Category Archives: Surveillance

An Obama Plot to Sabotage Trump? by Patrick J. Buchanan

After eight months not a shred of evidence supports the Russian-Trump conspiracy claims, but a real scandal is emerging: the intelligence community’s surveillance of President Trump. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:

Devin Nunes just set the cat down among the pigeons.

Two days after FBI Director James Comey assured us there was no truth to President Trump’s tweet about being wiretapped by Barack Obama, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said Trump may have had more than just a small point.

The U.S. intelligence community, says Nunes, during surveillance of legitimate targets, picked up the names of Trump transition officials during surveillance of targets, “unmasked” their identity, and spread their names around, virtually assuring they would be leaked.

If true, this has the look and smell of a conspiracy to sabotage the Trump presidency, before it began.

Comey readily confirmed there was no evidence to back up the Trump tweet. But when it came to electronic surveillance of Trump and his campaign, Comey, somehow, could not comment on that.

Which raises the question: What is the real scandal here?

Is it that Russians hacked the DNC and John Podesta’s emails and handed them off to WikiLeaks? We have heard that since June.

Is it that Trump officials may have colluded with the Russians?

But former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and ex-CIA Director Mike Morrell have both said they saw no evidence of this.

This March, Sen. Chris Coons walked back his stunning declaration about transcripts showing a Russia-Trump collusion, confessing, “I have no hard evidence of collusion.”

But if Clapper and Morrell saw no Russia-Trump collusion, what were they looking at during all those months to make them so conclude?

Was it “FBI transcripts,” as Sen. Coons blurted out?

If so, who intercepted and transcribed the conversations? If it was intel agencies engaged in surveillance, who authorized that? How extensive was it? Against whom? Is it still going on?

And if today, after eight months, the intel agencies cannot tell us whether or not any member of the Trump team colluded with the Russians, what does that say of their competence?

To continue reading: An Obama Plot to Sabotage Trump?

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The Political Class Murders Itself, by the Zman

The Zman explicates his view on the story behind the Russian hacking and influence story. From the Zman on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

The point at which the Roman Republic moved from republic to empire is generally placed at the point when the Senate granted Octavian almost unlimited power and he adopted the title Augustus. Some historians argue it was when Caesar crossed the Rubicon or when he defeated Anthony at Actium. The implication is that once the transition was started, there was no turning back. The more useful analysis is to think of it as a process, with roots in the Republic, that evolved to the point where dictatorship was inevitable.

The die was most likely cast when the Republic began to compromise its own rules for limiting and distributing power. The system they had created was a reflection of the tribal realities of the early republic. In order to keep any one family from gaining too much power, they systematically limited the time anyone served in office. The system also forced an apprenticeship on those who went into public life. This had the benefit of making public men buy into the system. Therefore they were willing to defend it.

That meant the system had a policing mechanism to sort out enemies before they could cause trouble. An ambitious young man could not skip any steps on his way up the ladder, so once he got up the ladder, he was not agreeing to any changes in the process. Defending the system was a way to defend one’s prerogatives, but also a way to defend the system from lunatics. Verpus Maximus may be smart and talented, but he was not only going to wait his turn, he was going to do all the jobs necessary to prove his worth.

To continue reading; The Political Class Murders Itself

Nunes Confirms There Was “Incidental Surveillance” Of Trump During Obama Administration, “Seems To Be Inappropriate”, by Tyler Durden

The ball is back in the Democrats’/Intelligence Community’s/Media’s court after this latest disclosure from House Intelligence Community Devin Nunes. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Update: House Intel Chairman Nunes spoke to reporters when he left the briefing at The White House and had some more stunning things to say:

*NUNES: BRIEFED PRESIDENT ON CONCERNS OVER INCIDENTAL COLLECTION
*NUNES: `PRESIDENT NEEDS TO KNOW’ THESE INTEL REPORTS EXIST
*NUNES: SOME OF WHAT I’VE SEEN SEEMS TO BE `INAPPROPRIATE’
*NUNES: TRUMP, OTHERS IN TRANSITION PUT INTO INTELLIGENCE REPORT
*NUNES: QUESTION IS IF TRUMP SHOULD BE IN THESE `NORMAL’ REPORTS

Tom Watson ✔@tomwatson
Wow – Nunes just said there are “multiple FISA warrants out there” involving Trump.
12:13 PM – 22 Mar 2017
2,782 Retweets 3,438 likes

As we detailed earlier, it appears Trump may have been right, again.

Two days after FBI director Comey shot down Trump’s allegation that Trump was being wiretapped by president Obama before the election, it appears that president Trump may have been on to something because moments ago, the House Intelligence Chairman, Devin Nunes, told reporters that the U.S. intelligence community incidentally collected information on members of President Trump’s transition team, possibly including Trump himself, and the information was “widely disseminated” in intelligence reports.

As AP adds, Nunes said that President Donald Trump’s communications may have been “monitored” during the transition period as part of an “incidental collection.”

Nunes told a news conference Wednesday that the communications appear to be picked up through “incidental collection” and do not appear to be related to the ongoing FBI investigation into Trump associates’ contacts with Russia. He says he believes the intelligence collections were done legally, although in light of the dramatic change in the plotline it may be prudent to reserve judgment on how “incidental” it was.

“I recently confirmed that on numerous occasions, the intelligence community collected information on U.S. individuals involved in the Trump transition,” Nunes told reporters.

“Details about U.S. persons involved in the incoming administration with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value were widely disseminated in intelligence community reports.”

The information was “legally brought to him by sources who thought we should know it,” Nunes said, though he provided little detail on the source.

To continue reading: Nunes Confirms There Was “Incidental Surveillance” Of Trump During Obama Administration, “Seems To Be Inappropriate”

The Conspiracy Against President Trump, by Paul Craig Roberts

The party that gave us the word “McCarthyism” is now looking for evil Russians in every closet and under every bed in a nefarious bid to oust President Trump. From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.org:

March 20, 2017: Listening today to the broadcast of testimony by FBI Director Comey and National Security Agency Director Admiral Michael Rogers before the House Intelligence Committee (an oxymoron) made it clear that the Democrats, Comey, and Rogers intend conflict with Russia.

The Republicans, for the most part, were interested to know how security leaks targeted at Trump Republicans came from meetings at which only the CIA Director, NSA Director, and FBI director were present. Of course, they did not get an answer, which shows how powerless congressional oversight committees are. Comey repeatedly said that he could not tell the committee anything, because it would confirm that a press leak was true. But, he said, speaking generally and of no specific leak, most leaks come from “someone who heard something” and passes it on to the media, which also explains the inaccuracy of some leaks. In other words, don’t blame us.

The Democrats were out in force to demonize Russia, Putin, and everyone, especially Trump Republicans, who speaks to a Russian even if the person is still a private citizen, as was Gen. Flynn when he recommended to the Russian ambassador that Russia not respond in kind to President Obama’s expulsion of Russian diplomats over Christmas. The Democrats bestowed yet another demonic title on Putin. In addition to being “the new Hitler,” a “thug,” and a “Mafia don,” today Putin became a “tarantula in the center of the spy web.”

The Democrats’ position was that Flynn, by discouraging a Russian tit for tat, had interfered with the Obama regime’s policy of worsening relations between the US and Russia. Some Democrats saw this as treason. Others saw it as proof that Flynn and Trump are in Putin’s pocket, and still others see it as even worse.

To continue reading: The Conspiracy Against President Trump

Will Russiagate Backfire on the Left? by Patrick J. Buchanan

Patrick J. Buchanan takes up the same argument SLL made in “Morons,” “Trump and Vault 7,” and “Plot Holes“: the Russian allegations are a concoction that will ultimately backfire on those making them. From Buchanan at buchanan.org:

The big losers of the Russian hacking scandal may yet be those who invested all their capital in a script that turned out to based on a fairy tale.

In Monday’s Intelligence Committee hearings, James Comey did confirm that his FBI has found nothing to support President Trump’s tweet that President Obama ordered him wiretapped. Not unexpected, but undeniably an embarrassment for the tweeter-in-chief.

Yet longer-term damage may have been done to the left. For Monday’s hearing showed that its rendering of the campaign of 2016 may be a product of fiction and a fevered imagination.

After eight months investigating the hacking and leaking of the emails of Clinton campaign chief John Podesta and the DNC, there is apparently no evidence yet of Trump collusion with Russia.

Former Director of National Intelligence Gen. James Clapper has said that, as of his departure day, Jan. 20, he had seen no evidence of a Russia-Trump collusion.

Former acting CIA Director Michael Morell also made that clear this month: “On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians here, there is smoke, but there is no fire, at all. … There’s no little campfire, there’s no little candle, there’s no spark. And there’s a lot of people looking for it.” Morell was a surrogate for the Hillary Clinton campaign.

But while the FBI is still searching for a Trump connection, real crimes have been unearthed — committed by anti-Trump bureaucrats colluding with mainstream media — to damage Trump’s presidency.

There is hard evidence of collusion between the intel community and The New York Times and The Washington Post, both beneficiaries of illegal leaks — felonies punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

While the howls have been endless that Trump accused Obama of a “felony,” the one provable felony here was the leak of a transcript of an intercepted conversation between Gen. Michael Flynn and the Russian ambassador.

That leak ended Flynn’s career as national security adviser. And Director Comey would neither confirm nor deny that President Obama was aware of the existence of the Flynn transcript.

To continue reading: Will Russiagate Backfire on the Left?

A Bad Week and Getting Badder Bigly Fast, by James Howard Kunstler

Between the brouhaha over Deep State surveillance of Trump, the debt ceiling, and repealing and replacing Obamacare, the president has some “challenges.” From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:

Well, of course they bugged Trump Tower. Why wouldn’t they? Trump’s big blunder du jour is that he tweeted “wiretapped,” like some hapless sap out of a 1950s I Was a Spy for the FBI movie. (I know people who still say “ice box,” too.) So he left himself — or rather poor Sean Spicer — open for a week of legalistic pettifogging by reporters acting as litigators for the Deep State’s intel corps.

Anyway, Wikileaks “Vault 7” document release earlier in the month made it clear that US intel has the ability to cover and confuse the tracks of any entity —including especially US intel itself — that ventures to penetrate any supposedly private or secure realm. And, by the way, that probably settles the matter of who “they” are. Whatever statutory restraints once existed against CIA spying on American citizens is long gone by the boards.

You might suppose, too, that the combined forces of Hillary and Obama, along with the still-entrenched Democratic establishment, would have tried through late 2016 to stop The Menace of Trump at all costs. Somebody had done them dirty in funneling the DNC and Podesta emails to Wikileaks, and it was imperative to fight back — especially with FBI director James Comey (a Republican, after all), going all rogue on Mrs. Clinton. Hence, the manufactured Russia-did-it story that has gotten more mileage than any political hallucination since Senator Joe McCarthy, at his height of influence, played the newspapers like a whole orchestra of flugelhorns.

It’s hard to see how Trump might ever established the truth of this matter. One of the strange features of these internecine wars is that the Department of Justice — as far as we know — isn’t deposing scores of operations people from the myriad agencies under the NSA umbrella to establish who’s been doing what. Anyway, there’s enough loose scuttlebutt around Washington that Trump might have a pretty good idea of who at the various agencies hates his guts, and is working against him, and one wonders why he doesn’t just fire a bunch of them. Perhaps that’s yet to come.

To continue reading: A Bad Week and Getting Badder Bigly Fast

Oh, that traitorous WikiTrump, by Pepe Escobar

In some weird corners of the media, the Wikileaks Vault 7 revelations are less important than so far completely unsubstantiated allegations that the Russians “hacked” the election. From Pepe Escobar at atimes.com:

Nothing so trivial as the technical proof we’re all being spied upon can be allowed to threaten or add nuance to established narrative

The massive WikiLeaks Vault 7 release is an extremely important public service. It’s hard to find anyone not concerned by a secret CIA hacking program targeting virtually the whole planet – using malware capable of bypassing encryption protection on any device from iOS to Android, and from Windows to Samsung TVs.

In a series of tweets, Edward Snowden confirmed the CIA program and said code names in the documents are real; that they could only be known by a “cleared insider;” the FBI and CIA knew all about the digital loopholes, but kept them open to spy; and that the leaks provided the “first public evidence” that the US government secretly paid to keep US software unsafe.

If that’s not serious enough, WikiLeaks alleges that “the CIA has lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal;” several hundred million lines of code — more than what is used to run Facebook.

Someone among the former US government hackers and contractors ended up leaking portions of the CIA archive (Snowden II?). WikiLeaks also stressed how the CIA had created, in effect, its “own NSA” – maximum unaccountability included.

Even though millions already knew – without the technical details – that they were being spied upon by their iPhone or their 4K Samsung, the Vault 7 revelations are far more relevant – and practical – to the average citizen than the 24/7 hysteria fingering President Trump as a Putin puppet. Intel sources are volunteering the – still unexplored – Vault 7 treasure trove is more crucial than what Snowden himself revealed.

To continue reading: Relax, Global Citizen; The CIA Is Benign & Benevolent