Archive for the ‘Intelligence leaks’ category

Putin Wins Big

June 23, 2017

Putin Wins Big, Jewish Media Resources, Jonathan Rosenblum, June 23, 2017

(Putin is winning because the national focus is on non-events. Hence, our faith in the electoral system has been damaged and the ability of the Trump administration to focus on the agenda Trump was elected to pursue has been limited. The Congress, rather than focus on legislating, is preoccupied with investigations of non-events. That’s good for America’s enemies and bad for America. President Trump’s successes in focusing on his agenda despite the many distractions speak well of him. — DM)

Smith makes an insightful distinction between “consolations, vicious self-sung lullabies” and “conspiracy theories.” Examples of the former would be: Hillary lost because the Russians hacked the election; our children died because the Jews poisoned the wells.

But such “consolations,” as vicious as they may be, only become full-blown conspiracy theories when weaponized through the mass media for political use. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion would be the classic example of such a conspiracy theory. And, Smith points out, Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables” do not have the platforms “to proliferate weaponized narratives capable of doing real damage to our polity – the elites do.” And those elites — the press, the intelligence community, political parties – have been used to legitimize a conspiracy theory.

James Kirchik, another anti-Trump pundit (as well as a brilliant analyst on many issues) laments the way the “confirmation bias” has resulted in well-meaning, liberal anti-Trump journalists reporting stories that they want to be true and are emotionally true for them – e.g., stories of threatened or actual violence against minorities – but are factually false.

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It is certain that Russia launched a massive hacking campaign to undermine the U.S. electoral process in 2016. That is a major issue that needs to be thoroughly investigated, and steps taken so that it does not recur.

Though the Russian involvement in the 2016 election targeted both presidential candidates at various times, it likely damaged Hillary Clinton’s campaign more. Confirmation in the emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee that the DNC had actively favored Clinton over her chief rival for the Democratic nomination, Senator Bernie Sanders, infuriated Sanders supporters. Conceivably enough of those supporters could have decided not to vote for Clinton based on those emails to have made a difference in the three crucial battleground states – Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

Thus far, however, the primary focus on the Russian hacking has been with respect to the far-fetched claim that the Russians colluded with the Trump campaign fashion in some fashion The obsessive focus on that issue has turned the hacking into a major victory for Vladimir Putin by introducing an unparalleled degree of rancor and paralysis into the American political system.

James Kirchik writing in the May 3 American Interest (“Who Killed the Liberal World Order”), describes how at last September’s G-20 summit in Hangzhou, China, then President Obama confronted Russian President Vladimir Putin about the Russian hacking of the DNC, and told him to “cut it out” or “face serious consequences.” In October, according to Bloomberg News, the White House used a cyber version of the “red phone” to convey to the Kremlin detailed evidence of Russian hacking of voter data banks in numerous states. On both occasions, Putin, who had long since taken Obama’s measure, did nothing in response.

WHATEVER THE REASON Putin decided to interfere with the 2016 election, it was not because he feared Obama or Obama’s legacy-bearer, former Secretary of State Clinton. Starting with Clinton’s declared “reset” of relations with Russia, shortly after the Obama administration entered office in 2009, until Obama issued his warning at Hangzhou, the United States had repeatedly stood down in every possible confrontation with Russia.

The 2009 reset itself took place in the wake of the assassinations by Russian intelligence agents of Alexander Livinenko in London, where the former Russian intelligence operative he had been granted political asylum, and of Russia’s leading investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya. Russia was also busy hardening control of areas of Georgia occupied by Russian troops. As part of the reset, the Obama administration abandoned plans to provide Poland and Czechoslovakia with anti-missile defenses.

During the 2012 presidential debates, Obama mocked his Republican opponent Mitt Romney for listing Russia as the United States’ primary international foe. “The 80s called. They want their foreign policy back,” teased Obama. And even prior to the 2012 campaign, Obama told Putin’s sidekick Dmitry Medvedev that he’d be able to be “more flexible” after the campaign, and asked for a little breathing room from Russia.

All Obama’s shows of good will, however, went unreciprocated by Putin. In 2013, Putin granted asylum to Edward Snowden, the former CIA employee who had exposed the U.S. National Security Agency’s surveillance methods. The same year Putin cracked down on foreign-funded NGO’s, and invaded the Ukraine. Obama refused to supply the Ukrainians with defensive weapons, as the United States had committed to do in the Budapest Memorandum, drafted when the former Soviet republics gave up their nuclear stockpiles.

In 2015, Soviet forces entered Syria in force to shore up the Assad regime, fairly daring the United States to challenge them. Previously, Putin had humiliated Obama by offering him a lifeline, when the latter refused to enforce his own redline against Assad’s deployment of chemical weapons.

PUTIN HAD reasons to prefer Trump to Clinton. He harbors a paranoid belief that Hillary orchestrated protests against him in 2011. And, writes Kirchik in the Los Angeles Times, he appreciated that Trump’s ignorant outbursts made “American politics – and by extension America – look like a foolish country.”

Putin may also have thought that Trump’s neo-Jacksonian, quasi-isolationist campaign talk would serve Russia’s interest in carving out a sphere of interest in its near abroad. But, as Kirchik notes in his American Interest piece, Obama’s “interconnected world,” without American power to back it up, had already resulted in a reduction of American influence and allowed Putin free rein in Russia’s near abroad.

The Russians were as shocked as everyone else, however, by Trump’s victory. Their goal was not so much to defeat Clinton, as to render it difficult for her (or Trump) to govern and to thereby “weaken the world’s last superpower,” writes Professor Mark Galeotti of the Institute of International Relations Prague in Tablet. And their means for doing so was to reduce America’s democratic legitimacy by calling the election results into question and reducing the scope for compromise and consensus in the American political system.

Or as veteran Moscow correspondent David Satter argued in the June 12 Wall Street Journal, Putin did not so much support Donald Trump, as he sought American political paralysis. The differences between Trump and Clinton were simply not that significant in his view.

Putin’s method is to sow chaos, to light a hundred brushfires and see which ones turn into full-fledged forest fires. “Putin is not a chess player,” writes Galeotti. “He and his people are improvisers and opportunists. They try to create multiple potential points of leverage, never knowing which will prove useful or not.”

One of those prongs was the so-called “Trump dossier, compiled by former British intelligence official Christopher Steele based on information “sold” to him by Russian intelligence officials. The document bears all the marks of a classic Russian disinformation campaign. “The kind of gossip that fills the Trump Dossier, writes Galeotti, is common currency in Moscow, “even if very little of it has any authority behind it aside from the speaker’s own imagination.”

One thing is almost certain: The Trump campaign did not collude with the Russians. Both Senator Diane Feinstein and Congressman Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrats on the Senate and House intelligence committees investigating Russia’s electoral involvement, respectively, have confirmed that they have seen nothing to implicate Trump or his aides in collusion with Russia.

The absence of collusion is, moreover, logically demonstrable. If there were collusion, the Russians would undoubtedly possess evidence of it. Since coming to office, the Trump administration has taken a much more aggressive anti-Russian stance than Obama ever did – targeting with cruise missiles an airfield and planes of Russian ally Bashir Assad and just this week shooting down a Syrian plane in a dogfight; allowing Montenegro’s entry into the NATO alliance; denying Exxon-Mobil a waiver for energy exploration in Russia; and sharply criticizing Russian support for the Taliban in Afghanistan. If Putin possessed incriminating evidence on Trump, he would have already revealed it in order to destroy President Trump. Elementary, my dear Watson.

DESPITE THE LACK OF ANY PLAUSIBLE EVIDENCE OF COLLUSION, Russian interference in the 2016 election has set in motion a “self-sustaining process,” in Galeotti’s words, in which “America is tearing itself apart with little need for Russian help.”

It is hard to know for sure whether those most actively promoting the Trump-Russian collusion narrative really believe it themselves or just see it as the best way of bringing down the president. About the latter they might be right. Already the anti-Trump forces have succeeded in gaining the appointment of a special prosecutor, and the scope of the special prosecutor’s investigation has expanded to legally flimsy charges of obstruction of justice against Trump. Once a special prosecutor is in the saddle there is no way of knowing where things will go. The longer the investigation continues the greater the chance of a prosecution for something entirely tangential to the original investigation.

Patrick Fitzgerald, for instance, was appointed special prosecutor to investigate the outing of CIA employee Valerie Flame. From the very outset of the investigation, he knew the source of that information; Undersecretary of State Richard Armitage was the one who told it to columnist Robert Novak. Armitage, however, was never prosecuted. But Fitzgerald carried on for years, until he claimed the scalp of Vice-President Richard Cheney’s top aide, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, on perjury charges, over statements given to investigators about which there were conflicting memories.

Putin has succeeded in driving a wedge between President and the intelligence agencies upon which he must rely for crucial decisions. Every week, a new leak emerges from some anonymous intelligence official – leaks which, if true, would subject the leaker to up to ten years in prison. Yet the source of these leaks has received little attention from the FBI or other investigative bodies.

Lee Smith bemoans in Tablet that the president’s very real flaws, which are “plain to every sentient being on the planet,” have been supplanted as a topic of discussion by a “toxic fabulism typical of Third World and Muslim societies.” “A vulgar conspiratorial mind-set [has become] the norm among the country’s educated elite . . . and is being legitimized daily by a truth-telling bureaucrats who make evidence-free and even deliberately false accusations behind a cloak of anonymity.”

Smith makes an insightful distinction between “consolations, vicious self-sung lullabies” and “conspiracy theories.” Examples of the former would be: Hillary lost because the Russians hacked the election; our children died because the Jews poisoned the wells.

But such “consolations,” as vicious as they may be, only become full-blown conspiracy theories when weaponized through the mass media for political use. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion would be the classic example of such a conspiracy theory. And, Smith points out, Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables” do not have the platforms “to proliferate weaponized narratives capable of doing real damage to our polity – the elites do.” And those elites — the press, the intelligence community, political parties – have been used to legitimize a conspiracy theory.

James Kirchik, another anti-Trump pundit (as well as a brilliant analyst on many issues) laments the way the “confirmation bias” has resulted in well-meaning, liberal anti-Trump journalists reporting stories that they want to be true and are emotionally true for them – e.g., stories of threatened or actual violence against minorities – but are factually false.

He points to the non-stop anti-Trump vitriol from the Twitter feed of the New York Times assistant Washington D.C. editor, Jonathan Weissmann – anti-Trump vitriol that matches his own – as an example of the mainstream press having lost any claim to the public’s trust about the news stories it publishes.

In the short-run the beneficiary of the mainstream media’s reporting of baseless stories, such as that the Russians successfully hacked voting machines in key states, is Donald Trump. By refuting the wilder accusations, he can evade the more substantive ones and, at the same time, stoke the anger that brought him to the presidency in the first place.

But in the long-run, the current state of political toxicity, manifested last week in an assassination attempt against GOP congressman, and the loss of credibility of our major media organizations weakens America and its place in the world. And the big winner from that is Vladimir Putin.

Judicial Watch: Options Exist to Obtain Susan Rice ‘Unmasking’ Requests

June 21, 2017

Judicial Watch: Options Exist to Obtain Susan Rice ‘Unmasking’ Requests, Newsmax, Brian Freeman, June 21, 2017

(Please see also, Susan Rice skates again. — DM)

Records concerning the unmasking of Trump campaign officials by former President Barack Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice that have been sealed for five years at the Barack Obama Presidential Library can be obtained if Congress or special counsel Robert Mueller requests them, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton told Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” Wednesday.

The president could also obtain the material if it is deemed important to carry out his tasks, Fitton said.

“There are options to get these records and they need to be taken because there could be elements of the records in other agencies, but these are key White House records about what the White House was up to,” Fitton said. “And that seems to me as important as anything else.”

Fitton argued those record need to be obtained, so it can be determined if intelligence abuses by Susan Rice and others in the Obama White House actually occurred.

He added that it’s also important to figure out when the records were sent off to the presidential library.

“Did it happen during the Trump administration? Were they told about it? Was this a bureaucratic shell game?” Fitton said.

After reports emerged in April that Rice had requested to unveil the hidden names of Trump transition officials who were caught up in surveillance of foreign targets, Judicial Watch requested materials related to the issue.

But the group announced earlier this week that it received a letter from the National Security Council that the material had been sent to the Obama Library.

This means that they are sealed from the public for at least five years.

Susan Rice skates again

June 20, 2017

Susan Rice skates again, American ThinkerMonica Showalter, June 20, 2017

It’s pretty astonishing what President Obama’s Deep State Dead Enders will do to protect their self-claimed ‘right’ to break the law with impunity.

From Breitbart News:

The National Security Council cannot hand over records relating to former National Security Adviser Susan Rice’s surveillance of Americans, because they have been moved to the Obama presidential library and may be sealed for as may as five years, conservative watchdog Judicial Watch announced Monday.

The NSC informed Judicial Watch in a letter dated May 23 that materials related to Rice’s requests to know the identities of Americans swept up in surveillance of foreign targets, including any Trump campaign or transition officials, have been moved to the library.

That’s certainly convenient for Rice, whose role in illegally ‘unmasking’ Americans caught up in spy surveillance dragnets and then leaking what she learned for partisan political purposes is explicitly forbidden by law. Well, with this sudden move of all the evidence of her crime to the Obama library, looks like she skates again.

Deep State knows how to protect itself.

It’s appalling because these laws were put on the books precisely to prevent the sort of scenarios we have seen in the last six months: that of angry political partisans, embittered about the 2016 election, attempting to use U.S. intelligence resources to get back at their political enemies.  Susan Rice and her tag-teamer in Benghazi talking points, former Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes (who never got a security clearance) and other denizens of the National Security Council have all apparently been involved in the illegally ordered ‘unmasking’ of U.S. citizens caught up in the intelligence dragnets of mass surveillance. Rice has been caught red-handed demanding to know the names of these Americans, something the law provides explicit protections for with the ‘unmasking’ of former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn, who spoke with the Russian ambassador- followed by a flood of news leaks from Rhodes’ little buddies in what he called his “echo chamber” media.

It’s an abuse of power and a miscarriage of justice if there ever was one.

In their by-any-means-necessary minds, U.S. spy resources were their resources, not the state’s, to use as they pleased. And since they feel they have a right to rule, any abuse of power is acceptable, provided it supports their leftist president’s political fortunes and his now-rejected values.

Will she ever be sanctioned or scrutinized now? Not with a five-year wait on the black hole of Obama administration presidential library files.

On that front, it’s a good guess that the files themselves are likely to be raked through and scoured with “bleachbit” or whatever the favored erasure is, by Obama partisans in a bid to ensure that Rice’s role never sees the light of day – and Rice never faces the music. Just the example of former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger stuffing documents from the National Archives down his pants in a bid to alter the historic record is sign enough of that.

That they could do this legally signals a problem. Congress should act to stop this travesty of justice. Obama shouldn’t own any of those files – those files are evidence as well as historic record and in either case, belong solely to the American people who paid for them.

Ishmael Jones: A Modest Proposal

June 17, 2017

Ishmael Jones: A Modest Proposal, Power LineScott Johnson, June 17, 2017

The solution is to cancel these security clearances. It is an administrative task which is easy to do.

People who don’t work at intelligence agencies shouldn’t have clearances. It’s not a free speech issue. Leakers aren’t protected by the First Amendment.

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The pseudonymous Ishmael Jones is a former CIA case officer and author of The Human Factor: Inside the CIA’s Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture. He forwards the column below in the context of the proliferation of leaks attributed by reporters at the New York Times and the Washington Post to “current and former officials.” What is happening here? Mr. Jones explains in this column and offers a modest proposal to mitigate the problem. He advises that the CIA has approved the column for publication:

Leaks of national security secrets with the intent to harm the Trump administration continue to bedevil our nation. Journalists often describe the sources of the leaks as “current and former officials.” There’s an important solution, and one that the Trump administration may not yet be aware of: Remove the “former officials” from the equation.

Nearly all intelligence officials who are fired, retired, pushed out, or resign from the intelligence agencies keep their security clearances. I do not know the specifics of any individual’s clearances but it is nearly certain that opponents of the current administration such as John Brennan, an aggressive Trump critic; James Clapper, who warns that Trump causes an “internal assault on our institutions”; Michael Morell, author of “I Ran the CIA. Now I’m Endorsing Hillary Clinton”; and recently fired leaker James Comey retain top-level security clearances.

Security clearances are a deep state guild or union card allowing the holders to swan about intelligence facilities, chatting, gossiping, and gathering intelligence that they can leak to journalists.

The traitor Edward Snowden was pushed out of the CIA. But because he kept his security clearances, he was able to get back inside as a contractor and exfiltrate massive amounts of intelligence.

Hillary definitely retains her security clearances. Huma Abedin probably retains hers as well. Surely Carlos Danger has none – but please check.

CNN journalist Phil Mudd believes House Intelligence Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy “ought to have his ass kicked” for questioning former CIA chief John Brennan. Mr. Mudd is a former CIA employee and likely holds high level security clearances.

President Trump knows how to fire people, but he’s never had the experience of firing people who walk back in the door the next day.

The solution is to cancel these security clearances. It is an administrative task which is easy to do.

People who don’t work at intelligence agencies shouldn’t have clearances. It’s not a free speech issue. Leakers aren’t protected by the First Amendment.

The origin of the policy allowing these people to keep their clearances is that it is often necessary to bring back former employees who have valuable skills and specialties. But most of these guys got to their high rank by outsitting their competition. They don’t speak foreign languages or hold other essential skills.

These aren’t retired firemen who drop by the firehouse to see their friends. Some former intel officials are using their security clearances for malicious and self-interested purposes.

The ability to safeguard our national security secrets protects us from our enemies. A healthy step in stopping intelligence leaks and blocking bureaucratic opposition to our new President will be to carefully evaluate who’s got access to America’s sensitive secrets and take corrective action.

How should Trump deal with the deep state?

June 15, 2017

How should Trump deal with the deep state? Fox News via YouTube, June 14, 2017

 

Times Tips to Iran’s American Network

June 10, 2017

Times Tips to Iran’s American Network, Power LineScott Johnson, June 10, 2017

Against this background, one wonders what the New York Times was thinking when it drew on the usual anonymous sources to expose Michael D’Andrea, the CIA officer newly appointed to run the agency’s Iran operations.

The Times and its gaggle of “current and former officials” are guilty of mind-boggling irresponsibility. They have put a target on D’Andrea’s back. They omit only D’Andrea’s home address. They have damaged the national security of the United States to no public purpose. Their action is deeply nasty, gratuitous and, given its role in hyping the alleged “outing” of Valerie Plame into a crisis of the first order, unbelievably hypocritical.

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On Thursday the Department of Justice announced the arrests of “New York man” Ali Kourani and “Michigan man” Samar El Debek as Hezbollah agents. They have been charged with providing material support to Hezbollah. They were on the prowl looking to do damage in the United States and elsewhere. Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim made the announcment:

Today, we announce serious terrorism charges against two men who allegedly trained with and supported the Islamic Jihad Organization, a component of the foreign terrorist organization Hizballah. Recruited as Hizballah operatives, Samer El Debek and Ali Kourani allegedly received military-style training, including in the use of weapons like rocket-propelled grenade launchers and machine guns for use in support of the group’s terrorist mission. At the direction of his Hizballah handlers, El Debek allegedly conducted missions in Panama to locate the U.S. and Israeli Embassies and to assess the vulnerabilities of the Panama Canal and ships in the Canal. Kourani allegedly conducted surveillance of potential targets in America, including military and law enforcement facilities in New York City.

The Department of Justice press release has much more in the way of detail along with comments on Hezbollah’s status as an Iranian asset. The alleged facts set forth in the press release are chilling.

Iran maintains a sophisticated network of agents in the United States. Jordan Chandler Hirsch opens his review of Jay Solomon’s book on Iran and the Obama administration with this story:

In April 2009, a young Iranian, Shahram Amiri, disappeared in Medina, Saudi Arabia. Ostensibly there to perform the hajj, Amiri had in fact brokered a deal with the CIA to provide information on Iran’s nuclear program. Leaving his wife and child behind in Iran and a shaving kit in an empty Saudi hotel room, Amiri fled to America, received asylum, pocketed $5 million, and resettled in Arizona. Formerly a scientist at Malek Ashtar University, one of several institutes harboring Iran’s nuclear endeavors, Amiri conveyed the structure of the program and intelligence about a number of key research sites, including the secret facility at Fordow.

The story might have ended there. But according to Jay Solomon, chief foreign affairs correspondent for the Wall Street Journal and author of The Iran Wars, what happened next “emerged as one of the strangest episodes in modern American espionage.” A year after Amiri defected, he appeared on YouTube, claiming that the CIA had drugged and kidnapped him. In fact, Iranian intelligence had begun threatening his family through their intelligence assets in the United States [Ed. note: Solomon reports in the book that Iranian threats against Amiri’s wife and son left in Iran had been conveyed to Amiri through “a sophisticated network of assets maintained in the” United States]. Buckling under that pressure, Amiri demanded to re-defect. In July 2010, he returned to a raucous welcome in Tehran, claimed he had been working for Iran all along, and reunited with his son. Of course this was not the end of the story. Amiri soon disappeared, and in August 2016, shortly after Solomon’s book was published, he was hanged.

This past August David Sanger reported on Amiri’s execution for the Times in “How an Iranian’s spy saga ends, 6 years later: He’s executed.”

Students of ancient history may also recall Iran’s 2011 effort to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States in Washington, D.C. The Houston Chronicle updated the story in its 2015 report “How a plot to kill Saudi ambassador went from fiction to fact.”

Against this background, one wonders what the New York Times was thinking when it drew on the usual anonymous sources to expose Michael D’Andrea, the CIA officer newly appointed to run the agency’s Iran operations. The Times explained:

The C.I.A. declined to comment on Mr. D’Andrea’s role, saying it does not discuss the identities or work of clandestine officials. The [current and former intelligence] officials spoke only on the condition of anonymity because Mr. D’Andrea remains undercover, as do many senior officials based at the agency’s headquarters in Langley, Va….The New York Times is naming Mr. D’Andrea because his identity was previously published in news reports, and he is leading an important new administration initiative against Iran.

A footnote about those “previously published” news reports. In the version of the story posted online, the Times linked to its own 2015 story by Mark Mazzetti and Matt Apuzzo as I have above.

The Times and its gaggle of “current and former officials” are guilty of mind-boggling irresponsibility. They have put a target on D’Andrea’s back. They omit only D’Andrea’s home address. They have damaged the national security of the United States to no public purpose. Their action is deeply nasty, gratuitous and, given its role in hyping the alleged “outing” of Valerie Plame into a crisis of the first order, unbelievably hypocritical. Yet so far as I am aware Marc Thiessen stands [alone? — DM] among mainstream media columnists in calling out the Times for what it has done.

Total Vetting Fail: Left-Wing Snowden Fan Girl Reality Winner Gets Access to Our NSA Secrets

June 6, 2017

Total Vetting Fail: Left-Wing Snowden Fan Girl Reality Winner Gets Access to Our NSA Secrets, BreitbartJohn Hayward, June 6, 2017

(“[I]f the adventures of Reality Winner are an indication of the Deep State’s skill and discipline, Trump doesn’t have much to worry about.” Unfortunately, Ms. Winner is probably not “an indication of the Deep State’s skill and discipline.” — DM)

Facebook

Even with a valid top secret clearance, Winner had no legitimate reason to see the documents she allegedly purloined. She was only caught because the website she reportedly leaked to contacted the NSA to ask if her material was legitimate. The agency that was stunned by how much sensitive material Edward Snowden managed to abscond with still doesn’t seem to be properly compartmentalizing information and enforcing need-to-know rules.

Fans of the “Deep State” keep saying Trump made a big mistake picking a fight with them, but if the adventures of Reality Winner are an indication of the Deep State’s skill and discipline, Trump doesn’t have much to worry about. Also, it’s worth repeating that nobody voted to give the Deep Staters or Reality Winners control over America’s national security, law enforcement, and foreign policy.

Democrats created the environment in which left-wingers cannot be trusted in sensitive posts, not Donald Trump. Leftists and extreme NeverTrumpers excuse every offense against this administration by saying Trump brought it on himself, just by being himself. That’s not how the rule of law works.

This anything-goes climate has to be shut down, and fast, before permanent damage to our national interest is inflicted, if that hasn’t happened already. A few words from top Democrats about acknowledging elections, honoring their oaths, and respecting the Oval Office even if you despise the current occupant (remember that?) would be very helpful.

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The news reads like something out of a screwball comedy: a far-left activist named “Reality Leigh Winner” somehow received clearance to work for the National Security Agency, which she allegedly proceeded to rob of classified material in the name of the kookburger anti-Trump “Resistance.” In the post-Edward Snowden era, how does someone like this get anywhere near sensitive data?

Speaking of Snowden, Ms. Winner is a huge fan of his. He was one of only 50 accounts she followed on Twitter, along with WikiLeaks, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, and the Anonymous hacker collective. Her own Twitter posts were filled with foaming-at-the-mouth anti-Trump tirades such as, “Why burn a flag? Donald Trump thinks crosses burn much better.”

She was also a supporter of climate change hysteria and the Black Lives Matter radical movement. Her last Tweet, from February, was advice for rapper Kanye West to “make a shirt that says, ‘being white is terrorism.’”

She didn’t just follow the Iranian Foreign Minister, she tweeted at him. “There are many Americans protesting U.S. government aggression towards Iran. If our Tangerine in Chief declares war, we stand with you!” she gushed to Zarif.

She also referred to President Trump as “the orange fascist we let into the White House,” and some other names that cannot be reprinted at a family-friendly website without exceeding our allotment of asterisks for the day.

“On a positive note, this Tuesday when we become the United States of the Russian Federation, Olympic lifting will be the national sport,” she sneered in advance of the 2016 election.

The totality of the Reality Winner experience reads like a joke put together for a presentation by bored NSA staffers about the sort of person that should never, ever be given a security clearance. It’s as though a far-left blog downloaded itself into a human brain and chose a name by reading its own comments section.

It should also be noted that the circumstances of this Iran fangirl’s data theft are a blistering indictment of agency procedures. Even with a valid top secret clearance, Winner had no legitimate reason to see the documents she allegedly purloined. She was only caught because the website she reportedly leaked to contacted the NSA to ask if her material was legitimate. The agency that was stunned by how much sensitive material Edward Snowden managed to abscond with still doesn’t seem to be properly compartmentalizing information and enforcing need-to-know rules.

Fans of the “Deep State” keep saying Trump made a big mistake picking a fight with them, but if the adventures of Reality Winner are an indication of the Deep State’s skill and discipline, Trump doesn’t have much to worry about. Also, it’s worth repeating that nobody voted to give the Deep Staters or Reality Winners control over America’s national security, law enforcement, and foreign policy.

Some hay has been made over Winner’s support for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential election, but that’s not nearly enough reason to question someone’s security clearance by itself. It is, however, fair to ask when the media will get around to asking Sanders if he disavows his treacherous supporter – as the press would certainly be doing if a red-hatted MAGAphile supporter of Donald Trump, boasting a Twitter feed full of right-wing causes and celebrities, had looted the NSA to help a “resistance” movement take down President Hillary Clinton.

In the alternate universe where that happened, you may rest assured the media freakout about Trump saboteurs threatening the very fabric of democracy has pushed all other stories off the front page today, and the upcoming Sunday talk shows are already booked solid.

Of course, as we all know, Democrat politicians are firewalled from the misdeeds of their followers, and no left-wing Climates of Hate are ever detected. Certain Democrats have no compunctions about actually encouraging criminality, secure in the knowledge their party will never be made to pay a price for going off the rails:

Now more than ever we need whistleblowers to come forward. I created an official website on how to leak to the press https://lieu.house.gov/federal-employees-guide-sharing-key-information 

Federal Employees Guide to Sharing Key Information with the Public

Washington – On February 16, 2017, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D | Los Angeles County) and Congressman Don Beyer (D | Virginia) released the following resource guide for federal employees who wish to…

lieu.house.gov

Remember the Democrat freak-out about President Trump supposedly compromising American secrets by warning the Russians about a terrorist plot? Some of them don’t actually seem all that concerned about real leaks of sensitive information, as long as it furthers their political goals.

Democrats have created an anything-goes, get-Trump-at-all-costs environment that’s guaranteed to drive their more loosely-wrapped supporters around the bend. If one believes, as Reality Winner evidently does, that Donald Trump is an illegitimate president who must be resisted by any means necessary, it’s not difficult to justify lawbreaking or even deliberately damaging America, for the greater good of shoving that reality-show usurper out of the White House.

Our security services absolutely must take this into account when granting clearances and sweeping sensitive departments for risky personnel. No one with Reality Winner’s political beliefs can be trusted with anything sensitive, period.

Democrats created the environment in which left-wingers cannot be trusted in sensitive posts, not Donald Trump. Leftists and extreme NeverTrumpers excuse every offense against this administration by saying Trump brought it on himself, just by being himself. That’s not how the rule of law works.

This anything-goes climate has to be shut down, and fast, before permanent damage to our national interest is inflicted, if that hasn’t happened already. A few words from top Democrats about acknowledging elections, honoring their oaths, and respecting the Oval Office even if you despise the current occupant (remember that?) would be very helpful.