Saturday, August 5, 2017

"In Abusing NSA Intelligence, Did Obama White House Commit A Crime?"

Via InstapunditBack on May 24, the online journal Circa reported that the scandal was far more serious than it first appeared.

"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," wrote Circa investigative reporter Sara A. Carter.

Now, this week, Carter reports that the scandal is much bigger than suspected. A review of government documents found that "government officials conducted 30,355 searches in 2016 seeking information about Americans in NSA intercept meta-data, which include telephone numbers and email addresses," Carter wrote.

She notes that the election-year searches by Obama's political aides and other government officials jumped 27.5% from 2015, tripling the "9,500 such searches" in 2013. "In 2016 the administration also scoured the actual contents of NSA intercepted calls and emails for 5,288 Americans, an increase of 13% over the prior year and a massive spike from the 198 names searched in 2013."

Before the Obama administration, under rules propagated by former President George H.W. Bush, "unmasking" incidental intelligence targets was strictly limited and frowned upon. Even after 9/11, despite increased surveillance of people with potential terrorist ties, the rules stayed in place. The potential for abuse, they knew, was too great.

But that ended in 2011 as Obama, using the pretense of fighting a War on Terror that he never even believed in, loosened the rules. As the Washington Examiner reported earlier this week, in 2013 National Intelligence Director James Clapper formally loosened the rules on "unmasking" the names of congressional staffers, elected officials and others.

(Link to the article)


AllenS said...

Obama is a crime.

edutcher said...

To ask the question is to answer it.

I think this is of a piece with what happened to SEAL Team 6 after the bin Laden hit.

Leland said...

I don't know, but I think a special prosecutor should be named to look into it.

ndspinelli said...

Trump has proven, to date, to be feckless. No one fears him. I said I would give him a year. But, he's going to need to have a big rally in the last few innings. He's down 8 runs.