Gowdy: No Reauthorization of Surveillance Programs Until Unmasking Questions Answered
by Jeff Poor
Wednesday on Fox News Channel’s “America’s Newsroom,” Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) said Congress would not reauthorize certain surveillance programs until questions about the “unmasking” of Americans’ identities under the past administration were answered.
“We are not going to reauthorize these surveillance programs if the American people are not satisfied their security is going to be safeguarded,” Gowdy said. “So, the leaks are one issue. The unmasking within the intelligence community — that is a privilege to be able to request that a U.S. person’s name be unmasked. And I want to know who is making that request, what is the evidentiary basis of that request and if it’s late in your tenure, like the day before you leave office, that should send off alarms and sirens as to why that person does it.”
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes created a firestorm when he released information earlier last week which tended to confirm that members of Donald Trump’s team had been surveilled and names unmasked for political purposes. Please see my two posts about the event here and here. Sotto voce, I’d care to point out this is the same Devin Nunes who, in May of 2013, revealed, as I wrote here:
Congressman Devin Nunes: the DOJ tapped phones in the House gallery
Fornicalia Congressman Devin Nunes of the 22nd district spoke on the Hugh Hewitt show Wednesday afternoon, and revealed a bombshell: not only did the DOJ tap the phones of reporters, but Nunes indicated the DOJ tapped the telephones of the House of Representatives in the gallery area — where not only reporters use the phones, but various DC politicians.
That said, here is Chairman Nunes’s initial revelation regarding the surveillance of President Trump, made on March 22nd.
This led to various products by Crane and Summit being pounded out of Demorat and American Media Maggot sphincters nationally, initially bent because Chairman Nunes dared to do his job and notify President Trump of his findings before the rest of the committee. This did not sit well with Adam Schiff, Little Chuckie Schumer, Nancy Pelosi et al.
Simultaneously, someone began to actually pay attention to a broadcast made on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” roughly a month ago, which included a revelation so large that it had been hiding in plain sight for some time. Please listen to Evelyn Farkas, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Obama Administration, “out” that administration regarding the Trump campaign.
What she said was essentially this: the Obama administration ensured the leakage occurred and then tried to hide both the source of the leak as well as how the information was being shipped to “the hill,” otherwise known as the AMM.
There was only one purpose: political. The obvious intent was to damage the Trump campaign as much as possible and then undermine, minimize and block the president-elect’s ability to conduct the business necessary to assemble his team and move forward.
I can think of no other words than this: a conspiracy.
Fmr. FBI Asst. Director: Farkas Exposed ‘Conspiracy Cabal’ on Trump Surveillance
by Brendan Kirby
Law enforcement experts say Obama official must testify on ‘unmasking,’ may have admitted crime
The discussion with MSNBC host Mika Brezinski on March 2 focused on a New York Times story that appeared the day before under the headline, “Obama Administration Rushed to Preserve Intelligence of Russian Hacking.”
The story quoted unnamed former government officials who described efforts to “leave a clear trail of intelligence for government investigators.” The information included evidence passed along by U.S. allies of meetings between Russian officials and Trump’s associates, and communications — intercepted by American intelligence agencies among Russians — among Russians discussing contacts with Trump officials.
The spice must flow and the evidence must be preserved. Why?
“It was more actually aimed at telling the [Capitol] Hill people, ‘Get as much information as you can and get as much intelligence as you can before President Obama leaves the administration,’ because I had a fear that somehow that information would disappear with the senior people who left,” she said. “So it would be hidden away in the bureaucracy.”
Read this once, and then read it again, more slowly and deliberately.
“The Trump folks, if they found out how we knew what we knew about the staff, the Trump staff’s dealings with Russians, that they would try to compromise these sources and methods, meaning we would no longer have access to that intelligence,” she said. “So I became very worried because not enough was coming out in the open, and I knew that there was more.”
She added, “That’s why you have the leaking. People are worried.”
She knows there’s a leak, the reason for the leak, the means of the leak and its justification. Which led to this little joust between Sean Spicer and a journalista.
Of course, this is nothing more than fetid navel-gazing on the part of the Republicans, right? The people subject to “unmasking” were no more plain civilians than Jello is a food group, right? This has nothing to do with privacy, right? Wrong.
Joseph diGenova, who served as U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia under Ronald Reagan, said Farkas and the former administration officials she referred to should be questioned under oath.
“Ms. Farkas made a major blunder and, in fact … probably confessed to a crime or knowledge of people who committed a crime,” he said. “It was a remarkable interview and amazing it went unnoticed at the time.”
We can only hope; but we know that with all of the Benghazi hearings under Trey Gowdy no one was fired or breathes air behind bars today.
But here are questions that, as per normal, no one — and I mean no one — in the American Media Maggot queue is asking.
James Kallstrom, a former assistant director of the FBI, told LifeZette it is troubling that Farkas even knew about the intelligence reports that she urged officials to spread to congressional staffers.
“How does somebody who’s not even in the administration anymore, who’s in civilian life, have access to this information?” he asked. “What kind of conspiracy cabal is this?”
What indeed? Let’s go to Circa.com for this news story.
Obama’s rule changes opened door for NSA intercepts of Americans to reach political hands
by John Solomon and Sara Carter
As his presidency drew to a close, Barack Obama’s top aides routinely reviewed intelligence reports gleaned from the National Security Agency’s incidental intercepts of Americans abroad, taking advantage of rules their boss relaxed starting in 2011 to help the government better fight terrorism, espionage by foreign enemies and hacking threats, Circa has learned. (More on this below.)
Dozens of times in 2016, those intelligence reports identified Americans who were directly intercepted talking to foreign sources or were the subject of conversations between two or more monitored foreign figures. Sometimes the Americans’ names were officially unmasked; other times they were so specifically described in the reports that their identities were readily discernible. Among those cleared to request and consume unmasked NSA-based intelligence reports about U.S. citizens were Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice, his CIA Director John Brennan and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
I hope you read that quite closely. Who could unmask American names? John Brennan. Loretta Lynch. Susan Rice. Remember that.
Today, the power to unmask an American’s name inside an NSA intercept — once considered a rare event in the intelligence and civil liberty communities — now resides with about 20 different officials inside the NSA alone. The FBI also has the ability to unmask Americans’ names to other intelligence professionals and policymakers.
Stop. That power exists within, to my estimation, roughly all 17 alphabet agencies in the American intelligence community. Because I have not yet done so, I enumerate those agencies now and here:
Office of the Director of National Intelligence
Central Intelligence Agency
National Security Agency
Defense Intelligence Agency
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Department of State – Bureau of Intelligence and Research
Department of Homeland Security – Office of Intelligence and Analysis
Drug Enforcement Administration – Office of National Security Intelligence
Department of the Treasury – Office of Intelligence and Analysis
Department of Energy – Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence
National Geospatial Intelligence Agency
National Reconnaissance Office
Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance
Army Military Intelligence
Office of Naval Intelligence
Marine Corps Intelligence
Coast Guard Intelligence
All that’s missing is your local dental board’s intelligence unit. “You sir, slowly put down the amalgam.” Shh. Keep that one under your hat.
The ACLU, an ally of Obama on many issues, issued a statement a few months ago warning that the president’s loosened procedures governing who could request or see unmasked American intercepts by the NSA were “grossly inadequate” and lacked “appropriate safeguards.”
Put on your thinking caps. Ask: why would Obama do this? And why only two weeks from the end of his second term?
Nunes, as well as Trump supporters, will be trying to determine if that access was warranted or a backdoor form of political espionage by an outgoing administration trying to monitor its successor on the world stage.
Any proof Obama aides were using NSA-enriched intelligence reports to monitor his transition on the world stage could embolden the new president. But perhaps the most consequential outcome of the new revelations is that it may impact the NSA’s primary authority to intercept foreigners: Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is up for renewal at the end of the year.
Ah, wait. A touchy subject for the intelligence community. Because who holds the purse-strings? Congress. Circa then nails it with this revelatory paragraph.
For years, the NSA has been required to follow strict rules to protect the accidental intercepts of Americans from being consumed or misused by other government agencies. The rules required a process known as minimization, where the identity and information about an American who was intercepted is redacted or masked with generic references like “American No. 1.”
The number of senior government officials who could approve unmasking had been limited to just a few, like the NSA director himself.
Wait. This conflicts with what we know now.
And in his final days in office, Obama created the largest ever expansion of access to non-minimized NSA intercepts, creating a path for all U.S. intelligence to gain access to unmasked reports by changes encoded in a Reagan-era Executive Order 12333.
The government officials who could request or approve an exception to unmask a U.S. citizen’s identity has grown substantially. The NSA now has 20 executives who can approve the unmasking of American information inside intercepts, and the FBI has similar numbers.
And executives in 16 agencies — not just the FBI, CIA and NSA — have the right to request unmasked information.
Thank you ever so kindly, Barack Hussein Obama. Stellar decision. Smashing. Brilliant.
“This raises serious concerns that agencies that have responsibilities such as prosecuting domestic crimes, regulating our financial policy, and enforcing our immigration laws will now have access to a wealth of personal information that could be misused. Congress needs to take action to regulate and provide oversight over these activities,” ACLU legislative counsel Neema Singh Giuliani warned in January.
Even when an American’s name isn’t included in a report, the NSA’s intercept information could be so specific that it identifies them.
I think you see both the problems and the reasons. CNN insists, however, that Farkas revealed nothing and the GOP has nothing.
Better yet (sorry for the poor audio), Farkas takes back her words and than attributes their repetition to — you guessed it — fake news.
I frequently have to remind myself that I inhabit the planet Earth, and not Zephron.
It’s interesting to note that Fred Fleitz, a former CIA officer, said:
He also questioned why so many in Washington regard as “established fact” the conclusion of U.S. security agencies that Russia meddled in the election in order to help Trump and hurt Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. He said he does not think Russia believed Trump could win.
Fleitz pointed to reports that Russian agents tried to hack into the computer systems of both major parties but succeeded only with the Democrats.
“Maybe all they did was exploit the fact that the Democrats left the barn door open,” he said.
Fleitz said the Obama administration did little to counter cyber threats, not just from Russia but from China, as well.
FOX: Trump Surveilled Before Nomination, Agencies with Info Blocked Nunes for Weeks
by Michelle Moons
A Friday breaking Fox News report on surveillance of President Trump’s team that began before he became the Republican presidential nominee claimed a very senior intelligence official was responsible—as well as for the unmasking of the names of private U.S. citizens.
The report cited sources which also indicated that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) knew of the existence of the information in January, but one or more intelligence agencies blocked him, and there were only two locations where he could view the information that he called “very troubling.”
On Thursday, the New York Times began reporting what they claimed were the identities of two White House officials who were the sources of the information disclosed to Nunes.
Nunes met with sources on White House grounds on the day before he announced to reporters striking news that he had seen new and disturbing information indicating intelligence officials under the Obama administration “unmasked” the names of Trump team members who were incidentally surveilled.
Who might this “very senior intelligence official” be? Mike Cernovich writes:
Susan Rice Requested Unmasking of Incoming Trump Administration Officials
Susan Rice, who served as the National Security Adviser under President Obama, has been identified as the official who requested unmasking of incoming Trump officials, Cernovich Media can exclusively report.
The White House Counsel’s office identified Rice as the person responsible for the unmasking after examining Rice’s document log requests. The reports Rice requested to see are kept under tightly-controlled conditions. Each person must log her name before being granted access to them.
Upon learning of Rice’s actions, H. R. McMaster dispatched his close aide Derek Harvey to Capitol Hill to brief Chairman Nunes.
This reporter has been informed that Maggie Haberman has had this story about Susan Rice for at least 48 hours, and has chosen to sit on it in an effort to protect the reputation of former President Barack Obama.
Who is Maggie Haberman? She is a political correspondent for the New York Times. To whom is Susan Rice married? That would be ABC Executive Producer Ian Cameron, since 1992. He left ABC in 2010. He, of course, kept his links to news and newsrooms. She was Obama’s US Ambassador to the UN and finally his National Security Advisor. She also carried Obama’s heavy water when she went of most every Sunday show possible following the Benghazi attack to claim it occurred because of a video made in the United States when, in fact, Hillary Clinton and others — as well as her daughter, Chelsea Clinton — knew and had information that was not the case at all. She knew that very night.
Here, Susan Rice speaks at length to MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell and both hedges and commits to nothing.
Perfect. But perhaps I should just defer to my fallback experts: Trey Gowdy and Tucker Carlson. Think ”wiretapped” vs “surveilled.”
Please note that at no point did Trey Gowdy — or has anyone trustworthy — denied that the NSA is not Hoovering every bit of digital take available in the US and abroad. If for no other reason than to make it available to certified authorities when requested.
You can’t request it if it isn’t there.
Judge Napolitano — now back on Fox News — weighs in as well.
Don’t forget, the spying of Donald Trump actually began back in 2011. Why would that be? Because Donald Trump was seriously considering running for president in 2012. Trump was causing headaches for Obama because of the birth certificate issue and became involved in opposing Obama’s policies. Trump spoke at CPAC in 2011; that’s called a clue.
The issue was so important to Barack Hussein Obama that he decided to attend the May 1st, 2011 White House Correspondents Dinner where Donald Trump would be in attendance, in lieu of monitoring the assault and capture of Osama Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan the same night by SEAL Team 6 — of course, a singularly-important event. Obama spent most of his speech at that dinner attacking Donald Trump. Jack Posobiec indicates that Obama had, at that time, Donald Trump under surveillance as a private citizen for political purposes only; no security issues were involved.
But here’s the bottom line, in my opinion. What started out in the Grand Scheme of Life under the Imperial Obama as an intent to link Trump and his assistants to Mother Russia in order to delegitimize his entire presidency and keep him from conducting the business necessary to enable his goals, Obama and his sniveling jackanapes may have inadvertently laid a path of digital and oral wreckage right back to themselves which could yield depositions, subpoenas, grand juries, indictments and perhaps even criminal prosecutions.
In other words, his little arrangement of mines and minefields may have supremely backfired.
Michael Flynn requesting immunity? Let us not forget that he was chucked under the proverbial political bus just a few minutes ago. He’d be a DC moron not to lawyer up. Let us also not forget how many persons in the Obama Administration requested either immunity or invoked the Fifth Amendment.
First, 5 million illegals were granted immunity under Obama.
1. Jeff Neely, the former Pacific Rim regional commissioner for the General Services Administration, pled the fifth on April 16, 2012 when Congress asked him to testify about overly-lavish spending on GSA conferences. He was eventually sentenced to prison for fraud anyway.
2. John Beale, a former official at the EPA, pled the fifth on October 1, 2013 when Congress probed into Beale’s theft of nearly $900,000 worth of salaries and bonuses from his own agency.
3. John Sepulveda, a former VA official, pled the fifth on October 30, 2013 after Congress subpoenaed him to testify as to why the department spent $6 million on conferences in Florida.
4. Diana Rubens and Kimberly Graves, two senior officials in the Department of Veterans Affairs, each pled the fifth before Congress on November 2, 2015 when asked to testify about $400,000 they had allegedly milked out of a VA relocation expense program. They were eventually given back their jobs.
5. Greg Roseman, a deputy director of the IRS, pled the fifth on June 26, 2013, after Congress asked him to testify about why the largest contract in IRS history was awarded to a close friend of his.
6. Patrick Cunningham, chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona, pled the fifth when Congress asked him to testify about Operation Fast and Furious, which trafficked more than 2,000 guns along the U.S.-Mexico border.
7. Lois Lerner, an IRS director in charge of tax-exemptions, pled the fifth numerous times during Congress’ investigation into the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups.
Intelligence chiefs briefed Trump and Obama on unconfirmed claims Russia has compromising information on president-elect
by Greg Miller
A classified report delivered to President Obama and President-elect Donald Trump last week included a section summarizing allegations that Russian intelligence services have compromising material and information on Trump’s personal life and finances, U.S. officials said.
The officials said that U.S. intelligence agencies have not corroborated those allegations, but believed that the sources involved in the reporting were credible enough to warrant inclusion of their claims in the highly classified report on Russian interference in the presidential campaign.
If true, the information suggests that Moscow has assembled damaging information — known in espionage circles by the Russian term “kompromat” — that conceivably could be used to coerce the next occupant of the White House. The claims were presented in a two-page summary attached to the full report, an addendum that also included allegations of ongoing contact between members of Trump’s inner circle and representatives of Moscow.
I recommend you read the rest of the article. The information being revealed between the lines of the story indicates, to me, a rocky road coming for President-elect Trump.
Some history, then a conclusion.
It’s no surprise that I remain skeptical concerning the “Russian hacking” of the American election, resulting in the defeat of Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The Demorats tried throwing every excuse imaginable onto the political wall in order to see what would stick, to include recounts for Hillary Clinton under the pretext of their being for Jill Stein, talk radio and Fox News, the Electoral College, FBI Director James Comey, misogyny on the part of females (of all things), and fake news — to encompass the Drudge Report, which is nothing more than an aggregator of news and frequently features sites such as CNN, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Baltimore Sun, Boston Globe, LA Times and more. If Drudge is “fake” then most certainly those other outlets are as well. They have also been saying “Russia Russia Russia” every day since November 8th.
The corollary glory of it all is that, particularly with regard to fake news, much of it has blossomed in the other direction. Time and again the true purveyors of fake news have been proven to be the American Media Maggots and not alternative news sources. The AMM have lost their “gatekeeper” status and desperately seek to lock it back up. They are quaking and frightened to their very core because they are losing control and cash.
That said, the theme that somehow Russia hacked the election and not only favored but enabled Donald Trump to win has its proponents and its detractors. Proponents would obviously include Hillary Clinton, Demorats and the American Media Maggots because, in their minds, it certainly had nothing to do with the quality of the candidate herself or the way the campaign was managed.
Detractors or skeptics would include myself and, well, a few other tens of thousands of persons.
First, I developed information from one source (corroborated by a similar intelligence source on the opposite coast) that the NSA was responsible (read here please) for the hacks, and this was supported by Judge Andrew Napolitano — from HRC’s mishandling of GAMMA class intelligence. Read this.
Then Julian Assange (he of Wikileaks creation) came out and straight-up stated that Russia was not connected to the hacking of the DNC and Podesta’s emails at all. Assange, being the recipient of the trove of materials should, one may conclude, know. The release of the information appealed to Assange because, after all, Hillary Rodham Clinton stated she would like to have had him killed with a drone strike. That would certainly seem sufficient to take HRC off Assange’s Christmas card list.
Now they are responsible. The party line is that “17 intelligence agencies say Russia was the source.” With, again, little or no clear evidence to back up the claims.
There was another person along the way with a healthy skepticism about the Russians being involved in the DNC hack and the hacking of the US presidential election. Donald Trump.
The meme is that the CIA, the DNI and the rest of the US Intelligence Community would not politicize intelligence except that, well, yes they would. And have. All the time. This is not finger-pointing at the line-level agents, processors or analysts. This is finger-pointing at the upper echelons of the Intelligence Community. As in: they decide what information to release to those who base policy and decisions upon intelligence take.
It’s no secret that Donald Trump has angered the lofty halls of the US Intelligence Community. They don’t care to have their character or their veracity questioned or second-guessed.
So Tuesday’s WaPo article — which contained, they admit, much speculation and little fact, could be a cautionary tale, a little sub-frequency IC message to President-elect Donald Trump: you’re in our gunsights.
One has to think that the source of whatever information “Russia may possess” about Trump personally could be the USIC itself.
Charles Krauthammer said on Tuesday:
“When you get these spy-vs-spy leaks, you can’t believe anybody because they’re all lying and that’s what they do for a living, so you never know which side is lying. But I think that the very fact this story has surfaced, is a way for the CIA to be telling Trump: you mess with us, we have a lot of information we can mess with you.”