Government & Politics

A Spying, Lying Obama Administration

The Obama administration worked to keep tabs on, and/or intimidate, people it considered threats to its agenda.

Arnold Ahlert · Apr. 10, 2017

In law, preponderance of evidence is a term used to describe a case-winning standard of proof, absent incontrovertible evidence. Did the Obama administration “spy” on members of the incoming Trump administration? The outing of former National Security Advisor Susan Rice as someone who obtained “unmasked” names of Trump officials is not definitive, in and of itself. What makes it compelling is that it represents one of several efforts undertaken by an Obama administration to keep tabs on, and/or intimidate, people it considered threats to its agenda.

“The Obama administration, which has a chilling zeal for investigating leaks and prosecuting leakers, has failed to offer a credible justification for secretly combing through the phone records of reporters and editors at The Associated Press in what looks like a fishing expedition for sources and an effort to frighten off whistle-blowers,” The New York Times reported in 2013.

The Obama administration insisted the effort was necessary to protect national security. In reality it was a message that the normal process of government-press negotiations regarding the protections of news sources with sensitive stories had been kicked to the curb. “When that happens, sources clam up and dry up,” columnist S.E. Cupp explained at the time. “That silence, especially in matters of war, diplomacy and peace, makes it that much harder for the press to expose government injustices to the public.”

Exactly.

Shortly thereafter it was revealed that Fox New reporter James Rosen was also “monitored.” The government obtained Rosen’s phone records, those of his parents and his personal emails, as well as searched his security badge access records to track the reporter’s visits to the State Department. Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder authorized the spying, but apparently “forgot” his did so. Testifying under oath before the House Judiciary Committee, Holder — asked if the DOJ could prosecute reporters using the Espionage Act of 1917 — claimed it was “not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy.”

Neither is lying, but Holder did that anyway.

In 2015, Obama CIA officials “penetrated a computer network used by the Senate Intelligence Committee” and “sent a criminal referral to the Justice Department based on false information,” the Times revealed. That effort included the use of a false online identity enabling CIA access to computers used by the committee staffers.

Irony of ironies? The committee was tasked with monitoring CIA activities.

Reporter Sharyl Attkisson, the former CBS correspondent who worked diligently to counter the administration’s “narrative” regarding the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal and Benghazi, sued the DOJ in 2015, alleging it hacked into her personal computer. The DOJ issued a denial, but on March 19, 2017 U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan denied the DOJ’s motion to dismiss the case.

In her blog, Attkisson describes the Orwellian atmosphere she and her husband endured in their own home. It included “anomalies” on her computer, TV, telephones and home alarm system, confirmation by forensic experts that “sophisticated surveillance spyware” had been installed on her laptop, and an “extra” Verizon FiOS fiber optics line — that subsequently “disappeared” — installed in her home. She also observed her laptop being remotely accessed and controlled, resulting in data deletion.

In 2015, The Wall Street Journal revealed the Obama administration’s NSA monitored Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders opposed to Obama’s deal with Iran. In the course of that effort, the NSA “also swept up the contents of some of their private conversations with U.S. lawmakers and American-Jewish groups.”

A pro-Israel political operative insists “the administration weaponized the NSA’s legitimate monitoring of communications of foreign officials to stay one step ahead of domestic political opponents” that became “a means of gathering real-time intelligence on Americans engaged in perfectly legitimate political activism — activism, due to the nature of the issue, that naturally involved conversations with foreigners.”

Sound familiar?

Last week on Mark Levin’s radio show, reporter Eli Lake used the term “reverse targeting” to explain how Obama could gather intel on Trump and his associates while maintaining the plausible deniability attached to getting that intel while legitimately monitoring Russian exchanges with them — making any assertion they were targeting Trump, et al, virtually impossible to prove.

Yet the outing of former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn’s name to the press is a felony, and no matter how hard Democrats and their media lapdogs try to obscure that reality, it cannot be denied. Moreover, if assertions by House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) are accurate, the “unmasking” of people other than Flynn occurred — and it was not related to Russian exchanges.

Compiling a preponderance of evidence against the Obama administration would not be complete without reminding Americans how the IRS was also weaponized. Last week, Judicial Watch (JW) released another 695 pages of documents the administration failed to produce during the DOJ’s IRS investigation. They reveal “admissions by the Obama IRS that it inappropriately targeted conservative groups,” JW President Tom Fitton explained, and “that the abuse continued — as the Obama IRS tried to force conservative applicants to give up their First Amendment rights in order to finally get their applications granted.”

That scandal also included the systematic destruction of hard drives despite court orders to preserve evidence.

The fact that Obama’s DOJ ultimately concluded there was no evidence of wrongdoing was one of the most corrupt moments in the history of the republic. Documents obtained in 2015 by JW revealed Lois Lerner, the FBI and DOJ officials had planned to target nonprofit organizations for criminal prosecution arising from alleged illegal political activity.

In other words, the DOJ investigated itself and determined it was innocent.

Then there is Susan Rice — the consummate ideological hack, more than willing to advance an agenda by any means necessary. Lying is her specialty: On five different TV shows, she flacked the disproven assertion the Benghazi attack was precipitated by an “offensive” video. She was “coincidentally” soon promoted by Obama, from U.S. ambassador to the UN, to national security advisor. She topped that whopper with the assertion that deserter Bowe Bergdahl “served with honor and distinction.”

Now, after first claiming during a PBS interview she “knew nothing” about the unmasking of Trump officials, she subsequently admitted she did, but that nothing was used for political purposes.

How deep does the rot go? As National Review’s Andrew McCarthy explains only three agencies — the FBI, NSA and the CIA — are allowed to “unmask” the identities of “Americans caught up in other foreign intelligence efforts.” Moreover, Rice and the White House are intelligence “consumers,” not producers, as FBI Director James Comey stated during House testimony. Comey also insisted the FBI has “minimization” standards that are “obsessive” with regard to protecting the identities of Americans.

Nonetheless, Rice was able to get the names. Moreover, former Obama deputy defense secretary — and Clinton campaign operative — Evelyn Farkas revealed that the effort was made to spread classified intel to members of Congress before it “disappeared,” which is “why you have the leaking.”

More like a preponderance of evidence the Obama administration is deeply involved in an historically unprecedented corruption scandal.

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