Culture Of Paranoia

Forget “conspiracy theories” – the public record shows that the Nixon Administration spied on the Trump campaign…

…sorry. Obama Administration. Obama. No similarity. Perish the thought.

At this point in time, at least six different methods that the Obama administration used to spy on the Trump campaign have been made public:
1. FISA Warrant: Former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page was targeted with a FISA warrant by the FBI in October 2016. The warrant was subsequently renewed three times for 90-day periods. Other members of the Trump campaign might have had FISA warrants on them, as well.
2. Unmasking: Hundreds of so-called unmasking requests were made for the identities of members of the Trump campaign in intelligence reports. The House Intelligence Committee has so far identified Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice, Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power, and former CIA Director John Brennan, as having filed such requests.
3. Undercover Informant: The FBI used Stefan Halper, an undercover agent, to infiltrate the Trump campaign. He contacted Trump campaign associates Carter Page and George Papadopoulos. Halper has ties to the CIA, as well as MI6.
4. National Security Letters: The use of national security letters to target the Trump campaign was first revealed by officials to The New York Times in a May 16, 2018, article. National security letters allow the FBI to secretly subpoena customer records from banks, phone companies, internet service providers, and others.
5. Foreign Intelligence: British intelligence agency GCHQ provided officials within the CIA with information on the Trump campaign as early as late 2015, The Guardian reported in April 2017. Then-head of GCHQ Robert Hannigan also provided Brennan with sensitive information on the Trump campaign on a “director level” in the summer of 2016.
6. Reverse Targeting: Brennan admitted in an Aug. 17, 2018, interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that the CIA had obtained the communications of Americans associated with the Trump campaign through what appears to have been the use of reverse targeting. “We call it incidental collection in terms of CIA’s foreign intelligence collection authorities,” Brennan said.

Nixon’s use of federal law-enforcement, and less institutional private entities, to spy on his political opponents was a national scandal.

LBJ’s and Kennedy’s, and everyone who presided over J. Edgar Hoover’s reign at the FBI, less so, for some weird reason.

23 thoughts on “Culture Of Paranoia

  1. The two places to look are the Carter Page FISA warrant and Brennan’s involvement.
    The Page warrant because it has a paper trail that can be examined, and Brennan’s involvement because he is both the locus of all of the vectors of attack, and because he is an unhinged mental case.
    It would be enlightening to have Brennan questioned under oath, in part because of what he knows, and in part because he would crack up like Captain Queeg.

  2. Now that I think about it, it would be grand comedy to have unhinged maniac Larry tribe cross examine unhinged maniac Brennan as a friendly witness.

    Tribe: “As we all know, Director Brennan, Sergei Millian, a Russian, and a close friend of George Popodopolous was not onboard the Russian plane that crashed in February 2018, leaving no survivors. As the one time director of the CIA, what does this tell you?”
    Brennan: “It tells me that Popodopolous was likely the conduit for the Israeli made “hush” software that was used to silence the screams of Jamal Kasshogi while he was being murdered in Istanbul.”
    Tribe: “So Kasshogi’s murder was the result of a Trump-Israeli-Russian-Saudi conspiracy?”
    Brennan: “Obviously, the Israelis transferred the software to Trump’s people — probably through Israeli-Nazi provocateur Candace Owens — in return for making Jerusalem the recognized capital of Israel. Possibly the services of at least one Russian prostitute were involved as well. This Russian prostitute or prostitutes were agents of Putin, and they warned Trump about the plot to bring down the Russian plane in time for Popodopolous to tell his Russian Friend, Sergei Millian, to avoid plane travel and travel to Istanbul by train instead. In Istanbul Millian delivered the Israeli-produced “hush” software to the Saudi embassy. The plot is clearly described in Trump’s ghost written book, “The Art of the Deal,” if you use a special algorithm I have designed to locate words and phrases that are spaced apparently randomly in “The Art of the Deal.””
    Tribe: “There you have it. “The Art of the Deal” was published in 2009, proving that the conspiracy goes back nearly a decade.”
    Brennan: “Yes, and how did Trump know in 2009 that he would win the presidency in 2016?”
    Tribe: “How indeed, Director Brennan, how indeed?”

  3. Well to be fair Jedger had (along with a affinity for wearing womens clothing) a habit of collecting enough info on whoever the current Presidential Administration and Congress was that if they threatened to fire him he could release enough damning info that would cause so many people to resign/be impeached/be arrested that it would throw the US into a massive Constitutional crisis because we’d have no idea who the Presidency would fall to that no person should EVER have the kind of power he did for decades in government. Even this pales in comparison.

  4. Well the campaign did have a lot of foreign agents and bank fraudsters working on it, so that does tend to draw attention from law enforcement. Frankly, I think they did pretty well evading scrutiny, all things considered.

  5. Are you talking about the Clinton campaign, Emery? Russia-colluder Anthony Podesta? Chelsea Clinton’s father in law, the convicted embezzler? Glenn Simpson, Hillary’s oppo-researcher used research sourced from Putin’s people and gathered by a foreign national (Christopher Steele) who actively opposed the American people from electing Trump, and got his “intelligence” used to obtain FISA warrants.

  6. Aren’t crimes like money laundering, racketeering and tax evasion byproducts of things like, I dunno, espionage? Arent they often the telltale indicators that something discreet is being carried out?

    If the FBI can surveil suspected foreign agents pursuant to a lawful warrant from a federal court — where will it end? It’s a slippery slope. You start by investigating espionage, soon you’re chasing money laundering, racketeering, tax evasion.

    It a terrifying concept, the FBI actually investigating possible espionage.

  7. Again, Emery, are you talking about people in the Hillary or the Trump campaign?
    Imagine the indictments that would have flowed from Mueller if he had been pointed at Hillary.

  8. It’s not sarcasm. Emery. Not unless you would welcome a special counsel being appointed to investigate the Hillary campaign because it would “clear her name.”
    The Clintons move through the lives of their loyal followers like a tornado. The followers end up dead, broke or in jail, and the Clintons come out rich and celebrated.

  9. Looks like America can be proud of a system that takes down crooks irrespective of party affiliation.

  10. Wasn’t Emery one of those “we don’t know what Mueller knows” people?
    Another wrong prediction among many.
    I believe in reason. When I don’t know something, I say it. When I believe a thing that turns out to be wrong, I change the way I come to believe things. Over time I have become more accurate in what you believe to be the case, or at least less certain that I do know things.

  11. I rather enjoyed that little exhibition from Dunning_Kruger, wriggling along uncimfortably, like a leech in hot mud.

  12. “If the FBI can surveil suspected foreign agents pursuant to a lawful warrant from a federal court….” Well, that’s the question, isn’t it? Was it a lawful warrant?

    Consider a hypothetical situation. Suppose the FBI agents and lawyers who sought the warrant lied to the judge. Suppose they sat around a conference table and simply invented “facts” to throw into an affidavit, knowing it was all secret and nobody could ever see the document. Nobody would even look for the document, if their favored candidate won the election. Suppose the judge issued the warrant for domestic surveillance based on those lies, that a major party political campaign was put under surveillance based on that warrant, that the results of the surveillance were forwarded to the favored candidate’s campaign, that the outcome of the election was influenced by it.

    In that hypothetical situation, where the basis of the warrant is a set of lies knowingly and intentionally told by Deep State agents secretly working on behalf of one political candidate to spy on the campaign of her rival, is there cause for Americans to be concerned?

    What if it’s not a hypothetical situation? What if there is evidence to suggest it actually happened – evidence that Mitch has laid out in this column? What should America do about it?

    Liberals are acting like the cop who says “I couldn’t get a warrant to arrest him but I knew he was guilty so I arrested him anyway and beat him until he confessed. See, I was right – he’s guilty – and therefore none of that other stuff matters. What, don’t you want guilty people to be caught? Whose side are you on?”

    It matters.

  13. “The hardest thing of all is to find a black cat in a dark room, especially if there is no cat.” ~ Confucius

    The question is what to do about the smell of cat urine.

  14. Woolly: The public narrative around Mueller report has already been formed among Trump supporters.

    It has been rejected by Trump opponents.

    There is no risk for Democrats in leaning into release of the report.

  15. “Suppose they sat around a conference table and simply invented “facts” to throw into an affidavit, knowing it was all secret and nobody could ever see the document.”
    If true, this would point to AG Lynch. She is known, from testimony, to have successfully urged Comey to downgrade his public statements about Hillary’s mishandling of classified material.

  16. The public narrative around the Mueller dossier confirms the beliefs of the Trump supporters. It does not confirm the belief the people with TDS — see the difference?
    You could say the same thing about the Warren Commission Report on the murder of JFK. People who believe the Warren Commission Report are not conspiracy theorists, the people who do not believe the Warren Commission Report are conspiracy theorists.
    It is false to equate people who believe evidence with those who do not.

  17. I’m less worried about this than many, because I believe Mueller and colleagues wouldn’t remain silent if Barr were to distort the conclusions of his report through redactions.

  18. Another variation on “no one knows what Mueller knows,” eh, Emery? Going down that well-trod path again? Rosenstein vouches for Barr’s summary of the Mueller report. Barr would be stupid to lie about it, since it will be released within days or weeks. Mueller has not claimed Barr’s summary was misleading in any way.
    The NY Times, the anti-Trump mouthpiece of Mexican National Carlos Slim, says unnamed sources who have spoken to unnamed members of Mueller’s team aren’t happy with unnamed parts of Barr’s summary.
    You are delusional. You are the poster child for TDS.

  19. Money laundering and the like seem to be far more often signs of more mundane crimes like tax evasion, keeping corporate actions hidden from the SEC, and the like than espionage. And there’s a portion of those cases which are said to simply result from the system being too complicated to obey. If you did a special prosecutor on any President, you’d find about the same, I think.

  20. Looks as though Mueller’s report will be out on Friday. Of course Barr wouldn’t release a deceptive summary of the report, and then release the Mueller report a few weeks later, but that is what the TDS people believe happened.

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