Tag Archives: Obama

News Organization Asks Trump To Declassify Obama’s “Unmasking” Requests On Political Opponents, by Tyler Durden

Here’s a request President Trump should be only too glad to comply with. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

The NSA is allowed under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to spy on foreign powers without a court warrant.  That said, U.S. law strictly prohibits the targeting of American citizens for such surveillance…that whole pesky ‘4th amendment thing’ was a real thorn in Obama’s side.  As such, protocol requires that if the NSA accidentally intercepts Americans or information about them overseas, it is supposed to legally put the information in a virtual lock box.

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.  Now, Circa has filed an official request asking the Trump administration to declassify the frequency of Obama’s unmasking requests related to, among other folks, his political opponents.

Circa has formally requested that the Trump administration declassify records showing how often government officials have searched National Security Agency intercepts for intelligence on U.S. presidential candidates, members of Congress, journalists, clergy, lawyers, federal judges and doctors and how often such Americans had their identities unmasked by the intelligence community after Barack Obama made it easier to do so in 2011.

The request follows anexclusive Circa report on Wednesday that revealed that the Obama administration conducted more than 35,000 searches on NSA intercepts seeking information about Americans during the divisive 2016 election year.

“The law makes President Trump the ultimate declassifying authority, and we believe the president can answer many troubling questions by declassifying this information, including how often First Amendment protected professionals had their privacy impacted by NSA intercepts and why some of Trump’s own aides were unmasked in NSA data by the prior White House,” said John Solomon, the chief operating officer of Circa and the author of Wednesday’s story.

This request comes after it was revealed just yesterday that government officials conducted 30,355 searches in 2016 seeking information about Americans in NSA intercept metadata, which include telephone numbers and email addresses.

To continue reading: News Organization Asks Trump To Declassify Obama’s “Unmasking” Requests On Political Opponents

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Does It Matter Who Pulls the Trigger in the Drone Wars? by Peter Van Buren

The victims of US drone strikes are remarkably unconcerned under what rules of engagement the US attacked them. From Peter Van Buren at antiwar.com:

We’re allowing a mindset of “anything Trump does is wrong” coupled with lightening-speed historical revisionism for the Obama era to sustain the same mistakes in the war on terror that have fueled Islamic terrorism for the past 15 years. However, there may be a window of opportunity to turn the anti-Trump rhetoric into a review of the failed policies of the last decade and a half.

A recent example of “anything Trump does is wrong” has to do with his changing the rules for drone kill decision making. In May 2013 President Obama self-imposed a dual-standard (known as the “playbook”) for remote killing. The White House, including Obama himself reviewing a kill list at regular meetings, would decide which individuals outside of the “traditional war zones” of Iraq and Afghanistan would be targeted.

Meanwhile, in America’s post-9/11 traditional war zones, military commanders then made, and now make, the kill decisions without civilian review, with the threshold for “acceptable civilian casualties” supposedly less strict. Of course the idea that any of this functions under “rules” is based on the bedrock fallacy that anything militarily done by the last three presidents has been legal under the never-updated 2001 authorization for war in Afghanistan. For perspective, remember Islamic State never existed, and Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen had stable governments at the time Congress passed that authorization.

In sum: since 2013 the military can kill from the air at will inside Iraq and Afghanistan (the status of Syria is unclear), as well as other areas designated unilaterally by the U.S. government as “traditional,” with allowances for less regard for the collateral damage of innocents slaughtered. It is the president himself who plays judge, jury, and executioner across the rest of the globe, including in several acknowledged cases, ordering the deaths of American citizens without due process.

Supporters of this policy set refer to the president’s role as oversight. And because the president is supposed to make his decisions with more regard than the military for civilian deaths (though there are no statistics to support that has been the outcome), the process represented, in the words of the New York Times, “restraint.”

To continue reading: Does It Matter Who Pulls the Trigger in the Drone Wars?

Did the Government Spy on Trump? Of Course. It Spies on All of Us! by Ron Paul

It’s disturbing if the government spied on Trump. It’s far more disturbing that the government spies on the rest of us. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.com:

There was high drama last week when Rep. Devin Nunes announced at the White House that he had seen evidence that the communications of the Donald Trump campaign people, and perhaps even Trump himself, had been “incidentally collected” by the US government.

If true, this means that someone authorized the monitoring of Trump campaign communications using Section 702 of the FISA Act. Could it have been then-President Obama? We don’t know. Could it have been other political enemies looking for something to harm the Trump campaign or presidency? It is possible.

There is much we do not yet know about what happened and there is probably quite a bit we will never know. But we do know several very important things about the government spying on Americans.

First there is Section 702 itself. The provision was passed in 2008 as part of a package of amendments to the 1978 FISA bill. As with the PATRIOT Act, we were told that we had to give the government more power to spy on us so that it could catch terrorists. We had to give up some of our liberty for promises of more security, we were told. We were also told that the government would only spy on the bad guys, and that if we had nothing to hide we should have nothing to fear.

We found out five years later from Edward Snowden that the US government viewed Section 702 as a green light for the mass surveillance of Americans. Through programs he revealed, like PRISM, the NSA is able to collect and store our Internet search history, the content of our emails, what files we have shared, who we have chatted with electronically, and more.

That’s why people like NSA whistleblower William Binney said that we know the NSA was spying on Trump because it spies on all of us!

To continue reading: Did the Government Spy on Trump? Of Course. It Spies on All of Us! 

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

Did Obama Spy on Trump? by Andrew P. Napolitano

Will we ever know for sure if Obama spied on Trump? Probably not, because a president can spy on whomever he or she wants, without a warrant and without leaving any other kind of paper trail. That’s the real tragedy of the Obama spying on Trump brouhaha. From Andrew P. Napolitano at lewrockwell.com:

The question of whether former President Barack Obama actually spied on President Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign and transition has been tantalizing Washington since President Trump first made the allegation nearly two weeks ago. Since then, three investigations have been launched — one by the FBI, one by the House of Representatives and one by the Senate. Are the investigators chasing a phantom, or did this actually happen?

Here is the back story.

Obama would not have needed the warrant to authorize surveillance on Trump. Obama was the president and as such enjoyed authority under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to order surveillance on any person in America, without suspicion, probable cause or a warrant.

FISA contemplates that the surveillance it authorizes will be for national security purposes, but this is an amorphous phrase and an ambiguous standard that has been the favorite excuse of most modern presidents for extraconstitutional behavior. In the early 1970s, President Richard Nixon used national security as a pretext to deploying the FBI and CIA to spy on students and even to break into the office of the psychiatrist of Daniel Ellsberg, one of his tormentors.

FISA was enacted in the late 1970s to force the federal government to focus its surveillance activities — its domestic national security-based spying — on only those people who were more likely than not agents of a foreign government. Because FISA authorizes judges on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to make rules and establish procedures for surveillance — essentially lawmaking — in secret, the public and the media have been largely kept in the dark about the nature and extent of the statute and the legal and moral rationale for the federal government’s spying on everyone in the U.S.

To continue reading: Did Obama Spy on Trump?

America in Turmoil: From Deep State Insurgency to Deep State Spying – WikiLeaks’ Vault 7, by Joachim Hagopian

Edward Snowden informed us that the government was watching. Wikileak’s Vault 7 release confirms its much worse than we thought. Joachim Hagopian may be a little overwrought, but not much. Fro Hagopian at lewrockwell.com:

Even those not following the latest evidence of the tyrannical noose tightening around our necks, know something has gone terribly wrong in America. Through NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations four years ago, we learned that US citizens, as well as foreign countries, are the most spied upon in human history. But this week’s latest massive WikiLeaks’ release, aka Vault 7, amounts to almost 9,000 pages of CIA documents collected from 2013 through 2016 that disclose highly classified hacking secrets. With this largest dump of confidential CIA files ever published, the world is beginning to realize just how far gone our privacy rights are, becoming virtually nonexistent under traitor Obama’s second term in office.

On the heels of last week’s bombshell revelations that outgoing president Obama illegally wiretapped and surveilled all of President Trump’s communications (both domestic and overseas) including his pre-administration officials, now we’re learning that the Orwellian nightmare of myopic control over us as a national population is far worse than ever imagined. This back-to-back, very much related unfolding events only demonstrate that not only is the legitimately elected American president apparently in the process of an overthrow attempt by treasonous subversive forces for the first time in US history, but through the ruling elite’s private army – the CIA, it has extended its technologically invasive beta test control over the most spied upon population ever on its way to imprisoning every human on earth with a one world crime cabal government.

To continue reading: America in Turmoil: From Deep State Insurgency to Deep State Spying – WikiLeaks’ Vault 7

 

 

Agents of Deception, Stewards of Deceit. by Uncola

It’s happened so many times you’d think the mainstream media would be wising up to it. Trump makes a claim that they deride as “outrageous,” only to see the claim subsequently substantially or wholly verified. The same thing is happening with Trump’s claims that he was under surveillance at Obama’s behest. From Uncola at theburningplatform.com:

What a week it has been since President Donald Trump addressed congress, just eight days ago. Within hours of his attempt to unify the nation with a heartfelt speech that was widely praised by his supporters and opponents alike, Democratic Party leaders and their collaborators in the mainstream media once again doubled down on their fabricated Russian election hacking ruse. Within days, their combined efforts compelled Trump’s newly appointed Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, to recuse himself from any 2016 Presidential Campaign investigations.

On Friday, according to CNN and their White House Spy Cam, a “frustrated and angry” President Trump had a “fiery meeting” in the Oval Office with his advisors Steve Bannon, Jared Kushner, Sean Spicer, and Reince Priebus over the “fumbling” of the “situation with Sessions”.

By Saturday, March 4th, 2017, Trump evidently decided it was time to once more push back against those who wish to derail his administration. In a series of early-morning Tweets, Trump accused Former President Barack Obama of wire-tapping his phones at Trump Tower in New York City during the 2016 presidential campaign and made comparisons to Nixon, Watergate, and McCarthyism.

In response, Obama’s spokesperson, Kevin Lewis, denied Trump’s allegations and said:

neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any US citizen.

It was very interesting, in his carefully crafted response, how Lewis claimed Obama didn’t “order” any surveillance while at the same time, he did NOT deny any surveillance took place.

To continue reading: Agents of Deception, Stewards of Deceit.