Why Obama Really Spied on Trump

Obama had to spy on Trump to protect himself.

Front Page Magazine, by Daniel Greenfield, Sept. 20, 2017:

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.

Last week, CNN revealed (and excused) one phase of the Obama spying operation on Trump. After lying about it on MSNBC, Susan Rice admitted unmasking the identities of Trump officials to Congress.

Rice was unmasking the names of Trump officials a month before leaving office. The targets may have included her own successor, General Flynn, who was forced out of office using leaked surveillance.

While Rice’s targets weren’t named, the CNN story listed a meeting with Flynn, Bannon and Kushner.

Bannon was Trump’s former campaign chief executive and a senior adviser. Kushner is a senior adviser. Those are exactly the people you spy on to get an insight into what your political opponents plan to do.

Now the latest CNN spin piece informs us that secret FISA orders were used to spy on the conversations of Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.  The surveillance was discontinued for lack of evidence and then renewed under a new warrant. This is part of a pattern of FISA abuses by Obama Inc. which never allowed minor matters like lack of evidence to dissuade them from new FISA requests.

Desperate Obama cronies had figured out that they could bypass many of the limitations on the conventional investigations of their political opponents by ‘laundering’ them through national security.

If any of Trump’s people were talking to non-Americans, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) could be used to spy on them. And then the redacted names of the Americans could be unmasked by Susan Rice, Samantha Power and other Obama allies. It was a technically legal Watergate.

If both CNN stories hold up, then Obama Inc. had spied on two Trump campaign leaders.

Furthermore the Obama espionage operation closely tracked Trump’s political progress. The first FISA request targeting Trump happened the month after he received the GOP nomination.  The second one came through in October: the traditional month of political surprises meant to upend an election.

The spying ramped up after Trump’s win when the results could no longer be used to engineer a Hillary victory, but would instead have to be used to cripple and bring down President Trump. Headed out the door, Rice was still unmasking the names of Trump’s people while Obama was making it easier to pass around raw eavesdropped data to other agencies.

Obama had switched from spying on a political opponent to win an election, to spying on his successor to undo the results of the election. Abuse of power by a sitting government had become subversion of the government by an outgoing administration. Domestic spying on opponents had become a coup.

The Democrat scandals of the past few administrations have hinged on gross violations of political norms, elementary ethics and the rule of law that, out of context, were not technically illegal.

But it’s the pattern that makes the crime. It’s the context that shows the motive.

Obama Inc. compartmentalized its espionage operation in individual acts of surveillance and unmasking, and general policies implemented to aid both, that may have been individually legal, in the purely technical sense, in order to commit the major crime of eavesdropping on the political opposition.

When the individual acts of surveillance are described as legal, that’s irrelevant. It’s the collective pattern of surveillance of the political opposition that exposes the criminal motive for them.

If Obama spied on two of Trump’s campaign leaders, that’s not a coincidence. It’s a pattern.

A criminal motive can be spotted by a consistent pattern of actions disguised by different pretexts. A dirty cop may lose two pieces of evidence from the same defendant while giving two different excuses. A shady accountant may explain two otherwise identical losses in two different ways. Both excuses are technically plausible. But it’s the pattern that makes the crime.

Manafort was spied on under the Russia pretext. Bannon may have been spied on over the UAE. That’s two different countries, two different people and two different pretexts.

But one single target. President Trump.

It’s the pattern that exposes the motive.

When we learn the whole truth (if we ever do), we will likely discover that Obama Inc. assembled a motley collection of different technically legal pretexts to spy on Trump’s team.

Each individual pretext might be technically defensible. But together they add up to the crime of the century.

Obama’s gamble was that the illegal surveillance would justify itself. If you spy on a bunch of people long enough, especially people in politics and business, some sort of illegality, actual or technical, is bound to turn up. That’s the same gamble anyone engaged in illegal surveillance makes.

Businessmen illegally tape conversations with former partners hoping that they’ll say something damning enough to justify the risk. That was what Obama and his allies were doing with Trump.

It’s a crime. And you can’t justify committing a crime by discovering a crime.

If everyone were being spied on all the time, many crimes could be exposed every second. But that’s not how our system works. That’s why we have a Fourth Amendment.

Nor was Obama Inc. trying to expose crimes for their own sake, but to bring down the opposition.

That’s why it doesn’t matter what results the Obama surveillance turned up. The surveillance was a crime. Anything turned up by it is the fruit of a poisonous tree. It’s inherently illegitimate.

The first and foremost agenda must be to assemble a list of Trump officials who were spied on and the pretexts under which they were spied upon. The pattern will show the crime. And that’s what Obama and his allies are terrified of. It’s why Flynn was forced out using illegal surveillance and leaks. It’s why McMaster is protecting Susan Rice and the Obama holdovers while purging Trump loyalists at the NSC.

The left’s gamble was that the Mueller investigation or some other illegitimate spawn of the Obama eavesdropping would produce an indictment and then the procedural questions wouldn’t matter.

It’s the dirty cop using illegal eavesdropping to generate leads for a “clean” case against his target while betting that no one will look too closely or care how the case was generated. If one of the Mueller targets is intimidated into making a deal, the question of how the case was generated won’t matter.

Mueller will have a cooperative witness. And the Democrats can begin their coup in earnest. It will eventually turn out that there is no “there” there. But by then, it’ll be time for President Booker.

There’s just one problem.

If the gamble fails, if no criminal case that amounts to anything more than the usual investigational gimmick charges like perjury (the Federal equivalent of ‘resisting arrest’ for a beat cop) develops, then Obama and his allies are on the hook for the domestic surveillance of their political opponents.

With nothing to show for it and no way to distract from it.

That’s the race against the clock that is happening right now. Either the investigation gets results. Or its perpetrators are left hanging in the wind. If McMaster is fired, which on purely statistical grounds he probably will be, and a Trump loyalist who wasn’t targeted by the surveillance operation becomes the next National Security Adviser and brings in Trump loyalists, as Flynn tried to do, then it’s over.

And the Dems finally get their Watergate. Except the star won’t be Trump, it will be Obama. Rice, Power, Lynch and the rest of the gang will be the new Haldeman, Ehrlichman and Mitchell.

Once Obama and his allies launched their domestic surveillance operation, they crossed the Rubicon. And there was no way back. They had to destroy President Trump or risk going to jail.

The more crimes they committed by spying on the opposition, the more urgently they needed to bring down Trump. The consequences of each crime that they had committed spurred them on to commit worse crimes to save themselves from going to jail. It’s the same old story when it comes to criminals.

Each act of illegal surveillance became more blatant. And when illegal surveillance couldn’t stop Trump’s victory, they had to double down on the illegal surveillance for a coup.

The more Obama spied on Trump, the more he had to keep doing it. This time it was bound to pay off.

Obama and his allies had violated the norms so often for their policy goals that they couldn’t afford to be replaced by anyone but one of their own. The more Obama relied on the imperial presidency of executive orders, the less he could afford to be replaced by anyone who would undo them.  The more his staffers lied and broke the law on everything from the government shutdown to the Iran nuke sellout, the more desperately they needed to pull out all the stops to keep Trump out of office. And the more they did it, the more they couldn’t afford not to do it. Abuse of power locks you into the loop familiar to all dictators. You can’t stop riding the tiger. Once you start, you can’t afford to stop.

If you want to understand why Samantha Power was unmasking names, that’s why. The hysterical obsession with destroying Trump comes from the top down. It’s not just ideology. It’s wealthy and powerful men and women who ran the country and are terrified that their crimes will be exposed.

It’s why the media increasingly sounds like the propaganda organs of a Communist country. Why there are street riots and why the internet is being censored by Google and Facebook’s “fact checking” allies.

It’s not just ideology. It’s raw fear.

The left is sitting on the biggest crime committed by a sitting president. The only way to cover it up is to destroy his Republican successor.

A turning point in history is here.

If Obama goes down, the left will go down with him. If his coup succeeds, then America ends.

***

DID SUSAN RICE SPY ON TRUMP OFFICIALS FOR MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD?

Also see:

Prominent Islamists Blast NSA for Monitoring Emails

Nihad Awad, (r) founder and executive director of CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations.

Nihad Awad, (r) founder and executive director of CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations.

Surveillance of a handful of Islamists who been supportive of terror groups is hardly unjust or a persecution of all Muslim Americans.

BY RYAN MAURO:

A 45-member coalition — including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), two U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entities with extremist histories — is accusing the Obama and Bush Administrations of persecuting the entire Muslim-American community by monitoring the emails of five Muslims with links to terrorists.

The coalition is responding to a new report based on classified documents leaked by former National Security Agency (NSA) employee Edward Snowden. It focuses on the monitoring of five Muslim-American activists, including CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad. The authors of the report are Glenn Greenwald, who has spoken for at least three CAIR fundraisers, and Murtaza Hussain.

The documents provide about 7,500 email addresses monitored by the U.S. government between 2002 and 2008. This is not a shocking number, especially considering the activists’ histories and that there are 2.75 million Muslim-Americans.

Of these, only 202 are listed as Americans and some of these are multiple accounts held by one user. The authors of the report were able to identify five activists who were being monitored.

The Director of National Intelligence said in a statement it is “entirely false that U.S. intelligence agencies conduct electronic surveillance of political, religious or activist figures solely because they disagree with public policies or criticize the government, or for exercising constitutional rights.”

Rather, before monitoring, an independent judge from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court must be persuaded that there is strong enough evidence that the subject is linked to terrorism or under the control of a foreign power.

Public information, much of it cited by the authors, links each of the five to Islamist terrorists. The authors of the report admit they do not know what classified information the NSA and FBI is in possession of; nor do they have any evidence that the NSA failed to get a judge’s approval as required.

Yet, the monitoring of these five activists’ emails is depicted as a scandal by the authors of the report and the coalition, depicting this as an assault on the entire Muslim-American community. Further, the coalition includes groups with their own checkered histories like CAIR, the Islamic Society of North America, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and the Muslim Legal Fund of America.

There are very strong grounds to believe that the government has legitimate reasons for monitoring the five activists. They are as follows:

Read more at Clarion Project

Glenn Greenwald Enraged that Muslims with Terror Ties Under Surveillance

Screen-Shot-2014-07-09-at-1.03.34-PM-448x350by :

Glenn Greenwald and his fellow jihad-enabling “journalist” Murtaza Hussain on Wednesday published a major exposé, “Under Surveillance: Meet the Muslim-American Leaders the FBI and NSA Have Been Spying On,” about Muslim leaders who are being spied upon by the FBI and the NSA. The thrust of the article is that each one is as pure as the day is long, with the one sin of opposing U.S. government policies.

The idea, of course, that opposing U.S. government policies from the Left will get you placed under surveillance these days is beyond ridiculous: Obama’s IRS is targeting conservative groups, not Leftists, and claiming that “right-wing extremists” are a terror threat, with nary a word about genuinely violent Left-wing extremist groups such as the Occupy movement and others.

And so it is no surprise that Greenwald and Hussain make their case by glossing over the genuine reasons why the FBI and NSA have placed these men under surveillance — surveillance which, if it is still going on at this point, is sure to end now as a result of this article. The article highlights these five men, glossing over the very real reasons why surveillance is justified:

• Faisal Gill, a longtime Republican Party operative and one-time candidate for public office who held a top-secret security clearance and served in the Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush;

• Asim Ghafoor, a prominent attorney who has represented clients in terrorism-related cases;

• Hooshang Amirahmadi, an Iranian-American professor of international relations at Rutgers University;

• Agha Saeed, a former political science professor at California State University who champions Muslim civil liberties and Palestinian rights;

• Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest Muslim civil rights organization in the country….

Regarding Faisal Gill, Greenwald and Hussain write:

…After leaving the Navy, Gill worked as a consultant for the American Muslim Council, which was founded by the political activist Abdul Rahman al-Amoudi to encourage participation by American Muslims in the political process. A Republican since high school, Gill joined the Bush Administration in the aftermath of 9/11, eventually moving to the White House Office of Homeland Security, where he briefly worked with Richard Clarke and obtained a top-secret security clearance. After roughly a year, he joined the Department of Homeland Security as a senior policy adviser, where he was cleared to access sensitive compartmented information, a classification level reserved for some of the nation’s most closely held secrets.

In 2003, al-Amoudi was arrested for participating in a Libyan plot to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah and for illegal financial transactions with the Libyan government, crimes for which he eventually pleaded guilty. Because Gill’s name had turned up in al-Amoudi’s papers, he was investigated by DHS security officials and asked not to report to work pending the outcome. He told investigators that he had met al-Amoudi only three or four times and didn’t work closely with him during his time at the American Muslim Council. After passing a polygraph test, Gill says, he was told by DHS that he was “good to go” and returned to work.

Greenwald and Hussain here establish the pattern of their entire piece: they leave out crucial details of the background of each of their supposed innocent victims of surveillance, thereby obscuring why they were put under surveillance in the first place. Faisal Gill worked as a consultant for the American Muslim Council. He says that he only met Alamoudi a few times and didn’t work closely with him.

Very well. But Greenwald and Hussain don’t mention that, according to Discover the Networks, the plot to assassinate Abdullah involved “two U.K.-based al Qaeda operatives,” and that he “ultimately pled guilty to, and was convicted of, being a senior al Qaeda financier who had funneled at least $1 million into the coffers of that terrorist organization.”

So here is Faisal Gill, who was a consultant for a group founded and headed by a confessed senior al Qaeda financier. He hardly knew him — fine. He was cleared of any wrongdoing — fine. But is it not possible that Alamoudi or someone connected to him might try to contact Faisal Gill, and win this upstanding American patriot over to their side, or try to use him in some way? Is there not, then, a case for placing Faisal Gill under surveillance, given his association with a senior jihad terror financier?

Also, would Greenwald and Hussain be enraged if the FBI and NSA placed under surveillance someone who had worked as a consultant for a group headed by a senior Ku Klux Klan financier, even if the consultant had been cleared of any wrongdoing? I doubt it. Nor should they be.

Likewise with Asim Ghafoor:

In 2003, the Al Haramain Islamic Foundation, a Saudi charity, hired Ghafoor after its U.S. assets were frozen by the Treasury Department over claims that it funded terrorist operations. The government alleged that there were “direct links” between the U.S. branch of the charity and Osama bin Laden. Al Haramain had previously been represented by some of the biggest and most prestigious American law firms, including the D.C. powerhouse Akin Gump. Ghafoor’s work with Al Haramain led him to other controversial clients, including Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, a brother-in-law of Osama bin Laden who was the subject of FBI and CIA surveillance for years, as well as the government of Sudan.

This would seem to be enough in itself to keep Ghafoor under surveillance, in case one of his jihad terrorist clients gave out information that could stop a jihad terror attack. But there is more. Discover the Networks notes that “Asim Ghafoor was a political consultant, spokesman, and public relations director for the Global Relief Foundation (GRF), which the U.S. government shut down in December 2001 because of the organization’s ties to terrorism….GRF is not the only organization with ties to terrorism with which Ghafoor has been involved. While he was with GRF, Ghafoor was also the spokesman for Care International. The December 6, 2002 Wall Street Journal reports: ‘Records indicate close ties between [Care International] and the Boston branch of Al Kifah Refugee Center, the Brooklyn branch of which was named by prosecutors as the locus of the 1993 conspiracy to bomb the World Trade Center.”

Greenwald and Hussain don’t mention any of that, of course. And their inclusion of Hooshang Amirahmadi is just bizarre. Greenwald and Hussain note that he “does not self-identify as a Muslim and describes himself as an atheist.” So why is he included in a piece entitled “Meet the Muslim-American Leaders the FBI and NSA Have Been Spying On”? Apparently Greenwald and Hussain couldn’t find enough Muslim leaders whom they could even with the remotest plausibility portray as innocent victims of unwarranted surveillance, so they figured an Iranian atheist was close enough.

If a foe of jihad terror were that careless of the facts, Greenwald and Hussain would be among the first to pounce.

Read more at Front Page

Misleading Claims by Greenwald and New York Times on NSA/FBI Spying on American Muslims

867699397CSP, By Fred Fleitz:

The newest NSA document leaked by former NSA technician Edward Snowden indicates that NSA and FBI monitored the emails of seven prominent American Muslims.  While Snowden’s supporters are trying to spin this story as discrimination against Muslims and another case of illegal surveillance by NSA, such claims look far-fetched since this email monitoring took place with the approval of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Court and appeared to involve persons suspected of having links to Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, and Iran.

This NSA document in question was described in an article in “The Intercept,” an online publication founded by Glenn Greenwald, a former London Guardian writer who facilitated most of Snowden’s leaks, and is funded by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.  Greenwald is the co-author of the article.

The seven American Muslims named in Greenwald’s article are:

  • Anwar al-Awlaki, a Yemeni-American member of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula who was killed in a targeted U.S. drone strike in Yemen on September 30, 2011.
  • Samir Khan, an American Muslim who collaborated with al-Awaki and helped produce Inspire, an online al-Qaeda publication used by the Tsaranev brothers to construct the pressure-cooker bombs they detonated at the 2013 Boston Marathon.  Khan was killed by the same drone strike that killed Awaki.
  • Nihad Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
  • Hooshang Amirahmadi, a Rutgers University professor who is president of the American Iranian Council.
  • Asim Ghafoor, a defense lawyer who has handled terrorism-related cases.
  • Faisal Gill, a former Department of Homeland Security lawyer who Greenwald says did legal work with Ghafoor on behalf of Sudan in a lawsuit brought by victims of terrorist attacks.
  • Agha Saeed, the national chairman of the American Muslim Alliance.

The NSA document listed 202 emails belonging to U.S. persons, 1,782 to non-U.S. persons and 5.501 listed as “unknown.”

Greenwald and the New York Times try to depict this surveillance as another example of the U.S. government spying on the American people in violation of the fourth amendment.  Both the Times and Greenwald suggest these men were monitored because they are Muslims.

Greenwald and the Times seem to recognize that government monitoring of the communications of al-Awlaki and Khan was a no-brainer.  For the other five, Greenwald says “it is impossible to know why their emails were monitored or the extent of the surveillance” and noted that they have not been charged with a crime.

But a closer look at Awad, Ghafoor, Gill, Saeed, and Amirahmadi suggests the government likely had good reasons to request court warrants to monitor their communications.

The Times said Awad’s CAIR organization is “a Muslim civil rights organization.”  However, the Times also notes that CAIR has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and in 2007 was an unindicted co-conspirator in its prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation, a Muslim charity later convicted of providing material support for terrorism by funneling money to Hamas.

The Times described Saeed’s American Muslim Alliance as an organization “which supports Muslim political candidates.”  But Investor’s Business Daily reported on April 1, 2014 that Saeed’s American Muslim Alliance joined a coalition of other American Muslim organizations with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood – including CAIR – to launch their own political network to turn American Muslims into an Islamist voting bloc.

Greenwald’s article says Asim Ghafoor is an attorney hired in 2003 by the al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, a Saudi charity with alleged links to al-Qaeda, after its U.S. assets were frozen by the Treasury Department over claims that it funded terrorist operations.  According to the article, Ghafoor and al-Haramain sued the U.S. government and were awarded damages over government eavesdropping on Ghafoor’s attorney-client communications with al-Haramain.  The damages were later dropped on appeal.   According to Greenwald, Ghafoor claims the government monitored his communications “because of his name, his religion, and his legal work.”

Greenwald provides some idea as to about why Faisal Gill’s communications were monitored: he was a consultant for the American Muslim Council, a group founded by Abdul Rahman al-Amoudi who pleaded guilty in 2004 on financial and conspiracy charges for being a senior financier for Al Qaeda. He is serving a 23-year prison sentence.  Greenwald says Gill may have had troubling ties to al-Amoudi.  According to the Greenwald article:

“In 2003, al-Amoudi was arrested for participating in a Libyan plot to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah and for illegal financial transactions with the Libyan government, crimes for which he eventually pleaded guilty. Because Gill’s name had turned up in al-Amoudi’s papers, he was investigated by DHS [Department of Homeland Security] security officials and asked not to report to work pending the outcome. He told investigators that he had met al-Amoudi only three or four times and didn’t work closely with him during his time at the American Muslim Council. After passing a polygraph test, Gill says, he was told by DHS that he was “good to go” and returned to work.”

Hooshang Amirahmadi is a former candidate for the Iranian presidency with ties to Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Iranian government.

Greenwald does not know the U.S. government’s justification for requesting court warrants to monitor the communications of Awad, Ghafoor, Gill, Saeed, and Amirahmadi.  He therefore does not know whether these men were collaborating in some way with foreign terrorist organizations or Iran.  However, since Greenwald knew about their suspicious affiliations, it was extremely dishonest for him to claim these are innocent American Muslims targeted by for illegal NSA and FBI electronic surveillance merely because of their ethnicity and religion.

Fred Fleitz, a former CIA analyst, is a Senior Fellow with the Center for Security Policy and Chief Analyst with LIGNET.com.