Editorial: What’s going on inside our government?

Spying, naked partisan fervor, missing text messages — is this America?

The national media have wrapped themselves and the country into a pretzel in the past year, wondering if the Trump campaign in some way colluded with a foreign power in the 2016 presidential election.

 

Absolutely, we need to know. Even if there were no crimes committed – other than the few non-collusion charges that have so far been brought – we need to know what if anything passed between the Trump camp and Russia.

But likewise, shouldn’t we, and the national media, have at least as much curiosity – if not more – about whether some in the FBI and Obama administration colluded against Trump?

There has been a series of very troubling revelations coming out on that score – including some chatter among some in the FBI about needing “insurance” against the advent of a Trump election; text messages about a “secret society” at the FBI the day after his election; and possible spying on the Trump campaign and transition team by the Obama administration.

On the latter – which, if true, would clearly dwarf Watergate in significance – nearly 70 Republican members of Congress have signed a letter asking House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., to release a memo he wrote alleging improper search warrants to spy on Trump’s campaign and transition.

As long ago as last September, former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson wrote a column in The Hill headlined, “It looks like Obama did spy on Trump, just as he apparently did to me.”

Is it far-fetched? Perhaps not. Attkisson notes instances of Obama administration spying:

National Security Adviser Susan Rice allegedly “unmasked” the identities of Americans caught up incidentally in foreign surveillance.

“In May,” Attkisson wrote, “former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates acknowledged they, too, reviewed communications of political figures, secretly collected under President Obama.”

“Intel agencies secretly monitored conversations of members of Congress while the Obama administration negotiated the Iran nuclear deal.

“In 2014, the CIA got caught spying on Senate Intelligence Committee staffers, though CIA Director John Brennan had explicitly denied that.

“There were also wiretaps on then-Congressman Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, in 2011 under Obama. …

“Journalists have been targeted, too. … The government subsequently got caught monitoring journalists at Fox News, The Associated Press, and, as I allege in a federal lawsuit, my computers while I worked as an investigative correspondent at CBS News. …

“Two weeks before the election, at a secret hearing before the FISA court overseeing government surveillance, NSA officials confessed they’d violated privacy safeguards ‘with much greater frequency’ than they’d admitted. The judge accused them of ‘institutional lack of candor’ and said, ‘this is a very serious Fourth Amendment issue.’”

Spying on her, Attkisson writes, was performed with software “proprietary to a federal intel agency.”

As for the FBI, now we learn that two FBI agents with fervent anti-Trump views exchanged 50,000 text messages – but that, according to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, “the Inspector General discovered the FBI’s system failed to retain text messages for approximately five months between December 14, 2017 to May 17, 2017.”

What in the world is going on inside our government?

And are the national media just a tad bit curious?

 

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Wed, 02/21/2018 - 22:10

Rick McKee Editorial Cartoon