3/28/17, "The Surveillance State Behind Russia-gate," Consortium News, Ray McGovern and Bill Binney
"Exclusive: Amid the frenzy over the Trump team’s
talks with Russians, are we missing a darker story, how the Deep State’s
surveillance powers control the nation’s leaders, ask U.S. intelligence
veterans, Ray McGovern and Bill Binney."
"Although many details are still hazy because of secrecy – and further
befogged by politics – it appears House Intelligence Committee Chairman
Devin Nunes was informed last week about invasive electronic
surveillance of senior U.S. government officials and, in turn, passed
that information onto President Trump.
As those paying rudimentary attention to modern methods of
surveillance know, “wiretapping” is passé. But Trump’s use of the word
allowed FBI and Department of Justice officials and their counterparts
at the National Security Agency to swear on a stack of bibles that the
FBI, DOJ, and NSA have been unable to uncover any evidence within their
particular institutions of such “wiretapping.”
At the House Intelligence Committee hearing on March 20, FBI Director
Comey and NSA Director Michael Rogers firmly denied that their agencies
had wiretapped Trump Towers on the orders of President Obama.
So, were Trump and his associates “wiretapped?” Of course not.
Wiretapping went out of vogue decades ago, having been rendered obsolete
by leaps in surveillance technology.
The real question is: Were Trump and his associates surveilled? Wake up America. Was no one paying attention to the disclosures from NSA
whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013 when he exposed Director of
National Intelligence James Clapper as a liar for denying that the NSA
engaged in bulk collection of communications inside the United States.
The reality is that EVERYONE, including the President, is
surveilled. The technology enabling bulk collection would have made the
late demented FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s mouth water.
Allegations about the intelligence community’s abuse of its powers
also did not begin with Snowden. For instance, several years earlier,
former NSA worker and whistleblower Russell Tice warned about these
“special access programs,” citing first-hand knowledge, but his claims
were brushed aside as coming from a disgruntled employee with
psychological problems. His disclosures were soon forgotten.
Intelligence Community’s Payback
However, earlier this year, there was a stark reminder of how much
fear these surveillance capacities have struck in the hearts of senior
U.S. government officials. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New
York told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that President Trump was “being really dumb” to take on the intelligence
community, since “They have six ways from Sunday at getting back at
Maddow shied away from asking the logical follow-up:
Schumer, are you actually saying that Trump should be afraid of the
CIA?” Perhaps she didn’t want to venture down a path that would raise
more troubling questions about the surveillance of the Trump team than
on their alleged contacts with the Russians.
Similarly, the U.S. corporate media is now focused on Nunes’s alleged
failure to follow protocol by not sharing his information first with
Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence
Committee. Democrats promptly demanded that Nunes recuse himself from
the Russia investigation.
On Tuesday morning, reporters for CNN and other news outlets peppered
Nunes with similar demands as he walked down a corridor on Capitol
Hill, prompting him to suggest that they should be more concerned about
what he had learned than the procedures followed.
That’s probably true because to quote Jack Nicholson’s character in
“A Few Good Men” in a slightly different context, the mainstream media
“cannot handle the truth” – even if it’s a no-brainer.
At his evening meeting on March 21 at the Old Executive Office
Building, Nunes was likely informed that all telephones, emails, etc. –
including his own and Trump’s – are being monitored by what the Soviets
used to call “the organs of state security.”
By sharing that information with Trump the next day– rather than
consulting with Schiff – Nunes may have sought to avoid the risk that
Schiff or someone else would come up with a bureaucratic reason to keep
the President in the dark."...
[Ed. note: Wouldn't it have been "treasonous" not to have immediately reported this to the US president--since it urgently impacted national security and the lives of every American?]
(continuing): "A savvy politician, Nunes knew there would be high political cost in
doing what he did. Inevitably, he would be called partisan; there would
be more appeals to remove him from chairing the committee; and the
character assassination of him already well under way – in The
Washington Post, for example – might move him to the top of the
unpopularity chart, displacing even bête noire Russian President Vladimir Putin.
But this episode was not the first time Nunes has shown some spine in
the face of what the Establishment wants ignored. In a move setting
this congressman apart from all his colleagues, Nunes had the courage to
host an award ceremony for one of his constituents, retired sailor and
member of the USS Liberty crew, Terry Halbardier.
On June 8, 1967, by repairing an antennae and thus enabling the USS
Liberty to issue an SOS, Halbardier prevented Israeli aircraft and
torpedo boats from sinking that Navy intelligence ship and ensuring that
there would be no survivors to describe how the Israeli “allies” had
strafed and bombed the ship. Still, 34 American seamen died and 171 were
At the time of the award ceremony in 2009, Nunes said, “The
government has kept this quiet I think for too long, and I felt as my
constituent, he [Halbardier] needed to get recognized for the services
he made to his country.” (Ray McGovern took part in the ceremony in Nunes’s Visalia, California office.)
Now, we suspect that much more may be learned about the special
compartmented surveillance program targeted against top U.S. national
leaders if Rep. Nunes doesn’t back down and if Trump doesn’t choose the
road most traveled – acquiescence to America’s Deep State actors."
I share the authors' hope that Nunes and Trump don't do the usual fold.
As to Nunes separately, he was given chairmanship of a committee, in
this case the House Intelligence Committee, only because the
Establishment believes he's on their side. You don't get those
chairmanships otherwise. I gave up on Nunes after following him for
several years. He sounded good at first then caved deeply for the
Establishment. Now he's on TV every day.
Thursday, March 30, 2017
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow fumbled in the clutch: When Sen. Schumer said US intelligence agencies have '6 ways from Sunday at getting back at you,' Maddow failed to ask the follow up question that might even have saved lives-which was to merely repeat Schumer's devastating admission: 'Sen. Schumer, are you actually saying Trump should be afraid of the CIA?'-Consortium News, Binney and McGovern
Posted by susan at 3:58 AM