The illegal activities of Obama’s NSA and FBI 1

In a video released yesterday (May 25, 2017), Chris Farrell of Judicial Watch tells how Obama used the NSA against his political opponents. Illegally, in defiance of the Constitution, the intelligence service collected information on Americans and “unmasked” them – ie. revealed their identities – for nefarious political purposes:

And this is from Circa, by John Solomon and Sara Carter, on how James Comey’s FBI illegally collected spy data on Americans, and deliberately leaked the information to serve Obama’s political ends:

The FBI has illegally shared raw intelligence about Americans with unauthorized third parties and violated other constitutional privacy protections, according to newly declassified government documents that undercut the bureau’s public assurances about how carefully it handles warrantless spy data to avoid abuses or leaks.

In his final congressional testimony before he was fired by President Trump this month, then-FBI Director James Comey unequivocally told lawmakers his agency used sensitive espionage data gathered about Americans without a warrant only when it was “lawfully collected, carefully overseen and checked”.

Once-top secret U.S. intelligence community memos reviewed by Circa tell a different story, citing instances of “disregard” for rules, inadequate training and “deficient” oversight and even one case of deliberately sharing spy data with a forbidden party.

For instance, a ruling declassified this month by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) chronicles nearly 10 pages listing hundreds of violations of the FBI’s privacy-protecting minimization rules that occurred on Comey’s watch.

The behavior the FBI admitted to a FISA judge just last month ranged from illegally sharing raw intelligence with unauthorized third parties to accessing intercepted attorney-client privileged communications without proper oversight the bureau promised was in place years ago.

The court also opined aloud that it fears the violations are more extensive than already disclosed.

“The Court is nonetheless concerned about the FBI’s apparent disregard of minimization rules and whether the FBI is engaging in similar disclosures of raw Section 702 information that have not been reported,” the April 2017 ruling declared.

The court isn’t the only oversight body to disclose recent concerns that the FBI’s voluntary system for policing its behavior and self-disclosing mistakes hasn’t been working.

The Justice Department inspector general’s office declassified a report in 2015 that reveals the internal watchdog had concerns as early as 2012 that the FBI was submitting “deficient” reports indicating it had a clean record complying with spy data gathered on Americans without a warrant.

To put it bluntly, the FBI was lying.

FBI officials acknowledged there have been violations but insist they are a small percentage of the total counterterrorism and counterintelligence work its agents perform.

Just some lies, they pleaded. They did a lot of honest work too. Ignore the mud in the milk.

Almost all are unintentional human errors by good-intentioned agents and analysts under enormous pressure to stop the next major terror attack, the officials said.

And besides, they lied with the very best of intentions.  

Others fear these blunders call into the question the bureau’s rosy assessment that it can still police itself when it comes to protecting Americans’ privacy 17 years after the war on terror began. …

One of the biggest concerns involves so-called backdoor searches in which the FBI can mine NSA intercept data for information that may have been incidentally collected about an American. No warrant or court approval is required, and the FBI insists these searches are one of the most essential tools in combating terrorist plots.

But a respected former Justice Department national security prosecutor questions if the searching has gotten too cavalier. Amy Jeffress, the former top security adviser to former Attorney General Eric Holder, was appointed by the intelligence court in 2015 to give an independent  assessment.

Security adviser to Eric Holder? And we should expect her findings to be impartial?

Turns out they may be. She is gently critical of the violations which her report does confirm.

Jeffress concluded agents’ searches of NSA data now extend far beyond national security issues and thus were “overstepping” the constitutional protections designed to ensure the bureau isn’t violating Americans’ 4th Amendment protections against unlawful search and seizure.

By  early 2017, the court became more concerned after the Obama administration disclosed significant violations of privacy protections at two separate intelligence agencies involved in the Section 702 program.

The most serious involved the NSA searching for American data it was forbidden to search. But the FBI also was forced to admit its agents and analysts shared espionage data with prohibited third parties, ranging from a federal contractor to a private entity that did not have the legal right to see the intelligence.

Such third-party sharing is a huge political concern now as Congress and intelligence community leaders try to stop the flow of classified information to parties that could illegally disclose or misuse it, such as the recent leak that disclosed intercepted communications between the Russian ambassador and Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

“Improper access” to NSA spy data for FBI contractors “seems to have been the result of deliberate decision-making”, the court noted.

The recently unsealed ruling also revealed the FBI is investigating more cases of possible improper sharing with private parties that recently have come to light.

The government “is investigating whether there have been similar cases in which the FBI improperly afforded non-FBI personnel access to raw FISA-acquired information on FBI systems,” the court warned.

The ruling cited other FBI failures in handling Section 702 intel, including retaining data on computer storage systems “in violation of applicable minimization requirements”.

Among the most serious additional concerns was the FBI’s failure for more than two years to establish review teams to ensure intercepts between targets and their lawyers aren’t violating the attorney-client privilege.

“Failures of the FBI to comply with this ‘review team’ requirement for particular targets have been focus of FISA’s concerns since 2014,” the court noted.

The FBI said it is trying to resolve the deficiencies with aggressive training of agents.

Oh, “aggressive”. To make the training sound very fierce and merciless. So in future they will not be as lax as they have been in the recent past. You see?

That admission of inadequate training directly undercut Comey’s testimony earlier this month when questioned by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

“Nobody gets to see FISA information of any kind unless they’ve had the appropriate training and have the appropriate oversight,” the soon-to-be-fired FBI director assured lawmakers. 

Another lie. In this case perjury? Didn’t he swear an oath to tell the truth to the Congressional inquiry?

Now that there is a Republican Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, in place of Obama’s puppet, Loretta Lynch, will the law be applied to all who break the law, even to corrupt, felonious law-enforcement officials? Even to Barack Obama?

Posted under Espionage, Videos by Jillian Becker on Friday, May 26, 2017

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James Comey’s mission impossible 1

The FBI in 2015 created an interactive website called Don’t be a Puppet, for the purpose of preventing “susceptible youth from getting recruited online by terrorists”, but they were pressured by Islamic groups to omit all mention of Islamic terrorism. Comey caved and the site was changed to feature white supremacists, militia groups, religious extremists and so on, even though terrorist acts by such groups are quite rare while Islamic terrorists have committed tens of thousands of terror acts worldwide since 9/11. The only time the website mentions Islam is when it explains that Islamic terrorist groups such as ISIS “do not represent mainstream Islam”.

That comes from an article in the American Spectator by Steve Baldwin. Its intention is to show that James Comey was dangerously incompetent. We think it demonstrates convincingly that James Comey was a disastrously bad choice to head the FBI.

FBI Director James Comey was incompetent and as FBI Director, his policies placed the lives of American citizens at risk. An in-depth look at his record as FBI Director reveals an incredible naivety toward the Islamic terror threat and a willingness to appease radical Muslims at the expense of protesting Americans. This piece will not address Comey’s handling of Hillary Clinton’s email scandal or his failure to investigate the obvious illegal pay-for play schemes concocted by the Clinton Foundation.

Nor will it look at his failure to prosecute anyone associated with the IRS’s effort to silence hundreds of political groups during Obama’s reelection or his refusal to come clean about his knowledge of how numerous Americans were “unmasked” for having the audacity of associating with Donald Trump. No, this is just a peek at how the FBI under Comey handled the Islamic terrorist threat. …

In 2011, in one of the most incredible acts of stupidity ever by the FBI, the agency agreed to purge its counter-terrorism documents of terms, concepts, and statements that a number of Islamic pressure groups objected to. The government watchdog group, Judicial Watch, forced the FBI to release documents about this purge which revealed that the FBI systematically purged some 900 pages and 392 presentations deemed “offensive” to Muslims. This occurred under the previous FBI director Robert Mueller as a result of meeting with Islamic pressure groups such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), both named in 2007 as unindicted co-conspirators in a case involving raising funds for Islamic terrorists.

This purge crippled the FBI’s ability to track terrorists and many believe the loss of this intelligence caused the FBI to miss clues that could have prevented future terrorist attacks. Indeed, Judicial Watch actually called the purge “part of a broader Islamist ‘influence operation’ aimed at our government and Constitution.”

The purged documents including records linking the Muslim Brotherhood to terrorism, probably because the Obama Administration had, by this time, appointed a number of MB sympathizers to key positions and was quietly supporting Muslim Brotherhood political movements in a number of countries such as Egypt and Libya. The purge also deleted all usage of the term “radical Islam,” and any statement that defined “Jihad” as “Holy War,” even though that’s the definition used by Islamic terrorists. Strangely, the FBI also destroyed all documents linking al Qaeda to the 1993 World Trade Center and the 1996 Khobar Towers bombings, despite the fact these are important events in the terrorist timeline.

Judicial Watch also revealed that the purge “removed references to mosques specifically as a radicalization incubator,” even though every intelligence service in the world knows that mosques are regularly used to plan and organize terror attacks. FBI agents were even told what words they could not use in writing reports on terror threats. Banned words included sharia, jihad, Muslim, Islam, Muslim Brotherhood, enemy, Hamas, Hezbollah and al Qaeda. The FBI was basically more concerned about the feelings of radical Muslims than the security of American citizens.

While the file purging occurred under Bureau head Robert Mueller two years before Comey took the helm, there is no evidence Comey made any effort to restore these files and all evidence indicates that he continued to use this politically correct mindset as he investigated the Jihadist threat in the U.S.A. And it soon became a heavy price to pay.

Indeed, one of the FBI documents obtained by JW titled “Guiding Principles: Touchstone Document on Training” stated that “mere association with organizations that demonstrate both legitimate (advocacy) and illicit (violent extremism) objectives should not automatically result in a determination that the associated individual is acting in furtherance of the organization’s illicit objective(s).”

In other words, the FBI was instructing its agents that if a person is found to be involved with a group that advocates “violent extremism”, they are not to assume the person is involved with violent extremism! This give-the-benefit-of-the-doubt-to-potential-terrorists mindset is what may have caused the FBI to ignore clues that could have stopped the Ft. Hood, Orlando, San Bernardino, and other terrorist attacks even though it had prior knowledge about the Islamic extremist connections of those who carried out those attacks. …

And it gets worse. Judicial Watch reported that the FBI in 2015 created an interactive website called Don’t be a Puppet, for the purpose of preventing “susceptible youth from getting recruited online by terrorists”, but they were pressured by Islamic groups to omit all mention of Islamic terrorism. Comey caved and the site was changed to feature white supremacists, militia groups, religious extremists and so on, even though terrorist acts by such groups are quite rare while Islamic terrorists have committed tens of thousands of terror acts worldwide since 9/11. The only time the website mentions Islam is when it explains that Islamic terrorist groups such as ISIS “do not represent mainstream Islam”. 

But the idea that obscure militias and white supremacists pose a threat to the national security in the same way as do Islamic terrorists happens to be a favorite theme of the loony left and Comey seems to have bought into this fantasy. …

Clearly, they are allocating resources based on political correctness, not reality.

Before Comey became director, the FBI initiated a policy that actually banned the FBI from conducting surveillance of mosques … Nor did Comey make any effort to change this policy even though Mosques have repeatedly been implicated in Islamic terror plots worldwide.

Moreover, Comey continued Director Mueller’s practice of heavily recruiting Muslims to be agents with apparently very little vetting. Indeed, the FBI placed recruitment ads in the publications of extremist Islamic groups with the slogan “Today’s FBI. It’s for You.” And it paid off. Indeed, WorldNetDaily broke a story that a Muslim agent working for the Los Angeles FBI field office “tipped off a Muslim suspect under investigation for terrorism about FBI surveillance”. 

In years past, such a violation would result in not just the agent being fired, but also being prosecuted. However, this agent was allowed to remain with the FBI with only a reprimand!Moreover, other Muslim FBI agents have been exposed for assisting radical Islamic groups but the only consequence has been a transfer to another FBI office. Congressional investigators should review the FBI’s hiring and vetting polices when it comes to Muslims, because it’s likely Comey may have hired a slew of agents who are more loyal to the Jihad than to the U.S.A. …

But let’s take a look at how Comey’s FBI actually handled a few of the more well known domestic terror cases during his tenure.

In 2015, an Islamic couple from Pakistan murdered 14 people and injured 22 others at an after work Christmas party in San Bernardino. The terrorist couple, Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, spent time in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan and used bomb technology commonly used by al Qaeda. The two jihadists were linked to Tablighi Jamaat, an Islamic extremist sect with a history of supporting terrorism. However, all records related to this particular group were purged from the National Targeting Center database, according to former DHS counter-terror analyst Philip Haney, who stated that “this Administration is more concerned about the civil rights and civil liberties of foreign Islamic groups and foreign nationals than securing the freedom and security of the American public.” NTC’s data is shared with the FBI. Had Comey made any effort to restore these valuable counter-terrorism files, there’s a chance the Bureau could have prevented this attack. But again, there is no record of any push-back by Director Comey to recover counter-terrorism files. Too bad, it would have saved American lives.

Also in 2015, two terrorists attempted to kill attendees at an event in Garland, TX hosted by anti-Jihad activist Pamela Geller, at which participants were drawing images of Muhammad, which is considered a sacrilege by Muslims. The terrorists had enough ammunition to kill dozens of people and they did wound one security guard before being shot dead. But the attack could have been prevented because not only did the FBI know the terrorists were planning something but, as 60 Minutes reported, they had an undercover agent working with them who sent an encouraging text to the terrorists three weeks prior to the attack: “Tear up Texas.”

That’s bad enough, but 60 Minutes also revealed that this agent was actually at the location of the terror attack. He was in a car behind the car containing the terrorists but when they opened fire on a security guard, his reaction was to photograph them. He did not intervene. Why not? And why weren’t more FBI agents placed at the event to stop the attack? Or prevent it before it even started? Why did they not even alert Pamela Geller, the organizer of the event? As Geller states, “It’s hard to escape the conclusion that the Obama FBI wanted me and the other speakers at the even dead.” This was a display of incredible incompetence, but neither the FBI nor Comey have ever been forced to explain their actions.

Mere incompetence? Or could it be that Comey, like John Brennan who was then head of the CIA, was actively helping terrorist Islam? The evidence cited here strongly suggests it.

The article goes on to provide more evidence, each example endorsing the suspicion that Islam was positively favored to such a degree that Muslim terrorists were greatly helped by FBI policy under James Comey. (Read it all here.)

… Lastly, the FBI under Comey has ignored a large network of domestic terrorist training compounds. In his book, Twilight in America, author and researcher Martin Mawyer documents the existence of at least two dozen compounds in rural areas operated by a terror group known as “Muslims of America (MOA).” MOA’s Islamic name is “Jamaat ul-Fuqra” and its leader is Sheikh Mubarik Ali Shah Gilani, a radical jihadist cleric who mentored the Christmas Day bomber and many other terrorists. He has declared jihad on America and his compounds are clearly involved with training jihadists. Indeed, MOE members were involved with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

Before Obama came to power, the FBI prepared a report about these Islamic warriors: “MOA members have participated in ten murders; one disappearance; three fire bombings and one attempted firebombing and two explosive bombings with one attempted bombing …. the leadership of the MOA extols members to pursue a policy of jihad or holy war against individuals or groups it considers enemies of Islam which Include the U.S. Government .…members of the MOA are encouraged to travel to Pakistan to receive religious and military/terrorist training from Sheikh Gilani.”

There is little doubt the FBI possesses enough information about MOA’s activities to obtain court warrants to search their compounds or wiretap its phones, but Mawyer says that his sources tell him “the FBI under Comey showed no interest in investigating these compounds.” Mawyer says while a few field agents understand what these camps are really all about, many in the FBI “think they are just Muslims who want to be left alone.” Sure. Meanwhile, these compounds continue training jihadists unimpeded. Mawyer has spent twenty years researching MOA and its network of compounds but Comey wouldn’t know him from Adam. In any case, the latest chatter from MOA operatives is a fear that Trump will actually close down their compounds. They will miss Comey dearly.

While Comey made quite a media splash informing Americans that the FBI is investigating ISIS-related terrorists in all 50 states, one now has to wonder how many of these investigations are just for show? Or how many cases will the FBI drop for fear of offending Muslims?

If Congress would spend more time investigating the FBI’s competency, rather than phony Russian conspiracy theories, perhaps someday we will have an FBI that’s not driven by political correctness. In the age of terrorism, we need a FBI Director who is fearless and aggressive in investigating Islamic terrorism. Comey has bungled many high profile Islamic terror cases under his watch. Trump did the right thing by firing him and he needs to now hire someone who will ignore political correctness and do what is necessary to keep America safe from Islamic terrorism.

James Comey was required by his employer, Barack Obama, to seem to protect Americans while actually protecting and even assisting Islam in its perpetual jihad. It says something for him that he couldn’t do it – that the self-contradictory task drove him out of his mind. Which accounts for his erratic behavior. John Brennan plainly loves Islam, so it was easy for him to work the trick. James Comey should never have undertaken the job. It needed more than competence; it needed the mind of a traitor.

Five Eyes spying 1

US intelligence agencies cannot legally spy on Americans. So they get foreign allied spy agencies to do it for them. Which means they spy on Americans.

Five countries form the “Echelon” global surveillance system: the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – the “Five Eyes” of Western international espionage.

When something they have done leaks out and becomes a public scandal, they spread the blame wider and more thinly by including other agencies, such as those of Germany, Poland, the Netherlands, and France.

When the British were first accused of helping the NSA and CIA spy on Donald Trump and his associates, by Judge Andrew Napolitano on Fox News, they angrily denied it.

But they did it.

It’s a squalid story about a real international conspiracy, launched by the Obama administration, to concoct a monstrous lie about Donald Trump; that he was in league with the Russian government. It is a lie that the Democratic Party is still using to cast a shadow of illegitimacy over the Trump presidency.

From the Accuracy in Media Center for Investigative Journalism, using as its main source the leftist Guardian newspaper:

The British Guardian posted a report on April 13 claiming that its sources now admit that the British spy agency GCHQ was digitally wiretapping Trump associates, going back to late 2015. This was presumably when the December 2015 Moscow meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Lt. General Michael Flynn took place.

This runs contrary to the blanket nature of the denial insinuated in GCHQ’s carefully-crafted statement of March 17 claiming it was all “nonsense” and “utterly ridiculous” that they conducted surveillance of “then president-elect” Donald Trump (emphasis added). The surveillance went back a year before he became “president-elect”. 

President Trump’s claim of being “wire tapped” has been vindicated. Indeed, the surveillance is far more extensive than even he suspected at the time.

Based on the new disclosures, we can safely conclude that the world’s most advanced and extensive system of computerized espionage was indeed used against him and people he worked with, for political purposes, with the knowledge and approval of top Obama officials such as CIA Director John Brennan (one major name implicated by the Guardian).

Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst, Judge Andrew Napolitano, who said GCHQ was involved in wiretapping Trump, has also been vindicated. Fox News owes Napolitano an apology for yanking him off the air for a week for making that “controversial” and now-verified assertion.

President Trump stressed the pervasive “extent” of this Obama political “wiretapping” to Maria Bartiromo of Fox Business in an Oval Office interview on April 11 (aired April 12).  “Me and so many other people” surveilled, Trump said. He explained again that he had picked up the “wire tapped” terminology straight from the headline of The New York Times (of January 20) …

Now we’re learning that GCHQ did wiretap Trump for a year before the election. “Trump” is, of course, shorthand for Trump associates and possibly Trump himself directly, depending on context. But GCHQ is trying to put a positive spin on what it admits would be illegal spying on US citizens if done by US agencies.

The Guardian’s sources claim a heroic role for the British GCHQ as a courageous “whistleblower” in warning US agencies to “watch out” about Trump and Russia — but carefully avoiding mention of the US’s NSA, which must be protected at all costs as part of the NSA-GCHQ spy-on-each-other’s-citizens “wiretap shell game”. …

These sources virtually admit the mutual “wiretap shell game” by inadvertently mentioning the Trump-Russia data was originally passed on to the US by GCHQ as part of a “routine exchange” of intelligence. The use of this term, “exchange”, suggests what we had previously reported — the shell-game “exchange” between the NSA and GCHQ where they can spy on each other’s citizens and deny it all. 

Past British Prime Ministers have been implicated in various scandals involving wiretaps.  Some have involved the “Echelon” global surveillance system set up by the NSA with its counterparts in the other “Five Eyes” nations — UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.  Any one of these countries is able to circumvent domestic laws against spying on their own citizens by asking another Echelon member country to do it for them. This is precisely the “wiretap shell game” used by the Obama administration to have British GCHQ spy on Trump, as outlined by Judge Napolitano and his sources.

To avoid unraveling the longstanding Five Eyes spying “wiretap shell game”, the GCHQ had to pretend they “routinely” came across this Trump-Russia wiretap data “by chance”, unprompted by requests from US. agencies (such as the NSA or CIA) or by Obama officials, working outside normal NSA chain of command on Signals Intelligence or SIGINT (as Judge Napolitano reported on March 14).

So the heroic British GCHQ comes to the rescue with conveniently “accidental” (our word) captures of wiretap communications between Trump people and sinister-sounding “Russian intelligence agents”, with the wiretaps sent here to help out the US agencies. We are supposed to believe the US agencies and the Obama White House just passively received this bombshell wiretap data from GCHQ, no questions asked, for over a year from late 2015 to early 2017. (The Guardian has no end date for the surveillance, such as the November 8 election, and indicates continued surveillance into the Trump transition, with the FBI “throwing more resources” into the investigation then.)

Did Obama officials ever say, “Wait! Stop sending us this material, it may be illegal!” It does not appear so. Hence, the questions that have to be asked by the House and Senate Intelligence Committees are:

  • Were there requests for more wiretap data on Trump and his team?
  • Were there requests for more complete transcripts, or even voice recordings?

This “alerting” of the US on Trump-Russia communications was needed, according to the Guardian and its US and UK intelligence sources, because the US agencies were “asleep” or “untrained,” or were legally prohibited from “examining the private communications of American citizens without warrants”. But to the GCHQ, America is a “foreign” nation and evidently they think they are free to spy on Americans “without warrants”.

Previous reporting has said that an interagency task force of six US intelligence agencies was set up to investigate the alleged Trump-connected names supposedly discovered in “incidental collection” of digital wiretap surveillance of Russian communications. The six agencies are said to consist of the CIA, NSA, FBI, the Justice Department’s National Security Division, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Treasury Department financial crimes unit.

Until now, no one has known who in the Obama administration set up the task force, who directs it, what its operating directives state, what its activities have entailed, and who it is really accountable to.

But the Guardian is now reporting that it was CIA Director John Brennan who initiated, in about August 2016, what clearly seems to be an illegal domestic investigation of the Trump political campaign, which would be prohibited by the CIA charter.

Reportedly “Brennan used [British] GCHQ information and intelligence from other partners to launch a major interagency investigation.” The infamous fake “Trump dossier” is apparently dragged in too.

You can read the “dossier” here. It’s a pile of ludicrous bilge.

Brennan then proceeded to give highly classified “urgent” briefings to individual members of the Congressional “Gang of Eight”. Beginning on about August 25, with then-Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) on that date, CIA chief Brennan claimed that the Russian email hackings of the Democratic National Committee were designed to help Trump win the election, according to The New York Times. [!] These partisan briefings represent the politicization of the CIA under Obama, and are of dubious legality.

In September 2016, this anti-Trump intelligence task force changed the previous “incidental” collection to outright direct targeting of Trump people so that their communications with Russia were “actively monitored”, not merely retrieved retroactively in digital archives with names having to be laboriously “unmasked”. …

Unmasking is unnecessary if one starts with the specific names of Trump personnel first, and then flags them for future surveillance, going forward in time. In that case, the “actively monitored” and flagged Trump names automatically trigger alerts in the NSA-GCHQ computers whenever the names turn up. These wiretap reports would then have been submitted to Obama officials at the level of national security adviser Susan Rice and CIA director Brennan, and perhaps to Obama himself.

Interestingly, the Guardian’s sources carefully try to avoid implicating or involving the NSA in GCHQ’s allegedly unprompted reporting on intercepted wiretap data on Trump associates. It’s the “shell game” again with the NSA and GCHQ covering for each other.

Instead, the Guardian’s anonymous intelligence sources say that then-director of GCHQ Robert Hannigan passed on a top secret “director level” report on Trump-Russia in “summer 2016” to CIA Director John Brennan, rather than to the NSA. However, if GCHQ was using NSA’s digital wiretap facilities to “routinely” spy on Trump people, then the NSA would be implicated by the very arrangement used. …

The unexpected sudden resignation of GCHQ director Hannigan, announced on January 23, makes him the potential villain and scapegoat. …

In an unprecedented BBC interview on April 5, Hannigan fired a parting shot at the Judge Napolitano and White House reports of his GCHQ’s spying on Trump. Hannigan snidely dismissed the reports, saying,

We get crazy conspiracy theories thrown at us every day. We ignore most of them. On this occasion it was so crazy that we felt we should say so and we have said it’s a ridiculous suggestion.

The Guardian’s report refutes Hannigan, barely a week after he left office, possibly with official connivance or approval. But why is Hannigan being thrown under the bus so soon? Is it fear of the impending findings of US Congressional and official investigations exposing GCHQ?

Now that Trump is president, the British have some urgent repairs to make.

Such reports in the British press on highly sensitive intelligence matters surely must have been quietly cleared by the British government as a first fallback position on GCHQ spying on [now President] Trump. Otherwise the Guardian would be in deep trouble under the UK’s Official Secrets Act and its D-Notice procedure to suppress or censor news stories on secret intelligence matters.

Finally, the British also seem to be trying to spread the blame around to a laundry list of other countries allegedly passing on intelligence about Trump-Russia contacts—Germany, Estonia, Poland, Australia, the Dutch and the French DGSE.

Still, no “smoking gun” has ever been found in any of this wiretap material, for it would already have been leaked like Lt. Gen. Flynn’s fairly benign conversations with the Russian ambassador that got him fired.

Despite the sensational news from The Washington Post that the FBI obtained a FISA warrant to wiretap ex-Trump adviser Carter Page, which may even still be in effect, his “Russian contacts” also seem to be completely ordinary and routine. Page is so confident of his innocence that he has been going on various television news programs to talk openly about his work on Russia, supplying Russian contacts with some of his New York University classroom materials.

To be sure, a certain large percentage of these kinds of business meetings with Russians will turn out to be with undercover Russian intelligence officers —  unbeknown to the Western business and academic people meeting them. The media portray them as suspicious. But this kind of Russian spy game has always been going on since the Cold War and is nothing new.

The FISA warrant, rather than proving any malfeasance by Carter Page — again no “smoking gun” — only adds to the evidence that what President Trump said from the start was true: that Trump and his associates were under electronic surveillance.

What do the wiretaps on Trump actually say? The media don’t want to know if the NSA-GCHQ wiretaps actually exonerate President Trump.

One of the advantages of the adversarial system in the courts is that advocates on the opposing side ideally get a fair chance — unlike the one-sided media with journalists who, at the rate of more than 90 percent, contributed to the Hillary Clinton campaign …

Questions not asked of Rice or other sources by the media include whether she or other Obama officials “flagged” the unmasked Trump team names for future NSA (or British GCHQ) automatic unmasking and delivery of transcripts and summary reports.

Did the Obama people regularize the “unmasking” so that routinely a new retroactive search was automatically ordered with automatic unmaskings? That would be another way to turn “incidental collection” into an effectively ongoing wiretap order. Did President Obama or Rice or others request actual sound recordings of Trump and others to review?

Did the Obama team “unmask” other presidential candidates and associates besides Trump, such as Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who visited Moscow in December 2015 and dined with Putin? Fox is reporting that Congressional investigators are now looking into whether other presidential candidates and Members of Congress were surveilled too. In 2014, CIA director Brennan was caught red-handed lying to the Senate about the CIA’s criminal hacking of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s computer system.

We are told that many, if not most, of these wiretaps and unmaskings of Trump people were not even wiretaps about Russia or “incidental collection” on legitimate foreign intelligence subjects, though they may have begun that way.

The evidence now indicates that the information was procured for partisan political purposes — to spy on the Trump opposition to Hillary Clinton using the full weight of the US government’s NSA spying apparatus (or NSA facilities used by British GCHQ).

Scandalized? Prepare to be more so:

Trump’s CIA Director Mike Pompeo is in a position to get to the bottom of this scandal. Yet, on April 13, 2017, in his first public speech as director, he seemed to indicate that the evidence being developed in connection with the CIA’s role in the illegal surveillance of President Trump was going to be ignored or brushed aside. It was a forceful, even strident, defense of the Agency.

“I inherited an Agency that has a real appreciation for the law and for the Constitution,” he claimed. “Despite fictional depictions meant to sell books or box-office tickets, we are not an untethered or rogue agency. So yes, while we have some truly awesome capabilities at our disposal, our officers do not operate in areas or against targets that are rightfully and legally off-limits to us.”

The evidence suggests the opposite. The CIA under Obama’s CIA Director Brennan was involved in illegal surveillance, using those “truly awesome capabilities” against political targets that should have been off-limits.

One of those targets was the President who appointed Pompeo as CIA director.

We need our intelligence agencies. But they have gone bad under bad leadership.

An unintelligent organization of Intelligence 2

Maybe four of the 17 [US Intelligence agencies] could have or should have had an opinion on the Russian hacking. The rest having an opinion is either because of coercion or it is simply false that they had any direct knowledge of the hacking of the DNC by anyone.

From Townhall, by Bruce Bialosky:

The Russians are coming. The Russians are coming. This all started when Hillary Clinton reversed what Barack Obama had started four years earlier in a debate with Mitt Romney who actually stated the Russians were a problem. The only thing is that she stated that all 17 intelligence agencies agreed that the Russians had hacked the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Though technically correct there are “17” intelligence agencies, Ms. Clinton knows that these agencies “agreeing” is a hoax.

My initial reaction to the statement was a logical and rational one. I stated Mr. Trump should have replied to her: “Why do we have 17 intelligence agencies and why can they not stop the Russians from hacking?” I thought this issue would go away after Hillary was sent into retirement, but the sore loser Democrats keep making a big deal about this.

We only reluctantly mention, or quote someone else’s mention of Hillary Clinton. We want the Clintons to fade out of memory – unless either of them is brought to public attention again by being indicted, tried, and sentenced to a long period in jail. But to deal with the present subject – the failures of US Intelligence over the last two decades – we cannot avoid mentioning her, the Liar of Benghazigate, the Taker of Bribes, the Seller of Her Country.

There are actually 17 government entities considered part of our “Intelligence Community”. That is if you consider the Office of the Director of National Intelligence one of them. That position goes back to 1955 when our sprawling intelligence community was determined to be too big and too diverse so they needed another person (and all their staff) to oversee all the operating entities. Ten of the 17 agencies were formed after the director position was established. The coordination did not seem to work because Attorney General John Ashcroft stated his biggest challenge after 9/11 was synchronizing efforts between the various intelligence agencies.

The 17 agencies are broken into three groups. The first are ones within the different arms of the military. There is the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and that could be considered warranted, but why do we need separate departments within every branch and why would they not just be considered part of the DIA? The Marines, Navy, Army, Air Force and Coast Guard do not need separate intelligence departments. No wonder we can’t get anything right when just our Defense Department has eight separate intelligence agencies.

If we go back to the claim that all 17 agencies agreed it was the Russians who were hacking, please explain to me what information the Coast Guard had on that. Or, for that matter, any of the other four wings of our armed forces. Why would they be following domestic matters like this? That would seem improper or illegal to me.

Then there are the agencies that are part of cabinet departments. Energy, State, Treasury, Homeland Security and Justice all have intelligence agencies. Why do any of these departments except for maybe Homeland Security need their own agency? The Justice Department, which has the FBI (an important domestic intelligence agency), has another agency (Office of National Security Intelligence) that was created in 2006 under the DEA. What a waste.

All these departments should have their efforts coordinated through one entity – the FBI. If the FBI needs people assigned to these departments they should do so, but everything should run through one central point. Back to the Clinton claim, why would the agency under the DEA have any knowledge about Russian hacking of the DNC? Or the agency in the Energy Department? Again, obviously a ridiculous claim.

Then there are the Big Five of the intelligence community. They are the CIA, DIA, National Security Agency (NSA), National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (GEOINT). We all know what the CIA does (as much as we are allowed to know). But why is there the DIA and NSA? They are both part of the Defense Department. The NSA was formed in 1952,  and the DIA in 1961 and I cannot tell why it exists. It seems we allow our government to create overlapping entities so they can all miss out on accomplishing their mission.

The ones that baffle me totally are the NRO and the GEOINT. GEOINT states “Geospatial intelligence, or GEOINT, is the exploitation and analysis of imagery and geospatial information to describe, assess and visually depict physical features and geographically-referenced activities on the Earth. GEOINT consists of imagery, imagery intelligence and geospatial information.” What exactly is that? Maybe this should be a separate agency feeding the others, but they should be under either the CIA or NSA and not another separate operation.

When you look at the description of what the NRO does it certainly seems like it is splitting hairs between what it does and GEOINT. Both are part of the Defense Department and provide services to other intelligence agencies. These are certainly two entities that by definition should have no clue whether the Russians hacked the DNC nor an opinion.

In conclusion, there maybe should be three or four separate intelligence agencies: CIA, FBI, NSA and maybe the director of national intelligence. The other agencies should be folded into these. One would be independent (CIA), one part of Justice (FBI) and one part of Defense (NSA). All the confusing overlap and inefficiency will be eliminated. …

Now that President Trump has appointed Mike Pompeo to replace John Brennan as head of the CIA, will something of that sort happen?

From Front Page by Lloyd Billingsley:

 John Brennan …  should not have had that job or any intelligence post, not even to make coffee.

In 1976, year of the American Bicentennial, the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) ticket of Gus Hall and Jarvis Tyner got 58,992 votes. One of them came from college student John Brennan and that requires some context. The CPUSA has always been a wholly owned subsidiary of the Soviet Union, and in 1976 that was evident to all but the willfully blind. …

Gus Hall [was]  a slobbering Stalinist who defended the USSR during the worst of its atrocities and remained faithful to the end. So it took a special kind of person to vote for Gus Hall and the Communist Party USA in 1976, but John Brennan was up to the task.

Brennan said he voted Communist because he was unhappy “with the system” and saw “the need for change”. … The CPUSA at that time was dedicated to gaining support for Soviet foreign policy, with the intent of defeating the United States in the Cold War. …

Yet Brennan “got the job [of CIA director], which makes sense, given the person who chose him”.

Namely, President Obama. He put the US agency whose duty it was to keep Americans safe from its enemies, under the directorship of a man who had voted for the victory of the USSR over the US, and was an admirer of Islam even after 19 Muslim terrorists had killed close on 3,000 people in New York and Washington, D.C., on 9/11/2001.

The signs of where Brennan’s sympathies lay were not hard to read – and they were not the United States:

In 2012, Brennan played a role in fabricating the false narrative that Benghazi was a spontaneous protest of a video.

After Brennan became CIA boss in 2013, he transformed the agency into a partisan propaganda service for [Obama] and his designated successor Hillary Clinton. She was the Secretary of State who dismissed the four American dead in Benghazi with: “What difference, at this point, does it make?” 

Mike Pompeo, by all indications a capable man, understands that the Central Intelligence Agency is the eyes and ears of the United States against all enemies, radical Islamic terrorists prominent among them. The CIA does not exist to function as a private Comintern for any politician.

Stalinist-voting John Brennan, who believes Islam is a “faith of peace and tolerance,” is out but questions remain. 

Brennan’s moles remain in place. As with corrupt Justice Department and IRS officials, they need to be exposed, fired, and prosecuted.

Director Pompeo should also take a hard look at anyone hired on the watch of John Brennan and [Obama]. Neither [of them] was properly vetted, so check out whom they let slip in. …

In the war for the nation’s future, this will be a crucial battle. … The Trump administration … might consider scrapping the CIA and starting afresh with a new agency. As President Trump says, the nation has deep needs in infrastructure.

And today President Trump will … 2

Yesterday, the very day of President Trump’s inauguration, these praiseworthy actions were carried out:

The White House’s page on climate change was taken down.

The sculptured head of Winston Churchill was put back in the Oval Office. Here he is re-instated among happy allies, friends, admirers:

And today – the first full day of his presidency – President Trump will talk to the CIA.

The Express informs us:

The President plans to visit the CIA’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia. The visit may well be a tense one after he criticized the CIA for concluding Russia was involved in hacking email to interfere in the presidential election.

We doubt it will be tense. Donald Trump doesn’t do tense. He deals.

And he keeps his promises:

President Trump appears to have dropped the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the US and the European Union (EU) … During the election campaign Donald Trump said he would bin the beleaguered deal and it appears just hours into his presidency he has kept his promise.

He will, however, meet the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, perhaps “as early as next week”:

Theresa May is expected to meet Mr Trump as soon as possible following his remarks signalling a close relationship between the UK and the US.

Posted under Britain, Europe, United Kingdom, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, January 21, 2017

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The uses of false intelligence 1

The scurrilous “intelligence” dossier on President-elect Donald Trump, claiming that he did disgusting, low, disreputable things on a visit to Russia (which he never made) –  the alleged antics being on film and in the possession of Russian snoop officials, so the Putin government has a hold on him forever (and that’s why Putin wanted Trump to win the election and therefore wrecked poor Hillary’s otherwise perfect campaign) – was concocted by an erstwhile MI6 agent, now having even more fun running his very own espionage company. His name is Christopher Steele.

He has been accused of lying! And he feels so got-at that he’s gone into hiding.

Which is – we are to understand – awfully unfair, because, you see, the information in the dossier never was intended to be TRUE. Good grief! TRUE? When was “intelligence” ever intended or expected to be TRUE?

A corrective to so naive an expectation comes from an article by Tom Burgis in the Financial Times of January 14, 2017. We quote from the print version:

[Intelligence agents] argue that the rush to shoot the messenger [Christopher Steele] represents a misunderstanding of what intelligence is, whether amassed by state agencies or private companies. It does not deal in true or false, they say, but in shades of confidence in sources. “When you are in the corporate intelligence world, everyone knows that, in every report you get, not everything is true,” says a British investigator who knows Mr Steele.

So in every report you get, there are falsehoods. In every report you get, everything may be false, nothing true. There is no way of knowing.

Now you’ve been educated, now you know that trade secret, how do you feel about your country’s intelligence services? Confident in them? Safer?

No intelligence service detected signs that the 9/11 terrorists attacks on New York and the Pentagon were coming. Nor subsequent mass killings by Muslim terrorists in the US, Britain, France, Germany, and Spain.

However, US intelligence has uncovered many violent plots and prevented them. They have found, or stumbled upon, the truth very often. So it is possible for them to find out what is really happening, has really happened, is going to happen. They surely  do strive for accurate information. They are a vital part of the defense of the nation. They cannot take that responsibility as lightly as the colleagues of Christopher Steele insouciantly brag that they do.

The important point about the dossier on Donald Trump in Russia is that it was a work of pure fiction, of cruel malice, of witless irresponsibility. It was extremely unintelligent.

And the chiefs of the US intelligence services knew that it was all those things. Yet they “leaked” the tainting lies to media hostile to the president-elect. That is distressing and horrible to contemplate.  

We expect President Trump’s appointees to the headship of the intelligence services – in which many persons of integrity do labor for the truth –  to be better and to do better.

Posted under Britain, Defense, Ethics, France, Germany, Islam, jihad, Muslims, Russia, Spain, United States by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, January 17, 2017

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Intelligence disservices 1

What disservice have these four men done to the Intelligence Services of the United States – which they have been in charge of under Obama, the Disserver-in-Chief?:

James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, who informed Congress that the Muslim Brotherhood was “largely secular”.

Mike Morell, former Director of the CIAwho helped concoct White House lies to cover-up the horrific treachery that was “Benghazigate”.

John Brennan, Director of the CIA, who defends Islam in this age of a renewed Islamic onslaught on the West

James Comey, Director of the FBI, who protected Hillary Clinton from prosecution for her many serious crimes.

Have they turned the Intelligence Services into the enemies of the new United States administration? A Democratic Senator and a journalist who “held positions as the Germany bureau chief for The Wall Street Journal and Germany correspondent for Time magazine” and is now with the Brookings Institution, claim that that is what has happened.

Cliff Kincaid writes at Canada Free Press:

Echoing New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer’s warning that the intelligence community is out to “get” President-elect Trump, a Brookings Institution expert who served in the Clinton administration says that Trump’s treatment of his spies will “come back to bite him” in the form of “devastating” leaks to the media that will make him look foolish or incompetent.

“Leaking by intelligence officials and analysts is, of course, illegal. The intelligence community doesn’t leak as much as the Pentagon or Congress, but when its reputation is at stake, it can do so to devastating effect,” says Daniel Benjamin of the Brookings Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence. Benjamin previously served as the principal advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on counterterrorism and was embroiled in the controversy over Mrs. Clinton’s failure to stop the massacre of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya.

The Bookings Institution is generously funded by Arab governments.

Benjamin’s article, How Trump’s attacks on the intelligence community will come back to haunt him, did not refute the widely held belief that President Obama’s CIA and its director John Brennan were behind the recent leaks to The Washington Post and New York Times depicting Trump as a Russian puppet. In fact, the implication is that the CIA and the rest of the intelligence community will seek further revenge on Trump if he continues to criticize them.

At his recent news conference, in regard to the leaks about his meetings with intelligence officials, Trump noted that “I think it’s pretty sad when intelligence reports get leaked out to the press. I think it’s pretty sad. First of all, it’s illegal. You know, these are classified and certified meetings and reports.”

But it appears that some intelligence officials believe they are above the law and can use illegal leaks to damage an elected President who has been critical of their work product. In the most recent case, CNN and BuzzFeed were leaked a document offering unsubstantiated claims of Trump being sexually compromised by Russian officials. CNN summarized the document; BuzzFeed published the whole thing.

Trump denounced these leaks, with Director of the Office of National Intelligence James Clapper disclosing that he had called Trump about them and had declared his “profound dismay at the leaks that have been appearing in the press …”. He said that he and Trump “both agreed that they are extremely corrosive and damaging to our national security”.

Trump said Clapper “called me yesterday to denounce the false and fictitious report that was illegally circulated.”

“I do not believe the leaks came from within the IC [Intelligence Community],” Clapper said. However, he did not indicate what investigation, if any, he had conducted to make this determination.

“When something goes wrong — say a military deployment to combat jihadi insurgents in the Middle East blows up in the Trump administration’s face — the press will overflow with stories telling of intelligence reports that were ignored by the White House and briefings the president missed,” Benjamin wrote. Such stories, of course, would be based on illegal leaks.

“Imagine what an aggrieved intel community might do to a genuinely hostile president,” he said. Benjamin’s comments suggest that the intelligence community will use the media to blame Trump for things that go wrong in foreign affairs, in order to protect its own reputation.

It’s reputation? It’s reputation now, thanks to its own leaders, needs improving, not protecting.

The Brookings expert said, “The CIA is usually one of the very first agencies to establish a relationship with new chief executives, because of the briefings it delivers before elections have even occurred and the beguiling prospect it offers of handling missions quietly and efficiently.”

It’s not clear what he means by this. The Obama CIA’s “covert” arms-running program in Syria has backfired in a big way, provoking a Russian military intervention, the loss of up to 500,000 lives, and a refugee crisis which threatens the future of Europe.

Benjamin speculated that Trump will ask the CIA to organize a covert operation to undermine the regime in Iran, a state sponsor of terrorism, and that the agency will offer him options that don’t guarantee success and which he may have to reject. He wrote that “…it is an iron law of bureaucracy that no agency will knock itself out for a leader it deems capricious, especially one who cannot be relied on to defend his own if something goes wrong.”

“The answer from the intel community will never be no,” he said. “Instead, the planners will brief the president on three different approaches. Then they will assess the risk of failure for each at 60-80 percent, providing the Oval Office with a dare it cannot possibly accept. For some, of course, this could turn out to be a silver lining in an otherwise dismal story.”

In short, the CIA will look for excuses not to proceed, and then get back to the business of leaking damaging stories to the press when terrorist incidents and other problems occur.

Is the CIA really the “invisible government” that the so-called “conspiracy theorists” have warned about? Is there a “deep state” that tries to run the government behind-the-scenes? 

Here is the video clip – we view it gain and again for the sheer pleasure of it – in which President-elect Trump treats journalists who try to traduce him with the powerful scorn they deserve:

Hacking: the US does it best 1

How the U.S. Government Hacks the World is the title of an article by Michael Riley published by Bloomberg in May, 2013.

On a dispute over hacking between the U.S. and China, the author writes:

“‘You spy, we spy, but you just steal the wrong stuff.’ That’s a hard conversation,” says Michael Hayden, who headed the NSA [under President Clinton and President G.W Bush], and later the CIA.

States spying on states, I got that,” says Hayden … “But this isn’t that competition. This is a nation-state attempting espionage on private corporations. That is not an even playing field.”

The tension between the two nations escalated in May, when a Pentagon report to Congress for the first time officially linked China’s government directly to the hacking of U.S. defense contractors. It revealed that U.S. intelligence had been tracking a vast hacking bureaucracy adept at stealing technology from American companies. China’s leaders have long denied being behind the hacks. An article about the Pentagon report in the official People’s Daily newspaper called the U.S. the “real hacking empire”. 

The U.S. government doesn’t deny that it engages in cyber espionage.

Hayden is quoted as saying:

You’re not waiting for someone to decide to turn information into electrons and photons and send it. You’re commuting to where the information is stored and extracting the information from the adversaries’ network. We are the best at doing it. Period.”

The U.S. position is that some kinds of hacking are more acceptable than others — and the kind the NSA does is in keeping with unofficial, unspoken rules going back to the Cold War about what secrets are OK for one country to steal from another.  …

Next the writer introduces us to TAO:

The men and women who hack for the NSA belong to a secretive unit known as Tailored Access Operations.

It gathers vast amounts of intelligence on terrorist financial networks, international money-laundering and drug operations, the readiness of foreign militaries, even the internal political squabbles of potential adversaries, according to two former U.S. government security officials, who asked not to be named when discussing foreign intelligence gathering.

For years, the NSA wouldn’t acknowledge TAO’s existence. A Pentagon official who also asked not to be named confirmed that TAO conducts cyber espionage, or what the Department of Defense calls “computer network exploitation”, but emphasized that it doesn’t target technology, trade, or financial secrets. The official says the number of people who work for TAO is classified. …

The two former security officials agreed to describe the operation and its activities without divulging which governments or entities it targets. According to the former officials, U.S. cyberspies, most from military units who’ve received specialized training, sit at consoles running sophisticated hacking software, which funnels information stolen from computers around the world into a “fusion center”, where intelligence analysts try to make sense of it all. The NSA is prohibited by law from spying on people or entities within the U.S., including noncitizens, or on U.S. citizens abroad.

According to one of the former officials, the amount of data the unit harvests from overseas computer networks, or as it travels across the Internet, has grown to an astonishing 2 petabytes an hour—that’s nearly 2.1 million gigabytes, the equivalent of hundreds of millions of pages of text.

The agency has managed to automate much of the process, one of the former officials says, requiring human hackers to intervene only in cases of the most well-protected computers. Just like spies in the physical world, the U.S. cyberspies take pains to obscure their tracks or disguise themselves as something else — hackers from China, say — in case their activities are detected.

Even as the rest of the Pentagon budget shrinks, the importance of the NSA’s hacking operations has helped create a booming cyber-industrial complex. Specialized units of big defense contractors, and boutique firms that create hacking tools, look for security flaws in popular software programs that allow government hackers to take over computers. A company called KEYW does a robust business training hackers for U.S. intelligence, says Chief Executive Officer Leonard Moodispaw, who cautions that he can’t reveal more. “Our federal partners don’t like it if we’re too explicit.”

All this activity gives China leverage against Washington’s complaints, says Steven Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists. Beijing can turn U.S. protests about industrial espionage around and claim that Washington is doing something even worse. “It’s OK to steal plans for a new automobile,” Aftergood says the Chinese can argue, “but not our national secrets.”

Spiegel OnLine reported in October, 2013:

TAO specialists have directly accessed the protected networks of democratically elected leaders of countries. They infiltrated networks of European telecommunications companies and gained access to and read mails sent over Blackberry’s BES email servers, which until then were believed to be securely encrypted. Achieving this last goal required a “sustained TAO operation”, one document states.

This TAO unit is born of the Internet – created in 1997, a time when not even 2 percent of the world’s population had Internet access and no one had yet thought of Facebook, YouTube or Twitter. From the time the first TAO employees moved into offices at NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland, the unit was housed in a separate wing, set apart from the rest of the agency. Their task was clear from the beginning – to work around the clock to find ways to hack into global communications traffic.

To detect Russian hacking into the – easily hacked – DNC communications, TAO hacked into Russian communications.

“You spy, we spy … States spying on states …” 

That’s the norm. And it’s good to know that the U.S. does it best.

Posted under China, Russia, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, January 7, 2017

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Whose CIA? 5

The Democrats who cannot bear to accept the result of the presidential election, and their toady press, are trying to delegitimize the election of Donald Trump by various ineffectual means.

One was declaring that this time, for the first time ever, the number of popular votes for a candidate should decide the winner, not the number of Electoral College votes (and Hillary Clinton, they say, won the popular vote). Won’t work.

Another was to join with a Green candidate who got a few votes in demanding a recount in certain states that they feel deeply should have preferred Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump. Didn’t work.

Next comes their attempt to get a majority of the super-delegates of the Electoral College to vote for Hillary Clinton even though their duty is to vote for Donald Trump. Won’t work.

Another ploy is to imply that the election is of dubious validity because the CIA has concluded that Russia intervened in the 2016 election.

According to the Washington Post of September 5, 2016:  :

A Russian influence operation in the United States “is something we’re looking very closely at”, said one senior intelligence official who, like others interviewed, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter. Officials also are examining potential disruptions to the election process, and the FBI has alerted state and local officials to potential cyberthreats

The way that’s worded, “a Russian influence operation” is an established fact, waiting only to be explored by intelligence officials. To lend the story a gloss of verisimilitude, the cunning writer adds that “the FBI has alerted state and local officials to potential cyberthreats”, which we expect is true because it is only sensible after all.

However –

The official cautioned that the intelligence community is not saying it has “definitive proof” of such tampering, or any Russian plans to do so. “But even the hint of something impacting the security of our election system would be of significant concern,” the official said. “It’s the key to our democracy, that people have confidence in the election system.”

The “hint” coming, of course, only and entirely from them.

The same Washington Post story included this:

The Kremlin’s intent may not be to sway the election in one direction or another, officials said, but to cause chaos and provide propaganda fodder to attack U.S. democracy-building policies around the world, particularly in the countries of the former Soviet Union.

But the paper and its like changed that part of the story.

The Washington Post reported on December 9 – after the election:

The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter.

Intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, according to U.S. officials. Those officials described the individuals as actors known to the intelligence community and part of a wider Russian operation to boost Trump and hurt Clinton’s chances.

Never mind that Julian Assange of Wikileaks has denied that the emails it acquired and released came from Russia.

And no plausible explanation of why Russia would prefer Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton is provided.

Cliff Kincaid comments at GOPUSA:

The line-up of former CIA personnel opposing Trump sounds impressive, except when you consider the fact that the CIA has a habit of getting things wrong. Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a former vice-chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, once declared that “for a quarter century, the CIA has been repeatedly wrong about the major political and economic questions entrusted to its analysis.” Moynihan had introduced a bill to abolish the CIA. The late Lt. Gen. William Odom, then-director of the National Security Agency (NSA), said the CIA should be disbanded.

Trump critic Michael Hayden, who served as director of both the NSA and CIA, was on a list of “former national security officials” from Republican administrations who announced they wouldn’t vote for Trump. …

Under the headline, “CIA Judgment On Russia Built On Swell Of Evidence,” The New York Times reports that “many believe” there is “overwhelming circumstantial evidence” that the Russians tried to help Trump. The paper said “the conclusion that Moscow ran an operation to help install the next president is one of the most consequential analyses by American spy agencies in years.”

These “many’ have come to “believe” it on “a swell of evidence”? What evidence? None – none at all – has been produced.

Such analyses can mean nothing and can, in fact, divert the attention of elected officials from the truth. Trump calls the verdict on alleged Russian involvement in the election “ridiculous”. It would not be the first ridiculous work product from the intelligence community. The CIA failed to predict the Soviet “collapse,” and then mistakenly assumed the collapse was real and not a strategic deception.

It is significant that The Washington Post, owned by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos, broke the story about the CIA allegedly concluding that the Russians had somehow meddled in the U.S. elections by hacking into Democratic Party computers. The CIA has a $600 million contract with Amazon Web Services.

Interestingly, Amazon CEO Bezos plans to attend President-elect Donald Trump’s meeting of tech-industry executives this Wednesday [today] in New York. Perhaps Trump will ask Bezos whether the Post is being manipulated by political partisans in the Intelligence Community.

Trump has tweeted, “Can you imagine if the election results were the opposite and WE tried to play the Russia/CIA card. It would be called conspiracy theory!” Or “fake news”. …

After he takes office, Trump should immediately clean house in the CIA and other intelligence agencies. But it may be the case that the charges being directed against him at the present time are designed to prevent just that. If Trump cleans house, he will be accused in the press of trying to purge intelligence officials with evidence of a Russian plot to elect Trump!

The American people have been saddled with an Intelligence Community that is full of what are called “insider spies”. The situation is so bad that a special paper has been published about a novel new way to deal with traitors. The idea is to provide a “safe refuge” and a secret process of “reconciliation” for them without threatening long prison terms or the death penalty. In this manner, the American people would hear nothing about spies being arrested and the damage they have done.

We know that the media picked sides in the presidential contest. Now we are seeing more evidence of how the CIA picked sides, to the point of engaging in what is an obvious effort to bring down the Trump presidency even before it  begins.

What does Michael Hayden himself – Director of the National Security Agency from 1999 to 2005 and the Central Intelligence Agency from 2006 to 2009 –  say?

He – who announced in advance of the election that he wouldn’t vote for Trump –  writes a Washington Post article headlined, Trump is already antagonizing the intelligence community, and that’s a problem: 

A month ago I wrote here about the importance and challenge of the intelligence community establishing a relationship with President-elect Donald Trump.

That has just gotten more important and more challenging.

In my November op-ed, I asked: “What role will facts and fact-bearers play in the Trump administration? . . . Which of the president-elect’s existing instincts and judgments are open to revision as more data is revealed?”

Instincts open to revision“? And this was a top intelligence official?

I had in mind the president-elect’s confidence in his own a priori beliefs and specifically his rejection of the intelligence community’s judgment that Russia had stolen American emails and weaponized their content to corrode faith in our electoral processes.

The president-elect has been unmoved in his rejection of this high-confidence judgment. In Time magazine’s article last week naming him “Person of the Year,” Trump repeated, “I don’t believe it. I don’t believe they interfered.”

Such obstinacy, to have confidence in his own judgment!

Shortly afterward, The Post reported that CIA analysts now believe the Russian aim was to help Trump win.

Why Russia might do that, might want that, is not explained.

And some might consider that publishing such a “belief” to be an attack on Trump – especially considering that not a trace of evidence has been produced to support any of these alleged CIA analysts’ alleged “beliefs”.  But this luminary of the Intelligence world, Michael Hayden, thinks it is Trump who is going “on the attack”:

Team Trump immediately went into attack mode, employing the bureaucratic equivalent of the ad hominems the president-elect used during the campaign (“Crooked Hillary,” “Lyin’ Ted,” “Little Marco”). “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,” its first salvo described the U.S. intelligence community.

A failed analogy that. A reminder of a  CIA failure is not an “ad hominem” of the sort quoted in brackets.

Then Republican National Committee communications director Sean Spicer alleged on CNN that “there are people within these agencies who are upset with the outcome of the election”.

How could he say such a thing? How could that possibly be true? As if there were Democrats in the CIA who would be upset that their candidate lost and Donald Trump won!

Incompetent. Politicized. No need to discuss any further. Move on.

“Move on”, Mr. Hayden, is a signature motto of the Democratic Party, not of any Republicans.

To be fair, the “Russia did it” announcement in October was official and well documented.

Was it? To be fair, tell us how. Show us the documents.

No need, Mr. Hayden soothes us, because two absolutely dependable human pillars of integrity attest to the veracity of the announcement:

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. attached their reputations to it.

That would be the Jeh Johnson who stated that “ISIS is not Islamic”, and the James Clapper who announced that the Muslim Brotherhood was “largely secular”.

An administration-in-waiting more confident in itself, in its own legitimacy, in U.S. institutions and in the people it will soon govern might have said, “These are serious issues. We intend to hear them out. Nothing is more precious than our democratic process. We have asked the Obama administration for details.”

The fact that that didn’t happen should invite tons of commentary. But not from me.

So, “it needs commentary, but I’m not commenting on it”. There is a Greek word for that rhetorical device: Apophasis. It means that the speaker brings up a subject by saying he will not bring it up.

This article could have been scripted for a villain’s speech in a play!

My narrow concerns as an intelligence officer are the questions raised above. How will this affect the new president’s relationship with the intelligence community?

A lot. And not well.

First is the question of how the incoming administration values intelligence. On Sunday, the president-elect again rejected the Russian role, adding that he was smart enough that he didn’t want or need a daily briefing.

This creates more than hurt feelings. The intelligence community makes great sacrifices, and CIA directors send people into harm’s way to learn things otherwise unavailable. And directors have seen stars carved on the agency’s memorial wall because of it. If what is gained is not used or wanted or is labeled as suspect or corrupt — by what moral authority does a director put his people at risk? …

Now the suppliers of intelligence are victims of callous indifference?

Wasn’t it revealed not so long ago that Centcom (U.S.Central Command] actually served up to President Obama what he wanted to hear about the progress of his tentative little war on ISIS rather than the depressing truth discovered “at great sacrifice”? And that in any case President Obama has skipped more than half his intelligence briefings?

What happens if the incoming administration directs that the “Russia did it” file be closed?

There’s a file? With documents in it? That prove the case? And it is still open?

Would standing intelligence requirements to learn more about this be eliminated? And if they were, what would the agency do with relevant data that would inevitably come through its collection network?

And what about the statute that requires the CIA and the rest of the intelligence community to keep Congress “fully and currently informed” about all significant intelligence activities? Data on a foreign power manipulating the federal electoral process would certainly qualify. What will the White House position be when the agency is asked by Congress if it has learned anything more on the issue?

More immediately, what will CIA Director-designate Mike Pompeo say during his confirmation hearings about this? He is not yet director, so he can fairly deflect any questions on the substance of this debate, for now. But every TV set at Langley will be turned on during his confirmation hearings, and his most important audience will not be the senators on the dais. His future workforce will be looking for clues about his willingness to defend them against charges of incompetence and politicization simply for saying what their craft tells them to be true. …

And, finally, how does the intelligence community break through and explain itself to the incoming team?

Don’t worry about that, Mr. Hayden. We are confident that Mr. Pompeo will manage it perfectly well.

The word of the CIA 1

The CIA has concluded in a secret [!?] assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter.

(Words taken from the Washington Post whose report is to be found here.)

Donald Trump dismissed CIA claims that Russian hacks on Democratic emails were intended to help him win the presidency as “ridiculous”. He told Fox News Sunday that it was “another excuse” for Democrats and said he believed that rival politicians had spread the news. He’s not the only one with doubts – in a secret Capitol meeting last week, a senior FBI official refused to back the CIA’s claim. Russia has been named as the culprit in a number of hacks during the election that saw Democratic emails being leaked. But the FBI says there isn’t enough evidence to confirm Russia was pro-Trump, rather than just causing interference with the election.

(Words taken from the Daily Mail whose report is to be found here.)

The Obama man heading the CIA is John Brennan.

That great resource, Discover the Networks, reveals the following (inter alia) about John Brennan:

In September 2012, Brennan was involved in crafting the false talking points that then-Secretary of State Susan Rice gave regarding the 9/11/12 terrorist attack against a U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. Specifically, Rice claimed that according to the “best information at present”. the deadly attack was not premeditated, but rather, a “spontaneous reaction” to “a hateful and offensive video that was widely disseminated throughout the Arab and Muslim world.”

On January 7, 2013, President Obama nominated Brennan for the position of CIA director. …

At a May 21, 2013 CIA ceremony honoring the Agency officials killed in the September 11, 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, several CIA officers who had survived those attacks were asked to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) — despite the fact that they were: (a) leaving government service, and (b) still bound by previous NDAs which they had signed. Both before and after the May 21st NDAs, intelligence officials adamantly denied that anyone affiliated with the CIA had been asked to sign nondisclosure agreements regarding the events in Benghazi.

Perhaps the most notable of those denials came in a September 3, 2013 letter from CIA director Brennan to House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence chairman Mike Rogers, in which Brennan responded to several specific questions that Rogers had previously posed (in a letter dated August 2, 2013) regarding whether or not the CIA officers who survived the Benghazi attacks were subsequently subjected to polygraphs or required to sign NDAs. Posing and answering several questions as a means of responding to Rogers’ queries, Brennan wrote:

Has any officer, either staff of contractor, been forced to undergo any polygraph because of their presence or their participation in any activity related to Benghazi attacks? Response: No.

Has any officer, either staff of contractor, been required to sign any non-disclosure agreement because of their presence at Benghazi or their participation in any activity related to the Benghazi attacks? Response: No.

According to sources familiar with the NDAs that were presented to the Benghazi survivors at the May 21, 2013 memorial service, the documents did not specifically mention the Benghazi attacks and thus were technically consistent with Brennan’s letter. But as a Weekly Standard analysis notes:

That’s a generous interpretation. The new NDAs were presented to Benghazi survivors after they had flown in from around the country (or world) to attend a CIA memorial for the Benghazi fallen at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia — where the attacks in Benghazi were the focus of the day. It’s hardly a leap to imagine that these NDAs, perhaps not even necessary, were intended to remind CIA officials a little more than six months removed from their service in Benghazi that the U.S. government would prefer that they not discuss what happened there.

In March 2014, Senator Dianne Feinstein — the head of a Senate Intelligence Committee that was involved in a multi-year probe (begun in 2009) of the CIA’s use of harsh interrogation measures on suspected terrorists during the Bush Administration — went to the Senate floor and angrily accused Brennan’s CIA of having hacked into the computers of her Committee staffers. In response, Brennan expressed dismay that “some members of the Senate” were making “spurious allegations about CIA actions that are wholly unsupported by the facts”. Moreover, he demanded an end to “outbursts that do a disservice to the important relationship that needs to be maintained between intelligence officials and Congressional overseers”. And he told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell:

As far as the allegations of the CIA hacking into Senate computers, nothing could be further from the truth. We wouldn’t do that. I mean, that’s just beyond the, you know, the scope of reason in terms of what we do.” Brennan likewise told the media that “a lot of people who are claiming that there has been this tremendous sort of spying and monitoring and hacking will be proved wrong.

But according to the findings of a CIA inspector general’s report released on July 31, 2014, it was actually Brennan who was proved wrong. The report indicated that five CIA employees — two attorneys and three computer specialists — indeed had surreptitiously and unlawfully searched files and emails on the computers of the aforementioned Senate investigators. In response to the report, Brennan apologized to Senate Intelligence Committee leaders.

Committee members were infuriated, however. Senator Mark Udall (D-Colorado), for example, called for Brennan’s resignation, citing “the unprecedented hacking of congressional staff computers”, damaging leaks about the Committee’s investigations, and Brennan’s “abject failure to acknowledge any wrongdoing by the agency”.

By contrast, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said that President Obama continued to support Brennan and had “not at all” lost faith in the CIA leader’s credibility. …

In a May 2012 teleconference, Brennan revealed some highly sensitive information that, in turn, was relayed to the press by one of the other parties to the call — Richard Clarke, former chief of counter-terrorism in the Clinton White House. This highly serious intelligence leak blew the cover of secrecy off of an active counterterrorism operation in which the British and Saudi intelligence agencies had successfully placed an operative deep inside al Qaeda’s organization in the Arabian Peninsula. Consequently, the initiative had to be terminated immediately, enraging America’s foreign intelligence allies.

… CNN reporter Tal Kopan found a striking admission from CIA Director John Brennan. When he first applied to join the CIA, and received his polygraph test, he was asked this standard question:

Have you ever worked with or for a group that was dedicated to overthrowing the US?

Remarking on this last week during a panel discussion at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s annual conference, Brennan said: “I froze…. This was back in 1980, and I thought back to a previous election where I voted, and I voted for the Communist Party candidate.” Brennan was responding to a question about barriers to recruiting diverse candidates for the intelligence agencies, including whether past records of activism could hurt someone applying for a clearance later in life.

Brennan called his support of the Communist Party a mere “indiscretion”, and reminded his audience that the Constitution grants free speech. He then remembered that he said to himself he could either lie and the polygraph machine would “go wacko” or tell the truth and face the consequences, including possibly being rejected for employment. He told the audience he voted for Gus Hall because while in college he was unhappy “with the system” and saw the “need for change”.

It is relevant to mention that John Brennan probably converted to Islam. (He has not confirmed this.) He is certainly highly protective of Islam.

In a March 2015 speech at the Council on Foreign Relations, Brennan refused to refer to the Islamic State (ISIS, a.k.a. ISIL) terror group as an “Islamic” entity. Said the CIA director: “Quite frankly I am amused at the debate that goes on [that] unless you call it what it is [Islamic terrorism], you don’t know what you’re fighting. And let’s make it very clear that the people who carry out acts of terrorism, whether it be Al Qaeda or the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant [ISIS], are doing it because they believe it is consistent with what their view of Islam is. It is totally inconsistent with what the overwhelming majority of Muslims throughout the world [believe]. And so by ascribing it as a Muslim terrorism or Islamic extremism — I think it does really give them the type of Islamic legitimacy that they are so desperately seeking, but which they don’t deserve at all. They are terrorists, they’re criminals. Many of them are psychopathic thugs, murderers, who use a religious concept and masquerade, mask themselves, in that religious construct. And I do think it does injustice to the tenets of religion when we attach a religious moniker to [ISIS]. The Muslims I know … The people I’ve worked with throughout the Middle East most of my career find just disgraceful that these individuals present themselves as Muslims.”

Considering all this, we would concede that John Brennan’s trustworthiness may be a little higher than Hillary Clinton’s.

And the reliability of reports that come out of John Brennan’s CIA may sometimes rise to the level of Susan Rice’s statements about the Benghazi attack.

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