by John Galt
March 22, 2017 20:20 ET
This morning Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA) said the following during his press conference before he met with the President later on today:
Nunes: The information that I have seen re: Trump has nothing to do with the Russia investigation
— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) March 22, 2017
Full video of the presser is here, and please note the comment that the “surveillance” was all done legally:
The following is a theory, supported by strong circumstantial and real evidence, that the Obama administration obtained the intelligence materials being leaked about General Flynn and others within the Trump transition team in a legal matter, but disseminated illegally to the media to destroy the incoming President’s credibility.
Please note from the stories published today about the Nunes presser that most of the intercepts happened during November, December, and January which indicates that this was not given any priority until Donald Trump was elected President. What is damning about this is that there is sufficient circumstantial evidence to indicate that the comment in the Tweet above from the Nunes’ press conference supports the following:
The intercepts as noted at 6:50 in the video above “did not involve Russia nor the Russia investigation” so that leaves one nation as the primary target of Obama’s intelligence gathering efforts which apparently have been underway during the duration of his administration due to his personal disdain for one nation, its policies, and its leadership:
Immediately after the election, then President-Elect Trump started receiving phone calls from world leaders, which is a fairly standard practice after an American election. Of particular note however was the reportedly long and diplomatically warm phone call which occurred between Prime Minister Netanyahu and Trump immediately after the election. From the Times of Israel report, Trump invited Netanyahu to the White House as soon as possible:
US President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the phone and invited the Israeli leader to Washington at the “first opportunity,” according to the Prime Minister’s Office. Trump and Netanyahu, “who have known each other for many years, had a warm, heartfelt conversation,” the statement said.
“President-elect Trump invited Prime Minister Netanyahu to a meeting in the United States at the first opportunity,” it said.
Netanyahu responded by saying that he and his wife Sara were looking forward to meeting the president-elect and his wife Melania.
Regional issues were also raised during the phone conversation, the statement said, without elaborating.
Why is this important? It was followed up a few weeks later with President-Elect Trump reportedly pressuring Egypt to refuse to support a blatant anti-Israel resolution in the U.N. Security Council. Shortly afterwards however, it passed with President Obama ordering U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power to abstain from a vote which condemned Israel’s settlement policies. This was followed up by a shortsighted, rambling final speech by then Secretary of State Kerry slamming Netanyahu, the Israeli policies, and accusing the U.S. ally of obstructing peace in the region. President-Elect Trump and P.M. Netanyahu were not pleased in this least by this course of action (from NBC News):
President-elect Donald Trump hasn’t taken office yet, but his diplomatic ties with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are strengthening by the day.
Trump and Netanyahu have joined hands in recent days to condemn the Obama administration’s abstention from a United Nations resolution labeling Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal.
Going around the White House, Trump announced his opposition before the Obama administration took a position on the resolution. Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, told MSNBC on Thursday that Israeli officials reached out to Trump ahead of his statement and said they would provide intelligence to him showing Obama took an active role in passing the resolution, a charge that Secretary of State John Kerry denies.
The situation was so dire and the relations with Israel deteriorated so much, Israel apparently wanted to provide the incoming President with evidence of U.S. meddling by the Obama State Department during the U.N. Resolution process(via the UK Guardian):
Israel has escalated its already furious war with the outgoing US administration, claiming that it has “rather hard” evidence that Barack Obama was behind a critical UN security council resolution criticising Israeli settlement building, and threatening to hand over the material to Donald Trump.
The latest comments come a day after the US ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, was summoned by Netanyahu to explain why the US did not veto the vote and instead abstained.
The claims have emerged in interviews given by close Netanyahu allies to US media outlets on Monday after the Obama administration denied in categorical terms the claims originally made by Netanyahu himself.
However, speaking to Fox News on Sunday, David Keyes – a Netanyahu spokesman – said Arab sources, among others, had informed Jerusalem of Obama’s alleged involvement in advancing the resolution.
“We have rather iron-clad information from sources in both the Arab world and internationally that this was a deliberate push by the United States and in fact they helped create the resolution in the first place,” Keyes said.
Doubling down on the claim a few hours later the controversial Israeli ambassador to Washington, Ron Dermer, went even further suggesting it had gathered evidence that it would present to the incoming Trump administration.
Whether this stunning claim has been presented to the Trump administration or not is yet to be known as the Obama surrogates would almost certainly lead the claims to the media in an effort to shame Netanyahu again while embarrassing the “leaky” Trump team again. The one issue that is not in dispute is that President-Elect Trump and his transition team had numerous contacts with Israeli authorities in the months leading up to his inauguration.
To understand the history of the bitter political and personal relationship between Netanyahu and Obama, one does not have to refer back to the meeting where President Obama refused to have dinner with the Israeli Prime Minister; a story from The Washington Times on July 12, 2016 actually provides some idea of the disdain Obama had for Israel and it’s elected officials:
The State Department paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayers grants to an Israeli group that used the money to build a campaign to oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in last year’s Israeli parliamentary elections, a congressional investigation concluded Tuesday.
Some $350,000 was sent to OneVoice, ostensibly to support the group’s efforts to back Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement negotiations. But OneVoice used the money to build a voter database, train activists and hire a political consulting firm with ties to President Obama’s campaign — all of which set the stage for an anti-Netanyahu campaign, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations said in a bipartisan staff report.
In one stunning finding, the subcommittee said OneVoice even told the State Department’s top diplomat in Jerusalem of its plans in an email, but the official, Consul General Michael Ratney, claims never to have seen them.
It is safe to assume that if the Obama regime was willing to engage in this type of subterfuge in a foreign election, the very crime the FakeStream Media is accusing Russia of doing, then obviously it is not beyond the pale to assume that the prior administration was actively spying on Israel using our intelligence community for military and political gain.
The answer is “obviously” as reported first by the Wall Street Journal and Fox News on December 30, 2015; almost a full year before Trump was elected President:
The National Security Agency’s effort to eavesdrop on communications between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his aides reportedly also captured private conversations involving U.S. lawmakers and members of American Jewish groups.
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the NSA’s monitoring of such exchanges raised fears that the Obama administration would be accused of spying on Congress, with one official calling it an “oh, s— moment”.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a presidential candidate, told Fox News the report just demonstrates the need for more controls on the NSA.
“I’m appalled by it,” Paul said Wednesday. “You could see how it would stifle speech if you’re going to eavesdrop on congressmen, and that it might stifle what they say or who they communicate with.”
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., told The Associated Press he’s already asked the NSA director and director of National Intelligence to brief lawmakers on the issue.
According to the Journal, the enhanced monitoring of Netanyahu began, with the assent of lawmakers from both parties, late in Obama’s first term out of concerns that the Israeli leader would pursue a preemptive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities.
The sweeping up of conversations between Israeli officials and U.S. lawmakers began in earnest earlier this year, ahead of a March visit to Capitol Hill by Netanyahu to speak out against the developing Iran nuclear deal, and continued through this past September, when the deadline for Congress to block the deal passed.
Unless one is an idiot or employee of CNN or MSDNC, then it is a 100% safe assumption to assert that President Obama had no intention of ending his spying on the Israeli military and political leadership to impair their ability to engage in policies which run in opposition to the Obama regime. Add in the fact that when the U.N. Resolution which passed thanks to a U.S. abstention after it was revealed by “sources” that Trump had been in contact with Netanyahu prior to the vote, then it is no reach to calculate that Obama did this to personally humiliate Prime Minister Netanyahu one more time before he left office; and to put Trump on notice that he was being watched.
The spying on Israel is nothing new however, as the U.S. intelligence community quietly has admitted that both allies spy on each other, a prospect which when both nations are aligned is tolerable. However when President Obama brought his “Arab Street” first policy into the geopolitical sphere of Middle East reality along with his strong allegiance to removing the sanctions on Iran, it became apparent to Israel that the U.S. could no longer be counted on as a reliable ally.
In fact before the December 2015 report, it was revealed that this spying on Israel had been ongoing since 2012 (from Conservative Review, October 23, 2015)
“The U.S. closely monitored Israel’s military bases and eavesdropped on secret communications in 2012, fearing its longtime ally might try to carry out a strike on Fordow, Iran’s most heavily fortified nuclear facility. Worried that Israel might ignite a regional war, the White House sent a second aircraft carrier to the region and readied attack aircraft, a senior U.S. official said, “in case all hell broke loose.”
This means that Obama’s spying program on Israel was to guarantee Obama’s policies succeeded, NOT to press for peace in the region or help our ally defend itself against threats from neighboring nations like Iran which is still the largest sponsor of terrorism in the region.
Further evidence of this was sounded as a clarion warning by The New York Times on September 5, 2011, but ignored by the rest of the U.S. media:
When Shamai K. Leibowitz, an F.B.I. translator, was sentenced to 20 months in prison last year for leaking classified information to a blogger, prosecutors revealed little about the case. They identified the blogger in court papers only as “Recipient A.” After Mr. Leibowitz pleaded guilty, even the judge said he did not know exactly what Mr. Leibowitz had disclosed.
“All I know is that it’s a serious case,” Judge Alexander Williams Jr., of United States District Court in Maryland, said at the sentencing in May 2010. “I don’t know what was divulged other than some documents, and how it compromised things, I have no idea.”
Now the reason for the extraordinary secrecy surrounding the Obama administration’s first prosecution for leaking information to the news media seems clear: Mr. Leibowitz, a contract Hebrew translator, passed on secret transcripts of conversations caught on F.B.I. wiretaps of the Israeli Embassy in Washington. Those overheard by the eavesdroppers included American supporters of Israel and at least one member of Congress, according to the blogger, Richard Silverstein.
In his first interview about the case, Mr. Silverstein offered a rare glimpse of American spying on a close ally.
He said he had burned the secret documents in his Seattle backyard after Mr. Leibowitz came under investigation in mid-2009, but he recalled that there were about 200 pages of verbatim records of telephone calls and what seemed to be embassy conversations. He said that in one transcript, Israeli officials discussed their worry that their exchanges might be monitored.
Mr. Leibowitz, who declined to comment for this article, released the documents because of concerns about Israel’s aggressive efforts to influence Congress and public opinion, and fears that Israel might strike nuclear facilities in Iran, a move he saw as potentially disastrous, according to Mr. Silverstein.
That portion of the article was damning enough. But the evasiveness and outright mysterious behavior of F.B.I. Director Comey can possibly be explained by this part of the story, later in the article:
While the American government routinely eavesdrops on some embassies inside the United States, intelligence collection against allies is always politically delicate, especially one as close as Israel.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation listens in on foreign embassies and officials in the United States chiefly to track foreign spies, though any intelligence it obtains on other matters is passed on to the C.I.A. and other agencies. The intercepts are carried out by the F.B.I.’s Operational Technology Division, based in Quantico, Va., according to Matthew M. Aid, an intelligence writer who describes the bureau’s monitoring in a book, “Intel Wars,” scheduled for publication in January. Translators like Mr. Leibowitz work at an F.B.I. office in Calverton, Md.
Former counterintelligence officials describe Israeli intelligence operations in the United States as quite extensive, ranking just below those of China and Russia, and F.B.I. counterintelligence agents have long kept an eye on Israeli spying.
Hence, it is only logical that the current F.B.I. Director has been deliberately evasive and refused thus far to turn documents over to Congressman Nunes’ committe even though the request was submitted to Comey over two weeks ago. The capturing of this metadata, including members of the Trump transition team is perfectly logical when one thinks about this. There probably is not a FISA warrant to obtain this information as the intelligence gathering of Israeli communications is considered standard practice for counter-intelligence reasons and hence, not required by law to spy on conversations with foreign governments or businesses. Under the regulatory structure for counter-intelligence operations it much less stringent than those designated by a FISA warrant for data gathering as the tag “national security reasons” provides the excuse for unlimited metadata collection without due process or notification of any parties being monitored.
Hopefully Congressman Nunes and the Israeli intelligence services will start to reveal more about the vile anti-Israel operations conducted by President Obama and his regime to tilt the balance of power away from our allies and towards nations like Iran. In the end, it is quite obvious to this writer as to how this data was obtained and why there has been wide dissemination of this information by the former administration as they sought to essentially blackmail Israel and humiliate President Trump before he has a chance to remove the remnants of the Obama appointees operating against the Trump administration from within the U.S. Government.