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.
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.
Our anti-Trump media accepted the January 6 report, Declassified Intelligence Community Assessment of Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections, because it was designed to convey the impression that Trump was favored by the Russians.
But it is the Democrats who have long enjoyed (if that is the right word) a warm relationship with Russian regimes in both their Soviet Socialist and crony-capitalist mode. At least the Dems wanted to. Whether the Russians ever reciprocated the warm feeling remains a matter of conjecture. Skeptics and Republicans will have one opinion, Democrats and other Leftists another.
We quote from an article by Cliff Kincaid at GOPUSA:
The Russians obtained favored nation trading status under President Obama, giving them access to U.S. capital, and New START, a nuclear weapons agreement giving Moscow a strategic advantage.
Historically, the Russians have always found the Democrats to be friendlier to their global ambitions.
Professor Paul Kengor broke a story on how “the liberals’ lover-boy”, Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA), had “reached out to Victor Chebrikov at the KGB and Yuri Andropov at the Kremlin” to work against President Ronald Reagan.
Remember that, you who are outraged by the notion – born in your own minds – that President-elect Trump conspired with the Russians to defeat Hillary Clinton in the recent election.
Such a charge [of Trump-Putin conspiracy] was welcomed by the liberal media, in particular because it allowed them to divert attention away from the substance of the WikiLeaks revelations that showed how major journalists worked hand-in-glove with Hillary Clinton-for-president staffers. These disclosures were in emails hacked from the account of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and the Democratic National Committee.
Not even the persons most eager to smear Donald Trump claimed that the scandalous contents of the purloined emails (see here and here) were not true or not genuine. In fact the intelligence report positively states that they are true.
The IC report says that WikiLeaks, an alleged Russian agent, disseminated truthful information. “Disclosures through WikiLeaks did not contain any evident forgeries,” the report says.
This is quite a turnaround for the Russians. In the past the Russians would alter or forge documents to make people look bad. This time, the Russians revealed the truth. … Of course, the Russians do not provide accurate and truthful information to their own people and they conduct propaganda and disinformation campaigns targeting foreign audiences. Their alleged illegal hacking into the private accounts of Americans cannot be justified. But Podesta and other Democrats can be criticized for failing to safeguard their own information and virtually inviting foreign hacking.
Russian intentions in allegedly providing the emails to WikiLeaks are a subject worthy of attention. But the conclusion that the Russians favored Trump over Clinton cannot be sustained by the evidence in the report. The IC report fails miserably in articulating how the Russians use dialectical maneuvers in playing both sides of the political street in the U.S.
One of the glaring omissions in the report on Russian interference in “recent elections” is the failure to address the evidence that RT [Russia Today] television was giving enormously favorable coverage in the 2012 presidential campaign to then-Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), a libertarian with pro-Russia views on foreign policy. He ran in the Republican presidential primary. …
Of course, Obama won that election, after dismissing his Republican opponent Mitt Romney’s claim that Russia was a geopolitical threat to the United States. Obama had been caught on an open mic before the election promising to be “flexible” in changing his positions to benefit Russia. These comments provide more evidence that Obama was never the anti-Russian figure he postured as in the final days of his second term. …
Obama’s various federal agencies, including the Department of Justice, the FCC and the FEC, refused to take any direct action against RT over the years when it was engaging in anti-Republican activities and supporting the progressive movement.
But when they saw they could use RT as a weapon against Trump, they suddenly became concerned about foreign interference in the U.S. political process.
Although the IC report insists that the Russians had a “preference” for Donald J. Trump for president … back in August of 2015 … RT was backing “Bolshevik Bernie” Sanders for president. … Yet the intelligence community report makes no mention of RT programs backing Sanders, whose Russian connections included visiting the Soviet Union on his honeymoon. Sanders was a fellow traveler of the Moscow-controlled U.S. Peace Council.
The focus on Trump runs counter to the stated purpose of the report and reflects the political bias therein. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) says that “On December 9, 2016, President Barack Obama directed the Intelligence Community to conduct a full review and produce a comprehensive intelligence report assessing Russian activities and intentions in recent U.S. elections.” (emphasis added). Yet, nothing is said about RT’s involvement in the 2012 contest that Obama won.
The U.S. Intelligence Community is described as “a coalition of 17 agencies and organizations, including the ODNI,” but only three were involved in the report. They were the CIA, FBI and NSA. It is generally believed that CIA Director John Brennan was the guiding force behind the Obama administration effort to blame the Russians for Trump’s election victory. Former CIA officials Michael Morell, Michael Hayden and Philip Mudd had all denounced Trump. …
It certainly looks as if the CIA interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Perhaps blaming the Russians was an attempt to get the attention off the agency.
Brennan was accused of converting to Islam when he was stationed in Saudi Arabia. His CIA under Obama’s orders directed the shipment of arms to jihadist groups in the Middle East. At a congressional panel on diversity in hiring, he admitted voting Communist when he was in college.
His focus at the agency has been on hiring people with “diverse” backgrounds, such as transgenders, and he even signed a policy document on a “Diversity and Inclusion Strategy” for the years 2016 to 2019, beyond his tenure as director.
Rather than go down in history with a reputation for defending America, … Brennan “would prefer his legacy be the way he fought to nurture a workforce that reflected America’s diversity”. The Journal added, “During his tenure he has put particular emphasis on promoting the interests of gay, lesbian, and transgender officers. He was the first CIA director to attend an annual social gathering of LGBTQ employees and has been known to wear a rainbow lanyard around the office as a symbol of solidarity.”
It looks like the focus on “diversity” in hiring has taken precedence over getting the facts right about foreign threats. Indeed, some observers, such as former FBI agent John Guandolo, have suggested that President Trump should abolish and replace the CIA with a new organization. “In 15 years they haven’t gotten a strategic analysis of the threat right — yet” …
The CIA will have to answer to its new director, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), Trump’s pick to run the agency.
But the media have a lot to answer for as well.
If WikiLeaks has suddenly became a Russian front or conduit, why are American news organizations such as The New York Times and The Washington Post still included among the “partners” with WikiLeaks in distributing its information? Other partners include the British Guardian, The Intercept, The Nation, McClatchy, The Wall Street Journal, and, of course, RT.
If WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is a Russian agent, why did major U.S. media organizations partner with him? Why did they not investigate him …? Assange was considered a courageous whistleblower by the liberal press. They hailed WikiLeaks for releasing the classified documents that were stolen by Army intelligence analyst Bradley/Chelsea Manning, whose sentence for espionage has been shortened by Obama.
Obama has commuted Bradley’s 35 year sentence, allowing the convict to be freed in May 2017 – iniquitously, and in contradiction to his outrage at the Russian interference that he alleges.
In addition to these issues and questions, some parts of the report lend themselves to a far different interpretation of Russian motives in U.S. politics.
For example, the IC report notes that RT ran a story against fracking, a technique that has sparked U.S. oil and gas production. The report says, “RT runs anti-fracking programming, highlighting environmental issues and the impacts on public health. This is likely reflective of the Russian Government’s concern about the impact of fracking and US natural gas production on the global energy market and the potential challenges to Gazprom’s profitability.”
The 2016 Democratic Party platform is highly critical of fracking. So does this mean the Democrats are doing the bidding of Putin? The progressive movement is almost completely against fracking. Does that mean that the progressives are puppets of Putin? …
By [an] objective measure of actual policies,Trump will prove to be more harmful to Russia than Hillary Clinton could ever hope to be. …
And she surely would not have hoped to be harmful to Russia – not to Russia – when she was still in a position to hope for any effect on international relations. Fortunately, that time has passed.
We had noted RT’s favorable coverage of the Occupy movement. Of course, Occupy Wall Street was a left-wing political movement aligned with the progressives and even encouraged by President Obama. So does this mean that Obama was doing the bidding of the Russians?
The IC report explains how RT bypassed American laws such as the Foreign Agents Registration Act “by using a Moscow-based autonomous nonprofit organization to finance its US operations”. The report goes on, “According to RT’s leadership, this structure was set up to avoid the Foreign Agents Registration Act and to facilitate licensing abroad. In addition, RT rebranded itself in 2008 to deemphasize its Russian origin.” Still, the financing for the channel comes from the Russian government, the report says.
So RT is, and has been, a foreign state-funded entity that should be subject to federal oversight from agencies such as the Department of Justice, the FCC, and the FEC. Yet, only now, after Hillary Clinton has lost the presidential election, has the IC been ordered to release a public report on what the Russian channel has been doing in U.S. elections.
The only thing that has changed over the years is that RT is now somehow considered to be a factor in Hillary Clinton’s defeat. …
If the liberal media are now truly concerned about Russian influence in the U.S. political process, rather than just using the issue as a weapon against Trump, they should … review their own “partner” relationship with Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.
After this review is complete, they should take another look at the IC report and determine why and how agencies like the CIA became adjuncts of the Democratic Party with a partisan bias against the new Republican president.
Since we know that the media and the Democrats work hand-in-glove, perhaps it’s time to investigate the CIA’s relationship with the media.
Yes. Tomorrow, January 20, 2017, will be the day when that becomes possible, and sometime soon may it become an active process!
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.
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.
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.