Barack Obama’s Team Secretly Disclosed Years Of Illegal NSA Searches Spying On Americans

The National Security Agency under former President Barack Obama routinely violated American privacy protections while scouring through overseas intercepts and failed to disclose the extent of the problems until the final days before Donald Trump was elected president last fall, according to once top-secret documents that chronicle some of the most serious constitutional abuses to date by the U.S. intelligence community.

More than 5 percent, or one out of every 20 searches seeking upstream Internet data on Americans inside the NSA’s so-called Section 702 database violated the safeguards Obama and his intelligence chiefs vowed to follow in 2011, according to one classified internal report reviewed by Circa.

The Obama administration self-disclosed the problems at a closed-door hearing Oct. 26 before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that set off alarm. Trump was elected less than two weeks later.

The normally supportive court censured administration officials, saying the failure to disclose the extent of the violations earlier amounted to an “institutional lack of candor” and that the improper searches constituted a “very serious Fourth Amendment issue,” according to a recently unsealed court document dated April 26, 2017.

The admitted violations undercut one of the primary defenses that the intelligence community and Obama officials have used in recent weeks to justify their snooping into incidental NSA intercepts about Americans.

…continue reading

Trey Gowdy Stops Just Short Of Calling Collusion On The Clintons And The DOJ

Republican South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy said on Fox News Tuesday night that the Clintons’ “entanglements” with the Department of Justice run much deeper than the average viewer may know.

On Fox News’ “The Story,” Gowdy cryptically told host Martha McCallum that he believes “history will be much kinder to Jim Comey in that July press conference than the Democrats were.”

“I think he had access to information that, because he is a stand-up guy he’s not gonna disseminate classified information (though God knows everybody else is)…so all your viewers see is this meeting on the tarmac,” he explained.

“Jim Comey had access to additional information that I am convinced left him with no other choice but to make the decision he made in July,” Gowdy said….continue reading

Obama/Clapper Intel ‘Reforms’ Helped Rice ‘Unmask’ Americans

Former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper’s creation of a cloud-computing platform in 2013 made it far easier for officials like former White House National Security Advisor Susan Rice to ‘unmask’ individual Americans without creating a digital paper trail leading back to her, The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group has learned.

Clapper’s system enabled tens of thousands of government officials to share previously off-limits intelligence information, according to knowledgeable officials who tracked the cloud-computing initiative of the former DNI under President Barack Obama.

Commander Jennifer E. Dyer, a 21-year naval intelligence officer, told TheDCNF that Clapper’s effort dramatically altered the rules that previously barred access to phone records of U.S. citizens unless there was prior approval following rigorous National Security Agency (NSA) review.

NSA can compile phone records of American citizens talking to foreign officials under Section 702 of the USA Patriot Act. It allows the spy agency to legally eavesdrop on innocent American citizens who are inadvertently swept up in telephone conversations with foreign officials. NSA can keep the records for as long as five years….continue reading

Rand Paul Fears His Conversations May Have Been ‘Unmasked’ by the Obama Administration

Before we get into the meat of this post, it’s important to refresh our memories on what the unmasking scandal is and why it’s important. In order to do that, let’s revisit excerpts from last month’s post, If What Susan Rice Did Wasn’t Illegal, It Should Be:

U.S. citizens who are caught up incidentally in foreign intelligence surveillance are typically subject to minimization rules to conceal their identities, though there are some exceptions.

Individuals can be exempt from the minimization rules if their identities are necessary to understand the value of the foreign intelligence.

Paul used Monday’s development to renew his push for reform of a controversial provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that allows the U.S. intelligence community to target non-Americans outside the United States without a warrant. The provision, Section 702, is up for renewal later this year.

Paul’s emphasis on reforming the law is exactly where it ought to be. For example, Susan Rice herself explained during a recent MSNBC interview, how the unmasking process works. Basically, she sees an intelligence report containing surveilled conversations between a foreigner and an American, and if she decides she wants to unmask the American, she makes that request to the intelligence community, which then approves or denies the request. That’s all it takes. Think about how potentially abusive this is. What happened when you have a situation where the deep state and the President are adamantly united against a candidate, as they were against Trump? Naturally they’re going to approve the unmasking of a political enemy, and it appears that is precisely what happened.

The key thing to remember here is that the current “process” of unmasking an American is rife for abuse. All it takes is a political operative who wants the surveillance intelligence, in this case Susan Rice, to request it from the intelligence community. No normal judge is needed to issue a warrant in a transparent process as should be the case. This makes a political hit using classified intelligence extremely easy, particularly against a guy like Trump. Just submit the request to an intel community that already hates the guy, get the information you want, then make sure it gets leaked to the press. Whether you like Mike Flynn or not, this is what seems to have happened to him, and it’s shady as hell….continue reading

 

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