From the New York Post
New revelations have surfaced that the Obama administration abused intelligence during the election by launching a massive domestic-spy campaign that included snooping on Trump officials.
The irony is mind-boggling: Targeting political opposition is long a technique of police states like Russia, which Team Obama has loudly condemned for allegedly using its own intelligence agencies to hack into our election.
The revelations, as well as testimony this week from former Obama intel officials, show the extent to which the Obama administration politicized and weaponized intelligence against Americans.
Thanks to Circa News, we now know the National Security Agency under Barack Obama routinely violated privacy protections while snooping through foreign intercepts involving US citizens — and failed to disclose the breaches, prompting the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court a month before the election to rebuke administration officials.
The story concerns what’s known as “upstream” data collection under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, under which the NSA looks at the content of electronic communication. Upstream refers to intel scooped up about third parties: Person A sends Person B an e-mail mentioning Person C. Though Person C isn’t a party to the e-mail, his information will be scooped up and potentially used by the NSA.
Further, the number of NSA data searches about Americans mushroomed after Obama loosened rules for protecting such identities from government officials and thus the reporters they talk to.
The FISA court called it a “very serious Fourth Amendment issue” that NSA analysts — in violation of a 2011 rule change prohibiting officials from searching Americans’ information without a warrant — “had been conducting such queries in violation of that prohibition, with much greater frequency than had been previously disclosed to the Court.”
A number of those searches were made from the White House, and included private citizens working for the Trump campaign, some of whose identities were leaked to the media.
We also learned this week that Obama intelligence officials really had no good reason attaching a summary of a dossier on Trump to a highly classified Russia briefing they gave to Obama just weeks before Trump took office.
Obama’s CIA chief John Brennan said the dossier did not “in any way” factor into the agency’s assessment that Russia interfered in the election. Why not? Because as Obama intel czar James Clapper earlier testified, “We could not corroborate the sourcing.”
……In short, Brennan politicized raw intelligence. In fact, he politicized the entire CIA.
More from Circa:
The National Security Agency under Barack Obama routinely violated American privacy protections while scouring through overseas intercepts and failed to disclose the extent of the problems until the final days before Donald Trump was elected president last fall, according to once top-secret documents that chronicle some of the most serious constitutional abuses to date by the U.S. intelligence community.
More than 5 percent, or one out of every 20 searches seeking upstream Internet data on Americans inside the NSA’s so-called Section 702 database violated the safeguards Obama and his intelligence chiefs vowed to follow in 2011, according to one classified internal report reviewed by Circa.
The Obama administration self-disclosed the problems at a closed-door hearing Oct. 26 before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that set off alarm. Trump was elected less than two weeks later.
The normally supportive court censured administration officials, saying the failure to disclose the extent of the violations earlier amounted to an “institutional lack of candor” and that the improper searches constituted a “very serious Fourth Amendment issue,” according to a recently unsealed court document dated April 26, 2017.
The admitted violations undercut one of the primary defenses that the intelligence community and Obama officials have used in recent weeks to justify their snooping into incidental NSA intercepts about Americans.
James Comey’s FBI routinely engaged in illegally sharing raw intelligence with unauthorized third parties and accessed intercepted attorney-client privileged communications without proper oversight.
Over eight years of his regime, Obama was pretty prolific with the wiretaps.
The intelligence agencies are politicized and need a major overhaul. One of Obama’s last acts of malfeasance was to give the NSA increased power to do want it wants with the information it collects on American citizens. Obama’s abuse of power was unprecedented. He used intelligence agencies to target political opponents. When Sharyl Attkisson and James Rosen published damaging information about Benghazi and Fast and Furious, he had their emails, computers, and phones hacked.
Much of Obama’s corruption, lawbreaking, and Constitutional violations were well known. No one in the entire Obama regime was held accountable for their crimes. The Dems will never go after their own and the GOP lacks the balls.