Kim Strassel has a nice article for Friday in the WSJ (subscription wall): For Fear of William Barr: The attorney general gets attacked because his probe endangers many powerful people. What I want to do here is offer a brief paragraph on why Strassel says Washington, DC, is pervaded by this fear, then connect it to a portion of a CTH post tonight. There seems to be a connection, and a fascinating one at that.
Strassel begins by stating flatly that "fear [of Barr] is what’s driving this week’s blitzkrieg of Attorney General William Barr." It takes a while, but she eventually comes out with a succinct explanation for that fear:
Mr. Barr made real news in that Senate hearing, and while the press didn’t notice, Democrats did. The attorney general said he’d already assigned people at the Justice Department to assist his investigation of the origins of the Trump-Russia probe. He said his review would be far-reaching ...
Do not underestimate how many powerful people in Washington have something to lose from Mr. Barr’s probe. Among them: Former and current leaders of the law-enforcement and intelligence communities. The Democratic Party pooh-bahs who paid a foreign national (Mr. Steele) to collect information from Russians and deliver it to the FBI. The government officials who misused their positions to target a presidential campaign. The leakers. The media. More than reputations are at risk. Revelations could lead to lawsuits, formal disciplinary actions, lost jobs, even criminal prosecution.
Let's see. "Former and current leaders of the law-enforcement and intelligence communities." OK, I'll take a stab at that: James Comey, John Brennan, James Clapper--for starters.
And that brings us to CTH: Big Puzzle Pieces Connecting – The CIA, FBI, and 2016 Political Surveillance is Merging … Be patient, and you'll see where this goes.
sundance's basic thesis is that the whole Russia Hoax operation was a cooperative effort that, on the operational level and much of the planning level, involved the CIA and FBI working hand in glove. We've seen plenty of evidence for this; that much isn't controversial. Another non-controversial underpinning to the Russia Hoax (although rarely mentioned in the MSM) is the FISA abuse that exploited NSA databases for US Person information for political purposes--probably going back to 2012. You may recall there was a presidential election in that year. Admiral Mike Rogers, then head of NSA, blew the whistle on this abuse and went straight to the FISA Court (FISC). In turn, FISC Chief Judge Rosemary Collyer wrote a report that laid bare all the illegalities, citing the FBI in particular.
That much is known among those who have been following the Russia Hoax. What isn't so widely known is that Judge Collyer's report documents, in a footnote, an enormously important link between the FBI and the CIA that is central to the illegal exploitation of the NSA databases.
Briefly, the CIA is expressly forbidden to investigate US citizens inside the United States--that is the province of the FBI. The fear is that were the CIA permitted to spy on US citizens domestically they would quickly become a true secret police or domestic intelligence service operating extra legally to conduct political surveillance.
However, what Judge Collyer discovered was that the FBI and the CIA had entered into a "memorandum of understanding" according to which the CIA was given access to "FBI systems." In other words, behind the back of the FISC, the FBI agreed to provide the CIA and its contractors access to "702" information--enabling the CIA to engage in illegal domestic spying. Judge Collyer found that over a period of years stretching back to 2012, over 85% of the "702" searches conducted supposedly by the FBI (but in reality often by others) were in violation of 702 "minimization procedures." Which is to say, they were illegal no matter who conducted the searches, but grossly illegal when conducted by the CIA. The FBI might claim lax controls, but the CIA was conducting searches under the "memorandum of understanding" that were expressly forbidden. As Judge Collyer noted, no "memorandum of understanding" can change the law.
Here's how sundance spells it out:
CIA operatives (contractors) were using FBI portal access (per the secret agreement) to exploit the NSA database and extract search results. Remember, the CIA is not supposed to be conducting surveillance, aka “spying”, inside the U.S. on American citizens.
In essence the secret agreement, unknown to the court, was the CIA hiding their extraction of U.S. person information by using FBI database access.
Now, interagency memorandums of understanding are entered into frequently, but they are agreed upon at the highest levels. Therefore, the presumption must be that, while the legal types drew them up, only the Directors of the FBI and the CIA could finally enter into the understanding in question.
Of course, the FBI is a part of the DoJ, so one might presume that the National Security Division (NSD) of the DoJ would also be aware of the understanding. Therefore, when IG Michael Horowitz, the DoJ's own in house watchdog, came knocking, wanting to conduct oversight of NSD, there was a bit of a ruckus. Again, sundance:
In 2015 the Office of Inspector General requested oversight and it was Deputy AG Sally Yates who responded with a lengthy 58-page legal explanation saying, essentially, ‘nope – not allowed.’ (PDF HERE) All of the DOJ is subject to oversight, except the NSD.
The secret MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) between the CIA and FBI was the reason why the DOJ-NSD could never allow inspector general oversight.
In the Obama-era political surveillance programs the lines between the CIA and FBI were blurred. They were working together through contractors.
But Admiral Mike Rogers blew the whistle on that little game.
Now, let's backtrack. Sundance makes the case that behind the redactions in Judge Collyer's report the date that the "memorandum of understanding" was entered into was in 2012. You can follow the link above to follow his argument in detail--I'll simply say that I find it convincing. So, if the Directors of the FBI and CIA were the ones who entered into this illegal "memorandum of understanding," well, who were the Directors in 2012?
At the CIA David Petraeus was Director from September 6, 2011 to November 9, 2012. He was succeeded by Mike Morell. So, one of those two, and likely Petraeus.
At the FBI, the Director from September 4, 2001 to September 4, 2013 was ... Robert Mueller. The same Robert Mueller who just finished two years tormenting POTUS Donald J. Trump. Oh my!
So, to our list of "powerful people in Washington [who] have something to lose from Mr. Barr’s probe. Among them: Former and current leaders of the law-enforcement and intelligence communities," could we add Sally Yates and Robert Mueller? I don't see why not, if AG Barr's review of what's been going on is, indeed, "far-reaching."
I say, get all these people in front of a Grand Jury. Let's find out who else knew about this.
I came here specifically to alert you to the CTH post- one of the best posts he has done. Utterly convincing, and difficult to refute without a deep investigation.ReplyDelete
I don't know if the redacted year is 2012, but if it is Mueller's name on that MoU, that would be big. You are right- a grand jury is needed.
As I say below, perhaps a bit incoherently, the problem is systemic. Barr can do a lot, but he can't transform the nation or even the intel agencies for the long term. The left's iron grip on our key public institutions, especially education, is a big part of it.Delete
There is truth within what you say, HOWEVER, if WB empanels a grand jury and really does his job--AND Trump is re-elected--then many people will indeed sing and go to jail. That is the BEST way to clean this up.Delete
Put it this way--it's the best Barr can do because, after all, that's his job. If others do their jobs the best they can, we'll be in a lot better shape.Delete
Speaking of fear, I went back to Comey's recent NYT op-ed. I wanted to contrast those comments against what we know now.ReplyDelete
"How could Mr. Barr, a bright and accomplished lawyer, start channeling the president in using words like “no collusion” and F.B.I. “spying”?"
Transparent fear. And what happens to a narcissist when his own image--his world--collapses? A few posts ago I suggested he was a flight risk. Now I'm wondering if he's a danger to himself. Not that I wish that for him. On the contrary, I'd rather have him face the music and the truth of his own character.
Claiming that Barr simply "channels" Trump? Where to begin. A truly despicable man, Comey.Delete
Comey knows better. Some of these men appear to have no conscience; I don't find that the case with Comey. He is in conflict with his value system.Delete
I agree with the anonymous poster ans wonder if he is a danger to himself.
I hope not--I want to see him in an orange jump suit.Delete
Terrific post. Which prompts some questions.ReplyDelete
Do you think people like Booker and Harris know this? In which case they are lying. Or do you think they really believe they're the good guys? I've been following your work for a while. I can jump right in. Not everyone can.
If I were to take what you have written here to a friend of mine from NY, let's call him a typical NYTimes reader/commentator, someone who considers himself superior and more informed than any rube in flyover country, college educated, professional, he would laugh me off and call me a conspiracy theorist.
This whole FISA/NSD thing: was it ever really an attempt by concerned intelligence and law enforcement types to try and determine if the Russians had a real and true pipeline into the Trump campaign? Was there ever an honest basis for what they did?
Or was it never that? Was it an attempt by Obama and his minions to set up, a la Latin America or the Soviet Union a permanent government? Was it corruption, knowing corruption, thoroughly dishonest and nefarious? Or was it just a bunch of people who, inch by inch, started off with good intentions--to try and stop a Manchurian candidate--and ever so incrementally ended up outside the law because their detestation of Trump the man, a not unreasonable position, clouded their judgment?
Put another way: is it your position that Booker, Blumenthal, Hirono, et. al. really don't know what you describe here happened? In which case they're dupes of the Brennan/Clapper axis. Or do they know what you know, in which case they are corrupt to the bottom of their souls? Is it now an attempt to conceal from the American people the truth of what happened? Are these people that far gone? You know the saying, never attribute to malice what can be blamed on stupidity.
No matter what the truth is, the Patriot Act must be repealed, along with the FISA courts. I still also think the FBI needs to be disbanded and reconstituted, if necessary. I disagree with AG Barr. The rot, to steal a phrase from the Nixon years, is like a cancer on the character and integrity of the agency.
I don't trust them. And that Mueller. What a sleaze. Martha Stewart. Anthrax case. If he is what passes for an honorable man in Washington we are doomed.
That's a lot of ground you just covered!Delete
No, I don't think this was ever an honest attempt to stay on top of what the Russians were up to--the tools had long been in place to do that. Increased cooperation between CIA/FBI could have been negotiated--I can't think of a single time when our IC has been refused when national security was on the line. So I don't buy that.
Based on the fact that this started as long ago as it did, put in place in time for the 2012 election, my view is that it was an attempt to set up a permanent globalist state--the end justifying any means.
Therefore, the yapping Dems know as much but probably more than any of us do--they must be presumed to receive briefings so that their lies can thread the necessary needles, be denied at later dates if necessary.
As for intel reform, FBI/CIA, I agree it's necessary in drastic form, but I'm not sure at all what measures would work. The problem is, IMO, fundamentally cultural and social. As a nation we no longer have a commitment to the core beliefs behind our constitutional order--in fact, rather the reverse. They are viewed as tyranny by the left and those who listen to their ranting. They want their turn to tyrannize, as they see it.
I suggest that Titan 28 read Dennis Prager and his thoughts on "leftism." Dennis was a positive influence on me understanding behavior that I had observed for years and attributed to good faith.Delete
You hit the nail on the head. We've lost our constitutional mooring to faith and character.Delete
I think that a correction is in the making. This trough of leftism is over 50 years old. Kind of like a bull market after a bear market.
Going into the 2012 campaign, Team Obama had to overcome three potential problems: (1) Put the birth controversy behind them -- which was accomplished by presenting an online certificate on April 27, 2011, just two days before the royal wedding (thus ensuring a quick and dirty news story); (2) Keep Israel from taking advantage of the election contest to move militarily against Iran -- which was accomplished in the main by a sleight of hand: keeping attention focused on the continuing G5 plus 1 talks, all while the US was conducting secret bilateral negotiations with Iran in Oman; and (3) Remove the candidacy of Herman Cain, whose appeal among black voters would be sufficient to overcome Obama’s ace in the hole: a 90 percent plus black voter base -- which was accomplished through David Axelrod’s proven abilities to find sex-related dirt on candidates opposing Obama.ReplyDelete
Operationally, the all-hands-on-deck, no-holds-barred campaign to stop the Israelis is closest to the campaign to stop Trump in 2016. In fact, the Administration’s electronic surveillance of Israeli negotiators in the US may be connected to the MOU between the FBI and CIA in 2012. But just as important was the prominent role of Donald Trump in irritating Obama on the birthplace issue. Obama is constitutionally incapable of not retaliating (secretly, of course) against such provocations. And this, too, may have led to the MOU.
Coincidentally or not, Obama’s pitbull against the birthers in 2008 was Robert Bauer, partner at (who else?) Perkins Coie (and an Obama White House counsel). Another Perkins partner, Judith Corley, received the alleged birth certificate in 2011. Bauer’s wife, Anita Dunn, a White House communications director under Obama, now is working for Joe Biden’s campaign. And a former Biden aide and Obama communications adviser, Shailagh Murray, is married to Neil King of Fusion GPS. In April 2016, Fusion chief Glenn Simpson’s wife, Mary Jacoby, visited the White House, shortly before the Clinton campaign hired Fusion (through Perkins Coie) to dig up dirt on Trump. Small world.
Interesting points, esp. re the 2012 MoU. Yes, it's a small world in DC and we forget how intensely personal it can get.Delete
The constitutional definition of treason is: Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.ReplyDelete
Given that this cabal formed and functioned through two election cycles and appears to exist specifically to subvert the will of the various States, as expressed through the Electoral College, in service to illegitimate (though indeterminate) interests; I would be open to a finding that this was indeed,"levying war against them", and charges of treason would be justified.
This was a coordinated organizational assault upon the sovereignty of the States, as expressed in the Constitution, by use of implied force or threat of violence as much as any act of arms would be. If the last clause seems an over reach I recommend a reviewing of the video of the arrest of Roger Stone.
I agree with your point of view, but also with the Founding Fathers. They certainly understood, IMO, what you're saying--a point of view that I agree with. However, they feared that those same considerations--which are valid--could be used against the constitutional order. As we are seeing in much of the "PC" (Cultural Marxist) assault on America. All of which, I suppose, validates de Maistre's strictures on the ultimate insufficiency of any written constitution. I think the Founding Fathers would have agreed with de Maistre. Franklin famously said, "A republic if you can keep it." I think that's an expression of what Washington also recognized, that our constitutional order ultimately can only be guaranteed by the virtue of the citizenry. If that deteriorates past a critical point, neither laws nor individual men can save us.Delete
Donald Trump is teaching conservatives how to fight. That's one of the many things that I love about him.Delete
He is a one-man wrecking crew against the establishment.
As for DC, this isn't my idea, but, start moving some of the departments out of the DC area. I may have read this in the comments section here, I don't remember.
Put Agriculture in Iowa, NASA in Florida, Immigration in Arizona, etc. DC, VA and MD have become too powerful. Their electoral components are tied to the federal jobs trough.
The following is meant to be sung to the tune of "You don't mess around with Jim" by Jim Croce. It's complete with a second changed refrain just like Croce changed the last refrain from Jim to Slim.ReplyDelete
You don't tug on superman's cape
You don't spit into the wind
You don't pull the mask off that old lone ranger
And you don't mess around with Jim
Deep State Lyrics
You don't tug on Collyers' robe
You don't hire OCONUS lures like Gump
You don't pull the mask off that old Us Person
And you don't mess around with Trump
You don't tug on Collyers' robe
You don't sully an innocent man with tar
You don't pull the mask off that old Us Person
And you don't mess around with Barr