Incidental Collection | Mort Collin
There are things about the Spygate saga that are now indisputable. Incidental collection is one of the biggest threats to civil liberties in America. Many liberals remain steadfast in their ignorance of these things. They continue to describe it as a right wing conspiracy. You can’t fix stupid. However, for some of these liberals, theirs is a stupidity not necessarily born of a lack of intellectual capabilities, but of a certain partisan persona they’re wedded to, come hell or high water. In other words, they’re aware of what happened with Spygate, but they are also unwilling to acknowledge the gravity of its danger to the nation as well as its monumental breeches of Americans’ liberty in violation of the Bill of Rights. For them, it is a minimal blip on the radar of scandal. I can assure you this is no minor occurrence. The Attorney General can assure you of that as well…
Obama Rather Enjoyed Surveillance
It is illegal for any agency or department within the federal government to spy on American citizens without a warrant. Therefore, incidental collection is the name of the game. The feds are lawfully permitted to analyze surveillance of American citizens swept up in the data collection of foreign targets. This is how the Intelligence Community (IC) gains access to the privacy of Americans. Obama’s IC abused the practice of incidental collection.
The story of Spygate is made all the more credible when you consider the mass surveillance orchestrated by the Obama Administration. If at anytime in American history an outgoing administration were likely to spy on the incoming administration, statistics would probably peg Obama as our horse. There is great irony lost in the shuffle of US media outlets’ faux criticism of supposed Trump Era restrictions on the free press. In all reality, it was President Obama who actually violated the 1st Amendment rights of journalists by spying on them via incidental collection. The amazing thing about this is that it has done nothing to diminish the media’s love for this man. They hang on his every word, worship the ground he treads and treat him with kid gloves. Evidence of his attempted subversion of journalists and censorship of their reporting abounds, yet not only does he get a pass, but he continues to be obsessively and unceasingly revered by media hacks. It really is quite terrifying; this is a cult of personality in which media conglomerates are bound together and linked by their common leftist ideology, the likes of which is a soft tyranny in the now, but could be anything but soft tomorrow. Who knows? One thing is for sure: Obama gets a pass on incidental collection. It is completely and utterly ignored.
Trump verbally challenges the media when they report fake news about he and his administration. In addition, he’s obliged to do the same when they ask wasteful leading questions. A president’s criticism and rebuttal of the press for the manner in which they cover him is quite lawful. Why is it that liberals constantly accuse the president of violating people’s constitutional rights, but his own constitutional rights don’t seem to matter to them or their congressional democrat puppeteers? President Trump holds in his heart a deep appreciation for this nation and the liberty and freedom it affords us all as Americans. This man is the furthest thing away from being a threat to Americans’ constitutional rights. However, that doesn’t matter to this country’s inauthentic, Kool-Aid drinking, brainwashed, elitist media. It’s likely they’re aligned with leftist political ideals, because someone told them once upon a time that, “liberals are compassionate and understanding. They give people free stuff.” That certain someone must have forgotten to tell them that what they hand out comes not from their own pockets but from the pockets of the American taxpayer.
Ask yourself, “Is a person who gives things away, absent any effect on their own personal pocket book whatsoever, really compassionate?” I suppose they could be, but if the aforementioned is our sole indicator of this wonderful trait of compassion in a person, you’ll not have me convinced. Those who are truly compassionate give of themselves and their own personal wealth to those in need. The goodness of giving flows from a person’s willingness to endure personal setbacks in order to help someone else get a little further ahead. It’s the sacrifice people make in parting with their own wealth and possessions that proves their compassionate nature via selfless benevolence. Politicians give up nothing and experience no personal sacrifice or setback when they appropriate taxpayer monies for redistribution among the American people. If anything, their reckless abandon for fiscal responsibility selfishly puts future American generations at risk. An exploding debt can only lead to two things: massive confiscatory tax rates and economic calamity.
Just as an aside, please don’t misunderstand me. I do believe in government run social welfare programs. They have the potential to do enormous amounts of good for those who are in need. It is important to understand that there are two types of people:
- Those who need assistance.
- Those who need assistance and deserve to receive it.
The latter have my support. The goal of conservatives is to use our nations’ social welfare programs adequately in a responsible manner to help those in need eventually become independent and successful on their own, should they be able to do so. The goal of liberals is to continually dump money into the welfare programs of our nation so as to create a cycle of dependency that is likely to garner more votes for them over sustained periods of time.
As you can see, Conservatives are the true guardians of personal liberty, independence and freedom here in the United States. They believe in the potential of every man and woman to chart their own destiny, unbridled by the shackles of big government, free of burdensome regulations and steadfast in a burning desire to control rampant government spending that is rife with waste, fraud and abuse. The burdens of the collective created via the false hope of some utopian pipe dream, shall not become the burdens of the individual. The individual is sovereign, sacred, and a true testament to the power and wonder of God. Our rights as a free people come from our most holy Creator above, and not from the government. I am firmly convinced that the liberal narrative of propping up the “collective” while downplaying the “worth of the individual” is the philosophical spark that fans the fires of surveillance. The justification for spying, in the minds of the brain trust of the Obama National Security Agency (NSA), likely came from the belief that information netted via incidental collection could greatly benefit the country as a whole. In other words, what’s one person’s liberty when it comes to the potential benefit of the nation as a whole? What’s misunderstood here is that if it can be done to one person, it can be done to one million. Surveillance is the tool of tyranny and control, even if it’s only incidental collection.
Therefore, we as individual persons are deserving of a right to privacy and freedom from the intrusion of government via espionage and surveillance. The Bill of Rights echoes these sentiments. Those who would aim to perpetuate such evil must be made to account for their transgressions.
The Iran Nuclear Deal
Incidental Collection for the Purpose of a Successful Deal
Obama and his bureaucratic henchmen stood at the ready to surveil persons he and his White House perceived to be a threat to the political agenda of the administration as a whole. One of former President Obama’s greatest foreign policy obsessions was obtaining a nuclear deal with the rogue Islamist regime of terror that governs Iran. Why? I’m not exactly sure. Lest we forget however, that this was the same administration that led a NATO operation into Libya in 2012. Why? Well I’m not exactly sure about that either. I can guarantee you one thing though; that’s one I’m sure Hillary would like to have back. No Libya, and it’s likely there’s no Benghazi debacle.
The Iran Nuclear Deal was designed to buy the international community some time. Poised to develop their own nuclear weapons arsenal since regime change in 1979, Iran has been a threat to both the United States and her allies. The Iranian government is run by a totalitarian theocratic regime of Islamic clerics. Having supported the United Nations charter that created the modern-day Jewish state of Israel in 1948, the United States continues to be the ire of Islamic fundamentalists like those in charge of Iran.
The establishment of Israel has been a complicated matter for the Middle East and the world as a whole. In the thousand years since the majority of Jews had departed the Middle East in the Diaspora, Islamic Arabs had moved into the region, known as Palestine. The Zionist Movement, which began at the end of the 19th century, popularized the migration of Jews back to Palestine in the Middle East. The tragedy of the Holocaust during World War II fueled an international effort to create a modern Jewish state. Three years after World War II ended, Israel was established on the original lands of the Jewish people, Palestine. The land was bequeathed to the Israelis by the British via the newly established United Nations. The British occupied and controlled the territory at the time.
Palestine today continues to be a flash point for violence between the Israelis and the Palestinian Arabs, who are of course, Muslim. The problems there are exacerbated by the fact that much of the territory of the Palestinians is controlled by Hamas, a radical Islamic terror group. Hamas does not want peace with Israel. They’re not even interested in the creation of a Palestinian state that could coexist in the region adjacent to Israel. They favor an end to Israel and a departure of all Israelis from the region. Hamas does its very best to thwart all plans for peace in the region.
To the north of Israel, another radical Islamic terror group, Hezbollah, controls the majority of territory within the nation of Lebanon. Hezbollah is a proxy of Iran. This is how Iran operates in the Middle East. They engage the Israelis, Americans and other western allies in covert guerilla styles of warfare. It’s done through their vast networks of paramilitary groups in an effort to conceal the fact that ultimately it’s the Iranian government that is responsible for the death and destruction created in the Middle East.
Iran supports the Palestinians, their regional brethren in faith, and are therefore no fans of the United States or Israel. Over the years, the Iranian government has developed a disgusting reputation for violence and murder. Polling data suggests that the majority of Americans consider Iran to be one of the top three safety and security threats to the United States. Obama knew this. Therefore, he also knew that if he was going to sell his deal to the American people and the Congress alike, he’d better mobilize quickly. And he did just that; he mobilized quickly. A couple of the tools the Salesman Obama used to get this deal over the goal line were propaganda and surveillance.
Propaganda: Rhodes & the Echo Chamber
Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes was one of Obama’s closest aides and most trusted confidants. On May 5, 2016, Rhodes sat for an interview with the New York Times. Business Insider printed a summary of the interview the following day on May 6, 2016. Rhodes was surprisingly candid and transparent about the propagandist model used to sell a deal with one of the world’s leading state sponsors of terrorism. With the deal inked and the pitch long over, Rhodes spilled the beans.
Business Insider‘s Summary of Rhodes Interview:
- The White House consciously created an “echo chamber” of experts and commentators to shape the public’s perception of the Iran deal: “We created an echo chamber,” Rhodes told The Times’ David Samuels. “They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say … We had test drives to know who was going to be able to carry our message effectively. So we knew the tactics that worked.”
- Rhodes’ “story” of the Iran deal began in 2013, but it was not the full story: As many foreign-policy experts have noted, Obama began negotiating with Iran at least a year before Hassan Rouhani, Iran’s new “moderate” president, defeated Iran’s hardliners in a landslide 2013 election. Still, Samuels wrote, “The idea that there was a new reality in Iran was politically useful to the Obama administration.”
- The administration “is not betting on” Iran’s moderates being real reformers: “I would prefer that it turns out that Rouhani and [foreign minister] Zarif are real reformers who are going to be steering this country into the direction that I believe it can go in, because their public is educated and, in some respects, pro-American,” he told Samuels. “But we are not betting on that.”
- Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is not sure Obama is still “serious” about preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon: Part of Panetta’s job in holding up the nuclear deal was to assure Israel that Obama would not allow Iran to develop an atomic weapon. “Would I make that same assessment now? Probably not,” he tells Samuels.
Others provided a glimpse into the administration’s perception of political “experts” and the press:
- Rhodes hates Washington’s foreign-policy establishment — and doesn’t care if they hate him back: He refers to the foreign-policy elite, which he said includes Hillary Clinton and Robert Gates, as “the Blob,” and he “gives zero [expletive] about what most people in Washington think,” said Jon Favreau, the Obama campaign’s former lead speechwriter.
- The White House relies on “handpicked Beltway insiders” to help the administration spread its message: These apparently include The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg and Al-Monitor’s Laura Rozen.
- Rhodes thinks most of the reporters the White House has to deal with “literally know nothing”: “They call us to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo,” Rhodes told Samuels. “Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”
Natasha Bertrand | Business Insider | May 6, 2016
Selling the Deal Via Incidental Collection
It’s difficult to put into words just how obsessed the Obama Administration truly was with making sure they sealed the deal with Iran. They broke the law multiple times by hiding behind incidental collection as they surveilled Israeli officials. The best way to explain their obsession here is to show you the lengths to which they went.
SNIPPET – [April 18, 2018 ] – Obama Political Spying Scandal: Trump Associates Were Not the First Targets | Andrew McCarthy | NATIONAL REVIEW
The Obama administration monitored Trump associates and campaign and transition officials. There were, moreover, leaks of classified information to the media — particularly in the case of Trump’s original national-security adviser, Michael Flynn, whose telephone communications with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. were unlawfully disclosed to the Washington Post.
There is a question closely related to that of whether the Obama administration was guilty of a gross abuse of power — exploiting its foreign-intelligence-collection authority to keep tabs on its political opponents, thwarting and punishing their resistance. The question is: Did it start with Donald Trump?
The answer is no.
In an important analysis published by Tablet magazine, Lee Smith considers the likely abuse of foreign-intelligence-collection authority by the Obama administration in connection with negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. The White House knew there would be vigorous Israeli opposition to the Iran deal — just as there was ardent American opposition to the highly objectionable pact. Notwithstanding that Israel is an important ally, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., became surveillance targets — agents of a foreign power, treated no differently under the law than such operatives of hostile foreign powers. Fair enough — it is simply a fact that allies occasionally spy on each other. Obviously, their interests sometimes diverge.
But there was something different about this monitoring initiative. It was not targeted merely at Israeli officials plotting their opposition strategy. The Wall Street Journal, Smith notes, reported in late December 2015 that the targeting “also swept up the contents of some of [the Israeli officials’] private conversations with U.S. lawmakers and American-Jewish groups.”
“At some point, the administration weaponized the NSA’s legitimate monitoring of communications of foreign officials to stay one step ahead of domestic political opponents. They literally took incidental collection to the next level,” says a pro-Israel political operative who was deeply involved in the day-to-day fight over the Iran Deal. “The NSA’s collections of foreigners became a means of gathering real-time intelligence on Americans engaged in perfectly legitimate political activism — activism, due to the nature of the issue, that naturally involved conversations with foreigners. We began to notice the White House was responding immediately, sometimes within 24 hours, to specific conversations we were having. At first, we thought it was a coincidence being amplified by our own paranoia. After a while, it simply became our working assumption that we were being spied on.
This is what systematic abuse of foreign-intelligence collection for domestic political purposes looks like: Intelligence collected on Americans, lawmakers, and figures in the pro-Israel community was fed back to the Obama White House as part of its political operations. The administration got the drop on its opponents by using classified information, which it then used to draw up its own game plan to block and freeze those on the other side. And — with the help of certain journalists whose stories (and thus careers) depend on high-level access — terrorize them.
Once you understand how this may have worked, it becomes easier to comprehend why and how we keep being fed daily treats of Trump’s nefarious Russia ties. The issue this time isn’t Israel, but Russia, yet the basic contours may very well be the same.
That, of course, is the Russia issue. Kremlin subterfuge is incontestably a legitimate basis for intelligence collection — indeed, a compelling one. But even a compelling rationale can be used pretextually. Was Russia, and specifically the overwrought “Russia hacked the election” narrative, used as camouflage for what was actually a political spying operation?
Do you really think the Obama administration, which turned the Internal Revenue Service and the Justice Department into process cudgels for beating Obama detractors, would be above that sort of thing?
Obama Political Spying Scandal: Trump Associates Were Not the First Targets | Andrew McCarthy | NATIONAL REVIEW
Incidental Collection of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn
Prelude to Spygate Forged in Incidental Collection of American Hero’s Communications
What was done to this American hero will go down in history as one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in our nation’s history. Former National Security Adviser for the Trump Administration, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, is a political prisoner. He was swept up in “incidental” collection as the Obama Administration conducted surveillance by the boatload in the transition period between the Presidential Election on November 8, 2016 and the Inauguration of President Trump on January 20, 2017. On December 8, 2016, Flynn’s conversation with Russian Ambassador to the US, Sergei Kislyak, was picked up by US intelligence officials. At the time, the incoming National Security Adviser was vacationing with his family in the Dominican Republic. The fact that he was surveilled in the Dominican Republic should raise red flags. According to US law, “incidental” collection of intelligence from US persons is more apt to avoid legal criticism and scrutiny if it takes place on foreign soil. Did they wait to spy on Flynn until he was out of the country? What happened here was not incidental. It was targeted and made to look like it was incidental.
On January 24, 2017, four days after the inauguration of President Trump, FBI agents showed up at the White House to talk to Flynn about his conversation with Kislyak. They asked him specifically about talking to the Russian Ambassador about an upcoming UN Security Council vote. Flynn had been in conversations with dozens of ambassadors of foreign nations during the transition. The agents asked him about the content of the phone call between he and Kislyak. He claimed that he didn’t recall when asked about what he said about the vote at the UN. At the time, the agents did not think Flynn was lying, and no charges were filed. Enter Bob Mueller, his pitbull Andrew Weissmann, and the whole leftist Special Council cabal. Despite the FBI taking no action against Flynn, Mueller indicted him. Intimidated and threatened by Special Counsel prosecutors, Flynn was coaxed into pleading guilty. He and his new attorney, Sidney Powell, are bound and determined to get his guilty plea thrown out based on evidence of massive prosecutorial misconduct.
Flynn and his attorney have a witness willing to testify to the fact that FBI agents who interviewed Flynn wrote with specificity on a 302 that Flynn had not lied. 302s are official FBI interview forms. This is exculpatory evidence, and Powell has requested it be introduced into the court record. But…Guess what? The FBI claims the form is missing. Attorney General Bill Barr has appointed a US attorney to take a look at the case to see if it should be thrown out.
All of this has happened to Flynn for one reason and one reason alone; Obama hates him. Flynn, a combat veteran who is highly respected within the rank and file of the US military, was director of the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) from 2012 to 2014. He challenged Obama on his terrible foreign policy and his reckless surveillance. In 2014, Flynn was invited to a dinner where he sat next to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Come Spygate in 2016, the Obama Administration alongside the fake media, would initiate a smear campaign on Flynn, and they would use this 2014 dinner to try and upend his whole life. Listen to this incredible story.
They are Who we Thought They Were
It’s quite difficult to believe that incidental collection could be weaponized to violate the civil liberties of Americans. In defense of those who have doubted the Spygate premise, I get it. How can something so bad that involved so many people actually be true? This is the United States of America. This is not possible in a free country such as ours. The sad reality is that it is possible, and it did happen. Unless justice is served and people are made to pay for what they did, this nation sets for itself a dangerous precedent the likes of which she shall be consumed and swallowed by the monster of tyranny. For decades Conservatives have warned the world about a leftist ideology poised to make good men and women creep further left into a realm of totalitarian ideology. Never forget the important quote that came from the mouth of the Late Great Ronald Reagan,
…or how about this one from Abraham Lincoln,
This is a clarion call to all Americans to stand for what is right. Being right does not mean you’re a die hard Trump supporter. Being right means you are willing to fight for the rule of law and equal justice in a nation threatened by those who would sacrifice so much just for an ideology.
Trump + Hate = Spygate
Spygate is not about politics, or at least it shouldn’t be. It’s about liberty and justice for ALL. One cannot sweep something like this under the proverbial rug on one hand, and then on the other, espouse a belief in the fundamental rights and liberties afforded to all Americans. That may sound harsh, but it’s true. At the same time, I understand the fact that the media has created multiple propagandist narratives that many Americans believe. For those Americans, it’s obvious they’re sweeping nothing under the rug. They just do happen to be genuinely unaware of the truth, because those charged with the responsibility of conveying it to them, the media, do no such thing.
Typically presidential scandals transcend the partisan divide. This is because reverence for the rule of law goes to the very heart of the health, prosperity and success of our nation in the future. Making excuses for injustice, especially when it involves the President of the United States, is corruption at the highest level. In 1974, Republicans were aware of the facts of the Watergate case. it didn’t take long for them to call for a man of their party, President Nixon, to resign. They are not doing that today, because they are aware of the facts of the situation at hand. This time things are different for Republicans. The facts show that President Trump is not guilty. Furthermore, they show that he is a victim. He is a man who has suffered terrible ordeals the likes of which no president has ever faced in history. These ordeals are the product of a partisanship that has given us an American nation that is the most politically divided it has been since the Civil War.
Spygate pulls back the curtain on a new and frightening American reality of the potential for incidental collection abuse. There is a vitriolic hatred for our President that comes from the Left and Never Trumper Republicans. This isn’t presidential politics as usual. No. The reality is that liberals and their media friends never took Trump seriously. They thought of him as a clown, unworthy of the presidency. So when he won, they were shocked. A liberal’s worst nightmare has to be a former democrat turned conservative unapologetic billionaire with a big mouth who is unafraid to challenge their crusty elitist vision for America. After the polarizing Obama was president for eight years, here comes the Donald. In unprecedented fashion, the United States has become a nation prepared to sacrifice the rule of law for a partisan agenda. The US Constitution has seen better days. While it continues to function as the blueprint for governing in America, one can only wonder how long it will hold. After over a century of progressive liberal policies have given us a monstrosity of a government bureaucracy, potential corruption it seems is more readily apt to spring into action at anytime. Incidental Collection is nothing more than another example of big government gone rogue.
Men and women tasked with the responsibility of serving the President and his agenda within the Executive Branch are actually working to thwart that agenda via incidental collection. This is a major problem for this country, because the American people elected the president. Bureaucrats do not speak on behalf of the American people. Their agenda does not matter, because the American people did not choose it. Alexander Vindman, Robert Mueller, Andrew Weissmann, Marie Yovanovitch, Eric Ciaramella, Rod Rosenstein, James Comey, Bruce Ohr, Sally Yates, Lisa Page, Peter Strzok, Andrew McCabe, etc., are more than welcome to run for president. These bureaucrats are a symptom of bloated budgets that continue to contribute to a $25 trillion national debt poised to wreak economic havoc in due time. Moreover, they are obstructionists. When they move to obstruct the president, they are moving to obstruct the will of the people. Violations of civil liberties via incidental collection is premise enough for a reanalysis of surveillance priorities.