This week, Devin Nunes revealed that whistleblowers gave him reports of the Trump campaign officials were basically spied on by rogue intelligence agents. They were caught up in legal surveillance of foreign targets but where it becomes a problem is in the unmasking and dissemination.
By law, Americans caught incidentally during surveillance of foreign targets must be protected by having their names “masked.” Nunes said more than one American – and possibly Trump – had their names “unmasked” and their names and information were widely distributed within the intelligence community.
This is very serious and very dangerous. It’s an intelligence community with tremendous power over Americans going rogue.
There is an article in the Wall Street Journal everyone should read, Democrats and Republicans alike because it not only frightens the author, it frightens every thinking person in this country. We’ve summarized it here.
On Wednesday Devin Nunes revealed that the inadvertent collection of Trump campaign officials’ communications resulted in transcriptions and wide dissemination. Former Rep. Pete Hoekstra, writing for the Wall Street Journal, said that when he was Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, he was routinely involved in briefings of the Gang of Eight. He couldn’t even recall how many times he asked to see raw intelligence and was refused.
The transcripts mentioned by Nunes would be considered raw intelligence and policy makers don’t get to see it.
Few if any people in the White House would need to see it. “It is a very unlikely precedent”, Hoekstra said, for masked or unmasked, easily identified persons, making their way to the White House. Who would be reading this, he asks – Valerie Jarret? Ben Rhodes? Susan Rice?
Mr. Comey said Trump wasn’t wiretapped but no one asked him if data was collected on Trump or his transition team by other means. Adm. Rogers was not asked.
The “inarticulate” Trump tweet about wiretapping left too much room for the intelligence officials to skirt around.
The former representative suggested deception on the part of Jim Comey. Mr. Comey admitted he was investigating Trump staff for eight months and it was continuing. Of course he surveilled.
He suggested the same about our NSA chief. While Adm. Rogers claimed there were strict controls in place for masking and unmasking, the truth points to them either being far more lenient than the Adm. let on, and he was either unaware or he was lying.
As Mr. Hoekstra said, Adm. Rogers and Jim Comey had to know about these transcripts and let Congress think otherwise.
Finally, the representative said, “My greatest concern – the one that keeps me up at night – is that the awesome powers of our intelligence community might have been corrupted for political purposes. While we’re not witnessing broad, Stasi-like surveillance of citizens, it’s clear there have been serious errors of judgement and action among our otherwise professional intelligence community. This is truly scary. We have to learn the entire truth before anyone, in or out of Congress, can again have confidence in our intelligence community.”
Former UN Ambassador Ric Grennell put it succinctly.
— Boston🇺🇸Bobblehead (@DBloom451) March 25, 2017