Google Employees Discussed Tweaking Search Results to Counter Trump Travel Ban

Breitbart, by Allum Bokhari, September 20, 2018:

Google employees brainstormed ways to tweak the tech giant’s search functions to encourage users to push back against Trump policies following the President’s proposed travel ban on certain countries in 2017, according to a report on Tucker Carlson Tonight that was also confirmed by the Wall Street Journal. 

Via the WSJ (paywalled):

Days after the Trump administration instituted a controversial travel ban in January 2017, Google employees discussed how they could tweak the company’s search-related functions to show users how to contribute to pro-immigration organizations and contact lawmakers and government agencies, according to internal company emails.
The email traffic, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, shows that employees proposed ways to “leverage” search functions and take steps to counter what they considered to be “islamophobic, algorithmically biased results from search terms ‘Islam’, ‘Muslim’, ’Iran’, etc.” and “prejudiced, algorithmically biased search results from search terms `Mexico’, `Hispanic’, `Latino’, etc.”

According to the WSJ, the email chain was “sprinkled with cautionary notes about engaging in political activity,” but nonetheless discussed ways to use the company’s power over search as a response to Trump’s proposed travel ban on certain Muslim-dominated countries.

The report follows Breitbart News’ release of a leaked recording of Google’s post-election meeting in 2016. The video shows company executives, including co-founder Sergey Brin and CEO Sundar Pichai, lamenting the election of Trump, and brainstorming ways to ensure that the president’s election and the populist movement were just a “blip” and “hiccup” in history.

Google did not deny the existence of the emails, but insisted that none of the ideas discussed were ever acted upon.

“These emails were just a brainstorm of ideas, none of which were ever implemented,” a company spokeswoman said in a statement. “Google has never manipulated its search results or modified any of its products to promote a particular political ideology—not in the current campaign season, not during the 2016 election, and not in the aftermath of President Trump’s executive order on immigration. Our processes and policies would not have allowed for any manipulation of search results to promote political ideologies.”

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. You can follow him on TwitterGab.ai and add him on Facebook. Email tips and suggestions to allumbokhari@protonmail.com.

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Also see:

Opinion: Redefining anti-Semitism is vital to protecting American Jews from discrimination

WLOS, by Boris Epshteyn, September 14, 2018:

The Trump administration is taking unprecedented steps to protect Jewish people across the country.

The change is in how the Department of Education investigates allegations of discrimination against Jewish students on campuses across the country.

The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights is now going to be using a new “working definition” of anti-Semitism, in which de-legitimizing Israel or holding it to a double standard that is not expected of other democratic nations is deemed anti-Semitic.

Jewish advocacy groups have long called for this new, broader, definition as a tool to prevent discrimination against Jewish students at educational institutions across the country.

However, advocates for the rights of Palestinians claim that the definition is so broad it would label any criticism of Israel or pro-Israeli policies as anti-Semitic.

That is a false narrative. Hatred and criticism are two very different things.

Hatred of the State of Israel is, often, rooted in anti-Semitism.

On the increasingly extreme liberal college campuses of today, this new policy will protect those who have otherwise been stifled by political correctness and anti-Semitism.

Here’s the Bottom Line: Re-defining and broadening the term “anti-Semitism” is crucial to protecting the Jewish people and the Jewish community in America.

I want to commend the Trump administration for taking this action and I hope the media as a whole gives the new policy the coverage it deserves.

Those that have ludicrously called President Trump and the Republican Party anti-Semitic need to, once again, take a good, long, look at themselves in the mirror.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Boris Epshteyn formerly served as a Senior Advisor to the Trump Campaign and served in the White House as Special Assistant to The President and Assistant Communications Director for Surrogate Operations

Also see:

Trump says exposing ‘corrupt’ FBI probe could be ‘crowning achievement’ of presidency

US President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting on July 18, 2018, at the White House in Washington, DC. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP) (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

The Hill, By John Solomon and Buck Sexton, September 18, 2018:

President Trump in an exclusive interview with Hill.TV said Tuesday he ordered the release of classified documents in the Russia collusion case to show the public the FBI probe started as a “hoax,” and that exposing it could become one of the “crowning achievements” of his presidency.

“What we’ve done is a great service to the country, really,” Trump said in a 45-minute, wide-ranging interview in the Oval Office.

“I hope to be able to call this, along with tax cuts and regulation and all the things I’ve done… in its own way this might be the most important thing because this was corrupt,” he said.

Trump also said he regretted not firing former FBI Director James Comey immediately instead of waiting until May 2017, confirming an account his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, gave Hill.TV earlier in the day that Trump was dismayed in 2016 by the way Comey handled the Hillary Clinton email case and began discussing firing him well before he became president.

“If I did one mistake with Comey, I should have fired him before I got here. I should have fired him the day I won the primaries,” Trump said. “I should have fired him right after the convention, say I don’t want that guy. Or at least fired him the first day on the job. … I would have been better off firing him or putting out a statement that I don’t want him there when I get there.”

Trump has offered different reasons in the past for his firing of the FBI chief, blaming Comey’s handling of the Clinton case but also linking it to Comey’s actions in the Russian investigation.

The president also called into question the FBI’s handling of the Russian investigation, again criticizing it for surveilling his campaign.

He criticizing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court’s approval of the warrant that authorized surveillance of Carter Page, a low-level Trump campaign aide, toward the end of the 2016 election, suggesting the FBI misled the court.

“They know this is one of the great scandals in the history of our country because basically what they did is, they used Carter Page, who nobody even knew, who I feel very badly for, I think he’s been treated very badly. They used Carter Page as a foil in order to surveil a candidate for the presidency of the United States.”

As for the judges on the secret intelligence court: “It looks to me just based on your reporting, that they have been misled,” the president said, citing a series of columns in The Hill newspaper identifying shortcomings in the FBI investigation. “I mean I don’t think we have to go much further than to say that they’ve been misled.”

“One of the things I’m disappointed in is that the judges in FISA didn’t, don’t seem to have done anything about it. I’m very disappointed in that Now, I may be wrong because, maybe as we sit here and talk, maybe they’re well into it. We just don’t know that because I purposely have not chosen to get involved,” Trump said.

The president spared no words in criticizing Comey, former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok, lawyer Lisa Page and other FBI officials who started the probe. He recited specific text messages Page and Strzok traded while having an affair and investigating his campaign, arguing the texts showed they condoned leaks and conducted a bogus probe.

Those texts are to be released as a result of Trump’s announcement on Monday.

“It’s a hoax, beyond a witch hunt,” he said.

Trump cited one text released recently in which Strzok and Page appear to discuss getting McCabe to approve an expansion of the Russia case right after Comey is fired.

“Comey was a bad guy. He gets fired. They only have Andy left because they know they’re doing wrong,” the president said in describing how he felt wronged by the FBI.

He denounced the FBI for leaking to create what he said was a false narrative against him, saying it appeared to be an “insurance policy” to destroy his presidency if he won.

“Number one how illegal is it? And number two, how low is it,” he said.

“What we have now is an insurance policy,” the president said. “But it has been totally discredited, even Democrats agree that it has been discredited. They are not going to admit to it, but it has been totally discredited. I think, frankly, more so by text than by documents.”

Trump said he had not read the documents he ordered declassified but said he expected to show they would prove the FBI case started as a political “hoax.”

“I have had many people ask me to release them. Not that I didn’t like the idea but I wanted to wait, I wanted to see where it was all going,” he said.

In the end, he said, his goal was to let the public decide by seeing the documents that have been kept secret for more than two years. “All I want to do is be transparent,” he said.

Asked what he thought the outcome of his long-running fight with the FBI, the president said: “I hope to be able put this up as one of my crowning achievements that I was able to … expose something that is truly a cancer in our country.”

Rich Higgins on the Deep State

Unconstrained Analytics, September 7, 2018:

UA Senior Fellow Rich Higgins talks about what he saw of the Deep State in the White House in an interview by Breitbart’s Curt Schilling,

“. . . . I would go into National Security Council meetings with 10, 20, 30 people and there would only be 2 or 3 Trump supporters who were outnumbered by Obama holdovers.

Why was it so hard for Trump to clean house? Why did the Obama holdovers so outnumber everyone? Why didn’t he make his own team?

There are three things we have to look at:

  1. The Deep State wanted to get Gen Flynn out of there as early as possible because he would have figured out what the FBI was up to
  2. We need to find out who put McMaster in place
  3. We know that McMaster was talking with McCabe, he was talking with perhaps Strozyk, and other persons

The full scope of this investigation has not begun yet. It definitely requires its own Special Counsel. It is unprecedented in American history. I’m sitting in the National Security Council watching these events unfold around me.

I did not write this memo for public consumption. I don’t know if Trump read it but somehow this memo that talked about the Deep State ended up on the desk of a Deep State bureaucrat, McMaster.

The memo brought up Title 18 concerns–Trump is the Command-in-Chief, you don’t get to subvert him. What I see now, that is beyond the pale for me, is the institutional bureaucracy becoming hyper politicized in opposition to the President.

Why were these people allowed to remain in place?

Trump is a businessman and his reliance on the establishment to help him was perhaps his Achilles heel. Steve Bannon said it best: the ‘original sin’ of this administration was the belief that the establishment was going to help do the President’s mandate and what he was elected to do.

Watching all this take place in the White House, this memo just bubbled out. By the time it has been leaked to the press, I had already been removed. This is different from the anonymous coward in the White House who leaked to the NY Times in an op-ed. I think she’ll be out of here pretty soon. I have a pretty good idea who it is and again, we’re going to find out it’s a known commodity who had been identified early on as opposing the President. . . . ”

Listen to the rest as Higgins and Schilling talk about the implications on the American people, the Deep State and the media of declassifying the FISA memo, as well as thoughts on the Kavanaugh nomination, and how the Mueller witchhunt is a rearguard action protecting the corrupt activities of multiple individuals in the government and private sector with foreign money going back perhaps decades.

AUDIO

POTUS and Political Warfare aka Higgins Memo

Read May 2017 document: POTUS & Political Warfare (pdf) by Rich Higgins

Unconstrained Analytics, by Rich Higgins, Sept. 6, 2018:

BACKGROUND

The Trump administration is suffering under withering information campaigns designed to first undermine, then delegitimize and ultimately remove the President.

Possibly confusing these attacks with an elevated interplay of otherwise normal D.C. partisan infighting and adversarial media relations, the White House response to these campaigns reflects a political advocacy mindset that it is intensely reactive, severely under-inclusive and dangerously inadequate to the threat.

If action is not taken to re-scope and respond to these hostile campaigns very soon, the administration risks implosion and subsequent early departure from the White House.

This is not politics as usual but rather political warfare at an unprecedented level that is openly engaged in the direct targeting of a seated president through manipulation of the news cycle. It must be recognized on its own terms so that immediate action can be taken.

At its core, these campaigns run on multiple lines of effort, serve as the non-violent line of effort of a wider movement, and execute political warfare agendas that reflect cultural Marxist outcomes. The campaigns operate through narratives.

Because the hard left is aligned with lslamist organizations at local (ANTIFA working with Muslim Brotherhood doing business as MSA and CAIR), national (ACLU and BLM working with CAIR and MPAC) and international levels (OIC working with OSCE and the UN), recognition must given to the fact that they seamlessly interoperate at the narrative level as well.

In candidate Trump, the opposition saw a threat to the “politically correct” enforcement narratives they’ve meticulously laid in over the past few decades.

In President Trump, they see a latent threat to continue that effort to ruinous effect and their retaliatory response reflects this fear.

INTRODUCTION

Responding to relentless personal assaults on his character, candidate Trump identified the players and the strategy:

 “The establishment and their media enablers will control over this nation through means that are very well known. Anyone who challenges their control is deemed a sexist, a racist, a xenophobe, and morally deformed.” – President Trump, Oct 2016

Culturally conditioned to limit responses to such attacks as yet another round in the on-going drone from diversity and multicultural malcontents, these broadsides are discounted as political correctness run amuck.

However, political correctness is a weapon against reason and critical thinking. This weapon functions as the enforcement mechanism of diversity narratives that seek to implement cultural Marxism.

Candidate Trump’s rhetoric in the campaign not only cut through the Marxist narrative, he did so in ways that were viscerally comprehensible to a voting bloc that then made candidate Trump the president; making that bloc self-aware in the process. President Trump is either the candidate he ran as, or he is nothing.

Recognizing in candidate Trump an existential threat to cultural Marxist memes that dominate the prevailing cultural narrative, those that benefit recognize the threat he poses and seek his destruction.

For this cabal, Trump must be destroyed.

Far from politics as usual, this is a political warfare effort that seeks the destruction of a sitting president.

Since Trump took office, the situation has intensified to crisis level proportions. For those engaged in the effort, especially those from within the “deep state” or permanent government apparatus, this raises clear Title 18 (legal) concerns.

DISCUSSION

The Opposition

While opposition to President Trump manifests itself through political warfare memes centered on cultural Marxist narratives, this hardly means that opposition is limited to Marxists as conventionally understood. Having become the dominant cultural meme, some benefit from it while others are captured by it; including “deep state” actors, globalists, bankers, lslamists, and establishment Republicans.

Through the campaign, candidate Trump tapped into a deep vein of concern among many citizens that America is at risk and is slipping away. Globalists and lslamists recognize that for their visions to succeed, America, both as an ideal and as a national and political identity, must be destroyed.

Atomization of society must also occur at the individual level; with attacks directed against all levels of group and personal identity. Hence the sexism, racism and xenophobia memes.

As a Judea-Christian culture, forced inclusion of post-modern notions of tolerance is designed to induce nihilistic contradictions that reduce all thought, all faith, all loyalties to meaninglessness.

Group rights based on sex or ethnicity are a direct assault on the very idea of individual human rights and natural law around which the Constitution was framed.

“Transgender acceptance” memes attack at the most basic level by denying a person the right to declare the biological fact of one’s sex.

When a population has 2 + 2 = 5 imposed on it, there are many that benefit:

Mainstream Media 
The principle mechanism for implementing narratives.

The Academy –
Academia has served as a principle counter-state node for some time and remains a key conduit for creating future adherents to cultural Marxist narratives and their derivative worldview.

The Deep State –
The successful outcome of cultural Marxism is a bureaucratic state beholden to no one, certainly not the American people . With no rule of law considerations outside those that further deep state power, the deep state truly becomes, as Hegel advocated, god bestriding the earth.

Global Corporatists & Bankers –
Exploitation of populations, unfettered by national protections and notions of personal morality and piety.

Democratic Leadership –
The democratic leadership has been a counter-state enabler that executes, sustains, and protects cultural Marxist programs of action and facilitates the relentless expansion of the deep state.

Republican Leadership –
More afraid of being accused of being called a racist, sexist, homophobe or lslamophobe than of failing to enforce their oaths to “support and defend the Constitution,” the Republican Establishment accepts and enforces cultural Marxist memes within its own sphere of operations. In doing so, knowingly or not, it becomes an agent of that.

These “conservatives” become increasingly indistinguishable from their democratic counterparts save that they misrepresent themselves to their constituents. Lacking the discernment to recognize their situation, they will work with globalists, corporatists, and the international financial interests and will likewise service the deep state.

These establishment Republicans are the hard left’s designated defeat mechanism in the destruction of the old regime as well as the American ideal. (For more information on how influence operations of the former Soviet Union targeted leading conservative groups and individuals in order to bring them into line with cultural Marxist narratives. See Link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch ?v=YzZhqeLRIMo).

Because candidate Trump publicly exposed them for their duplicitous activities, they are at risk as long as Trump can turn on them and are, therefore, bitter foes. Candidate Trump’s success remains an ongoing existential threat to establishment Republicans.

Islamists –
Islamists ally with cultural Marxist because, as far back as the 1980s, they properly assessed that the hard left has a strong chance of reducing Western civilization to its benefit.

Having co-opted post-modern narratives as critical points, Islamists deploy these narrative to strategically blind and then control US decision makers. This is by design and purposeful.

“By their own hands!” has been the declared strategy of the Muslim Brotherhood since 1991. This strategy seeks to divide American society against itself with the forced imposition of Islamist objectives on one half of American society by the other half.

Once a society has been effectively atomized, the population will have lost its faith in the old order, detest those who reduced it, and divide along the lines of narrative adherence.

This is the intended outcome of hostile information cum political warfare campaigns and today we see their effects on American society.

Complicating the current situation, many close to the president have pushed him off his message when he was candidate Trump thus alienating him from his base thereby isolating him in the process. When President Trump is not candidate Trump, he becomes dangerously exposed. While the base that elected candidate Trump identified with his vision, they are only Trump’s insofar as he holds to the vision that made him president.

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Political Warfare Attacks – A Primer

As used here, “political warfare” does not concern activities associated with the American political process but rather exclusively refers to political warfare as understood by the Maoist Insurgency model. (This discussion relies on Thomas A. Marks’ treatment of the Maoist model as discussed in Maoist People’s War in Post-Vietnam Asia (Bangkok, Thailand: White Lotus Press, 2007), 1-14. Hereafter “Thomas A. Marks, Maoist People’s War.”)

Political warfare is one of the five components of a Maoist insurgency.

Maoist methodologies employ synchronized violent and non-violent actions that focus on mobilization of individuals and groups to action. This approach envisions the direct use of non-violent operational arts and tactics as elements of combat power.

In Maoist insurgencies, the formation of a counter-state is essential to seizing state power. Functioning as a hostile competing state acting within an existing state, it has an alternate infrastructure.

Political warfare operates as one of the activities of the “counter-state” and is primarily focused on the resourcing and mobilization of the counter state or the exhaustion and demobilization of the targeted political movement. Political warfare methods can be implemented at strategic, operational, or tactical levels of operation.

Political warfare is warfare.

Strategic information campaigns designed to delegitimize through disinformation arise out of non-violent lines of effort in political warfare regimes. They principally operate through narratives.

Because the left is aligned with lslamist organizations at local, national and international levels, recognition should be given to the fact that they seamlessly interoperate through coordinated synchronized interactive narratives.

Cultural Marxism – A Primer

While the attacks on President Trump arise out of political warfare considerations based on non-kinetic lines of effort (as discussed below), they operate in a battle-space prepared, informed and conditioned by cultural Marxist drivers.

In practical terms, the political warfare assault on President Trump cannot be separated from the cultural Marxist narratives that drive them. From an operational preparation of the environment perspective, President Trump is operating in a battle-space that reflects the left’s vision.

As used in this discussion, cultural Marxism relates to programs and activities that arise out of Gramsci Marxism, Fabian Socialism and most directly from the Frankfurt School.

The Frankfurt strategy deconstructs societies through attacks on culture by imposing a dialectic that forces unresolvable contradictions under the rubric of critical theory. The result is induced nihilism, a belief in everything that is actually the belief in nothing.

That post-modern (diversity/multiculturalism) narratives seeks to implement cultural Marxist objectives can be demonstrated by reference to founding Frankfurt School theorist Herbert Marcuse’s repurposing of the term tolerance.

In a 1965 paper Marcuse defined tolerance as intolerance; said it can be implemented through undemocratic means to stop chauvinism (xenophobia), racism, discrimination; and should be extended to the left while denied to the right:

  • “The realization of the objective of tolerance would call for intolerance toward prevailing policies, attitudes, opinions, and the extension of tolerance to policies, attitudes, and opinions which are outlawed or suppressed.”
  • “Surely, no government can be expected to foster its own subversion, but in a democracy such a right is vested in the people (i.e. in the majority of the people). This means that the ways should not be blocked on which a subversive majority could develop, and if they are blocked by organized repression and indoctrination, their reopening may require apparently undemocratic means. They would include the withdrawal of toleration of speech and assembly from groups and movements which promote aggressive policies, armament, chauvinism, discrimination on the grounds of race and religion, or which oppose the extension of public services, social security, medical care, etc.” (8-9)
  • “Liberating tolerance, then, would mean intolerance against movements from the Right and toleration of movements from the Left. As to the scope of this tolerance and intolerance: … it would extend to the stage of action as well as of discussion and propaganda, of deed as well as of word.” (12)

It is through such post-modern constructs that interoperable narratives are established among various left-wing groups as well as between them and Islamist groups at all levels.

For example, from the 2001 Conference of Foreign Ministers at Bamako, Mali, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) declared its commitment to fight racism and xenophobia and then declared lslamophobia a “contemporary form of racism”:

  • In this context, the World Conference urges all states … take all necessary measures to combat hatred, discrimination, intolerance and acts of violence, intimidation and coercion motivated by racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance particularly against Islam
  • Racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance which display an increasing trend, in their most subtle and contemporary forms, constitute a violation of human rights. 3. Contemporary forms of racism are based on discrimination and disparagement on a cultural, rather than biological basis. In this content, the increasing trend of lslamophobia, as a distinct form of xenophobia in non-Muslim societies is very alarming.

That the OIC made these claims as part of its planned inputs to the United Nation’s “Third World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance” further demonstrates the coordinated and interoperable nature of these narratives at international levels in international forums.

As cultural Marxist narratives intensify, they are to be further operationalized in the form of hate speech narratives. Hate speech narratives are non-random, coordinated, and fully interoperable escalations of cultural Marxist memes.

Key international players include the European Union, the UN, and the OSCE, the OIC and the International Muslim Brotherhood.

Hate speech memes are structured, coordinated, and implemented through these same international forums. They involve close coordination with media and social media and include the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) narratives.

David Shipler’s book Freedom of Speech provides a road map for how hate speech narratives are to be structured, deployed and enforced.

Battlespace

These attack narratives are pervasive, full spectrum and institutionalized at all levels.

They operate in social media, television, the 24-hour news cycle in all media, and are entrenched at the upper levels of the bureaucracies and within the foreign policy establishment.

They inform the entertainment industry from late night monologues, to situation comedies, to television series memes, to movie themes.

The effort required to direct this capacity at President Trump is little more than a programming decision to do so. The cultural Marxist narrative is fully deployed, pervasive, full spectrum and ongoing. Regarding the president, attacks have become a relentless 24/7 effort.

While there is certainly a Marxist agenda and even lslamist motivations that must be seriously addressed in their own right, these motivations alone seem inadequate to explain the scope and magnitude of the effort directed against the president.

The economic drivers behind the Marxist and Islamist ideologues are enormously influential and seek to leverage these ideological movements for their own self interests.

While beyond the actual scope of this document, the benefactors of these political movements include;

  • Urban Real Estate who depend greatly on immigrant tenants,
  • International Banking who seeks to maintain US debtor status so as to control the application of American power, and
  • elements of the business sector that depend upon immigrant labor or government infrastructure.

The overall objective of these economic forces is the forced urbanization of the populace, thereby necessitating a larger, more powerful government.

In summary, this is a form of population control by certain business cartels in league with cultural Marxists/corporatists/lslamists who will leverage Islamic terrorism threats to justify the creation of a police state.

Adversary Campaign Plan

Political Warfare has been described as “propaganda in battledress.” (“Political Warfare Executive – The Meaning, Techniques and Methods of Political Warfare,” His Britannic Majesty’s Government, London, 1942, 5.)

The effort directed at President Trump is executed along one overt, as well as two covert, lines of effort:

The overt line of effort is PUBLICITY.

Publicity is the straightforward projection of a case that builds a picture in the audience’s mind designed to garner support.

It is facts without context and information the adversary wants the audience to possess that creates an impression and sets conditions.

It seeks to establish good will and receptiveness to additional inputs.

There are two covert lines of effort: PROPAGANDA and INFILTRATION/SUBVERSION.

—Propaganda is the deliberate direction, even manipulation, of information to secure a definite outcome. It is an attempt to direct the thinking of the recipient, without his conscious collaboration, into predetermined channels that are established in the Publicity line of effort. It is the unwitting conditioning of the recipient by devious methods with an ulterior motive that seeks to move them incrementally over time into greater belief and acceptance of message transmitted in the Publicity line of effort.

—Infiltration and subversion operate internal to the targeted organization in order to inform, target, coordinate, and amplify the effects of the publicity and propaganda. Both operate to gather intelligence, obstruct legitimate courses of action, provide inside information, and leak sensitive information that undermines the leadership and suppresses the morale of friendly elements.

—Infiltration of political and social groups within a target state is done for the purpose of extending counterstate influence and control. The endgame is concealed and may involve illicit activities.

—Subversion undermines or detaches the loyalties of significant political and social groups within the target state and transfers political and/or ideological loyalties to the counter-state. As the counter-state forms, a counter-elite of influential individual and key leaders within the target state will later facilitate the legitimacy and permanency of the new regime.

Political warfare employs both publicity and propaganda. It recognizes no intrinsic virtue in the news but rather envisions it as a mechanism to exploit and build up support.

From a political warfare perspective, control of the news cycle is the most potent means of attracting and building up a favorable audience.

As it relates to the news cycle, publicity and propaganda can be merged to form a “pseudo-publicity” that is presented as news in furtherance of sustaining pseudo-realities maintained by cultural Marxist memes.

Pseudo-publicity treatment of President Trump dominates the news cycle. The current campaign against President Trump operates in the following manner:

The Meta Narrative

Meta narratives seeks to delegitimize President Trump, his administration, and the vision of America he projected as a candidate.

With cultural Marxist memes serving as the backdrop, President Trump is to be relentlessly characterized as unfit through the use of supporting narratives acting to move unwitting populations to belief in the meta narrative. Hence:

  • “President Trump is illegitimate”
  • “President Trump is corrupt”
  • “President Trump is dishonest”

Note that the twitter accounts and mainstream media personalities pushing this narrative have seen their audience numbers rise greatly in the past 6 months. This is a direct result of the supporting and backdrop narratives channeling individuals to this meta-narrative.

Supporting Narratives

Meta-narratives are supported by an ongoing series supporting-narratives that can be swapped out as circumstances warrant.

It is important to recognize that these stories do not have to be true, valid or accurate to serve their purpose. Over time, deserved or not, the cumulative effect of these supporting narratives will result in a Trump fatigue.

From a political warfare perspective, President Trump’s inability to meet this challenge will cast him as a weak failed leader.

The current list of supporting narratives include:

  • “Russia hacked the election” – illegitimate
  • “Obstruction of Justice” – corrupt
  • “Hiding Collusion” – dishonest
  • “Putin Puppet” – treasonous

Backdrop Narratives

The backdrop to the meta and supporting narratives are cultural Marxist memes designed to sustain a general sense of loathing of President Trump and the America that elected him. Hence:

  • [meta] President Trump is illegitimate, [supporting] he was elected because of Russian hacking, [backdrop] and besides, he a racist, sexist xenophobe.”

Adversaries utilize these interlocking narratives as a defensive political and information warfare screen that silences critics and smears supporters of President Trump.

When people in the media question the behavior, actions and decisions of the Trump Administration’s opponents, they are immediately said to be “working for the Russians” or “supporting Russian propaganda.” Individual Americans who support the President are deemed “deplorable” and “racist.”

End State

Attacks on President Trump are not just about destroying him, but also about destroying the vision of America that lead to his election.

Those individuals and groups seeking the destruction of President Trump actually seek to suffocate the vision of America that made him president.

Hence, the end state is not just a delegitimized, destabilized, immobilized and possibly destroyed presidency; but also a demoralized movement composed of a large enough bloc to elect a president that subsequently become self-aware of its own disenfranchisement.

CONCLUSION

The recent turn of events give rise to the observation that the defense of President Trump is the defense of America.

In the same way President Lincoln was surrounded by political opposition both inside and outside of his wire, in both overt and covert forms, so too is President Trump.

Had Lincoln failed, so too would have the Republic.

The administration has been maneuvered into a constant backpedal by relentless political warfare attacks structured to force him to assume a reactive posture that assures inadequate responses.

The president can either drive or be driven by events; it’s time for him to drive them.

Marxists Continue to Lie and Defend Jihadis in America

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, August 3, 2018:

Enemies of the United States continue to lie and provide cover for jihadis in the U.S. while defaming those speaking truth about real threats to the Republic.

In an article entitled “American Islamophobia’s Fake Facts” published July 31, 2018 in a little-known online blog,  the author lies and defends terrorists (jihadis) in an attempt to challenge the mountain of evidence reagarding the Islamic Movement in the United States.

While the article may never be read by more than a handful of people, the arguments in it are often raised by those collaborating with America’s enemies, so UTT thinks it wise to give our readers they ammunition they need to defeat these false and often nonsensical comments.

The article in question can be found here.

Here are the article’s main arguments followed by UTT’s rebuttal with facts:

“A major theme of those falsehoods is telling the U.S. public that Islam is inherently dangerous and that American Muslims, even if they do not embrace extremist religious beliefs or violent actions, are still a threat to national security.”

In fact, all Islamic doctrine mandates war against non-muslims until the world is under Islamic rule.  There is no book of Islamic law (sharia) nor a text book used in U.S. Islamic schools – or any other Islamic school for that matter – that teaches another “version” of Islam.

That said, neither UTT nor other prominent national security organizations believe all “American Muslims are a threat,” but we have made clear that muslims who adhere to sharia and seek to impose it on others in any way, are a threat to liberty since sharia necessarily enslaves people, including muslims.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s (MB) By-Laws state their objectives are to establish an Islamic State under sharia – same as ISIS and Al Qaeda.  The doctrinal writings of the MB make clear their main line of operation is in the non-violent realm.  Espionage, counterintelligence, subversion, political warfare, and the like are their primary tools to overthrow the U.S. government.

Conspiring to overthrow the U.S. government is a violation of U.S. Federal Code, Title 18, Sections 2384 (Seditious Conspiracy) and 2383 (Conspiring to Overthrow the Government).

Evidence in the largest terrorism financing trial ever successfully prosecuted in American history [US v Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (“HLF”), Northern District of Texas, 2008] reveals the most prominent Islamic organizations in the U.S. are a part of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Movement.

“The Brotherhood has not been designated as a terror organization by the U.S. government, and there are not the slightest grounds for thinking it, or any other secret force, controls any national Muslim-American group.”

Let us start with the fact that the designated terrorist group Hamas is an inherent part of the Muslim Brotherhood.  If the finance department of a major corporation were laundering money, the indictment would not read “Finance Department, Company X” – the company would be indicted.

The fact the entire Muslim Brotherhood has not been designated a terrorist organization is a reflection of a failure by U.S. officials, not an indicator the MB is not a danger to the American people.

The evidence in the US v HLF trial reveals the most prominent Islamic organizations in the United States are a part of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Movement here.  These include, but are not limited to:  Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), Muslim Students Association (MSA), Islamic Medical Association (IMANA), Association of Muslim Social Scientists (AMSS), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA), International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT), and many others.

Evidence from other federal trials reveal the Muslim American Society (MAS) and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) are both Muslim Brotherhood organizations with CAIR being the 4th organization created by the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee, which is Hamas in the United States.

A declassified document from the FBI’s Indianapolis office dated December 15, 1987 states:

“The North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) was organized by the leaders of the Muslim Students Association of the United States and Canada (MSA) in 1973 as the parent organization of various Muslim groups in the U.S. and Canada. The leadership of NAIT, MSA and other Muslim groups are inter-related with many leaders and members of NAIT having been identified as supporters of the Islamic Revolution as advocated by the Government of Iran (GOI). Their support of JIHAD (a holy war) in the U.S. has been evidenced by the financial and organizational support provided through NAIT from Middle East countries to Muslims residing in the U.S. and Canada.”

A declassified FBI confidential informant (CI) report dated 8/17/1988, details the Muslim Brotherhood’s activities in the United States at the time and states:

“(CI) advised that in addition to the internal political structure and organization of NAIT as controlled by the IIIT leadership that as members of the IKHWAN they are involved in organizing external political support which involves influencing both public opinion in the United States as well as the United States Government. (CI) has advised that the Ikhwan is a secret Muslim organization that has unlimited funds and is extremely well organized in the United States to the point where it has set up political action front groups with no traceable ties to the IIIT or its various Muslim groups. They also have claimed success in infiltrating the United States government…the IIIT leadership has indicated that in this phase their organization needs to peacefully get inside the United States Government and also American universities. (CI) noted that the ultimate goal of the Islamic Revolution is the overthrow of all non-Islamic governments and that violence is a tool…”

The “Ikhwan” is the Muslim Brotherhood.

The idea that the Muslim Brotherhood does not control “any Muslim-American group” is ludicrous.

“The document, dated May 1991 and titled “An Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America,” is real, but there is no evidence that it represents the views of anyone other than the single Brotherhood member who wrote it.”

An Explanatory Memorandum was discovered during the 2004 FBI raid of the Annandale, Virginia home of senior Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood operative Ismail Elbarasse.

The author of the document – Mohamed Akram Adlouni – was a member of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s Shura Council and is listed as the number 2 man for the U.S. MB’s Palestine Committee, also knows as Hamas in the United States.  Therefore, the author was not some random muslim as the article infers.

The Memorandum begins with confirming the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood previously approved strategic goal:  “The general strategic goal of the Group in America which was approved by the Shura Council and the Organizational Conference for the year [I987] is “Enablement of Islam in North
America, meaning: establishing an effective and a stable Islamic Movement led by the Muslim
Brotherhood which adopts Muslims’ causes domestically and globally, and which works to
expand the observant Muslim base, aims at unifying and directing Muslims’ efforts, presents
Islam as a civilization alternative, and supports the global Islamic State wherever it is.”

Mohamed Akram Adlouni worked to bring the goal – stated above and approved the the Muslim Brotherhood leadership – to fruition.

Oddly, the author of the article admits Islam is working to be a “civilization alternative.”  What is this but a revolutionary strategy to replace the Constitutional Republic with and Islamic State under sharia, in violation of U.S. federal code?

Following the presentation of the Memorandum to U.S. Brotherhood leadership, the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood officially published its “Implementation Manual” which implements many of the items discussed in the Memorandum.

Examples of this include:  programs for youth and women, creation of media and political organizations, and others.  Most notably, however, are:

(1)  The historical and ideological details in An Explanatory Memorandum are consistent with other Muslim Brotherhood doctrine, to include MilestonesToward a Worldwide Strategy for Islamic Policy and the speech given by U.S. MB leader Zeid al Noman in Missouri in 1981 detailing the Muslim Brotherhood’s history in America.  The transcript of this speech was entered into evidence in the US v HLF trial.

(2)  In section 20, An Explanatory Memorandum states:  ” We must say that we are in a country which understands no language other than the language of the organizations, and one which does not respect or give weight to any group without effective, functional and strong organizations.”  After the Memorandum and the Implementation Manual were published, the number of Islamic organizations created, beginning in 1992, increased drastically and remains at 80-120 Islamic organizations created annually in the United States – exactly what these plans call for.

(3) The stated role of the MB in America per An Explanatory Memorandum is to wage Civilization Jihad to “destroy Western civilization from within” and to “sabotage” our “miserable house” by OUR hands – getting Western leaders to do their bidding for them.  The U.S. MB has succeed in doing this on numerous occasions.

When the U.S. State Department wrote the constitutions for Iraq and Afghanistan creating Islamic Republics under sharia – which fulfilled Al Qaeda’s objectives in those two places – that is Civilization Jihad by OUR hands.

When Muslim Brotherhood groups ISNA, MPAC, and CAIR petitioned President Obama to shut down training inside the U.S. government which factually detailed the domestic and international Islamic threat, but “offended muslims,” the President shut the training down.  That is Civilization Jihad by OUR hands.

“The other main thread in the anti-Muslim narrative — the charge that mainstream Muslim-American organizations generally, and CAIR (the Council on American-Islamic Relations) in particular, have ‘terror ties’ — is similarly based on a single piece of ‘evidence’…The document that supposedly verifies the claim that CAIR and other groups are linked to Islamist terrorism is a list of ‘unindicted co-conspirators’…In the more than 11 years since the list was made public, no new information has emerged that corroborates the inflammatory assertion that CAIR or the other Muslim-American groups are terrorist organizations or fronts for Hamas.”

The fact the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) is a Hamas organization – a designated terrorist organization – is in no way based on the unindicted co-conspirators list.  It is, however, important to mention the U.S. government identifies CAIR in the unindicted co-conspirators list as being a “Member of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee” which is Hamas, and Hamas members are called “terrorists.”

Here are a few of the many facts revealing CAIR is Hamas:

  1. The Palestine Committee (Hamas) Meeting in 1994 lists CAIR as the 4th organization operating under it (Hamas). This document was entered into evidence at the US v HLF trial.
  2. Hamas is a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by the U.S. government and many governments around the world.
  3. In a 2003 Senate Sub-Committee hearing on “radical Islam,” Senator Charles Schumer (NY) stated, “To make matters worse, the prominent members of the Council’s (CAIR’s) current leadership who you Mr. Chairman invited to the hearings today, they declined to testify, also have intimate connections with Hamas.”
  4. In the December 2007 government filing in the US v Sabri Benkhala appeal (Eastern District of Virginia), the government stated: “From its founding by the Muslim Brotherhood leaders, CAIR conspired with other affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood to support terrorists.”
  5. In a document retrieved from CAIR’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. by one of its interns – Chris Gaubatz who was actually working undercover – CAIR openly discussed supporting Osama bin Laden. The document was titled “Proposed Muslim Platform for 2004” (dated 3/08/04) and states, in part, “Attempt to understand Islamic movements in the area, and start supporting Islamic groups including Mr. bin Laden and his associates.”
  6. In a 2004 FBI raid at the Annandale, Virginia residence of Ismail Elbarasse, a senior Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood leader, the archives of the U.S. MB were discovered. One of the documents found listed the leaders of the U.S. Palestine Committee (Hamas). On the list were the names of CAIR founders Nihad Awad and Omar Ahmad (alias Omar Yeheya).
  7. In the government filing rebuking CAIR’s motion to have its name removed from the unindicted co-conspirator list in the HLF case, U.S. prosecutors stated, “As of the date of this response, the Court has entered into evidence a wide array of testimonial and documentary evidence expressly linking CAIR and its founders to the HLF and its principals; the Islamic Association for Palestine and its principals; the Palestine Committee in the United States, headed by Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzook; and the greater HAMAS-affiliated conspiracy described in the Government’s case-in-chief.”
  8. In the government filing rebuking ISNA/NAIT’s motion to have their names removed from the unindicted co-conspirator list in the HLF case, U.S. prosecutors stated, “The U.S. Muslim Brotherhood created the U.S. Palestine Committee, which documents reflect was initially comprised of three organizations: the OLF (HLF), the IAP, and the UASR. CAIR was later added to these organizations…the mandate of these organizations, per the International Muslim Brotherhood, was to support Hamas.”
  9. In ruling to leave CAIR on the unindicted co-conspirator list in the HLF case, Federal Judge Jorge Solis listed a portion of the overwhelming evidence against CAIR and wrote: “The Government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA, and NAIT with the HLF, the Islamic Association of Palestine (“IAP”), and with Hamas.”
  10. In a 3-0 ruling, an Appellate panel agreed to leave CAIR, ISNA, and NAIT on the unindicted co-conspirator list in the HLF case because of the overwhelming evidence.
  11. In a February 2010 affidavit from an FBI Special Agent in the immigration proceedings for Hamas leader Nabil Sadoun in Dallas, Texas, the affiant declared the U.S. Palestine Committee was affiliated with Hamas. He further identified four (4) Hamas organizations created by the Hamas in America: Holy Land Foundation, Islamic Association for Palestine, United Association for Studies and Research, and Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).
  12. In a letter dated February 12, 2010 to U.S. Congresswoman Sue Myrick (NC) from Assistant U.S. Attorney General Ronald Weich, Mr. Weich wrote “Enclosed (is) evidence that was introduced in that trial (US v HLF) which demonstrated the relationship among CAIR, individual CAIR founders, and the Palestine Committee. Evidence was also introduced that demonstrated a relationship between the Palestine Committee and Hamas.”
  13. In a letter dated April 28, 2009 from the FBI’s Assistant Director, Office of Congressional Affairs, to U.S. Senator John Kyl (AZ), the FBI leader details why the FBI cut off all formal ties to CAIR and identifies it as an unindicted co-conspirator in the HLF trial because of its relationship with Hamas.

UTT encourages its readers to print this article and keep it handy when ignorant or nefarious people attempt to minimize the massive jihadi threat inside the United States.

We need a much greater sense of urgency in dealing with this threat, and that includes destroying the intentionally false comments and publications by enemy sympathizers and collaborators.

FISA Applications Confirm: The FBI Relied on the Unverified Steele Dossier

One-time advisor of Donald Trump Carter Page addresses the audience during a presentation in Moscow, Russia, December 12, 2016. (Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters)

A salacious Clinton-campaign product was the driving force behind the Trump–Russia investigation.

National Review, by Andrew C. McCarthy, July 23, 2018:

On a sleepy summer Saturday, after months of stonewalling, the FBI dumped 412 pages of documents related to the Carter Page FISA surveillance warrants — the applications, the certifications, and the warrants themselves. Now that we can see it all in black and white — mostly black, as they are heavily redacted — it is crystal clear that the Steele dossier, an unverified Clinton-campaign product, was the driving force behind the Trump–Russia investigation.

Based on the dossier, the FBI told the FISA court it believed that Carter Page, who had been identified by the Trump campaign as an adviser, was coordinating with the Russian government in an espionage conspiracy to influence the 2016 election.

This sensational allegation came from Christopher Steele, the former British spy. The FISA court was not told that the Clinton campaign was behind Steele’s work. Nor did the FBI and Justice Department inform the court that Steele’s allegations had never been verified. To the contrary, each FISA application — the original one in October 2016, and the three renewals at 90-day intervals — is labeled “VERIFIED APPLICATION” (bold caps in original). And each one makes this breathtaking representation:

The FBI has reviewed this verified application for accuracy in accordance with its April 5, 2001 procedures, which include sending a copy of the draft to the appropriate field office(s).

In reality, the applications were never verified for accuracy.

What ‘Verify’ Means
Consider this: The representation that the FBI’s verification procedures include sending the application to “appropriate field offices” is standard in FISA warrant applications. It is done because the FBI’s Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (DIOG) mandates that the bureau “ensure that information appearing in a FISA application that is presented to the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court] has been thoroughly vetted and confirmed.” (See House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes March 1, 2018, letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, embedded here.) The point is to assure the court that the FBI has corroborated the allegations in the warrant application in the usual way.

A hypothetical shows how this works. Let’s say that X, an informant, tells the FBI in Washington that Y, a person in St. Louis, told him that Z, the suspect, is plotting to rob the bank.

X’s story is unverified; he doesn’t know anything firsthand about Z — he only knows what Y has told him. Obviously, then, the FBI does not instantly run to court and seek a warrant against Z. Instead, the bureau sends an investigative “lead” from headquarters in Washington to the FBI field office in St. Louis. FBI agents in St. Louis then go find and interview Y. Based on that interview, the FBI gathers supporting information (perhaps physical surveillance of Z, scrutiny of available documents and records about Z, etc.). Only then, after debriefing the witness with competent knowledge, do the Justice Department and FBI seek a warrant against Z from the court. In the application, they explain to the judge that they have verified X’s information by interviewing Y and then corroborating Y’s version of events. In fact, if they get solid enough information about Z from Y, there may be no reason even to mention X, whose tip to the FBI was sheer hearsay.

But that is not what happened with the Carter Page FISA warrants.

The FBI presented the court with allegations posited by Steele. He is in the position of X in our hypothetical. He is not the source of any of the relevant information on which the court was asked to rely for its probable-cause finding that Page was a clandestine agent of Russia. In this context, source means a reliable witness who saw or heard some occurrence on which the court is being asked to base its ruling.

Steele has not been in Russia for about 20 years. In connection with the dossier allegations, he was merely the purveyor of information from the actual sources — unidentified Russians who themselves relied on hearsay information from other sources (sometimes double and triple hearsay, very attenuated from the supposed original source).

In each Carter Page FISA warrant application, the FBI represented that it had “reviewed this verified application for accuracy.” But did the bureau truly ensure that the information had been “thoroughly vetted and confirmed”? Remember, we are talking here about serious, traitorous allegations against an American citizen and, derivatively, an American presidential campaign.

When the FBI averred that it had verified for accuracy the application that posited these allegations, it was, at best, being hyper-technical, and thus misleading. What the bureau meant was that its application correctly stated the allegations as Steele had related them. But that is not what “verification” means. The issue is not whether Steele’s allegations were accurately described; it is whether they were accurate, period. Were the allegations thoroughly vetted and confirmed by proof independent of Steele before being presented to the FISA court — which is what common sense and the FBI’s own manual mean by “verified”?

No, they were not.

There Is No Reason to Believe the Redactions Corroborate Steele
I have been making this point for months. When I made it again in a Fox and Friends interview on Sunday morning, critics asked how I could say such a thing when the warrants are pervasively redacted — how could I be so sure, given all we concededly don’t know, that the redactions do not corroborate Steele?

The critics’ tunnel vision on the redactions ignores the months of hearings and reporting on this core question, which I’ve continuously detailed. Here, for example, is what two senior Judiciary Committee senators, Charles Grassley and Lindsey Graham, wrote in a classified memo early this year after reviewing FISA applications (the memo was finally declassified and publicized over the objections of the FBI):

The bulk of the [first Carter Page FISA] application consists of allegations against Page that were disclosed to the FBI by Mr. Steele and are also outlined in the Steele dossier. The application appears to contain no additional information corroborating the dossier allegations against Mr. Page.

The senators went on to recount the concession by former FBI director James Comey that the bureau had relied on the credibility of Steele (who had previously assisted the bureau in another investigation), not the verification of Steele’s sources. In June 2017 testimony, Comey described information in the Steele dossier as “salacious and unverified.”

Moreover, the FBI’s former deputy director, Andrew McCabe, told Congress that the bureau tried very hard to verify Steele’s information but could provide no points of verification beyond the fact that Page did travel to Russia in July 2016 — a fact that required no effort to corroborate since the trip was unconcealed and widely known. (Page delivered a public commencement address at the New Economic School.) Furthermore, in British legal proceedings, Steele himself has described the information he provided to the FBI as “raw intelligence” that was “unverified.”

I freely acknowledge that we do not know what the redactions say. But we have been very well informed about what they do not say. They do not verify the allegations in the Steele dossier. I have no doubt that they have a great deal to say about Russia and its nefarious anti-American operations. But the FBI has been taking incoming fire for months about failing to corroborate Steele. No institution in America guards its reputation more zealously than does the FBI. If Steele had been corroborated, rest assured that the bureau would not be suffering in silence.

Plus, do you really think the FBI and Justice Department wanted to use the Steele dossier? Of course they didn’t. They undoubtedly believed Steele’s allegations (the applications say as much). That is no surprise given how much their top echelons loathed Donald Trump. But they were also well aware of the dossier’s significant legal problems — the suspect sourcing, the multiple hearsay. If they had solid evidence that verified Steele’s allegations, they would have used that evidence as their probable cause showing against Page. Instead, they used the dossier because, as McCabe told the House Intelligence Committee, without it they would have had no chance of persuading a judge that Page was a clandestine agent.

Whatever is in the redactions cannot change that.

There Is No Vicarious Credibility
To repeat what we’ve long said here, there is no vicarious credibility in investigations. When the government seeks a warrant, it is supposed to show the court that the actual sources of information are reliable — i.e., they were in a position to see or hear the relevant facts, and they are worthy of belief. It is not sufficient to show that the agent who assembles the source information is credible.

The vast majority of our investigators are honorable people who would never lie to a judge. But that is irrelevant because, in assessing probable cause, the judge is not being asked to rely on the honesty of the agent. The agent, after all, is under oath and supervised by a chain of command at the FBI and the Justice Department; the judge will generally assume that the agent is honestly and accurately describing the information he has gotten from various sources.

The judge’s main task is not to determine if the agent is credible. It is to weigh the reliability of the agent’s sources. Are the sources’ claims supported by enough evidence that the court should approve a highly intrusive warrant against an American citizen?

Here, Steele was in the position of an investigative agent relaying information. He was not a source (or informant) who saw or heard relevant facts. Even if we assume for argument’s sake that Steele is honest and reliable, that would tell us nothing about who his sources are, whether they were really in a position to see or hear the things they report, and whether they have a history of providing accurate information. Those are the questions the FBI must answer in order to vet and confirm factual allegations before presenting them to the FISA court. That was not done; the FBI relied on Steele’s reputation to vouch for his source’s claims.

The FISA Judges
In my public comments Sunday morning, I observed that the newly disclosed FISA applications are so shoddy that the judges who approved them ought to be asked some hard questions. I’ve gotten flak for that, no doubt because President Trump tweeted part of what I said. I stand by it. Still, some elaboration, which a short TV segment does not allow for, is in order.

I prefaced my remark about the judges with an acknowledgment of my own personal embarrassment. When people started theorizing that the FBI had presented the Steele dossier to the FISA court as evidence, I told them they were crazy: The FBI, which I can’t help thinking of as myFBI after 20 years of working closely with the bureau as a federal prosecutor, would never take an unverified screed and present it to a court as evidence. I explained that if the bureau believed the information in a document like the dossier, it would pick out the seven or eight most critical facts and scrub them as only the FBI can — interview the relevant witnesses, grab the documents, scrutinize the records, connect the dots. Whatever application eventually got filed in the FISA court would not even allude en passant to Christopher Steele or his dossier. The FBI would go to the FISA court only with independent evidence corroborated through standard FBI rigor.

Should I have assumed I could be wrong about that? Sure, even great institutions go rogue now and again. But even with that in mind, I would still have told the conspiracy theorists they were crazy — because in the unlikely event the FBI ever went off the reservation, the Justice Department would not permit the submission to the FISA court of uncorroborated allegations; and even if that fail-safe broke down, a court would not approve such a warrant.

It turns out, however, that the crazies were right and I was wrong. The FBI (and, I’m even more sad to say, my Justice Department) brought the FISA court the Steele-dossier allegations, relying on Steele’s credibility without verifying his information.

I am embarrassed by this not just because I assured people it could not have happened, and not just because it is so beneath the bureau — especially in a politically fraught case in which the brass green-lighted the investigation of a presidential campaign. I am embarrassed because what happened here flouts rudimentary investigative standards. Any trained FBI agent would know that even the best FBI agent in the country could not get a warrant based on his own stellar reputation. A fortiori, you would never seek a warrant based solely on the reputation of Christopher Steele — a non-American former intelligence agent who had political and financial incentives to undermine Donald Trump. It is always, always necessary to persuade the court that the actual sources of information allegedly amounting to probable cause are believable.

Well, guess what? No one knows that better than experienced federal judges, who deal with a steady diet of warrant applications. It is basic. Much of my bewilderment, in fact, stems from the certainty that if I had been so daft as to try to get a warrant based on the good reputation of one of my FBI case agents, with no corroboration of his or her sources, just about any federal judge in the Southern District of New York would have knocked my block off — and rightly so.

That’s why I said it.

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‘Jeff Sessions, Where Are You?’: Hannity Calls Dossier News ‘Biggest Single Scandal in US History’

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