WHISTLEBLOWERS: Obama’s FBI used NSA surveillance as ‘back door’ to SPY on Americans

(National SentinelSpies Like Us: Several former U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials familiar with the program say that the FBI regularly used NSA surveillance to gain warrantless “backdoor” access to Americans’ communications.

Investigative reporter Sara Carter notes on her website that the whistleblowers, who have recently disclosed the program’s process to congressional oversight committees, noted that concern over the warrantless surveillance increased when it was revealed earlier this year that Obama administration officials had accessed and unmasked the communications of Team Trump members, allegedly without any real justification.

One of them was Trump’s first national security advisor, Michael Flynn, who recently agreed to plead guilty in federal court for lying to FBI agents about his contacts with Russian officials. None of those contacts, reports later noted, were improper, so it isn’t clear why Flynn felt the need to conceal them.

Carter wrote:

The process, known as ‘reverse targeting,’ occurs when intelligence and law enforcement officials use a foreign person as a legal pretense for their intended target, an American citizen, the officials stated. The program, as it exists, failed to prevent terror attacks and in many cases made incorrect connections between a foreign target and an innocent American, they stated.

The officials said the program was set up after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, but that it has not resulted in preventing any future threats. Rather, they said, it infringes on Fourth Amendment privacy protects and was ripe for political abuse.

 

“The program can be misused by anyone with access to it,” a former Intelligence official with knowledge of the program told Carter. “There needs to be an extensive investigation of all the Americans connected to President Trump and the campaign who were unmasked in connection with the 2016 election.”

Carter noted further:

The former intelligence source said the extent of abuses under the surveillance program has been debated both publicly and privately throughout the Bush and Obama administrations, both which promised to revamp the covert program and stop warrantless surveillance of Americans. It didn’t happen.

The program was first disclosed in a New York Times article from 2005 , and was later outed by its codename Stellar Wind when whistleblower, now fugitive, Edward Snowden released thousands of classified government documents showing the extensive Internet and phone surveillance of American’s by the NSA, according to reports. Since 2001, various legal authorities were put in place to justify the access to communications and giving the appearance that the practice of warrantless surveillance was strictly regulated.

Added another intelligence official aware of the program: “The warrantless surveillance program had the appearance of being shut down following the 2005 New York Times article that exposed it. However, a few weeks later, the FISC (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court) approved what is known as bulk FISA collection. This FISA authority allowed for the targeting of domestic numbers believed to be tainted.”

Members of Congress are preparing to vote on whether to reauthorize Section 701 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which will expire at year’s end. Critics of the section noted that in the course of U.S. intelligence agencies putting legitimate foreign targets under surveillance, Americans’ communications are often swept up as well.

Most often, their identities are hidden in final intelligence products and reports. But in rare instances, administration officials and intelligence agencies can request that Americans’ names be “unmasked,” which is what happened to Flynn.

As Carter and her intelligence sources noted, the process can be politicized, which appears to have been the case involving Team Trump members last year.

NSA whistleblower William Binney, who spent close to 40 years working on Signals Intelligence operations, told Carter the heart of abuse lies with Executive Order 12333, which was issued in 1981 by President Ronald Reagan.

Specifically, he said, section 2.3 paragraph C allows for the collection of all Internet and phone communications.

Binney left the NSA in 2001, after learning how intrusive and unconstitutional the program had become.

An FBI unit managing the program was known as “Team 10.” The expert analysts were based in a special division inside the NSA which was known as “Homeland” and located at Fort Meade, Md.

“The program is not inherently bad or corrupt,” an intelligence official, with knowledge of the program, told Carter. “It needs a major tweak, a restructuring of processes and authorities. If left unchallenged and unchecked, rampant abuse will continue and increase as we have seen for some time.”

During testimony before Congress before he was fired by Trump, then-FBI Director James Comey told lawmakers that any warrantless data access by the bureau was “lawfully collected, carefully overseen and checked.”

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House Intel Committee steps up probe of Obama-era unmasking, Dem-aligned Fusion GPS

(National SentinelObama Corruption: The House Intelligence Committee is ramping up its investigation into the “unmasking” and publicization of officials tied to President Donald J. Trump’s campaign who were incidentally surveilled in meetings with foreign officials, reports The Daily Caller.

In addition, the panel is diving deeper into the actions of Fusion GPS, the Democrat-aligned opposition research firm based in Washington, D.C., that produced the bogus “Trump dossier” that has long since been debunked.

More:

Over the next two weeks the House committee is expected to privately interview former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power, who reportedly unmasked or identified as many as 260 Americans, primarily Trump campaign or transition officials.

Power was so aggressive in her efforts to unmask Trump aides, she asked U.S intelligence officials on nearly a daily basis to “unmask” or identify Trump officials who had passing contacts with foreign officials, according to a Fox News report on Sept. 20.

Power was trying to compile the information on behalf of other Obama intelligence officials, former U.S. Attorney Joseph DiGenova told TheDCNF. “Her aggressive use of unmasking requests sends a very, very suspicious signal that she was working hand in glove with somebody to get information,” he said.

The committee previously subpoenaed documents from Power, but the former Obama ambassador has voluntarily agreed to testify in private, according to congressional officials with knowledge of the committee’s activities.

The committee is also preparing to introduce a proposed “legislative fix” within the next few weeks to ban or extremely limit future unmasking of American citizens, the congressional officials said.

Beginning 2011, Obama loosened the rules to make it easier for intelligence officials and his own political aides to request that the names be unmasked so they could better understand raw intelligence being gathered overseas, The Hill reported. The change has been criticized by liberal groups like the ACLU and conservatives like Nunes because of the privacy implications.

The committee’s chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes of California, wrote Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats earlier this year that he believed Obama administration officials were improperly unmasking Trump campaign officials.

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“We have found evidence that current and former government officials had easy access to U.S. person information and that it is possible that they used this information to achieve partisan political purposes, including the selective, anonymous leaking of such information,” he said in his letter.

This is the biggest political scandal — no, really — since Watergate, but you couldn’t tell that because the disgustingly biased establishment media is burying it because it involves their Democratic allies and demi-god Obama.

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Sharyl Attkisson roasts legacy media for doing its best to ignore Obama’s weaponization of intelligence agencies

(National SentinelCorrupt Media: As an ace investigative reporter for CBS News, Sharyl Attkisson got too close too often to the truth of just how corrupt the Obama administration (including the president) really was, and for that, she was targeted by a U.S. intelligence apparatus that Obama “weaponized” to quell opposition.

And the U.S. legacy media did its best to look the other way. And still is

In a new critique of the legacy media of which she used to be a part, she says they are “diving deeply into minutiae” to avoid recognizing and accurately reporting what President Donald J. Trump alleged in March: That yes, members of his campaign were “wire tapped,” and likely so for political, not national security, reasons.

As The Washington Times reports:

Ms. Attkisson has warned of the weaponization of intelligence agencies since her laptop for CBS News stories was hacked on multiple occasions in 2013. An op-ed she wrote for The Hill on Wednesday presented an extensive case that U.S. intelligence agencies under former President Barack Obama were manipulated for political purposes — and that pundits are willfully ignoring it.

She highlighted reports that the FBI did monitor the communications of Mr. Trump’s then campaign head Paul Manafort prior to the 2016 election, along with what seems to be at least six associates.

“Officials involved in the surveillance and unmasking of U.S. citizens have said their actions were legal and not politically motivated. […] But look at the patterns,” Ms. Attkisson wrote in a piece for The Hill. “It seems that government monitoring of journalists, members of Congress and political enemies — under multiple administrations — has become more common than anyone would have imagined two decades ago. Those deflecting with minutiae are missing the point. To me, they sound like the ones who aren’t thinking.”

Attkisson, who now hosts Sinclair Media’s Sunday TV program “Full Measure,” observed:

  • Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates acknowledged the secret review of communications of political figures under Obama.
  • Mr. Clapper “falsely assured Congress in 2013 that the NSA was not collecting ‘any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans.’”
  • “The government subsequently got caught monitoring journalists at Fox News, The Associated Press, and, as I allege in a federal lawsuit, my computers while I worked as an investigative correspondent at CBS News.”

She also said that her lawsuit continues to produce evidence that her cyberattack, which involved the deep planting of some sensitive documents she would have been arrested for possessing, was not a “random event.”

“Then, as now, instead of getting the bigger story, some in the news media and quasi-news media published false and misleading narratives pushed by government interests,” she wrote. “They implied the computer intrusions were the stuff of vivid imagination, conveniently dismissed forensic evidence from three independent examinations that they didn’t review. All seemed happy enough to let news of the government’s alleged unlawful behavior fade away, rather than get to the bottom of it.”

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Don’t look now, but former DNI James Clapper may be lying – again – over Team Trump wiretap order

(National SentinelDeep State: Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, a known liar who has given false testimony to Congress and should have been charged for that crime, may be, um, bending the truth once again regarding the well-established fact that the Obama administration was “wire tapping” Team Trump.

As reported by The Daily Caller, in an interview with CNN‘s Don Lemon last night, Clapper, now a network contributor to the Fake News Network, was asked whether he knew about the FISA warrant authorizing the FBI and who knows who else to spy on members of the Trump campaign.

“Did you know about a FISA warrant against Paul Manafort at the time?” Lemon asked.

“I did not,” Clapper replied.

Really, Jim? Because a couple of months back, you said something completely different.

As The Daily Caller reminds all of us:

In a March 5 interview on “Meet the Press,” Clapper said that he would have been aware of a FISA warrant on a member of the Trump campaign, even one granted to the FBI. And asked if such a warrant had been obtained, Clapper directly denied it.

“There was no such wire tap activity mounted against the President-elect at the time or as a candidate or against his campaign,” Clapper told “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd.

Asked by Todd if he would have been aware of a FISA order issued for someone affiliated with the Trump campaign, Clapper said “absolutely.”

Clapper unequivocally denied that a wiretap order was granted.

Which is it, Mr. Clapper? You knew and would know, or you didn’t and couldn’t know? After all, you were the director of national intelligence.

You don’t have to respond; we already know the answer.

Day by day, as Trump’s tenure in office grows, we are reminded just how deep, wide, and disgustingly nasty the Washington swamp we sent the president to drain really is.

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Circa News’ Sara Carter wonders why Congress isn’t investigating Obama’s unprecedented political espionage

(National SentinelPolitical Abuse: Without question, former President Barack Obama heavily politicized the Justice Department, the federal courts and the nation’s intelligence apparatus, unleashing Left-wing sycophants on opponents throughout his tenure.

read-here-first-FO-160x600In the final year of his presidency, he turned the full weight of these weaponized agencies against the campaign of then-GOP nominee Donald J. Trump, as has been well-documented.

However, the only one under serious investigation for alleged political chicanery is the Trump administration, and Circa News‘ Sara Carter — who has done yeoman’s work documenting Obama’s political abuses — wonders why his former administration is not under Congress’ microscope.

In an interview with The Daily Caller, Carter said she believes Congress needs to launch an investigation into Obama-era unmasking and warrantless surveillance of Americans — which was unprecedented.

The site reported:

She was one of the first reporters to reveal Obama administration political espionage, and unprecedented unmasking and surveillance of Americans by using the national security apparatus. The Obama administration loosened the privacy protections for innocent Americans in 2011 – including accessing information from priests, attorney/client relationships, and doctors, she said.

The administration scoured Americans’ private conversations “at an exponential rate,” she said. From 2011 to January 2017, the unmasking increased over 300 percent. She also revealed the Obama administration was accessing emails at a rate of one out of every 20 Americans, an incredible 5 percent of citizens.

With reauthorization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) reauthorization before Congress, Carter believes Congress needs a full investigation into the unmasking that she has revealed.

She believes Congress should subpoena Obama officials Susan Rice, Samantha Power and John Brennan as well as understand who was unmasked, why and what they were looking for, as she does not think it was national security-related.

Carter, whose “beat” is national security, said she hasn’t seen an iota of evidence — no “fire” — implicating Trump campaign “collusion” with Russia to “steal the election” from Hillary Clinton. She did say that because of Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in June 2016, after she promised Russian government-supplied dirt on Clinton, indicated there was at least some “smoke” surrounding the allegations.

And she also dropped this: There is “evidence of money changing hands with Hillary Clinton’s team and the Russians,” via the Clinton Foundation. She also said she believes that investigation is ongoing.

The Daily Caller:

Carter also revealed in this video interview what she is hearing from within the FBI about the politicized Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who has long standing animus against Michael Flynn and others.

Carter told TheDCNF during the interview the concern about many insiders who are working against Trump’s policies and plans, some of whom supported Hillary Clinton or Obama. Some Trump officials, surprisingly enough, are even boasting publicly of thwarting Trump’s agenda.

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House Intel head: Obama admin operative made HUNDREDS of unmasking requests during 2016 election

(National SentinelScandal: The chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has accused political operatives for former President Obama of making hundreds of inappropriate requests to unmask Americans during last year’s presidential campaign — and of course, none of the requests were made to unmask anyone tied to Hillary Clinton.

As The Hill reported, Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., made the accusations in a letter to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coates, adding that the requests were made without any specific justification as to why unmasking the names was necessary.

“We have found evidence that current and former government officials had easy access to U.S. person information and that it is possible that they used this information to achieve partisan political purposes, including the selective, anonymous leaking of such information,” Nunes wrote in the letter to Coats.

Naturally, the letter was leaked to The Hill, which, again, demonstrates just how politicized the intelligence community has become in the age of Obama and President Donald J. Trump.

The Hill reported further:

In March, Nunes disclosed that he had seen data suggesting Trump campaign and transition officials were having their names unmasked by departing officials in the Obama White House.

National Security Adviser Susan Rice and CIA Director John Brennan have acknowledged making such requests though they insisted the requests were for legitimate work reasons.

Nunes recused himself from his committee’s work on its investigation over Russia’s meddling in the 2016 campaign after a controversy over his charges about Obama-era unmasking.

The chairman had reviewed intelligence reports on White House grounds that he said showed unmasking of Trump officials by Obama aides. Democrats accused him of working with the White House to make the disclosures.

In his letter to Coates, Nunes said the number of requests for unmasking were in the hundreds, and that the lack of justification for them was a “serious deficiency.”

He also said that, unlike career intelligence professionals, the requests from senior Obama administration operatives “made remarkably few individualized justifications for access” to the names.

“The committee has learned that one official, whose position had no apparent intelligence related function, made hundreds of unmasking requests during the final year of the Obama administration,” Nunes wrote, according to The Hill. “Of those requests, only one offered a justification that was not boilerplate.”

Sources familiar with the letter told The Hill the official Nunes was referencing was then-U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power.

Nunes also told Coates that “Obama-era officials sought the identities of Trump transition officials within intelligence reports,” adding he will introduce legislation aimed at addressing concerns surrounding the unmasking.

In 2011, The Hill reported, “Obama loosened the rules to make it easier for intelligence officials and his own political aides to request that the names be unmasked so they could better understand raw intelligence being gathered overseas.”

In other words, Obama made sure his political operatives had ready access to information on political foes.

So, Susan Rice will talk to MSNBC but not the House Intelligence Committee?

(National SentinelConspiracy: President Obama’s former National Security Advisor Susan Rice, facilitator of the “anti-Muslim video” lie regarding Benghazi and serial unmasker of Team Trump associates, canceled her scheduled closed-door testimony before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, Breitbart News reports.

Rice was supposed to discuss her unmasking of the identities of Trump campaign and transition team members who were caught up in Obama-era surveillance of foreign targets that many believe were politically motivated.

As Breitbart noted further:

During that surveillance, Americans’ names are masked for moral, privacy, and legal reasons, but U.S. officials can request the unmasking of their identities through a formal process.

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The House intelligence committee is looking into the issue of improper unmasking of campaign officials and politicians and have subpoenaed the NSA, CIA, and FBI for records related to Rice, former CIA Director John Brennan, and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power.

A number of news sources reported in March that Rice was responsible for unmasking Team Trump members; a conversation one-time Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn had with Russia’s Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak was leaked illegally to the Washington Post in February. The fallout led to Flynn’s resignation, but questions began circulating almost immediately about why an American citizen’s identity was revealed during foreign surveillance.

Originally Rice — who got real good at being untruthful during her Obama tenure — told PBS she didn’t know anything at all about the unmasking. But later she admitted engaging in the unmasking of Team Trump members, insisting she did so as a matter of national security, not for political reasons.

Her House Intelligence Committee testimony would have been the first time she discussed the unmasking since the first news reports, though she’s given interviews to friendly news outlets like MSNBC.

Also recently, Rice told New York Magazine she believes the congressional testimony is just an extension of being targeted by conservatives as a follow-up to her bogus Benghazi narrative in 2012, which led to an extensive congressional investigation.

And of course, there is always this lingering question when discussing Obama-era scandal: What did the 44th president know about it?

Senate Judiciary Committee honing in on Obama ‘unmasking’ operatives

(National SentinelCorruption: During a closed hearing on Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will attempt to get a few steps closer to fully understanding the Obama administration’s potential criminal “unmasking” of then-GOP presidential nominee and President-elect Donald J. Trump’s campaign and transition team.

As reported by the Washington Times, the panel will push for additional facts about the alleged unmasking which is serving as a counter-narrative to ongoing FBI and congressional investigations into insinuations that Team Trump had a nefarious relationship with Russia:

Former National Security Adviser Susan E. Rice, in addition to other top officials from the Obama administration, have come under suspicion during recent months amid accusations that they inappropriately “unmasked” requests to identify Trump associates caught up in clandestine surveillance of Russian operatives prior to and during the immediate aftermath of the November election.

While Republican lawmakers have during recent months led the charge for a deeper investigation into the unmasking allegations, it was a key Democrat on the Judiciary Committee who raised the issue during a public committee hearing on Tuesday, asserting that lawmakers hope to explore it more deeply with FBI officials during a secret hearing slated for Wednesday.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island Democrat, warned the FBI’s National Security Branch Executive Assistant Director, Carl Ghattas, that he specifically wants answers during Wednesday’s closed-door hearing about President Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who resigned over contacts with Russia.

“There is a specific allegation that has been floating around that the conversations between Michael Flynn and [Russian] Ambassador Kislyak came into the White House with Flynn masked,” Whitehouse told his fellow committee members. “And that a decision was made in the Obama White House to unmask him — which then led to leaks to the newspapers, and so forth.”

Flynn, a retired three-star Army general, once served as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency under Obama. Ghattas serves as head of the FBI’s operations and intelligence efforts involving all national security matters.

Whitehouse says the panel needs a timeline of events and noted that if political motivations were behind Flynn’s unmasking and subsequent leaks to the media, “I think we can all agree that … is not a good thing.”

The Times noted further:

In March, Ms. Rice admitted to requesting the unmasking of the names of some Americans redacted in raw intelligence reports on the U.S. surveillance intercepts, but argued that the requests were well within her job duties as national security adviser and were in no way driven by political motivations to know which figures from the Trump campaign were being discussed.

In fact, Rice – as Obama’s national security advisor – was not a career intelligence operative but rather a political appointee, a functionary whose primary duties were to serve the president and his objectives. So there’s that.

But we may never know the truth, at least not in the short term. Rice’s records have all been transferred to the new Obama presidential library, where – by law – they can remain hidden for at least five years.

COVER UP: Did Susan Rice’s records get moved to the Obama prez library to avoid having them released to public?

(National SentinelCorruption: Efforts by a conservative legal watchdog group to obtain records pertaining to former National Security Advisor Susan Rice’s alleged efforts to unmask the names of Americans caught up in surveillance of foreign subjects — perhaps for political purposes — has been thwarted after they were handed over to the Barack Obama presidential library.

In a press release on its website, Judicial Watch said that it had filed a Freedom of Information Act request on April 4 with the National Security Council to obtain any records related to said unmasking. However, the group noted the NSC said in response that the request could not be fulfilled because those documents had been moved to Obama’s new library, where they will most likely remain sealed for at least five years.

The move has led many critics of the Obama administration to conclude that the records were purposely moved to prevent their timely release.

Judicial Watch noted that additional requests for documents on various related subjects would also not be met:

The agency also informed Judicial Watch that it would not turn over communications with any Intelligence Community member or agency concerning the alleged Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election; the hacking of DNC computers; or the suspected communications between Russia and Trump campaign/transition officials.

“Documents from the Obama administration have been transferred to the Barack Obama Presidential Library,” the NSC told Judicial Watch in a letter dated May 23. “You may send your request to the Obama Library. However, you should be aware that under the Presidential Records Act, Presidential records remain closed to the public for five years after an administration has left office.”

In all, Judicial Watch said it has filed a half-dozen FOIA lawsuits that are tied to the surveillance, unmasking and illegal leaks of information to the media that specifically targeted President Donald J. Trump and members of his administration. (RELATED: Obama admin spied on THOUSANDS of Americans in months leading up to 2016 election)

“The records sought in this request pertain to actions by the former National Security Advisor that demonstrate a much higher degree of independent authority than was contemplated by the court; specifically, the issuance of directives to the Intelligence Community related to the handling of classified national security information,” Judicial Watch said in a statement.

“The recent revelations of the role of Susan Rice in the unmasking the names of U.S. citizens identified in the course of intelligence collection activities and the potential that her actions contributed to the unauthorized disclosure of classified national security information are matters of great public interest,” the group added.

In late March, Fox News reported that a government source claimed a person “very high up” in the intelligence community was responsible for requesting that Trump associates be unmasked:

Intelligence and House sources with direct knowledge of the disclosure of classified names told Fox News that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., now knows who is responsible — and that person is not in the FBI.

That report did not identify the person. But a few days later, independent investigative journalist Mike Cernovich reported exclusively that Rice had “been identified as the official who requesting the unmasking of incoming Trump officials,” so their identities could be spread around the various intelligence agencies, where they were certain to be leaked (which is precisely what happened).

Cernovich said the White House Counsel’s office is who identified Rice as the person who requested the unmasking; Rice has denied that she or the Obama White House ‘inappropriately’ unmasked Team Trump officials.

The first Team Trump member to be unmasked, and whose identity was then leaked to the media, was Trump’s first national security advisor, Michael Flynn, regarding communications he had with Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak Dec. 24.

Flynn resigned following publication of some details surrounding that communication, though not because he did anything illegal or improper, but because he misrepresented the conversation to Vice President Mike Pence.

This article originally appeared at Trump.news.

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House Intelligence Committee issues subpoenas in “Russia investigation,” demands to know who unmasked Team Trump officials

(National SentinelCongress: The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Wednesday issued more than a half-dozen subpoenas, four which were related to its investigation into Russian “meddling” in the 2016 presidential election, and three dealing specifically with the unmasking of officials on President Donald J. Trump’s transition team and subsequent administration.

The panel, it seems, is getting serious about zeroing in on former Obama administration officials who, on the surface at least, appear to have used U.S. intelligence as a political weapon — and quite possibly at the former president’s direction.

As reported by The Wall Street Journal, the three subpoenas are likely tied to Republican panel members’ efforts to get to the bottom of the unmasking — that is, the revealing of Americans’ identities caught up in intelligence surveillance of foreign subjects — that is highly irregular and unusual or, at least, it used to be before the Age of Obama. (Related: Most Americans think Leftist ‘establishment media’ is committing treason by publishing classified info.)

The paper noted:

The Republican-led committee issued four subpoenas related to the Russia investigation. Three subpoenas are related to questions about how and why the names of associates of President Donald Trump were unredacted and distributed within classified reports by Obama administration officials during the transition between administrations.

Specifically, the committee sent subpoenas regarding unmasking to the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency and the FBI. GOP members of the panel have sought a more complete understanding about how Trump campaign officials and associates were exposed in classified intelligence reports — exposures that were subsequently illegally leaked to the disgusting “establishment” media.

The subpoenas are aimed at uncovering any requests by former National Security Advisor Susan Rice, former CIA Director John Brennan (a noted Obama hack) and former United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power to unmask Americans whose identities were previously concealed in classified intercepts. The three former Obama officials were not sent subpoenas personally, a source familiar with the documents told The WSJ.

Up to now, Powers was not included on any witness lists to appear before the Intelligence Committee, so the fact that her name came up in the three subpoenas probably indicates the panel is widening its probe.

“Typically, information about Americans intercepted in foreign surveillance is redacted, even in classified reports distributed within the government, unless a compelling need exists to reveal them. Unmasking requests aren’t uncommon by top intelligence community officials but Republicans want to know whether any of the unmaskings of Trump campaign officials during the transition were politically motivated,” the paper reported.

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is also conducting its own probe of whether Russia interfered in the election and whether Trump associates were colluding with Moscow on any level; so far, there has been no evidence that happened, and even top Democrats have admitted they’ve not yet seen anything that would even suggest collusion.

For his part, Trump has consistently called the probes a Democrat-media-created “witch hunt.” (Realted: Insane Democrat Base Demanding Nothing Short Of Impeachment For Trump But The Party Knows It Can’t Deliver.)

For months now, the discredited fake news media has insinuated that Team Trump and the Kremlin were equal partners in a multi-year effort to “steal” the election from Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. No one believed that before Clinton lost to Trump, mind you, but as we’ve learned from additional reporting, that didn’t stop the Obama regime from illegally spying on Team Trump in a desperate bid to find something — anything — which could help Clinton.

Though it’s unclear what else the House and Senate intelligence committees are after in terms of information, one aspect of this entire episode has yet to be publicly explored: What did Obama know about all of this and when did he know it? What role did he play? What instructions did he give to his operatives and the intelligence community?

And why hasn’t any of that information been leaked?

This story originally appeared at NewsTarget.com.

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Obama admin spied on THOUSANDS of Americans in months leading up to 2016 election

(NationalSentinelPolitical espionage: Lost amid the furor of the Obamacare repeal vote yesterday was a much more explosive story that hopefully garnered the attention of Congress and the Trump Justice Department.

As reported by Circa News, which has been out in front of the political shenanigans committed by the Obama administration against Team Trump over alleged “Russia” connections, reported Thursday that as it turns out, the Obama administration’s politicization of the U.S. intelligence committee was far worse than previously thought:

During his final year in office, President Obama’s team significantly expanded efforts to search National Security Agency intercepts for information about Americans, distributing thousands of intelligence reports across government with the unredacted names of U.S. residents during the midst of a divisive 2016 presidential election.

The data, made available this week by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, provides the clearest evidence to date of how information accidentally collected by the NSA overseas about Americans was subsequently searched and disseminated after President Obama loosened privacy protections to make such sharing easier in 2011 in the name of national security. A court affirmed his order.

The revelations are particularly sensitive since the NSA is legally forbidden from directly spying on Americans and its authority to conduct warrantless searches on foreigners is up for renewal in Congress later this year. And it comes as lawmakers investigate President Trump’s own claims that his privacy was violated by his predecessor during the 2016 election.

In all, government officials conducted 30,355 searches in 2016 seeking information about Americans in NSA intercept metadata, which include telephone numbers and email addresses. The activity amounted to a 27.5 percent increase over the prior year and more than triple the 9,500 such searches that occurred in 2013, the first year such data was kept. 

The government in 2016 also scoured the actual contents of NSA intercepted calls and emails for 5,288 Americans, an increase of 13 percent over the prior year and a massive spike from the 198 names searched in 2013.

Besides unmasking names of Team Trump members, Circa News noted further, members of Congress and their staffs were also unmasked.

The report also noted that the actual intercept numbers are likely much higher because the NSA’s No. 1 consumer of intelligence, the FBI, is not included in the total.

“There is no doubt that there was a spike in the requests to search for Americans in the NSA database,” a U.S. official familiar with the intelligence told Circa, speaking only on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the data. “It’s simply easier for people to make requests. And while we have safeguards, there is always concern and vigilance about possible political or prurient motives that go beyond national security concerns.”

The ACLU is also miffed – and in this case, the liberal legal organization is right.

“I think it is alarming. There seems to be a universal trend toward more surveillance and more surveillance that impacts Americans’ privacy without obtaining a warrant,” said Neema Singh Guliani, the ACLU’s legislative counsel.

“This data confirms that there is a lack of acknowledgment that information is being specifically and increasingly mined about Americans for investigations that have little or nothing to do with international terrorism,” Guliani added.

Without a doubt – the “trend” began during the Bush administration as the war on terror ramped up. When President George W. Bush’s NSA surveillance excesses were revealed, civil libertarians and intelligence experts predicted then that those abuses would aid and abet political abuses of the same agencies, under the guise of legitimate foreign surveillance.

Enter Barack Obama.

The “court” that affirmed Obama’s 2011 expansion of intelligence-sharing was most likely the FISA court – Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act – which meets (and rules) in secret and is staffed by judges who pull a single 7-year stint. They have no special intelligence training or education.

If anything, this report makes it even more clear that Congress should get to the bottom of unmasking actions taken by Obama’s national security advisor, Susan Rice, who this week through an attorney refused to accept an invitation from Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., to provide his Judiciary subcommittee testimony about why she requested so many Team Trump members be unmasked.

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Trump rips Susan Rice for hiding behind lawyers and refusing to testify before Senate panel

(NationalSentinelCorruption: We always figured it would be a long shot to request that former Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice, accused of requesting the unmasking of Trump campaign figures from intelligence reports, appear before congressional committees to answer questions as they probe potential Russian interference in the U.S. election.

And we were right. Rice, hiding behind lawyers and making excuses, has refused to appear before a Senate subcommittee because, well, she’s probably guilty.

As Fox News noted, her refusal to testify did not escape the attention of President Donald J. Trump, as little does when it comes to this kind of purposeful political nonsense directed at him and his campaign/transition team:

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/860081707315232771

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/860083874893897728

Rice was asked to testify by Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., but because the panel’s ranking Democrat didn’t ask as well, Rice won’t play:

Rice’s lawyer, however, said she was declining to appear before the group because the ranking Democratic member on the subcommittee, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, did not agree Rice should testify, thereby making the request “a significant departure from the bipartisan invitations extended to other witnesses.”

Got it. Nice cherry-pick.

Multiple sources have said that Rice requested that Team Trump members be unmasked from intelligence that was being conducted against legitimate foreign targets, but with the underlying goal of catching anyone associated with the president’s campaign doing something untoward or even illegal.

In other words, she and Obama greatly politicized U.S. intelligence, to the detriment of all Americans.

Whether or not she’ll eventually have to tell her side of it will depend now on whether Congress gets subpoenas or, better yet, the Justice Department issues them.

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Report: House Intel panel targeting Susan Rice

(NationalSentinel) Corruption: The House Intelligence Committee is looking into whether former President Obama’s national security advisor, Susan Rice, violated any laws when she requested members of the Trump campaign be unmasked in intelligence reports.

As reported by the Washington Times, a Justice Department rule from 2008 is at the center of the panel’s overall investigation into Russia election interference:

Justice Department rules limit supplying politically sensitive information to the White House, a review of attorney general guidelines for domestic FBI intelligence investigations has found.

A prohibition contained in the 2008 guidelines is a central focus of the ongoing House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence probe into Russian election meddling and unauthorized disclosures of sensitive U.S. intelligence communications intercepts.

The prohibitions in guidelines may explain why the FBI so far has refused to cooperate with the House committee’s investigation. Specifically, as of Wednesday, the FBI still has not responded to a request for documents that could explain how the White House was able to “unmask” the names of Americans incidentally spied on during a foreign electronic intelligence operation that ran from November to January — the same months the Trump transition team was working.

The committee is attempting to find out if Rice’s activities were part of a clandestine political operation to undermine the incoming Trump administration, using legitimate foreign surveillance as cover.

Rice is expected to appear before the committee in the coming weeks to explain the unmasking in what the chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., has described as improper surveillance of the Trump campaign.

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Trump: ‘Nobody believes Susan Rice’

(NationalSentinel) The Swamp: President Donald J. Trump is stepping up his rhetoric against former Obama administration personnel believed to have had a hand in unmasking members of his campaign and transition team, chief among them Susan Rice.

Trump, during an interview with Fox Business‘ Maria Bartiromo on Monday, dismissed Rice’s denials last week that she did not unmask former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn for political reasons.

“Does anybody believe that?” the president said. “Nobody believes that, even the people that try to protect her in the news media.”

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Trump then reasserted his bombshell March 4 allegation – that he and members of his team were under surveillance by the Obama administration, a claim that seems eminently true at this point, based on prior reports.

“So many people are coming up to me and apologizing now. … Perhaps I didn’t know how right I was,” he said.

To back up his allegation, Trump once more cited the New York Times article with the word “wiretapped” in the headline of the print edition, pointing out that it was a huge story.

“What they did was horrible,” he said.

Trump administration should pursue any and all legal remedies against Obama operatives who unmasked, leaked

By J. D. Heyes, editor-in-chief

(NationalSentinel) Political War: The discredited Washington establishment media is doing all it can to frame the burgeoning Susan Rice/Ben Rhodes scandal of unmasking Trump campaign and transition team members, likely for political purposes, but the president is having none of it.

In a story published on ThursdayThe Hill framed the issue as a highly unusual and mounting feud between the Obama and Trump administrations, but it is much, much more than that: As the president told The New York Times in a recent interview, it is the biggest story “of our time.”

“I think it’s going to be the biggest story,” Trump told The New York Times. “It’s such an important story for our country and the world. It is one of the big stories of our time.”

The weasel Rhodes quickly responded, calling Trump “authoritarian” for daring to suggest that what he and Rice are alleged to have done is somehow out of the ordinary.

But consider this: When was the last time you heard about White House political appointees demanding and collecting intelligence on a rival political campaign, and then unmasking its officials?

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The answer is…never. Because it hasn’t happened.

As Andrew McCarthy, former U.S. district attorney and national security prosecutor, wrote at National Review Online this week, the White House doesn’t do investigations. Rice, as the president’s national security advisor, and Rhodes, as one of her deputies, are not investigators, their political appointees. They’re functionaries. They work for the president. To suggest they aren’t overtly political is to suggest that Democrats are opposing Judge Neil Gorsuch “on principle.” It’s a sick joke.

The White House, as McCarthy noted, is a consumer of intelligence, not a producer of it. “The thing to bear in mind is that the White House does not do investigations. Not criminal investigations, not intelligence investigations. Remember that,” he wrote.

So again, why exactly would Rice and Rhodes be collecting incidental intelligence gathered on Trump team members and, on Obama’s order, spreading it throughout the intelligence agencies and Capitol Hill (as Evelyn Farkas has admitted), where it was certain to be leaked? Why was Rice the functionary who doesn’t do intelligence investigations unmasking any Americans, let alone those who just happen to have been working for the Trump campaign?

Rhodes talks about the alleged “authoritarianism” of Trump, but since when is pointing out what appears to be a wholly improper, and potentially criminal, unmasking and leaking of American citizens “authoritarian?”

If he’s looking for an example of that kind of behavior, he need look no further than his former boss, President Obama, the most likely ringleader in this ugly mess.

Trump has been a law-and-order president from the outset. He needs to continue being a law-and-order president by requesting that the Justice Department – which does do investigations – look into any alleged improprieties and illegal leaking of unmasked Trump officials by Rice and/or Rhodes and anyone else who may have been involved. If evidence of illegal activity is found, arrests and prosecutions should follow. Enough, already.

The Alt-Left, which has hijacked the Democratic Party, is the real authoritarian element in our politics today. The Left, led by the former administration, has refused to accept Trump’s legitimacy, and has actively worked to undermine and subvert him.

In another time, we’d have called that treason.