You’d have to be living in a cave not to know that President Trump has called out the activities of Obama’s “shadow government” on Twitter. The reaction of the mainstream media has been predictable and totally laughable.
President Trump tweeted that he recently found out that Obama had “wiretapped” him during his campaign for the presidency. The mainstream media, writing in lockstep, as usual, complained that President Trump made this allegation but provided “no evidence.” How insanely ironic can they be?
These are the very people who have spent the past few months accusing President Trump, in as many ways as possible, of colluding with the Russians, before, during, and after the election.
To date, the mainstream media–having run thousands if not tens of thousands of stories smearing President Trump by accusing him, in so many words, of criminal if not treasonous conspiracy–have provided no evidence whatsoever of their allegations. All they do is cite anonymous “former” or “current” officials in the “intelligence community,” the White House, or the government. Sometimes it’s just someone in a “position to know.” Anonymous second-hand gossip is in no way “evidence,” but that doesn’t stop the mendacious media.
Why do these so-called journalists demand evidence from President Trump that goes above and beyond what they themselves consider to be sufficient to allow them to cast outrageous accusations at him?
Why is there a different standard for, in effect, smearing the reputation of a former president versus the current president?
President Trump, no doubt, relies upon “evidence” from stories written by their own colleagues. For example, there’s this, from the New York Times:
F.B.I. officials spent weeks examining computer data showing an odd stream of activity to a Trump Organization server and Alfa Bank. Computer logs obtained by The New York Times show that two servers at Alfa Bank sent more than 2,700 “look-up” messages — a first step for one system’s computers to talk to another — to a Trump-connected server beginning in the spring. [emphasis added to quotes]
How did the NY Times get those computer logs? I digress …
Ok. Technically, computer data isn’t a wire tap. Is it? We know how the media love to parse and lie by distorting the meaning of ordinary words and phrases in order to give a false impression.
From the Wall Street Journal:
U.S. investigators have examined contacts Attorney General Jeff Sessions had with Russian officials during the time he was advising Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, according to people familiar with the matter. …
The contacts were being examined as part of a wide-ranging U.S. counterintelligence investigation into possible communications between members of Mr. Trump’s campaign team and Russian operatives, they said.
The story goes on to talk about examination of Sessions’s “conversations,” with Russians (when he was a senator). Is that a wiretap, technically? How else does the FBI examine the senator’s “conversations” and “communications?” While this isn’t wiretapping Trump himself, it certainly is wiretapping Trump’s campaign, since the FBI apparently considered Sessions to be part of Trump’s campaign. Very Nixonian.
What needs clarification is whether the FBI also examined, in the course of this so-called investigation, any conversations between Sessions and Trump. Did they use a FISA warrant? If so, does that then allow them to examine all the conversations the target (in this case Sessions) has with anyone else, whether in this country or outside of it?
Here’s an interesting article about the issue, which cites experts by name, not anonymous “current and former officials.” Of course, opinions aren’t evidence, but expert opinions do carry weight in courts of law:
Some government ethics experts contend the recusal [of Attorney General Sessions from certain investigations] wasn’t necessary—at least not from a probe of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
He should only recuse himself from an illegal leak investigation that he was a victim of, said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, a conservative government watchdog group. …
Obama gang out of control wiretapping and “investigating” its political enemies in Trump world. …
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) March 2, 2017
… “The real Russian scandal is that President Barack Obama’s team used the pretext of Russian interference in the election to justify wiretaps and illegal leaks of the Trump team, including a U.S. senator, now attorney general,” Fitton added. “The Russians’ interference in the elections is chasing unicorns, with these smoky allegations of collusion between the campaign and the Russian operatives, without evidence.”
Then there’s this article, at National Review:
The idea that FISA could be used against political enemies always seemed far-fetched. Now it might not be.
Remember the great debate over “the Wall” following the 9/11 attacks? “The Wall” was a set of internal guidelines that had been issued by the Clinton Justice Department in the mid 1990s. In a nutshell, the Wall made it legally difficult and practically impossible for agents in the FBI’s Foreign Counter-Intelligence Division (essentially, our domestic-security service, now known as the National Security Division) to share intelligence with the criminal-investigation side of the FBI’s house. …
The theory of the Clinton DOJ brass in imposing the Wall was the potential that a rogue criminal investigator, lacking sufficient evidence to obtain a traditional wiretap, would manufacture a national-security angle in order to get a wiretap under the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). …
[F]rom the Guardian, Heat Street, and the New York Times, it appears the FBI had concerns about a private server in Trump Tower that was connected to one or two Russian banks. Heat Street describes these concerns as centering on “possible financial and banking offenses.” I italicize the word “offenses” because it denotes crimes. Ordinarily, when crimes are suspected, there is a criminal investigation, not a national-security investigation. According to the New York Times (based on FBI sources), the FBI initially determined that the Trump Tower server did not have “any nefarious purpose.” But then, Heat Street says, “the FBI’s counter-intelligence arm, sources say, re-drew an earlier FISA court request around possible financial and banking offenses related to the server.” …
Sounds as if someone trumped up a bogus reason to investigate the opposing campaign, under the guise of a “national security investigation.”
Absolute power corrupts absolutely.
The first [FISA] request, which, sources say, named Trump, was denied back in June, [obviously the Obama administration tried to “wiretap” Trump, but were stymied, at first] but the second was drawn more narrowly and was granted in October after evidence was presented of a server, possibly related to the Trump campaign, and its alleged links to two banks; [sic] SVB Bank and Russia’s Alfa Bank. While the Times story speaks of metadata, sources suggest that a FISA warrant was granted to look at the full content of emails and other related documents that may concern US persons.
Can one call examining emails a “wire tap?” I’d say so.
We also know, from numerous reports, that the government was also listening in on General Michael Flynn’s conversations. Since Flynn was also part of President Trump’s campaign, then obviously Obama’s administration was investigating Trump’s campaign! WHY? How Nixonian. From the article:
We know that from the Times report — a report that suggests an unseemly conjoining of investigative power to partisan politics. The report informs us that as the FBI set its sights on Flynn, its agents were consulting with “Obama advisers.” Interesting, no? …
As the Times puts it: Obama officials asked the FBI if a quid pro quo had been discussed on the call, [a wiretap] and the answer came back no, according to one of the officials, who like others asked not to be named discussing delicate communications. The topic of sanctions came up, they were told, but there was no deal. …
Asked not to be named discussing delicate communications. That’s a good one. Let me translate: The officials don’t want you to know who they are because they are corrupt — (a) FISA intercepts are classified, so disclosing them to the press is a crime; (b) by revealing the Flynn–Kislyak conversation to the press, the “officials” inform the Russians that whatever countermeasures they are taking against U.S. surveillance have failed, assuring that the Russians will alter their tactics, making the job of our honorable intelligence agents more difficult; and (c) the FBI’s investigative powers are not supposed to be put in in the service of a political party’s effort to advance a partisan storyline, like “Putin hacked the election.” …
What’s even more outrageous is that the “evidence” that the mainstream media uses to allege these outrageous things against President Trump and his supporters and members of his administration, current and former, is a “dossier,” full of falsehoods, compiled as opposition research by Trump’s political opponents in the Republican Party as well as the Clinton campaign! Is this the same “evidence” presented to the FISA court as a pretense to begin a “national security investigation” against President Trump and his advisors?
If information allegedly obtained from anonymous “current and former officials” is considered valid enough “evidence” with which to smear a new president, then can’t the President defend himself by using, for example, the opinion of a well-respected senator?
Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch told reporters Thursday he is concerned by the extent of surveillance President Barack Obama’s administration conducted on President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and transition team. …
The senator was speaking in the context of news reports that Attorney General Jeff Session, a close adviser to the Trump campaign, met with the Russian ambassador twice during the 2016 election cycle and the New York Times report that Obama administration officials ran an intense information campaign against Trump and his team in the months before the New York City developer entered the White House.
This was also two weeks after the release in the media of transcripts from Obama’s Justice Department wiretaps of retired Army Lt.Gen. Michael Flynn forced his resignation as National Security Adviser.
Hatch said he was not completely surprised by Obama’s use of official apparatus to track political opponents.
“I suspected that they were going to do that anyways,” he said.
The senator also said that he suspects information gathered by the Obama administration’s surveillance of the Trump camp made its way to Obama’s anointed heir Hillary Clinton and her presidential campaign.
The senator is not alone in his suspicions, it’s safe to say.
Russian Ambassador Kislyak is presumably the “foreign agent” who provided the hook upon which to hang this “counterintelligence investigation,” given that Kislyak’s contacts with members of the Trump campaign and later Trump’s transition team were being closely followed.
Isn’t it curious, then, that Ambassador Kislyak, such an amiable guy, sat in the audience with the Democrats during President Trump’s recent address to Congress? Even more curious were Ambassador Kislyak’s 22 meetings in the White House, when Obama was still president. Were these meetings recorded? Were they surveilled by the FBI or the NSA? Oh, to be a fly on the wall.
These are facts. Not suppositions or information from alleged anonymous sources. Facts. Kislyak did sit with the Democrats. Kislyak did meet in the White House with Obama’s administration 22 times. In addition, Democrat senators are on record stating that they never met Kislyak, but they changed their tunes when confronted with FACTS (evidence, such as photographs or their own tweets).
Why were they deceptive? What did these senators have to hide? Why lie about knowing the man or meeting with him? What are they up to with the Russians?
If Kislyak sat with Republicans at a speech, or met 22 times with President Trump’s administration, or if two Republican senators falsely denied ever meeting with him, what type of conspiracy theory might the mainstream media create out of those bare facts?
In the Obama administration’s last days, some White House officials scrambled to spread information about Russian efforts to undermine the presidential election — and about possible contacts between associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump and Russians — across the government. …
American allies, including the British and the Dutch, had provided information describing meetings in European cities between Russian officials — and others close to Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin — and associates of President-elect Trump, according to three former American officials who requested anonymity in discussing classified intelligence. …
Former senior Obama administration officials said that none of the efforts were directed by Mr. Obama. [Of course not. Just his minions.] …
As Inauguration Day approached, Obama White House officials grew convinced that the intelligence was damning and that they needed to ensure that as many people as possible inside government could see it, even if people without security clearances could not. …
At intelligence agencies, there was a push to process as much raw intelligence as possible into analyses, and to keep the reports at a relatively low classification level to ensure as wide a readership as possible across the government — and, in some cases, among European allies. …
There was also an effort to pass reports and other sensitive materials to Congress. …
In early December, Mr. Obama ordered the intelligence community to conduct a full assessment of the Russian campaign.
In the weeks before the assessment was released in January, the intelligence community combed through databases for an array of communications and other information — some of which was months old by then — and began producing reports that showed there were contacts during the campaign between Trump associates and Russian officials.
The nature of the contacts remains unknown. Several of Mr. Trump’s associates have done business in Russia, and it is unclear if any of the contacts were related to business dealings.
Now consider this:
First, as the New York Times reported earlier this week, in its final days, the Obama Administration expanded the power of the National Security Agency (NSA) to share globally intercepted personal communication with the government’s 16 other intelligence agencies before applying any privacy protections. The new rules were issued under section 2.3 of Executive Order 12333 after approval by two Obama Administration officials: Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Director of National Intelligence Director, James Clapper.
Second, the new rules, which were issued in an unclassified document, entitled Procedures for the Availability or Dissemination of Raw Signals Intelligence Information by the National Security Agency (NSA), significantly relaxed longstanding limits on what the NSA may do with the information gathered by its most powerful surveillance operations. These operations are largely unregulated by American wiretapping laws. Surveillances include collecting satellite transmissions, phone calls, and emails that cross network switches abroad, and messages between people abroad that cross domestic network switches.
The changes initiated by the Obama Administration in its waning days empowered far more agents and officials to search through raw intelligence data. As a direct consequence of the change in policy, it appears that the prospect of intel leaks grew exponentially. …
Under the new rules, agencies and individuals can ask the NSA for access to specific surveillance feeds premised on the claim that they contain relevant information that is useful to a particular mission. Then the NSA has the discretion to grant such requests if it deems the request reasonable. Properly understood, the contents of the conversations engaged in by members of the Trump Administration and by President Trump himself are now under an increasing risk that they will be exposed to the public for purposes of embarrassing the Trump Administration and in order to impede the effectiveness of his policies.
From the above excerpts we can make a few deductions and ask some questions:
Were our allies induced to help in what may be a plot to undermine the future Trump presidency? In other words, were foreign governments and agents conscripted into a “shadow government”, into a plot allegedly designed to subvert and overthrow the legitimately elected government of the United States?
Was intelligence information distributed across the government, to as many people as possible, in order to ensure that
(1) partisans within the government could leak the information to the media in a way most damaging to President Trump’s administration;
(2) partisans in Congress could use the leaks and the specious allegations based upon them in whatever way was most damaging to President Trump, perhaps in the hope that he could be driven from office by these falsehoods or that, at the very least, he could be damaged enough so that he could not govern and would not be reelected; and
(3) the leakers could not be identified because now there were so many potential leakers? Under the system before Obama changed it at the last moment, very few people had access to this type of raw intelligence, by design, to protect the Constitutional rights of innocent U.S. citizens (like Sessions and Flynn). Prior to the change, the very few individuals authorized to see the raw data (e.g., Lynch, Clapper, Obama himself) would be easily identified as the culprits, should the type of leaks about Flynn and Sessions have happened without that so convenient last-minute change.
If Congress is doing its job, if the FBI is doing its job, if the Trump administration ever becomes complete and is able to do its job, soon enough the mainstream media will get their “evidence.” Unfortunately, they won’t like it when they see it.
We the People are not stupid. It takes but a little time to build a timeline to see how all of this activity in the waning days of the Obama administration was designed to undermine the presidency of Donald J. Trump. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that there’s something passing strange in the fact that Valerie Jarrett moved in with the Obamas, who refused to leave Washington DC, as by tradition other former presidents have done.
Now we come to it: Will the shadow government prevail or will the Republic built by our Founders endure?
Our future as a nation depends upon the answer to that question. Pray for our country and pray for President Donald J. Trump.