As media and congressmen like Republican House oversight chair Jason Chaffetz (Utah) and Democrat senator Richard Blumenthal (CT) head to talk TV to expound about Russia’s influence on the 2016 election, no one except for a single news website is reporting on a super breach.
There may even be some real “hacking” involved, unlike in the presidential election when no hacking occurred as far as we know, based on statements from the famous intel community leftists now suddenly adore.
I watched parts of the testimony this morning in the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence chaired by Devin Nunes (R-CA). Mike Rogers, director of the National Security Agency, and FBI director James Comey testified. Predictably, because investigations are ongoing, many questions put forth by committee members can’t be answered.
Rogers did say 20 people in the NSA were authorized to “unmask” persons of interest in investigations. He could not say who leaked Mike Flynn’s name to left of center news media, however. Flynn was President Donald Trump’s national security adviser for a brief spell until politics over, among other things, a speech he gave in Russia became an issue ripe for Democrats’ exploitation. Flynn, who had an impressive career in the military, was a lifelong Democrat who had served as President Barack Obama’s director of the Defense Intelligence Agency for two years.
In today’s hearing Comey and Rogers confirmed the government is investigating the Russia government because of allegations Moscow “interfered” in the election. That revelation is no surprise.
Governments do often attempt to influence elections via propaganda campaigns. The US, under Obama, certainly did that on more than one occasion, and Obama wasn’t the first president to preside over such policies.
However, both Comey and Rogers are also investigating potential links between Russia and some who worked with the Trump campaign. Neither would say who is being investigated.
Comey and Rogers agreed that whoever leaked information to (left of center) media broke federal laws.
Rogers took pains to assure Americans we aren’t being spied on. That was nice of him. In fact, the whole country is one gigantic ‘wiretap’ of sorts because the government scoops information and can look at it whenever a federal law enforcement or intelligence agency deems it in the national interest.
What’s interesting to me is that after campaigning against Republican president George W. Bush’s surveillance policies, Obama expanded them when he became president. Sites not aligned with conservatism, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, have criticized Obama for doing that even more aggressively in the final days of his final term:
“With mere days left before President-elect Donald Trump takes the White House, President Barack Obama’s administration just finalized rules to make it easier for the nation’s intelligence agencies to share unfiltered information about innocent people.
New rules issued by the Obama administration under Executive Order 12333 will let the NSA—which collects information under that authority with little oversight, transparency, or concern for privacy—share the raw streams of communications it intercepts directly with agencies including the FBI, the DEA, and the Department of Homeland Security, according to a report today by the New York Times.
That’s a huge and troubling shift in the way those intelligence agencies receive information collected by the NSA.”
Meanwhile, there is cataclysmic silence over what appears to be a serious national security breach because of IT workers and their associates whose services were contracted by Democrats, some of whom were on the House Intel Committee. Only one media outlet has reported on this persistently, and I have tried to follow it as well. The Daily Caller has done a series, including reporting on this breach of data:
“Congressional aides suspected of criminally misusing their access to House computer systems owed $100,000 to an Iraqi politician who is wanted by U.S. authorities and has been linked to Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Middle Eastern terrorist outfit.
Imran Awan and four of his relatives were employed as information technology (IT) aides by dozens of House Democrats, including members of the intelligence, foreign affairs and homeland security committees. The aides’ administrator-level IT access was terminated earlier this month amid a criminal probe by U.S. Capitol Police of a suspected security breach, including an off-site server housing congressional data.”
Both Comey and Rogers asserted no votes were changed because of whatever Russia allegedly did during the 2016 election. Whether former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, president Obama, or Mr. Bill Clinton’s ties and activities with Russia will be brought up in the hearing is unknown, but it’s doubtful. Trump critics like Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) appear to be fine with the abundant rewards Obama-Clinton policies conferred on Russia.
It’s ironic that after weeks of ridicule directed at 2012 losing GOP nominee Mitt Romney for targeting Russia as a US geopolitical foe, Democrats have long been silent as Moscow acquired a strategic (former) NATO base, a sizable share in US uranium, and got what Vladimir Putin wanted on missile defense. Only when Trump won the election did most Dems turn an eye to Russia, long after their party leaders served as de facto benefactors to Moscow.
Comey said the investigation into the Trump campaign and Russia began in July, 2016. That is certainly fodder for discussion because in late June, Bill Clinton met with Obama’s secretary of state Loretta Lynch at a Phoenix airport. Lynch was supposed to be investigating Mrs. Clinton’s use of private servers at the time. That investigation wrapped up quickly. Comey must have missed that.
Sources and Related Links
Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency
Electronic Frontier Foundation, have criticized Obama
Ties and activities with Russia
Series on House IT breach at The Daily Caller
Why is Congress ignoring House IT investigation?
Bill Clinton met with Obama’s secretary of state Loretta Lynch