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Politics

Recapping a Spying, Lying Obama Administration

The previous regime had quite the sordid history of scandalous spying on Americans.

Arnold Ahlert · Oct. 28, 2019

For the past three years, Democrats and their Leftmedia echo chamber have expressed nothing but incredulity when it comes to President Donald Trump’s assertions that his administration was victimized by Obama administration spying. Given the documented track record of the previous administration, that skepticism is itself incredible. For those with selective or convenient memories, here’s a reminder of the machinations perpetrated by one of the most corrupt administrations in the history of the nation.

On Jan. 3, 2014, Sen. Bernie Sanders sent a letter to National Security Agency (NSA) Director Gen. Keith Alexander. “I am writing today to ask you one simple question,” it stated. “Has the NSA spied, or is the NSA currently spying on members of Congress or other American elected officials.”

Sanders was concerned the NSA “has been involved in listening on the phone calls made by government leaders of countries such as Brazil, Germany, France, Mexico and other U.S. allies,” characterizing that surveillance as something that has caused “serious foreign policy setbacks for the United States, weakened our ability to work cooperatively with our allies, and caused an increase in anti-American sentiment throughout the world.”

The answer to Sanders’s question was an unequivocal “yes.” An April 26, 2017 ruling by Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court concluded the NSA had conducted five years of illegal surveillance on American citizens, engendering a “very serious” constitutional issue.

Four years earlier, on June 6, 2013, former DNI Director James Clapper had blatantly lied to Senate Intelligence Committee member Ron Wyden (D-OR) when Wyden asked him if his agency spied on Americans. “No,” Clapper answered.

One month later — and only after giving multiple, contradictory explanations for his lie — Capper apologized for his “clearly erroneous” response.

In 2014, CIA Director John Brennan publicly lied about CIA spying — on Senate staffers. “As far as the allegations of the CIA hacking into Senate computers, nothing could be further from the truth,” Brennan told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell. “We wouldn’t do that. I mean, that’s just beyond the, you know, the scope of reason in terms of what we do.”

Except that they did. Moreover, a report by the agency’s inspector general “also found that C.I.A. officers read the emails of the Senate investigators and sent a criminal referral to the Justice Department based on false information,” The New York Times reported. As a result, Brennan apologized to members of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The “consequences” for lying to the public and Congress? Brennan’s an MSNBC/NBC contributor who has accused Trump of treason. Clapper works for CNN. Both men — key coup co-conspirators — flacked the “Russian collusion” hoax for two years.

In 2010, the Obama administration weaponized the IRS. Led by Lois Lerner, the tax agency began unjustifiably targeting tax-exempt conservative groups, who were given additional scrutiny if their applications included words like “Tea Party” or “Patriot.” The IRS apologized in 2013. During the investigation of Lerner’s activities, Americans were informed that two years of her emails — as well as those of six other agency officials — were “lost” and her hard drive was “scratched.” Some of them were ultimately recovered, and they demonstrated that Lerner and company were trying to cover up their activity. Moreover, the agency’s IG asserted that it was able to find those messages on backup tapes the IRS never bothered to look at — even as it was telling Congress all possible recovery efforts had been exhausted.

Congress found Lerner in contempt when she professed her innocence and then took the Fifth.

Her “reckoning?” She retired in 2013 with a full pension.

Fox News reporter James Rosen was the Obama administration’s next target. Beginning in 2010, the Eric Holder-led DOJ collected Rosen’s telephone records, tracked his movements at the State Department and seized his personal emails. Thirty additional phone numbers were also targeted, including those associated with “two phone numbers at the White House, at least five numbers associated with Fox News, and one that has the same area code and exchange as Rosen’s personal-cell-phone number,” reporter Ryan Lizza revealed in 2013.

At almost the same time the Rosen saga was being uncovered in 2013, the Associated Press revealed the DOJ also spied on AP reporters beginning in 2010, affecting as a many as 100 staffers.

A 2014 document dump revealed reporter Sharyl Attkisson was also targeted by the DOJ for her exposure of the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal that earned Holder a contempt of Congress citation for withholding documents related to that operation. Attkisson also filed several damning reports exposing the administration’s lies about the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack. Attkisson asserted — and CBS confirmed — that the reporter’s computer “was accessed by an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions late in 2012.”

In 2015, The Wall Street journal revealed that the NSA’s efforts to eavesdrop on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his aides also captured conversations of U.S. lawmakers and members of American Jewish groups.

In 2016, following Trump’s nomination, Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice revealed an increasing interest in “unmasking” Americans. She is topped by U.S. ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Samantha Power who, despite having no intelligence-rated function, unmasked hundreds of Americans. Rice initially lied about her efforts, and Power testified that other intelligence officials used her name.

After Trump was elected, but before his inauguration, the Obama administration expanded the ability of the NSA to share information with the 16 other agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community.

In 2017, Clapper and and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates admitted that they reviewed classified documents in which Trump, his associates, or members of Congress had been unmasked.

And as most American are now well aware, the Steele dossier — discredited as “unverified” by Steele himself — was used to precipitate Robert Mueller’s investigation of the Trump administration’s “Russian collusion.” That a dossier ostensibly compiled by an ex-British intelligence agent, purporting to include intel provided by former Russian foreign intelligence chief Vyacheslav Trubnikov and Vladimir Putin aide Vladislav Surkov, was paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the DNC?

Conspicuously ignored.

Last week, we learned that U.S. Attorney John Durham’s ongoing probe into potential misconduct by FBI and the DOJ has become a full-fledged criminal investigation. The move gives Durham the power to subpoena witnesses, file charges, and impanel fact-finding grand juries.

Almost immediately, the same Democrat/Media Complex that lied for two years about Russian collusion asserted that the DOJ is being used for “political retribution,” and/or to “deliver a political victory for President Trump.”

A victory for Trump? Hopefully one for the entire nation. “Let me tell you: You take on the intelligence community — they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer warned in 2017.

Schumer should explain how a cabal of unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats could go after any American, much less a duly elected president. And since Schumer was first elected to the Senate in 1998, why would he countenance such blatant lawlessness for more than 20 years?

With any luck — and despite every effort by Schumer and his allies to prevent it from happening — Americans may be about to find out.

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