Leakers? Emails Show FBI Brass Were Discussing the Dossier Briefing Long Before it was Public

FBI - DOJ - Fusion GPS - DNC - Circle of Treason

BREAKING: E-mails Show FBI Brass Discussed Dossier Briefing Details With CNN

New e-mails show former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe was surprisingly knowledgeable about CNN’s understanding of and deliberation about a dossier briefing given to Donald Trump days before CNN ever reported on the matter.

Newly revealed e-mails show that former Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI) deputy director Andrew McCabe was keenly aware of CNN’s internal understanding of a secret briefing about the infamous Steele dossier, days before CNN published any stories on the matter. The e-mails, which were obtained by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), also reveal that top officials used coded language to refer to the salacious and unverified allegations made by Steele.

Former FBI director James Comey briefed then-President-Elect Donald Trump on January 6, 2017, on at least one unproven allegation contained in Steele’s dossier, which was jointly funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. CNN broke the story about the dossier briefing on January 10, 2017, touching off a firestorm of hysteria that culminated in not just the firing of Comey by Trump, but the eventual appointment of Department of Justice (DOJ) special counsel Robert Mueller.

http://thefederalist.com/2018/05/21/breaking-e-mails-show-fbi-brass-discussed-dossier-briefing-details-cnn/

The Public Evidence About Crossfire Hurricane Demands A Full Investigation, Stat

FBI - DOJ - Fusion GPS - DNC - Circle of Treason

Rather than vindicate the FBI, this raises the specter that the FBI extensively targeted Trump campaign officials before its official launch of Crossfire Hurricane.

By 
 21, 2018

What we know about federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies’ spying on the Donald Trump campaign likely represents but a sliver of their covert activities. But it’s about time we do, and President Trump is right to demand an investigation. Here’s what we know so far.

In the run-up to the presidential election, on July 31, 2016, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) opened a “counterintelligence investigation” to probe whether the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia to influence the election. Over the last two weeks, in a series of articles, The New York Times and Washington Post revealed that the investigation, dubbed operation Crossfire Hurricane, involved a government informant connected to the Trump campaign.

On Friday, the Washington Post reported more details of the informant’s “months-long pattern of seeking out and meeting three different Trump campaign officials.” The presumed informant, a professor with contacts with both the Central Intelligence Agency and MI6, first met with Carter Page, then a foreign policy advisor for Trump’s campaign, at a conference in Cambridge in July 2016. He met Page several more times before the election.

According to the Washington Post, the informant also met in the late summer “with Trump campaign co-chairman Sam Clovis,” offering “to provide foreign-policy expertise to the Trump effort.” Then in September, the informant “reached out to George Papadopoulos, an unpaid foreign-policy adviser for the campaign, inviting him to London to work on a research paper.”

Read More: http://thefederalist.com/2018/05/21/public-evidence-crossfire-hurricane-demands-full-investigation-stat/

FBI Lovers’ Texts Redactions Hiding FBI, CIA, MI6, DOJ, DNC and MSM Collusion?

Darth-Vadar-Bounty-Hunters-Release-the-Texts-No-Redactions

“The White House Is Running This”: Grassley Demands DOJ Unredact Mystery Strzok-Page Texts | Zero Hedge

“The White House Is Running This”: Grassley Demands DOJ Unredact Mystery Strzok-Page Texts | Zero Hedge

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) fired off a letter to the Department of Justice Wednesday demanding unredacted versions of text messages between FBI agent Peter Strzok and former bureau attorney Lisa Page, including one exchange which took place after Strzok had returned from London as part of the recently launched “Operation Crossfire Hurricane” – referring to the White House “running” an unknown investigation.

After Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) fought tooth-and-nail for their release, the DOJ provided heavily redacted texts on May 1 and May 18. The visible portions of the texts, however, are troubling in light of recent developments – prompting Grassley’s request for unredacted copies.

“When viewing the still redacted portions in context with the unredacted material, it appeared that the redacted portions may contain relevant information relating to the Committee’s ongoing investigation into the matter in which the Department of Justice and FBI handled the Clinton and Russia investigations.” –Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)

In particular, Grassley notes:

  • “As one example of redacted material, in a text message produced to the Committee, the price of Andrew McCabe’s $70,000 conference table was redacted.”
  • “In another, an official’s name was redacted in reference to a text about the Obama White House ‘running’ an investigation, although it is unclear to which investigation they were referring

Read More: www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-05-24/white-house-running-grassley-demands-doj-unredacts-mystery-strzok-page-texts

Tapper, Clapper, and CNN: Signs of a Coup in the Highest Levels of Government and Media

Director Of National Intelligence...J. Clapper Was Leaking Classified Dossier Details To Cnn's Jake Tapper For Months, While Being Paid By Cnn! And Then Lied About It To Congress...
Clapper Busted Leaking Dossier Details To CNN’s Jake Tapper, Lying To Congress About It

Former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) turned CNN commentator James Clapper not only leaked information related to the infamous “Steele dossier” to CNN’s Jake Tapper while Clapper was in office – it appears he also lied about it to Congress, under oath.

Clapper was one of the “two national security officials” cited in CNN’s report -published minutes after Buzzfeed released the full Steele dossier.

The revelation that Clapper was responsible for leaking details of both the dossier and briefings to two presidents on the matter is significant, because former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director James Comey wrote in one of four memos that he leaked that the briefing of Trump on salacious and unverified allegations from the dossier was necessary because “CNN had them and were looking for a news hook.” –The Federalist

So Comey said that Trump needed to be briefed on the Dossier’s allegations since CNN “had them” – because James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence at the time, provided that information to the same network he now works for.

And who’s idea was it to brief Trump on the dossier? JAMES CLAPPER – according to former FBI Director James Comey’s memos:

“I said there was something that Clapper wanted me to speak to the [president-elect] about alone or in a very small group,” Comey wrote.

The revelations detailing Clapper’s leak to CNN can be found in a 253-page report by the House Intelligence Committee majority released on Friday – which also found “no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded, coordinated, or conspired with the Russian government.”

As Sean Davis of The Federalist bluntly states: “Clapper leaked details of a dossier briefing given to then-President-elect Donald Trump to CNN’s Jake Tapper, lied to Congress about the leak, and was rewarded with a CNN contract a few months later.”

From Clapper’s Congressional testimony:

MR. ROONEY: Did you discuss the dossier or any other intelligence related to Russia hacking of the 2016 election with journalists?

MR. CLAPPER: No.

Clapper later changed his tune after he was confronted about his communications with Tapper:

“Clapper subsequently acknowledged discussing the ‘dossier with CNN journalist Jake Tapper,’ and admitted that he might have spoken with other journalists about the same topic,” the report reads. “Clapper’s discussion with Tapper took place in early January 2017, around the time IC leaders briefed President Obama and President-elect Trump, on ‘the Christopher Steele information,’ a two-page summary of which was ‘enclosed in’ the highly-classified version of the ICA,” or intelligence community assessment.

Read More: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-27/clapper-busted-leaking-dossier-details-cnns-jake-tapper-lying-congress-about-it

Just Accept that you’ve been Living under Fascism / Corporate Oligarchy: Now What?

FBI - DOJ - Fusion GPS - DNC - Circle of Treason

Leaked Texts Suggest Coordination Between Obama White House, CIA, FBI And Dems To Launch Trump-Russia Probe

Congressional investigators looking into the origins of Special Counsel Mueller’s Russia probe believe they’ve found a smoking gun that could justify the appointment of a special counsel to investigate whether the Obama administration exerted undue influence over the FBI.

A series of text messages between FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok and DOJ lawyer Lisa Page have revealed the involvement of Denis McDonough, Obama’s chief of staff, John Brennan, Obama’s CIA director, and former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in helping create an atmosphere of paranoia that gave them the political cover to launch the Russia probe back in the summer of 2016.

The investigators who leaked the information to Fox said the texts between Strzok and Page “strongly” suggest coordination between the White House, two independent intelligence agencies, and a Democratic Congressional leader. That would “contradict” the Obama administration’s claims of non-involvement.

The texts tell of former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe being concerned with “information control,” and suggest a plot to leak details of the FBI’s incipient investigation to both the White House and Reid. Brennan also became involved in agitating for an investigation, though his agency was supposed to be operationally separate from the FBI.

Page texted Strzok on Aug. 2, 2016, saying: “Make sure you can lawfully protect what you sign. Just thinking about congress, foia, etc. You probably know better than me.”

A text message from Strzok to Page on Aug. 3 described former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe as being concerned with “information control” related to the initial investigation into the Trump campaign. According to a report from the New York Times, Brennan was sent to Capitol Hill around the same time to brief members of Congress on the possibility of election interference.

Days later, on Aug. 8, 2016, Strzok texted Page: “Internal joint cyber cd intel piece for D, scenesetter for McDonough brief, Trainor [head of FBI cyber division] directed all cyber info be pulled. I’d let Bill and Jim hammer it out first, though it would be best for D to have it before the Wed WH session.”

In the texts, “D” referred to FBI Director James Comey, and and “McDonough” referred to Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, the GOP investigators said.

One of Fox‘s sources said the information was “concerning” enough to justify launching an independent probe into the FBI’s role in launching the Trump investigation.

“We are not making conclusions. What we are saying is that the timeline is concerning enough to warrant the appointment of an independent investigator to look at whether or not the Obama White House was involved [in the Trump-Russia investigation],” a GOP congressional source told Fox News.

Naturally, coordination between political appointees at the White House and DOJ investigators would cast doubt on the entire Russia probe, Fox‘s sources said.

The following day, Aug. 30, 2016, Strzok texted Page: “Here we go,” sending a link to the Times report titled, “Harry Reid Cites Evidence of Russian Tampering in U.S. Vote and seeks FBI inquiry.”

The texts also detail the Bureau and Brennan’s role in feeding information to Reid, which inspired him to write a letter to the FBI demanding an investigation be launched. That letter was later leaked to the press. The Reid letter, Fox said, provided political cover for the bureau when it tried to justify launching an investigation into Trump as early as July 2016.

In other words, the FBI was well-versed in how to strategically use “leaks” to manage information control and wash its hands over any potential collusion allegations… with the exception of course of the texts that reveal how the plot was hatched in the first place.

The question now is whether McCabe, who was fired two weeks ago, will be called in to testify on these stark allegations.

One thing is for certain: The texts provide the clearest sign yet into the Obama administration’s role in helping get the Russia probe off the ground in an attempt to roadblock Trump’s administration, all the while Obama chose to do nothing about reports of Russian attempts at election interference.

We imagine we’ll hear more about this in the coming days.

Read More: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-29/alarming-texts-suggest-obama-white-house-and-fbi-collaborated-russia-probe

Inspector General: Awans Used “Unauthorized Access” To Transfer Congress’ Data To Stolen Server

awan brothers scandel

  • An internal House probe concluded that Pakistani IT aides Imran Awan along with four other individuals inappropriately accessed House servers and moved data
  • They impersonated at least 15 U.S. House members they did not work for and the Democratic Caucus, using their credentials to gain access to the system – a federal offense.
  • Data was migrated from several servers onto a single server, which disappeared while being monitored by police
  • The Awans engaged in a “pattern of login activity” which suggest steps were taken to conceal their activity
  • House Democrats in turn misrepresented the issue to their own members as solely a matter of theft
  • No criminal charges have been filed related to the data breaches or a number of other violations

In what must surely warrant a Special Counsel by now, an internal House investigation concluded that Pakistani IT aides Imran Awan and wife Hina Alvi, along with Imran’s brothers Abid and Jamal and a friend, impersonated at least 15 U.S. House members for whom they did not work – using their credentials to log into Congressional servers, before migrating data to a single server, which was stolen during the investigation, all while covering their tracks – reports Luke Rosiak of the Daily Caller.

This, and much more is detailed in a presentation assembled the House’s internal watchdog – the Office of the Inspector General, after a four-month internal probe.

The presentation, written by the House’s Office of the Inspector General, reported under the bold heading “UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS” that “5 shared employee system administrators have collectively logged into 15 member offices and the Democratic Caucus although they were not employed by the offices they accessed.” –DC

One systems administrator “logged into a member’s office two months after he was terminated from that office,” reads the investigative summary.

There are strong indications that many of the 44 members’ data — including personal information of constituents seeking help — was entirely out of those members’ possession, and instead was stored on the House Democratic Caucus server. The aggregation of multiple members’ data would mean all that data was absconded with, because authorities said that entire server physically disappeared while it was being monitored by police. –DC

The OIG also concluded that the Awans’ behavior appeared to be a “classic method for insiders to exfiltrate data from an organization,” as well as indications that a House server was “being used for nefarious purposes and elevated the risk that individuals could be reading and/or removing information,” and “could be used to store documents taken from other offices,” the Caller reports.

A House committee staffer close to the probe told The Daily Caller that “the data was always out of [the members’] possession. It was a breach. They were using the House Democratic Caucus as their central service warehouse.

All 5 of the shared employee system administrators collectively logged onto the Caucus system 5,735 times, an average of 27 times per day… This is considered unusual since computers in other offices managed by these shared employees were accessed in total less than 60 times,” the presentation reads.

The internal document also shoots down any notion that the access was for some legitimate purpose – indicating “This pattern of login activity suggests steps are being taken to conceal their activity.” 

A second presentation shows that shortly before the election, their alleged behavior got even worse. “During September 2016, shared employee continued to use Democratic Caucus computers in anomalous ways:

  • Logged onto laptop as system administrator
  • Changed identity and logged onto Democratic Caucus server using 17 other user account credentials
  • Some credentials belonged to Members
  • The shared employee did not work for 9 of the 17 offices to which these user accounts belonged.”

The second presentation found “possible storage of sensitive House information outside of the House … Dropbox is installed on two Caucus computers used by the shared employees. Two user accounts had thousands of files in their Dropbox folder on each computer,” which is strictly against House rules due to fact that Dropbox is offsite.

Without delving into espionage, let’s look at the statutes on computer crimes from the Department of Justice;

Under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), simply accessing a computer and obtaining information carries a sentence of up to 10 years for more than one conviction of the same abuse. Trespassing on a government computer also carries a 10 year sentence. You can see the rest of the CFAA penalties below, many of which appear to fit the Awan case:

sdf

While each violation above carries its own penalties, let’s look at the first one; National Security violations Under the CFAA, a felony:

asd

Whoever— (1) having knowingly accessed a computer without authorization or exceeding authorized access,and by means of such conduct having obtained information that has been determined by the United States Government pursuant to an Executive order or statute to require protection against unauthorized disclosure for reasons of national defense or foreign relations, or any restricted data, as defined in paragraph y. of section 11 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, with reason to believe that such information so obtained could be used to the injury of the United States, or to the advantage of any foreign nation willfully communicates, delivers, transmits, or causes to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted, or attempts to communicate, deliver, transmit or cause to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted the same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it . . . shall be punished as provided in subsection (c) of this section.

The punishment under 18 U.S. Code § 1030 is up to 20 years in prison for each violation.

Meanwhile, House Democratic leadership has been downplaying the alleged breach by pointing to recent bank fraud charges the Awans were slapped with after Imran Awan was arrested at Dulles International Airport attempting to flee the country.

Rep. Ted Lieu of California, who employed Abid Awan and is a member of the foreign affairs committee, said as far as he was concerned it was a simple issue of bank fraud.

“The staffer that I used, there was no allegation,” he told a TV station. “If you look at the charge of the brother, he was charged with bank fraud… that has nothing to do with national security.” –DC

The only Democrat who appears to have attempted to intervene with the Awans’ access is Rep. Xavier Becerra who ran the House Democratic Caucus server, knew about the unauthorized access, and tried to stop them according to the OIG report – however “the suspect defied him.” That said, Bacerra does not appear to have warned other offices that might have been affected.

“The Caucus Chief of Staff requested one of the shared employees to not provide IT services or access their computers,” the OIG report reads, adding “This shared employee continued.” Unfortunately, while police were keeping tabs on the server as a primary piece of evidence in their ongoing investigation, they discovered in January that it was taken from under their noses and replaced with a different computer

To read more about the Awans, take a look at the extensive reporting below by Luke Rosiak:

Imran Awan: A Continuing DCNF Investigative Group Series

Grassley/Graham Memo Goes Dark in the Fake News Landscape

WSJ Asks: Why Is The Media Ignoring The Real Bombshell FISA Memo?
WSJ Columnist: Why is the Media Ignoring the Real Bombshell FISA Memo?

 

We’ll bring you Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberly Strassel’s tweetstorm in a moment, but I’ll take a stab at answering her question about the media right out of the gate.

Three possibilities:
(1) The GOP hyped the Nunes memo, which quickly became the center of this whole firestorm — replete with counter-memos, FBI objections, etc.  The press followed the spotlight.
(2) As we’ve been saying, there are so many complex pieces of this larger puzzle, following the plot is difficult.  It’s not just news consumers wondering, “which memo is this now?” — it’s many of the people trying to cover this drama, too.  The document in question here is a second, less redacted, version of a Senate memo that few people have even heard of.
(3) 
The Senate memo, produced by non-bomb-throwers Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham, is substantially more disruptive to the Democrats’ narrative than the Nunes document.  And the press generally prefers Democratic narratives to Republican ones because most journalists are liberals.

My guess is that some blend of all three factors helps explain why the Grassley/Graham memo has barely registered on the national radar, even after we’ve endured multiple high-octane news cycles starring Nunes and Schiff.  But on the substance, does Strassel have a point, or is this just the latest shiny object the right-wing is waving around to distract from “the real story,” now that the Nunes memowas arguably a bit of a dud?  Here’s her case:

1) Why isn’t the (mostly) unredacted Grassley memo front page news? Here’s why: Because it confirms the Nunes memo and blows up the Schiff talking points (which the media ran with).

2)It is confirmation that the FBI’s FISA application relied on the dossier and a news article, and worse, on the credibility of a source in the employ of the Clinton campaign.

Kimberley Strassel

Kimberley Strassel

Kimberley Strassel

5) It provides evidence that Steele was getting information from the Clinton team itself! Via the State Department! So now, not only do we have a dossier based on unnamed shady Russians, but on Sidney Blumenthal. How much of this was engineered by the Clinton campaign from start? 

Does that all of check out?  Allahpundit digs into the document (a much more redacted version had been released previously) and seems to agree that Grassley/Graham is a significantly bigger deal than Nunes.  In our analysis of the latter document last week, we wrote that a major question was how much the DOJ relied on the Steele dossier itself to gain a FISA warrant against former Trump adviser Carter Page.  According to Grassley/Graham, the answer is a lot.  I posited that if investigators had used the unverified dossier as a starting point from which to chase down leads and produce more solid evidence to present to a FISA judge, that’d be one thing.  But if they leaned heavily on Steele’s file itself as the “evidence,” that would be sketchier.  According to the two GOP Senators, the FBI did the latter.  From AP’s excellent summary (the relevant bits of the memo itself are here and here):

…“The bulk of the application” against Page was dossier material…“The application appears to contain no additional information corroborating the dossier allegations against Mr. Page.” In other words, they seem to have treated the dossier as evidence, not as a lead. That’s big news.

But that’s not all. Grassley/Graham allege, based on intelligence, that the man behind the anti-Trump dossier was known to be unreliable by the FBI (they eventually severed ties with him) because he was caught lying either to US law enforcement or to British courts, telling each entity different stories about a key fact. Either way, FISA judges who approved and renewed the Page warrants weren’t told about the proven unreliability of the foreign agent whose work product was (apparently) the central basis for said warrants. The FBI might counter that Steele seemed credible at first, then they dumped him when he burned them, but that doesn’t mean their hands are clean, Allahpundit writes:

(a) that doesn’t solve the problem that the original FISA application against Page evidently relied “heavily” on information passed from a not-very-credible foreign agent and (b) that doesn’t explain why the Bureau allegedly failed to tell the FISA Court in later applications to renew their surveillance of Page that Steele’s info maybe hadn’t been so credible…Grassley and Graham make another good point about Steele’s chattering to the press while his investigation was still ongoing: Once bad actors were aware that he was digging for dirt on Trump, they could have sought him out and fed him any amount of BS in hopes of it trickling through to the FBI and deepening the official suspicion surrounding Team Trump. That’s how Clinton cronies — maybe even Sid Blumenthal — got involved in this clusterfark. Because Steele was supposedly willing to accept even unsolicited tips about Trump, the Clinton team may have fed him rumors to help fill a dossier for which their boss was paying.

Two big points there: Even after the FBI recognized Steele was an established liar, his dishonesty was not disclosed to judges deciding whether to keep the warrants active during renewal applications, which were largely predicated on Steele’s credibility. And the topic about which he apparently lied was whether he blabbed to folks in the media about his work, which could have opened up the floodgates for disinformation from shady characters eager to make the anti-Trump case as juicy and brimming with salaciousness as possible. That’s where Blumenthal and company, whom I wrote about here, may have come in. What a mess. Also, speaking of not revealing pertinent information to the courts, it looks like Nunes was technically incorrect that the judges weren’t made aware that the Steele dossier was paid political oppo research. But he was more broadly correct that the judges didn’t have even close to the full picture of who was behind the unverified partisan document upon which they were primarily basing the surveillance of a US citizen — who happened to be a former aide to a major presidential campaign from the out-of-power party.

“As Nunes himself later admitted, the Bureau apparently did disclose in a footnote that the material was paid political research. It just didn’t mention who, precisely, had paid for it,” AP writes.  The memo reads, “in footnote 8, the FBI stated that the dossier information was compiled pursuant to the direction of a law firm that had hired an “identified US person” — now known as Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS…the application failed to disclose that the identities of Mr. Simpson’s ultimate clients were the Clinton campaign and the DNC.”  So the disclosure came in a footnote and didn’t mention that the parties who paid for the unverified dossier were the Trump campaign’s explicit opposition.  Maybe there was no misconduct in any of this, but even as someone who believes neither that suspicion of Carter Page was unreasonable, nor that this is all part of a grand anti-Trump conspiracy (remember, the Trump angle of the Russia probe started earlier, for an unrelated reason), there’s enough in the Grassley/Graham memo to make me uncomfortable with the standards by which Page was surveilled by the US government.

Read More:  https://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2018/02/08/strassel-tweetstorm-grassley-memo-n2445871

Documents Reveal The NSA Is An Agency Gone Rogue As FISA 702 Is Reauthorized

Disobedient Media previously reported on the Senate’s passage of legislation that reauthorized a section of controversial FISA law. Since publishing that article, President Trump tweeted that he had signed off on the legislation, despite widespread calls to veto the bill. FISA laws were initially implemented in 2008 under President Obama, and were set to expire last week.

The Verge reported that Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act provides the director of national intelligence and attorney general with the authority to surveil anyone outside of the country, and remains controversial. The Verge added that, while it is designed to target and surveil non-US citizens, privacy advocates say that US citizens can get caught up as well. “This new bill includes some new provisions: authorities can now access communications that simply mention the target, even if they are not the recipient of said message.”

Additional press reports cited The American Civil Liberties Union, who called on Trump to veto the FISA section 702 reauthorization bill. The ACLU wrote: “Trump’s tweet saying the law he signed was different from the one “so wrongly abused” before was not accurate.” The ACLU tweeted that the bill Trump signed “allows the government to violate Americans’ rights and makes the law worse in several ways.”

Media coverage of the reauthorization of FISA 702 has been markedly tepid in recent weeks, often echoing the sentiments of establishment think tanks. CNN’s coverage on the issue was stridently pro-NSA, titled: “Senate must pass FISA Section 702 to protect Americans.” CNN’s article remarkably paralleled the Heritage Foundation, who wrote: “Renewal of FISA’s Section 702: Why America Needs the Provision.” That a supposedly left-leaning press outlet and a conservative think-tank are echoing the same chorus line is particularly noteworthy.

This consensus between legacy press outlets and a right-wing think tank represents an example of what Disobedient Media has previously characterized as an immaterial division between “left” and “right” wing factions within the establishment. The real unanimity between these apparently opposing sides is revealed by their agreement on issues like FISA.

Meanwhile, Fox News related that the FISA Amendments Act allows the government to collect the data from American firms, such as Google or Microsoft, according to the nonprofit Center for Democracy & Technology. Additionally, Disobedient Media previously cited JustSecurity’s observation that The NSA’s own slides describe targeting individuals in Latin America based on issues like “energy” and “political affairs.” This is important because it belies platitudes provided by Paul Ryan, CNN, The Heritage Foundation and their ilk aimed at excusing illegal surveillance in the name of national security and fighting terrorism.

CNN also reported Paul Ryan’s statement on the bill, which emphasized its use being limited to ‘terrorists’ in foreign countries: “This is about foreign terrorists on foreign soil. That’s what this is about, so let’s clear up some of the confusion here.” Despite Ryan’s attempt at “clarifying confusion,” his statement flies in the face of Snowden documents published in 2013 that showed the NSA also spied illegally on Americans.

The revelations from the Snowden files are important when critically appraising claims that such powers will only be used on ‘terrorists’ outside the U.S. Pro Publica wrote regarding the Snowden files’ revelation that under the Obama Administration, the NSA was given massive powers of warrantless surveillance of American citizens’ internet traffic. To pretend ignorance regarding the reality behind the renewal of FISA 702 in the face of these facts is absurd.

That the NSA targets political dissidents and American citizens provides legitimate cause for concern over the passage of FISA reauthorization. The issue is compounded in light of recent DecipherYoufindings showing that the NSA also actively attempts to avoid government oversight.

On the same day that Trump tweeted that he’d signed the FISA section 702 reauthorization, Suzie Dawson and this author analyzed a never-before scrutinized Snowden file that showed the NSA endorsing an employee who had interfaced with Congress, and who advised the NSA move to avoid legislative oversight. The file in question was titled: “Do We Over-Classify? Are We Sharing Enough Information?”

 

Suzie Dawson, a journalist, activist, and current leader of the Internet Party of New Zealand, noted that the unnamed author was effectively telling the entire NSA staff that: “The Senate Intelligence Committee should not be allowed to set the terms for reform of the NSA.” Such a revelation is both disturbing and relevant in regards to the current issues surrounding FISA 702.

The file contains an incredible statement made by the unnamed individual, whose role was at one time to interface between the agency and Congress. They wrote: “…My worry is that a consensus is building within Congress that they need to take action to deal with this problem. Trust me, we don’t want that. We need to address this issue so that the solution is one of our creation and not one that is imposed on us from the outside.”

During the DecipherYou stream, Dawson commented on the contents of the document: “They [Congress] are mandated by law to set the terms under which the NSA operate. The NSA does not have the mandate to set the terms under which the NSA operates. But this entire document is saying that the NSA needs to set their own rules and boundaries.”

Dawson continued: “Oversight is there because the NSA does not work for the NSA, the NSA works for the public, the Congressional overseers are the elected representatives of the public. It is their job to set the borders and boundaries of what NSA can do, what it’s mission is, why it does that mission, and how it can do that mission.”

The author of the file discusses their experience as an interface between Congress and the NSA as well as having served as “the budget monitor for all of the NSA’s programs,” as part of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. They recounted participating in the NSA’s ‘Legislative Affairs Office,’ which is tasked with interfacing with the Congress, and controls the communications with legislators, determining which information lawmakers receive.

Dawson explained: “If you are in the NSA, you are not allowed to talk to Congress without going through this office… their job is to whitewash and micromanage information that reaches oversight committees. So this person was a part of that office, and has come out of that office, and is 100% resistant to oversight.” She assed that the SID Today document had gone out to the entire NSA workforce, which indicates that the NSA endorsed their sentiments.

The document states: “My second “first job” at NSA was on the Senate team (Duh!) in the Legislative Affairs Office (LAO). That job afforded me the opportunity to utilize the experience I had gained working on Capitol Hill to help the Agency’s senior leaders to develop a successful strategy for dealing with the Congress. That was a particularly challenging and rewarding time in my career.”

The NSA’s disturbing level of independence from legislative oversight was also discussed by The Atlantic in 2013: “…In a representative democracy with a bicameral legislature, Congress was surprised to find that a federal intelligence agency they’d scarcely heard of was bigger and more powerful than one that they’d created. Even after post-Vietnam cutbacks, the NSA counted 68,203 staffers in 1978, making it bigger than all other intelligence agencies combined. And it was unlike other agencies.”

Image via The Atlantic

As this author discussed with Dawson during the DecipherYou episode relating to this finding, the document completely undercuts any pretense that the NSA needs powers including FISA to protect the American people or the rest of the world, for that matter.

Primary source information, of which the document is a particularly important example, adds to the growing number of important findings stemming from DecipherYou. The files shed light on current issues including the passage legislation renewing FISA section 702, and the implications stemming from the overreach of the NSA as a result of such legislation. Disobedient Media will continue to report on important discoveries from never-before-scrutinized Snowden files as they emerge.

Read More: https://disobedientmedia.com/2018/01/documents-reveal-the-nsa-is-an-agency-gone-rogue-as-fisa-702-is-reauthorized/