Another Major Democratic Email Scandal the News Media is Ignoring

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Center for Security Policy, by Fred Fleitz, Feb. 22, 2017:

In the midst of allegations of Russian ties to the Trump administration and in the aftermath of the hacking of Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee emails, there is a new scandal email involving Democratic House members that could amount to a covert effort by foreign actors to penetrate the House of Representatives computer system.

According to the Daily Caller, three brothers who managed information technology (IT) for Democratic House members – Abid, Imran, and Jamal Awan – were suspended on February 2, 2017 for serious misconduct, including accessing the computer accounts of House members without their knowledge and stealing equipment from Congress.  Two other House IT staff – Imran Awan’s wife, Hina Alvi, and a fifth unnamed person – also reportedly are under investigation.

The five IT staffers reportedly were “shared” staff for the personal offices of a dozen or more House Democrats.  Some or all of the IT staffers reportedly had significant financial problems, including a repossessed car, bankruptcy and second mortgages.

This story suggests congressional Democrats learned nothing from last year’s hacking of Democratic computers.  It also raises serious questions about the security of the House computer system.

The House reportedly only required background investigations of House IT staff in 2016.  These investigations were to be applied retroactively to existing House IT staff unless a member signed a waiver attesting to their “trustworthiness and judgment.”

If the suspended IT staffers were investigated and cleared, these background investigations are obviously worthless.

It would be a much more serious matter if the IT staffers were given waivers from background investigations by House Democratic members.  If this is the case, the American people deserve to know the names of Democratic members of Congress who exempted these miscreants from background investigations.

So far there have been no reports that the five IT House staff members had access to classified material.  However, they did support the personal office computers of Reps. Joaquin Castro, Andre Carson, and Jackie Spier, all members of the House Intelligence Committee.  Although personal office computers are not supposed to be used for Intelligence Committee business or classified material, accessing these computers is a high priority for foreign intelligence services because of the information they could glean about the committee’s work from unclassified emails. (Some press reports have claimed the five IT staff members also had access to classified information and the House Intelligence Committee’s classified computer system.  These reports are untrue.)

Were these IT staffers part of an plot by foreign actors to penetrate the House of Representatives and its computers?  There has been speculation by some conservative journalists and experts that they may have had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.  A former CIA officer told me she worries that the three Awad brothers, who reportedly are Pakistani immigrants, may have ties to the Pakistani intelligence service, ISI.

No evidence has been made public on whether the IT staffers had any ties to foreign actors. However, it is difficult to believe this case was only about stealing computer equipment if press reports are true that the IT staffers illegally accessed the computers of members of Congress and stole data.  The FBI needs to fully investigate whether this was an effort to penetrate the House intelligence system by a foreign intelligence service or a foreign jihadist organization.

Democratic House members have some difficult questions to answer about this case aside from which Democratic members may have granted the IT staffers waivers from background investigations.  Which members originally hired these individuals?  Who referred them?  And why didn’t House Democrats tighten their computer security practices after the hacking of DNC and Clinton campaign emails last year?

The House Republican leadership needs to explain why it didn’t require background investigations for IT staff until last year and why it allowed waivers for existing IT staff.  Has the waiver rule been abolished?  If the IT staffers passed their background investigations, what it being done to toughen them to screen out people like this?  The Senate’s Republican leadership should look into whether it has similar cyber vulnerabilities and take appropriate steps to address them if necessary.

While no evidence has been made public that this was an effort by hostile foreign actors like the Muslim Brotherhood or Chinese intelligence to penetrate the computer system of the U.S. House of Representatives, it still represents a major scandal because foreign actors could have easily done this.  It is time for the mainstream media to stop ignoring this important story.

House Dem IT Staffers Owed Money To Hezbollah-Connected Fugitive

Imran Awan, target of a House security probe, worked in IT for Rep. Andre Carson, a member of the intelligence committee

Imran Awan, target of a House security probe, worked in IT for Rep. Andre Carson, a member of the intelligence committee

Daily Caller, by Luke Rosiak, Feb. 21, 2017:

Congressional aides suspected of criminally misusing their access to House computer systems owed $100,000 to an Iraqi politician who is wanted by U.S. authorities and has been linked to Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Middle Eastern terrorist outfit.

Imran Awan and four of his relatives were employed as information technology (IT) aides by dozens of House Democrats, including members of the intelligence, foreign affairs and homeland security committees. The aides’ administrator-level IT access was terminated earlier this month amid a criminal probe by U.S. Capitol Police of a suspected security breach, including an off-site server housing congressional data.

The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group has reported that while working for Congress, the Pakistani brothers controlled a limited liability corporation called Cars International A (CIA), a car dealership with odd finances, which took–and was unable to repay–a $100,000 loan from Dr. Ali Al-Attar.

Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, wrote that Attar “was observed in Beirut, Lebanon conversing with a Hezbollah official” in 2012–shortly after the loan was made. Attar has also been accused of helping provoke the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq as a leader of Iraqi dissidents opposed to Saddam Hussein.

After moving to the U.S., Attar made his money practicing medicine in Maryland and Virginia and defrauding Medicare, Medicaid and insurance companies by billing for non-existent medical procedures. The FBI raided his offices in 2009 and the Department of Health and Human Services sued his business partner in 2011.

Attar was indicted in March 2012 on separate tax fraud charges after the IRS and FBI found he used multiple bank accounts to hide income. He fled back to Iraq to avoid prison.

“He’s a fugitive. I am not aware of any extradition treaty with Iraq,” Marcia Murphy, spokesman for federal prosecutors in Maryland, told TheDCNF Tuesday. “If or when he returns to the U.S., the prosecution will continue.”

Brothers Imran, Abid and Jamal Awan, as well as their wives Natalia Sova and Hina Alvi, were all on the congressional payroll.

Not long before the indictment, Pakistani-born Virginia resident Nasir Khattak, who co-owned CIA with Abid, still had access to some bank accounts holding Attar’s assets.

Khattak was a realtor, and with Attar’s permission, “acquired the money through adjustments to the accounts that he controlled as the realtor for al-Attar,” court documents say.

Abid managed CIA’s daily operations, even though he was also employed full time running computers for representatives that have included Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri, Tammy Duckworth of Illinois and Yvette Clark of New York. But the car dealership was hemorrhaging money. Customers were often shown cars borrowed from a dealership next door.

“It was very bad record-keeping in Cars International … it is close to impossible to make any sense out of all the transactions that happened,” Khattak said in court documents.

CIA’s finances interwove with the House’s. A car-dealing associate who was owed money by the brothers, Rao Abbas, was placed on the congressional payroll.

Khattak said CIA was a “family business” and by 2010 Imran was its primary manager instead of Abid.

Abid Awan filed for personal bankruptcy in 2012 because the dealership was in his name, listing $1 million in liabilities. Bankruptcies are a major security red flag in background checks for employees in sensitive positions.

The loan from Attar was never repaid, leading to a lawsuit over the dealership’s future. Attar claimed the loan default meant the dealership became his, but refused to testify in person, giving power of attorney to someone else to give evidence on his behalf.

Khattek said in court documents that was because “Ali Al-Attar was out of the country as he was involved in politics and the formation of the Iraqi government.” Though he was fugitive, that was also true.

Giraldi, the former CIA officer, wrote in the American Conservative in 2013 that Attar advised President George W. Bush’s key Iraq policy advisors that U.S. forces would be “greeted as liberators.”

“In late 2002 and early 2003, [then-Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul] Wolfowitz regularly met secretly with a group of Iraqi expatriates, consisting mostly of Shias but also including several Sunnis, who resided in the Washington area,” Giraldi wrote. “The Iraqis were headed by one Dr. Ali A. al-Attar.”

Attar’s prediction was wrong, and his qualifications for making it — supposedly based on what the D.C.-area Iraqis were hearing from relatives — were questionable because, although Attar was born in Iraq, his parents were Iranian.

But the U.S.-backed regime change served Attar well, as in 2003, he told The New York Times that “he was one of four people chosen by General Garner to re-establish the Iraq Ministry of Health, and that he expected to be called Baghdad next week.”

That stay in Iraq apparently did not last long, as in 2009, his medical license was suspended by Maryland for separate instances of billing patients and insurance companies for unneeded services.

In November 2010, the Maryland State Board of Physicians brought still more charges of “unprofessional conduct in the practice of medicine and failure to cooperate in a lawful investigation.”

Attar’s attorney said the board was a “Trojan horse” for the FBI. The board said Attar’s “failure to cooperate with the board investigation was deliberate, longstanding and defiant,” and in March 2012 revoked his license.

The Awan brothers worked for members including Andre Carson of Indiana, one of two Muslims in Congress and a member of the ultra-sensitive intelligence committee.

Trump’s Immigration Guidance: The Rule of Law Returns

A U.S. Border Patrol agent on the U.S.-Mexican border in Nogales, Ariz. (Reuters phoot: Lucy Nicholson)

A U.S. Border Patrol agent on the U.S.-Mexican border in Nogales, Ariz. (Reuters phoot: Lucy Nicholson)

PJ MEDIA, BY ANDREW C. MCCARTHY, FEBRUARY 22, 2017:

On Tuesday, John Kelly, President Trump’s Secretary of Homeland Security, published a six-page, single-spaced memorandum detailing new guidance on immigration enforcement. Thereupon, I spent about 1,500 words summarizing the guidance in a column at National Review. Brevity being the sole of wit, both the memo and my description of it could have been reduced to a single, easy to remember sentence:

Henceforth, the United States shall be governed by the laws of the United States.

That it was necessary for Secretary Kelly to say more than this – and, sadly, that such alarm has greeted a memo that merely announces the return of the rule of law in immigration enforcement – owes to Obama administration abuses of three legal doctrines: prosecutorial discretion, preemption, and separation of powers (specifically, the executive usurpation of legislative power).

To the extent President Obama declined to enforce immigration law (notwithstanding his constitutional obligation to execute the laws faithfully), he did so under the guise of prosecutorial discretion. In the pre-Obama days, prosecutorial discretion was an unremarkable, uncontroversial resource-allocation doctrine. It simply meant that since resources are finite, and since it would be neither possible nor desirable to prosecute every crime, we target law-enforcement resources to get the most crime-fighting bang for the taxpayer buck. That means prioritizing enforcement action against (a) the worst offenders and (b) the unlawful causes of the activity.

This is easily illustrated by federal drug enforcement. There are comparatively few federal narcotics agents, compared, say, to police in a major city. But while both feds and cops have authority to arrest traffickers and consumers of illegal drugs, only federal jurisdiction is interstate and international. Consequently, the best use of finite federal enforcement resources is to limit them to prosecutions of significant felony importation and distribution offenses, leaving it to the states and municipalities to handle street pushers and misdemeanor violations involving the use of drugs.

Significantly, the fact that federal enforcement policy, which is made by the executive branch, does not target lesser felons or users does not mean this policy effectively repeals federal drug laws, which are written by Congress. The non-targeted crimes are still crimes, and the feds reserve the right to prosecute them in appropriate cases (e.g., if they encounter these offenses in the course of carrying out other criminal enforcement missions).

In the area of immigration enforcement, Obama contorted this resource allocation doctrine into a de fact immunity scheme. That is, the Obama Homeland Security Department announced what it labeled enforcement “priorities.” If an illegal alien did not fit into the priorities, it was as if the alien were insulated against prosecution – effectively, it was as if there was nothing illegal about being an alien unlawfully present in the United States; it was as if Obama’s policies were a legal defense against Congress’s duly enacted laws.

This was complemented by a second legal distortion: Obama’s mangling of the so-called preemption doctrine. As we’ve noted, there are certain areas of law – like immigration and narcotics enforcement – in which the federal and state governments have concurrent jurisdiction: both are permitted to regulate and prosecute. This can work well (it generally does in drug enforcement); but it can be counterproductive if the dual sovereigns work at cross-purposes.

In some areas, like immigration, the courts have ruled that the federal government is supreme (on the dubious but now well-rooted theory that immigration-law enforcement is primarily a federal responsibility). This means that the federal government has the power to preempt state action. Importantly, preemption is a power of Congress. That is, in an area of federal supremacy, states are prohibited to act in a manner that would contravene federal law.

Obama, to the contrary, took the position that states were forbidden to take action that contravened Obama immigration policy. This was brought into sharp relief by the administration’s conflict with the state of Arizona. Far from seeking to countermand federal law, Arizona sought to enforce Congress’s statutes. Yet, Obama took the position that the state was bound not by Congress’s statutes but by Obama’s proclaimed enforcement policies – even if those amounted to non-enforcement of Congress’s statutes.

This was a perversion of both preemption and prosecutorial discretion. As long as Arizona was taking action consistent with federal law, its enforcement measures could not be preempted. Moreover, even if Arizona’s enforcement policy was broader than Obama’s, that should not have mattered: as we’ve seen, a federal exercise of prosecutorial discretion just means lesser crimes are not targeted, not that they are no longer crimes. If Arizona took action against those lesser crimes, that was completely appropriate; it was filling a gap in federal enforcement, not defying federal law.

The obstacles imposed by Obama’s immigration proclamations bring us to the third legal abuse: the usurpation of legislative authority. In effect, Obama’s announced priorities became not guidelines for immigration enforcement but new federal laws. According to the administration, only those aliens who fit Obama’s guidelines could be prosecuted. The Homeland Security Department was instructed to halt enforcement action at the earliest possible stage – i.e., once it was understood that an illegal alien did not fit a priority category, all investigative activity was to stop, even though it was known that the alien was acting illegally.

In effect, the Obama priorities operated like law. They controlled what federal investigators and prosecutors could do, and they were used to block states from enforcing their own laws. In this, at least for as long as Obama was president, they supplanted Congress’s laws – a clear violation of separation of powers.

All the Trump guidance announced in Secretary Kelly’s memo really does is repeal Obama’s decrees. The memo essentially says: the law of the United States is back to being the law of the United States. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.

Priceless! Watch as Dr. Sebastian Gorka calls out BBC bias to snarky, condescending interviewer’s face

evan-davis-and-sebastian-gorka-clash-over-trump-768494American Thinker, by Thomas Lifson, Feb. 18, 2017:

Dr. Sebastian Gorka has a PhD, big vocabulary, huge knowledge base and even a British accent  — all the markers of an elitist establishment, if not leftist, thinker. But he seems to be in complete sync with his boss, President Trump.  The BBC interviewer, with his fashionable three-day beard, open collar, and heavy ‘tude, probably was not expecting what he got when he led off his live shot interview from the White House lawn with a snarky dig at President Trump’s sanity.

Leaky John Brennan

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The American Spectator, by George Neumayr, February 17, 2017

Out of hatred for McGovernite liberals, a Republican president in the 1970s broke the law. Now those aging radicals break the law out of hatred for a Republican president.

Nested within intelligence agencies, they have fed a series of criminal leaks to a press corps that functions like an anti-Trump dirty tricks operation.

Donald Trump has publicly speculated that former CIA director John Brennan is one of the criminal leakers. In January, he tweeted out, “Was this the leaker of Fake News?” Trump has now charged the Justice Department with investigating “low-life leakers” in the government.

Former CIA analyst Tony Shaffer also suspects Brennan as one of the leakers. He said on Fox Business Network that the leaks which forced Michael Flynn out can be laid “squarely at the feet of” Brennan, among other embittered Obama aides.

What we know is that intelligence agencies taped Flynn’s call with the Russian ambassador, and we know that the contents of the call were leaked to the Washington Post’s David Ignatius, who is a de facto stenographer for political liberals at the CIA. We also know that Brennan has made no secret of his opposition to Trump and Flynn. By opposing Brennan’s overtures to the Muslim Brotherhood and his refusal to grapple with the spread of Islamic terrorism, Flynn became enemy number one in the eyes of Obama holdovers at the CIA.

All of this gives the Justice Department ample reason to focus on Brennan. He had the means and motive to commit a crime.

“When I hear [former CIA head] John Brennan with the venom that seems to be in his voice after Donald Trump was elected president, it’s not hard to imagine that in the intelligence community, Donald Trump has his enemies and those enemies are not as restrained as they ought to be,” said Congressman Steve King on MSNBC.

Indeed, John Brennan brought with him to the CIA a coterie of political radicals and left-wing academics and gave them plum positions from which to leak to the press. So dedicated was Brennan to open political activism that he would walk the halls of the CIA in an LGBTQ “rainbow lanyard,” reports Bill Gertz of the Washington Times.

According to Gertz, Brennan turned his left-wing hires into “operatives” by fiddling with standards at the Directorate of Operations. These political hacks disguised as apolitical operatives had no more business receiving high-security clearances than Brennan himself did.

Recall the astounding admission Brennan once made at a “diversity” conference in 2016: that he thought he had “screwed” up his chances to enter the CIA after undergoing a polygraph test which smoked out his support for the American Communist Party during the Cold War. This sounds like a parody, but it isn’t. As he recounted:

This was back in 1980, and I thought back to a previous election where I voted, and I voted for the Communist Party candidate… I froze, because I was getting so close to coming into CIA and said, “OK, here’s the choice, John. You can deny that, and the machine is probably going to go, you know, wacko, or I can acknowledge it and see what happens.”… I said I was neither Democratic or Republican, but it was my way, as I was going to college, of signaling my unhappiness with the system, and the need for change. I said I’m not a member of the Communist Party, so the polygrapher looked at me and said, “OK,” and when I was finished with the polygraph and I left and said, “Well, I’m screwed.”

Unfortunately, he wasn’t. He entered the CIA, rose to its highest rank, and then salted the agency with fellow radicals, whose hatred for the “system” now takes the form of sabotaging the Trump administration.

Brennan and his leakers see no irony in becoming what they once opposed. In the 1970s, they cheered as the Church committee castigated the CIA for breaking laws. Now they use the CIA for their own dark arts and receive applause from ACLU-style liberals. They have gone from voting for communists to taping Russians, from fearing the unaccountable power of the system to wielding it shamelessly.

They marched through the institutions, stayed long enough to find the exits, and now booby-trap them as they file out. The trail of McGovernite liberalism ends as it began, in lawlessness, with a departing CIA director who behaved no differently than Daniel Ellsberg.

Also see:

Are US Intelligence Agencies Withholding Intelligence From President Trump?

Trump leaving the CIA headquarters with Michael Flynn after delivering remarks during a visit in Langley, Virginia, on January 21. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Trump leaving the CIA headquarters with Michael Flynn after delivering remarks during a visit in Langley, Virginia, on January 21. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Center for Security Policy, by Fred Fleitz, February 16, 2017:

According to a front page Wall Street Journal article today, U.S. intelligence officials have withheld sensitive intelligence from President Donald Trump because they are concerned it could be leaked or compromised.  The Journal story cited former and current intelligence officials.  If true, this would be a dangerous and unprecedented act of defiance by unelected intelligence officers.  The acting Director of National Intelligence denied this report.

I suspect this story is only partly true for several reasons.  While I believe there are a handful of Obama appointees who are making such claims, most intelligence officers would  never do this because they know they work for the president and such behavior would cost them their jobs.  I also question whether any intelligence officials who have had actual contact with the White House did this.  I believe this story is being driven by a blogger and former intelligence officer who, although he has a wide following, has a history of making far-fetched and conspiratorial claims.

What this story does represent is the urgency that the Trump administration get its appointees in place in intelligence agencies to ensure they perform their mission to provide the president with the intelligence he needs to keep our nation safe.  Trump officials also are urgently needed at State and the Pentagon.

Once Trump officials are in place and assert control over the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, CIA, DIA, State and DOD, there should be a sharp reduction in leaks and anti-Trump press stories like today’s Wall Street Journal article.

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LISTEN TO TODAY’S SECURE FREEDOM PODCAST ON THE DEEP STATE

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Michael Flynn and the revenge of the bureaucrats

Michael Flynn and his son Michael G. Flynn (left) (Associated Press/File)

Michael Flynn and his son Michael G. Flynn (left) (Associated Press/File)

The Washington Times, , February 15, 2017:

The resignation of White House National Security Adviser Michael Flynn on Monday was the result of a coordinated effort by current and former U.S. intelligence officials to undermine the Trump administration using the disclosure of highly classified communications intercepts.

President Trump voiced his displeasure in a tweet Wednesday stating that misuse of the intercepts was un-American.

“The real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by ‘intelligence’ like candy. Very un-American!” the president stated.

Mr. Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general and former Defense Intelligence Agency director, was let go after admitting he did not fully explain to Vice President Mike Pence and other officials the content of telephone conversations he had with the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak late last year when Mr. Trump was president-elect.

According to a White House national security official, the intelligence bureaucrats went after Mr. Flynn not because of his contacts with the Russian ambassador. The real concern was his plan to reform U.S. intelligence agencies that during the Obama administration became mired in political correctness and lost much of their effectiveness, the official said.

The anti-Flynn campaign was launched prior to Inauguration Day and targeted not just the national security adviser but also at least one of his aides.

The National Security Council’s staff specialist for Africa, retired Marine intelligence officer Robin Townely, had his request for “top secret, sensitive compartmented information” clearance rejected by the CIA. Under current rules, the NSC can issue top-secret clearances. But the higher SCI-level clearance must be approved by the CIA. The White House official said the denial was unjust and an indirect political attack on Mr. Flynn.

Yet it was just such SCI-level information that was shared with reporters from The New York Times, The Washington Post and other news outlets in disclosing details of Mr. Flynn’s pre-inauguration phone calls to Mr. Kislyak.

Chris Farrell, a former counterintelligence official and director of investigations and research at Judicial Watch, called the disclosures “reckless endangerment of national intelligence sources and methods to advance a political smear job.”

 

Mr. Flynn is a critic of U.S. intelligence agencies and was planning to oversee a major overhaul of the spy agencies — something that upset entrenched intelligence officials concerned about protecting bureaucratic rice bowls.

In 2010, then-Gen. Flynn co-authored a landmark report, “Fixing Intel,” calling for sweeping reforms after criticizing intelligence as misaligned with the objectives in the Afghanistan War.

“Eight years into the war in Afghanistan, the U.S. intelligence community is only marginally relevant to the overall strategy, Having focused the overwhelming majority of its collection efforts and analytical brainpower on insurgent groups, the vast intelligence apparatus is unable to answer fundamental questions about the environment in which U.S. and allied forces operate and the people they seek to persuade,” the report said.

EXCLUSIVE: How The Nation’s Spooks Played The Game ‘Kill Mike Flynn’

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Daily Caller, by Richard Pollock, Feb. 16, 2017:

National Security Advisor Gen. Michael T. Flynn (ret.) — who resigned Monday — was the victim of a “hit job” launched by intelligence operatives, Obama government holdovers and former Obama national security officials, according to former intelligence officials who spoke with The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group.

The talk within the tight-knit community of retired intelligence officers was that Flynn’s sacking was a result of intelligence insiders at the CIA, NSA and National Security Council using a sophisticated “disinformation campaign” to create a crisis atmosphere. The former intel officers say the tactics hurled against Flynn over the last few months were the type of high profile hard-ball accusations previously reserved for top figures in enemy states, not for White House officials.

“This was a hit job,” charged retired Col. James Williamson, a 32-year Special Forces veteran who coordinated his operations with the intelligence community.

Noting the Obama administration first tried to silence Flynn in 2014 when the former president fired him as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Williamson called Monday’s resignation, “stage Two of ‘Kill Mike Flynn.”

Former intelligence officials who understand spy craft say Flynn’s resignation had everything to do with a “disinformation campaign” and little to do with the December phone conversation he had with the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

They charge officials from America’s top spy counsels leaked classified government intercepts of Flynn and President Trump’s conversations with world leaders and had “cutouts” — friendly civilians not associated with the agency — to distribute them to reporters in a coordinated fashion.

The issue of leaks was a prime topic for Trump when he tweeted Wednesday, “Information is being illegally given to the failing @nytimes & @washingtonpost by the intelligence community (NSA and FBI?).Just like Russia.”

“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Retired Col. James Waurishuk, who spent three decades in top military intelligence posts and served at the National Security Council, said in an interview with TheDCNF. “We’ve never seen to the extent that those in the intelligence community are using intelligence apparatus and tools to be used politically against an administration official,” he said.

“The knives are out,” said Frederick Rustmann, who retired after 24 years from the CIA’s Clandestine Service and was a member of its elite Senior Intelligence Service.

The media is organizing to topple the Trump presidency with assistance of national security leaks, Rustman charged in an interview with TheDCNF.

“I would not be surprised if Trump did not finish four years because of the vendetta they have out for him,” he said, calling the move on Flynn just a “mini-vendetta.”

Williamson told TheDCNF in an interview, “I truly believe it’s orchestrated and it’s part of an overall strategy. The objective is to piece-by-piece, dismantle the Trump administration, to discredit Trump.  This is part of an overarching plan.”

D.W. Wilber, who has over 30 years of experience in security and counterterrorism with the CIA and the Defense Department agrees.

“It appears to me there has been a concerted effort to try to discredit not only General Flynn, but obviously, the entire Trump administration through him.  He just happened to be the first scalp,” Wilber told TheDCNF in an interview.

Williamson agreed, telling theDCNF, “There are individuals who are well versed in information operations — we used to call that propaganda.  They know how to do it.  It’s deliberately orchestrated.”

Retired Marine Col. Bill Cowan, who often interacted with the intelligence operatives in combat zones, believes Mike Pompeo, Trump’s new CIA Director, must clean house. Otherwise, the administration will encounter four years of attacks.

“The director, Pompeo, if he doesn’t get a hold of the agency and its personnel, he can expect four years of this: clandestine, undercover disinformation, misinformation, psychological information to undermine this administration and this president,” he told TheDCNF.

Charles Goslin, a 27-year veteran in CIA operations also believes that many insubordinate intelligence staff are working within the National Security Council within the White House.

“With the NSC, I think that’s where the leaks are coming from on calls to foreign leaders. That’s where they undermined Flynn to the point where he got hammered,” Goslin told TheDCNF in an interview.

Goslin noted, “When Trump came in, even though they were able to staff key NSC positions, for the most part it’s still staffed by previous administration holdovers and bureaucratic appointees.”

“I don’t think they have any loyalty to the current administration,” the former CIA operations officer said, adding, “the NSC is going to be a hard one to fix.”

All of the former intelligence officials say the rage against Flynn dated back to when the decorated general headed up the DIA.  There he garnered a reputation to balk at the “politicization of military intelligence” in order to conform with President Obama’s world views.

Flynn refused to downplay the threat posed by the Islamic State and other radical Islamic groups throughout his two-year reign at the DIA. He was fired after offering congressional testimony that was at odds with the Obama administration’s posture on the Islamic threat.

Waurishuk, who interacted with Flynn as an Air Force intelligence officer and as deputy director of intelligence at the U.S. Central Command, said Flynn was a “straight shooter” who always demanded accurate threat assessments and never bent to the Obama pressures of political correctness.

Waurishuk worked in military intelligence in the Obama administration. He told TheDCNF Obama officials “know Flynn and they hate Flynn because he would call them out.  So, this was their opportunity to wage what is a personal vendetta in some respects.”

California Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, has promised to look into the leaks of classified information to reporters. The date has yet to be set for the hearings.

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Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2017/02/15/exclusive-how-the-nations-spooks-played-the-game-kill-mike-flynn/#ixzz4YsyYSeDw

General Flynn and Colonel Mustard: Let’s Piece Together Clues About the Leak

hith-checkpoint_charlie_sign-sized-770x415xcPJ MEDIA, BY CHARLIE MARTIN, FEBRUARY 16, 2017:

The most recent big scandal is LTG Michael Flynn’s resignation from the position of national security advisor — and just as an aside, I’ve heard at least three media people claim he’d resigned as director of the NSA, and no, being NSA isn’t the same as being DIRNSA. The Trump administration promptly complained about the leaks, to the mass amusement of the usual suspects.

But — is that amusement justified? Or is this more interesting than the usual suspects believe? Let’s give it a look.

There’s a phrase that comes up over and over when talking about classification of intelligence information: “sources and methods.” In fact, it comes up so often that it’s become one of those buzzword cliches that runs past — sourzeznmethdz — without people really hearing or thinking about it. So, just for once, let’s think about it.

Obviously, it breaks down into sources and methods: sources are where the information comes from, and methods are how we illicitly obtained the information. (Strictly it isn’t always illicit, since we derive useful intelligence from newspapers, but it’s also not interesting to know the CIA reads Russian newspapers.)

Now, we have a big scandal that is based on leaked reports of phone calls between LTG Flynn and the Russian ambassador, which apparently came from intercepts of the phone calls. But let’s look at this through the “sources and methods” lens for a minute: we have an overt leak that our intelligence services have intercepted communications of the Russian ambassador (a source) by “wire tapping” or something similar their phone calls (a method). What’s more, the other party to the call was LTG Michael Flynn. Technically, Flynn in this case is a United States Person (“U.S. Person”) under 50 USC 1801. Here’s the definition:

(i)“United States person” means a citizen of the United States, an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence (as defined in section 1101(a)(20) of title 8), … .

Here’s a link to all of 50 US Code Subchapter I, which contains the whole section on FISA courts. I won’t go through the whole thing, but the gist is that there must be a FISA Court order to allow an intercept of a U.S. Person’s communications; if a U.S. Person’s communications are intercepted by accident, by law the U.S. Person’s communications must be “minimized” in such a way that information identifying the U.S. Person isn’t stored or disseminated except under some special conditions.

It looks like that rule was, shall we say, applied less than diligently here with these leaks.

But let’s go back to “sources and methods” — what we have here is “communications intelligence,” COMINT. This isn’t super sensitive — as a friend pointed out, it’s not like it’s a big secret the U.S. is listening to the Russians — but it still meets the qualifications to be something like CONFIDENTIAL and special compartmented intelligence: CONFIDENTIAL//SI. (You can read more details, if you’re interested, in my pieces on Hillary’s Air Gap Problem, on how It’s Not Classified because It’s Marked; It’s Marked because It’s Classified, and on L’Affaire Snowden and Computer Security.)

But the point for now is simply that this stuff must be classified at least CONFIDENTIAL//SI, which puts it under the Espionage Act; revealing it without authorization is a violation of 18 USC 793 (and some other sections. Again, the link is to the containing chapter). This is the same chapter that would have been used to indict Hillary Clinton if she hadn’t had friends in high places.

Finally, let’s ask the question that should be on every critical thinker’s mind at all times: Cui bono? Who benefits? Add to that: who could have been involved?

Probably not the Trump people (plus they wouldn’t have known to have access to it). Not the Russians. Decisions involving this kind of material are made in the executive branch (CIA, FBI, NSA are all in the executive branch). What’s more, very few people are going to have need to know on this stuff, even if it’s only CONFIDENTIAL: we don’t want to let the Russians know exactly what conversations we’ve actually intercepted.

The final piece of the puzzle here is that we know these calls were intercepted before the inauguration. Which means they were authorized during the Obama administration.

So now, like Colonel Mustard with a lead pipe in the library, pieces have come together: this has to have been authorized under the Obama administration, by someone pretty high up (or else they wouldn’t have access to the compartmented information), and leaked by someone pretty high up, also, almost certainly, either a civil service permanent employee held over from the Obama administration or a political appointee very high in the intelligence community. One who was pretty confident they also have friends in high places.

Why? It seems it must have been to make trouble for the incoming Trump administration.

This is going to get a lot more interesting.

(Last-minute update: It may be getting interesting.)

UTT Throwback Thursday: Flynn, The Shadow Government & America’s Second Civil War

Understanding the Threat, Feb. 16, 2017:

Today’s UTT Throwback Thursday looks all the way back to…Monday, when UTT identified the threat of the Shadow Government and the penetration of America’s national security and governmental decision-making apparatus by jihadi, hard-left/Marxist, and other enemies.

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The resignation of General Michael Flynn is another salvo in America’s Second Civil War, which is now underway in earnest.  This was a victory for our enemies and, if harsh action is not taken immediately, our enemies will be emboldened to be more aggressive.

The battle lines in America’s Second Civil War have been drawn between the enemies of liberty and principles upon which our fore-fathers built this nation, against those willing to stand and defend all that is right and just about the original ideals of this land we call America as detailed in the Declaration of Independence.

Those involved in General Flynn’s resignation, especially the media and individuals in the intelligence community who illegally leaked highly classified material, lied and are continuing to lie about the contacts between General Flynn and the Russians, among other details.  They did this and are continuing their efforts to intentionally thwart the orders of the President of the United States, as did the judges ruling against the law on President Trump’s Executive Order regarding closing immigration from seven hostile nations.

The hard-left/Marxists and Jihadis are working together to destroy the American government and society and both have overtly stated so.  They are being directly aided by many media outlets and reporters as well as by establishment Republicans who seem to want to maintain status quo rather than defend the Republic and adhere to their sworn oaths to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Those involved and supporting such subversive activities should be identified and fired and, where possible, prosecuted.  Judges ruling against U.S. law and the Constitution, including those on the Supreme Court, should be impeached.

President Trump faces a true and imminently dangerous threat to the Republic, and comparisons to Lincoln’s leadership burdens during America’s first Civil War are not unfounded.

For several years, UTT has been briefing and teaching leaders in law enforcement and government about the flourishing operational and strategic relationship between the international hard-left/Marxist movement and the Jihadi Movement.

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From the ground level in Ferguson and Dallas to the hundreds of George Soros funded organizations internationally seeking to financially bring down the United States, to the Global Islamic Movement using these organizations and individuals as tools to build their caliphate under sharia, the Flynn resignation is a major pivot point for the enemy.  It shows them they can defeat the United States from the inside out.

Now we have a likely prospect for the President’s new National Security Advisor in Admiral Harward. Does he strategically understand the magnitude of the threats facing the Republic, and does he have the stomach for what must be done to achieve victory?

UTT reaffirms this war will be won or lost at the local level.  Courageous sheriffs and pastors who will speak the truth, prepare their communities, and root out the threats facing our Constitutional Republic county by county is the second major step towards victory.

The first is training and education.  UTT stands ready to help your community.

Out Like Flynn

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The America Spectator, by Scott McKay, February 15, 2017:

“House Atreides took control of Arrakis 63 standard days into the year 10,191. It was known that the Harkonnens, the former rulers of Arrakis, would leave many suicide troops behind. Atreides patrols were doubled.”
— From the 1984 David Lynch movie Dune, as adapted from the Fran Herbert novel.

You’ve got to read, if you haven’t yet, the piece by Adam Kredo in the Washington Free Beacon about the circumstances surrounding the resignation of Michael Flynn on Monday.

Kredo weaves together the statements of several confidential sources to create an alarming tapestry that views not unlike the classic 1980s sci-fi film referenced above — it seems reasonably clear that leftovers from the Obama administration are actively sabotaging the new president.

A quick excerpt or two…

The effort, said to include former Obama administration adviser Ben Rhodes—the architect of a separate White House effort to create what he described as a pro-Iran echo chamber—included a small task force of Obama loyalists who deluged media outlets with stories aimed at eroding Flynn’s credibility, multiple sources revealed.

The operation primarily focused on discrediting Flynn, an opponent of the Iran nuclear deal, in order to handicap the Trump administration’s efforts to disclose secret details of the nuclear deal with Iran that had been long hidden by the Obama administration.

Kredo’s piece isn’t the only one pointing to Iran as the real enemy of interest here rather than Russia. It’s worth watching Obama’s fundraising for his presidential library and other “philanthropic” activities with interest in the identities of his benefactors.

And there’s more…

“It’s actually Ben Rhodes, NIAC, and the Iranian mullahs who are celebrating today,” said one veteran foreign policy insider who is close to Flynn and the White House. “They know that the number one target is Iran… [and] they all knew their little sacred agreement with Iran was going to go off the books. So they got rid of Flynn before any of the [secret] agreements even surfaced.”

Flynn had been preparing to publicize many of the details about the nuclear deal that had been intentionally hidden by the Obama administration as part of its effort to garner support for the deal, these sources said.

Flynn is now “gone before anybody can see what happened” with these secret agreements, said the second insider close to Flynn and the White House.

Sources in and out of the White House are concerned that the campaign against Flynn will be extended to other prominent figures in the Trump administration.

Read the whole thing. It’s well worth your time.

But let’s understand what actually happened here. Yes, Mike Flynn had a conversation with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak on Dec. 29 regarding American policy toward that country. Yes, there is an ancient and little-known piece of legislation, the Logan Act, which makes it illegal for private citizens to conduct foreign policy, and yes, that law was put forth to justify accusations Flynn had committed a crime in his conversation with Kislyak.

But as a national security advisor designate it’s hardly realistic to have considered Flynn a private citizen, and he wasn’t going to be charged with anything for that conversation. Which gives rise to the mistake which ultimately cost him his job — pressed about the conversation, Flynn told Vice President Mike Pence that he and Kislyak did not discuss the lifting of Obama administration sanctions against Russia, which was apparently true. What Flynn had discussed, per an interview he did with the Daily Caller before he was forced out, was the status of the 35 Russian diplomats Obama had expelled from the country. He contends Kislyak raised the issue and was told it would be reviewed after the inauguration — but he made no promises to the Russian.

The expulsions were considered part of the sanctions, and therefore Flynn’s representation to Pence would go down as inaccurate — and the resulting media scandal following Pence’s reliance on Flynn’s statements to pass the adviser’s contention on in a TV interview ultimately made Flynn too hot to handle.

But this goes far beyond the Beltway scandal machine which is now running at top gear after largely idling for the past eight years spitting out its first Trump administration victim. What blew Flynn out of the water were leaks from the intelligence community — his conversation with Kislyak was recorded by the FBI, pursuant to a FISA warrant which had to come from the highest levels, possibly high enough to have reached Obama himself, and then a transcript was provided to the media in order to refute Flynn’s contention he hadn’t discussed the sanctions.

Mike Walsh called this troubling pattern a “rolling coup attempt, organized by elements of the intelligence community, particularly CIA and NSA, abetted by Obama-era holdovers in the understaffed Justice Department (Sally Yates, take a bow) and the lickspittles of the leftist media, all of whom have signed on with the ‘Resistance’ in order to overturn the results of the November election.”

He’s not wrong. He goes further and is also not wrong…

Welcome to the Deep State, the democracy-sapping embeds at the heart of our democracy who have not taken the expulsion of the Permanent Bipartisan Fusion Party lightly. They realize that the Trump administration poses a mortal threat to their hegemony, and so have enlisted an army of Democrats, some Republicans, the “neverTrumpumpkin” conservative die-hards, leftist thugs, Black Lives Matter and anybody else they can blackmail, browbeat or enlist. They mean business.

What to do if you’re Trump? Fight.

It’s not enough to send Sean Spicer out to complain about the leaks, or to back his press conference statements up with early-morning tweets.

He must fight.

Trump clearly has not taken the sound advice of any executive engaged in a hostile takeover of a large organization — which is to fire everyone. There should be no holdovers from the Obama administration left in the federal government beyond what the law forces on the president.

Which includes the CIA, NSA, and other agencies clearly infested with Harkonnens seeking to impose the same fate on Trump and his administration which befell Duke Leto Atreides.

Trump went to Langley and spoke about inaugural crowds, and received warm applause from some of the same people concocting schemes to destroy his presidency. That was a mistake, and it must be recognized as such. Trump is late in drumming Obama’s people out of the government, and those people are now a cancer on his administration. He must clean out the intelligence community and the rest of the deep state, and he must drain the swamp in Washington. And he’s in a race against time in doing so.

All new administrations, particularly those taking over from predecessors in the opposite party, will struggle to find loyal servants within the bowels of the federal government. But no administration has politicized the bureaucracy and the intelligence community the way Obama did, and the government has never been so corrupted as it is now. The political assassination of Mike Flynn proves that, and Flynn will certainly not be the last. This administration is in a death struggle with the deep state, and only one will survive.

EXCLUSIVE: Seb Gorka Tells True Story Behind Smears Against Him

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Breitbart, by Lee Stranahan, Feb. 15, 2017:

WASHINGTON, DC–In an emotional, exclusive interview with Breitbart News, former Breitbart editor Sebastian Gorka, who is now serving as the Deputy Assistant to President Trump, tells the true story about the medal his father received for fighting tyranny.

As Breitbart News reported, Gorka has been smeared by Eli Clifton of the LobeLog blog in a story that was repeated by Chelsea Clinton, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and even the Times of Israel.

Eli Clifton wrote on Sunday that Gorka “has appeared in multiple photographs wearing the medal of a Hungarian group listed by the State Department as having collaborated with the Nazis during World War II.”

Here, Gorka tells the truth in a video that should be shared with everyone who is sick of the lies and personal smears that have been lodged against Donald Trump, members of his administration, and his supporters.

I’m Sebastian Gorka and I’d like to tell you a story about my father and my family’s history and why I wore a medal that reminds me of what they suffered under the Nazis and under the Communists.

In 1979 my father was awarded a declaration for his resistance to a dictatorship, and although he passed away 14 years ago, I wear that medal in remembrance of what my family went through and what it represents today, to me, as an American.

In 1939 when World War II broke out my father was nine-years-old. And with his family in Budapest they lived through the horrors of World War II. Three out of five houses destroyed, the siege of Budapest, the takeover by the Nazis. At the end of the war he was fifteen-years-old and he thought, “Well maybe now I can have a normal, bright future.” But it wasn’t to be. Three years later, another dictatorship took over, the Communists. And his freedom was curtailed as was all other Hungarians.

But he decided to do something about it.

In college at the age of eighteen, he decided to create an underground organization of pro-Democracy / anti-Communists to work against the Soviet dictatorship. However, they were betrayed, by Kim Philby, one of the deadliest traitors of the Cold War.

As a result, at the age of twenty, he was arrested, tortured in the same house–the House of Terror–that the Nazis had used. Now the Communists took it over, and some of the officers, the secret police officers, had been Nazis.

They tortured my father. I remember as a child, looking at the lines on his wrist and asking him, “What is that, dad?” and eventually he told me, that’s where he’s been hung by his wrists backwards – by wire tied to the pipe on the ceiling of the basement of the House of Terror.

He survived the torture, he was given a life sentence at the age of twenty. Two years in solitary, two years down a prison coal mine, and eventually liberated by the Freedom Fighters in 1956. He escaped to the West with the seventeen-year-old daughter of a fellow prison inmate — who became his wife, and my mother. They made a family in the UK.

I’m a proud American now and I wear that medal now and again. Why?

To remind myself of where I came from, what my parents suffered under both the Nazis and the Communists, and to help me in my work today because as far as I’m concerned, groups like the Islamist State, like Al Qaeda — they’re just another kind of totalitarian. They’re not Communists, they’re not Nazis, but they will enslave or kill you if you disagree with them.

That’s my story.

Follow Breitbart News investigative reporter and Citizen Journalism School founder Lee Stranahan on Twitter at @Stranahan.

Surprise: At the End, Obama Administration Gave NSA Broad New Powers

(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

PJ MEDIA, BY MICHAEL WALSH, FEBRUARY 15, 2017

This story, from the Jan. 12, 2017, edition of the New York Times, was little-remarked upon at the time, but suddenly has taken on far greater significance in light of current events:

In its final days, the Obama administration has expanded the power of the National Security Agency to share globally intercepted personal communications with the government’s 16 other intelligence agencies before applying privacy protections.

The new rules significantly relax longstanding limits on what the N.S.A. may do with the information gathered by its most powerful surveillance operations, which are largely unregulated by American wiretapping laws. These include collecting satellite transmissions, phone calls and emails that cross network switches abroad, and messages between people abroad that cross domestic network switches.

The change means that far more officials will be searching through raw data. Essentially, the government is reducing the risk that the N.S.A. will fail to recognize that a piece of information would be valuable to another agency, but increasing the risk that officials will see private information about innocent people.

One of the central questions behind the Mike Flynn flap that should have been asked but largely wasn’t is: who was wiretapping the general? The answer, we know now, was the National Security Agency, formerly known as No Such Agency, the nation’s foremost signals-intelligence (SIGINT) collection department.

Once compartmentalized to avoid injuring private citizens caught up in the net of the Black Widow (as we all are already) and her technological successors, the NSA was suddenly handed greater latitude in what it could share with other, perhaps more politicized bodies of the intelligence community. Why?

Let’s call the roster of the bad guys:

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch signed the new rules, permitting the N.S.A. to disseminate “raw signals intelligence information,” on Jan. 3, after the director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper Jr., signed them on Dec. 15, according to a 23-page, largely declassified copy of the procedures.

Previously, the N.S.A. filtered information before sharing intercepted communications with another agency, like the C.I.A. or the intelligence branches of the F.B.I. and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The N.S.A.’s analysts passed on only information they deemed pertinent, screening out the identities of innocent people and irrelevant personal information.

Now, other intelligence agencies will be able to search directly through raw repositories of communications intercepted by the N.S.A. and then apply such rules for “minimizing” privacy intrusions.

“This is not expanding the substantive ability of law enforcement to get access to signals intelligence,” said Robert S. Litt, the general counsel to Mr. Clapper. “It is simply widening the aperture for a larger number of analysts, who will be bound by the existing rules.”

Throwing the BS flag on this one. “Widening the aperture,” my old granny. One of the things about the IC is that “existing rules” are made to be broken whenever one of its unaccountable minions feels like it; these are people who lie and cheat for a living. And the genius of the Democrats — something for the GOP to think about next time — is that they were able to leverage the transition in order to change as many rules and embed as many apparatchiks as possible before formally turning over the reins to the new kids.

But Patrick Toomey, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, called the move an erosion of rules intended to protect the privacy of Americans when their messages are caught by the N.S.A.’s powerful global collection methods. He noted that domestic internet data was often routed or stored abroad, where it may get vacuumed up without court oversight.

“Rather than dramatically expanding government access to so much personal data, we need much stronger rules to protect the privacy of Americans,” Mr. Toomey said. “Seventeen different government agencies shouldn’t be rooting through Americans’ emails with family members, friends and colleagues, all without ever obtaining a warrant.”

Correct. But the Fourth Amendment went out the barn door along with all the pretty horses long ago. Google and Facebook and Amazon know more about you than the CIA or FBI ever used to. And most of the personal information is provided by… you. Think about that, the next time you “check in,” post pictures of your loved ones and talk about your travel plans.

Following me on Twitter @dkahanerules

The Latest Rundown on the Mike Flynn Deep State Hit Job

mike-flynn_-hit_-job_-run_-down_-sized-770x415xc-1PJ MEDIA, BY PATRICK POOLE, FEBRUARY 15, 2017:

Obama officials and the establishment media continue to wave the scalp of resigned National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and trying to squeeze every last drop of anti-Trump controversy out of the matter.

As I had said privately, Flynn was not long for remaining as NSA. It’s not because he’s a bad guy, and accusations that he was compromised by Russian intelligence are absurd as the Trump dossier Buzzfeed published last month. It’s just that Flynn wasn’t ready for prime time. Hopefully his replacement will be.

So here’s the latest.

The New York Times published a report last night claiming “Trump associates” had repeated contacts with Russian intelligence, which the media in turn breathlessly hyped.

Trying to spin this as definitive proof that Trump was involved in “hacking the election,” they failed to recognize the NYT report proved no such thing:

American law enforcement and intelligence agencies intercepted the communications around the same time they were discovering evidence that Russia was trying to disrupt the presidential election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee, three of the officials said. The intelligence agencies then sought to learn whether the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians on the hacking or other efforts to influence the election.

The officials interviewed in recent weeks said that, so far, they had seen no evidence of such cooperation.

OK, there goes that theory.

The other big story last night from Adam Kredo at the Washington Free Beacon was that the hit job on Flynn was driven by former Obama officials concerned about protecting the disastrous Iran deal:

A third source who serves as a congressional adviser and was involved in the 2015 fight over the Iran deal told the Free Beacon that the Obama administration feared that Flynn would expose the secret agreements with Iran.

“The Obama administration knew that Flynn was going to release the secret documents around the Iran deal, which would blow up their myth that it was a good deal that rolled back Iran,” the source said. “So in December the Obama NSC started going to work with their favorite reporters, selectively leaking damaging and incomplete information about Flynn.”

“After Trump was inaugurated some of those people stayed in and some began working from the outside, and they cooperated to keep undermining Trump,” the source said, detailing a series of leaks from within the White House in the past weeks targeting Flynn. “Last night’s resignation was their first major win, but unless the Trump people get serious about cleaning house, it won’t be the last.”

It’s curious then that the architects of the Iran deal are enthusiastic about the front runner to replace Flynn, former Vice Admiral Robert Harward, including former Obama NSC spox Tommy Vietor:

And the Iran deal must be preserved at all costs:

Our former PJ Media colleague Richard Pollock had the last interview with Flynn before his resignation reporting on what was actually discussed during that phone call with the Russian ambassador:

Flynn insisted that he crossed no lines in his telephone conversation with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak: “If I did, believe me, the FBI would be down my throat, my clearances would be pulled. There were no lines crossed.”

Flynn said there was a brief discussion of the 35 Russian diplomats who were being expelled by Obama in retaliation for Moscow’s alleged interference in the 2016 campaign.

“It wasn’t about sanctions. It was about the 35 guys who were thrown out,” Flynn said. “So that’s what it turned out to be. It was basically, ‘Look, I know this happened. We’ll review everything.’ I never said anything such as, ‘We’re going to review sanctions,’ or anything like that.”

It’s important to recall what Flynn was accused of doing:

There has yet to be any evidence that anything in Flynn’s discussion with the Russian ambassador was illegal.

The heavy breathing by the media about supposed Logan Act violations is totally overwrought, as there has never been a successful Logan Act prosecution in two centuries.

But it bears recalling that in 2008 as the Bush admin was trying to negotiate on the Iran nuclear program, those efforts were scuttled by the Obama campaign without any complaint from the media or calls for Logan Act prosecutions.

As our own Michael Ledeen reported here at PJ Media back in 2014:

During his first presidential campaign in 2008, Mr. Obama used a secret back channel to Tehran to assure the mullahs that he was a friend of the Islamic Republic, and that they would be very happy with his policies. The secret channel was Ambassador William G. Miller, who served in Iran during the shah’s rule, as chief of staff for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and as ambassador to Ukraine. Ambassador Miller has confirmed to me his conversations with Iranian leaders during the 2008 campaign.

It is remarkable that invocations of the Logan Act (e.g. the letter from 47 Senate Republicans to the Iranian leader in 2015) only occurs when it is targeting Republicans.

Another issue coming out of the Flynn affair is the politicization of intelligence.

House Intel Committee Chairman Devin Nunes is demanding to know what Flynn’s conversations were being wiretapped. As one of the congressional “Big 8” if there were a covert program targeting Flynn, he would be one of the few to know.

“Any intelligence agency cannot listen to Americans’ phone calls,” Nunes told reporters Tuesday night. “If there’s inadvertent collection that you know is overseas there’s a whole process in place for that.”

He explained, “It’s pretty clear that’s not the case, so then they could have been listening to someone else and inadvertently picked up an American. If that happens, there’s a whole process in place to where they have to immediately get rid of the information unless it’s like high level national security issue and then someone would have to unmask the name — someone at the highest levels.”

“So in this case it would be General Flynn and then how did that happen. Then if they did that, then how does all that get out to the public which is another leak of classified information,” Nunes added. “I’m pretty sure the FBI didn’t have a warrant on Michael Flynn.”

Former House Homeland Security Chairman Rep. Peter King says the intelligence disclosures to the press were clearly illegal.

No wonder then that many in the media are warning about the implications of former Obama officials leaking highly classified signals intelligence intercepts involving U.S. persons.

Eli Lake at Bloomberg:

There is another component to this story as well — as Trump himself just tweeted. It’s very rare that reporters are ever told about government-monitored communications of U.S. citizens, let alone senior U.S. officials. The last story like this to hit Washington was in 2009 when Jeff Stein, then of CQ, reported on intercepted phone calls between a senior Aipac lobbyist and Jane Harman, who at the time was a Democratic member of Congress.

Normally intercepts of U.S. officials and citizens are some of the most tightly held government secrets. This is for good reason. Selectively disclosing details of private conversations monitored by the FBI or NSA gives the permanent state the power to destroy reputations from the cloak of anonymity. This is what police states do.

In the past it was considered scandalous for senior U.S. officials to even request the identities of U.S. officials incidentally monitored by the government (normally they are redacted from intelligence reports). John Bolton’s nomination to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations was derailed in 2006 after the NSA confirmed he had made 10 such requests when he was Undersecretary of State for Arms Control in George W. Bush’s first term. The fact that the intercepts of Flynn’s conversations with Kislyak appear to have been widely distributed inside the government is a red flag.

Damon Linker at The Week:

Unelected intelligence analysts work for the president, not the other way around. Far too many Trump critics appear not to care that these intelligence agents leaked highly sensitive information to the press — mostly because Trump critics are pleased with the result. “Finally,” they say, “someone took a stand to expose collusion between the Russians and a senior aide to the president!” It is indeed important that someone took such a stand. But it matters greatly who that someone is and how they take their stand. Members of the unelected, unaccountable intelligence community are not the right someone, especially when they target a senior aide to the president by leaking anonymously to newspapers the content of classified phone intercepts, where the unverified, unsubstantiated information can inflict politically fatal damage almost instantaneously.

And John Podheretz at the New York Post:

This information might have come because the US intelligence community has an active interest in the Russian official to whom he talked.

Or it could have come because the FBI had been pursuing some sort of secret investigation and had received authorization to monitor and track his calls and discussions.

If this was intelligence, the revelation of the Flynn meeting just revealed something to the Russians we shouldn’t want revealed — which is that we were listening in on them and doing so effectively.

And if it was an FBI investigation, then the iron principle of law enforcement — that evidence gathered in the course of an investigation must be kept secret to protect the rights of the American being investigated — was just put through a shredder.

Keeping our intelligence-gathering assets hidden from those upon whom we are spying is a key element of our national security.

And as for playing fast and loose with confidential information on American citizens: No joke, people — if they can do it to Mike Flynn, they can do it to you.

But still, there are some who are loving them some deep state totalitarian tactics:

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Report: Obama Loyalists, Led by Ben Rhodes, Orchestrated Flynn Ouster

 

House Democrats Compromise American Intelligence Secrets Again

170209housedemocratsBy George Rasley, CHQ Editor | 2/9/17

Investigative reporter Luke Rosiak, writing for our friends at the Daily Caller recently broke the story that three Muslim brothers who managed office information technology for members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and other lawmakers were abruptly relieved of their duties on suspicion that they accessed congressional computer networks without permission.

Brothers Abid, Imran, and Jamal Awan were barred from computer networks at the House of Representatives Thursday, The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group reported on Tuesday, February 7, 2016.

The brothers, and a fourth person, Hina R. Alvi (Imran Awan’s wife) are suspected of serious violations, including accessing members’ computer networks without their knowledge and stealing equipment from Congress reported Rosiak. Alvi is a female House IT employee who works for many of the same members as the three brothers, as well as the House Democratic Caucus.

Abid, Imran and Jamal Awan have all shared a house in Lorton, Virginia, that is in Hina R. Alvi’s name.

PJ Media’s Debra Heine says Imran Awan, is a longtime House staffer who worked for more than two dozen Democrats since 2004.

The four Muslim employees worked for at least three members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and five members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs were among the dozens of members who employed the suspects on a shared basis. The two committees deal with many of the nation’s most sensitive issues, information and documents, including those related to the war with radical Islamic terrorism.

Jamal Awan handled IT for Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Texas Democrat who serves on both the intelligence and foreign affairs panels.

Imran Awan handled IT for Rep. Gregory Meeks, a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee where he is the Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats.

Imran Awan also worked for Rep. Andre Carson, an Indiana Democrat and one of two Muslims in the House of Representatives, and Rep. Jackie Speier, a California Democrat. Both are members of the intelligence committee.

Also among those whose computer systems may have been compromised is Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Florida Democrat who was previously the target of a disastrous email hack when she served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 campaign.

Security-sensitive jobs typically require background checks for credit and legal problems that can create pressures to cash in on access to secret information and documents. However, signs of trouble have long been visible in public records. The Congressional Credit Union repossessed Abid Awan’s car in 2009, and he declared bankruptcy in 2012, facing multiple lawsuits.

Luke Rosiak reports that despite the generous salaries, the four were involved in multiple suspicious mortgage transfers and a debt-evading bankruptcy. Abid Awan had more than $1 million in debts following a failed business and court documents filed claim that Abid had stolen money and vehicles from associates in those business.

Abid Awan’s record includes numerous driving- and alcohol-related legal problems, including driving with a suspended or revoked license, court records show. He was found guilty of drunk driving a month before he started at the House, and was arrested for public intoxication a month after his first day.

Imran Awan has also been convicted of driving offenses serious enough to rise to the level of criminal misdemeanors, as well as using an illegal radar detector and driving an unregistered vehicle reported Rosiak.

Chiefs of staff for dozens of Democratic lawmakers who employed the four were informed that a criminal probe was underway into their use of congressional information technology systems, including the existence of an external server to which House data was being funneled, and into the theft of and overbilling for computer equipment.

According to Politico, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Rep. Gregory Meeks are two Democratic lawmakers who have still not cut ties with the four. “At this time we are continuing to gather information from House officials and will determine the best approach to move forward once we have reviewed that information,” David Damron, communications director for Wasserman Schultz, said in an email when asked by POLITICO if Imran Awan was still working for the Florida Democrat.

Jack Langer, spokesman for the intelligence committee, said the committee office has its own IT staff and security measures and classified information from the panel is not allowed to be sent to members’ personal offices.

That policy was also in place for State Department computer networks, yet classified material still found its way onto Hillary Clinton’s private email server and Huma Abedin’s personal laptop.

All of this puts us in mind of something that was revealed after the October 25, 1983 invasion of Grenada.

What the Marines found in Grenada was astonishing as David Horowitz put it in his book The Great Betrayal.

The intelligence trove discovered after the invasion of Grenada revealed that Democrats were not just in communication with the communist government there, but that Democratic Rep. Ron Dellums and his staff were actively colluding with it.

Documents seized showed that Dellums had coordinated his domestic opposition to Reagan’s Grenada policy with the communist junta in Grenada, going so far as to provide draft reports for the regime to edit before being published by the House of Representatives.

Horowitz describes the materials found on Grenada by the Marines, including a letter from Dellums’ chief of staff Carlottia Scott. The letter to the communist dictator said Dellums was “really hooked on you and Grenada and doesn’t want anything to happen to building the Revolution and making it strong.   . . . The only other person that I know of that he expresses such admiration for is Fidel.”

The emissary for these pro-communist efforts to undermine America?

Current Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13). “Another document liberated by the Marines contained the minutes of a [Grenadian] Politburo meeting attended by the Communist dictator and his military command. ‘Barbara Lee is here presently and has brought with her a report on the international airport that was done by Ron Dellums. They have requested that we look at the document and suggest any changes we deem necessary. They will be willing to make the changes,’” Horowitz documented in The Great Betrayal.

Rep. Dellums went on to serve as Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, complete with the requisite security clearances.

And Barbara Lee?

She succeeded Dellums as Representative for California’s 13th Congressional District and now sits on the State and Foreign Operations and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs subcommittees of the Appropriations Committee and employed Awan Abid as an IT professional.

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