Category Archive 'Deep State'
10 Dec 2020
Glenn Greenwald, now exiled to Substack (and behind a Paywall), is pretty disgusted at how various arms of the establishment and the Deep State cooperated to keep voters in the dark.
All of these vital facts and questions about Hunter’s activities in China were largely suppressed from the voting population by the bulk of the U.S. media, working in tandem with Silicon Valley (which simply prevented the story from being discussed and shared on its key platforms), and the intelligence community. How was this accomplished? Largely through outright propaganda, a blatant two-pronged lie: that these materials should be ignored because they constitute “Russian disinformation.”
There has never been any evidence that Russia played any role whatsoever in these materials (The New York Times acknowledged that “no concrete evidence has emerged that the laptop contains Russian disinformation” and the paper said even the FBI has “acknowledged that it had not found any Russian disinformation on the laptop”). This newly disclosed criminal probe obviously constitutes very strong evidence of their authenticity, as was the confirmation at the time from several participants in the emails that they were genuine. Critically, not even the Bidens denied the materials from the laptop were authentic, as The Times noted last night in its story about the criminal investigation into Hunter: “The Biden team has rejected some of the claims made in the NY Post articles, but has not disputed the authenticity of the [laptop] files upon which they were based.”
Even the letter used by these media outlets to peddle the “Russian disinformation” lie — from known liars: former CIA and other intelligence community leaders, who claimed that the Hunter laptop story “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information” — admitted that “we do not have evidence of Russian involvement.”
In sum, we have the extraordinary historic disgrace of media outlets collaborating with the intelligence community in the weeks before a presidential election to manufacture and peddle a propagandistic lie to justify censorship of highly relevant materials about the presidential front-runner and his family’s efforts to profit off his name — namely, that the documents were not authentic but rather “Russian disinformation.” …
Leading up to the 2020 election, much of the U.S. media and Silicon Valley giants decided that ensuring Trump’s defeat was such an overarching goal, a moral imperative, that anything and everything was justified to achieve it — including uniting with the professional liars of the CIA to disseminate blatant falsehoods about the Hunter Biden materials in order to discredit them, lead the public to believe they should be ignored, and justify their own burying and censoring of these materials.
06 Mar 2017
Cory Bennett explains that the Deep State could easily have have initiated surveillance on its own with no explicit permission from the White House. This would, of course, in no way preclude the use of the fruits of such surveillance by persons affiliated with Barack Obama against the Trump Administration and Trump appointees.
[T]here are still many ways in which information from Trump Tower phone calls could end up in the hands of intelligence agents or law enforcement officials â€” even without any knowledge on Obamaâ€™s part.
First, they may have come upon Trump Tower phone calls if a targeted foreign agent was on the other end of the line â€” this method comes from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or FISA court. Or Trump Tower digital chatter might have shown up while authorities dug through the vast quantities of data hoovered up via more sweeping foreign surveillance programs.
Second, the FBI could also have asked for a so-called â€œpen registerâ€ or â€œtrap and trace device,â€ which record only the parties involved in a phone call. These requests have a lower bar for approval.
While it’s unknown whether any of these scenarios occurred, it’s â€œvery likely that the people in the Obama administration had access to the communication of senior Trump officials in the run-up to the election, because they have very, very broad authority,â€ said Cindy Cohn, executive director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has advocated for revising surveillance laws.
And given the ongoing FBI-led investigation into potential ties between Trumpâ€™s associates and Russian officials, itâ€™s plausible that law enforcement officials and intelligence agencies had an interest in â€” or simply came across â€” the communications in Trump Tower, specialists said. The government is also investigating an alleged Russian plot to use cyberattacks and disinformation to help Trump win.
According to news reports, the FBI last summer went to the FISA court â€” which approves clandestine spying efforts â€” asking for warrants to monitor four members of Trumpâ€™s team suspected of having improper exchanges with Russian officials. After being rebuffed, officials reportedly narrowed their request and got approval in October to monitor a computer server in Trump Tower to establish whether there were ties to Russian banks.
But such surveillance would be vastly different than the type of direct wiretapping Trump raised in his tweetstorm Saturday morning.
Nojeim explained that government investigators have two routes to obtaining a wiretap in the U.S. â€” one for criminal probes, one for intelligence gathering.
On the criminal side, the government must present a judge with probable cause that a wiretap-eligible offense has occurred â€” or is occurring â€” and that a wiretap will uncover the necessary evidence. Wiretap-eligible offenses are numerous, and they run the gamut from bribing witnesses to more opaque ones like â€œfraud by wire.â€
The other route is through the FISA court, where the hurdles are trickier, specialists said, because the spying programs it oversees focus on foreign targets.
Officials must present the FISA court judge with probable cause that the person being wiretapped is an agent of a foreign power, like a spy, or an agent of a foreign terrorist organization. The government must also show that the phone line, email account or computer server in question is going to be used by that foreign target. If that target is an American citizen, the attorney general also has to OK the spying.
â€œThere is a significant hurdle to wiretapping a person in the United States under either of these authorities,â€ Nojeim said.
Indeed, senior U.S. officials with knowledge of the governmentâ€™s investigation into Russiaâ€™s alleged digital meddling with the U.S. election told The Washington Post there had been no wiretap of Trump.
But surveillance experts â€” and especially surveillance critics â€” were quick to note the myriad other routes officials have to get at the banter inside Trump Tower.
Through routine data collection programs authorized under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the government gathers information from the internet backbone, which carries web browsing histories and a rapidly increasing amount of telephone traffic.
The government discards information that is plainly domestic and searches through the rest using only specific selectors â€” a phone number or email address, for instance. But Americansâ€™ information that is incidentally collected and determined to contain some foreign intelligence value is fair game for review.
Cohn said such data on Americans could include communications that are to, from or about foreign targets the FISA court has already approved for surveillance. For example, if two Trump campaign officials were talking via email about a Moscow official under surveillance, that conversation might get flagged as relevant.
Trumpâ€™s anger over the potential surveillance of him and his campaign is only likely to increase peopleâ€™s awareness of these programs, some of which are up for reauthorization at the end of 2017.
The White House reportedly supports a â€œcleanâ€ reauthorization with no revisions. But the heightened attention to the topic has already been used in Capitol Hill hearings to argue for an overhaul of the laws.
â€œI think that even if [Trump is] not exactly right about what happened here, the fact that he could tweet this â€¦ and we canâ€™t tell exactly what happened, means that we need to have an honest conversation in this country about these authorities,â€ Cohn said.
19 Feb 2017
Conservative Treehouse has great news.
The career political operatives who reign within the State Department openly view themselves as a distinctly separate state governing authority, with no attachment to the policies or objectives of the United States presidency or any mere elected official therein.
For years this group has considered themselves â€œthe untouchablesâ€.
They live a life of high financed indulgence including: massive expense accounts, chartered airline travel, swanky cocktail parties, expense chauffeurs to take their kids to private school, seasonally designed home decor â€“ appointed by only the very best interior designers, personal security to keep the commoners away, tickets to the best venues and reserved seating at elite DC restaurants.
With first rights to the budget expenditures, the 7th floor group finds no indulgence too extravagant for their intellectual elitism. They demand nothing but the finest because they are the most worthy of the DC professionally privileged â€“ who are more equal than others; and after all, their jobs require them to host and visit like-minded diplomats, and celebrities with exclusive tastes from around the world.
Today, this elite crew collectively choked on their crust-less triangle sandwiches:
WASHINGTON DC â€“ [â€¦] Much of seventh-floor staff, who work for the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources and the Counselor offices, were told today that their services were no longer needed.
[â€¦] Two sources also told CBS News that Ambassador Kristie Kenney, the Counselor of the State Department and one of the last remaining senior officials, was informed that she will be let go. She is a career foreign service officer who had served as an ambassador under Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton. Her staff was told that Secretary Tillerson does not intend to fill the counselorâ€™s position anytime soon.
[â€¦] â€œIt is irresponsible to let qualified, nonpartisan, experienced people go before you have any idea of their replacement. You canâ€™t do foreign policy by sitting in the White House, just out of your back pocket,â€ explains Tom Countryman, Former Assistant Secretary for Non-Proliferation who was let go earlier this month.
Countryman worries that the White House is displaying an intent not rely on the State Department for foreign policy in that no one will be in place to challenge the edicts drawn up in the Oval Office.
Read the whole thing.
18 Feb 2017
Mathew Continetti discusses the struggle between an elected American administration and the entrenched federal bureaucracy.
By any historical and constitutional standard, “the people” elected Donald Trump and endorsed his program of nation-state populist reform. Yet over the last few weeks America has been in the throes of an unprecedented revolt. Not of the people against the governmentâ€”that happened last yearâ€”but of the government against the people. What this says about the state of American democracy, and what it portends for the future, is incredibly disturbing.
There is, of course, the case of Michael Flynn. He made a lot of enemies inside the government during his career, suffice it to say. And when he exposed himself as vulnerable those enemies pounced. But consider the means: anonymous and possibly illegal leaks of private conversations. Yes, the conversation in question was with a foreign national. And no one doubts we spy on ambassadors. But we aren’t supposed to spy on Americans without probable cause. And we most certainly are not supposed to disclose the results of our spying in the pages of the Washington Post because it suits a partisan or personal agenda.
Here was a case of current and former national security officials using their position, their sources, and their methods to crush a political enemy. And no one but supporters of the president seems to be disturbed. Why? Because we are meant to believe that the mysterious, elusive, nefarious, and to date unproven connection between Donald Trump and the Kremlin is more important than the norms of intelligence and the decisions of the voters.
But why should we believe that? And who elected these officials to make this judgment for us?
Nor is Flynn the only example of nameless bureaucrats working to undermine and ultimately overturn the results of last year’s election. According to the New York Times, civil servants at the EPA are lobbying Congress to reject Donald Trump’s nominee to run the agency. Is it because Scott Pruitt lacks qualifications? No. Is it because he is ethically compromised? Sorry. The reason for the opposition is that Pruitt is a critic of the way the EPA was run during the presidency of Barack Obama. He has a policy difference with the men and women who are soon to be his employees. Up until, oh, this month, the normal course of action was for civil servants to follow the direction of the political appointees who serve as proxies for the elected president.
How quaint. These days an architect of the overreaching and antidemocratic Waters of the U.S. regulation worries that her work will be overturned so she undertakes extraordinary means to defeat her potential boss. But a change in policy is a risk of democratic politics. Nowhere does it say in the Constitution that the decisions of government employees are to be unquestioned and preserved forever. Yet that is precisely the implication of this unprecedented protest. “I can’t think of any other time when people in the bureaucracy have done this,” a professor of government tells the paper. That sentence does not leave me feeling reassured. …
The last few weeks have confirmed that there are two systems of government in the United States. The first is the system of government outlined in the U.S. Constitutionâ€”its checks, its balances, its dispersion of power, its protection of individual rights. Donald Trump was elected to serve four years as the chief executive of this system. Whether you like it or not.
The second system is comprised of those elements not expressly addressed by the Founders. This is the permanent government, the so-called administrative state of bureaucracies, agencies, quasi-public organizations, and regulatory bodies and commissions, of rule-writers and the byzantine network of administrative law courts. This is the government of unelected judges with lifetime appointments who, far from comprising the “least dangerous branch,” now presume to think they know more about America’s national security interests than the man elected as commander in chief.
For some time, especially during Democratic presidencies, the second system of government was able to live with the first one. But that time has ended. The two systems are now in competition. And the contest is all the more vicious and frightening because more than offices are at stake. This fight is not about policy. It is about wealth, status, the privileges of an exclusive class.
Read the whole thing.
15 Feb 2017
Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning condemned the Deep State surveillance followed by leaks that forced the resignation of Michael Flynn.
It is absurd that in todayâ€™s world, Gen. Flynn having an honest conversation with one of his foreign counterparts in preparation of the incoming administration in December was ever a firestorm in the first place. What is particularly disturbing and unacceptable is that the Obama administration engaged in surveillance of Flynn, who did nothing wrong or illegal by having the conversation, and then had it leaked to the press on Jan. 13, a week before President Trump took office, all with the purpose of actively undermining Trump and his proposed policies. And then after Trump was sworn in, the deep state bureaucratic establishment, our permanent government, decided it was necessary to leak the contents of the conversation to inflict more damage.
â€œThese are police state tactics. Flynn, being an honorable man of unimpeachable character, took the political fall. But this must not stand.
â€œEvery single person responsible for illegally surveilling the Trump campaign and then the transition and now the administration if itâ€™s still going on should be prosecuted and/or fired. Every single person responsible for illegally leaking said surveillance to the press should be prosecuted and/or fired. This witch hunt turned bureaucratic coup that cost Flynn his job cannot be allowed to stand, because it is only the latest instance of apparent sabotage by career government employees. They will not stop.
â€œThis should be immediate cause for Congress to address real civil service reform that will give the president discretion to remove government employees in every department and agency that actively undermine an administration. No career employees in the executive branch are entitled to their jobs, and it is time they learned that it is the president who makes policy, not them.â€
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