It has been clear for some time that the efforts to undermine President Trump began even before he took office and continue to occur at the hands of Obama-era policies and holdovers determined to take him out — and undermine the will of the American people.
As the spying scandal from the Obama administration continues to expand, it has come to light that it didn’t start with the Trump administration — far from it.
Examples. Former Democrat Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich has alleged that he was targeted by the Obama administration based on his opposition to the administration’s disastrous efforts to overthrow the Libyan Qaddafi regime.
In this case, Kucinich, while in his D.C. office, spoke to Qaddafi’s son and was swept up in supposed incidental foreign intelligence collection.
National Review reported: “Four years later, as he recalled in a recent opinion piece, Kucinich learned that the call had been recorded and leaked to the Washington Times.”
Incidental foreign intelligence collection. That’s the excuse the Obama administration and its holdovers have hidden behind to justify what was and is is clear spying on political opponents.
Lee Smith, in Tablet magazine, wrote a piece about Obama-era political spying and discussed how the use of incidental collection for what appears incredibly obvious to be political purposes didn’t begin with Trump’s associates.
Obama’s disturbing Iran nuclear deal. During that time, the Obama administration surely knew that Israel would push back against this dangerous deal, so of course they — despite being critical allies of the United States — would be perfect targets for the Obama administration’s abuse of the system.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., were targeted by the surveillance, but it didn’t stop there.
Smith pointed to a report from The Wall Street Journal back in late December 2015, which exposed 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,” 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.
Sharyl Attkisson. Former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson put together an excellent piece titled “Obama-era Surveillance Timeline,” which provides an extraordinary look into just what the Obama administration did — that we know of — to spy on political opponents and even private citizens. Atkisson herself even appears to have been spied on after her reporting on the Fast and Furious and Benghazi scandals.
Make sure to take a look at the full piece, but here are the highlights:
– IRS conservative targeting scandal
– Targeting Fox News’ James Rosen
– Attorney General Eric Holder going after journalists
– Government retaliation against Fast and Furious whistleblowers
– Exposing of Michael Flynn
– Unmasking of Trump associates
– Obama opening up raw intelligence across the intelligence community
“The CIA’s accessing of Senate Intelligence Committee computers and staff e-mails — which CIA director John Brennan initially denied, then apologized for after it was confirmed by an inspector-general report,” NRO reported.
What this means? What the Obama administration has done — and there’s almost undoubtedly much more we don’t know about — is an assault on all of us.
The Democrats have claimed that supposed Russian interference into our elections — with no evidence presented — is a dire threat to our democracy. But what the Obama administration did is far more dangerous to this country — yet crickets are all we hear about it.