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:

EXCLUSIVE–‘Like the Last Scene of Star Wars’: Sebastian Gorka Compares Battle Against Globalist Cabal to Rebel Alliance Fighting Evil Empire

Breitbart, by Matthew Boyle, Aug. 26, 2017:

Dr. Sebastian Gorka, a now former Deputy Assistant to President Donald J. Trump, says that the West Wing Democrats, the left, and the Fake News Industrial Complex will never succeed in stopping him and others from battling for the president’s agenda.

During an appearance on Breitbart News Saturday on SiriusXM Patriot Channel 125, Gorka—a former Breitbart News national security editor who served in the White House in a senior position pushing the president’s message—compared former White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon leaving the White House to when Darth Vader struck down Obi Wan Kenobi in Star Wars.

“We are winning and we will continue to do so,” Gorka said. “With Steve back at the helm, it’s like the last scene from Star Wars. Do you remember what Obi Wan Kenobi said to Darth [Vader]? ‘If you strike me down, I will be more powerful than you can ever imagine.’ The left thinks they’re winning. They have no idea what’s coming around the corner, and it’s going to be fun, Matt. You know it.”

The infamous Star Wars scene Gorka was referring to is when Obi Wan Kenobi, a Jedi knight, was battling Darth Vader. Right before Vader kills Kenobi, Kenobi says to his old apprentice who turned evil: “You can’t win Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.”

Of course, Star Wars fans know that Kenobi had perfected a power that few Jedi wielded: the ability to, post-death, become “one with the Force.” The almost omniscient abilities allowed him to continue mentoring Luke Skywalker, who would go on to defeat the Evil Empire.

Gorka’s resignation—which some in low-level White House positions have inaccurately claimed was not a resignation—came amid major battles he fought alongside Bannon against the “West Wing Democrats.” (Bannon has returned to Breitbart News as the Executive Chairman after he stepped down from the White House. Gorka detailed in this interview how he is likely to engage in a number of roles outside the White House helping the president with his agenda, including in some capacity here at Breitbart News, but also in other places throughout the movement pushing an America-First “Make America Great Again,” or MAGA, agenda.)

The “West Wing Democrats,” as they are colloquially known, include people like the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, his wife the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump, National Security Adviser three-star Army Gen. H.R. McMaster, National Economic Council director Gary Cohn, new White House chief of staff retired Marine Gen. John Kelly, and Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Habib Powell. Powell served with Cohn in a senior position at Goldman Sachs before going to work in the White House. All of them are Democrats, though Powell claims to be a Republican given her short time working in George W. Bush’s White House.

Each of them are engaged, as Breitbart News and virtually everyone else has detailed, in a deep effort to stop the president from implementing the agenda he campaigned on in 2016. They view their roles as forces of moderation, trying to stop President Trump from doing what he promised for the American people in his landslide electoral college victory in 2016 over Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton. And they align with forces in the “opposition party” media—or as has Gorka has defined it previously, the “Fake News Industrial Complex”—as well as throughout the political class in Washington to achieve their objective. Leaks about their self-righteous opposition to Trump ideas, actions, and policies—like his response to Charlottesville, or his Sheriff Joe Arpaio pardon, or the way he has handled various crises—are all about using their influence to slow him down. They also work with people like House Speaker Paul Ryan—a demonstrably anti-Trump force in Congress—as well as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and others, to hold the president back.

Essentially, what each of these folks is doing is using their positions of power to protect the status quo in Washington–and that status quo is what Trump ran against in 2016. The status quo is globalization, a draining of America’s middle class, unbridled migration from the third world into the United States, and an ongoing depletion of America’s middle class separating the haves and have nots even more by hollowing out the distance between financial elites like Cohn and the rest of the country. The rich want to get richer, and screw over everyone else.

In other words, Trump supporters look at the globalist cabal like “The Evil Empire” from Star Wars and view themselves as fighters from the “Rebel Alliance” battling a noble cause against tyranny. And now, with Bannon and Gorka outside the White House, they are “more powerful than” the enemy “can possibly imagine” as they rally the troops of the movement for the battle against international globalist elites.

Gorka hinted at this in his resignation letter, in which he wrote to President Trump that given “recent events, it is clear to me that forces that do not support the MAGA promise are – for now – ascendant within the White House.”

“As a result, the best and most effective way I can support you, Mr. President, is from outside the People’s House,” Gorka wrote. He continued in the letter to the president:

Regrettably, outside of yourself, the individuals who most embodied and represented the policies that will ‘Make America Great Again,’ have been internally countered, systematically removed, or undermined in recent months. This was made patently obvious as I read the text of your speech on Afghanistan this week. The fact that those who drafted and approved the speech removed any mention of Radical Islam or radical Islamic terrorism proves that a crucial element of your presidential campaign has been lost. Just as worrying, when discussing our future actions in the region, the speech listed operational objectives without ever defining the strategic victory conditions we are fighting for. This omission should seriously disturb any national security professional, and any American who is unsatisfied with the last 16 years of disastrous policy decisions which have led to thousands of Americans killed and trillions of taxpayer dollars spent in ways that have not brought security or victory.

Gorka also hinted at it in his Breitbart News Saturday interview.

“He [Trump] said he was going to fix the economy, build the wall, and defeat ISIS,” Gorka said of Trump’s major campaign promises. “That’s MAGA. That’s what Making America Great Again really means. And unfortunately, I don’t really want to go into the palace intrigue stuff because we’ve had too much of that. But the fact is the forces of MAGA, the Make America Great Again forces the policy people like Steve Bannon–my old boss inside the White House–have been systematically undermined, many of them fired from the NSC [National Security Council]. I realized after the president’s speech on Afghanistan this week that he’s not being well-served. That speech was written by people for the president in direct contravention of everything that we voted for on November the Eighth. It is not clear why we’re in Afghanistan, it doesn’t explain why we’re going to continue to potentially expend American lives and American money in that nation, and the most important thing, Matt, it didn’t mention once–once–the phrase ‘radical Islam’ or ‘radical Islamic terrorism.’ Just think back to how massive a difference that is to the speech the president gave to a joint session of Congress at the beginning of the year. So I decided, just as with Steve, we can be far more effective on the outside and it’s a very exciting day for me and my family.”

LISTEN TO DR. SEBASTIAN GORKA ON BREITBART NEWS SATURDAY: 

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Former deputy assistant to the president Dr. Sebastian Gorka explained his exit from the White House on Breitbart News Saturday this morning, teasing an ambitious joint venture with Breitbart News to “create the platform for a true Jacksonian national foreign policy agenda.”

Gaffney: The ‘Big Lie’ Is Back

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

Breitbart, by Frank Gaffney, November 22, 2016:

In 2011, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton promised the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to use “some old fashioned techniques of peer pressure and shaming” against those whose exercise of free speech “we abhor.”

At the time, she had in mind specifically perpetrators of what the OIC, the Muslim Brotherhood, other Islamic supremacists and their enablers on the Left call “defamation of Islam.” But the same playbook – in the tradition of Mrs. Clinton’s mentor, Saul Alinsky – is now being followed with a vengeance against what is abhorred by the cabal best described as the Red-Green Axis.

Much in evidence among such “old-fashioned techniques” now being employed is what’s known as “the Big Lie.” It entails the endless repetition of outrageous falsehoods to defame, and ultimately silence, one’s political opponents.

Three good men Donald Trump has selected for key strategic and national security positions are currently getting the Big Lie treatment: his White House Counsel Steve Bannon, Attorney General-designate Senator Jeff Sessions, and incoming National Security Advisor Lieutenant General Michael Flynn. They are being relentlessly vilified as “racists,” “bigots” and “haters.”

I feel these able public servants’ pain. Indeed, I know what it’s like to be subjected to the Big Lie. For years, the Islamists and their allies on the hard Left – notably, the discredited (for example, here and here) Southern Poverty Law Center – have used character assassination and vitriol against me (for example, here, here and here) to protect what they otherwise cannot defend: the totalitarian program its adherents call Sharia. The false assertion last week that I had been asked to serve on the Trump transition team sent these rogues into fresh paroxysms of hateful denunciation, repeated like a mantra by their media echo chamber (for example, here, here, here and here).

I am hardly alone in being diagnosed by such charlatans with the made-up condition of “Islamophobia.” Indeed, I am proud to be included in the company of men and women being pilloried for what Islamic supremacists and their enablers would have us believe is “defamation of Islam.” In fact, it is simply informed, astute and courageous truth-telling about the global jihad movement and threat it poses. Steve Bannon, Jeff Sessions and Mike Flynn are under assault for doing the same in this and other contexts.

It seems that critics are particularly unhinged by the clarity of these three men and the president they will serve about the fact that Islamic supremacism is not simply a menace overseas. The Red-Green types are determined to prevent Donald Trump from operationalizing the plan of action he described in a major address on the topic on August 15, 2016. Among its highlights are the following:

Our new approach, which must be shared by both parties in America, by our allies overseas, and by our friends in the Middle East, must be to halt the spread of Radical Islam. All actions should be oriented around this goal….Just as we won the Cold War, in part, by exposing the evils of communism and the virtues of free markets, so too must we take on the ideology of Radical Islam….

In the Cold War, we had an ideological screening test. The time is overdue to develop a new screening test for the threats we face today. In addition to screening out all members or sympathizers of terrorist groups, we must also screen out any who have hostile attitudes towards our country or its principles – or who believe that Sharia law should supplant American law. Those who do not believe in our Constitution, or who support bigotry and hatred, will not be admitted for immigration into the country….

Finally, we will pursue aggressive criminal or immigration charges against anyone who lends material support to terrorism. Similar to the effort to take down the mafia, this will be the understood mission of every federal investigator and prosecutor in the country. To accomplish a goal, you must state a mission: the support networks for Radical Islam in this country will be stripped out and removed one by one. Immigration officers will also have their powers restored: those who are guests in our country that are preaching hate will be asked to return home. (Emphasis added)

In short, the Red-Green Axis is having conniptions because the American people have now chosen to lead them a president and an administration that will not just be sensible about this threat. It is also determined to do the job Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and their minions have adamantly shirked: protecting us against, rather than accommodating, Sharia. So the Big Lie and “other techniques of shaming and peer pressure” are now being applied with abandon to outstanding public servants in the hope of reducing their effectiveness and that of the presidency they will serve.

The transparent falsity and political agenda being served by such lies should, instead, discredit their perpetrators. For that to happen, however, the so-called “mainstream press” will have to stop lionizing the Big Liars and uncritically promoting their handiwork.

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. acted as an Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Reagan administration. He is President of the Center for Security Policy.

Trump Names Steve Bannon as White House Chief Strategist and Reince Priebus as Chief of Staff

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Breitbart, by Alex Swoyer, November 13, 2016:

President-elect Donald Trump announced on Sunday that Stephen K. Bannon will be the White House Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor while Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus will serve as White House Chief of Staff.

“Bannon and Priebus will continue the effective leadership team they formed during the campaign, working as equal partners to transform the federal government, making it much more efficient, effective and productive,” stated a press release from Trump’s transition team on Sunday. “Bannon and Priebus will also work together with Vice President-elect Mike Pence to help lead the transition process in the run-up to Inauguration Day.”

“I am thrilled to have my very successful team continue with me in leading our country,” stated President-elect Trump per the press release. “Steve and Reince are highly qualified leaders who worked well together on our campaign and led us to a historic victory. Now I will have them both with me in the White House as we work to make America great again.”

Bannon responded to the position, saying, “I want to thank President-elect Trump for the opportunity to work with Reince in driving the agenda of the Trump Administration.”

“We had a very successful partnership on the campaign, one that led to victory,” Bannon added. “We will have that same partnership in working to help President-elect Trump achieve his agenda.”

“It is truly an honor to join President-elect Trump in the White House as his Chief of Staff,” Priebus stated of the annoucement. “I am very grateful to the President-elect for this opportunity to serve him and this nation as we work to create an economy that works for everyone, secure our borders, repeal and replace Obamacare and destroy radical Islamic terrorism. He will be a great President for all Americans.”