Page was engaged in arguably criminal activity. The Democrats point to nothing else that does.

Because of the way this whole story has been reported, I am not sure many Americans realize that the constitutional rights of one of their fellow citizens were violated by the FISA Court. All of us need to remember that this could happen to any one of us. We also need to note that if the use of the FBI and DOJ for political purposes is not dealt with and the guilty parties punished, we will see more of this behavior in the future.

The article continues:

How’s this for transparency? The FISA warrant application says that Steele, referred to as “Source #1,” was “approached by” Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson, referred to as “an identified U.S. person,” who

indicated to Source #1 that a U.S.-based law firm had hired the identified U.S. Person to conduct research regarding Candidate #1’s [i.e., Trump’s] ties to Russia. (The identified U.S. Person and Source #1 have a longstanding business relationship.) The identified U.S. Person hired Source #1 to conduct this research. The identified U.S. Person never advised Source #1 as to the motivation behind the research into Candidate #1’s ties to Russia. The FBI speculates that the identified U.S. Person was likely looking for information that could be used to discredit Candidate #1’s campaign. [Emphasis in Schiff memo, p. 5]

The first thing to notice here is the epistemological contortions by which the DOJ rationalized concealing that the Clinton campaign and the DNC paid for Steele’s reporting. They ooze consciousness of guilt. If you have to go through these kinds of mental gymnastics to avoid disclosing something, it’s because you know that being “transparent” demands disclosing it.

As I stated, it is a very long and detailed article. Please follow the link above to see the other problems with the Schiff memo.


You Know You’re Over The Target When You Start Taking Flak

During World War II, allied bombers knew they were over the target when they started taking flax. That also applies to politics.

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article that illustrates that concept.

The article reports:

Fearless warrior Chairman Nunes is marching forward with his House Intel Committee exposing corrupt DOJ and FBI officials involved in FISA abuse to take down President Trump.

GOD House Intel Committee members just launched Phase Two of their dossier probe; Comey, Brennan and Clapper are in the hot seat.

Chairman Nunes fired off an inquiry to many current and former intelligence, law enforcement and State Department officials Tuesday, Fox News’ Catherine Herridge reported.

Nunes even threatened to issue subpoenas if he doesn’t receive a timely response on a voluntary basis.

The left hit the panic button. Petitions with over 600,000 signatures to have Rep Nunes removed from the House Intel Committee was delivered to Speaker Ryan’s Wisconsin office Tuesday.

We are about to see if Speaker Ryan truly intends to clean up the swamp.

The political left and their allies in the media have had a stranglehold on Washington for a long time. Representative Nunes is a serious threat to that stranglehold. He is doing an honest investigation into things that should never have happened, but were accepted as status quo. If the investigation by the House Intel Committee continues unchecked, it is quite likely that the political climate of Washington could be permanently altered. If people involved in deep state activities begin to realize that there may be negative consequences to them as a result of their actions, we may actually move closer to the representative republic our Founding Fathers established. If the deep state surveillance activities go unpunished, I don’t hold out a lot of hope for our country.

Do You Believe That Any Of These Questions Will Be Answered?

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article today about questions Representative Devin Nunes has submitted to a number of Obama Administration officials about the Clinton-Steele dossier.

The article lists the questions:

Get out the popcorn and stay tuned.

More Twists And Turns Regarding Fusion GPS

The following video was posted at The Daily Caller today:

It is becoming very obvious that the Democrat‘s plan to use a collusion with Russia charge to end the Trump Administration is not going as planned. Every day some new piece of information comes out that reveals how underhanded some members of the FBI and Justice Department were during the Obama Administration.

The article at The Daily Caller reports:

The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Editor-in-Chief Chris Bedford thinks Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr could face jail time for failing to disclose his connection to Fusion GPS and the Trump dossier.

…“What’s dangerous here, too, for Bruce, who could be in a lot of trouble over here, he could face criminal penalties. He wasn’t even assigned to the case when he would have had the chance to recuse himself. From everything we understand, he took the dossier and put it in front of the FBI of his own volition. He didn’t recuse himself,” Bedford said. “He didn’t say anything like that and he didn’t list the name of Fusion GPS like he should have. That’s punishable, if he just didn’t include the information, and that’s all they can say, it’s punishable by up to a year in prison. But if he knowingly falsified the documents by not telling the FBI about a conflict that really and truly existed, that’s up to five years in prison.”

Stay tuned and get out the popcorn.

Waiting For The Spin

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article comparing statements made by top officials in the State Department in 2017 to what we know now about the Steele Dossier. We know that the people involved in the spygate scandal felt that if Hillary Clinton were elected, it would all go away. What is interesting is that they were still lying in 2017.

The article reports:

Now that Chairman Devin Nunes, Chuck Grassley and the key players themselves, have discovered and admitted the U.S. State Department was heavily involved in passing along Clinton opposition research to Chris Steele to create the “Clinton-Steele Dossier”, it’s interesting to look at how the former State Department spokesperson -in place during all the events- responded last year when the Clinton-Steele Dossier was thought to be part of the underlying evidence for the DOJ/FBI FISA application.

Former State Department spokesperson Marie Harf, a person in direct and continuous contact with all the principle agents during the 2016 information flow, was confronted in July 2017 and adamantly denied the dossier was part of the FISA application.

The video clip of that denial is included in the article at The Gateway Pundit.

The article continues:

Looking beyond the transparent lying and subsequent collapse of credibility, the key takeaway here is how State Department officials knew what was going on in 2016, recognized the risk presented by that action in 2017, and were willing to walk the plank because they were certain none of it would ever come to light.

The article concludes:

Officials at the top of the FBI and Department of Justice; officials in the intelligence apparatus of the ODNI, CIA and NSA; and officials at the top of the U.S. Department of State – to include Secretary John Kerry; were all working in common political cause.

Beyond the political talking points, when you simply point out the provable facts the Director of the FBI, Attorney General of the United States and the Secretary of State, were all deeply within the information loop there’s no way possible to extract President Obama from the network. This is how the collapsing house of cards eventually brings down the office of the presidency.

What would be the fall-back, or alternative, narrative?

The talking points are still a few weeks away, but there’s only one possible angle: The President was unaware of the action of his Attorney General, FBI Director, Director of National Intelligence, CIA Director and Secretary of State?


Many of the people involved in the surveillance of the Trump campaign and the Trump transition team are still employed by the government. A few have resigned, but many are still employed. It is time for them to be fired and convicted of violating Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights.

Title I Surveillance Authority

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article yesterday explaining the difference between a regular FISA warrant and Title I Surveillance Authority. Title I Surveillance Authority was the process used against Carter Page. The article explains why that is important.

This is how FISA Title I works:

The article explains:

This is not some innocuous request for metadata exploration – the FBI said American citizen Carter Page was a “foreign agent of a hostile foreign government”; the FBI was calling Carter Page a spy.

…To present a methaphor, under Title I FISA authority, Carter Page was essentially ‘patient zero’ in an Ebola pandemic.  Labeling him as a foreign agent allowed the FBI to look at every single person he came in contact with; and every single aspect of their lives and their activities in growing and concentric circles; without limits to current time or historic review.

The “Title I” designation as a foreign agent applied retroactively to any action taken by Mr. Page, and auto-generates an exponential list of other people he came in contact with.  Each of those people, groups or organizations could now have their communication reviewed, unmasked and analyzed by the DOJ/FBI with the same surveillance authority granted upon the target, Mr. Page.

….And keep in mind, amid all of this exhaustive FBI surveillance and DOJ national security division digging into every aspect of his life, Mr. Carter Page has never been accused of any crime, wrongdoing, or subsequent criminal conduct.

It appears the entire reason to label Mr. Page as a Title One “foreign agent” was so the DOJ National Security Division and FBI Counterintelligence Division, could use Mr. Page’s short contact with the Trump campaign as an excuse to monitor everyone else within the campaign before, during and after the election.   (emphasis mine)

Think about this for a minute. An upstanding citizen was accused of being a foreign agent by using political evidence against him and that evidence was used to spy on him and the people around him (and the permission to spy was renewed more than once).

This is use of government agencies for political purposes. People need to go to jail for this crime. The tactics used to spy on Carter Page could theoretically be used on any American. If this abuse of power is not dealt with quickly and firmly, we can be sure that it will be repeated in the future.

Winners And Losers In The Release Of The Nunes Memo

So far no one has come forward saying that anything in the Nunes memo is untrue. The charges have been that it somehow endangers national security or that it is partisan. There is no evidence of either–in fact it may have done nothing more than expose the partisanship of governmental organizations that are supposed to be non-partisan.

The Washington Times posted an article yesterday indicating its choice for winners and losers in the release of the memo.

The article lists the winners as President Trump, Representative Devin Nunes (author of the memo), the Republicans, and the American people. The American government is not supposed to operate in secrecy except where necessary for national security. National security was not involved in the surveillance of President Trump–politics was.

The losers are listed as James Comey and Andrew McCabe are totally compromised by their actions. They have lost their jobs due to engaging in the political shenanigans of the Obama Administration. Christopher Steele, whose personal feelings about Donald Trump strongly interfered with his integrity is also listed as a loser with the release of the memo. Rod Rosenstein, who signed off on a questionable FISA warrant that began the entire illegal process, is also listed. Lastly, Robert Mueller, whose investigation now appears to be based on a fraudulent dossier and whose role as special prosecutor has become a witch hunt, is named in the article as a loser.

Generally speaking, the losers are the people involved in this scandal who were willing to use their positions in the government (and government agencies) for partisan purposes. It is time for all of the losers listed to find other avenues of employment. It is quite possible that laws were broken and some of them belong in jail, but I am not sure Congress is that committed to justice at this point. It will be interesting to see what the Inspector General recommends.

What To Expect This Coming Week

I expect the memo Congress has put together detailing domestic abuses by the FBI and DOJ to be released Tuesday or Wednesday. I also suspect that the Democrats will plan something dramatic to distract Americans from the release of the memo. It should be pointed out that because the Executive Branch of our government is in charge of the FBI and the DOJ, those agencies need to ask President Trump–not Congress–to give them access to the memo.

So what will happen when the memo is released? Democrats will dismiss it as Republican talking points. If that happens, the Republicans may release the source documents–which are not talking points. The Democrats will have to figure out whether it is better to ignore the memo or deal with the source documents. Since the media will help the Democrats whichever path they choose, expect to see a lot of Democratic spin regarding the memo.

If the memo shows that illegal spying took place, will anyone be prosecuted? As much as I would like to see certain people in jail, I suspect the more visible culprits will be pardoned by President Trump. It would make America look like a banana republic if key players in the previous administration were arrested by the administration that followed. I also realize that it makes America look like a banana republic when a sailor who took a picture of his work station goes to jail for having a classified picture on his cell phone and has his life ruined, and the President and Secretary of State routinely send classified documents over an unsecured server with no consequences. However, I believe that the entire upper echelon of the FBI and DOJ needs to be fired. Although I believe the spying was orchestrated at the highest level, the leadership of those agencies had the choice as to whether or not they would participate. If a few of the leaders of the FBI and DOJ had had the courage to resign, questions might have been asked and this whole mess avoided.

It is a safe bet that this week is going to be a roller coaster. Although I believe the memo will be released, there are no guarantees. I also expect that we will see a degree of spin that we haven’t seen since Bill Clinton was in the White House and told us he didn’t have sex with Monica Lewinsky.

Our Government Is Not A Game To Be Played By A Privileged Few

PJ Media posted an article yesterday about emails between Lisa Page and Peter Strzok which have recently been turned over to Congress. At this point I would also like to note that the emails between the key dates of December 14, 2017 to May 17, 2017 are missing. However, the emails that were turned over are disturbing.

The following Tweet is included in the article:

Yesterday the U.S. House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released the following press release:

Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Ca.) released the following statement concerning the 384 pages of new text messages between top FBI officials:

“This weekend we met to discuss the text messages and possible next steps in our oversight of these agencies. The contents of these text messages between top FBI officials are extremely troubling in terms of when certain key decisions were made by the Department of Justice and the FBI, by whom these decisions were made, and the evident bias exhibited by those in charge of the investigation. The omission of text messages between December 2016 and May 2017, a critical gap encompassing the FBI’s Russia investigation, is equally concerning. Rather than clearing up prior FBI and DOJ actions, these recently produced documents cause us to further question the credibility and objectivity of certain officials at the FBI.”

The article at PJ Media further states:

Rep. Ratcliffe said that former FBI director James Comey needs to come back to Capitol Hill to testify again under oath on the question of when the decision to exonerate former secretary of State Hillary Clinton was made. The latest batch of text messages between Strzok and Page suggests that Comey was coordinating with Attorney General Lynch on the decision well ahead of his July 5 press conference.

“It’s really clear to me that the decision was made in May of 2016 — two months before the press conference,” Gowdy said. “Of course Loretta Lynch knew he wasn’t going to be charged. Everyone except the public knew that she was not going to be charged.”

“We knew that Strzok and Page had an intense anti-Trump bias and that’s okay so long as they check it at the door and do their job,” Ratcliffe said. “But we learned today in the thousands of text messages that we reviewed that perhaps they may not have done that.”

Ratcliffe went on to mention one particular text message that referenced a “secret society” at the Bureau. “We know about this insurance policy that was referenced in trying to prevent Donald Trump from becoming president,” he began. “We learned today about information in the immediate aftermath of his election that there may have been a ‘secret society’ of folks within the Department of Justice and the FBI to include Page and Strzok that would be working against him.”

If there is evidence that proves any of this true (and it seems as if there is), then people need to go to jail and the entire upper echelon of the Justice Department and FBI need to be fired (at the very least). These activities by the Department of Justice and the FBI have totally undermined the credibility of the organizations. I will admit that I became suspicious of the politicization of the Justice Department when the voter intimidation case involving the New Black Panthers was dismissed (article here).

There is always danger in any government that a few people will acquire more power than they can handle and misuse that power. I believe we are watching an unmasking of misuse of government power in the final months of the Obama Administration. This needs to be dealt with quickly and decisively. It is also becoming obvious that more controls are needed on the FISA laws.


Explaining The Procedures Involved In Releasing The Memo

All of the information in this article has been taken from an article posted at The Conservative Treehouse yesterday. The #ReleaseTheMemo movement has been successful.

The article at The Conservative Treehouse includes the following:

The article explains what is involved in releasing the memo and the steps that are necessary in the process in order to comply with the law.

The article reports:

Once the House Intelligence Committee votes to declassify the four-page memo, the White House, National Security Adviser (H.R. McMaster) and National Security Council will have five days to review the content. The White House will likely have a brief review by the NSC and the Office of Legal Counsel of the content, and then issue approval for the release.

…Secondly, while it might seem like a good idea for President Trump to declassify the Nunes memo, if given by the Intel Committee, it would not be prudent to do so. Within this classified document Donald Trump is the subject of adverse action outlined therein.

…Therefore the best route as constructed by Nunes and Goodlatte would be for the House to vote to declassify, pass on to the Executive for review, then President Trump grants approval for the request of the House (legislative branch).

By law, all attempts by the legislative branch to declassify intelligence information must be given to the executive branch for review in advance of release. This is because the executive branch needs to see if any current intelligence operations might be compromised by information not known to the legislative branch.

The National Security Council and any impacted offices of the intelligence information (CIA, NSA, FBI, DOJ, U.S. DoS, DOD, etc.) review, provide opinion, and sign off prior to executive approval and release.

It is not just this declassification that goes through this process, all declassification goes through this process. In this example, presumably, the President has no adverse reason to block the declassification request and it is likely all approvals will happen quite quickly.

After the White House approves of the HPSCI request, the Memo then becomes public.

That’s when Democrats will attack the memo as being authored and misrepresented by Chairman Devin Nunes. This is the politics.

We need to remember a few things here. First of all, the Democrats DO NOT want this memo released. It is becoming obvious that there are things in the memo that make the Democratic party look really bad–such as using the government to spy on political opponents. Watergate was simply attempted spying and people went to jail. This allegedly was using government agencies to spy–many people should go to jail. Secondly, if and when the memo is released, the Democrats will do everything they can to discredit it. However, at some point this month, the Inspector General’s report is due out, and I suspect that will confirm much (if not all) of what is in the memo.

The article further notes what will happen if the Democrats claim the memo is not what it seems to be:

If/when this happens (highly likely it will), Chairman Nunes will then request the entire House of Representatives be given the opportunity to see the underlying FISA documentation that led to the summary.

The underlying FISA documentation likely includes the DOJ/FBI FISA application as presented to the FISA court; again, likely to include the “Clinton/Steele Dossier”.

Additionally, the FISA-702 raw data will include the FBI “searches” on Trump officials that led to the upstream collection of information and the subsequent “unmasking” of Trump officials.

Releasing the underlying FISA documentation -that proves the Nunes FISA memo- will likely follow a similar path as the Nunes memo itself. Again, this is a process, and within each of these processes there are revelations as to the scope of the corruption and conspiracy.

The article concludes:

In April and May 2017 Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, and NSA Director Admiral Rogers, began assembling a pathway for Devin Nunes to climb out of that intelligence box. ODNI Dan Coats declassified the FISA Court opinion, and that opened the door for Horowitz, Grassley, Goodlatte and Nunes to question the content therein that circled the unlawful action of the DOJ and FBI.

Where we are today is a step in the investigative process that is an outcome of months of work by Coats, Rogers and Horowitz to extract Chairman Devin Nunes and bring all prior DOJ and FBI corruption to the surface.

I strongly suggest that you follow the link to read the entire article. The author is amazingly detailed in his research and lists his various sources at the end of the article.

Look for the Democrats to stage a major distraction about the time the memo is released. It may be another government shutdown or it may be some sort of march or filibuster. Based on what I have heard, the Democrats will do almost anything to keep this memo off of the front page of the news. Stay tuned.

Why Not Just Put It On Hillary Clinton’s Secret Server And We Can Get It From The Russians?

Sorry about the sarcasm. I couldn’t resist. The Hill posted an article today about the fight in Congress to keep the American public from finding out what actually went on behind the scenes during the 2016 presidential campaign and President Trump‘s transition team.

The article reports:

A growing number of Republicans are demanding the release of a classified report that they say reveals political bias at the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) in the investigation into President Trump’s alleged ties to Moscow. 

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) spearheaded the effort this week to allow lawmakers to view a top-secret report compiled by House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.).

Scores of Republicans have since viewed the document in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) on Capitol Hill. They left expressing shock, saying the special counsel investigation into whether Trump’s officials had improper contacts with Russia is based on politically motivated actions at the highest level of law enforcement.

Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) called the memo “shocking.”

“I’m here to tell all of a America tonight that I’m shocked to read exactly what has taken place,” Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said in a speech on the House floor. 

“I thought it could never happen in a country that loves freedom and democracy like this country. It is time that we become transparent with all of this, and I’m calling on our leadership to make this available so all Americans can judge for themselves.” 

As voters, we need to see this. We need to know exactly what happened–not what the media or the political parties choose to tell us. Why is it classified in the first place? For political purposes?

This is how the process of declassification works:

Meadows and his allies asked GOP leaders in the House to declassify the report as part of a short-term spending bill the House passed late Thursday night. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said he wanted to follow House rules on the matter and deferred to Nunes and the Intelligence Committee.

Nunes could call for a vote to release the report on his panel. If a majority on the committee agrees to declassify the report, the executive branch would just need to sign-off to make it public, said Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), another Freedom Caucus member.

“It is so alarming the American people have to see this,” Jordan said.

The article includes the following statement:

Lawmakers were tight-lipped about the contents of the memo, as they are barred from unilaterally releasing classified information.

But the lawmakers who have long been claiming that FBI agents and DOJ officials launched a partisan investigation into Trump said the report vindicated their claims.

This story is currently being overshadowed by threats of a government shutdown. I don’t think that is a coincidence.

This Is The Cast Of Characters And How They Relate To Each Other

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article about comments by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif. Representative Nunes believes that the government has abused its surveillance privileges. Please follow the link to read the entire article, but there is one part of the article that I find particularly interesting.

Included in the article is the following chart showing how some of the characters in the rapidly being discredited Mueller investigation are connected and some related comments:

Wow. Just wow. Thank God for the investigative reporters that are operating on the Internet.


They Really Don’t Have A Great History

Fusion GPS is the company responsible for the dossier that provided the basis for the electronic surveillance of the Trump campaign team and the Trump transition team. Congress is currently trying to get to the bottom of exactly who ordered the dossier and how it came to the attention of the media. They are not having an easy time.

Scott Johnson posted an article at Power Line Blog today that refers back to a Fox New Story from yesterday.

Power Line Blog reports:

The so-called strategic intelligence firm Fusion GPS is behind the infamous Trump Dossier. The dossier is one of the keys to the anti-Trump hysteria in which we have been engulfed since the election. Who paid for the Trump Dossier? The House Intelligence Committee has issued subpoenas to figure out what happened and at whose behest. Fusion GPS, however, won’t say. The company’s lawyer has submitted a 17-page list of reasons why the company won’t comply. Something is happening here. It is a most peculiar matter.

A Fox News/AP report asserts that the attorney’s letter signals the company’s refusal to comply with the committee subpoenas. The letter states that if any of the Fusion GPS employees who have been subpoenaed (Glenn Simpson and two others) are compelled to appear before the committee, they will exercise their “privileges” not to testify. Byron York has more on the letter here.

The Fox News article reports some of the past activities of Fusion GPS:

“I believe that Fusion GPS’s business is to do basically whatever the paymasters tell them to do,” Alek Boyd, the Venezuelan journalist, told Fox News in his first American TV interview. “They are particularly good at spreading misinformation, disinformation and smears.”

Boyd says he was targeted after his 2012 reporting on Derwick Associates, a power company with close ties to the Venezuelan government. The company allegedly skimmed nearly a billion dollars from rigged contracts with the late Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez.

“It is my understanding that [Fusion GPS] were hired basically to smear Derwick opponents and to dispel any possible doubts that regular media may have had at the time,” he said.

…Boyd’s allegations mirror sworn congressional testimony from Bill Browder, an American businessman who told senators this summer that Fusion GPS used smear tactics to discredit him and his late attorney Sergei Magnitsky who, he says, was tortured and murdered eight years ago in a Russian jail. The so-called Magnitsky Act issued tough economic sanctions against Russia which are still in place today.

In the Magnitsky case, Browder filed a complaint with the Justice Department in July 2016 because he says Fusion worked on behalf of a foreign government and its interests. The Justice Department would not comment on the complaint status.

In a congressional declaration, human rights activist Thor Halvorssen also said Fusion GPS had “smear experts” and used “scorched earth methods.”

One wonders exactly who hired Fusion GPS and exactly what Senator John McCain’s involvement in the story is. So far, evidence seems to point to Senator McCain as one of the people who originally received the completed dossier.

At any rate, it is obvious that Fusion GPS does not want to tell the American people or their representatives anything.

Was The Obama Administration Using The Government To Spy On Americans?

The Washington Examiner is reporting today that former United Nations Ambassador Susan Powers requested the unmasking of more than 260 Americans‘ identities during the waning days of the Obama Administration. These were conversations captured inadvertently while non-citizens were being wiretapped (theoretically). Susan Powers is scheduled to testify before Congress in October.

The article reports:

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., submitted a letter in July to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats that said the committee was aware “that one official, whose position had no apparent intelligence-related function, made hundreds of unmasking requests during the final year of the Obama Administration.”

It is suspected that the official referenced is Power.

Power also was one of three top Obama administration officials named in subpoenas received by several of the nation’s intelligence agencies in May.

Power is not the first U.N. ambassador to make unmasking requests, but Fox News reports the requests fall in the low double digits.

Power will meet with congressional intelligence committees as part of their Russia probes and is expected to appear before the House intelligence panel in a classified session next month.

It will be interesting to see exactly who winds up taking the fall for the abuses or power that occurred during the Obama Administration.


The Deep State Or The Police State?

Sharyl Attkisson posted an article at The Hill today about the Obama Administration’s spying on Donald Trump. I don’t care which side of the political spectrum you are on, this story should disturb you.

The article reports:

According to media reports this week, the FBI did indeed “wiretap” the former head of Trump’s campaign, Paul Manafort, both before and after Trump was elected. If Trump officials — or Trump himself — communicated with Manafort during the wiretaps, they would have been recorded, too.

But we’re missing the bigger story.

If these reports are accurate, it means U.S. intelligence agencies secretly surveilled at least a half dozen Trump associates. And those are just the ones we know about.

Besides Manafort, the officials include former Trump advisers Carter Page and Michael Flynn. Last week, we discovered multiple Trump “transition officials” were “incidentally” captured during government surveillance of a foreign official. We know this because former Obama adviser Susan Rice reportedly admitted “unmasking,” or asking to know the identities of, the officials. Spying on U.S. citizens is considered so sensitive, their names are supposed to be hidden or “masked,” even inside the government, to protect their privacy.

In May, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates acknowledged they, too, reviewed communications of political figures, secretly collected under President Obama. 

The article goes on to remind us that James Clapper assured Congress in 2013 that the NSA was not collecting data on American citizens.

The article also lists many of the violations of the rights of Congressmen, reporters, and other political figures. This is illegal.

The article concludes:

Officials involved in the surveillance and unmasking of U.S. citizens have said their actions were legal and not politically motivated. And there are certainly legitimate areas of inquiry to be made by law enforcement and intelligence agencies. But look at the patterns. It seems that government monitoring of journalists, members of Congress and political enemies — under multiple administrations — has become more common than anyone would have imagined two decades ago. So has the unmasking of sensitive and highly protected names by political officials.

Those deflecting with minutiae are missing the point. To me, they sound like the ones who aren’t thinking.

If we want to keep our privacy and our freedom, the people responsible for spying on us need to face the consequences of their breaking the law.

The Swamp Is A Danger To American National Security

On August 4th, Daniel Greenfield posted an article at Front Page Magazine about National Security Council head H.R. McMaster.  Daniel Greenfield has concluded that McMaster is part of the deep state and is working against the interests of both America and the Trump Administration. At this point I should mention that like it or not, Donald Trump is the President, and working against Donald Trump is working against the interests of America. It is not patriotic to oppose anything and everything the Trump Administration proposes–it is obstructionism. The Washington establishment’s worst nightmare is for the Trump Administration to succeed–that will be the end of their stranglehold on our government and their success as an elite class.

The article notes:

Derek Harvey was a man who saw things coming. He had warned of Al Qaeda when most chose to ignore it. He had seen the Sunni insurgency rising when most chose to deny it.

The former Army colonel had made his reputation by learning the lay of the land. In Iraq that meant sleeping on mud floors and digging into documents to figure out where the threat was coming from.

It was hard to imagine anyone better qualified to serve as President Trump’s top Middle East adviser at the National Security Council than a man who had been on the ground in Iraq and who had seen it all.

Just like in Iraq, Harvey began digging at the NSC. He came up with a list of Obama holdovers who were leaking to the press. McMaster, the new head of the NSC, refused to fire any of them.

McMaster had a different list of people he wanted to fire. It was easy to make the list. Harvey was on it.

All you had to do was name Islamic terrorism as the problem and oppose the Iran Deal. If you came in with Flynn, you would be out. If you were loyal to Trump, your days were numbered.

And if you warned about Obama holdovers undermining the new administration, you were a target.

One of McMaster’s first acts at the NSC was to ban any mention of “Obama holdovers.” Not only did the McMaster coup purge Harvey, who had assembled the holdover list, but his biggest target was Ezra Watnick-Cohen, who had exposed the eavesdropping on Trump officials by Obama personnel.

It seems as if the NSC under McMaster has turned political,  gotten totally out of control, and needs to be promptly reined in.

The article continues:

Ezra Watnick-Cohen had provided proof of the Obama surveillance to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes. McMaster, however, was desperately working to fire him and replace him with Linda Weissgold. McMaster’s choice to replace Watnick-Cohen was the woman who helped draft the Benghazi talking points which blamed the Islamic terrorist attack on a video protest.

After protests by Bannon and Kushner, President Trump overruled McMaster. Watnick-Cohen stayed. For a while. Now Ezra Watnick-Cohen has been fired anyway.

According to the media, Watnick-Cohen was guilty of “anti-Muslim fervor” and “hardline views.” And there’s no room for anyone telling the truth about Islamic terrorism at McMaster’s NSC.

McMaster had even demanded that President Trump refrain from telling the truth about Islamic terrorism.

Another of his targets was Rich Higgins, who had written a memo warning of the role of the left in undermining counterterrorism. Higgins had served as a director for strategic planning at the NSC. He had warned in plain language about the threat of Islamic terrorism, of Sharia law, of the Hijrah colonization by Islamic migrants, of the Muslim Brotherhood, and of its alliance with the left as strategic threats.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. It is chilling to think that a group of people have become so entrenched in a government agency that they will risk the security of America to remain in power.


An Isolated Incident Or A Pattern Of Behavior?

Andrew McCarthy posted a story at National Review today about the House Intelligence Committee investigation into spying on Americans during the Obama Administration. It has become obvious from news reports since before President Trump was inaugurated that some sort of intelligence gathering on the incoming administration was going on.

The article reports:

The House Intelligence Committee has reportedly issued seven subpoenas in connection with its investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and of the Obama administration’s potentially illegal use of the government’s foreign-intelligence-collection power for the purpose of monitoring Americans — in particular, Americans connected to the Trump campaign and transition.

The subpoenas are aimed at getting information about requests made by Susan Rice and John Brennan to unmask names of Americans caught in intelligence gathering.

The article explains:

The House Intelligence Committee is investigating both a) Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, an inquiry that entails thus far unsubstantiated suspicions of Trump-campaign collusion, and b) the use of intelligence authorities to investigate the Trump campaign, an inquiry that focuses on whether national-security powers (such as those codified in FISA, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) were used pretextually, for the real purpose of conducting political spying.
There is also the question of whether or not U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power requested the unmasking of Americans–as U.N. Ambassador, she would have no obvious need for that information.
The article concludes:
Thus, as I’ve also outlined, it is unlikely that any single instance of unmasking would be found to be a violation of law — and, indeed, it would not violate any penal statute (it would violate court-ordered “minimization” procedures). Nevertheless, were a pattern of unmasking established, divorced from any proper foreign-intelligence purpose, that would be a profound abuse of power in the nature of a “high crime and misdemeanor” — the Constitution’s predicate for impeachment.

It’s a little late to impeach former President Obama, but the voters have spoken and dealt with the problem in their own way. The one thing that will be interesting to watch as this story unfolds is how the mainstream media will spin the story. The Obama Administration went after a Fox News journalist–journalists need to realize that they have as much at stake in protecting their freedom as the average American.

The Truth Will Eventually Come Out posted an article today about a recent New York Times story about the actions of Attorney General Loretta Lynch during the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

The Townhall article reports:

In a lengthy New York Times piece, the publication charted the history of Mr. Comey’s actions, which placed the FBI in the eye of the 2016 election. We also found out that the Obama Justice Department tried to water down the language, like calling the investigation a “matter,” and playing down the fact that the FBI’s investigation was a criminal one [emphasis mine]:

The Justice Department knew a criminal investigation was underway, but officials said they were being technically accurate about the nature of the referral. Some at the F.B.I. suspected that Democratic appointees were playing semantic games to help Mrs. Clinton, who immediately seized on the statement to play down the issue. “It is not a criminal investigation,” she said, incorrectly. “It is a security review.”

In September of that year, as Mr. Comey prepared for his first public questions about the case at congressional hearings and press briefings, he went across the street to the Justice Department to meet with Ms. Lynch and her staff.

Both had been federal prosecutors in New York — Mr. Comey in the Manhattan limelight, Ms. Lynch in the lower-wattage Brooklyn office. The 6-foot-8 Mr. Comey commanded a room and the spotlight. Ms. Lynch, 5 feet tall, was known for being cautious and relentlessly on message. In her five months as attorney general, she had shown no sign of changing her style.

At the meeting, everyone agreed that Mr. Comey should not reveal details about the Clinton investigation. But Ms. Lynch told him to be even more circumspect: Do not even call it an investigation, she said, according to three people who attended the meeting. Call it a “matter.”

Ms. Lynch reasoned that the word “investigation” would raise other questions: What charges were being investigated? Who was the target? But most important, she believed that the department should stick by its policy of not confirming investigations.

It was a by-the-book decision. But Mr. Comey and other F.B.I. officials regarded it as disingenuous in an investigation that was so widely known. And Mr. Comey was concerned that a Democratic attorney general was asking him to be misleading and line up his talking points with Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, according to people who spoke with him afterward.

As the meeting broke up, George Z. Toscas, a national security prosecutor, ribbed Mr. Comey. “I guess you’re the Federal Bureau of Matters now,” Mr. Toscas said, according to two people who were there.

Despite his concerns, Mr. Comey avoided calling it an investigation. “I am confident we have the resources and the personnel assigned to the matter,” Mr. Comey told reporters days after the meeting.

Please follow the link above to the Townhall article. The article goes on to list some of the problems the FBI encountered while trying not to politicize the investigation.

The article at Townhall further reports:

The Russian collusion allegations have yet to bear fruit. Senate Democrats have admitted that their investigation into possible collision might not find a smoking gun. Over at the House side, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), ranking member of the intelligence committee (and Democratic attack dog), said that there is no definitive proof of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. As for the interference, well, the election wasn’t hacked in the sense that many on the Left think (i.e. messing with vote tallies), instead it was a concerted effort by state-funded media outlets and social media trolls. None of which had an impact in swaying the election and fake news played no pivotal role either.

Some of the mainstream media is still claiming Russian interference. No one has evidence of that, but I believe that the feeling is that if they claim it long enough, some people will accept it is fact, even though it is not true.

I don’t know what the eventual outcome of Hillary Clinton and her private server will be. I do know that if John Q Public had handled classified information as carelessly as she did, he would be in jail. That clearly illustrates a problem within our legal system.

The Real Bottom Line On RussiaGate

On Wednesday, The Hill posted an article about the scandal surrounding Russian influence during the 2016 presidential campaign and election.

The article reminds us of some recent events:

Senator Chuck Schumer and Congressman Adam Schiff have both castigated Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, for his handling of the inquiry into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.  They should think twice.  The issue that has recently seized Nunes is of vital importance to anyone who cares about fundamental civil liberties.

The trail that Nunes is following will inevitably lead back to a particularly significant leak.  On Jan. 12, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius reported that “according to a senior U.S. government official, (General Mike) Flynn phoned Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak several times on Dec. 29.”

Remember–this case (or lack of it) is based on leaked information. The rights of a private American citizen were violated in the way the information about the Russian Ambassador’s phone call was distributed and leaked. What happened here is exactly what the Congressmen who opposed the Patriot Act feared would happen–the use of government apparatus to spy on political opponents. It’s here.

The article reports:

Regardless of how the government collected on Flynn, the leak was a felony and a violation of his civil rights.  But it was also a severe breach of the public trust. When I worked as an NSC staffer in the White House, 2005-2007, I read dozens of NSA surveillance reports every day. On the basis of my familiarity with this system, I strongly suspect that someone in the Obama White House blew a hole in the thin wall that prevents the government from using information collected from surveillance to destroy the lives of the citizens whose privacy it is pledged to protect.  

The leaking of Flynn’s name was part of what can only be described as a White House campaign to hype the Russian threat and, at the same time, to depict Trump as Vladimir Putin’s Manchurian candidate.  On Dec. 29, Obama announced sanctions against Russia as retribution for its hacking activities.  From that date until Trump’s inauguration, the White House aggressively pumped into the media two streams of information: one about Russian hacking; the other about Trump’s Russia connection. In the hands of sympathetic reporters, the two streams blended into one.  

In late December there were reports of Russians hacking into the electricity grid of a Vermont utility. The hype of Russian intervention continued. It turned out later that the story was totally misreported–an employee had mistakenly loaded some information into the utility’s computer system.

The article  concludes:

While the White House was hyping the Russia threat, elements of the press showed a sudden interest in the infamous Steele dossier, which claimed that Russian intelligence services had caught Trump in Moscow in highly compromising situations.  The dossier was opposition research paid for by Trump’s political opponents, and it had circulated for months among reporters covering the election.  Because it was based on anonymous sources and entirely unverifiable, however, no reputable news organization had dared to touch it.  

With a little help from the Obama White House, the dossier became fair game for reporters.  A government leak let it be known that the intelligence community had briefed Trump on the dossier.  If the president-elect was discussing it with his intelligence briefers, so the reasoning went, perhaps there was something to it after all.

By turning the dossier into hard news, that leak weaponized malicious gossip. The same is true of the Flynn-Kislyak leak.  Ignatius used the leak to deepen speculation about collusion between Putin and Trump: “What did Flynn say (to Kislyak),” Ignatius asked, “and did it undercut the U.S. sanctions?” The mere fact that Flynn’s conversations were being monitored deepened his appearance of guilt.  If he was innocent, why was the government monitoring him?

It should not have been.  He had the right to talk to in private — even to a Russian ambassador.  Regardless of what one thinks about him or Trump or Putin, this leak should concern anyone who believes that we must erect a firewall between the national security state and our domestic politics.  The system that allowed it to happen must be reformed.  At stake is a core principle of our democracy: that elected representatives control the government, and not vice versa.

Laws were broken in releasing the transcripts of the conversations of General Flynn. It is time to get past the partisan divide and realize that this was a serious encroachment on the freedom of all Americans. Those responsible for spreading the information need to be dealt with severely.

How The Deep State Works

It is nearly impossible to fire a federal employee. The logic behind this is that civil servants should not be at the mercy of elections. They should have some modicum of job security. Although in theory that is a really good idea, it prevents the occasional housecleaning that Washington, D.C. needs. The group in Washington that is dedicated to maintaining the status quo is a small portion of the deep state. The deep state is much more complex and entangled than that, but for the purposes of this article, the deep state is simply the entrenched bureaucracy that is intent on maintaining the status quo. The deep state is one of the few things in Washington that is truly bi-partisan.

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article yesterday that illustrates how the deep state works.

The article reports:

Chairman Nunes is the only member of the Intelligence Oversight Gang-of-Eight who has reviewed the executive level intelligence product which caused him concern.  Nunes alleged in the last week he received evidence that Obama administration political figures gained access to unmasked American identities through foreign intercepts involving the Trump transition team between November 2016 and January 2017.

Media and congressional leadership intentionally skip the obvious questions:

Why don’t the other seven members also go look at the same executive intel?

  • Why, instead of looking at the same data, does the entire UniParty political apparatus and DC media now seem intent on eliminating Devin Nunes?
  • Why doesn’t Adam Schiff, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer or Mark Warner simply go look at the same executive intelligence product?
  • Why doesn’t Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell or Richard Burr simply go look at the same executive intelligence product?
  • Why doesn’t any member of the DC media ask such brutally obvious questions?
  • Why is the DC UniParty both intent on not looking at the intelligence and simultaneously intent on removing Nunes, and getting the investigation removed from the House Intelligence Committee (Nunes/Schiff) and over to the Senate Intelligence Committee (Burr/Warner)?
  • What is it about that Executive Office Level Intelligence Product the gang-of-eight are all so desperately afraid of?
  • Why would the Senate launch another entire congressional intelligence inquiry, when the head of the Senate Intelligence Committees, Burr and Warner, are desperate NOT to see the intelligence product that causes Nunes such concern?

In a previous article, The Conservative Treehouse explains why much of those in Washington who should see the intelligence reports have not:

If Representative Schiff saw the same intelligence that substantiates Nunes he couldn’t keep up the fake outrage and false narrative. Right now Schiff can say anything about it he wants because he hasn’t seen it.  If Schiff actually sees the intelligence Nunes saw he loses that ability. He would also lose the ability to criticize, ridicule and/or marginalize Devin Nunes.

The same political perspective applies to Minority leader Nancy Pelosi, Minority leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Mark Warner. For each of them to see the information would eliminate their ability to talk about it, or criticize Nunes. The politics of the situation are more valuable so long as they don’t engage in actual truthful knowledge.

Chairman Nunes cannot share his intelligence finding with the House Committee, because the intelligence product is beyond their intel authority. Nunes has to ask for it in portions as each compartment would permit and authorize; And so long as Pelosi, Schumer, Warner and Schiff refuse to look at the intelligence that ‘only they’ are allowed to see, they can continue to ridicule and take political advantage.

This reality is also the reason why the media is so able to manipulate the narrative around Chairman Nunes; and simultaneously why he’s able to say he’s done nothing wrong.

Until we go back to a system under which civil servants can be fired and there is a periodic housecleaning in Washington, we will be a bi-partisan government of unelected bureaucrats and our votes will not be worth much. If President Trump is serious about changing Washington, he needs to begin clearing out the deep state by firing civil servants who are working against the interests of elected officials. The uproar will be monstrous, but it is truly the only way to drain the swamp.



If You Can Discredit The Messenger, You Might Be Able To Discredit The Message

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about the Democrat‘s call that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes recuse himself from the investigation into Russian activities during the 2016 election. Their main justification for this request is that Congressman Nunes informed President Trump that he had been under surveillance by the Obama Administration.

The article reminds us:

Journalists were so busy scoffing on Twitter at Nunes’ March 22 press conference that they failed to pay attention to what he said. Importantly, the intelligence collected on Trump transition staff was not related to Russia. It was not collected in the course of monitoring Russian officials, nor as part of any official criminal investigation into Trump-world that might have justified inter-agency sharing.

In describing this still-unreleased intelligence material, Nunes referred to an earlier incident in which the Obama administration spied on Israeli officials. During that monitoring, the White House incidentally picked up conversations between the Israelis and members of Congress at the height of the debate over the Iran nuclear deal.

The article points out that there are two separate items before Congress right now that they should be investigating:

There are two important and separate questions now. One pertains to Russian propaganda efforts and illegal hacking during the 2016 election. The other pertains to potentially illegal handling of intelligence information on U.S. persons by the intelligence community or the Obama administration.

The article concludes:

Democrats accuse him of canceling the hearing to prevent testimony by Sally Yates, Obama’s acting attorney general whom Trump fired in January.

 Whatever the truth of this claim, and Nunes can prove them wrong by quickly rescheduling Yates’ testimony on Flynn and Russia, the illegal handling of intelligence information about conversations by opposition politicians is a very serious issue. Nunes is right to demand answers quickly by going to the source. Democrats’ calls for him to recuse himself from a completely separate investigation are not just disingenuous, but are intended to confuse the public.

By attacking Representative Nunes, the Democrats can take the focus off of the illegal surveillance of American citizens, the failure to mask the identify of those citizens, and leaking of surveillance information to the press with the purpose of bringing down a presidential candidate and later a President.  This is not acceptable behavior.

In watching the Democrats and their attempts to delegitimize by keeping the Russian interference story alive, I am reminded of a historic event in which the Democrats and the press did a similar thing and succeeded.

The actions of the Democrats during Watergate provide a preview of what is happening now. Watergate was a high watermark in the politics of personal destruction. In his book, Inside the Real Watergate Conspiracy, the author, Geoff Shepard, states:

“It seems clear that without Cox’s intervention, the federal prosecutors would have issued indictments at least by August 1973, and the public’s desire to know that the government was seriously pursuing the Watergate case would have been fully satisfied. Indeed, on May 24, 1973, the U.S. attorney publicly stated that comprehensive indictments were imminent; and the prosecutorial memo submitted to Cox on his arrival stated that the case was all but closed.”

As Americans, we need to make sure that this sort of manipulation of the news does not happen again. Today we have an alternative media that we did not have then. Hopefully that will make a difference. At any rate, we need to be aware of what is being attempted.

The accusations of Russian interference are garbage–they are a distraction designed to prevent President Trump from draining the swamp. The accusations provide another illustration of the reason President Trump needs to drain the swamp.

It’s Amazing What Comes To The Surface

Politico posted an update today on the hearings in the House Intelligence Committee.

The article reports:

Members of the Donald Trump transition team, possibly including Trump himself, were under U.S. government surveillance following November’s presidential election, House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) told reporters Wednesday.

Nunes said the monitoring appeared to be done legally as a result of what’s called “incidental collection,” but said he was concerned because it was not related to the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s meddling in the election and was widely disseminated across the intelligence community.

“I have seen intelligence reports that clearly show that the president-elect and his team were, I guess, at least monitored,” Nunes told reporters. “It looks to me like it was all legally collected, but it was essentially a lot of information on the president-elect and his transition team and what they were doing.”

Nunes said he is heading to the White House later Wednesday to brief Trump on what he has learned, which he said came from “sources who thought that we should know it.” He said he was trying to get more information by Friday from the FBI, CIA and NSA.

Nunes described the surveillance as most likely being “incidental collection.” This can occur when a person inside the United States communicates with a foreign target of U.S. surveillance. In such cases, the identities of U.S. citizens are supposed to be kept secret — but can be “unmasked” by intelligence officials under certain circumstances.

…It was previously known that Flynn’s pre-inauguration phone calls with Russia’s ambassador were intercepted by the U.S. government; he resigned last month after it became clear he misled his colleagues about the nature of the calls.

Nunes has said Flynn’s calls were picked up through incidental collection and said his committee is investigating why Flynn’s name was unmasked and leaked to the news media.

Obviously, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s phone calls with the Russian ambassador were taped and transcribed. Because he has talking to the Russian ambassador, that is not unusual. What is unusual is for the transcripts of those calls to be leaked to the press with his name on them. That is against the law. The person who did that belongs in prison.

As this investigation continues, it is becoming obvious that candidate Donald Trump was under government surveillance during the campaign and after he was elected. That is a serious violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. This surveillance is one reason many Congressmen opposed the Patriot Act–they feared the kind of political abuse of the law that the Obama Administration was evidently guilty of. There are many stories out there documenting the surveillance of Donald Trump and his campaign. I have not posted some of them because I am not familiar with the sources. However, those sources are beginning to look reliable.

The Plot Thickens

Yesterday The Daily Caller reported that three brothers who handled computer issues for some Congress members and for members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence have been relieved of their duties.

The article reports:

Brothers Abid, Imran, and Jamal Awan were barred from computer networks at the House of Representatives Thursday, The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group has learned.

Three members of the intelligence panel and five members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs were among the dozens of members who employed the suspects on a shared basis. The two committees deal with many of the nation’s most sensitive issues and documents, including those related to the war on terrorism.

Also among those whose computer systems may have been compromised is Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Florida Democrat who was previously the target of a disastrous email hack when she served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 campaign.

The investigation of these men has been going on since late 2016.

The article states:

Signs of trouble have long been visible in public records. The Congressional Credit Union repossessed Abid’s car in 2009, and he declared bankruptcy in 2012, facing multiple lawsuits.

Alvi, who did not respond to TheDCNF’s request for comment, has taken multiple second mortgages.

Security-sensitive jobs typically require background checks for credit and legal problems that can create pressures to cash in on access to secret information and documents.

Jamal, who public records suggest is only 22 years old and first began working in the House when he was 20, was paid nearly $160,000 a year, or three times the average House IT staff salary, according to InsideGov, which tracks congressional salaries. Abid was paid $161,000 and Imran $165,000.

You would think someone might have noticed before last year. It will be interesting to see how much of the media report this story and how they spin it.


Why We Seem To Have No Coherent Policy Regarding Islamists

Last Tuesday, the Center for Security Policy posted a story documenting a House Intelligence Committee Member’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. This is not really news–the Obama Administration is rife with people who have family or other connections to the Muslim Brotherhood. This partially explains why the Obama Administration has provided so little assistance to Egyptian President al-Sisi in his fight to end the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt (where the group began).

The article at the Center for Security Policy reports:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi recently appointed Rep. André Carson (D-IN) to a coveted position on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.  This panel is charged with oversight of the United States’ most sensitive national intelligence capabilities and operations.  These include any directed at Islamic supremacists seeking to impose worldwide – through violent and, where necessary, through stealthy forms of jihad – the totalitarian program they call shariah.

Preeminent among the practitioners of this jihadist agenda is the Muslim Brotherhood.  In fact, according to evidence introduced by the U.S. government into the Holy Land Foundation trial in 2008, the Brotherhood’s self-declared mission in America is: “a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands [i.e., those of non-Muslims] and those of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.” (From the 1991 Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America, Government Exhibit 003-0085, 3:04-CR-240-G.)

It is, therefore, problematic and potentially detrimental to the national security that Rep. Carson has extensive and longstanding ties to organizations and individuals associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.  As established in a dossier and video released today by the Center for Security Policy, the Indiana congressman has an extensive record of involvement with, support of and support from a virtual Who’s Who of Brotherhood front organizations in America and leading figures in the jihad movement in this country.  The dossier makes it clear that, as a group, they have “a documented history of serving as unregistered foreign agents, engaging in material support for terrorism and possessing direct ties to the Brotherhood’s Palestinian franchise, Hamas, a designated terrorist organization.”

If the American media were doing its job, this would be called treason.

The article reminds us:

It is wholly unacceptable to have as a member of a key congressional committee charged with overseeing U.S. intelligence and counterintelligence an individual with extensive personal and political associations with the Muslim Brotherhood’s civilization jihadist infrastructure in America.  At a minimum, Rep. Andre Carson’s presence on the House Intelligence Committee will necessitate restrictions on his access to classified information about the presence and operations in this country of what amounts to a subversive Islamist Fifth Column and his participation in the panel’s deliberations concerning how it can best be countered.

If voters do not start paying attention to what their representatives do soon and voting against those that are not acting in the voters’ interests, they will find themselves in an unrecognizable country with their freedoms being taken away and replaced by the sort of legal systems the Founding Fathers sought to avoid.


Reading Between The Lines On Benghazi

On Friday, the official report on Benghazi was released by the House Intelligence Committee. On Saturday, Hot Air posted an article about the report. There is no obvious smoking gun in the report, but there are some interesting statements.

The article reports:

The media interpretation of the findings is also flatly contradictory in places. Take for example this declaration of a lack of any culpability. (Emphasis added.)

Debunking a series of persistent allegations hinting at dark conspiracies, the investigation of the politically charged incident determined that there was no intelligence failure, no delay in sending a CIA rescue team, no missed opportunity for a military rescue, and no evidence the CIA was covertly shipping arms from Libya to Syria.

The next paragraph in the report states:

So, nothing to see here. Move along. Except for one problem. The coverage also seeks to make it clear that Susan Rice couldn’t possibly be to blame for her blatantly false portrayals of the attack on the Sunday morning shows. Watch what happens to the analysis on this score.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, intelligence about who carried it out and why was contradictory, the report found. That led Susan Rice, then U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to inaccurately assert that the attack had evolved from a protest, when in fact there had been no protest. But it was intelligence analysts, not political appointees, who made the wrong call, the committee found. The report did not conclude that Rice or any other government official acted in bad faith or intentionally misled the American people.

The writer of the article asks the obvious question:

Keep in mind, these are not two paragraphs separated by miles of text. They’re back to back. And somehow, in the space of four sentences, we went from there was no intelligence failure to reading it was intelligence analysts… who made the wrong call. If you’re making the wrong call – particularly one which turned out to be so incredibly far off base – then that sounds like an intelligence failure to me.

Also rather stunning is the way that a complete vindication of the White House is somehow constructed out of these conclusions. Susan Rice was either lying or she was wrong. Neither possibility paints the administration in a very competent light. And if there was a failure of intelligence, how does that clear the White House? The last time I checked the CIA reports to the Director of Intelligence who, in turn, reports directly to the President… or has that changed? A better translation of this hopeful sounding article would be to say that the report cleared the political arm of Obama’s team of any wrongdoing, while allowing him to throw his intelligence team under the bus.

Unfortunately, we will probably never know who messed up in the Benghazi tragedy. So much for government transparency.