Unprecedented Collection and Dissemination of Communications against United States Persons by their Own Government

This is the legacy of the previous mal-Administration.

Did Barack Obama try to hack the election?

The Obama administration’s illegal spying may have been worse than Watergate.

By Glenn Reynolds, USA Today

In 1972, some employees of President Nixon’s re-election committee were caught when they broke into the Democratic National Committee headquarters to plant a bug. This led to Nixon’s resignation and probably would have led to his felony prosecution had he not been pardoned by his successor, Gerald Ford.

But if a single bugging of the political opposition is enough to bring down a presidency — and maybe lead to an unprecedented criminal prosecution of a former president — then what are we to make of the recently unveiled Obama administration program of massively spying on political opponents in violation of clearly established law?

Because that’s what was unveiled last week.

Indeed. This makes Watergate appear trivial.

When the FBI wants to wiretap a domestic suspect, it goes to court for a warrant. But when listening in on foreigners, the National Security Agency hoovers up a vast amount of stuff in bulk: Conversations between foreigners, conversations between Americans and foreigners, conversations between Americans who mention foreigners, and sometimes just plain old conversations between Americans.

There are supposed to be strict safeguards on who can access the information, on how it can be used and on protecting American citizens’ privacy — because the NSA is forbidden by law from engaging in domestic spying. These safeguards were ignored wholesale under the Obama administration, and to many Republicans, it is no coincidence that intelligence leaks damaged Democrats’ political opponents in the 2016 election.

A report from journalists John Solomon and Sara Carter last week, based on recently declassified documents, exposed what went on. As Solomon and Carter write:

More than 5%, or one out of every 20, searches seeking upstream Internet data on Americans inside the NSA’s so-called Section 702 database violated the safeguards President Obama and his intelligence chiefs vowed to follow in 2011, according to one classified internal report reviewed by Circa. …

The normally supportive court censured administration officials, saying that the failure to disclose the extent of the violations earlier amounted to an “institutional lack of candor,” and that the improper searches constituted a “very serious Fourth Amendment issue,” according to a recently unsealed court document dated April 26.

The admitted violations undercut one of the primary defenses that the intelligence community and Obama officials have used in recent weeks to justify their snooping into incidental NSA intercepts about Americans. … The American Civil Liberties Union said the newly disclosed violations are some of the most serious to ever be documented and strongly call into question the U.S. intelligence community’s ability to police itself and safeguard Americans’ privacy as guaranteed by the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protections against unlawful search and seizure.

As former anti-terrorism prosecutor and national security expert Andrew McCarthy writes in National Review, this is a very serious abuse. And potentially a crime. If such material were leaked to the press for political advantage, that’s another crime.

McCarthy observes: “Enabling of domestic spying, contemptuous disregard of court-ordered minimization procedures (procedures the Obama administration itself proposed, then violated), and unlawful disclosure of classified intelligence to feed a media campaign against political adversaries. Quite the Obama legacy.”

James Rosen: Comey’s FBI Broke Its Own Rules & Procedures On Spying On Americans

By Tim Haines, RealClearPolitics

House Republicans call for answers; Fox News chief Washington correspondent James Rosen reports from Washington:

JAMES ROSEN: [House Democratic Leader] Pelosi confessed ignorance of this week’s disclosure that the National Security Agency for at least five years under the Obama administration systematically violated Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights…

Civil liberties groups said the disclosures should factor into lawmakers’ decision at year’s end about whether to reauthorize the NSA collection program that witnessed the abuses…

The sheer scale of the 4th Amendment violations is staggering, as was the sternness of the rebuke of the Obama administration by the FISA court, which ordinarily approves 99.9% of the government’s request.

As of a few minutes ago, this story had not been covered by the Washington Post, the New York Times or any of the three broadcast networks.

Prosecution to the full extent of the law with each inappropriately revealed communication a seperate count. Upon conviction, punishment to the full extent of the law.

Hat Tip for the Rosen article to Warner Todd Houston on Google Plus.

From The That Never Happens Files
Weekend Caption Contest™ Winners Week of May 26, 2017
  • Patrick_McHargue

    But… But.. They’re Democrats! Always against monitoring by the state. Defender of (interference) free elections! Right? /sarc

  • WHO’S THE BUSTER

    It might be important to mention that this is not USA Today reporting, but instead an opinion piece. But hey, you will love his next column, which is entitled, “Why the President Needs to be White, Male and Republican.” By the way, I am not kidding, that is the heading of his next piece.

  • Retired military
  • Retired military
    • Brett Buck

      Unfortunately (not because I am a big Comey fan, but I am generally against political assasinations…), you’re probably right. The odds were high before his firing, but after, the odds went through the roof, because now they can try to blame it on Trump. Or another suicide where someone shot themselves in the back of the head and left no fingerprints on the gun.

  • Retired military

    Is it any wonder that liberals (politicians) think it is okay to illegally collect data on Americans? I mean everyone knows that quantum physics causes racism and sexism so why not collect data on all those racists and sexists.

    (I pray that the following article is a joke but have the feeling it isn’t.)

    https://www.thecollegefix.com/post/32830/

    A feminist academic affiliated with the University of Arizona has invented a new theory of “intersectional quantum physics,” and told the world about it in a journal published by Duke University Press.

    Whitney Stark argues in support of ‘combining intersectionality and quantum physicS” to better understand “marginalized people” and to create “safer spaces” for them, in the latest issue of The Minnesota Review.

    Because traditional quantum physics theory has influenced humanity’s understanding of the world, it has also helped lend credence to the ongoing regime of racism, sexism and classism that hurts minorities, Stark writes in “Assembled Bodies: Reconfiguring Quantum Identities.”

    Stark identifies Newtonian physics as one of the main culprits behind oppression. “Newtonian physics,” she writes, has “separated beings” based on their “binary and absolute differences.”

    • Off topic.

      • Retired military

        Yes it is. I tried to tie it into the topic though but I failed miserably. Do I at least get a participation trophy for trying? If not I am going to retreat into my safe space.

    • jim_m

      Leftists who frequent this blog will tell you that nothing illegal or even unethical happened unless someone is convicted and put behind bars.

  • Hank_M

    If you thought the media was biased before, watch the contortions they’ll be going through to avoid reporting on this.

    And note that per Circa, these allegations are not from unnamed sources but from “recently declassified documents”. Further, the article Reynolds links to at Circa states that…

    “The NSA acknowledged it self-disclosed the mass violations to the court last fall and that in April it took the extraordinary step of suspending the type of searches that were violating the rules, even deleting prior collected data on Americans to avoid any further violations.

    “NSA will no longer collect certain internet communications that merely mention a foreign intelligence target,” the agency said in the statement that was dated April 28 and placed on its Web site without capturing much media or congressional attention.

  • Retired military
    • That is on topic.

      • Retired military

        But but you didnt even reply to my post below in ref to your off topic statement.

        • That was a close to polite as I could muster.

          • Retired military

            Understood sir.
            But in my defense how many threads do we get on quantum physics??
            : )

    • jim_m

      Nixon was not impeached.

      • The process had started when he resigned in favor of his vice president, but you are correct that the bill of impeachment was neither submitted nor voted out.

      • Retired military

        I work with what I can find.

        /sigh Critics

        • jim_m

          Only dems have ever been impeached.

  • cathymv

    President Trump had a mis spelled word on Twitter – I really wish you guys would get with the program – its not about violating our constitution, its not about making up stories about russians… its not about Griffin holding up a mock beheaded trump… its all about how Trump mis spelled a word on Twitter

    and we wonder why the media is irrelevant and seeking more irrelevancy

    • WHO’S THE BUSTER

      Did Griffin take it too far? Well, sure, but it cost her a job and some endorsements.

      Now, on the other hand, a candidate body slams a reporter for asking nosy questions, such as his position on the House health plan and wins the election. I wonder if the people that voted for him after the episode did it in spite of, or because of, this incident. I have spent time in Montana, and I am guessing he gained more than he lost.

      I assume Trump did not misspell a word, it is simply difficult to tweet when you have large hands.

      Remember when days went by and there was nothing to report on from Washington? I recall when the President was not tweeting about what was on his television or commenting on his latest feud.

      I have read where Trump is planning on changing his staff, but a number of people are simply declining a position. Oh well, we will have a “War Room.”

      • Sky__Captain

        Remember when Al Franken (Dumbass-MIN) body-slammed a protester. Ah, good times…

        “Remember when days went by and there was nothing to report on from Washington?”
        For the last 8 years, there was an incredible amount to report on from Washington. The Democrat media simply refused to point out the foibles, incompetence, and illegal activities of the 0bama Administration.
        Now it is coming out that the 0bama Administration may have actually spied on his political opponents. And that’s after using the IRS against TEA Party groups.

      • Awfully mealy mouthed in your condemnation of your fellow travelers (Griffin and Franken).

      • Brett Buck

        Now, on the other hand, a candidate body slams a reporter for asking nosy questions, such as his position on the House health plan and wins the election. I wonder if the people that voted for him after the episode did it in spite of, or because of, this incident. I have spent time in Montana, and I am guessing he gained more than he lost.

        For once I agree. I am sure it improved his chances, because that’s exactly appropriate for the situation. People *hate* journalists and there isn’t any person with a good grasp of the current situation in this country that wouldn’t love to punch a little whiny wimp journalist in the nose. I wouldn’t do it, but I certainly expect the voters of Montana were cheering, and they don’t give a flying rat’s ass what people like you think about it.

        • WHO’S THE BUSTER

          “Well, as we know, the press is the enemy of the people.”

          You would think that Trump would not invoke phraseology that is no longer utilized in Russia due to its links to Stalin, but then we know he is gleefully ignorant of history.

          • Brett Buck

            Another fascinating insight, where do you come up with these gems? And I take it that your premise is that no matter what they do, because they work at the NYT, they are beyond question?

            The press has taken sides, that means they have ceased to act as chroniclers of events, and instead decided to actively try to influence the outcome. That crossed the line.

          • WHO’S THE BUSTER

            “Another fascinating insight, where do you come up with these gems?”

            History books?

            In fact, it was Nikita Khrushchev who deemed, “enemy of the state,” to be too incendiary, even for the Soviet Union. Additionally, when looking for people to quote, it is a good rule of thumb to avoid Josef Stalin. Of course, we both know that Trump had no idea about the history of that phrase. He probably thinks he coined it, right after “prime the pump.”

            I am constantly amazed that people are not more disappointed by the daily demonstrations of this President’s lack of knowledge. Reagan knew what he knew, but more importantly, he was well aware of the areas where he may have had shortcomings, so he hired people that could help him in those specific arenas.

            Did you ever notice that people that claim to know it all are rarely individuals that one would consider to be knowledgeable? Perhaps this is what happens when we find a President that simply does not read, but instead spends hours a day watching cable television and tweeting things he sees on Fox and Friends as facts.

            I recently read an article about why there is still a core of people that vigorously support Donald Trump. The opinion was that it was not policy, but instead, his ability to make liberals angry. That seems like a pretty low bar, but is most likely true. Heck, very few on this site were Trump supporters during the campaign; well, except for Commander Chico, who just may have been a Russian bot, but many have certainly shown support for him subsequent to the election.

          • Off Topic.

          • Brett Buck

            The “gem” to which I refer is your idiotic analysis, not the (completely strawman) Stalin quote.

            Oy, what a nitwit.

          • Nitwits everywhere are embarrassed by the comparison.

          • Hank_M

            “but then we know he [Trump] is gleefully ignorant of history.”

            As was Barry Obama. Let’s be consistent here.

          • I’m thinking Trump knows a lot more history than the Dems are willing to admit. Their consistent narrative is that Trump is ignorant as all hell – but you don’t get to be as successful as he is and where he is by being stupid and uneducated – even with a good gift of gab.

            In fact, one of the things I think really pisses off the left is how he DOESN’T sound like a traditional politician. His speech patterns aren’t ‘East Coast Political Elite’ – they’re NYC. (Rather like how Palin was derided as stupid and uneducated because she didn’t talk with a New England Harvard/Yale accent.)

            Of course, there’s alway Obama’s example. He must have had one hell of a voice coach, and his charisma when speaking with a teleprompter was excellent. But I didn’t see many signs of intelligence or the ability to think through the consequences of what he wanted passed. For him, the words were everything while the actual results didn’t matter at all.

          • Jwb10001

            Hell Barry didn’t know how many states are in the US.

          • The press isn’t the enemy of the people, so much as they’re attempting to control how everything is seen. The narrative is everything to then, and their narrative is that the Dems and Hillary would have been a much better choice, despite the last 8 years’ results..

            And how dare the people not accept their narrative?

          • You:

            You would think that Trump would not invoke phraseology that is no longer utilized in Russia due to its links to Stalin, but then we know he is gleefully ignorant of history.

            are a purveyor of hypocrisy.

      • Jwb10001

        And a poor pizza shop owner got nearly hounded out of business by the media made up BS, and a CEO of Firefox got hounded out of his job for agreeing with a majority of Ca voters on gay marriage and on and on and on. So make these rules and live by these rules. Kathy can ES&D before she’ll be entitled to some moral equivalence crap.

        I remember the days of illegal military action with ZERO congressional approvals, days of a killed American Ambassador in a country we had no business being in. I remember days of drones dropped on US citizen with out due process. I remember when we were engaged in 2 mid east countries not 5. I remember days of IRS targeting people for their political views. I remember days of US attn general meeting with the husband of a target in an FBI probe. I remember days of American border patrol being killed by and lost American weapon. I remember days of a rouge Sec of State hiding her business form the American Public as well as the American President. But at least he didn’t tweet like Trump does.