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Obama Administration Paved Way for Surveillance Abuses

Obama Administration Paved Way for Surveillance Abuses

President Barack Obama sits with FBI director James Comey in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., in 2015. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

James Hirsen By Monday, 20 March 2017 11:27 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Lost in the mainstream media push to have the public accept the tall tale that "the Russians hacked the election," which appears to have been crafted by disaffected Democrats and their far-left allies, is a series of unresolved issues in serious need of investigation.

After a classified report delivered to Congress by the Justice Department purportedly lacked the necessary evidence to support President Donald Trump’s assertion that his predecessor had engaged in wiretapping, politicians and news outlets began to massage the public psyche with the notion that the story involving the Obama administration’s investigation of then-candidate Trump, and of individuals involved in his campaign, is somehow a closed book.

House Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes recently told Fox that he has seen no evidence to show that Trump Tower had been wiretapped. "Was there a physical wiretap of Trump Tower? No, there never was," Nunes said, adding that "if you take the president literally, it didn’t happen."

Chiefly ignored by the media, however, was a statement that Nunes had made in which he noted that he remains concerned about "other surveillance activities."

The truth is, it is not just Nunes that should be concerned, but rather every American.

Those who stand in steadfast opposition to the president have for months been calling for an investigation of him and of individuals associated with his presidential campaign.

However, use of the "wiretapping" term and its variants brings to mind language that the president was employing in a generic sense, but his opponents are insisting on taking in a literal sense.

Some on the left have been attempting to erase from the public record the numerous reports that the Obama Justice Department did, in fact, conduct surveillance on individuals associated with then-candidate Trump and possibly even Trump himself, while authorities were investigating the now-discredited idea that there was some kind of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians.

A number of major issues remain that are in serious need of examination, the first involving a document that is easily available to Congress as well as the press.

Mere days before Obama was set to leave office, an existing executive order was altered by him, which is still raising questions as to why the action was taken.

The former president significantly expanded Executive Order 12333 by creating new rules that enlarged the ability of the NSA to disseminate raw intelligence data and communication intercepts (which may at times contain sensitive content as well as identifying information on American citizens) with 16 other U.S. intelligence agencies, thereby geometrically increasing the probability of potential leaks.

The Obama administration, which already had a track record of using government resources to wrongfully seize phone records of the press, of conducting surveillance of foreign leaders, and of monitoring digital data of the public at large, essentially created a pathway for illegal leaks through the expansion of the executive order.

The reporting and discussion in the media about the Obama administration surveillance tactics have thus far focused attention on warrants.

Highly expansive FISA court orders already exist that authorize the NSA to gather and store untold millions of communications, which may include emails, texts, and phone conversations.

The communications of individuals can be targeted and obtained without seeking new warrants from the FISA court, if the intercepted material has already been gathered pursuant to existing FISA court orders.

When the expansion of the sharing of classified information by Obama’s last minute executive order is taken into consideration, it becomes imperative that the flood of leaks that have occurred since the presidential election be thoroughly examined.

Serious crimes have clearly been committed by those who leaked details about former National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn’s communications with a Russian ambassador and those who leaked President Trump’s telephone conversations with the leaders of Mexico and Australia.

Just prior to last year’s presidential election, numerous mainstream media outlets reported that the Russian Alfa Bank was communicating digitally with an email server registered to Trump Tower. Reports indicated that a FISA warrant had been granted to allow the FBI to surveil this server.

The FBI has already found that the digital contact between the servers in question was innocuous, but as Circa News reports, Alfa has now told authorities that it has evidence that the server communications could be the work of a hacker.

The bank has asked the Justice Department to investigate and has pledged to cooperate fully.

As recently as last week CNN was still running stories that some computer experts and federal investigators were continuing to look into whether there was a server connection between the Trump Organization and Alfa.

According to Circa, a computer expert named L. Jean Camp promoted the story about the Trump-Russia connection. It turns out that Camp was actually a supporter of the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.

Camp is an Indiana University professor, who last year made 22 donations to Hillary’s campaign coffers. She claimed her political donations had nothing to do with her desire to have one of President Trump’s servers investigated. And just last week Camp was urging that an investigation be conducted into the purported ties between Trump and Alfa, as stated in the CNN report.

James Hirsen, J.D., M.A., in media psychology, is a New York Times best-selling author, media analyst, and law professor. Visit Newsmax TV Hollywood. Read more reports from James Hirsen — Click Here Now.

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The Obama administration has a track record of using government resources to wrongfully seize press phone records; conduct surveillance of foreign leaders, and monitor digital data of the public, essentially creating a pathway for illegal leaks..
executive, fisa, nsa, order
Monday, 20 March 2017 11:27 AM
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