I’m old enough to remember when the American political and media establishment wracked itself into knots over the fact that the executive branch had been using the CIA and Hoover’s FBI to spy on domestic political opposition.
Among my earliest memories of politics and news – after Watergate, naturally – were the Church Commission hearings, which clamped down on the use of intelligence and law enforcement for domestic shenanigans.
For a while, anyway.
Following months of angry claims by journalists and Democratic operatives that the Obama administration never spied on Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, The New York Times admitted Thursday that multiple overseas intelligence assets were deployed against associates of the Republican nominee. It is not the first time the Times has revealed widespread spying operations against the campaign.
In addition to noting that long-time informant Stefan Halper was tasked with collecting intelligence on the Trump campaign, the Times story details how a woman was sent overseas under a fake name and occupation to oversee the spy operation. The woman’s real name is not mentioned in the article, though the Times says she went by “Azra Turk” and has a relationship with an unidentified federal intelligence agency.