Archive for the ‘Deep state’ category

Ex-Iranian Lobbyist at State Dept Moved After Conservative Pressure

April 23, 2017

Ex-Iranian Lobbyist at State Dept Moved After Conservative Pressure, Front Page Magazine (The Point), Daniel Greenfield, April 23, 2017

No one should assume that the election automatically changed everything. Much of the government is still under the control of the same folks who controlled it last year. And it will take pressure and scrutiny to change that. But pressure can and does work. Conservative activists can change things by focusing on people in government who should not be there.

This is progress.

A top State Department official who helped shape the Iran nuclear deal has reportedly been reassigned following criticism from conservative media outlets that questioned her loyalty to President Trump’s administration.

Sahar Nowrouzzadeh’s yearlong assignment to the secretary of State’s policy planning team was cut short earlier this month following critical stories from the Conservative Review and Breitbart News, Politico reported Friday.

A State Department official told Politico that Nowrouzzadeh did not want to be reassigned, and multiple officials in the State Department believe the media attacks were to blame.

“It puts people on edge,” an unnamed State Department official told Politico.

Good. The people being put on edge ought to be on edge. Especially since some of them are bringing us to the edge of nuclear war.

The State Department said in a statement that Nowrouzzadeh has returned to the Office of Iranian Affairs, but did not specify her new role or tell the publication why she was moved.

We’ll know soon enough.

The Hill story, predictably, makes no mention of why there were objections to her. That’s how you can tell it’s propaganda. It neglects to mention the Iranian lobbyist issue.

This Iran lobby, publicly represented by the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), has become a staunch institutional ally of the White House selling the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the nuclear deal is known. .. Perhaps NIAC’s most accomplished alum is Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, who is now National Security Council director for Iran in the Obama administration and therefore the top U.S. official for Iran policy, bringing together the various departments of government working on U.S. strategy toward the country. She is also, after the White House principals, one of the leading advisers to President Obama on Iran.

No doubt owing to the sensitivity (and influence) of her government role, Nowrouzzadeh has maintained a low profile, but her work at NIAC is publicly available. She drafted one of the organization’s annual reports for 2002-2003 and was referred to by Dokhi Fassihian, then executive director, as a “staff member” (DOC). The Obama administration insists that Nowrouzzadeh was only ever an intern with NIAC, and Nowrouzzadeh does not seem eager to play up her affiliation with the group. According to her LinkedIn profile, she has worked at the State Department and the Department of Defense. The profile doesn’t mention NIAC at all.

Neither does the Hill story.

Nowrouzzadeh should not be in any agency of the government. Let alone sitting pretty in the Office of Iranian Affairs. But there has been some progress. And this is part of draining the swamp.

Judicial Watch Sues State Department and USAID for Records about Funding and Political Activities of George Soros’ Open Society Foundation – Macedonia

April 20, 2017

Judicial Watch Sues State Department and USAID for Records about Funding and Political Activities of George Soros’ Open Society Foundation – Macedonia, Judicial Watch, April 19, 2017

(The Trump administration should confess judgment and order the Department of State and USAID to turn over the document. Will Obama administration holdovers in the deep state try to prevent that? — DM)

USAID website reports it gave $4,819,125 in taxpayer money to Soros’s Open Society Foundation – Macedonia between from 2012 to 2016 

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for records and communications relating to the funding and political activities of the Open Society Foundation – Macedonia.  The Macedonia organization, part of George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, received nearly $5 million from USAID from 2012 to 2016. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (No. 1:17-cv-00729)).

The suit was filed after both the U.S. Department of State and USAID failed to respond to a February 16, 2017, FOIA request seeking:

  • All records related to any grants, contracts, or disbursements of funds by the Department of State to the Open Society Foundation – Macedonia and/or any of the Foundation’s subsidiaries. This request includes all related requests for funding, payment authorizations, or similar records, as well as all related records of communication between any official, employee, or representative of the Department of State and any official, employee, or representative of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
  • Any records of communication between any official, employee, or representative of the Department of State and any officer, employee, or representative of the Open Society Foundation -Macedonia and/or any of the Foundation’s affiliated organizations. This request includes responsive records of communication sent from or directed to U.S. Ambassador to Macedonia Jess L. Baily.
  • All analyses or similar records regarding the political activities of the Open Society Foundation -Macedonia and/or any of the Foundation’s affiliated organizations.
  • All messages transmitted via the State Department’s SMART system sent from any U.S. Government employee or contractor operating under the Chief of Mission’s authority at the U.S. Embassy in Skopje that pertain to the Open Society Foundation – Macedonia and/or any of the Foundation’s affiliated organizations.

The USAID website reports that between February 27, 2012, and August 31, 2016, USAID gave $4,819,125 in taxpayer money to Soros’s Open Society Foundation – Macedonia (FOSM), in partnership with four local civil society organizations. The USAID’s website links to http://www.soros.org.mk, and says the project trained hundreds of young Macedonians “on topics such as freedom of association, youth policies, citizen initiatives, persuasive argumentation and use of new media.”

In February, Judicial Watch reported:

The U.S. government has quietly spent millions of taxpayer dollars to destabilize the democratically elected, center-right government in Macedonia by colluding with leftwing billionaire philanthropist George Soros, records obtained by Judicial Watch show. Barack Obama’s U.S. Ambassador to Macedonia, Jess L. Baily, has worked behind the scenes with Soros’ Open Society Foundation to funnel large sums of American dollars for the cause, constituting an interference of the U.S. Ambassador in domestic political affairs in violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

***

Here’s how the clandestine operation functions, according to high-level sources in Macedonia and the U.S. that have provided Judicial Watch with records as part of an ongoing investigation. The Open Society Foundation has established and funded dozens of leftwing, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Macedonia to overthrow the conservative government. One Macedonian government official interviewed by Judicial Watch in Washington D.C. recently, calls it the “Soros infantry.” The groups organize youth movements, create influential media outlets and organize violent protests to undermine the institutions and policies implemented by the government. One of the Soros’ groups funded the translation and publication of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” into Macedonian. The book is a tactical manual of subversion, provides direct advice for radical street protests and proclaims Lucifer to be the first radical. Thanks to Obama’s ambassador, who has not been replaced by President Trump, Uncle Sam keeps the money flowing so the groups can continue operating and recruiting, sources in Macedonia and the U.S. confirm.

According to InsidePhilanthropy.com, Soros’ Open Society Foundation “may be the largest philanthropic organization ever built, with branches in 37 countries. While the Gates Foundation spends more money, OSF has a larger footprint worldwide thanks to its many local offices, including throughout Africa.” OSF’s budget will be around $930 million …”

The activities of Ambassador Bailey and USAID’s funding of the Open Society Foundation have recently come under Congressional scrutiny. On January 17, 2017, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) sent a letter to Baily asking him to explain the State Department’s relationship with Open Society Foundation. On February 24, 2017, Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ), Louie Gohmert (R-TX), and others called on the Government Accountability Office to conduct an investigation and audit of the Department of State and USAID’s activities in Macedonia, including funding of Open Society Foundation entities and potential interference in domestic Macedonian political affairs in potential violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.

“The Obama administration seemed to bust taxpayer budgets in an effort to fund the Soros operation,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The Trump State Department and USAID should get their act together and disclose the details of the Obama-Soros spigot.”

EXCLUSIVE: Officials Defy Trump’s Promises: 40 Miles of Border Ordered Unpatrolled

April 18, 2017

EXCLUSIVE: Officials Defy Trump’s Promises: 40 Miles of Border Ordered Unpatrolled, BreitbartBrandon Darby & Ildefonso Ortiz, April 18, 2017

 

U.S. Border Patrol agents are once again sounding the alarm about miles of border being left wide open and unsecured. Breitbart Texas exclusively obtained a document showing a Havre Sector Border Patrol manager knowingly issuing orders to leave 40 miles of border open and unpatrolled. Obama holdovers in the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency are continuing with the same careless disregard in the Trump Administration that they did under former President Obama, according to Border Patrol agents.

Breitbart Texas has the specific order that was given to the agents signed by the Obama-holdover manager. The order demands that agents on the northern border stay within one assigned zone and are not to leave that zone to patrol other zones that the agents have historically patrolled — even though there are no agents assigned to patrol the other zones.. The Havre Sector has six Border Patrol stations and the order applies to one of these stations consisting of six zones. A total of 60 linear miles are covered by the one Border Patrol station in question, yet agents say that this only allows them to patrol 20 of the 60 miles of border.

When Breitbart Texas asked multiple Border Patrol agents about motives for the manager leaving such a vast swath of border unpatrolled, the agents felt that it was twofold; they blamed previous Obama-era policies and they also believed that widespread corruption exists within the Havre Sector’s upper-management.

One of the Border Patrol agents who was present when the manager gave the order spoke to Breitbart Texas on the condition of anonymity and said, “Criminal cartels exploit our weaknesses on a daily basis and they’re certainly going to exploit such a large area of open and unpatrolled border.” Another agent from the station told us on the same condition, “From a border security standpoint, this directive makes no sense, but there has to be a reason so I don’t think it’s a far stretch to conclude it’s due to corruption.” And yet another agent from the station speaking to us on the same condition said, “This order has to be coming from the Sector Chief and Deputy Chief Patrol Agents. They, along with the Station’s Patrol Agent in Charge and Deputy Patrol Agent in Charge, need to be immediately reassigned until a full and thorough investigation can be done into this order.”

Border Patrol Agent Brandon Judd, President of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) was appalled when he heard of this incident from agents — thereby confirming to Breitbart Texas the authenticity of the other agents’ concerns. He told Breitbart Texas that there have been more complaints filed out of the Havre sector than any other sector within recent years. Unfortunately, he says the agency has justified all of the manager’s actions. Agent Judd said anytime you have managers investigating other managers, the result is always “no cause of wrong doing found.”

Agent Judd said there must be accountability from the top down. “I believe Secretary Kelly’s constant praise of former Secretary Jeh Johnson is an endorsement of his open border policies. There are so many good managers in the Border Patrol, but when Secretary Kelly condones his predecessors failures, he opens the door for the bad managers to act like this and bring shame on the entire organization.” Agent Judd continued, “President Trump is the president of the common citizen and the choice of the rank-and-file Border Patrol Agents, unfortunately there are those highly paid career managers who want to believe they’re above everyone else — up to and including the President of the United States.”

Agent Judd said the rank-and-file Border Patrol agents have spoken with the managers at the station in question until they were blue in the face — all to no avail.  “Managers who sit behind a desk and never patrol the border should never dictate operations and policy, otherwise this is what you get.”

Multiple Border Patrol agents who were present for the manager’s order to leave 40 miles of border open spoke with Breitbart Texas. They said that all Border Patrol agents who were present argued with the manager and informed him they felt the order was “illegal and was dereliction of duty.”  They even argued it was contrary to the President Trump’s express wishes as set forth in the Border Security Executive Order. The agents asked for the rationale behind the order, but the manager refused to provide one, according to them.

Luckily for all of the Border Patrol agents present, a representative of the NBPC who is also an agent walked into the muster room as the order was given and he wrote the order down verbatim, according to the agents. Not only did he document the order, but the agents claim he read it back to the manager and asked, “did I twist your words?” and the manager responded that he did not. The agent and NBPC representative had all agents present sign the documentation and he asked the manager to also sign the order which the manager did.

Breitbart Texas showed the handwritten and signed order we obtained to Agent Judd and he confirmed that agents were, in fact, given this order. He pointed to the manager’s signature on the order as authentic. We provide the leaked document below. The names have been redacted to avoid any chance of revealing the exact station in the Havre Sector.

 

Tom Fitton Discussing the Anti-Trump ‘Deep State’ and JW’s Lawsuits Over Voter Rolls & Ammo Bans

April 14, 2017

Tom Fitton Discussing the Anti-Trump ‘Deep State’ and JW’s Lawsuits Over Voter Rolls & Ammo Bans, Judicial Watch via YouTube, April 14, 2017

Border Patrol union urges Trump to cut Obama’s red tape holding back agents

April 3, 2017

Border Patrol union urges Trump to cut Obama’s red tape holding back agents, Washington Times

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine agent peers out of the open door of a helicopter during a patrol flight over McAllen, Texas, near the U.S.-Mexico border. (Associated Press)

The Homeland Security Department has been reluctant to send helicopters on nighttime missions to aid the Border Patrol, leaving agents to face drug smugglers and illegal immigrants without critical air cover, the chief of the agents’ labor union told Congress late last month.

Brandon Judd, an agent who is also president of the National Border Patrol Council, said that unless President Trump can solve that kind of bureaucratic bungling — and is willing to oust the Obama administration figures who botched the policies — he will struggle to secure the border.

The helicopters are one example of that, Mr. Judd said.

Mr. Judd said that when the Border Patrol controlled its own helicopters, it got the air support it needed. But after the Homeland Security Department was created more than a decade ago, the helicopters were turned over to the Office of Air and Marine, which has been reluctant to fly the nighttime hours the agents need.

“Right now the Office of Air and Marine, they fly very little at night,” he told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “In fact, in [the Rio Grande Valley sector], we had to use Coast Guard to fly sorties in certain areas. And when their apprehensions became so great, it’s my understanding the officer at Air and Marine asked them not to fly anymore at night in RGV because it was making them look bad.”

Officials at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the agency that oversees both the Border Patrol and the Air and Marine division, declined to comment.

But Mr. Judd said it’s just one example of a bureaucracy erecting hurdles — what he called “kingdom-building” — that he said could stymie Mr. Trump’s immigration goals.

“We talk about securing the border, and the border — we can absolutely secure it, but it cannot be secure if our operations are not sound,” Mr. Judd told The Washington Times.

“What’s very concerning to Border Patrol agents is, to this point, we still have the same people who gave us all of the failed operations, who were the authors of the catch-and-release program. They’re still in charge — even under this current administration,” the union chief said. “That’s head-scratching, especially since the president said we’re going to drain the swamp.”

Mr. Trump’s early changes to enforcement policy, freeing agents to carry out the law enforcement duties they signed up for, has helped boost morale, said Mr. Judd and Chris Crane, the head of the union for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council.

But they said the agencies’ leadership needs attention.

Mr. Crane said “a good ol’ boy network” pervades ICE, which he said is too heavy on managers who get in the way of agents trying to enforce immigration laws in the interior. He said agents are eager to enforce laws against employers who hire illegal immigrants, but their hands are tied.

The complaints of bureaucratic bungling struck home with both Democrats and Republicans on the homeland security committee, who said they are eager to find bipartisan areas where they can help the agents get things going.

One challenge is the polygraph test, which all Border Patrol applicants must pass. The agency’s 75 percent failure rate is higher than that of any other law enforcement department, but the top brass say they are committed to it — even as they prepare to try to hire 5,000 more agents to comply with Mr. Trump’s executive orders.

Even police officers who have passed polygraphs for their current jobs but who are looking to transfer can end up failing, Mr. Judd said.

Both Democrats and Republicans said they are eager to clean up the immigration agencies within the Homeland Security Department and would like to find common ground with the agents and officers.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, Missouri Democrat, said the panelists want to know the names of bureaucrats who are standing in the way of smart enforcement — though she said the ICE and Border Patrol unions, which endorsed Mr. Trump in the election campaign, may have a greater claim to the president’s ear.

Still, one Democrat, Sen. Kamala D. Harris of California, said she worries that the agency is expanding too quickly, without training to protect illegal immigrants from overzealous enforcement. She wanted to make sure agents weren’t going after lesser-priority targets.

“When troops on the ground have not been trained, it leads to dysfunction because there is a lack of consistency and accountability and direction,” she told Mr. Crane, the chief of the union for ICE agents and officers.

Mr. Crane told her she misunderstood how agents in the field carried out their priority targeting.

Mr. Crane and Mr. Judd also said the government needs to be careful about salaries. Because ICE agents have higher pay and often have better living options away from remote border communities, Border Patrol agents may rush to join the other force.

Part of the problem is the complicated bureaucratic web.

ICE and the Border Patrol are separate law enforcement divisions within Homeland Security.

That bureaucratic mess also helps explain the problem with helicopter patrols along the border.

The Border Patrol used to have its own helicopters, but after CBP was created as part of Homeland Security, the Air and Marine division was created as a separate agency within CBP. Now, when agents want the assistance of eyes in the sky, they have to go outside their own chain of command.

Mr. Judd said the helicopters are a perfect illustration: Most illegal crossings are attempted at night, and air support is critical for maintaining visibility.

Just as important, when those attempting to sneak in hear a helicopter overhead, they are less likely to run — making the apprehension easier and less dangerous for agents.

Mr. Judd said the air division has dedicated most of its resources to the Border Patrol, but not at the right times, leaving the agents without night cover.

“We expected to see a huge change in the way CBP operates. There’s been no change to this point,” he said.

CBP has long faced questions about its use of air resources. The Homeland Security inspector general has been particularly withering in its evaluation of the drone program, saying CBP has a tough time keeping its aircraft aloft and in scheduling missions and can’t demonstrate the worth of the program.

CBP officials have said the inspector general is using suspect calculations.

Flights themselves can be dangerous.

In 2015, a helicopter was called in to assist local police who were trying to stop a drug smuggling attempt near Laredo, Texas. As the helicopter was making its second pass, it took fire from the Mexican side — perhaps as many as 15 rounds, two of which struck the aircraft.

CBP officials later said the man who fired on the helicopter was a specialized contractor whom the smugglers used to provide cover for their operations. Mexican authorities caught the man.

But in hopes of sending a message to the cartels, CBP sent to the region several Black Hawk helicopters, which can be armored to withstand enemy fire while continuing to fly.

Unmasking Susan Rice and her NSC dead-enders

April 3, 2017

Unmasking Susan Rice and her NSC dead-enders, American ThinkerMonica Showalter, April 3, 2017

It’s time to start investigating this arrogant abuse of power now. Comey has not stated whether he is investigating these people or not, and this is proper. But with these dead-enders clearly threatening the Trump presidency, it’s time to see a hard hand come out against these deep-staters who don’t know when to leave office, and who subscribe to the leftist situational ethics of ‘by any means necessary.’ They are poison for our republic and if they are not removed, they will destroy the Trump presidency

**************************

Journalist/activist Mike Cernovich reports that former White House National Security Advisor Susan Rice obtained intelligence reports showing the identities of innocent Americans who incidentally spoke to foreign officials under security sweeps for spying or intelligence activities. Under U.S. law, U.S. persons are protected from such disclosure, which could be dry-cleaners asking envoys to pick up their laundry or wrong number phone messages spilling their guts about their mothers-in-law. If such U.S. persons get swept up in surveillance, they are protected. But only if they remain ‘masked,’ which is the law of the land.

Cernovich says the White House Counsel’s office has confirmed that Rice was one of the few officials with the authority to make the requests to unmask the innocent Americans caught up in surveillance dragnets. There was no national security reason to do so, but she did. It makes a lot of sense if the aim is political, however, and White House spokesman Sean Spicer has pointed out that their goal was ‘to leak stuff.’ Based on White House logs, she did, during the transition back when angry miserable Obama White House officials frowned in a group photo for the cameras.

The White House counsel’s office disclosed these logs to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, who has been as responsible a steward of America’s secrets as anyone (and said nothing). But it would mean that Rice had to have been responsible for the illegal leaking to the press of the legitimate activities of people like her NSC successor Mike Flynn, for political rather than national security purposes. This would be true whether she did it herself or dispatched a flunky like fellow NSC official Ben Rhodes or Joe Biden’s NSC man Colin Kahl to execute the dirty-tricks skullduggery.

It’s par for the course. Rice was the speaker of the infamous phony White House talking points on why four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, were slaughtered in Benghazi on 9/11/12, repeatedly stating for the press that the attack on the U.S. compound was the act of a spontaneous crowd that got out of control over a video, and not the pre-planned, lethally executed al-Qaida terrorist attack it was. After that, she went onto support the admittedly phony narratives about the Iran Deal, which her buddy Ben Rhodes, a creative writing major, cooked up out of thin air, just as he did the Benghazi talking points.

Cernovich reports that New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman (caught on Wikileaks for being in the tank with Obama) had the information, and chose to sit on it to protect the former president.

But based on the White House counsel act, the news nevertheless got out. The story meshes well with what FBI Director James Comey told the House Intelligence Committee, in response to Nunes’ request for information on leaks last March 20. Comey told the committee that only 20 people would have had access to the names of innocent Americans caught up in the spy dragnet during the transition. Rice was one of them.

Rice, like Rhodes, has the farthest of far-left backgrounds, and the highest of malice against the incoming president. Rhodes never was able to pass a background check to obtain a security clearance and continues to mock and berate Trump & Co, as if he thinks he owned the job and now they took it. Another coeval at NSC, Colin Kahl, who was attached to Joe Biden, seems to have laid out the diabolical plans for picking off Trump’s lieutenants one by one. The tweets he issues are unbelievable, here is one:

Colin Kahl‏ @ColinKahl

The 2nd essential step is purging or marginalizing the “Axis of Ideologues” in the West Wing: Bannon, Miller, Anton, Gorka, KT McFarland.14/

6:21 AM – 11 Mar 2017

With a pattern of malice and mishandled security information centered around NSC dead-enders, the one thing we can see is that there is a coterie of illegal leakers who will compromise national security to enact their political aims.

Devin Nunes pointedly asked Comey whether he knew that illegally leaking national security secrets was a jailtime offense. The FBI director said yes.

It’s time to start investigating this arrogant abuse of power now. Comey has not stated whether he is investigating these people or not, and this is proper. But with these dead-enders clearly threatening the Trump presidency, it’s time to see a hard hand come out against these deep-staters who don’t know when to leave office, and who subscribe to the leftist situational ethics of ‘by any means necessary.’ They are poison for our republic and if they are not removed, they will destroy the Trump presidency.

 

Russia? No, the Pony in the Manure Is the Corruption of our Intelligence Officials

April 2, 2017

Russia? No, the Pony in the Manure Is the Corruption of our Intelligence Officials, American ThinkerClarice Feldman, April 2, 2017

There’s so much in print and online about the House and Senate intelligence committees and Russian “collusion” with Trump that I can’t blame people with real lives to lead who just throw their hands up and garden or go hiking. Some will assume there’s got to be a pony in there somewhere, as Ronald Reagan used to joke about the kid digging through manure. I think there is, but it isn’t that Russia corrupted the 2016 election, it’s that Obama and his closest aides, including some at the highest level in the intelligence community, illegally intercepted one or more Republican candidates’ communications before the election, circulated them widely to their cohorts and then tried to use this information to defeat and later to hamstring Trump when Hillary — to their surprise — lost the election.

I also suspect that the attacks on Flynn have nothing to do with his Russian contacts which he disclosed, but, rather, to misdeeds respecting the Middle East, particularly Iran, the country he observed as Obama’s head of the DIA.

The Surveillance and “Unmasking” of Trump and his Associates 

We learned this week that surveillance of Trump began long before he was the Republican nominee, and that the names in the intercepted communications were “unmasked” — that is, identified by name or context — by someone high up in the intelligence community.

In addition, citizens affiliated with Trump’s team who were unmasked were not associated with any intelligence about Russia or other foreign intelligence, sources confirmed. The initial unmasking led to other surveillance, which led to other private citizens being wrongly unmasked, sources said.

“Unmasking is not unprecedented, but unmasking for political purposes… specifically of Trump transition team members… is highly suspect and questionable,” an intelligence source told Fox News. “Opposition by some in the intelligence agencies who were very connected to the Obama and Clinton teams was strong. After Trump was elected, they decided they were going to ruin his presidency by picking them off one by one.”

Nunes and Surveillance Reports

The best summation of this week’s distraction — respecting chairman of the House intelligence committee, Devin Nunes — is Victor Davis Hanson’s which I urge those of you interested to read in its entirety.

First, the central question remains who leaked what classified information for what reasons; second, since when is it improper or even unwise for an apprehensive intelligence official to bring information of some importance to the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee for external review — in a climate of endemic distrust of all intelligence agencies?[snip] Nunes also said that the surveillance shown to him “was essentially a lot of information on the President-elect and his transition team and what they were doing.” Further, he suggested that the surveillance may have involved high-level Obama officials. When a reporter at Nunes’ second March 22 press conference asked, “Can you rule out the possibility that senior Obama-administration officials were involved in this?” Nunes replied, “No, we cannot.” Ipso facto these are startling disclosures of historical proportions — if true, of an anti-constitutional magnitude comparable to Watergate. Given the stakes, we should expect hysteria to follow, and it has followed. [snip]

Some notion of such intrigue, or rather the former nexus between Congress, the Obama administration, the intelligence agencies, and the monitoring of incoming Trump officials, was inadvertently disclosed recently by former Obama-administration Department of Defense deputy assistant secretary and current MSNBC commentator Evelyn Farkas. In an interview that originally aired on March 2 and that was reported on this week by Fox, Farkas seemed to brag on air about her own efforts scrambling to release information on the incoming Trump team’s purported talks with the Russians. Farkas’s revelation might put into context the eleventh-hour Obama effort to more widely disseminate intelligence findings among officials, one that followed even earlier attempts to broaden access to Obama-administration surveillance.

In any event, the White House invited  the highest ranking  members of the House and Senate intelligence committees to come view the documents themselves. Adam Schiff did, and reported he’d seen what Nunes had, after which he did not deny the intercepted communications contained nothing about Russia or Trump. They clearly were of no national intelligence significance, but rather, as Hanson noted, were evidence that the prior administration was snooping on political adversaries using the apparatus of the state to do so.

We also learned this week that Hillary (despite her uncontested mishandling of classified information when she was Secretary of State), and her aides, including Farkas, were given access to classified information long after she left the Department of State which, with Farkas’ admission on MSNBC, underscores the apparent misuse of intelligence from her end.

FBI Director James Comey and former DNI James Clapper

As for Comey, Hanson notes:

There is no need to rehash the strange political career of FBI director James Comey during the 2016 election. As Andrew McCarthy has noted in his recent NRO analyses, news accounts alleged that Comey’s FBI investigations of supposed contacts between General Michael Flynn and the Russian ambassador were shared with Obama-administration officials — but why and how we are not sure. Comey himself was quick to note that his agency is investigating supposed collusion between Team Trump and Russia, but he refused to comment on whether or not the FBI is investigating possibly inappropriate or illegal intercepts of Trump officials and the surely illegal dissemination of intercepted info through leaks to favorable media.

But there’s much more to be said about him and his “investigation” which seems to be continuing only to cover his own backside.

The FBI was concerned that the ill-secured DNC internet communications were being hacked and sought to examine them. The DNC refused and engaged an outfit called Crowd Strike to do the job. Crowd Strike reported the Russia had likely tapped their server. There’s no explanation of why Crowd Strike was chosen, why the FBI allowed this, and why it apparently relied on that outfit’s findings. Recently Crowd Strike has walked back many of its claims after a VOA report that the company misrepresented data published by an influential British think tank.

And then there’s the dossier compiled by the former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele. If you recall, this dossier was commissioned through a DC firm, Fusion GPS, by Hillary to dig up opposition research on her opponents, and when she dropped it, unnamed Republicans followed up on the contract. At some point (accounts vary about how this occurred), dog in the manger John McCain got it and widely distributed it to the press and political figures. These Republicans, too, dropped the service, at which time the FBI picked it up, though they claim not to have paid GPS. Comey apparently has based his still ongoing “investigation” on it. The dossier is utter bunk. Ironically, it is Fusion GPS that is tied to Russian intelligence.

“It is highly troubling that Fusion GPS appears to have been working with someone with ties to Russian intelligence — let alone someone alleged to have conducted political disinformation campaigns — as part of a pro-Russia lobbying effort while also simultaneously overseeing the creation of the Trump/Russia dossier,” writes [Senator] Grassley.

Akhmetshin hired Simpson and Fusion GPS last year to work on a campaign to roll back the Magnitsky Act, a law passed in 2012 which imposed sanctions against a handful of Russian criminals accused of human rights violations.

The law was named in honor of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer who was killed by jail guards in 2009. Magnitsky was working for Bill Browder, a London-based investor who once operated in Russia, when he uncovered a $230 million fraud being carried out by the Russian government.

After Magnitsky’s death, Browder began lobbying U.S. lawmakers to enact sanctions against Russian criminals engaged in human rights abuses.

In a FARA complaint submitted in July, Browder laid out the case that Akhmetshin conducted a covert lobbying campaign to hinder the Global Magnitsky Act, an expansion of the original law.

The report is not worthy of consideration, but the FBI and Rep. Adam Schiff did apparently rely on it, drawing into question the FBI’s “independence from politics” and Schiff’s credulity or venality:

Citing current and former government officials, the New Yorker reported the dossier prompted skepticism among intelligence community members, with the publication quoting one member as saying it was a “nutty” piece of evidence to submit to a U.S. president.

Steele’s work has been questioned by former acting CIA director Morell, who currently works at the Hillary Clinton-tied Beacon Global Strategies LLC. Beacon was founded by Phillippe Reines, who served as Communications Adviser to Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state. From 2009-2013, Reines also served in Clinton’s State Department as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Strategic Communications. Reines is the managing director of Beacon…

Morell, who was in line to become CIA director if Clinton won, said he had seen no evidence that Trump associates cooperated with Russians. He also raised questions about the dossier written by a former British intelligence officer, which alleged a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia…

Morell pointed out that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said on Meet the Press on March 5 that he had seen no evidence of a conspiracy when he left office January 20.

“That’s a pretty strong statement by General Clapper,” Morell said.

Regarding Steele’s dossier, Morell stated, “Unless you know the sources, and unless you know how a particular source acquired a particular piece of information, you can’t judge the information — you just can’t.”

Morell charged the dossier “doesn’t take you anywhere, I don’t think.”

“I had two questions when I first read it. One was, How did Chris talk to these sources? I have subsequently learned that he used intermediaries.”

Morell continued:

And then I asked myself, why did these guys provide this information, what was their motivation? And I subsequently learned that he paid them. That the intermediaries paid the sources and the intermediaries got the money from Chris. And that kind of worries me a little bit because if you’re paying somebody, particularly former FSB officers, they are going to tell you truth and innuendo and rumor, and they’re going to call you up and say, “Hey, let’s have another meeting, I have more information for you,” because they want to get paid some more.

I think you’ve got to take all that into consideration when you consider the dossier.’

Maybe Comey is continuing the investigation to blur his own role in the Obama administration’s improper and illegal snooping on his party’s opponents. He has not closed the investigation despite its apparently flimsy basis, perhaps to protect himself. He was supposed to report this investigation in a timely manner to the Congressional and Senate intelligence committees and did not.

As a correspondent with some knowledge of these matters related to me:

“When push comes to shove, no investigation gets opened, no FISA order is applied for, without James Comey’s say-so.  They can bluster, but it’s damned hard to get rid of an FBI Director without a very, very public stink.  He could have said no, but he didn’t.  That means the investigation is bound to focus on him.  And count on it — the decision to short circuit Congressional oversight was probably pushed on him by those same people, but once again, it was ultimately his decision.  He could’ve gone to the Committee, but he didn’t.  His decision, his responsibility.”

His view is strengthened by Comey’s obfuscation at a Congressional hearing:

The counter-intel investigation, by his own admission, began in July 2016. Congress was not notified until March 2017. That’s an eight month period – Obviously obfuscating the quarterly claim moments earlier.

The uncomfortable aspect to this line of inquiry is Comey’s transparent knowledge of the politicized Office of the DNI James Clapper by President Obama.

The first and second questions from Stefanik were clear. Comey’s understanding of the questions was clear. However, Comey directly evaded truthful response to the second question. When you watch the video, you can see Comey quickly connecting the dots on where this inquiry was going.

There is only one reasonable explanation for FBI Director James Comey to be launching a counter-intel investigation in July 2016, notifying the White House and Clapper, and keeping it under wraps from congress. Comey was a participant in the intelligence gathering for political purposes — wittingly, or unwittingly.

As a direct consequence of this mid-thought-stream Comey obfuscation, it is now clear — at least to me — that Director Comey was using his office as a facilitating conduit for the political purposes of the Obama White House.

John Brennan

It’s possible that the tissue-thin, incredible Steele “dossier” was not the only disinformation source. At the Spectator there’s a plausible account of how Obama’s CIA director John Brennan worked with Hillary and certain Baltic figures to discredit Trump with the charge of collusion with Russia.

Brennan pushed for a multi-agency investigation of the Trump campaign, using as his pretext alleged intelligence from an unnamed Baltic state. That “intelligence” was supplied at the very moment Baltic officials had their own political motivation to smear Trump.

“Last April, the CIA director was shown intelligence that worried him. It was — allegedly — a tape recording of a conversation about money from the Kremlin going into the US presidential campaign. It was passed to the US by an intelligence agency of one of the Baltic States,” reported the BBC’s Paul Wood.

Is it just a coincidence that Brennan got this tape recording from a Baltic State intelligence agency in April when officials in the Baltic States were up in arms over candidate Trump? Recall that in March of 2016 — the month before Brennan allegedly got the recording from Baltic spies — Trump made remarks about NATO that the press was hyping as hostile to the Baltic States. [snip]

Hillary and her allies in the media seized on these remarks and ripped Trump on the false claim that, if elected, he would “pull out of NATO,” leaving Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia to fend for themselves against Russia.

Such fearmongering set off an anti-Trump panic in political circles within the Baltic States. Out of it came a steady stream of stories with headlines such as: “Baltic States Fearful of Trump’s Nato Views” and “Estonian Prez Appears to Push Back on Trump’s NATO Comments.”

[Snip]

Both Brennan and officials in the Baltic States had strong incentives to help Hillary and hurt Trump. That Brennan and some Baltic spies teamed up to inflate the significance of some half-baked intelligence from a recording isn’t surprising. Only in such a feverish partisan milieu would basic questions go unasked, such as: Is it really a good idea to investigate a political opponent on the basis of a lead provided by a country that wants to see him lose?

Flynn

Flynn was Obama’s head of the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) and served only days under Trump. Reports this week initially made it appear that he was under investigation for ties to Russia, but it is more obvious to me that he knows about skullduggery by the prior administration in the Middle East, most likely Iran, and wants protection against the sort of unwarranted prosecutions Ted Stevens and Lewis Libby suffered at the hands of vindictive Democrats and their minions. The charges against him are being leveled by former Obama aide Sally Yates, who has utterly discredited herself earlier by her demonstrably false claim that the White House blocked her from testifying to Congress when the documentation clearly shows she was not.

Perhaps the easiest thing to do is to just consider everything the Democrats say, directly or through the media, which just prints as truth handouts from the same Democratic sources, as a lie. You’d save a lot of time and most likely be right.