It’s déjà vu all over again. For those of you, who like myself were glued to the TV in the 1970’s watching the Watergate hearings, the FBI’s panic over the release of the FISA memo is déjà vu all over again. The FBI, formerly an august agency was packed with partisan political neocon appointees under George W. Bush and maintained under Barack Obama.
It was George W. Bush’s FBI that ignored the warnings of FBI field agent Colleen Rowley about suspicious foreign individuals taking flying lessons without a need to be able to land the plane. The FBI’s deliberate negligence led to the “Pearl Harbor-like” event on 911 that opened the door to endless war, torture, banking theft, media consolidation and massive election fraud.
Under the direction of the Department of Homeland Security and with the blessing of the US Senate, the FBI and the CIA have become lawless agencies threatening members of congress, whistle blowers, nation states and the American people. The difference between Watergate and now is that during Watergate there were members of the Senate who actually believed in the rule of law. That no longer exists with this congress.
It was in this atmosphere of invincibility and lack of congressional oversight that these corrupt agencies believed they could overthrow the will of the people in the 2016 Presidential election with impunity, after all it worked in 2000 in Bush v. Gore and in the Democratic primary in 2008 when the loser Barack Obama was gifted the nomination.
As a last ditch effort to salvage the tainted, partisan “Russia Collusion” witch hunt launched by the FBI, CIA and US Senate against our elected President Donald J. Trump, Senator Lindsay Graham has threatened that if Donald Trump expressed the desire to fire the Deep State’s Mueller that he would be guilty of Obstruction of Justice. What a laugh. And it’s not only Graham lobbing baseless, desperate threats, House Intel Chair Devin Nunes was threatened with prosecution if he released the FISA memo. From The National Sentinel:
Far Left in PANIC over FISA memo release; former FED prosecutor threatens CHARGES against House Intel chairman
(National Sentinel) Panic Mode: A former federal prosecutor has said he will publicly call for a criminal investigation of House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., if the full panel votes to release a classified “FISA memo” to the public.
Frank Figliuzzi told MSNBC that the memo may contain “secret or top secret” information that would allegedly compromise intelligence “sources, methods and techniques that simply cannot be exposed.” As such, he believes that Nunes, as chairman, should be held legally responsible for any release of information…
The White House has already said the president supports releasing the memo, which he and others feel will not only vindicate his earlier claims of being “wiretapped” by the Obama administration, but that special counsel Robert Mueller’s entire “Russian collusion” investigation is based on a false premise…
As to Figliuzzi’s legal claims against Nunes, the House Intelligence Committee has the authority to declassify any documents on a majority vote and release them to the public. The president does not have to agree or authorize it.
“The Deep State is panicking alright,” said The National Sentinel editor-in-chief J. D. Heyes. “They keep coming up with all of these reasons why the memo shouldn’t be released instead of ways to ensure this kind of political abuse of our legal system never happens again…
Sounds like less of a national security threat than a direct threat against an out of control agency using its power to remove an elected president on specious charges. But it isn’t enough for partisan Republicans to release the memo that they crafted, they must release the supporting documentation. From Glenn Greenwald at TheIntercept:
Republicans Have Four Easy Ways to #ReleaseTheMemo — and the Evidence for It. Not Doing So Will Prove Them to Be Shameless Frauds.
ONE OF THE gravest and most damaging abuses of state power is to misuse surveillance authorities for political purposes. For that reason, The Intercept, from its inception, has focused extensively on these issues. We therefore regard as inherently serious strident warnings from public officials alleging that the FBI and Department of Justice have abused their spying power for political purposes…
This memo, which remains secret, was reportedly written under the direction of the chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, GOP Rep. Devin Nunes, and has been read by dozens of members of Congress after the committee voted to make the memo available to all members of the House of Representatives to examine in a room specially designated for reviewing classified material…
Given the significance of this issue, it is absolutely true that the memo should be declassified and released to the public — and not just the memo itself. The House Intelligence Committee generally and Nunes specifically have a history of making unreliable and untrue claims (its report about Edward Snowden was full of falsehoods, as Bart Gellman amply documented, and prior claims from Nunes about “unmasking” have been discredited).
Thus, mere assertions from Nunes — or anyone else — are largely worthless; Republicans should provide American citizens not merely with the memo they claim reveals pervasive criminality and abuse of power, but also with all of the evidence underlying its conclusions.
President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans have the power, working together or separately, to immediately declassify all the relevant information. And if indeed the GOP’s explosive claims are accurate – if, as HPSCI member Steve King, R-Iowa, says, this is “worse than Watergate” — they obviously have every incentive to get it into the public’s hands as soon as possible. Indeed, one could argue that they have the duty to do so…
Anyone who is genuinely concerned about the claims being made about eavesdropping abuses should understand why the issue of evidence is so critical. After all, the House, Senate, and FBI investigations into any Trump collusion with Russia have so far proceeded with many startling claims in the media, but to date little hard evidence for the public to judge. Nobody rational should be assuming any claims or assertions from partisan actors about the 2016 election are true without seeing evidence to substantiate those claims.
The good news is there are at least four easy ways for congressional Republicans and/or Trump to definitively prove that all the right’s darkest suspicions about the Obama administration are true. If this memo and the underlying documents prove even a fraction of what GOP politicians and media figures are claiming about them, then what could possibly justify its ongoing concealment? Any or all of these methods should be promptly invoked to ensure that the public sees this evidence:
1. Trump can declassify anything he wants…
According to the Supreme Court, the presidential power “to classify and control access to information bearing on national security … flows primarily from the constitutional investment of power in the president…”
That means presidents can also declassify anything they chose to — for any reason or no reason — as they have done in the past. George W. Bush, under pressure in 2004, declassified the section of the 2001 presidential daily brief headlined “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” Barack Obama declassified the Justice Department memos produced during the Bush presidency on the legality of torture.
2. The House (and Senate) intelligence committees can declassify any material they possess.
3. The Constitution protects members of Congress from prosecution for “any speech or debate in either House.”
It is this constitutional shield that protected Sen. Mike Gravel of Alaska from legal consequences in 1971 when he read sections of the Pentagon Papers during a meeting of the Senate Subcommittee on Public Buildings and Grounds, and then placed the rest of the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record.
Ordinary citizens — like Daniel Ellsberg, Edward Snowden, and Chelsea Manning — have risked prison in order to expose what they believed were serious official crimes; these members of Congress can do this without any of those consequences. So what justifies their failure to do this?
4. Republicans can leak everything to the news media.
If for some reason Trump and the congressional leadership refuse to use any of the above options to vindicate themselves, a brave member of Congress could turn whistleblower and transmit the classified proof of the GOP’s claims about the memo to the news media… Many outlets now have secure methods of sending sensitive material to them, such as Secure Drop.
If they do not, Republicans will conclusively demonstrate something else. They will prove conclusively that all of this is about them shamelessly making claims they do not actually believe, fraudulently posturing as caring about one of the most vital, fundamental issues facing the United States: how the U.S. government uses the vast surveillance powers with which it has been vested.
The FISA memo now goes to President Trump to determine whether it will be released to the public. Now the real fight begins, who will win, Trump or the Deep State? From State of the Nation:
RED ALERT: FISAgate Proves Deep State Will Do ANYTHING To Remove Trump
Toward that end, every traitor who participated in this massive criminal hoax ought to be expeditiously indicted and arrested to face a military trial. The dire necessity for this dramatic response is to send a message to all accomplices (particularly those operating under the radar) that an insurrection will not be tolerated.
That the seditious cabal continues to grow their criminal enterprise is quite shocking; nonetheless, they persist in the face of daily exposure. Hence, the ongoing neglect to apprehend these traitors only encourages their serial lawbreaking. Much more significantly, the Trump administration remains under the dire threat of a full-blown coup d’état.
Surreptitious plots of treason and sedition, insurrection and rebellion are still being carried out each and every day. How in the world do these perps continue to act with such impunity even after FISAgate has been blown wide open?
Virtually every major organ of the U.S. Federal Government is involved, to varying degrees of course. Most of the co-conspirators are operating in the shadows and unknown even to the de facto leaders of this Purple Revolution. That’s because it’s being coordinated by rogue elements within the C.I.A. which always compartmentalize their stealth insurgencies, just as they implement these black ops on a strictly need-to-know basis.
The Mainstream Media (MSM) is the primary communication platform by which the insurrectionists speak to each other without being found out. Corresponding in code in this manner permits the collaborators to avoid the Internet and especially social media. It also prevents an incriminating digital record from being created which exists practically forever.
In view of these stark realities, the Trump administration must invoke the various legal justifications for shutting down the MSM. The establishment media has already broken several laws just as it has violated various FCC regulations. The contravention of various FCC rules and regulations alone serves as a lawful pretext to shut down the largest MSM platforms. For it is the blatantly subversive establishment media that is guilty of incessantly propagandizing the body politic against the POTUS.
Indeed, the Mainstream Media is nothing more than a propaganda tool for the neocons populating the CIA and FBI ushering America into one ill-conceived war after another with no justification. The FISA memo reveals much more than the Deep State’s attempt at a coup against an elected president. The memo reveals that the Deep State, using the Mainstream Media will now escalate their illegal intervention in Syria into a war with Turkey to save their own asses. From Information Clearing House:
Syria - Neo-Conservatives Demand "Action" - Hope For A Larger War
January 29, 2018 "Information Clearing House" - The U.S. polity and media now acknowledge what we reported on December 21. The U.S. announcement to build up a 30,000 strong PKK army in north-east Syria was a disaster. It prompted Turkey to initiate its attack on YPG/PKK Kurds in Afrin. It threatens do drive it out of NATO and into Russia's open arms. It gives the Syrian government new leverage against the Syrian Kurds.
Under Turkish threats to attack U.S. forces in Syria the Trump administration had to pull back - at least in its rhetoric. Independent of who rules Turkey the country will never acquiesce to an armed Kurdish entity on its southern border. The U.S. should have know this.
This failure of the Trump administration's plan has prompted a new push from neoconservative propagandists for a full U.S. war on Syria and its allies. The lobby shop of the Kagan family, the Institute For The Study of War, had its junior staff pen an op-ed for Foxnews to argue for a new study object:
The U.S. must face reality in Syria. It must recognize the threat Russia poses. It must acknowledge the limits of its current partners on the ground. It cannot put faith in a diplomatic charade. It must implement a real strategy against al Qaeda and Iran. And it must recognize the value of American action over American rhetoric…
A second neocon op-ed, this by Josh Rogin, was posted at Jeff Bezos' blog: Team Trump must match its new rhetoric on Syria with action. It is not useful to quote the nonsense but here are some of the rhetoric figures it uses:
... the will and leverage needed to lead a solution to the Syrian crisis - defend U.S. interests - confronting the ongoing terrorist threat - Iranian expansion - Bashar al-Assad’s brutal aggression - on-the-ground influence - herculean effort - a contingent that wants to cut and run - a real plan - fundamental flaw - a lack of sufficient leverage on the ground ...
After having set the scene for a massive U.S. occupation of Syria, Rogin claims that "nobody is advocating" a "large increase in U.S. troops". His advice then is to do more of the stuff that evidently just failed:
…stick to the Kurds, pay some Arab tribes (aka former ISIS), arm rebels (aka al-Qaeda) in Idleb.
But then comes the real blopper:
the Trump administration should raise the pressure on Assad, Russia and Iran, including through sanctions, the credible threat of U.S. force and whatever else might persuade them.
Now what please is a "credible threat of U.S. force" against those three countries? And might they have the capability to credibly threat back? Who will win the thermonuclear war over the Tanf desert base in south-east Syria?
A year into Trump’s presidency, his administration is saying the United States has a long-term interest in Syria. The next step is to match those words with action.
I have no doubt that the two op-eds were coordinated. More of this kind will likely come. The common theme is "action" and - while not openly said - they demand a larger U.S. war over Syria. The unmentioned beneficiary of such a war, next to the weapon producing financiers of those writers, would be Israel and Saudi Arabia.
The neoconservative writers and their op-eds should be ignored.
What’s even more frightening is that our corrupt politicians have just authorized the neocon’s unlimited resources for war escalation with NO oversight from congress. From The Intercept:
TOP REPUBLICAN WARNS THAT UNDER NEW SPENDING BILL “THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY COULD EXPEND FUNDS AS IT SEES FIT”
IN A DRAMATIC moment on the Senate floor Monday afternoon, as the upper chamber rushed a spending bill through to end the government shutdown, the top Republican and Democrat on the Intelligence Committee warned that the bill contains language that would kneecap Congress’s ability to oversee secret covert actions and surveillance programs. Their effort to amend the language was rebuffed.
The intelligence community, in its latest grasp, has gone too far even for Richard Burr. The Republican chair of the Senate Intelligence committee has long been one of the Senate’s staunchest advocates for the intelligence agencies, leading the fight to reauthorize surveillance programs and fighting to bury the results of the Senate’s five-year investigation into CIA torture. But he took to the Senate floor Monday to warn that it would compromise Congress’s ability to oversee secret intelligence programs.
“This language could erode the powers of the authorizing committee,” Burr said. “Effectively, the intelligence community could expend funds as it sees fit without an authorization bill in place and with no statutory direction indicating that an authorization bill for 2018 is forthcoming.”
The provision, first reported by The Intercept, appeared in the House version of the spending bill last week and modified the 70–year-old-law that first chartered the CIA. It removed language requiring intelligence agencies to spend money according to Congress’s instructions, and replaced it with a provision that allows the agencies to move money around freely and without Congress’s knowledge. Blackwater founder Erik Prince has recently pitched the administration on a private intelligence force that would report directly to President Donald Trump and CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
Scary stuff. Will congress take on the neocon driven Deep State? Will they have the courage to rein in the unlimited power of the out of control neocon dominated intelligence apparatus? From Consortium News:
Will Congress Face Down the Deep State?
The House Intelligence Committee’s vote on Monday to release a memorandum describing alleged malfeasance at the DOJ and the FBI could test constitutional principles, writes Ray McGovern.
With the House Intelligence Committee vote yesterday to release its four-page memorandum reportedly based on documentary evidence of possible crimes by top Justice Department and FBI leaders, the die is cast. Russia-gate and FBI-gate are now joined at the hip.
The coming weeks will show whether the U.S. intelligence establishment (the FBI/CIA/NSA, AKA the “Deep State”) will be able to prevent its leaders from being held to account. Past precedent suggests that the cabal that conjured up Russia-gate will not have to pick up a “go-to-jail” card. This, despite the widespread guilt suggested by the abrupt way that several senior-echelon DOJ and FBI rats have already jumped ship. Not to mention the manner in which FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, was unceremoniously pushed overboard yesterday, after Director Christopher Wray was given a look at the extra-legal capers described in the House Intelligence Committee memorandum.
Granted, at first glance Deep State’s efforts to undercut candidate Donald Trump at first seem so risky and audacious as to be unbelievable. By now, though, Americans should be able to wrap their heads around, one, the dire threat that outsider Trump was seen to be posing to the Deep State and to the ease with which it held sway under President Barack Obama; and, two, expected immunity from prosecution if Deep State crimes were eventually discovered after the election, since “everybody knew” Hillary Clinton was going to win. Oops.
There seems to be an outside chance, this time, that the culprits who did actually interfere in the 2016 presidential election in an effort to make sure Trump could not win, and then did all in their power to sabotage him after he his electoral victory, will be held to account by unusually feisty members of the House.
It is abundantly clear that members of the House Intelligence and House Judiciary Committees are now in possession of the kind of unambiguous, first-hand documentary evidence needed to get a grand jury convened and, eventually, indictments obtained.
It is no exaggeration to suggest that the Republic and the Constitution are at stake…
The Media’s Role
I almost feel sorry for what is called “mainstream media” and – even more so – for the majority of Americans deceived by the prevailing narrative on Russia-gate. Even though that narrative now lies in shreds, there is no sign so far that the pundits will fess up and admit to spreading a far-fetched, evidence-impoverished story that was full of holes from the get-go…
Even vestigially honest journalists of the old school, who may themselves have been taken in, will have a Herculean challenge if they attempt to write to right the ship of journalism. As for brainwashed Americans, pity them. It is far easier to deceive folks than to convince them they have been deceived, as Mark Twain once wrote.
From today’s online version of the New York Times, for example, the lede headline read, “Taunted by Trump and Pressured From Above, McCabe Steps Down as F.B.I. Deputy.” The Times quotes Representative Adam B. Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, giving hypocrisy a bad name. Schiff said yesterday that it had been a “sad day” for the committee and that Republicans had voted “to politicize the intelligence process.”
And this just in: an op-ed from NYT pundit David Leonhardt, titled – you guessed it – “The Nunes Conspiracy.”
“Instead of evidence, the memo engages in the same dark and misleading conspiracy theories that have characterized other efforts by President Trump’s allies to discredit the Russia investigation,” Leonhardt wrote. “But the substance of the claims isn’t really the point. Distraction is the point, and the distraction campaign is having an impact.”
And so it goes.
Yes, indeedy the more things change the more they stay the same. It’s déjà vu all over again. It’s Watergate redux. The FBI, formerly an august agency was packed with partisan political neocon appointees under George W. Bush and maintained under Barack Obama. The only difference between Watergate and FISA-gate is that during Watergate there were Senators, both Republican and Democrat that believed in the rule of law and were willing to take on the Deep State and right the Ship of State.
Will there be enough honest, untainted Senators to take on the corrupt Deep State? Time will tell, but I for one doubt it. Any honest Senator like Al Franken has been forced to resign by the corrupt Deep State sans the rule of law and due process in accusations of sexual misconduct. I pray I am wrong.
By Patricia Baeten