September 20, 2017

"It looks like Obama did spy on Trump, just as he apparently did to me."

Writes Sharyl Attkisson.
The government ... 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....

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. 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....

Officials involved in the surveillance and unmasking of U.S. citizens have said their actions were legal and not politically motivated. And there are certainly legitimate areas of inquiry to be made by law enforcement and intelligence agencies. But look at the patterns. 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. So has the unmasking of sensitive and highly protected names by political officials....

74 comments:

JayDee77 said...

At some point we will learn this was done to the 2012 Romney campaign as well.

n.n said...

The Audacity of Conspiracy

rehajm said...

The government deflates footballs, too.

YoungHegelian said...

These guys who abuse the public trust suffer absolutely no penalty at all!

We gotta go after these guys! If you work for some spook agency, and you get caught abusing your access to go after an American citizen, I want you publicly broken on the wheel in Lafayette Square. I want the last words out of your mouth to be your screams for the mercy of a quick death, which, we, in our magnanimity, will provide***


*** Anger management? No, why do you ask?

Original Mike said...

"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."

"Anyone" doesn't have a very good imagination. This is what happens when you give government power.

Sam L. said...

Why, yes; YES, it does.

Nonapod said...

The pretense for these actions seem to be getting thinner by the moment. What exactly was the justification for this again? Some vague Russian connections?

It sure seems like Obama (and his various creatures like Valerie Jarrett) loved weaponizing all arms of the government against his political enemies.

Crimso said...

“There exists a limit to the force even the most powerful may apply without destroying themselves. Judging this limit is the true artistry of government. Misuse of power is the fatal sin. The law cannot be a tool of vengeance, never a hostage, nor a fortification against the martyrs it has created. You cannot threaten any individual and escape the consequences.” Frank Herbert

We need The Frank now more than ever.

Bay Area Guy said...

I love Attkinsson. She's not perfect, but she kinda sorta reminds me of a journalistic version of Althouse.

Poor Sharyl has strayed from the herd - she must be punished! Andrea (Mitchell) -- go talk some sense to her, Jeez.

brylun said...

We are all luckier than we think with the election of Donald Trump as opposed to Hillary Clinton...

buwaya said...

Attkisson is a sort of canary in the coal mine of the shift in MSM control and consequent change in mission. The dates are important I think.

She had a long career of quite non-partisan investigative journalism, goring various oxen, including Madame Clinton and various corporations (Firestone, etc.), while winning or being nominated for numerous industry awards.

So around 2011-2012, while doing the same sort of thing as before, she is deemed to be going off what had turned into a very restrictive reservation. The point here is not that Attkisson changed, but that her industry has. It is now not simply a liberal-slanted industry, but an explicit propaganda ministry.

Original Mike said...

"We are all luckier than we think with the election of Donald Trump as opposed to Hillary Clinton..."

"Our long national nightware is over"

Khesanh 0802 said...

I have a feeling that Grassley's committee has discovered a considerable amount of damning evidence about the FBI (Comey) and the so-called intelligence community. This is becoming like a tire with a slow leak (or Watergate). At first we are unaware that anything is happening, the next thing we know the tire is flat. I think Pompeo is slowly tightening the screws at CIA. Soon someone is going to sing.

Nonapod said...

Yeah, it increasingly seems like almost the entire US intelligence apparatus is in dire need of being hauled off of the ground whacked hard with a carpet beater. It's become far too infested with parasites, opportunistic creatures who will shamelessly take advantage of the public trust in order to further their own careers and those of their like-minded political superiors.

Of course it's always been that way to one extent of another, but it's gotten much worse in recent years. For one thing, they've become much more brazen with their corruption. To think that James Comey would have the unmitigated gall to get in front of the cameras, blatantly lay out all of Hillary Clinton's sins, and then declare that he could find no crime since there was no intent? They're not even attempting to hide the corruption anymore. It just show you how bad things have gotten.

William Chadwick said...

I'm shocked . . . absolutely shocked!

DanTheMan said...

I'm sure there's a perfectly innocent explanation to this.
It's just like that time when Hillary requested 900 FBI files on senior Republicans while First Lady.
Just another "honest bureaucratic snafu".

Now, can we please talk some more about Trump's tweets, which are AN OUTRAGE!

Mountain Maven said...

If we had an Attorney General all of the crimes committed by Obama and Clinton would be investigated.

DanTheMan said...

>>If we had an Attorney General all of the crimes committed by Obama and Clinton would be investigated.

Agreed. This would never stand if Jeff Sessions were alive today...

Night Owl said...

Incredibly, despite all the spying done by the Obama administration, Trump still won. And further, despite the best efforts of a hostile intelligence community intent on taking down Trump-- by leaking, unmasking, and ginning up an investigation based on zero evidence of any crime*-- they still haven't found anything to charge Trump with; if they had it would've been leaked to the media by now.

Could any other politician withstand this level of scrutiny without some dirt being found? It's pretty amazing. Trump might just be the cleanest politician in DC today.
_________

*All actions that if done by Republicans would be major media scandals. Once again showing that the rules are different for Democrats. Which leads reasonable people to conclude that Dems can't be trusted with power, because they will abuse it with impunity.

(edited to fix a typo.)

Molly said...

This issue seems to generate so much silly name calling, that I'm reluctant to post at all, but here goes: Trump tweeted something along the lines of "Obama wiretapped me."

Obama apologists say, "This new information does not prove that Trump's tweet was correct"; but they don't give any real convincing explanation. As I understand the rebuttal it goes like this: "It wasn't Obama, it was the (apolitical) FISA court that ordered the surveillance;" "And the target wasn't Trump himself, but others;" and (the weakest rebuttal) "It wasn't wiretapping, it was another type of surveillance."

In my opinion most reasonable people interpreted Trump's tweet to mean: "People in the Obama administration used electronic surveillance techniques to intercept messages to and from members of my campaign staff, or business staff." And that now seems pretty much confirmed.

The strongest of the rebuttals is that Obama never knew or approved. Of course it is vaguely possible that the FISA court requests came from some renegade group within the Obama administration (Loretta Lynch, Susan Rice, Valerie Jarrett, Samantha Power, James Comey??) who did this without Obama's knowledge or permission. But any reasonable journalist or investigator would follow this possibility aggressively. Can anyone point me to a story that says: "Loretta Lynch refused to comment on this story"? (Of course, this possibility makes Obama look pitifully impotent and a puppet of his staff.)

I would read with appreciation a reply comment that presents some other rebuttal explanation for why Trump's original tweet claim is not more or less confirmed now, or that explains how I have failed to appreciate the strength of these rebuttals.

Ray said...

What would it take for this to become a major scandal in public opinion?

Besides magically reversing the parties involved.

Matthew Sablan said...

"The government ... 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.."

-- Not to mention Congress. That's why I've said from the start: The accusation isn't actually THAT crazy.

Kristian Holvoet said...

-- Not to mention Congress. That's why I've said from the start: The accusation isn't actually THAT crazy.



And given the way jurists grow in office to support the leviathan pretty much across the boards, how crazy is it to question whether the third branch of government is spied on?

Etienne said...

Senators for life are dangerous people. They operate as a government within the government.

Alas, less than 50% of Americans vote, and those that do have only a self-interest.

Empty the swamp...

Rumpletweezer said...

The Obama Presidential Library needs to have a replica of his jail cell.

Big Mike said...

"Our long national nightware is over"

Not yet. Not by any stretch.

I Callahan said...

Great comment, Molly. The short answer, of course, is that there really is no other rational rebuttal. We'll have to see how this all plays out, but the only way the media is going to address this is if they get dragged into it kicking and screaming.

n.n said...

Perhaps we can just call the audacity of conspiracy Obama's "Water Closet" in honor of Clinton's operation of an water closet, but Obama's role in the coverup did not result in his impeachment, nor Clinton's dismissal. So selective.

info@ysb said...

Also keep in mind the timeline. The actual surveillance within these FISA warrants was carried out by the NSA. NSA head Admiral Mike Rogers met with President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday November 17th without notifying ODNI James Clapper. Everyone speculated as to why that meeting took place. The very next day after Admiral Rogers met with President-elect Trump, the entire transition team left Trump Tower and moved their work to New Jersey. Admiral Mike Rogers still has his job as head of the NSA.

Michael K said...

Obama apologists say, "This new information does not prove that Trump's tweet was correct"

And they are not all Democrats. Some are LLRs. Andy McCarthy is one. He has to know better but can't bring himself to agree with Trump.

And everybody is under surveillance, not just Trump. I am banned from posting at Facebook today because I posted a link to a story that one of the ANTIFA rioters in Spain is an American Transsexual and I used the term "tranny."

Does anybody know a good alternative to Facebook that does not involve Google?

Chuck said...

If Trump were as careful, and considered, and as fact-based as Sharyl Atkisson, maybe he wouldn't be quite so ridiculed.

I'd like to see Sharyl Atkisson interview Trump about the details of those March tweets. Maybe she could determine what Trump really meant, what he knew at the time of his Tweets, how he knew it, and whether he had the approval of the DoJ to talk about some of the details via Twitter.

I still do not understand; if this was all such a favorable pro-Trump story all along, why didn't Trump's White House supply all the details and make the case that the Obama Administration was acting lawlessly? The Trump White House has been fouling off all questions for the last seven months. Why?


tim in vermont said...

If Hillary had won, the surveillance state Robert Cook pretends to fear would be locked in, CIA,FBI,IRS,FEC, their dream of a one-party state was nearly at hand.

gerry said...

It sure seems like Obama (and his various creatures like Valerie Jarrett) loved weaponizing all arms of the government against his political enemies.

Obama also weaponized much of the federal government against most of us not living on the coasts.

tim in vermont said...

Everyone knew what he meant but you, Chuck.

john said...

Blogger Michael K said...Does anybody know a good alternative to Facebook that does not involve Google?

I found this to be an amazing and nearly bulletproof way to communicate to almost anyone.
Of course you need paper.

Original Mike said...

"If Trump were as careful, and considered, and as fact-based as Sharyl Atkisson, maybe he wouldn't be quite so ridiculed."

Consider for a minute who is doing the ridiculing, and then let us know if you still believe that.

Michael K said...

Thanks, john.

This sort of post seems to be fine with Facebook.

Unknown said...

I see Chuck is here to tell us how as long as Obama didn't personally crawl through the vents of Trump Tower installing literal wires by tapping them into the wall with a hammer-- a true "Wire tap"-- then Obama is 100% pure and innocent as the driven snow and Trump is the guilty party; and we should all blame Trump for falsely accusing Obama of wiretapping him! And because Obama didn't do it personally, of course, then it doesn't matter who did! Anything at all is justified to tear down Trump in LLR's worldview. Treason, illegal activities... it's all good as long as Trump is vanquished! Heck, in Chuck's world view, he would gladly trade our current government to a literal dictatorship by, say, Chuck Schumer as long as Trump was executed on day one on national TV.

Right, Chuck? Nothing is too bad as long as it hurts or eliminates Trump! If America burns... so be it!

--Vance

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Original Mike: "This is what happens when you give government power."

Thank you for that. I have long said: "If you don't like what Govt does with the power, then don't give Govt the Power. Vote Libertarian."

It would be nice if we could just choke off the money. Less money, less power. Among reasons which auger against this working:
..The actual dollars spent in politically weaponizing the DOJ, FBI, etc. are minuscule. There are plenty of places money can be found and diverted.
..Much politicization of Govt power is not directed from on high, but stems from the attitudes of those (bureaucratic workers) drawn to "public service." It is ineradicable, save by excision of whole Departments.
..In the end, the Feds can print as much money as they please. They do it now.

In the end, responsibility lies with the Electorate. The Electorate, if they care, must:
..vote for Legislators and Executives who seem likely to limit Govt and return power to individual citizens;
..be attentive to the actual performance of those elected.

The Democrats propose giving more Power to Govt, but in the end give less than they promise.

The Republicans (sometimes) propose returning Power from Govt to the People, but in the end give more Power to Govt.

A vote for either is not a vote for limited Govt or for Citizen Liberty.

tim in vermont said...

Doesn't FISA respond to requests from the administration? Since when do they initiate surveillance?

Bruce Hayden said...

"At some point we will learn this was done to the 2012 Romney campaign as well."

I actually doubt it. The flagrant law breaks no and abuse of FISA was mostly a 2nd term thing, and, in particular, for FISA, late 2nd term.

MaxedOutMama said...

I think Daniel Greenfield's article about the behavior of the Obama admin in this respect develops the issues properly - I recommend a read:
http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/267923/why-obama-really-spied-trump-daniel-greenfield#.WcJnsPVvjNQ.twitter

exhelodrvr1 said...

Chuck,
I do admire your ability to twist yourself like a pretzel. Yoga?

tim in vermont said...

Remember all of those tax returns the IRS sent to the White House?

exhelodrvr1 said...

Unfortunately, the administration has a finite amount of time and energy, and there is so much to do, thanks to Obama. Between the economy, Iran, North Korea, Afghanistan, Syria, the South China Sea, immigration reform, regulation paring, tax reform, IRS corruption, voting ID reform, Russian mischief re Ukraine, etc., there isn't enough to give this issue the attention it deserves. Same with the Hillary email, Huma's Weiner, and a host of other items. And the lack of cooperation from the FBI and other career bureaucrats limits things even more.

Bruce Hayden said...

"The strongest of the rebuttals is that Obama never knew or approved."

I never understood this argument. It was his friggen Administration. They all worked for him, and any power or discretion that they enjoyed came frame him, as the President. What the argument that he was an innocent bystander, learning things about his Administration on TV says to me that he was grossly negligent and incompetent in that office. But, legally, that level of benign neglect is never a justification

Chuck said...

Horse shit, Vance.

I don't know how many times you have tried the tactic of writing a long post attempting to posit what I must think, or what it is that I believe.

If you want to know, ask me a simple question. But quit trying to say what you think, on my behalf.

Because you suck at it.

Bad Lieutenant said...

"At some point we will learn this was done to the 2012 Romney campaign as well."

I actually doubt it. The flagrant law breaks no and abuse of FISA was mostly a 2nd term thing, and, in particular, for FISA, late 2nd term.

I dunno, Bruce. The spring loaded "produce the transcript" shtick bespeaks eavesdropping on debate prep, no?

Robert Cook said...

"If you work for some spook agency, and you get caught abusing your access to go after an American citizen, I want you publicly broken on the wheel in Lafayette Square."

What are you talking about? This isn't an abuse of (their) access," this is part of their job. They're spying on all of us, all the time.

Birkel said...

I think Chuck is incapable of admitting error, like when he thinks a judge appointed by Obama is a Bush appointee. Maybe if Vance wrote about that all would be cool.

Birkel said...

Robert Cook calls for a lot bigger and more powerfully intrusive government and then criticizes the very thing he wanted. And if you remind him that he wants the very thing he decries, he will pretend not to understand the point.

Robert Cook said...

"If Hillary had won, the surveillance state Robert Cook pretends to fear would be locked in, CIA,FBI,IRS,FEC, their dream of a one-party state was nearly at hand."

What? You think they're not locked in now, or that we don't have, essentially, a one-party state? You're deluded if you think this. This is not something that was developed by Obama or in his administration; this has been developing for decades, from the beginning of the CIA and includes the other spy agencies that have proliferated since WWII. No president can or will stop it (or wants to), and this includes Trump.

Robert Cook said...

"Robert Cook calls for a lot bigger and more powerfully intrusive government and then criticizes the very thing he wanted. And if you remind him that he wants the very thing he decries, he will pretend not to understand the point."

It's not that I "pretend not to understand the point," I have never advocated for a more intrusive government to begin with.

FullMoon said...

Chuck, every time, condensed:


"I still do not understand;"

No, DUH!

tim in vermont said...

Trump is outside of it. A victim, you just can't accept that you should be on his side.

tim in vermont said...

Just bigger and more powerful, which is how you got Hitler, Stalin, and Mao.

tim in vermont said...

How do you suppress free markets without surveillance?

n.n said...

How do you suppress free markets without surveillance?

Monopolies and practices.

buwaya said...

"This is not something that was developed by Obama or in his administration; this has been developing for decades"

This is true. The situation has been deteriorating for a long time. The agencies built up a great deal of power that could be terribly misused. Now it is being misused.

Ray said...

Agree 100%!
>They're spying on all of us, all the time.

Only area I would expand on is who is They.

NSA Captures all electronic communications within the US and stores it in their Utah facility. Then, in the future they can produce a warrant and go through it. Or have the UK go through it, since NSA is not supposed to do domestic spying. And the US can go through UK stuff, so the UK is not doing domestic spying! Of course if any of the data was overseas, then it's fair game I think.

Google, Facebook, and Amazon are building a dossier on everyone they can so they can improve their marketing.

Credit agencies, and Credit Card companies sell your purchase information. I believe both facebook and Google are buying it.

And your ISP's are also selling your information I believe.

I am sure it's worse than I think, but I am not an expert in this area.

From what I read, it's amazing what the NSA has done overseas, and I wonder what other countries have done in the US. For better or worse, what the NSA has done overseas, such as hacking routers, firewalls, zero day exploits, intercepting equipment purchased in the US to bug it, has been leaked.

Original Mike said...

""It's not that I "pretend not to understand the point," I have never advocated for a more intrusive government to begin with."

Of course you do. You just don't call it that.

Birkel said...

Right, you have just advocated for things the inevitable result of which is a more powerful and intrusive state. It would take two steps of logic to get there. And you stop at one step of logic. Granted.

Ray said...

I have a gut feeling that Romney was spied upon, but he was so clean that nothing leaked. And since he did not win, nothing was needed to be done to him after the election.

I do remember that a major contributor of his from Idaho was audited by the IRS.
http://dailycaller.com/2013/05/13/flashback-romney-donor-vilified-by-obama-campaign-then-subjected-to-2-audits/

May be worse than I thought. This person claims he knows 15 people who got audited after contributing to Rommey.
http://nation.foxnews.com/irs/2013/05/20/more-romney-donors-audited

Another example:
http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/301529-coburn-oklahoma-constituents-suggesting-that-irs-audited-major-romney-donors

pacwest said...

"The Trump White House has been fouling off all questions for the last seven months. Why?"

My assumption on that is they are working to make an airtight case before releasing anything. Coupled with the fact that his surroundings are riddled with Obama holdovers/plants they need to be very careful how they go about it. I'm also assuming you were asking the question in good faith.

Molly said...

The only real pro-Obama rebuttal response I see to my 2:30 post is from Chuck who says, "If that's what Trump had really meant, he and his supporters would have made that clear and presented the evidence to the public." And in a tweet from NYTimes reporter Maggie Haberman (who has been a leading reporter in the Paul Manafort matter) says something similar, along the lines of "if Trump's tweets really were correct, how did he learn this information?"

Both of these responses seem to me to be attempts at deflecting the argument away from the principle assertion: "A lot of mainstream Obama supporters asserted that Trump's tweets were idiotic fantasies, and now they have been proven correct." (So, this implies, the mainstream Obama supporters who asserted this should now be seen with greatly reduced credibility.) But neither of these responses really addresses the principle assertion. They are more in the flavor of "Why didn't Trump more clearly wave us off and and provide evidence to keep us from making such big fools of ourselves?"

tim in vermont said...

UK can read the email, internet history, what have you, of any person in the UK. If you recall, the Fourth Amendment was a response to British rule, nothing has changed. It's not a secret, it's in their laws.

tim in vermont said...

One way Trump could have deduced it was to see all of the stories based on transcripts of wiretaps.

Chuck said...

Molly said...
The only real pro-Obama rebuttal response I see to my 2:30 post is from Chuck who says, "If that's what Trump had really meant, he and his supporters would have made that clear and presented the evidence to the public."

Would you mind explaining how that post by me is a "pro-Obama" comment? I wasn't even thinking about Obama in that post.

It really is one of the most nauseating thing about Althouse's increasingly dubious comments pages; that any criticism of Trump is equated with support for Obama.

And it is pretty goddamned ironic, given that I strongly supported John McCain and Mitt Romney in 2008 and 2012 respectively. While Althouse, the hostess of this blog, voted for Obama.

I did vote for Trump. Has Althouse said who she voted for? Is she an Obama-then-Trump voter?

Mark O said...

Many should go to jail. Will they?

Molly said...

Replying to Chuck at 6:03.

My original post at 2:30 asked for pro-Obama people to explain how anything in that post was wrong. Your post was the only one that really seemed to me to engage in that. I agree it doesn't make the post pro-Obama. But I used that term in the context (clearly explicated) of my earlier post.

Given your comment, I am happy to amend my later comment to: "SInce my 2:30 post, there hasn't been one single comment attempting to rebut that post." That only strengthens my point.

Michael McClain said...

It's different when the LibCong do it.

Chuck said...

Molly I cannot and would not rebut your 2:30 post. I think it is eminently sensible.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Why hasn't Trump given more details about his assertions or given details of what evidence he had when making the assertions?
**Trump gives details, provides explanations.**
How dare Trump obstruct an ongoing investigation, muddy the waters, and attempt to deflect this serious independent work that's essential to American justice!? Impeach!

It would be insanely stupid to assume good faith here. The NYTimes is who they are--their demands should be understood as presumptively bad faith.

Yancey Ward said...

"At some point we will learn this was done to the 2012 Romney campaign as well."

The Romney Campaign probably helpfully installed the bugs themselves.