Media that insisted there was no spying, now making excuses for it.
The latest revelations about the Obama FBI spying on the Trump campaign are alarming, and it’s hard not to see this in the context of a much bigger picture.
Connecting dots is a perilous business, but when they are neon bright and flashing, they’re hard to ignore.
First, we learned that the Obama administration took the unprecedented step of making it easier for the NSA to share private information on U. S. citizens. We also learned that Obama’s NSA illegally spied on Americans in what the FISA court called illegal searches that constituted a “very serious Fourth Amendment issue.”
Next, we learned that Obama’s former National Security Adviser Susan Rice and his former ambassador to the UN Samantha Power were both involved in “unmasking” hundreds of names of Trump’s campaign officials and members of his transition team.
And finally we learned that Obama’s FBI used the Steele dossier to obtain a FISA warrant on Trump adviser Carter Page.
While we don’t know if all of this is connected, it certainly seems that way, particularly in light of the latest revelation that Obama’s FBI spied on the Trump campaign.
The leftstream media has gone into hyper-drive as it struggles to protect Obama. For example, the New York Times claims that Obama’s FBI was not “spying” on the Trump campaign but used an “informant” to “investigate Russia ties.” The Washington Post is claiming that the Obama FBI was not going after Trump . . . they were “protecting him.”
President Trump accused the F.B.I. on Friday, without evidence, of sending a spy to secretly infiltrate his 2016 campaign “for political purposes” even before the bureau had any inkling of the “phony Russia hoax.”
In fact, F.B.I. agents sent an informant to talk to two campaign advisers only after they received evidence that the pair had suspicious contacts linked to Russia during the campaign. The informant, an American academic who teaches in Britain, made contact late that summer with one campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, according to people familiar with the matter. He also met repeatedly in the ensuing months with the other aide, Carter Page, who was also under F.B.I. scrutiny for his ties to Russia.
. . . . No evidence has emerged that the informant acted improperly when the F.B.I. asked for help in gathering information on the former campaign advisers, or that agents veered from the F.B.I.’s investigative guidelines and began a politically motivated inquiry, which would be illegal.
The Washington Post sees the NYT’s bid and raises them . . . calling the Obama FBI spying an attempt to “protect” Trump.
But Trump and his backers are wrong about what it means that the FBI reportedly was using a confidential source to gather information early in its investigation of possible campaign ties to Russia. The investigation started out as a counterintelligence probe, not a criminal one. And relying on a covert source rather than a more intrusive method of gathering information suggests that the FBI may have been acting cautiously — perhaps too cautiously — to protect the campaign, not undermine it.
As a former FBI counterintelligence agent, I know what Trump apparently does not: Counterintelligence investigations have a different purpose than their criminal counterparts. Rather than trying to find evidence of a crime, the FBI’s counterintelligence goal is to identify, monitor and neutralize foreign intelligence activity in the United States. In short, this entails identifying foreign intelligence officers and their network of agents; uncovering their motives and methods; and ultimately rendering their operations ineffective — either by clandestinely thwarting them (say, by feeding back misinformation or “flipping” their sources into double agents) or by exposing them.
. . . .
The real question isn’t why the FBI apparently tried to obtain intelligence from within Trump’s campaign, though — it’s why the bureau didn’t do so more aggressively and directly.
Meanwhile, former director of National Intelligence James Clapper appeared on CNN to claim that the Obama FBI’s Trump campaign spying is “a good thing.”
Rush has some interesting thoughts to share in response to this Clapper interview.
You people have done more to damage the integrity of the American electoral process than Vladimir Putin could in his dreams! And I’m not joking. With what these people have done for the last year and a half — basically get people thinking the election was stolen, that it was illegitimate, that the Russians didn’t want Hillary and wanted Trump and made it happen — look at what they have done to the image, the reputation of the American electoral system and process.
. . . . “They may have had somebody who was talking to them in the campaign. But, you know, the focus here, as it was with the intelligence community, is not on the campaign per se, but what the Russians were going to try.”
That is, pardon me, BS, Mr. Clapper. Your focus was Trump. It was Trump you were spying on. You weren’t spying on the Russians. If you were trying to find Russian influence in the campaign, you’d have been looking in Russia, you’d been looking in Putin, you’d be spying on people that would have done it.
No, you were spying on Trump. You were trying to find evidence that Trump was conspiring with the Russians, not that Russia was conspiring with Trump. That’s what you wanted to prove. And if you could, if you could have gotten close to it, I know these people would have said so.
This is total obfuscation. “No, we weren’t looking at the campaign. No, no, no. We were looking at the Russians because, of course, the Russians were going to try to instantiate themselves in the campaign or influence their leverage,” blah, blah, blah, blah. These guys are trying to double back and cover their tracks, lying through their wooden teeth about what they were doing.
Worth noting, too, is the allegation that Clapper lied to Congress about leaking information about the dossier to CNN.
Congressional Republicans are livid about the Obama FBI spying on the Trump campaign and note, as the prof has many times, that the goal was to manufacture evidence against Trump.
The GOP lawmakers have raised alarm bells about the alleged source in service of their argument that the FBI may have inappropriately “spied” on members of the Trump campaign during the election.
But none of the lawmakers have so far made their suspicions about the person’s identity public, and some Republicans privately fear that the alleged informant has been misidentified.
The Justice Department is refusing to provide access to the information lawmakers need to confirm their suspicions — arguing that doing so would endanger the person’s life.
But this has done little to check conservatives who have publicly suggested that the FBI placed a “mole” in President Trump’s campaign in order to manufacture evidence against him.
. . . . “If they did this, if there was a plant, if there was a spy, if there was an informant put in the other party’s campaign during the election, that is as wrong as it gets,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told the network on Friday.
Professor Jacobson noted that we are witnessing a slow-motion coup, and it appears that it may have roots in unsavory, even illegal, actions of the Obama administration.DONATE
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