8 signs pointing to a counterintelligence operation deployed against Trump’s campaign

The Hill, by Sharyl Attkisson, May 23,  2018:

It may be true that President Trump illegally conspired with Russia and was so good at covering it up he’s managed to outwit our best intel and media minds who’ve searched for irrefutable evidence for two years. (We still await special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings.)

But there’s a growing appearance of alleged wrongdoing equally as insidious, if not more so, because it implies widespread misuse of America’s intelligence and law enforcement apparatus.

Here are eight signs pointing to a counterintelligence operation deployed against Trump for political reasons.

Code name

The operation reportedly had at least one code name that was leaked to The New York Times: “Crossfire Hurricane.”

Wiretap fever

Secret surveillance was conducted on no fewer than seven Trump associates: chief strategist Stephen Bannon; lawyer Michael Cohen; national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn; adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner; campaign chairman Paul Manafort; and campaign foreign policy advisers Carter Page and George Papadopoulos.

The FBI reportedly applied for a secret warrant in June 2016 to monitor Manafort, Page, Papadopoulos and Flynn. If true, it means the FBI targeted Flynn six months before his much-debated conversation with Russia’s ambassador, Sergey Kislyak.

The FBI applied four times to wiretap Page after he became a Trump campaign adviser starting in July 2016. Page’s office is connected to Trump Tower and he reports having spent “many hours in Trump Tower.”

CNN reported that Manafort was wiretapped before and after the election “including during a period when Manafort was known to talk to President Trump.” Manafort reportedly has a residence in Trump Tower.

Electronic surveillance was used to listen in on three Trump transition officials in Trump Tower — Flynn, Bannon and Kushner — as they met in an official capacity with the United Arab Emirates’ crown prince.

The FBI also reportedly wiretapped Flynn’s phone conversation with Kislyak on Dec. 31, 2016, as part of “routine surveillance” of Kislyak.

NBC recently reported that Cohen, Trump’s personal attorney, was wiretapped. NBC later corrected the story, saying Cohen was the subject of a “pen register” used to monitor phone numbers and, possibly, internet communications.

National security letters

Another controversial tool reportedly used by the FBI to obtain phone records and other documents in the investigation were national security letters, which bypass judicial approval.

Improper use of such letters has been an ongoing theme at the FBI. Reviews by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General found widespread misuse under Mueller — who was then FBI director — and said officials failed to report instances of abuses as required.

Unmasking

“Unmasking” — identifying protected names of Americans captured by government surveillance — was frequently deployed by at least four top Obama officials who have subsequently spoken out against President Trump: James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence; Samantha Power, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; Susan Rice, former national security adviser; Sally Yates, former deputy attorney general.

Names of Americans caught communicating with monitored foreign targets must be “masked,” or hidden within government agencies, so the names cannot be misused or shared. 

However, it’s been revealed that Power made near-daily unmasking requests in 2016.

Prior to that revelation, Clapper claimed ignorance. When asked if he knew of unmasking requests by any ambassador, including Power, he testified: “I don’t know. Maybe it’s ringing a vague bell but I’m not — I could not answer with any confidence.”

Rice admitted to asking for unmasked names of U.S. citizens in intelligence reports after initially claiming no knowledge of any such thing.

Clapper also admitted to requesting the unmasking of “Mr. Trump, his associates or any members of Congress.” Clapper and Yates admitted they also personally reviewed unmasked documents and shared unmasked material with other officials.

Changing the rules

On Dec. 15, 2016 — the same day the government listened in on Trump officials at Trump Tower — Rice reportedly unmasked the names of Bannon, Kushner and Flynn. And Clapper made a new rule allowing the National Security Agency to widely disseminate surveillance material within the government without the normal privacy protections.

Media strategy

Former CIA Director John Brennan and Clapper, two of the most integral intel officials in this ongoing controversy, have joined national news organizations where they have regular opportunities to shape the news narrative — including on the very issues under investigation.

Clapper reportedly secretly leaked salacious political opposition research against Trump to CNN in fall 2017 and later was hired as a CNN political analyst. In February, Brennan was hired as a paid analyst for MSNBC.

Leaks

There’s been a steady and apparently orchestrated campaign of leaks — some true, some false, but nearly all of them damaging to President Trump’s interests.

A few of the notable leaks include word that Flynn was wiretapped, the anti-Trump “Steele dossier” of political opposition research, then-FBI Director James Comey briefing Trump on it, private Comey conversations with Trump, Comey’s memos recording those conversations and criticizing Trump, the subpoena of Trump’s personal bank records (which proved false) and Flynn planning to testify against Trump (which also proved to be false).

Friends, informants and snoops

The FBI reportedly used one-time CIA operative Stefan Halper in 2016 as an informant to spy on Trump officials. 

Another player is Comey friend Daniel Richman, a Columbia University law professor, who leaked Comey’s memos against Trump to The New York Times after Comey was fired. We later learned that Richman actually worked for the FBI under a status called “Special Government Employee.”

The FBI used former reporter Glenn Simpson, his political opposition research firm Fusion GPS, and ex-British spy Christopher Steele to compile allegations against Trump, largely from Russian sources, which were distributed to the press and used as part of wiretap applications.

These eight features of a counterintelligence operation are only the pieces we know. It can be assumed there’s much we don’t yet know. And it may help explain why there’s so much material that the Department of Justice hasn’t easily handed over to congressional investigators.

Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) is an Emmy-award winning investigative journalist, author of The New York Times bestsellers “The Smear” and “Stonewalled,” and host of Sinclair’s Sunday TV program, “Full Measure.”

***

Also see:

***

Very important point made by Sharyl Attkisson on the big picture in all of this. She points out that this is not just about hating Trump. The reason he is being so aggressively attacked is to keep the massive abuses of power that have been going on for decades from being outed. It’s about unchecked government surveillance. Go to about 19 min. into the video.

***

***

***

***

Stopping Robert Mueller to protect us all by former Clinton aide Mark Penn!

***

***

 

Three years after U.S. intervention, Libya’s an even bigger disaster

This Image taken during an organized trip by the Libyan authorities shows a multiple rocket launcher destroyed outside what was described as a maintenance warehouse hit by two missiles Monday evening on a Naval base in Tripoli, Libya, on March 22, 2011. Missile transporters and launchers were among the destroyed hardware.Three years later, Obama's Libyan adventure looks like a moral vanity project carried out by careless people who couldn't be bothered to worry about unintended consequences. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay, file)

This Image taken during an organized trip by the Libyan authorities shows a multiple rocket launcher destroyed outside what was described as a maintenance warehouse hit by two missiles Monday evening on a Naval base in Tripoli, Libya, on March 22, 2011. Missile transporters and launchers were among the destroyed hardware.Three years later, Obama’s Libyan adventure looks like a moral vanity project carried out by careless people who couldn’t be bothered to worry about unintended consequences. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay, file)

BY GENE HEALY:

Libya suffered through an eventful St. Patrick’s Day on Monday: car bomb attacks in Benghazi killed at least eight people, and the U.S. Navy SEALs scored “one for the Morning Glory” by capturing the runaway oil tanker bearing that name in order to return it to the Libyan government, such as it is.

Earlier this month, the North Korean-flagged tanker switched off its satellite transponder — a device that could probably do without an “off” button — and sneaked into Libya’s largest oil port, whereupon Libyans linked to a breakaway eastern militia made off with millions of dollars in oil. But the return of the Morning Glory hardly fixes the problems confronting Libya.

Three years ago today, President Obama announced that America would “not stand idly by in the face of actions that undermine global peace and security;” he’d decided to order military action in “support for a set of universal values.” The next day, the bombing began.

How did that work out? Splendidly! says one of the principal architects of the war, former National Security Council official Samantha Power. Last summer, after becoming U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Power tweeted: “Great example: Qadhafi fell because the Libyan people bravely stood up, the U.S. stood strong, and the Arab League stood united. #Results.”

Let’s test that self-congratulatory hashtag against what a top official from the previous administration once contemptuously called the “judicious study of discernible reality.” “Political Killings Still Plaguing Post-Qaddafi Libya” is the headline from the New York Times last week, reporting, “[M]ore than 100 prominent figures, senior security officials, judges and political activists have been assassinated in two years, and the wave of killings is decimating local leadership and paralyzing the government and security forces.” Unrest has likewise decimated Libya’s oil production, and “militias hold 8,000 people in prisons.”

But didn’t we at least stop a genocide? That’s what State Department legal adviser Harold Koh suggested in an interview. Koh, previously an ardent opponent of presidential warmaking, gave Obama legal cover for Libya, arguing that bombing Libya didn’t count as “hostilities” under the War Powers Resolution.

Koh defends that decision by insisting that “thousands of lives were saved” — which isn’t much of a legal argument. It’s also not true.

As political scientist Alan J. Kuperman pointed out at the time, Obama “grossly exaggerated the humanitarian threat to justify military action in Libya.”

Read more at Washington Examiner

Samantha Power: “Daniel Pearl’s story is reminder that individual accountability & reconciliation are required to break cycles of violence”

download (72)Jihad Watch, By Robert Spencer:

As many of the responses point out, there was no way that Daniel Pearl could have avoided being murdered by jihadists by practicing “individual accountability & reconciliation.” Nor was he any part of a “cycle of violence”: he was a Wall Street Journal reporter. Power reveals by this tweet the entire wrongheaded mindset of the U.S. foreign policy establishment: that the way to deal with jihad is to seek “reconciliation” by making various concessions, and launching hearts and minds initiatives that shower money on the offenders in hopes that they will be bought off as “friends.”

Power is also, unsurprisingly, a vociferous foe of Israel. We tried to tell you: in our book The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War On America, Pamela Geller and I wrote:

One Obama foreign policy adviser, Samantha Power, resigned from the Obama campaign team under fire in March 2008 after calling Hillary Clinton a “monster.” Obama never seemed fazed by her calling in a 2002 interview with Harry Kreisler of the Institute for International Studies at Berkeley for military action against Israel to secure the creation of a Palestinian state.

Power said that establishing a Palestinian state would mean “sacrificing – or investing, I think, more than sacrificing – billions of dollars, not in servicing Israel’s military, but actually investing in the new state of Palestine, in investing the billions of dollars it would probably take, also, to support what will have to be a mammoth protection force, not of the old Rwanda kind, but a meaningful military presence.” She said that this would “require external intervention.”

Many observers quite reasonably concluded that in this Power meant that the United States should invade Israel in order to secure the creation and protection of a Palestinian state. Confronted about this during the Obama presidential campaign, Power made no attempt to explain or excuse her statement: “Even I don’t understand it…This makes no sense to me….The quote seems so weird.” She assured supporters of Israel that she did not believe in “imposing a settlement.”

Power’s anti-Israel bias was not limited to that one statement. When the much-hyped “Jenin Massacre” of 2002 turned out to have been a Palestinian propaganda operation rather than an actual massacre, Power remained skeptical, saying at a conference funded by George Soros: “I was struck by a [New York Times] headline that accompanied a news story on the publication of the Human Rights Watch report. The headline was, I believe: ‘Human Rights Reports Finds Massacre Did Not Occur in Jenin.’ The second paragraph said, ‘Oh, but lots of war crimes did.’ Why wouldn’t they make the war crimes the headline and the non-massacre the second paragraph?” National Review’s Michael Rubin commented: “It is questionable whether any war crimes occurred in Jenin, except of course the war crimes associated with Palestinian assembly of suicide bombs which Palestinian terrorists — not uniformed officials — used to target civilians on buses and elderly in hotels. But, that does not seem to be what Samantha Power means.”…

“U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power Facing Criticism Over This Tweet,” by Sharona Schwartz for The Blaze, February 24:

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power received a torrent of negative responses after posting a tweet Sunday evening that some interpreted as suggesting Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl’s killing could have been prevented by “individual accountability & reconciliation.”

Here’s what she wrote:

Daniel Pearl’s story is reminder that individual accountability & reconciliation are required to break cycles of violence. @DanielPearlFNDN

Samantha Power Facing Criticism over this Tweet

@AmbassadorPower

Samantha Power

And here are some of the responses:

 

@AmbassadorPower To what “cycle of violence” are you referring? The man had his throat cut for being a Jew.

Samantha Power Facing Criticism over this Tweet

@Zathras3

Zathras

 

.@AmbassadorPower @DanielPearlFNDN Can you elaborate? What should Pearl have been accountable for? Should he have reconciled with Al Qaeda?

Samantha Power Facing Criticism over this Tweet

 

@AmbassadorPower Reconciliation? With people who cut his head off because he’s Jewish and American? They referred to him as “the Jew”.

Samantha Power Facing Criticism over this Tweet

@sunnyright

SunnyRight

 

@AmbassadorPower How, precisely, does on reconcile with medieval savages who traffic in videotaped decapitation porn?

Samantha Power Facing Criticism over this Tweet

@TheRickWilson

Rick Wilson

Five hours after she posted her tweet, not one response on her twitter line was of a positive nature….

 

 

U.S. May Take In Tens of Thousands of Syrian Refugees

Syrian refugeesThe Obama administration is considering taking in tens of thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing from their country’s civil war and settling them in various American cities and towns.

According to the Los Angeles Times and later confirmed by State Department, the U.S. is “ready to consider the idea” if the administration is formally requested for such help by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees, which is the usual procedure.

The United States normally absorbs approximately half the refugees that the UN agency requests for resettlement.

According to Jen Psaki, spokewoman for the State Dept., the U.S. is “in close contact with the UN on the need for resettlement of refugees.”

When asked for details about the resettlement plans, Psaki said, “The United States accepts more UN-referred refugees than all other countries combined, and we are aware, and we would – and the UN is aware that the US would consider any individuals referred to us to have been determined to be in need of resettlement. So we are prepared to respond if asked, and will encourage other resettlement countries to do the same.”

Psaki also said that “There’s a cap by Congress of about 70,000 refugees in total,” while adding that the “the preferred solution for the vast majority is to return to their country once it’s safe.”

The Times reports that two close advisors to Obama, Susan Rice, the national security advisor, and Samantha Power, the nominee for U.S. ambassador to the U.N., both have been strong advocates for refugees, and are likely to influence Obama on the issue.

Read more at The Clarion Project

Also see:

The Secret Document That Set Obama’s Middle East Policy

propheciesslide9by Barry Rubin:

“… we have to confront is violent extremism in all of its forms. … America is not — and never will be — at war with Islam. We will, however, relentlessly confront violent extremists who pose a grave threat to our security — because we reject the same thing that people of all faiths reject: the killing of innocent men, women, and children. And it is my first duty as president to protect the American people.”  – President Barack Obama, Cairo, June 2009

“The United States is now experiencing the beginning of its end, and is heading towards its demise. … Resistance is the only solution. [Today the United States] is withdrawing from Iraq, defeated and wounded, and it is also on the verge of withdrawing from Afghanistan. [All] its warplanes, missiles, and modern military technology were defeated by the will of the peoples, as long as [these peoples] insisted on resistance.”  – Muslim Brotherhood leader Muhammad al-Badri, Cairo, September 2010

What did the president know, and when did he know it? That’s a question made classic by the Watergate scandal. Now, it is possible to trace precisely what Obama knew and when he knew it. And it proves that the installment of power of the Muslim Brotherhood was a conscious and deliberate strategy of the Obama administration, developed before the “Arab Spring” began.

In February 2011, the New York Times ran an extremely complimentary article on President Obama by Mark Landler, who some observers say is the biggest apologist for Obama on the newspaper. That’s quite an achievement. Landler praised Obama for having tremendous foresight, in effect predicting the “Arab Spring.” According to Landler:

President Obama ordered his advisers last August [2010] to produce a secret report on unrest in the Arab world, which concluded that without sweeping political changes, countries from Bahrain to Yemen were ripe for popular revolt, administration officials said Wednesday.

Which advisors? The then counter-terrorism advisor and now designated CIA chief John Brennan? National Security Council senior staffer Samantha Power? If it was done by Obama’s own staff, rather than State and Defense, it’s likely that these people were the key authors. Or at least one of them was.

So should U.S. policy help allies avoid such sweeping change by standing firm or by helping them make adjustments? No, explained the report, it should get on the side of history and wield a broom to do the sweeping. The article continued:

Mr. Obama’s order, known as a Presidential Study Directive, identified likely flashpoints, most notably Egypt, and solicited proposals for how the administration could push for political change in countries with autocratic rulers who are also valuable allies of the United States, [emphasis added] these officials said.

The 18-page classified report, they said, grapples with a problem that has bedeviled the White House’s approach toward Egypt and other countries in recent days: how to balance American strategic interests and the desire to avert broader instability against the democratic demands of the protesters.

As I noted, the article was quite explicitly complimentary (and that’s an understatement) about how Obama knew what was likely to happen and was well prepared for it.

But that’s precisely the problem. It wasn’t trying to deal with change, but was pushing for it; it wasn’t asserting U.S. interests but balancing them off against other factors. In the process, U.S. interests were forgotten.

If Landler was right, then Obama did have a sense of what was going to happen, and prepared. It cannot be said that he was caught unaware. This view would suggest, then, that he thought American strategic interests could be protected, and broader instability avoided by overthrowing U.S. allies as fast as possible and by showing the oppositions that he was on their side. Presumably the paper pointed out the strength of Islamist forces and the Muslim Brotherhood factor, and then discounted any dangers from this quarter.

Read more at PJ Media

Also see:

Democracy Is Not the Answer (frontpagemag.com)