Category Archives: Surveillance

The Chickens Have Come Home to Roost, by Andrew P. Napolitano

Information is power, and by allowing the intelligence agencies to acquire so much information, in a misbegotten quest for security, we have allowed them to become powerful enough to challenge the duly elected president. From Andrew P. Napolitano at lewrockwell.com:

Last week, The Wall Street Journal revealed that members of the intelligence community — part of the deep state, the unseen government within the government that does not change with elections — now have acquired so much data on everyone in America that they can selectively reveal it to reward their friends and harm their foes. Their principal foe today is the president of the United States.

Liberty is rarely lost overnight. The wall of tyranny often begins with benign building blocks of safety — each one lying on top of a predecessor — eventually collectively constituting an impediment to the exercise of free choices by free people, often not even recognized until it is too late.

Here is the back story.

In the pre-Revolutionary era, British courts in London secretly issued general warrants to British government agents in America. The warrants were not based on any probable cause of crime or individual articulable suspicion; they did not name the person or thing to be seized or identify the place to be searched. They authorized agents to search where they wished and seize what they found.

The use of general warrants was so offensive to our Colonial ancestors that it whipped up more serious opposition to British rule and support for the revolutionaries than the “no taxation without representation” argument did. And when it came time for Americans to write the Constitution, they prohibited general warrants in the Fourth Amendment, the whole purpose of which was to guarantee the right to be left alone by forcing the government to focus on bad guys and prohibit it from engaging in fishing expeditions. But the fishing expeditions would come.

To continue reading: The Chickens Have Come Home to Roost

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Flynn’s Gone But They’re Still Gunning For You, Donald, by David Stockman

The barrage from the media and establishment powers will continue to be relentless. From David Stockman on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

General Flynn’s tenure in the White House was only slightly longer than that of President-elect William Henry Harrison in 1841. Actually, with just 24 days in the White House, General Flynn’s tenure fell a tad short of old “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too”. General Harrison actually lasted 31 days before getting felled by pneumonia.

And the circumstances were considerably more benign. It seems that General Harrison had a fondness for the same “firewater” that agitated the native Americans he slaughtered at the famous battle memorialized in his campaign slogan. In fact, during the campaign a leading Democrat newspaper skewered the old general, who at 68 was the oldest US President prior to Ronald Reagan, saying:

Give him a barrel of hard [alcoholic] cider, and… a pension of two thousand [dollars] a year… and… he will sit the remainder of his days in his log cabin.
That might have been a good idea back then (or even now), but to prove he wasn’t infirm, Harrison gave the longest inaugural address in US history (2 hours) in the midst of seriously inclement weather wearing neither hat nor coat.

That’s how he got pneumonia! Call it foolhardy, but that was nothing compared to that exhibited by Donald Trump’s former national security advisor.

General Flynn got the equivalent of political pneumonia by talking for hours during the transition to international leaders, including Russia’s ambassador to the US, on phone lines which were bugged by the CIA. Or more accurately, making calls which were “intercepted” by the very same NSA/FBI spy machinery that monitors every single phone call made in America.

To continue reading: Flynn’s Gone But They’re Still Gunning For You, Donald

First Big Defeat for Donald Trump as Michael Flynn Exits, by Alexander Mercouris

Leaders need people who support them and their agenda through thick and thin. Michael Flynn had his flaws, but he was one such person for President Trump, and the mock horror over his conversation with a Russia diplomat is a farce. If he violated the Logan Act, so too did Barack Obama, who had extensive discussions with a variety of foreign leaders as a candidate in July, 2008. From Alexander Mercouris at The Duran via lewrockwell.com:

The scandal that has ousted General Michael Flynn from the post of National Security Adviser is absurd and concocted. Though there were probably other reasons for his going – including his apparently poor performance in the post of National Security Adviser – his resignation is nonetheless a heavy blow for President Trump.

General Michael Flynn’s resignation as National Security Adviser is by far the biggest blow President Trump has suffered since his inauguration.

As I have written previously, this is a completely concocted scandal. The most General Flynn is accused of is telling Russian ambassador Kislyak that Russia should not overreact to the sanctions President Obama imposed on Russia during the height of the Clinton leaks hysteria in December. Even the ‘anonymous officials’ who claim to have seen the transcript of the tapes of his conversations with Kislyak admit that he did not tell Kislyak that President Trump would cancel the sanctions. Instead, all Flynn did was a call for was restraint.

I cannot see how this could possibly have threatened US national security. Nor do I see how – just three weeks before Donald Trump’s inauguration – it could be considered to be ‘undermining’ President Obama’s foreign policy, which Donald Trump was publicly criticizing anyway.

It seems that back in January that was also the FBI’s view and that it was reporting that after checking the transcripts of Flynn’s telephone conversations with Kislyak, that it could find nothing illicit in them. That is obviously right, and in any sane world that would have been the end of the whole affair.

Yet on the strength of these calls, Sally Yates as Acting Attorney General apparently advised the White House that General Flynn might have committed an offense under the Logan Act and initiated an FBI investigation of General Flynn’s actions, saying he might have opened himself up to blackmail by the Russian government.

To continue reading: First Big Defeat for Donald Trump as Michael Flynn Exits

He Said That? 2/15/17

This startling video features very Democratic, very liberal, former Representative Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, condemning intelligence community skullduggery against Michael Flynn and Donald Trump. He may be a man of principle, which is probably why he’s a former representative.

A Win for the Deep State, by Justin Raimondo

Justin Raimondo recognizes that intelligence agencies that answer to no one are the precursor to police states. From Raimondo at antiwar.com:

Let’s be clear about how and why former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn was ousted from his post: a cabal of current and former members of the “intelligence community,” fanatically opposed to Donald Trump’s stated desire to “get along with the Russians,” leaked the top secret transcript of Flynn’s conversation with Russian ambassador Sergay Kislyak. Although we don’t yet know exactly what transpired – as of this writing, BuzzFeed hasn’t gotten their hot little hands on the transcript – there was apparently some discussion of lifting sanctions on Russia, which is something the cabal and its collaborators in Congress and the media are determined to prevent at all costs.

Flynn was in the crosshairs of the War Party because he’s the most prominent of those around Trump who advocated for détente with Russia. Also, his somewhat loopy belief that Islam, per se, is a pernicious political ideology rather than a religion, made him a natural enemy of the pro-Saudi faction within the intelligence community, which had long worked with Riyadh to, among other things, overthrow the government of Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad.

Flynn’s alleged “crime” – supposedly lying to Vice President Pence about the content of the call – wasn’t a crime at all: James Clapper, Obama’s director of national intelligence, blatantly lied under oath to Congress and yet kept his position. What this non-scandal is all about is an attempt to criminalize the view that we have no real quarrel with Russia, that our common interests override any bumps along the road to détente. If you don’t go along with a new cold war with Russia then, ipso facto, you’re a “Russian agent” who needs to be investigated. This is what the neocon-liberal alliance is now pushing, and the first victim of this hate campaign is Flynn. He won’t be the last.

To continue reading: A Win for the Deep State

“It’s Over Folks” The Neocons and The “Deep State” Have Neutered The Trump Presidency, by the Saker

Here’s the most dire assessment of Flynn’s resignation, from the Saker at thesaker.is:

Less than a month ago I warned that a ‘color revolution ‘ was taking place in the USA. My first element of proof was the so-called “investigation” which the CIA, FBI, NSA and others were conducting against President Trump’s candidate to become National Security Advisor, General Flynn. Tonight, the plot to get rid of Flynn has finally succeeded and General Flynn had to offer his resignation. Trump accepted it.

Now let’s immediately get one thing out of the way: Flynn was hardly a saint or a perfect wise man who would single handedly saved the world. That he was not. However, what Flynn was is the cornerstone of Trump’s national security policy. For one thing, Flynn dared the unthinkable: he dared to declare that the bloated US intelligence community had to be reformed. Flynn also tried to subordinate the CIA and the Joint Chiefs to the President via the National Security Council. Put differently, Flynn tried to wrestle the ultimate power and authority from the CIA and the Pentagon and subordinate them back to the White House. Flynn also wanted to work with Russia. Not because he was a Russia lover, the notion of a Director of the DIA as a Putin-fan is ridiculous, but Flynn was rational, he understood that Russia was no threat to the USA or to Europe and that Russia had the West had common interests. That is another absolutely unforgivable crimethink in Washington DC.

The Neocon run ‘deep state’ has now forced Flynn to resign under the idiotic pretext that he had a telephone conversation, on an open, insecure and clearly monitored, line with the Russian ambassador.

And Trump accepted this resignation.

Ever since Trump made it to the White House, he has taken blow after blow from the Neocon-run Ziomedia, from Congress, from all the Hollywood doubleplusgoodthinking “stars” and even from European politicians. And Trump took each blow without ever fighting back. Nowhere was his famous “you are fired!” to be seen. But I still had hope. I wanted to hope. I felt that it was my duty to hope.

But now Trump has betrayed us all.

To continue reading: “It’s Over Folks” The Neocons & The “Deep State” Have Neutered The Trump Presidency

 

The Leakers Who Exposed Gen. Flynn’s Lie Committed Serious — and Wholly Justified — Felonies, by Glenn Greenwald

Although he made  a name for himself helping Edward Snowden reveal government surveillance, Glenn Greenwald is not at all bothered that Michael Flynn’s phone calls with a Russian diplomat was intercepted, nor that they were leaked to the press for political ends. Greenwald’s position apparently is that all government leaks are good leaks, regardless of the motivations of the leakers. A question for Greenwald: if an intelligence agency had monitored Edward Snowden’s phone calls before he left the US, leaked to the press a conversation in which Snowden disclosed his plans, and thus thwarted Snowden’s planned disclosure and escape, and probably put him in jail, would that be a good leak? Motives matter in these cases, and Greenwald’s argument is weak; he’s trying to excuse both the intercepted calls and the leaks. From Greenwald at theintercept.com:

PRESIDENT TRUMP’S NATIONAL security adviser, Gen. Michael Flynn, was forced to resign on Monday night as a result of getting caught lying about whether he discussed sanctions in a December telephone call with a Russian diplomat. The only reason the public learned about Flynn’s lie is because someone inside the U.S. government violated the criminal law by leaking the contents of Flynn’s intercepted communications.

In the spectrum of crimes involving the leaking of classified information, publicly revealing the contents of SIGINT — signals intelligence — is one of the most serious felonies. Journalists (and all other nongovernmental citizens) can be prosecuted under federal law for disclosing classified information only under the narrowest circumstances; reflecting how serious SIGINT is considered to be, one of those circumstances includes leaking the contents of intercepted communications, as defined this way by 18 § 798 of the U.S. Code:

Whoever knowingly and willfully communicates … or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person, or publishes … any classified information … obtained by the processes of communication intelligence from the communications of any foreign government … shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

That Flynn lied about what he said to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak was first revealed by Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, who has built his career on repeating what his CIA sources tell him. In his January 12 column, Ignatius wrote: “According to a senior U.S. government official, Flynn phoned Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak several times on Dec. 29, the day the Obama administration announced the expulsion of 35 Russian officials as well as other measures in retaliation for the hacking.”

That “senior U.S. government official” committed a serious felony by leaking to Ignatius the communication activities of Flynn. Similar and even more extreme crimes were committed by what the Washington Post called “nine current and former officials, who were in senior positions at multiple agencies at the time of the calls,” who told the paper for its February 9 article that “Flynn privately discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador to the United States during the month before President Trump took office, contrary to public assertions by Trump officials.” The New York Times, also citing anonymous U.S. officials, provided even more details about the contents of Flynn’s telephone calls.

To continue reading: The Leakers Who Exposed Gen. Flynn’s Lie Committed Serious — and Wholly Justified — Felonies