Tuesday, June 29, 2021

What's The Story Re Tucker?

As I'm sure you know, Tucker Carlson has announced that a "whistleblower"--which, in this context, I take to mean simply an informed source--has told him that he (Tucker) is being "spied on" by the National Security Agency (NSA):

I assume that the NSA collects all communications that it's able to collect--phone calls, emails, texts, whatever. If it's technically possible for NSA to collect some category of data, they do:

Whether and how that data gets put to use is a longer story. We're all familiar with the fact that the FBI for years appears to have been accessing the NSA databases for routine checks on people, without the legally required predication for running such checks. The exact parameters of this illegal activity aren't clear, except that it appears to have definitely occurred in politically sensitive situations and for political reasons. Some may wish to disagree with that conclusion, but that the activity was in fact illegal is inarguable, whatever the motives. Also inarguable is that there have been no known consequences for the actual individuals who were responsible.

I mention this background because Tucker seems to understand that, while NSA does the data collection, it's almost certainly the FBI that would be the agency of the government putting the data to investigative use. From a legal standpoint, this would need to be authorized under FISA. That means that, since Tucker is a USPER, the FBI would need to convince the FISA Court (FISC) that there is reason to believe that Tucker is a foreign agent who 

knowingly engages in clandestine intelligence gathering activities for or on behalf of a foreign power, which activities involve or may involve a violation of the criminal statutes of the United States;

The FISA rules with regard to international terrorism are a bit different. I won't say it's impossible that Tucker could be investigated under some pretext involving alleged terrorism in the expansive sense that word is now used, but it seems less likely than the alternative cited. If you wish to consider the terrorism alternative you can read up on it here. Tucker does point out that the GWOT--which is a war on international terrorism--has, in the circumstances of America morphing into a total National Security state, been redirected at domestic political opposition of the Zhou Baiden regime. That's certainly true in a rhetorical sense--we recently witnessed the spectacle of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff appearing before a House committee and describing harmless protesters in exactly the same terms one would ordinarily use to describe foreign enemies. However, to my knowledge, for FISA to be involved, there would almost certainly still need to be some international nexus.

All of this would seem wildly far fetched in ordinary circumstances in a normal country, but of course the USA is no longer a normal country and current circumstances are no longer ordinary. Tucker is convinced that what his source is telling him is true, and he offers evidence that it is:

That's a shocking claim, and ordinarily we'd be skeptical of it. It's illegal for the NSA to spy on American citizens--it's a crime. It's not a Third World country. Things like that should not happen in America--but unfortunately they do happen and, in this case, they did happen. The whistleblower--who's in a position to know--repeated back to us information about a story that we are working on that could only have come directly from my texts and emails. There's no other possible source for that information. Period

Now, as we said above, NSA captures all that data, routinely. The real question, then, is under what predication or pretext that information was accessed by an investigative agency--most likely the FBI? Is Tucker working on a story that involves contact with foreign powers? Is he in contact with "right wing" groups or individuals in foreign countries? Legally speaking, for this to be going on there needs to be an investigation--a Full Investigation, not a Preliminary Investigation.

No doubt Tucker has access to excellent legal counsel. He states that he has already made FOIA requests. We'll need see how this develops.


  1. No worries, I'm sure "John" is all over this!!

  2. It's possible that Carlson is being hoaxed by some hacker who has managed to access some of Carlson's electronic communications.

    However, I assume that Carlson is aware of that possibility and so has obtained some confirmation of the whistle-blower's authenticity.


    Assuming that the whistle-blower indeed is telling Carlson the truth, I suppose that the NSA targeting of Carlson's communications might be related to the so-called "Insurrection". Perhaps Carlson or his staff have been communicating with some of the alleged insurrectionists. They, not Carlson, are the NSA's actual target.

    1. All we have to go on at this point is Tucker's say so, IOW, what he was told. The important thing to keep in mind is that any involvement of NSA in this should point to FISA--because we're talking about the content of his communications and not just metadata that could be obtained via subpoena (or NSL). Content is the real issue. That's IF the NSA is involved.

      If this were a TIII (which doesn't go through FISA), and Tucker's source doesn't understand the difference, then we would know that this is a "domestic terrorism" investigation. Again, all we have is Tucker's say so that his source is knowledgeable about this stuff.

  3. Do you think it's time for the Patriot Act to be repealed? If what Carlson says is true, and the reason for spying on him has something to do with the so-called "insurrection," then the people doing the spying are either too gullible, or too dishonorable, to have said spying power.

  4. haha- odd thing is that *everyone* is under surveillance by NSA. they monitor all commos in pretty much all forms!

  5. The NSA has all the data, its who runs the queries that matters.

  6. Tucker better be careful that this whistleblower "info" is not the setup itself that will lead to him being charged with leaking national security secrets. I would not put it past the current occupants of power.

    1. The best way to find out is to wait and see if negative info about Tucker is leaked to the NY Slimes, then we will know. Tucker obviously did this to check the future leak.

      Rob S

  7. Slightly OT but speaking of cheating,

    "Desperate Barack Obama Pleads with Lawmakers to Push Through ‘For the People Act’ to Make it Easier For Democrats to Steal Elections"
    "Barack Obama was clearly panicked and said there will be “unfairness in terms of results” if voter ID laws are passed and ballot harvesting is banned.

    In other words, Obama admitted the Democrats have to cheat in order to win elections. "

    Sounds like they're getting worried.

    They can't even charge Trump with anything. That must have been disappointing.


  8. Omnivore, Carnivore, DSC1000 etc ... FBI stuff from the 1990s and early 2000s. I think there was another one prior to Omnivore

    Packet sniffing, hacker terms, is what that was. Apparently today is what I call DataHoovering.

    This is really not new, though ... Echelon.

    Thing is, this went from attempting to get intelligence about foreign adversaries to now getting intel on all of us in the US. Our government has long had this stuff at internet data choke points and the FBI, like the US Navy, is just a bit player.

    Our problem is that we are becoming quickly, all things are quick when it occurs, but really takes a long unnoticed time, a full surveillance state.

    1. @TX

      All good points, I would only debate the idea of becoming a surveillance vs already being a surveillance state for a few decades now.

      After all, what more would or could you possibly add that's not already transpired and or happening full-time today?

      It's is of course a matter of ones opinion but I personally can find no semblance of constitutionality or privacy left in the subject beyond a thin veil of supposed self regulation in the agencies.

      Am I being a realist or cynic here?

  9. If you've done nothing wrong, you have nothing to worry about!
    --J. Stalin

  10. Just a hunch: I do not believe Tucker would go on the air and make this allegation based solely on a single faceless "whistleblower" source. He's more savvy than that, unlike the majority of journos.

    Note that he says "we have confirmed" ... This suggests he has more than one whistleblowers' breathless recitation of things in his texts and emails.

    I'm guessing Tucker has more evidence and is holding back, waiting for the Deep State to deny his allegations, and then he drops whatever else he's got to blow up the denial.

    Another thought: notice how he points at NSA for the spying, NOT FBI. This suggests the possibility people within NSA are "reading his mail," not FBI accessing it.

    1. My guess there is no investigation but plans for a leak.

      rob S

  11. Tucker is a huge threat to the Left's narratives. He has a huge bull horn, and he is using it, to highlight areas that are counter to the narratives and often using ridicule. He is like the little boy pointing out the Emperor Has No Clothes. Unfortunately, many others that should speak up, are not due to fear of cancel culture. And those that do speak up, are often cancelled and censored. With Tucker in his current position with his ratings, and having successfully survived various cancellation efforts, their is a low chance to bully Tucker.

    Based on the above, some questions:

    1. Would the Deepstate / Biden Administration seek to sideline Tucker?

    Based on what was done to Trump, I would say Yes.

    2. How would they do this?

    Having a boycott failed. Internal pressure seems to have failed (Murdoch Family). So what is left?

    Perhaps going after a leak.

    Or setting him up on something related to leaking secret documents? See what was / is being done to Assange.

    Or ?

    1. Tucker criticized Gen. Milley, now they re turning this into a National Security issue (as I wondered about in my earlier post above), see this Yahoo post:

      'People are watching': Attacks on Milley and the US military play right into enemy hands

      Who knows, maybe Milley taking the knee in front of congress was the perfect setup to elicit the criticism, it would be textbook CRT!

    2. Closing sentence from the Yahoo article (note the aiding an abetting charge):

      My colleagues in Congress are actively undermining our national security, aiding and abetting the enemies we swore to defend Americans against.

      People are watching. We need to start acting like it.

      Rep. Chrissy Houlahan is a Democrat from Pennsylvania's 6th Congressional

      So, no anyone criticizing CRT, or Gen Milley (who should have stayed out of this political landmine) is now "aiding and abetting the enemy"

    3. If we could go on rhetoric alone I'd say for sure Tucker is being investigated on NS grounds, but I still believe there are some safeguards. Naive?

    4. Didn't the hounding of Gen Flynn get started on a vague NS concern? Intercepted phone calls leaked to the WAPO. Safeguards, I think not.

    5. The problem is Milley is not allowed to do what he did. His conduct is controlled by the UCMJ.

      Rob S

  12. Remember the mysterious Bobulinski docs that went missing?

    Yeah, they spying on him.

    1. Great point on Bobulinski docs…

  13. Tucker decloaks: was emailing Russian government intermediaries in the US seeking interview with Putin.

    So, incidental interception, then unmasked, for no obvious NS reason, and then content leaked to other reporters to embarrass him.