Telling The Truth

Rick Grenell definitely left his mark as acting Director of National Intelligence. Things that should never have been classified were unclassified so that the American people could see for themselves what their government had been up to. Hopefully, John Ratcliffe, who replaced Ambassador Grenell, will be as equally concerned about unnecessary government secrecy.

Ambassador Grenell was interviewed on Tucker Carlson Tonight last night. Fox News posted an article about the interview late last night. The article includes a video of the interview. Please follow the link to view the interview. It is telling.

The article reports:

Former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell told “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Monday that his time in the Trump administration has shown him that the great political struggle is no longer between Republicans and Democrats, but between the District of Columbia and the rest of the U.S.

The article includes a screenshot of something Ambassador Grenell tweeted:

The article continues:

“The fact of the matter is,” Grenell said, “we have a real problem in Washington, D.C., because it’s a system that it no longer is Republicans and Democrats pushing against each other to create good policy. It’s a fight between Washington and the rest of America.”

“What we have [is] a system in Washington where people get jobs if you’re there, if you know someone and you work your way up, and it’s like musical chairs from one agency to another,” Grenell added. “There is no outside thought, there’s no outside perspective.”

Grenell, who also spent two years as U.S. ambassador to Germany, characterized Trump as a great disruptor of this insular system.

“He’s breaking their system,” he said. “He doesn’t play by the rules.

The article concludes:

“I saw that at ODNI,” Grenell added. “I saw that by entering the intelligence world, and senators from the Democratic Party saying, ‘You have no experience, what are you doing — why should you be there?””

Grenell specifically called out Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, by noting that Grenell had received his first intelligence briefing back in 2001, before Warner was elected to public office.

“He said that I wasn’t qualified,” Grennell said of Warner. “I actually am a receiver of intelligence, and [I’m] an expert on the consumer part of the intelligence and how to utilize it, but that perspective is never brought to Washington.”

Change is hard–particularly if that change means you are losing control of something you have controlled for a very long time. That is the current battle in Washington. Does the bureaucracy want to represent the American people or do they want to represent only their own interests?

 

On His Way Out The Door…

Ambassador Rick Grenell did a wonderful job as Acting Director of National Intelligence. He showed himself to be a true patriot in revealing to the American public the misuse of the intelligence apparatus by the previous administration. Sara Carter posted an article yesterday about something he has done that will help further the cause of transparency.

The article reports:

Outgoing Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell slammed Sen. Mark Warner Tuesday saying his request last week to declassify and publicly release the underlying intelligence reports in which Obama officials “unmasked” the identity of former national security advisor Michael Flynn would jeopardize sources and methods.

Grenell also criticized Warner’s alleged political move as ‘cherry picking’ documents for political purposes at the expense of national security. Warner is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee and spoke out against Grenell’s declassification of the senior Obama officials that requested Flynn’s private conversations and unmasking of his name.

“I find it puzzling that your letter initially complains about the declassification of the identities of unmaskers, a declassification that posed no conceivable risks to sources or methods, only to then request the declassification of actual intelligence reports,” said Grenell. “Cherry picking certain documents for release, while attacking the release of others that don’t fit your political narrative, is part of the problem the American people have with Washington DC politicians. I would appreciate it if you would explain your philosophy on transparency as it appears to be based solely on political advantage.”

Grenell had declassified the names of 16 former senior Obama officials involved in requesting Flynn’s private communications 48 times, according to the declassified documents provided by the DNI. Grenell only declassified the requests made between Nov. 30, 2016 and Jan. 12, 2017, according to the documents. The most controversial request was the phone calls between Flynn and former Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, who spoke on Dec. 29, 2016. The contents of that classified phone conversation, which was wiretapped by the FBI, would later be leaked to The Washington Post columnist David Ignatius in January.

Despite Warner’s concerns mentioned in his letter last week, the declassification of the Obama officials’ names did not violate any sources or methods, stated intelligence officials.

Please follow the link to the article for further details.

I would like to point out the contrast between what Mark Warner and Adam Schiff have been doing regarding classified information and what Ambassador Grenell has done. Mark Warner and Adam Schiff have been selectively leaking tidbits to their allies in the press for the purpose of making President Trump look bad. Ambassador Grenell is declassifying information to inform the American public about what has actually been going on. Representative Schiff and Senator Warner need to be held accountable for their leaking. If they are not held accountable, we will see more of the same.

Making A Difference Even If You Are Only In A Position Temporarily

 

The Daily Caller posted an article today about the impact Rick Grenell had as acting Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) in just three months.

There is a detailed list of his accomplishments in the article. Please follow the link to the article for those details. Ambassador Grenell did an outstanding job.

The article lists the three areas of his accomplishments:

“Deep State” Downsizing And Restructuring Of ODNI

Russia Investigation And Mike Flynn

Pushed International Intelligence Community To Support LGBT Issues

The article concludes:

In addition to vacating his DNI role, Grenell announced over the weekend he will step down as the United States Ambassador to Germany, a position he served in for two years. During his time at the State Department, he successfully pressured Germany to commit to upping its annual NATO defense funding, called for a full ban of Hezbollah, and blocked the transfer of more than $300 million from German banks to Iran following Trump’s withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

Neither Grenell nor the White House immediately responded to inquiries from the Daily Caller regarding Grenell taking a different position within the administration.

Thank you, sir, for a job well done.

 

As More Information Comes To Light, There Are More Questions

Everything surrounding the case against General Flynn has been looked at, analyzed, and dissected, but it seems that the more we learn, the more questions arise. The Federalist posted an article today about the weaponization of the intelligence community by the Obama administration. I suspect that what we are learning is only a taste of what is to come. The article at The Federalist is complex, and I suggest that you follow the link to read the entire article. I will attempt to summarize the high points.

The article reports:

The drip-drip-drip of newly declassified documents related to the Trump-Russia investigation, together with recent reports that a classified leak against former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn might not have come from an unmasking request, leaves little doubt that the Obama administration weaponized federal surveillance laws to target Trump associates and undermine the incoming administration.

The story thus far is complex, but it reveals a disturbing abuse of power by the Obama administration that suggests congressional reform of federal surveillance laws is needed to ensure this never happens again.

Just as a side note, I can assure you that if those who misused the intelligence community are not punished, we will see this again.

The article continues:

According to Rice’s bizarre email, which she wrote to herself as President Trump was being inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2017, Comey told Obama and Biden he had “some concerns that incoming NSA Flynn is speaking frequently with Russian Ambassador Kislyak,” and that “the level of communication is unusual.” How did Comey know this? Because the FBI had been spying on Flynn as part of a counterintelligence investigation it launched in August 2016.

Flynn’s conversations with the Russian ambassador became national news after someone in the Obama administration illegally leaked to Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, who revealed in a Jan. 12, 2017, column that Flynn had spoken to Kislyak several times on Dec. 29, 2017.

That touched off an effort by Republicans to find out who leaked to the Post. Last week, responding to a request from Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell released a list of former senior Obama administration officials who requested the unmasking of Flynn between Nov. 30, 2016, and Jan. 12, 2017.

This is the important (often overlooked) fact:

But the dates of the unmasking requests don’t match up with Flynn’s Dec. 29 conversations with the Russian ambassador, which suggests Flynn was identified in an intelligence report that didn’t require the concealment of his identity. On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported that, according to an anonymous former senior U.S. official, “When the FBI circulated [the report], they included Flynn’s name from the beginning,” and that, “There were therefore no requests for the unmasking of that information.”

This report matches with a theory floated over the weekend by National Review Online’s Andrew McCarthy, that Flynn’s call with Kislyak might have been “intercepted under an intelligence program not subject to the masking rules, probably by the CIA or a friendly foreign spy service acting in a nod-and-wink arrangement with our intelligence community.”

Please follow the link to read the rest of the story–it is amazing.

Sunlight Is The Best Disinfactant

Townhall is reporting today that Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell has declassified documents showing the Obama administration officials allegedly involved in the “unmasking” of Michael Flynn in transcripts of calls he had with Russia’s former ambassador, Sergey Kislyak.

The article reports:

Information on the Flynn-Kislyak phone call was leaked to The Washington Post in 2017, leading many to wonder whether an Obama administration official had illegally disclosed classified information.

In 2017, Rep. Devin Nunes, who was then the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said he had evidence “current and former government officials had easy access to U.S. person information and that it is possible that they used this information to achieve partisan political purposes, including the selective, anonymous leaking of such information.”

He continued, “The committee has learned that one official, whose position had no apparent intelligence-related function, made hundreds of unmasking requests during the final year of the Obama administration.”

The article notes:

Both former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper were pressed by GOP senators in 2017 about their role in alleged unmasking abuses, and denied any wrongdoing. There were reports that United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power unmasked hundreds of U.S. persons, but she has said this is “absolutely false.”

Former FBI Director James Comey told the House Intelligence Committee in 2017 that the National Security Agency, the CIA, the FBI, and the Justice Department all had the ability to unmask individuals.

U.S. Attorney John Durham is reportedly investigating the leaks of potentially classified information related to Flynn to the media in early 2017. (Washington Examiner)

There were many things that went on during the Obama administration regarding classified information that need to be examined. Things that should have remained classified were leaked for political purposes, and things that were classified solely for the purpose of hiding illegal surveillance activities by the administration were kept secret. It’s time to examine that and correct the misdeeds.

Transparency Is Coming

In his daily memo at The Washington Examiner, Byron York reported that the transcripts of the 53 secret interviews the House Intelligence Committee conducted during its Trump-Russia investigation are ready to be released. Having Rick Grenell as Acting Director of National Intelligence has already had an impact–he has made it clear that the transcripts need to be released and that he will release them if Adam Schiff does not.

The article reports:

…Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell has sent a letter to chairman Adam Schiff notifying him that transcripts of all 53 interviews, over 6,000 pages in all, have been cleared for public release. “All of the transcripts, with our required redactions, can be released to the public without any concerns of disclosing classified material,” Grenell wrote to Schiff in a letter dated May 4.

The Intel Committee did the first probe into Russia’s 2016 campaign interference and allegations of Trump-Russia collusion. Even today, its findings make up most of what we know about the affair. As part of that investigation — it was run by then-majority Republicans — the committee interviewed some key witnesses in the Trump-Russia matter: Donald Trump Jr., Steve Bannon, Andrew McCabe, Sally Yates, Michael Cohen, Hope Hicks, and many more.

The article lists the names of the 53 people interviewed.

The article continues:

The interviews were conducted in secret. But by September 2018, with the committee’s report long finished and made public, the Republicans who still controlled the committee decided the interview transcripts should be released to the public. In a rare moment of comity, Democrats agreed, and on September 26, 2018, the committee voted unanimously to release the transcripts. But there was a catch: The documents would have to first be checked for classified information by the Intelligence Community. So off they went to the IC — never to be seen again.

Now, in May 2020, they’re still secret. Two weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal editorial board reported that the IC had finished its review of 43 of the transcripts, but Schiff was refusing to release them. The paper said Schiff was also preventing declassification of the remaining ten transcripts.

In the letter, Grenell revealed that the 43 transcripts have been finished since June 2019. Schiff has been sitting on them all that time. Grenell said the final ten have just been finished as well. “I urge you to honor your previous public statements, and your committee’s unanimous vote on this matter, to release all 53 cleared transcripts to Members of Congress and the American public as soon as possible,” Grenell said. Just in case Schiff is still not interested, Grenell added, “I am also willing to release the transcripts directly from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, as to ensure we comply with the unanimous and bipartisan vote to release the transcripts.”

I think we are about to learn a whole bunch of things that are going to make some of our Congressmen look very bad.

This Was Definitely The Right Response

There are some people in Congress who have been exposed as liars as documents surrounding Crossfire Hurricane are being declassified. One of those people is Adam Schiff, who is desperately trying to prevent any further damage to his reputation. I suspect this damage is inevitable as more information is released. Adam Schiff’s lies have been exposed, and his efforts to cover up further damage are obvious in a recent letter he wrote to Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell.

The Gateway Pundit posted an article about the letter yesterday.

The article reports:

Grenell decided to declassify the IG footnotes revealing the FBI was knowingly using Russian disinformation to spy on Trump’s camp, and now this…

Adam Schiff on April 7 sent Richard Grenell a letter demanding answers on the agency’s personnel changes, including the firing of ICIG Michael Atkinson.

“President Trump did not nominate you for confirmation as permanent DNI, and it would be inappropriate for you to pursue any additional leadership, organizational, or staffing changes to ODNI during your temporary tenure,” Schiff wrote in an April 7 letter acting like he has authority over the executive branch.

And Grenell responded with fire.

“I must disagree with your proposals to divest the DNI of managerial competence and personnel decision-making authority, and to replace your committee’s mandate for Intelligence Community oversight with a mandate for IC administration,” Grenell said.

Grenell continued, “Going forward, I encourage you to think of the relationship between your committee and the IC as that between the legislative and executive branches of government, rather than that between a hedge fund and a distressed asset, as your letter suggests.”

OUCH!

“Diversity of the IC workforce should always be celebrated, and I am proud that we increased diversity within the ODNI’s senior ranks, to include more women and members of the LGBT community,” said Grenell, who is openly gay.

Well done, Richard Grenell.

One Reason Transparency About The Russia Investigation Is Taking So Long

Yesterday John Solomon posted an article at Just The News about some behind-the-scenes maneuvering by Adam Schiff that made it difficult to get the truth out about the investigation into President Trump and any connections he might have had with Russia.

The article reports:

Shortly after Schiff took over from Republican Rep. Devin Nunes as chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) in 2019, he sent a letter to the office of then-Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.

The letter obtained by Just the News specifically ordered that the witness transcripts — some of which contained exculpatory evidence for President Trump’s team — not be shared with Trump or White House lawyers even if the declassification process required such sharing.

“Under no circumstances shall ODNI, or any other element of the Intelligence Community (IC), share any HPSCI transcripts with the White House, President Trump or any persons associated with the White House or the President,” Schiff wrote in a March 26, 2019 letter to then-Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.

“Such transcripts remain the sole property of HPSCI, and were transmitted to ODNI for the limited purpose of enabling a classification review by IC elements and the Department of Justice,” Schiff added.

U.S. intelligence officials said Schiff’s request made it impossible for them to declassify 10 of the transcripts, mostly of current and former White House and National Security Council witnesses, because White House lawyers would have had to review them for what is known as “White House equities” and presidential privileges.

But 43 of the transcripts were declassified and cleared for public release and given to Schiff’s team, but they have never been made public despite the committee’s vote to do so, officials said.

One senior official said the 43 transcripts were provided to Schiff’s team some time ago, and the 10 remain in limbo. Asked how long House Intelligence Democrats have had the declassified transcripts, the official said: “You’ll have to ask Mr. Schiff.”

A spokesman for Schiff and House Intelligence Committee Democrats did not return an email Monday seeking comment.

The article concludes:

Newly declassified footnotes from the Horowitz report released last week show the FBI’s key informant in the case, the former British spy Christopher Steele, may have been the victim of Russian disinformation. More declassified evidence from that probe is expected to be released later this week.

In the meantime, Republicans who led the House Intelligence Committee probe in 2018 when the witnesses were interviewed are trying to learn what came of the transcripts.

Schiff’s letter to Coats suggests that at the time the new Democratic chairman was still interested in releasing the transcripts.

“I hope our staff can reach agreement soon on a schedule for returning the transcripts to the Committee for ultimate public release,” he wrote.

Nearly 13 months since the letter, that release has not happened.

Elections have consequences. The consequences of turning the House of Representatives over to the Democrats was three years of wasted money on an investigation that many of the Democrats knew was unwarranted from the beginning. Because the Democrats were so focused on getting President Trump, they overlooked the looming problem of the coronavirus and were not prepared to deal with it. In fact when President Trump closed our borders to China, the Democrats criticized him for it. We may find out in the coming months why the Democrats were so intent on removing President Trump. As more information comes out about the surveillance of the Trump campaign and Trump presidency, it is becoming more obvious that laws were broken. The goal may have been to take out President Trump before that was discovered.

There’s Always More To The Story

Yesterday President Trump fired Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) Michael Atkinson. As expected, the mainstream media was very upset. ICIG Atkinson served at the will of the President, so why do you think the media was so upset?

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article yesterday that provides some clues.

The article notes:

The necessary, albeit politically controversial, move comes about two months after President Trump assigned Ric Grenell to lead the Office of the Director of National Intelligence; Grenell is ultimately the acting boss of the overall intelligence community. It is likely DNI Grenell provided some key insight into the sketchy background activity in/around Atkinson’s office, and the overall intelligence apparatus writ large.

Additionally, former congressman Mark Meadows is now President Trump’s Chief-of-Staff; and Meadows has been a critic of those within the intelligence apparatus who attempted a soft-coup twice: Once by special counsel (Russia investigation) Robert Mueller; and once by impeachment (Ukraine investigation) using CIA operative Eric Ciaramella and NSC operative Alexander Vindman.

Also, in the recent FISA review by the OIG the DOJ inspector general specifically identified issues with the “accuracy reviews” conducted by DOJ-NSD chief legal counsel.  Who was that former DOJ-NSD chief legal counsel?  That would be current ICIG Michael Atkinson…

The plot thickens:

Additionally, since our original research into ICIG Atkinson revealed he was part of a corrupt deep state effort to cover his own involvement during the FBI operation against candidate Trump, there have been some rather interesting additional discoveries.

The key to understanding the corrupt endeavor behind the fraudulent “whistle-blower” complaint, doesn’t actually originate with ICIG Atkinson. The key person is the former head of the DOJ National Security Division, Mary McCord.

…McCord was the senior intelligence officer who accompanied Sally Yates to the White House in 2017 to confront then White House Counsel Don McGahn about the issues with National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and the drummed up controversy over the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak phone call.

Additionally, Mary McCord, Sally Yates and Michael Atkinson worked together to promote the narrative around the incoming Trump administration “Logan Act” violations. This silly claim (undermining Obama policy during the transition) was the heavily promoted, albeit manufactured, reason why Yates and McCord were presumably concerned about Flynn’s contact with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. It was nonsense.

However, McCord didn’t just disappear in 2017 when she retired from the DOJ-NSD. She resurfaced as part of the Lawfare group assembly after the mid-term election in 2018.

The article goes on to mention that Mary McCord eventually went to work for Adam Schiff to help with the impeachment efforts.

Please follow the link to The Conservative Treehouse to read the entire article. The firing of Michael Atkinson is a serious blow to the deep state, so expect the media to be totally rabid about it for at least the next week.

How Soon They Forget

On Thursday, The Washington Times posted an article about President Trump’s naming of Richard Grenell as the new acting director of national intelligence. The political left is complaining about the nomination, claiming that Ambassador Grenell is not qualified. The article reports that when Leon Panetta was chosen by President Obama to lead the CIA, Panetta had no intelligence experience.

The article notes:

What’s wrong is Grenell is pro-Trump and he’s being appointed to head an agency with a deep state reputation filled with deep state resentments about this president. The left is panicked about the potential for light to shine on their anti-Trump — anti-American — covert activities.

So they’re pretending as if Grenell isn’t the right guy for the job based on his experience.

Grenell … is known to be fiercely loyal to Trump, but critics have noted that he has no background in intelligence and no top-level management experience,” NPR reported.

And this, from ex-FBI agent Clint Watts, on Twitter: “Grennell as DNI can only be seen as a way for Trump to achieve confirmation bias for his conspiracies & block real analysis and true assessments of threats. Not a serious nominee. How much tax payer money will be used to run down nonsense?”

And this, interestingly enough, from Iran Press: “Trump names incompetent person as acting spy chief.”

The article concludes:

Grenell, at least, is an ambassador — somebody who has to deal with national security issues while navigating complicated, oft-conflicting waters, while calming and soothing and wheeling-and-dealing with a variety of personalities, all expressing a variety of interests. In other words: Grenell is somebody who at least has some hands-on experience doing exactly what intel folk do.

But Grenell is pro-Trump.

And that’s why the deep state and globalist elites deem him unqualified.

If Panetta was qualified as CIA chief, Grenell is more than qualified as acting director of national intelligence.

On Friday, The Conservative Treehouse reported:

Kash Patel previously worked as Devin Nunes’ senior staffer on the House Intelligence Committee (HPSCI).  It was Patel who was the lead author of the Nunes memo exposing corrupt conduct of the FBI and DOJ officials during Crossfire Hurricane.

Patel joined the National Security Council’s International Organizations and Alliances directorate last February and was promoted to the senior counterterrorism role at the NSC mid-summer 2019.  According to recent reporting Patel is now joining Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell as a Senior Advisor and Catherine Herridge is reporting the objective is to ‘clean house‘.

I wonder how much of this ‘housecleaning’ is going to put some members of Congress in a very bad light. Bring it on!

When You Poke The Bear

There were two articles posted at The Federalist yesterday (here and here) about the current circus in the House of Representatives. I suspect this is not going exactly the way the Democrats had intended.

The first article notes:

In tense testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) on Friday, the inspector general for federal spy agencies refused to disclose why his office backdated secret changes to key whistleblower forms and rules in the wake of an anti-Trump whistleblower complaint filed in August, sources told The Federalist.

As The Federalist reported and the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) confirmed, the spy watchdog secretly changed its whistleblower forms and internal rules in September to eliminate a requirement that whistleblowers provide first-hand evidence to support any allegations of wrongdoing. In a press release last week, the ICIG confessed that it changed its rules in response to an anti-Trump complaint filed on August 12. That complaint, which was declassified and released by President Donald Trump in September, was based entirely on second-hand information, much of which was shown to be false following the declassification and release of a telephone conversation between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The first article concludes:

Several top lawmakers in the Senate raised similar concerns about Atkinson’s behavior in a separate letter.

“Why did the IC IG initially require first-hand information in its May 2018 disclosure form?” the senators asked. “Why did the IC IG remove the requirement for first-hand information?”

Atkinson has not answered their questions, either, raising questions that his behavior following his receipt of the anti-Trump complaint might not be completely above board. Atkinson ignored legal guidance from both the director of national intelligence and the Department of Justice that the anti-Trump complaint was statutorily deficient and forwarded it to HPSCI even though it did not meet the legal definition of an “urgent concern” that is required to be given to Congress.

The embattled ICIG also admitted on Friday that the anti-Trump complainant lied on his whistleblower complaint form by concealing the complainant’s previous secret interactions with House Democratic staff prior to submitting the complaint. Atkinson never even bothered investigating potential coordination between the complainant, whom DOJ said showed evidence of partisan political bias, and House Democrats prior to the filing of the anti-Trump complaint.

The second article is more of a history of the entire Ukraine scandal. It mentions the fact that there are genuine concerns about Ukraine interference in the 2016 American presidential election.

The second article also suggests some motivation behind this current circus:

The Democrats’ case for impeachment is hopeless, but their motivation is simple. They whipped up their base into such a delusional frenzy during the “Russia investigation,” they have to keep the narrative going at all costs. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi faces a rebellion from her caucus if she doesn’t go along with it.

There may be a more serious motivation behind this:

But there’s a group of intelligence bureaucrats at work here, and their motivation is a bit different. An immediate motive may be to prevent an investigation into how the Russia probe started. This includes an investigation into how a document the Hillary Clinton campaign created — using anonymous Russians and a British national tied to Russia — was used by our intelligence agencies to investigate Trump.

The other possible motivation is more complex. During the “Russia investigation,” many in the intelligence agencies worked to subvert Trump’s foreign policy and remove Trump, through spying, a large series of leaks, and articles planted with friendly outlets. Trump’s campaign was even spied on before the election, via something called the “two-hop rule,” once a secret court granted a warrant to spy on Trump campaign officials such as Carter Page.

Because of this, the White House moved to cut off the broader “intelligence community” — inexorably tied to America’s foreign policy establishment that Trump ran against — from information the White House knew many in the intelligence agencies would use to selectively leak.

That could mean some of what’s going on today, at least from the CIA angle, is intelligence bureaucrats “striking back” because they lost their access to diplomatic communications, a coveted source of the intelligence community’s power. But even the Obama administration liked to hide diplomatic calls from the broader intelligence community, which should tell us something about that bureaucracy.

The second article includes the following statement:

In other words, the real big takeaway here is that we have a problem with our Washington bureaucracy, including our intelligence agencies, which have routinely crossed the line into policymaking. How much of the impeachment mess is due to CIA bureaucrats being incensed that Trump, who is elected, would dare to question military aid to Ukraine, and would dare to curtail their eavesdropping on diplomacy?

What we see here is an illustration of the reason why we need to drain the swamp.

Fighting Back Legally

The American Spectator posted an article today about the ongoing legal case of General Flynn. As you know, General Flynn’s new lawyer, Sidney Powell, is the author of the book Licensed to Lie, which details government abuses in cases against Enron and Ted Stevens among others. Ms. Powell has a very clear understanding of prosecutorial misconduct and how to deal with it.

The article at The American Spectator details a case in which a policeman charged with rape was able to get the charges dropped by shedding light on the actions of the prosecutors regarding the witnesses. The article refers to this as ‘graymail’ and suggests that this tactic will be used by Ms. Powell to defend General Flynn.

The article reports:

As you may recall, there are many disturbing questions surrounding the federal government’s investigation, arrest, and prosecution of Flynn. Although he has pled guilty to a flimsy and corruptly contrived charge of lying to the FBI, that plea came about after he had — according to media reports — bankrupted himself by paying $4 million in legal fees to the Washington law firm that represented him prior to Powell. In short, it appears that Flynn pled guilty because he couldn’t afford any more justice.

In addition to the law firm’s impressive professional achievement of turning a mere guilty plea proceeding into a reported $4 million payday, the known facts and circumstances surrounding the Flynn case are equally remarkable. We know that the charges arise out of an ambush interview orchestrated by former FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe regarding contacts that Flynn, the incoming Trump administration’s National Security Adviser, had with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak. According to Powell’s thorough, broadly worded, and aggressive discovery motion, recently produced (and previously withheld) government documents disclosed that “Flynn passed his polygraph test in 2016 and his security clearance was renewed. This was at the same time the FBI seems to have been investigating him under the pretext that he was an ‘agent of Russia’ and/or of Turkey. Interestingly, the new production also shows that [former Director of National Intelligence] James Clapper refused to assist in the investigation for Mr. Flynn’s security clearance, which Mr. Flynn received after a full investigation despite Mr. Clapper’s actions.” In addition, at the bar of the Court, Powell advised U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan that the recently disclosed documents showed the government had concluded that Flynn was neither a Russian nor a Turkish agent.

The article notes:

So why and how was Flynn targeted for destruction by the FBI and Justice Department? Powell’s discovery motion seeks answers to these questions by demanding the production of evidence exposing the links between the investigation and prosecution of Flynn to the Obama administration’s efforts to target, spy on, and frame Donald Trump.

The article goes on to list the documents requested.

The article concludes:

Moreover, if Judge Sullivan grants the defense even partial relief, the prosecutors will then be faced with a bitter choice, to wit:

(a) They can produce the damning evidence of the government’s corrupt activities in order to continue the prosecution of their ludicrous and petty false statements case against Flynn. Or (b) the prosecutors can do the smart thing by dropping the charges and quietly disappearing into the witness protection program.

If the prosecutors want my advice, in the event Judge Sullivan grants any part of Powell’s lethal motion, they should pick option (b) and ask the U.S. Marshal’s Service to relocate them to Arizona. I hear it’s nice there in the winter, and retirees can live comfortably on even a modest government pension.

I really like Plan B.

This Incidental Information Is Going To Be Very Important In The Near Future

Before you read this article, I want you to consider how the Democrats (particularly the Clintons) have avoided being held accountable for skirting the law in the past. Generally speaking, the playbook means keeping questions about whatever the scandal is in the news until everyone is sick of hearing about the scandal. At that point, when the answers begin to come out, everyone tunes out because they are totally bored with anything having to do with whatever behavior went on. That is exactly the playbook that is being used on the question of how the Russian-collusion investigation began and why members of President Trump’s campaign and transition team were under surveillance. Keep that in mind as you read the following.

Today Breitbart posted an article with the following headline, “Biden Present at Russia Collusion Briefing Documented in ‘Odd’ Susan Rice Email.”

The article reports:

Vice President Joe Biden was documented as being present in the Oval Office for a conversation about the controversial Russia probe between President Obama, disgraced ex-FBI chief James Comey, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and other senior officials including Obama’s national security advisor Susan Rice.

In an action characterized as “odd” last year by then-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, Rice memorialized the confab in an email to herself describing Obama as starting “the conversation by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the Intelligence and law enforcement communities ‘by the book.’”

Grassley, in a letter to Rice, commented: “It strikes us as odd that, among your activities in the final moments on the final day of the Obama administration, you would feel the need to send yourself such an unusual email purporting to document a conversation involving President Obama and his interactions with the FBI regarding the Trump/Russia investigation.”

Grassley noted the unusual timing of the email sent by Rice to herself more than two weeks after the January 5, 2017 White House meeting on the Russia investigation, but mere hours before she vacated the White House for the incoming Trump administration.

The email, Grassley documented, was sent by Rice to herself on Trump’s inauguration day of January 20, 2017.

“If the timestamp is correct, you sent this email to yourself at 12:15 pm, presumably a very short time before you departed the White House for the last time,” Grassley wrote to Rice in a letter seeking clarification on a number of issues regarding the email and the Oval Office briefing at which Biden was documented as being present.

The article cites a Washington Post article describing how few people were involved in the Trump/Russia investigation:

The lengthy Washington Post article from 2017 detailed the closed circle of Obama administration officials who were involved in overseeing the initial efforts related to the Russia investigation — a circle than was narrowly widened to include Biden, according to the newspaper report.

According to the newspaper, in the summer of 2016, CIA Director John Brennan convened a “secret task force at CIA headquarters composed of several dozen analysts and officers from the CIA, the NSA and the FBI.”

The Post described the unit as so secretive it functioned as a “sealed compartment” hidden even from the rest of the U.S. intelligence community; a unit whose workers were all made to sign additional non-disclosure forms.

The unit reported to top officials, the newspaper documented:

They worked exclusively for two groups of “customers,” officials said. The first was Obama and fewer than 14 senior officials in government. The second was a team of operations specialists at the CIA, NSA and FBI who took direction from the task force on where to aim their subsequent efforts to collect more intelligence on Russia.

The number of Obama administration officials who were allowed access to the Russia intelligence was also highly limited, the Post reported. At first only four senior officials were involved, and not Biden. Those officials were CIA Director John Brennan, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and then-FBI Director James Comey. Their aides were all barred from attending the initial meetings, the Post stated.

This is looking more and more like an attempted political coup.

Sharing Classified Information

On Thursday The Daily Caller posted an article about something the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) found related to Hillary Clinton’s server that the FBI chose not to explore.

The article reports:

The Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) found an “anomaly on Hillary Clinton’s emails going through their private server, and when they had done the forensic analysis, they found that her emails, every single one except four, over 30,000, were going to an address that was not on the distribution list,” Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas said during a hearing with FBI official Peter Strzok.

“It was going to an unauthorized source that was a foreign entity unrelated to Russia,” he added.

Gohmert said the ICIG investigator, Frank Rucker, presented the findings to Strzok, but that the FBI official did not do anything with the information.

Strzok acknowledged meeting with Rucker, but said he did not recall the “specific content.”

“The forensic examination was done by the ICIG and they can document that,” Gohmert said, “but you were given that information and you did nothing with it.”

The article further reports:

In late 2017, ICIG Chuck McCullough — who was appointed by former President Barack Obama —  took the unusual step of coming forward publicly to say that he perceived pushback after he began raising the alarm about issues with Clinton’s servers to then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

He said he found it “maddening” that Democrats, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, were underselling the amount of classified information on the server.

McCullough said he “expected to be embraced and protected,” but was instead “chided” by someone on Capitol Hill for failing to consider the “political consequences” of his investigative findings, Fox News reported.

The ICIG has not publicly disclosed the findings Gohmert described in the meeting between Rucker and Strzok, but the congressman said the watchdog can document them.

It is time to retire the upper echelon of both the FBI and the DOJ. They either don’t know what they are doing or are so politically biased they can’t see past their noses. It is time for them to go before we turn into a republic where the government bureaucracy spies on anyone who disagrees with it and protects anyone who does.

Releasing The Documents That Will End The Circus

The Daily Caller is reporting the following today:

The White House has ordered the Department of Justice and FBI to expand congressional access to FBI files about a confidential informant who met with members of the Trump campaign.

The New York Times reports that the White House overrode concerns from FBI Director Christopher Wray and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats regarding FBI documents about Stefan Halper, a former University of Cambridge professor who was a longtime FBI and CIA source.

Halper, a veteran of three Republican administrations, made contact during the 2016 campaign with three Trump advisers: Carter Page, Sam Clovis and George Papadopoulos.

The information on Halper had been restricted only to the Gang of Eight, a group of lawmakers that consists of the Republican and Democratic leaders of both houses of Congress and the two intelligence committees. The White House push will allow all members of the intelligence committees to view the Halper records.

Democrats on the Gang of Eight sent a letter to Coats on Thursday expressing concern over expanding access to the Halper files.

“We believe your decision could put sources and methods at risk,” reads the letter, according to The Times.

The only sources and methods put at risk by expanding access to this information are the methods for misuse of the government to spy on a presidential candidate. The real solution to this is for President Trump to declassify all of this information and make it available to the public. If he is totally smart, he will do that about three weeks before the November election. At that point those responsible for this will have nowhere to hide.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It explains some of the behind-the-scenes activity about the spying on the Trump campaign. The fact that the government used government agencies to interfere in a political campaign for President is disturbing. Were we on the road to having the government determine the outcome of our elections?

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.

 

While Congress Was Flashing A Shiny Object Over Here…

Sleight of hand is something I used to associate with magicians and people who do card tricks. Lately I associate it with politicians in Washington.

On Tuesday, Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial listing the scandals that Congress is not investigating. Oddly enough, there is more concrete, obvious evidence easily visible in the scandals they are ignoring than in the scandals they choose to investigate.

Some highlights from the editorial:

“Prosecutors, Congress, and the public will want to know when the National Security Council shipped off the records about potential intelligence abuses by Susan Rice and others in the Obama White House to the memory hole of the Obama Presidential Library,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

Fitton fittingly left journalists off his list of those who will want to know about this, since the latest weird twist in this story garnered precious little interest among the mainstream media.

Nor did an earlier development in this case, when the House Intelligence Committee issued subpoenas for information related to unmasking requests involving Rice as well as former CIA Director John Brennan, and former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Power.

These subpoenas were, Rep. Devin Nunes said, “just further escalation in the concern we have of the unmaskings of Americans by the senior leaders of the Obama administration.”

Loretta Lynch Scandal: Despite blanket coverage of James Comey‘s testimony about his firing by Trump, few noted the bombshell Comey dropped about Obama’s attorney general, Loretta Lynch, who, Comey said, pressured him to downplay the significance of the FBI‘s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s reckless handling of classified emails on her private server. Comey said Lynch told him to call it a “matter,” not an investigation.

Comey said this gave him a “queasy” feeling, since Lynch was specifically asking him to parrot the words the Clinton campaign was using to describe the FBI probe. That, on top of the Lynch’s private meeting with Bill Clinton, as well as the unusually lenient immunity deals the Justice Department cut with key witnesses in the Clinton email case, suggest Lynch had turned the Justice Department into an arm of the Clinton campaign.

…NSA Spying Scandal: In late May, Circa News published a truly bombshell report about how the National Security Agency had been conducting illegal searches on American citizens for years, “routinely violat(ing) American privacy protections while scouring through overseas intercepts.” In addition, the administration “failed to disclose the extent of the problems until the final days before Donald Trump was elected president last fall.”

Classified documents obtained by Circa showed that “one out of every 20 searches seeking upstream internet data on Americans inside the NSA’s so-called Section 702 database violated the safeguards Obama and his intelligence chiefs vowed to follow in 2011.”

Circa also reported that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court blasted Obama administration officials, saying that the improper searches posed a “very serious Fourth Amendment issue” and the administration’s failure to disclose the violations amounted to an “institutional lack of candor.”

Media response? The three network news programs all ignored this report, and it got little attention by any of the other mainstream news outlets.

Under the Obama Administration, Americans were spied on because of their political beliefs. That is a trait of a tyrannical government–not a representative republic. Would that have continued if Hillary Clinton had been elected? I don’t know.

It is time Congress, the Democrats, and the media stop chasing unicorns and actually investigate the constitutional abuses that took place during the Obama Administration. If these unconstitutional actions go unpunished, we have lost the concept of equal justice under the law. Congress and the people who continually vote for the Congressmen and Congresswomen who choose to ignore these violations of the law are responsible for this loss of equal justice. Unfortunately, all of us will eventually pay the price.

Losing Our Constitutional Rights One At A Time

Lately the First Amendment has been under attack at our colleges and universities. Speakers who do not hold views considered ‘acceptable’ are either disinvited or violently protested. However, there is another constitutional right that is also under attack–the Fourth Amendment.

The Fourth Amendment states:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Yesterday a website called Circa posted an article about CIA Director John Brennan’s expected testimony before Congress today.

The article reminds us:

As former CIA Director John Brennan faces Congress anew on Tuesday, there is growing evidence the Agency he oversaw has become one of the largest consumers of unmasked intelligence about Americans even though its charter prohibits it from spying on U.S. citizens.

The CIA routinely searches data collected overseas on Americans by the National Security Agency, and frequently requests the names of intercepted U.S. persons to be unmasked, once-secret government documents reviewed by Circa show.

…Brennan himself was required last September to submit an affidavit to a court declaring he would keep his agency from abusing such expanded access to Americans’ private information.

Despite the declaration, there also is evidence that the CIA has broken its rules from time to time, a potential slight to Americans’ privacy protections, the documents show.

Last year, before leaving office, former President Obama relaxed the privacy rules protecting the privacy of Americans accidentally caught up in wiretaps of phone calls. Unfortunately, that policy change has been responsible for some of the leaks coming out of the Trump Administration. The unmasking of the names associated with those leaks was a violation of the Fourth Amendment rights of American citizens.

The article explains:

But Circa reported earlier this spring that former President Barack Obama, Brennan’s boss, substantially loosened those privacy rules in 2011 allowing agencies like the CIA and FBI to more easily access unredacted intelligence on Americans. That led to a massive increase in both searches inside the NSAdatabase and the actual unmasking of Americans’ names in intelligence reports, and increased fears that such requests could be abused for political espionage.

Making a request can be as easy as saying a name is needed to understand a report.

In 2016, the NSA unmasked Americans‘ names in intelligence reports more than 1,900 times and was asked to do more than 35,000 searches of intercepted data for information on U.S. persons or their actual  intercepted conversations, according to data released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence

The searches for Americans’ names in the NSA database last year amounted to a three-fold increase over 2013. Officials note that their procedures for making such requests have undergone repeated court approvals.

I don’t believe that the fact that the unmasking of Americans’ names increased dramatically during an election year is a coincidence. This is exactly what the people who opposed the Patriot Act feared. Although we need to be able to protect ourselves from attacks by terrorists, we also need to protect the rights of Americans. We have to remember what the Founding Fathers knew–not everyone elected to pubic office is an honest upstanding citizen who will abide by his or her oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution. That is the reason we need to make sure our Constitutional protections remain in place.

 

Lied To Again

Honesty in Washington, D.C. seems to be non-existent. A lot of the things we were told during the Obama Administration have turned out to be simply not true.

Recently a news site called Circa reported that the statistics released by the Obama Administration showing the number of American citizens unmasked after being captured in accidental National Security Agency intercepts were inaccurate.

The article reports:

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence, now under new management with President Donald Trump, confirms that the 654 unmaskings reported last year for fiscal 2015 was underreported by a factor of more than three times. The correct number was actually 2,232.

…National intelligence officials say the 654 figure reported last year actually represented the number of times a government official had a request approved to unmask an American name and not the total number of U.S. persons’ identities that actually were unredacted after the fact in intelligence reports, as had been represented in last year’s report.

…But starting in 2011, former President Obama made it easier to access that information, essentially creating keys for intelligence professionals and even his own political aides to unlock the NSA’s lock box to consume surveillance on Americans.

Circa reported last week that since those changes, the number of requests to search NSA records for Americans’ information more than tripled under the former administration from about 10,000 in 2013 to more than 25,000 in 2016.

These numbers confirm the fears some Congressmen had about the Patriot Act. What we saw in the Obama Administration was the use of government agencies to spy on political opponents. Every person involved in this effort needs to be fired and sent to jail. This is totally unconstitutional.

Attempting To Work Together

Partisanship in Washington is a way of life, but it can also be a serious problem when there is a crisis. It would be nice to believe that both sides of the aisle can work together if they have to in a crisis. Unfortunately, we may be about to find out if that is possible.

Fox News is reporting today that the entire U.S. Senate has been invited to the White House on Wednesday for a briefing on the North Korean situation.

The article reports:

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats plan to provide the update to lawmakers.

It is rare for the entire Senate to be invited to such a briefing. 

Spicer (White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer) clarified that while the event will take place on the White House campus, it is technically a Senate briefing and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is the one who convened it.

The briefing, first reported by Reuters, was confirmed after President Trump earlier spoke to the leaders of both China and Japan.

I believe that this is an attempt at working together, and working together is desperately needed right now.

The article concludes:

On Monday, Trump also had lunch with ambassadors of countries on the U.N. Security Council. Ahead of the meeting, Trump called for “big reforms” at the U.N. and criticizing its handling of recent events in Syria and North Korea – but said it has “tremendous potential.”

“You just don’t see the United Nations, like, solving conflicts. I think that’s going to start happening now,” he said. 

It is going to be an interesting year.

 

If You Repeat A Lie Often Enough, People Accept It As Truth

On Thursday, Fred Fleitz posted an article at National Review about Hillary Clinton‘s claim that 17 U.S. intelligence agencies determined that Russia was responsible for the wikileaks release of damaging DNC emails and damaging Hillary Clinton emails. That statement does not line up with the facts.

The article reports:

What Clinton said was false and misleading. First of all, only two intelligence entities – the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – have weighed in on this issue, not 17 intelligence agencies. And what they said was ambiguous about Russian involvement. An unclassified October 7, 2016 joint DNI-DHS statement on this issue said the hacks. . . are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts. These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process. Such activity is not new to Moscow — the Russians have used similar tactics and techniques across Europa and Eurasia, for example, to influence public opinion there. We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.

The author of the article explains the problem he has with that statement:

My problem with the DNI/DHS unclassified statement is that it appeared to be another effort by the Obama administration to politicize U.S. intelligence. Make no mistake, U.S. intelligence agencies issued this unprecedented unclassified statement a month before a presidential election that was so useful to one party because the Clinton campaign asked for it. The Obama administration was happy to comply.

This is another example of the fact that the Obama Administration has totally politicized every aspect of our government. Government agencies that need to operate independently of partisan politics has not operated that way under President Obama. It is a safe bet that they will be equally political under a President Hillary Clinton.

The article at National Review concludes:

Maybe the Russians are behind the WikiLeak hacks of Democrat e-mails, possibly to influence the 2016 presidential election. I’m not convinced of this. I’m more concerned that these constant leaks of Democratic e-mails demonstrate that Democratic officials appear to have no understanding of the need for Internet security. This makes me wonder if John Podesta’s e-mail password is “password.” These are the people Clinton will be giving senior jobs with high-level security clearances. That is the real security scandal that no one is talking about.

Fred Fleitz is a senior vice president for policy and programs with the Center for Security Policy. He worked in national-security positions for 25 years with the CIA, the State Department, and the House Intelligence Committee.

 

 

The House Of Representatives Leadership Does Not Represent Me

Freedomworks posted an article today illustrating how Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are trying to silence conservative voices. It is time we had new leadership in both the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate. The people currently serving represent themselves and not the rest of us.

The article reports:

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is at it again.

He is using a House procedure to try and pass major legislation in a way that minimizes debate and prevents conservative amendments from being introduced and debated. Last month the majority leader did this to authorize $1 billion in taxpayer dollars for a global food security bill. FreedomWorks drew attention to the bill on our blog.

Today, Majority Leader McCarthy has scheduled H.R. 5077, the Intelligence Authorization Act for fiscal year 2017, for a vote in the House under the same expedited procedure, called suspension of the rules. This procedure is customarily reserved for non-controversial legislation. This bill is anything but non-controversial. It is scheduled for only 40 minutes of debate, as opposed to an hour of debate, which is the norm for bills considered under a rule. Amendments cannot be offered, and the bill can be voice-voted, allowing members to avoid being put on the record with a recorded vote.

H.R. 5077 proposes to spend $521 million of taxpayer and borrowed money over a 5-year period. That is just on the unclassified portion of the legislation. According to the committee report on the bill, the goal of the bill is to “authorize the intelligence and intelligence-related activities of the United States Government for fiscal year 2017. These activities enhance the national security of the United States, support and assist the armed forces of the United States, and support the President in the execution of the foreign policy of the United States.” Majority Leader McCarthy shouldn’t bring up such an important bill in a manner that prevents conservative and liberty movement amendments.

The article points out that there needs to be an opportunity for Representatives to make amendments that will protect the U.S. Constitution, as many of the entities funded in this bill have overstepped their boundaries in the past. It is quite possible that if the bill were allowed to be amended, it might be improved. Unfortunately, that may be exactly what Leader McCarthy wants to avoid.

The article concludes:

The majority leader should be running the floor in a way that allows significant bills to be fully debated with opportunities for members of the House to work their will through an amendment process. The intelligence bill should have come up as a regular rule bill, not under an expedited procedure that keeps member input to a minimum. The House, members, and the intelligence bill deserve better.

It is time for a change of leadership in Congress. We need Congressmen who will represent the interests of the American people–not people who represent only their own interests.

This Is Not Good News For Americans

Investor’s Business Daily posted a story yesterday about the recidivism rate of released Guantanamo detainees.

The article reports:

For the first time, the number of released Gitmo detainees who have re-engaged in terrorism has climbed above 30%, and the rate has been growing steadily under a president bent on emptying the entire prison.

In fact, terrorist recidivists released by the president doubled from six to 12 in the six months through January, according to data released Tuesday by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. They include Guantanamo alumnus Hamed Abderrahaman Ahmed, who was arrested by Spanish authorities last month and charged with running a recruiting network for ISIS.

The total number of ex-Gitmo detainees rejoining the jihad has grown to 204, the intelligence report reveals. Almost two-thirds remain at large.

There is nothing to be gained by letting terrorist detainees out of Guantanamo so that they can kill American soldiers. There is also nothing to be gained by transferring terrorists to prisons on American soil. The fact that these men have to be kept in prison is unfortunate, but I can’t imagine a deprogramming system that would change their worldview. What we need to remember is that terrorists are trained as terrorists. Just as kindergarten children in Gaza are trained to be martyrs, terrorists are also trained early.

Below is a picture of a graduating kindergarten class in Gaza. It is from a previous article. It tells you all you need to know about when terrorist training begins. Until those in the Middle East who want to set up a caliphate stop teaching hate, we will not have peace and we will not be able to release any prisoners from Guantanamo without putting Americans at risk.

kindergartengraduation2

It will take a miracle of God to accomplish the change of heart that is needed for us to release the prisoners at Guantanamo safely.

National Security And The Refugee Program

On January 8th, Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX), along with Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) and other Members of the Homeland Security Committee, held a press conference about the arrest of two Iraqi refugees. The video of the press conference is posted at YouTube.

This is the press conference:

This is the story as reported on News 25 in Texas:

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) wants the Senate to take up the American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act of 2015.

McCaul’s push for the SAFE Act was included in a statement responding to two Iraqi-born refugees being arrested by U.S.officials on terror-related charges.

“While I commend the FBI for their hard work, these arrests heighten my concern that our refugee program is susceptible to exploitation by terrorists,” Chairman McCaul said.

The House passed the legislation in November with a bipartisan majority.

It requires comprehensive background checks of every refugee from Iraq or Syria before they can come into the U.S.

The FBI would have to certify the background investigation of each person.

In addition, the Secretary of Homeland Security, along with the FBI Director and the Director of National Intelligence, would have to certify to Congress that each refugee is not a security risk.

This is the Congressional oath of office:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

It’s time for the members of Congress to live up to their oath.

At Least There Is Some Check On Releasing Prisoners From Guantanamo

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted a story today about the continuing push by President Obama to release all of the prisoners from Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. It is quite possible that the recent ‘normalization’ of America‘s relationship to Cuba might be related to this desire in some way. However, here at home, there seems to be another roadblock in the President’s way (thank goodness).

In January of this year, NewsMax ran a story about the recidivism rate of former Guantanamo prisoners. They compared the numbers the government has released with their information. Any resemblance between the two sets of numbers was purely coincidental.

These are the government figures:

fleitz.jpg

This is what the article says about those numbers:

Republican claims of a 30 percent recidivism rate are based on combining the figures in green on all detainees confirmed or suspected of re-engaging in terrorism.

I believe the actual recidivism rate is probably 30 percent or higher because of the time and difficulty in determining whether released Gitmo detainees have returned to terrorism.

Further complicating this determination are very strict definitions set by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to define what “confirmed” and “suspected of” reengaging in terrorist activities mean. Among other things, these definitions require evidence of direct involvement in terrorist activities and exclude communications with terrorist groups or engaging in anti-U.S. propaganda.

Meanwhile, President Obama is dealing with a familiar problem regarding the release of the prisoners.

Ed Morrissey reports:

Carter (Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter) also said that not every detainee in Guantanamo can be freed. “[W]e have to be very clear – there are people in Guantanamo Bay who cannot and should not be released because they will return to the terrorist fight,” he said. “And therefore we need a place where we can detain them in the long term. We have been forbidden to create such a place in U.S. territory.”

This is the problem that President Obama ran into with the last Secretary of Defense. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. There has been speculation that our involvement with Cuba will involve the turning over of Guantanamo to Cuba. It will be interesting to see how that will be handled between now and the time that President Obama leaves office. A first-term President is not likely to want a resume that includes the release of prisoners that were later to be found killing Americans.