Barack Obama’s Trump Tower Wiretap Denial Reeks of Orwellian Doublespeak
| PJ Media
On Saturday, President Donald Trump shook the world by accusing former President Barack Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower in the final weeks of the 2016 presidential election — a scandal comparable to “Nixon/Watergate.” While news outlets reported that Trump cited “no evidence” to support his claims, there is a disturbing trail of breadcrumbs suggesting that the Obama administration did indeed do this.
Kevin Lewis, a spokesman for the former president, denied these allegations, but the very denial was disingenuous at best. In fact, one might even call it Orwellian. Here it is:
A cardinal rule of the Obama Administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice. As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.
This declaration is disingenuous on at least three levels, as pointed out by National Review‘s David French. First, the process which Obama’s administration allegedly used to wiretap Trump Tower (if indeed it happened) was using the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Technically, it is the FISA court which “orders” such surveillance, and the Justice Department (not Obama or the White House) represents the government in proceedings before that court.
“The issue is not whether Obama or some member of his White House staff ‘ordered’ surveillance of Trump and his associates,” French explained. Rather, the important questions are “whether the Obama Justice Department sought such surveillance authorization from the FISA court, and whether, if the Justice Department did that, the White House was aware of or complicit in the decision to do so.” Reports suggest the answer to the first question is yes, and it seems very unlikely, given the explosive nature of this surveillance request, that Obama would not have known about it.
Second, it is a virtual certainty that Obama has ordered surveillance against American citizens — he has even had American citizens killed in drone operations. As French argued, “the notion that Obama would never have an American subject to surveillance is absurd.” Indeed, as he left office, President Obama gave the National Security Agency (NSA) broad powers to spy on Americans.
Finally, FISA national security investigations are significantly different from criminal investigations. The intention is not to build a criminal case, but to gather information about what foreign powers are doing — especially on U.S. soil. It is the president’s prerogative to order surveillance of a potential foreign agent. Nevertheless, as French noted, “it would be a scandal of Watergate dimension if a presidential administration sought to conduct, or did conduct, national-security surveillance against the presidential candidate of the opposition party.”
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Here’s the List: More Than a Dozen Proven Victims of Obama’s Many Wiretaps
“It is not unfounded that former President Obama would wire tap President Trump during the election process. This is because he has done this before. Here is a list of individuals who were wire tapped by the Obama Administration.
WikiLeaks released the following list on February 23rd (see link here) of Obama Administration wire taps:
* The US National Security Agency bugged a private climate change strategy meeting; between UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin;
* Obama bugged Chief of Staff of UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for long term interception targetting his Swiss phone;
* Obama singled out the Director of the Rules Division of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Johann Human, and targetted hi Swiss phone for long term interception;
* Obama stole sensitive Italian diplomatic cables detailing how Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu implored Italy’s Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to help patch up his relationship with US President Barack Obama, who was refusing to talk to Netanyahu;
* Obama explicitly targeted five other top EU economic officials for long term interception, including their French, Austrian and Belgian phone numbers;
* Obama explicitly targetted the phones of Italy’s ambassador to NATO and other top Italian officials for long term interception: Obama intercepted top EU and Japanese trade ministers discussing their secret strategy and red lines to stop the US “extort[ing]” them at the WTO Doha arounds (the talks subsequently collapsed);
* Obama intercepted details of a critical private meeting between then French president Nicolas Sarkozy, Merkel and Berluscon, where the latter was told the Italian banking system was ready to “pop like a cork”.
In addition to the above list we also know now that Obama wire tapped various individuals in the US media that were reporting information not flattering to the Obama Administration. It is widely known that Obama’s Justice Department targeted journalists with wiretaps in 2013:
* In 2013 the liberal Washington Post expressed outrage after the revelation that the Justice Department had investigated the newsgathering activities of a Fox News reporter as a potential crime in a probe of classified leaks. The reporter, Fox News’ James Rosen and his family, were part of an investigation into government officials anonymously leaking information to journalists. Rosen was not charged but his movements and actions were tracked.
* Also in 2013, members of the Associated Press were also a target of the surveillance. The ultra liberal New Yorker even noted that “In moderate and liberal circles, at least, the phone-records scandal, partly because it involves the dear old A.P. and partly because it raises anew the specter of Big Brother, may well present the most serious threat to Obama’s reputation.”
* Reporter Sharyl Attkisson said in 2014 that her personal computer and CBS laptop were hacked after she began filing stories about Benghazi that were unflattering to the Obama administration. A source who checked her laptop said the hacker used spyware “proprietary to a government agency,” according to an article in the New York Post.
Update – WikiLeaks tweeted overnight that the Obama Administration spied on their journalists as well.”
….Continue reading @ theGatewayPundit
Obama calls Japanese leader to express regret for WikiLeaks spying scandal
| the Guardian | 2015
“Barack Obama has called Japan’s leader to express regret over recent WikiLeaks allegations that the US had spied on senior Japanese officials.
Obama told prime minister Shinzo Abe that he thought the trouble the revelations caused Abe and his government was regrettable, a Japanese government spokesman told reporters.
The 40-minute call took place Wednesday morning Japan time.
Japanese officials faced questioning from the media and in parliament after WikiLeaks posted online what appeared to be five US National Security Agency reports on Japanese positions on international trade and climate change. They date from 2007 to 2009. WikiLeaks also posted what it says was an NSA list of 35 Japanese targets for telephone intercepts.
Abe told Obama that the allegations could undermine trust between the countries, and reiterated his request for an investigation of the matter.”
…..Continue reading @ theGuardian