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Obama misused intelligence agencies for years to spy on political opponents

We now have substantial evidence going back years — well before its illegal misuse of the FISA court — that the Obama administration and officials in its FBI and Justice Department misused National Security Agency (NSA) databases to illegally spy on its political opponents.

The article at the link is very long and detailed, but this is necessary to unpack the history that not only documents that spying before 2016, but why Justice and FBI high officials felt compelled then to use a fake dossier paid for by the Clinton campaign to get a warrant from the FISA court. Once they lost access to the NSA databases that year, they needed something that would allow them to continue that spying.

During the time-frame of December 2015 through April 2016 the NSA database was being exploited by contractors within the intelligence community doing unauthorized searches. On March 9, 2016, oversight personnel doing a review of FBI system access were alerted to thousands of unauthorized search queries of specific U.S. persons within the NSA database.

NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers was made aware. Subsequently NSA Director Rogers initiated a full compliance review of the system to identify who was doing the searches; & what searches were being conducted. On April 18, 2016, following the preliminary audit results, Director Rogers shut down all FBI contractor access to the database after he learned FISA-702 “about”(17) and “to/from”(16) search queries were being done without authorization.

In other words, the NSA database of phonecalls between Americans, an illegal database in its own right (the Constitution forbids such indiscriminate spying on Americans without a warrant), was being used by unauthorized individuals to gain information on Americans. From the article it becomes clear that those individuals were Obama administration operatives, and the Americans they were digging dirt on were their political opponents.

When Rogers shut down access to this keyhole, it was then necessary to instigate an unjustified warrant from the FISA court to allow these same Obama officials the right to continue their spying. At the same time they also instigated an effort to get Rogers fired.

What infuriates me about this is that even now, years later, no one has been indicted for any of these clearly illegal acts, despite substantive and documented evidence. We get reports, we get leaks, we get outraged Congressman on cable networks, and we get Trump tweets ranting about how terrible it is. What we don’t get is anyone behind bars.

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  • Garry

    I’m glad that other people are reading Sundance’s posts on The Conservative Treehouse. This is perhaps the 5th time I’ve read variations of this particular essay (he tends to write about new developments, then follow with background information from an old post, sometimes verbatim, sometimes adding some refinement). He has very detailed essays on perhaps 10 different topics, which come up from time to time, I pick up something new every time I read one of them.

    I share your frustration about no indictments announced yet. I was very cynical about this, but recent events, and recent posts by the same Sundance, suggest that things MAY be happening soon.

    Sundance has announced that he’s giving briefings to DC insiders, and so far they have been shocked to learn of the breadth and depth of the corruption.

    He has called his readers to inform their congressmen that we know what happened, on the theory that if Barr, Congress, etc. know that many of us are aware of what happened, they may be pressured to act.

    Something caused Lindsey Graham to release 2 key documents yesterday; I don’t trust him at all, but apparently he’s found it expedient to take what I see as positive action, and we have to take what we can get, regardless of the source. The document showing Strzok’s notes exposing inaccuracies in the Washington Post’s January 2017 article was particularly eye-opening.

    I wonder why they haven’t gone for any of the layups yet, such as indicting Klinesmith, who was caught red-handed altering e-mails to make them say the opposite of what they actually said, to serve as evidence for a FISA warrant. My hope is that he’s tattling on his seniors.

    My perception is that the next few weeks are key; either big things will start to happen, or they won’t, which would be telling in itself.

  • Garry: I agree with you wholeheartedly on all points. One minor correction: It was a New York Times article that Strzok’s notes referred to, indicating that the article was essentially wrong on all points.

  • David

    Among the many things that infuriate me: when I share something like this with a liberal friend, they instantly dismiss it as just “rantings from some conservative blog I’ve never heard of.” The meticulous research, names, dates, documentation, none of that matters, all that matters is that the mainstream media never mentions any of this, so it must be conspiracy theories.

  • David: For years the close-mindedness of the left and Democrats allowed them to dismiss such data, and it didn’t matter that much because the positions of their party were not that crazy. Now, simply dismissing such data is so no longer sufficient, since the positions their party holds are transparently absurd, downright nonsensical, and often bluntly bigoted and hostile to freedom. Any challenge will reveal this to everyone, even themselves. Thus, they can’t simply dismiss it, they can no longer allow it to be available for others to read or hear. This is why the left has moved increasingly and more aggressively towards oppression and censorship.

  • LocalFluff

    Being a Swede, where we don’t have a proper legal system (here it is the in law uneducated unelected politicians who are judges in criminal courts, for example) I think that Americans tend to focus too much on the details of legal formalities. Perhaps risking to lose sight of the bottom line: This Hitler/Stalin style of Hussein Obama persecutions of oppositionals is completely unacceptable! Period.

    Cicero, the guardian of the Roman republic against tyrants like Caesar and Augustus, was a lawyer. The whole profession has been distrusted ever since, especially when involved in politics. Millennia later in 1530, Oxford university sent a guy to Paris that had the most respected university of its time, to figure out what they are doing right. His report was that to begin with everyone reads Cicero. To get more inte depth they read more of Cicero, and to excel one has to read everything of Cicero! This is because so much has been preserved of Cicero, and it has been preserved because of his fantastic command of the language. But the only reason to like him is to accept that the ends justifies the means. He was a lying cheating bastard!

    There’s this contemporary story of a senator who sought his aid in composing a speech for his cause, that’s how Cicero made a living. So Cicero presented the speech orally to his client who was very impressed. But he returned the next day, having read the speech and found a number of problems. This logic doesn’t add up, and there are contradictions here, and this is false…
    “- Yes, but the senate will not read it, they will only hear it once!”

    The Romans elected two consuls, like a president, every year and they two had to agree on everything. And they already at election appointed them to governors of a province each, for the years after having been consul, in order to lessen their risk of corruption. They were already set up for life. Cicero told his co-consul that he could have his province too, if he let Cicero do all the consulship thing for the year. Deal! It kind of defeats the purpose of the republic, but he did fight tyranny. Do the ends justify the means?

  • Ray Van Dune

    I am surrounded by people who think that anything they don’t get from NPR or NYT is the raving on a lunatic. Rather than argue, I send them this link:

    Then I ask them if they have heard of the 53 transcripts contained therein, and of course they have not, so I ask them why not, since it was only a few months ago that this under-oath testimony was released. It is of course a rhetorical question: they have never heard of this testimony because the allow themselves to be brainwashed by news organs that don’t want them to know about them!

    I challenge them to go down the list of names and find one they recognize as a Trump collusion accuser, and read what they say when they are under penalty of perjury, as opposed to when they are performing for the media!

    When they (inevitably) say they won’t bother, I suggest they shut up about Trump colluding with the Russians, and go to hell. It’s not much but it’s my little way of planting a seed that might sprout if the AG ever stands up and remembers his oath, and also maintaining my sanity.

  • James Street

    I’m in the minority because I’m content with the speed at which things are progressing. I’m not interested in a few arrests. The swamp is not just an elite few in the American bureaucracy, it’s a world-wide cabal that has developed over decades. For example, Obama recruited foreign intelligence agencies to help spy on Americans. Think of how far we’ve come since Trump ran on “draining the swamp” and we thought it was a bloated bureaucracy in DC compared to what we know now. I want to see this entire evil swamp drained. (Culminating with people in prison)

    I’ve read a majority of Trump’s books. His main goal is to teach people and he has an interesting teaching style. His books are completely autobiographical consisting of one story after another of deals he made and experiences he had, and what he was thinking and feeling going through them. One thing that troubled me reading his books was his bloodthirst for revenge. Trump ALWAYS gets revenge, even if it takes decades.

    President Trump is a street fighter. Add his lust for revenge with cryptic comments he makes (“We have them all”) and I’m one who believes President Trump and his team are in control and they are draining the swamp. The stakes are priceless, and we’ll know on November 4th which of us was right. That doesn’t mean I’m waiting around. I’m on the front lines every day.

    This hilarious 12-minute YouTube video came out a few years ago after President Trump’s election. (Warning, crude language). It has to have been made by Trump and his team. It does a great job of conveying the Trump I got to know through his books.

    The video’s tag line: “The world doesn’t need a hero, it needs a troll. And it has been blessed with the world’s greatest.”

    The World’s Greatest Troll: the Humor of Donald Trump
    WARNING: crude language

  • Cotour

    Ray Van Dune:

    The Left, the media and the Democrats are way ahead of your, mine and most Americans logical thinking. They have laid the foundation of what is to come in the 2020 presidential election for 50 years in our education system and the general zeitgeist of the country.

    So they are way, way ahead and they are going to push this chaos and emotional insanity with everything that they have got because they understand that they can in real terms acquire the levers of power in our country and push it over the top into a Socialist model. And most every day American really can not properly define Socialism in any rational manner that integrates with their actual good lives.

    I fight the battle you fight every day with the people in my orbit and here on BTB that say they disagree with me, and I am only occasionally successful in helping to turn their lights on. Who knows in the end what good it might do? We will all know soon enough.

    And this is political warfare and so I keep on fighting as I can, just like I am certain you do.

    Eye of the tiger.

  • Cotour

    Just another example of just how racist America is:

    And this is all he gets after 50 years of corporate slavery, So disgusting! So token.

  • Edward

    Obama using government resources for political gain? Hardly a surprise, considering his communist roots. The press not reporting on the scandal? Hardly a surprise considering their long-lived communist sympathies. The ends justifies the means. No indictments yet? Obama left in place many people to keep his legacy intact.

    Welcome to Obama’s America: land of the formerly free.

  • wayne

    I consider it a Public Service, when you remind us all, that we are currently living in obama’s America. (it’s not very pretty eh?!)

    James Street–
    Good stuff.
    tangentially– you might enjoy the Michael Malice podcast [“Your Welcome”]
    He’s elevated equal-opportunity trolling to an art form.
    (I do cringe when he attacks ‘my side,’ but I can’t say he’s wrong, it’s always humorous, and he makes me think.)
    ((His recent on-going ‘series’ with Dave Smith is very interesting, highly recommend.))

    [Michael Malice–anarchist, author of “Dear Leader,” among others. Dave Smith– anarchist, professional Comedian.]

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