On Watch: Episode 11 – “Corrupt Weaponizing of Intelligence Collection”

Judicial Watch, March 28, 2017:

Dear Editor/Broadcaster,

Below, you will find the video/transcript for On Watch: Episode 11 – “Corrupt Weaponizing of Intelligence Collection”

***After the On Watch transcript please watch the extremely relevant MSNBC interview with former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Dr. Evelyn Farkas regarding the Obama administrations surveillance of the Trump transition team. Dr. Farkas revelations provides further support of Mr. Farrell’s disclosure’s.

Transcript: I’m Chris Farrell . . . and this is “On Watch

If you’re paying attention to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence – and you should be – you’re seeing a titanic struggle for the future of the United States play out.

I am not exaggerating.

I know a great deal about intelligence collection, retention and dissemination.  I have personally conducted intelligence missions involving electronic surveillance, concealed monitoring and physical surveillance – and I am well-versed in the authority and reporting requirements to do all those things against both US persons and foreigners, in the United States and overseas.   As a commissioned officer and Special Agent of Army Counterintelligence, I commanded both of the two Army Intelligence detachments responsible for physical, technical and aerial surveillance supporting counterintelligence and human intelligence operations.  I understand, and have had access to Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) and the subset intelligence discipline of Communications Intelligence or COMINT.

If the misuse and abuse of national intelligence collection systems and procedures, for partisan political purposes by the Obama Administration cannot just slide on by.  Hillary Clinton’s national security crimes included running the most highly classified material the U.S. possesses across her outlaw server without legal consequence.   If Communications Intelligence is used as a partisan political weapon without people going to jail, we will have crossed the point of no return for institutional corruption in our government, our intelligence services and law enforcement.
It might not seem that way, but believe me, it is exactly that way.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes has confirmed in writing, and to the press, that the Obama Administration conducted the following activities against President-Elect Trump and his team between November 2016 and January 2017 . . .

  • On numerous occasions, the Intelligence Community “incidentally” collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition.
  • Details about U.S. persons associated with the incoming Trump administration — details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value—were widely disseminated throughout the government, and apparently leaked to Obama administration allies in the media.  Those leaks are felonies.
  • Names of Trump transition team members were “unmasked” – their identities revealed and circulated – again, more felonies.
  • None of this surveillance was related to Russia or any investigation of Russian activities or of the Trump team.

This is illegal domestic political espionage on a scale never before imagined.  It is, however, totally consistent with the Obama Administration’s weaponizing of the IRS, as well as other unlawful manipulations of government programs to fund the operations of political allies and non-governmental organizations with tax-payer money – just think about the group ACORN.

In a classic effort to deflect the publics’ attention, Rep. Adam Schiff, has tried to controversialize and sensationalize the actions of Committee Chairman Nunes.   Schiff scrupulously avoids discussing the felonies – the actual crimes we all know have been committed – and instead, attempts to smear the committee chairman for briefing the commander-in-chief.

Political ideologues of The Left have criminally betrayed their oaths and violated national security to attack President Trump and his staff.

Here are the questions that MUST be answered:

  • Who was aware of what was going on?
  • Why was it not disclosed to Congress?
  • Who requested and authorized the unmasking?
  • Who directed the intelligence community to focus on Trump associates?

I’m Chris Farrell –  On watch.

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Also see:

#OBAMAGATE: EXPOSING THE OBAMA DEEP STATE

Obama’s third term has begun. Our Republic is in danger.

Front Page Magazine, by Daniel Greenfield, March 7, 2017:

After Trump secured the nomination, Obama’s people filed a wiretapping request. As he was on the verge of winning, they did it again. After he won, they are doing everything they can to bring him down.

It was always going to come down to this.

One is the elected President of the United States. The other is the Anti-President who commands a vast network that encompasses the organizers of OFA, the official infrastructure of the DNC and Obama Anonymous, a shadow government of loyalists embedded in key positions across the government.

A few weeks after the election, I warned that Obama was planning to run the country from outside the White House. And that the “Obama Anonymous” network of staffers embedded in the government was the real threat. Since then Obama’s Kalorama mansion has become a shadow White House. And the Obama Anonymous network is doing everything it can to bring down an elected government.

Valerie Jarrett has moved into the shadow White House to plot operations against Trump. Meanwhile Tom Perez has given him control of the corpse of the DNC after fending off a Sandernista bid from Keith Ellison. Obama had hollowed out the Democrat Party by diverting money to his own Organizing for America. Then Hillary Clinton had cannibalized it for her presidential bid through Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and Donna Brazile. Now Obama owns the activist, OFA, and organizational, DNC, infrastructure.

But that’s just half the picture.

Obama controls the opposition. He will have a great deal of power to choose future members of Congress and the 2020 candidate. But he could have done much of that from Chicago or New York. The reason he didn’t decide to move on from D.C. is that the nation’s capital contains the infrastructure of the national government. He doesn’t just want to run the Democrats. He wants to run America.

The other half of the picture is the Obama Deep State. This network of political appointees, bureaucrats and personnel scattered across numerous government agencies is known only as Obama Anonymous.

Obama Inc. had targeted Trump from the very beginning when it was clear he would be the nominee.

Trump had locked down the GOP nomination in May. Next month there was a FISA request targeting him. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court denied the request, and it is still unknown whether the request targeted Trump, or only his associates, but it’s silly to pretend that the submission of such a request a month after he became the presumptive GOP nominee was apolitical.

The second, narrower, FISA request came through in October.  This one was approved. The reason for getting a FISA request in October was even more obvious than June. October is the crucial month in presidential elections. It’s the month of the “October Surprise” when the worst hit pieces based on the keenest opposition research is unleashed. Obama’s opposition research on Trump involved eavesdropping on a server in Trump Tower. Nixon would have been very jealous.

After the election, Obama Inc. began to spread out its bets. Some of his people migrated into his network of political organizations. Others remained embedded in the government. While the former would organize the opposition, the latter would sabotage, undermine and try to bring down Trump.

An unprecedented campaign for full spectrum dominance was being waged in domestic politics.

Political opposition wasn’t a new phenomenon; even if a past president centralizing control of the organizational and activist arms of his party to wage war on his successor was unprecedented. But weaponizing unelected government officials to wage war on an elected government was a coup.

Obama Anonymous conducted its coup in layers. The first layer partnered congressional Democrats with OA personnel to retain control of as much of the government as possible by the Obama Deep State. They did it by blocking Trump’s nominees with endless hearings and protests. The second layer partnered congressional Democrats with the deeper layer of Obama operatives embedded in law enforcement and intelligence agencies who were continuing the Obama investigations of Trump.

This second layer sought to use the investigation to force out Trump people who threatened their control over national security, law enforcement and intelligence. It is no coincidence that their targets, Flynn and Sessions, were in that arena. Or that their views on Islamic terror and immigration are outside the consensus making them easy targets for Obama Anonymous and its darker allies.

These darker allies predate Obama. The tactics being deployed against Trump were last used by them in a previous coup during President Bush’s second term. The targets back then had included Bush officials, an Iran skeptic, pro-Israel activists and a Democrat congresswoman. The tactics, eavesdropping, leaks, false investigations, dubious charges and smear campaigns against officials, were exactly the same.

Anyone who remembers the cases of Larry Franklin, Jane Harman and some others will recognize them. Before that they were used to protect the CIA underestimates of Soviet capabilities that were broken through by Rumsfeld’s Halloween Massacre and Team B which helped clear the way for Reagan’s defeat of the Soviet Union.

Under Bush, the Deep State was fighting against any effort to stop Iran’s nuclear program. It did so by eliminating and silencing opposition within the national security establishment and Congress through investigations of supposed foreign agents. That left the field clear for it to force a false National Intelligence Estimate on President Bush which claimed that Iran had halted its nuclear program.

Obama broke out the same tactics when he went after Iran Deal opponents. Once again members of Congress were spied on and the results were leaked to friendly media outlets. Before the wiretapping of Trump’s people, the NSA was passing along conversations of Iran Deal opponents to the White House which were used to coordinate strategy in defense of the illegal arrangement with Islamic terrorists.

The same wall between government and factional political agendas that Nixon’s “White House Plumbers” had broken through on the way to Watergate had been torn down. NSA eavesdropping was just another way to win domestic political battles. All it took was accusing the other side of treason.

And worse was to come.

During the Iran Deal battle, the NSA was supposedly filtering the eavesdropped data it passed along.

In its last days, Obama Inc. made it easier to pass along unfiltered personal information to the other agencies where Obama loyalists were working on their investigation targeting Trump. The NSA pipeline now makes it possible for the shadow White House to still gain intelligence on its domestic enemies.

And the target of the shadow White House is the President of the United States.

There is now a President and an Anti-President. A government and a shadow government. The anti-President controls more of the government through his shadow government than the real President.

The Obama network is an illegal shadow government. Even its “light side” as an opposition group is very legally dubious. Its “shadow side” is not only illegal, but a criminal attack on our democracy.

When he was in power, Obama hacked reporters like FOX News’ James Rosen and CBS News’ Sharyl Attkisson. He eavesdropped on members of Congress opposed to the Iran Deal. Two men who made movies he disliked ended up in jail. But what he is doing now is even more deeply disturbing.

Obama no longer legally holds power. His Deep State network is attempting to overturn the results of a presidential election using government employees whose allegiance is to a shadow White House. Tactics that were illegal when he was in office are no longer just unconstitutional, they are treasonous.

Obama Inc. has become a state within a state. It is a compartmentalized network of organizations, inside and outside the government, that claim that they are doing nothing illegal as individual groups because they are technically following the rules within each compartment, but the sheer scope of the illegality lies in the covert coordination between these “revolutionary cells” infecting our country.

It is a criminal conspiracy of unprecedented scope. Above all else, it is the most direct attack yet on a country in which governments are elected by the people, not by powerful forces within the government.

“We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain,” President Lincoln declared at Gettysburg.  “That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Obama’s shadow government is not just a war on President Trump. It is a war on that government of the people, by the people and for the people. If he succeeds, then at his touch, it will perish from the earth.

Obama’s third term has begun. Our Republic is in danger.

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Also see:

Obama-linked activists have a ‘training manual’ for protesting Trump

Getty Images

Getty Images

New York Post, by Paul Sperry, Feb. 18, 2017:

An Obama-tied activist group training tens of thousands of agitators to protest President Trump’s policies plans to hit Republican lawmakers supporting those policies even harder this week, when they return home for the congressional recess and hold town hall meetings and other functions.

Organizing for Action, a group founded by Obama and featured prominently on his new post-presidency website, is distributing a training manual to anti-Trump activists that advises them to bully GOP lawmakers into backing off support for repealing ObamaCare, curbing immigration from high-risk Islamic nations, and building a border wall.

In a new Facebook post, OFA calls on activists to mobilize against Republicans from now until Feb. 26, when “representatives are going to be in their home districts.”

The protesters disrupted town halls earlier this month, including one held in Utah by House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz, who was confronted by hundreds of angry demonstrators claiming to be his constituents.

The manual, published with OFA partner “Indivisible,” advises protesters to go into halls quietly so as not to raise alarms, and “grab seats at the front of the room but do not all sit together.” Rather, spread out in pairs to make it seem like the whole room opposes the Republican host’s positions. “This will help reinforce the impression of broad consensus.” It also urges them to ask “hostile” questions — while keeping “a firm hold on the mic” — and loudly boo the the GOP politician if he isn’t “giving you real answers.”

“Express your concern [to the event’s hosts] they are giving a platform to pro-Trump authoritarianism, racism, and corruption,” it says.

The goal is to make Republicans, even from safe districts, second-guess their support for the Trump agenda, and to prime “the ground for the 2018 midterms when Democrats retake power.”

“Even the safest [Republican] will be deeply alarmed by signs of organized opposition,” the document states, “because these actions create the impression that they’re not connected to their district and not listening to their constituents.”

After the event, protesters are advised to feed video footage to local and national media.

“Unfavorable exchanges caught on video can be devastating” for Republican lawmakers, it says, when “shared through social media and picked up by local and national media.” After protesters gave MSNBC, CNN and the networks footage of their dust-up with Chaffetz, for example, the outlets ran them continuously, forcing Chaffetz to issue statements defending himself.

The manual also advises protesters to flood “Trump-friendly” lawmakers’ Hill offices with angry phone calls and emails demanding the resignation of top White House adviser Steve Bannon.

A script advises callers to complain: “I’m honestly scared that a known racist and anti-Semite will be working just feet from the Oval Office … It is everyone’s business if a man who promoted white supremacy is serving as an adviser to the president.”

The document provides no evidence to support such accusations.

Protesters, who may or may not be affiliated with OFA, are also storming district offices. Last week, GOP Rep. Dana Rohrabacher blamed a “mob” of anti-Trump activists for knocking unconscious a 71-year-old female staffer at his Southern California office. A video of the incident, showing a small crowd around an opening door, was less conclusive.

Separately, OFA, which is run by ex-Obama officials and staffers, plans to stage 400 rallies across 42 states this year to attack Trump and Republicans over ObamaCare’s repeal.

“This is a fight we can win,” OFA recently told its foot soldiers. “They’re starting to waver.”

On Thursday, Trump insisted he’s moving ahead with plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which has ballooned health-insurance premiums and deductibles. “Obamacare is a disaster, folks,” he said, adding that activists protesting its repeal are hijacking GOP town halls and other events.

“They fill up our rallies with people that you wonder how they get there,” the president said. “But they’re not the Republican people that our representatives are representing.”

As The Post reported, OFA boasts more than 250 offices nationwide and more than 32,000 organizers, with another 25,000 actively under training. Since November, it’s beefed up staff and fundraising, though as a “social welfare” non-profit, it does not have to reveal its donors.

These aren’t typical Black Lives Matter or Occupy Wall Street marchers, but rather professionally trained organizers who go through a six-week training program similar to the training — steeped in Alinsky agitation tactics — Obama received in Chicago when he was a community organizer.

Chicago socialist Saul Alinsky, known by the left as “the father of community organizing,” taught radicals to “rub raw the sores of discontent” and create the conditions for a “revolution.” He dedicated his book, “Rules for Radicals,” to “Lucifer.” Michelle Obama quoted from the book when she helped launch OFA in 2013.

Obama appears to be behind the anti-Trump protests. He praised recent demonstrations against Trump’s travel ban. And last year, after Trump’s upset victory, he personally rallied OFA troops to “protect” his legacy in a conference call. “Now is the time for some organizing,” he said. “So don’t mope” over the election results.

He promised OFA activists he would soon join them in the fray.

“Understand that I’m going to be constrained in what I do with all of you until I am again a private citizen, but that’s not so far off,” he said. “You’re going to see me early next year, and we’re going to be in a position where we can start cooking up all kinds of great stuff.”

Added the ex-president: “I promise you that next year Michelle and I are going to be right there with you, and the clouds are going to start parting, and we’re going to be busy. I’ve got all kinds of thoughts and ideas about it, but this isn’t the best time to share them.

“Point is, I’m still fired up and ready to go, and I hope that all of you are, as well.”

Also see:

Obama’s Shadow Presidency

cvb_2-1Front Page Magazine, by Matthew Vadum, February 15, 2017

Former President Obama is waging war against the Trump administration through his generously funded agitation outfit, Organizing for Action, to defend his monumentally destructive record of failure and violent polarization.

It is a chilling reminder that the increasingly aggressive, in-your-face Left in this country is on the march.

Acclaimed author Paul Sperry writes in the New York Post:

Obama has an army of agitators — numbering more than 30,000 — who will fight his Republican successor at every turn of his historic presidency. And Obama will command them from a bunker less than two miles from the White House.

In what’s shaping up to be a highly unusual post-presidency, Obama isn’t just staying behind in Washington. He’s working behind the scenes to set up what will effectively be a shadow government to not only protect his threatened legacy, but to sabotage the incoming administration and its popular “America First” agenda.

What is Organizing for Action? It is a less violent version of Mussolini’s black shirts and Hitler’s brown shirts, or of the government-supported goon squads that Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Cuba’s Castro brothers used to harass and intimidate their domestic opponents.

OfA isn’t, strictly speaking, a new group. After the 2008 election, the group, then known as Organizing for America, was a phony grassroots campaign run by the Democratic National Committee that sought to replicate the community organizing techniques Obama learned from the teachings of his fellow Chicagoan, Saul Alinsky. OfA was created in large part because the White House could not legally use the 13 million e-mail addresses that the Obama campaign compiled in 2008.

Former U.S. Rep. Bob Edgar (D-Penn.), sounded the alarm about OfA in 2013, suggesting the group was dangerous to democracy. “If President Obama is serious about his often-expressed desire to rein in big money in politics, he should shut down Organizing for Action and disavow any plan to schedule regular meetings with its major donors,” he said as president of the left-wing group Common Cause. “Access to the President should never be for sale.”

“With its reported promise of quarterly presidential meetings for donors and ‘bundlers’ who raise $500,000, Organizing For Action apparently intends to extend and deepen the pay-to-play Washington culture that Barack Obama came to prominence pledging to end,” Edgar said. “The White House’s suggestion this week that this group will somehow be independent is laughable.”

But Edgar’s admonitions were ignored and since then Organizing for Action has thrived and grown rich, just like the Obamas.

As FrontPage previously reported, Obama has rented a $5.3 million, 8,200-square-foot, walled mansion in Washington’s Embassy Row that he is using to command his community organizing cadres. Michelle Obama will join the former president there as will the Obama Foundation. To stay on track, Obama wants his former labor secretary, Tom Perez, to win the chairmanship of the DNC in a party election later this month. “It’s time to organize and fight, said Perez who appears to be gaining on frontrunner and jihadist Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.). “We must stand up to protect President Obama’s accomplishments,” adding, “We’re going to build the strongest grassroots organizing force this country has ever seen.”

No ex-president has ever done this before, sticking around the nation’s capital to vex and undermine his successor. Of course, Obama is unlike any president the United States has ever had. Even failed, self-righteous presidents like Jimmy Carter, who has occasionally taken shots at his successors, didn’t stay behind in Washington to obstruct and disrupt the new administration.

Organizing for Action, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit that doesn’t have to disclose its donors, is at the head of Obama’s network of left-wing nonprofit groups. OfA, Sperry warns, has “a growing war chest and more than 250 offices across the country.”

On its website, the group claims that there are “5 million Americans who’ve taken action” with OfA, and that those individuals “are part of a long line of people who stand up and take on the big fights for social justice, basic fairness, equal rights, and expanding opportunity.” Among its key issues are “turning up the heat on climate change deniers,” comprehensive immigration reform (which includes mass amnesty), “telling the stories of the millions who are seeing the life-saving benefits of Obamacare,” fighting for “a woman’s health care” which is “a basic right,” and redistributing wealth from those who earned it to those who didn’t.

OfA communications director Jesse Lehrich told Memphis-based WREG that the “grassroots energy that’s out there right now is palpable.” The group is “constantly hearing from volunteers who are excited to report about events they’re organizing around and all of the new people that want to get involved.”

Organizing for Action is drowning in money, by nonprofit standards.

By the end of 2014, OfA, which was formally incorporated only the year before, had taken in $40.4 million, $26 million of which was raised in 2014, according to the organization’s IRS filings. OfA’s big donors are members of the George Soros-founded Democracy Alliance, a donors’ consortium for left-wing billionaires devoted to radical political change. Among the DA members donating to OfA are: Ryan Smith ($476,260); Marcy Carsey ($250,000); Jon Stryker ($200,000); Paul Boskind ($105,000); Paul Egerman ($100,000); and Nick Hanauer ($50,000).

OfA also runs a project called the Community Organizing Institute (COI) which it says partners “with progressive groups and organizations to educate, engage, and collaborate.”

Organizing for Action describes COI in almost lyrical terms:

Building upon the rich history of community organizing in Chicago, the COI is a place to share stories, best practices, and innovations in order to build our community and empower individuals in the fight for change. It is a shared space for organizers, policy makers, advocates, and change-agents to come together for workshops, panel discussions, presentations, trainings, film screenings, and social gatherings—building a strong foundation for partnerships.

Translation: at COI you can learn how to spark riots, get arrested to make a political statement, organize lynch mobs and voter fraud on a massive scale, intimidate and shake down corporations, blackmail lenders, race-bait public officials and businesses into submission, smear and terrorize your opponents, shield illegal aliens from law enforcement, lead squatters to invade foreclosed homes, encourage welfare fraud, and use tax dollars to promote cockamamie social-engineering schemes.

Obama is “intimately involved” in OfA’s operations and issues tweets from the group’s account, Sperry writes. “In fact, he gave marching orders to OFA foot soldiers following Trump’s upset victory.”

“It is fine for everybody to feel stressed, sad, discouraged,” Obama said in a post-election conference call from the White House. “But get over it.” Progressives have to “move forward to protect what we’ve accomplished.”

“Now is the time for some organizing,” he said. “So don’t mope.”

Organizing for Action has been doing anything but moping.

In recent weeks its activists organized marches across the country. Some became riots. After President Trump issued Executive Order 13769 temporarily banning visitors from seven terrorism-plagued Muslim countries, OfA organized “spontaneous” demonstrations at airports.

Obama praised the airport rabble-rousers, saying through a spokesman he was “heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country.”

“Citizens exercising their Constitutional right to assemble, organize and have their voices heard by the elected officials is exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake.”

Reinforcements are coming to beef up Organizing for Action’s position, Sperry adds.

OfA will be soon aided by “the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, launched last month by Obama pal Eric Holder to end what he and Obama call GOP ‘gerrymandering’ of congressional districts.”

And more unruly protests, rioting, and violent attacks on Trump supporters will follow.

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On ‘Hannity,’ panel discusses the gravity of the Trump administration leaks

New Report: The Purge of US Counterterrorism Training by the Obama Administration

purged-rpt

February 7, 2017, New Unconstrained Analytics Report:

On June 28, 2016, the Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Oversight, Agency Action, Federal Rights and Federal Courts held a hearing chaired by Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) investigating a series of policies established by the Obama Administration during 2011-2012 that effectively neutered FBI counterterrorism training and blinded our nation’s national security, defense and intelligence agencies to the threat from Islamic terrorism.

In what some experts have termed a hostile “political warfare campaign” driven by an alliance between the administration, Islamic organizations and cooperating media figures, analysts and subject matter experts were blacklisted, and books and training materials were purged from official counterterrorism training programs government-wide.

This “purge” has contributed to clues being missed by the FBI in major terrorism cases, including the April 2013 bombing of the Boston Marathon, and more recently the June 2016 massacre at The Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, by Omar Mateen, who had been the target of previous FBI investigations in 2013 and 2014.

Patrick Poole of Unconstrained Analytics has written a new report detailing how this counterterrorism training purge happened, the players involved, the surprising but overlooked findings by a GAO report, and the consequences of having our law enforcement/military/intelligence professionals intentionally denied important training on the threat doctrine of the enemy, As a result, they have been blinded, losing any ability to identify, and then defeat, the enemy.

REPORT – Purged: A Detailed Look at ‘The Purge’ of US Counterterrorism Training by the Obama Administration (pdf)

The Final Obama Scandal

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Closing the book on a deceptive narrative about the al Qaeda threat

Weekly Standard, THE MAGAZINE: From the February 6 Issue – by Stephen Hayes and Thomas Joscelyn, January 27, 2017:

Less than 24 hours before the official end of the Obama presidency, while White House staffers were pulling pictures off the walls and cleaning out their desks, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) posted without fanfare another installment of the documents captured in Osama bin Laden’s compound during the May 2011 raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The press statement that accompanied the release made an unexpected declaration: This batch of newly released documents would be the last one. “Closing the Book on Bin Laden: Intelligence Community Releases the Final Abbottabad Documents,” the statement was headlined. According to a tally on the ODNI website, this last batch of 49 documents brings the total number released to 571.

For analysts who have paid attention to the Abbottabad documents, the numbers immediately caused alarm. For years, the Obama administration told the American people that the haul from the bin Laden compound was massive and important. In an interview on Meet the Press just days after the raid, Barack Obama’s national security adviser, Thomas Donilon, said the material could fill “a small college library.” A senior military intelligence official who briefed reporters at the Pentagon on May 7, 2011, said: “As a result of the raid, we’ve acquired the single largest collection of senior terrorist materials ever.” Sources who have described the cache to THE WEEKLY STANDARD over the years have claimed that the number of captured documents, including even extraneous materials and duplicates, totals more than 1 million.

Can it really be the case that this release “closes the book”? The short answer: No, it can’t.

“[Director of National Intelligence James] Clapper and the old administration may want this to be closed, but it’s far from closed,” says Representative Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI). “Now the truth will begin to come out. It’s just the beginning.”

The documents have been at the center of an intense, five-year political battle between Republicans on Capitol Hill and the Obama administration, and an equally pitched bureaucratic battle between the Central Intelligence Agency and ODNI on one side, and U.S. military intelligence agencies on the other. The Obama administration and the intelligence community leaders who have been loyal to the president argue that the document collection provided valuable intelligence in the days after the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, but that what remains is unimportant and, in any case, supports the Obama administration’s approach to al Qaeda and jihadist terror over the past eight years. Republicans and military intelligence officials have a different view: Used properly, the document collection can serve as an important tool in understanding al Qaeda and other Islamic radicals—their history, their ideology, their structure, their operations, and even, five years on, their plans—not only for U.S. intelligence officials, but for lawmakers, historians, and the American public.

Republicans on Capitol Hill have pushed to have the documents declassified and released as part of an effort to hold the Obama administration accountable for its relentless politicization of intelligence on al Qaeda and threats to the United States and its interests. Based on his conversations with analysts who have worked on the documents, Nunes believes that many of those not yet released will contradict Obama administration claims about al Qaeda, its relationships, and its operations.

In 2014, Nunes fought to include language in the Intelligence Authorization Act requiring the declassification and release of the bin Laden documents. The law mandated the release of all documents in the collection that could be disclosed without hurting U.S. national security. The intelligence community was required to specify any documents deemed too sensitive to release publicly and offer an explanation justifying that decision. Nunes says he has not yet received such an explanation for any of the tens of thousands of documents withheld from the public.

Why do the documents still matter? Over the course of eight years, President Obama and his advisers repeatedly downplayed the jihadist threat. The story of how bin Laden’s documents were mischaracterized and mishandled offers important insights into how the administration pushed a deceptive narrative about al Qaeda and its branches around the globe. The jihadist threat grew—not diminished—over the course of the Obama administration. To this day, America and its allies continue to fight al Qaeda everywhere from West Africa to South Asia.

Because of its barbarism, massive land grabs, and multiple attacks in the West, the Islamic State (ISIS) dominates headlines these days. The Islamic State makes itself easy to see. But al Qaeda, the organization that birthed ISIS, is still alive and thriving, often masking the extent of its operations and influence. Since 2011, al Qaeda has grown rapidly in jihadist hotspots such as Syria, where today the group has 10,000 or more fighters, its largest guerrilla army yet.

Al Qaeda’s resiliency was a terribly inconvenient fact for President Obama, who won his first campaign arguing that George W. Bush had exaggerated the threat from jihadist terror and had fought jihadists with means that were both unnecessary and un-American. Obama scaled back such operations across the board—ending the war in Iraq, withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, rewriting U.S. interrogation and detention policies, and releasing high-risk terrorists from the facility at Guantánamo Bay. When he ran for reelection, he told the American people that al Qaeda was “on the run” and had been “decimated.” His advisers sought to downgrade the nature of the threat to one of “violent extremists” and “lone wolf” attacks. Obama sold his efforts against al Qaeda as something close to a total victory.

“Today, by any measure, core al Qaeda—the organization that hit us on 9/11—is a shadow of its former self,” President Obama claimed on December 6, 2016, during his final counterterrorism speech. “Plots directed from within Afghanistan and Pakistan have been consistently disrupted. Its leadership has been decimated. Dozens of terrorist leaders have been killed. Osama bin Laden is dead.”

Some of this is certainly true: Osama bin Laden is dead, dozens of other jihadist leaders have been killed, and plots have been disrupted. But by most measures, al Qaeda is bigger today than ever. The organization and its branches are fighting in insurgencies in Afghanistan, Libya, Mali, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and elsewhere. Obama briefly mentioned al Qaeda’s “branches” in some of these countries during his speech, but he left Americans with the impression that al Qaeda has been reduced to a nuisance—if that.

Obama said nothing about al Qaeda’s massive force in Syria. But the U.S. military has reported that U.S. attacks killed upwards of 150 “al Qaeda operatives” in Syria during the first weeks of 2017.

Obama’s public case on his success against al Qaeda centered on what he calls “core al Qaeda,” which neither he nor his advisers ever bothered to define precisely. The phrase seems to refer to the senior al Qaeda leaders based in South Asia, and specifically those who had a hand in the 9/11 hijackings. Most of the 9/11 plotters, as it happens, were killed or captured during the Bush administration. Obama was right that “dozens” of other “core” al Qaeda jihadists have been killed in drone strikes and raids during his tenure. But those leaders have been replaced, in some cases by men who have proven even more effective in building the terror group’s global network and guiding its transnational efforts.

How many senior al Qaeda leaders were there at the beginning of his administration, in January 2009? How many are there today? Obama never answered these rudimentary questions—he never provided basic metrics to measure his own claims. But the fact that U.S. military and CIA officials continued to fire missiles at al Qaeda operatives around the globe on a regular basis, at the direction of a president who claimed to have defeated al Qaeda, suggests that Obama understood his rhetoric didn’t match reality.

Which brings us back to the bin Laden files. There is no better resource for understanding al Qaeda, how it thinks and operates, at least through 2011, than the intelligence recovered in its founder’s compound. For this reason, and others, the Trump administration should ensure that the ODNI doesn’t get to close the book on bin Laden’s files.

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State Department freezes Obama’s $221m gift to Palestinians

President-elect Donald Trump smiles as he arrives to speak at an election night rally, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

President-elect Donald Trump smiles as he arrives to speak at an election night rally, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

WIN, January 25, 2017:

The Trump administration has frozen Obama’s parting gift to the the Palestinians.

Former US President Barack Obama, in his waning hours, quietly released $221 million to the Palestinian Authority (PA), which Congress had been blocking.

The Trump administration announced it is freezing the move.

The State Department is reviewing the last-minute decision by former Secretary of State John Kerry to send $221 million dollars to the Palestinians.

Kerry formally notified Congress that State would release the money Friday morning, just hours before President Donald Trump took the oath of office.

The funds — supposedly intended for reconstruction in Gaza and good governance programs for the Palestinian Authority — were being blocked by at least two Republican lawmakers— Ed Royce (R-CA), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Kay Granger (R-TX), who sits on the House Appropriations Committee — in response to Palestinian attempts to join international organizations, from which it intended to launch more international campaigns against Israel and before a peace deal with Israel.

Such holds are generally respected but are not legally binding.

When asked about the transfer by a reporter during Tuesday’s press briefing, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that “[Trump] is very concerned about how taxpayer money is spent, whether it’s sent overseas and what we get for it in terms of the relationship or our support for a democracy or aid to another country for their defenses. But he’s going to be examining all aspects of the budget… He’s going to make sure that every deal, every dollar that is spent by the government is done in a way that respects the American taxpayer.”

By: AP and World Israel News Staff