Congress is supposed to have oversight over the intelligence community.  Not the other way around.

But according to a new report by Sharyl Attkisson, that’s what happened.  In 2014, the Obama CIA under John Brennan secretly intercepted sensitive congressional emails that discussed whistleblowers within the intelligence community.  Then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper wrote members of Congress that this information was not meant to be shared; of course, by then he was quite practiced at lying, having testified in 2013 that the CIA did not “wittingly” collect data on millions of Americans.  Information that was leaked just weeks later by Edward Snowden proved quite conclusively that Clapper hadn’t told the truth.


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We just keep finding out more and more that is bad within the intel community, and it’s probably still only the tip of the iceberg.  It seems that, in recent years, the policies, longstanding traditions and even the law no longer applied.  Before going on with the details of this new revelation, I just want to say that this is a major reason why the elections on Tuesday are so important.  It’s the kind of thing that needs to be exposed and rooted out, and if (shiver) Nancy Pelosi takes up the gavel again in the House and (shudder) Adam Schiff chairs the House Intelligence Committee, any congressional investigation of this garbage –- happening as it did under President Obama –- will be shut down for good, while instead they examine every year of President Trump’s tax returns with an electron microscope.

 

We know about what the CIA did because the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, was finally, after four years, able to get a couple of revealing “letters of Congressional notification” declassified.  The slow-walking of this process occurred under Brennan and Clapper, and even after Trump became President, the declassification just wasn’t happening.  Grassley was finally able to get it done by appealing to the new Intelligence Community Inspector General, Michael Atkinson.

 

“The fact that the CIA under the Obama administration was reading Congressional staff’s emails about intelligence community whistleblowers raises serious policy concerns as well as potential constitutional separation-of-powers issues that must be discussed publicly,” Sen. Grassley said in a statement.

 

The letters were from the person who had previously held Atkinson’s job, Charles McCullough, and were sent to four key members of Congress, the Republican and Democratic leaders of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.  They were written to inform these committee leaders that during “routine monitoring of counterintelligence monitoring of Government computer systems,” the CIA collected emails between congressional staff and the CIA’s head of whistleblowing and source protection.  (This kind of makes a joke out of “source protection,” doesn’t it?)  McCullough goes on to express his concern “about the potential compromise to whistleblower confidentiality and the consequent ‘chilling effect’ that the present [counterintelligence] monitoring system might have on Intelligence Community whistleblowing.”

 

McCullough tells congressional leaders that the type of monitoring that took place was legal (!), but adds, “I am not confident that Congressional staff fully understood that their whistleblower communications with my Executive Director of whistleblowing might be reviewed as a result of routine [CIA counterintelligence] monitoring.”  You know, I’ll bet he’s right about that –- I’ll bet they didn’t anywhere NEAR “fully understand” that, and I don’t see how the practice can be legal because it seems to be a blatantly unconstitutional violation of the separation of powers.   What we have here is the CIA monitoring communications of U.S. government officials within the legislative branch.  Not only that, but these particular emails were extremely sensitive.


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When Sen. Grassley, along with Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, asked Clapper about the possibility of the intel community monitoring congressional communications, Clapper implied that any incidental collection of such material would not be saved or passed up the chain.  As he wrote to them on July 14, 2014, “In the event a protected disclosure by a whistleblower somehow comes to the attention of personnel responsible for monitoring user activity, there is no intention for such disclosure to be reported to agency leadership under an insider threat program.”

 

Note the weasel words, however.  It’s not that no such disclosure gets reported to agency leadership –- it’s that there is no INTENTION for that to happen.  Gosh, maybe it would still happen “unwittingly,” to use a favorite world of Clapper’s.

 

Wittingly or unwittingly, it happened, according to the letters sent by McCullough to committee members:  “CIA security compiled a report that includes excerpts of...whistleblower-related communications and this report was eventually shared with...the Director of the Office of Security and the Chief of the Counterintelligence Center” who “briefed the CIA Deputy Director, Deputy Executive Director, and the Chiefs of Staff for both the CIA Director and the Deputy Director.”

 

Wow, did they leave anybody out?

 

Clapper has denied lying on the occasions he has misrepresented the activities of the intel community, attributing any incorrect information to mistakes or misunderstandings.  It hardly seems possible that someone in such a high position –- even in government work –- could have misunderstood such basic things.

 

Attkisson reminds us that Clapper and Brennan were involved in the unmasking of the protected names of U.S. citizens that are incidentally (“unwittingly”?) captured during counterintelligence operations.  This is supposed to happen very rarely and only after serious justification because, at least in theory, American ciizens are supposed to have these things called “privacy rights.”  But in 2016, under Obama, such unmaskings were pretty much an everyday occurrence.

 

So this is just one more thing that went wrong within Obama’s intelligence community.  One way to make sure the swamp is never drained is to intimidate whistleblowers, and this way of treating their “confidential” communications certainly does that.  Can you imagine putting your career and maybe even your life on the line when you can’t be sure of confidentiality?  Much more needs to be done in the way of reform, and it won’t happen unless Republicans retain control of the House and Senate.

 

https://sharylattkisson.com/2018/11/02/cia-secretly-intercepted-congressional-communications-about-whistleblowers/

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Comments 1-25 of 33

  • Tommie Houser

    11/07/2018 08:21 PM

    Please pray for POTUS and give Thanks for his Health, Strength and Leadership.
    I wish someone would convey my thanks and hope that he will remain strong.
    P.C. “ political correctness nor his TONE “ ; are as important to me as The Deaths
    Of The Lydian Ambassador and others to include The Fast And Furious Debackal.
    Please GOD tell me I am not the only person thinking Death Is Worse than Tone.
    So where is the Investigations into the HRC and Obama Mafia?

  • Tommie Houser

    11/07/2018 08:20 PM

    Please pray for POTUS and give Thanks for his Health, Strength and Leadership.
    I wish someone would convey my thanks and hope that he will remain strong.
    P.C. “ political correctness nor his TONE “ ; are as important to me as The Deaths
    Of The Lydian Ambassador and others to include The Fast And Furious Debackal.
    Please GOD tell me I am not the only person thinking Death Is Worse than Tone.
    So where is the Investigations into the HRC and Obama Mafia?

  • Valerie Davis

    11/07/2018 07:46 AM

    Thanks for keeping us informed with a reasonable analysis. Since Democrats have won the House I know we'll never have truth exposed to the public.

  • joseph orsini

    11/06/2018 02:29 PM

    Check out this video - GREAT!!
    Mike will want to have this guy on his show!

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/H3VLqLLWxbQ?rel=0

  • Ed Williams

    11/06/2018 02:43 AM

    This started with the Clintons in the WH .
    Hill hired her best friends & placed them in Top security positions with No Vetting or TS clearances.

  • Gloria Jackson

    11/05/2018 11:35 PM

    Please address Pompeo's stance on whistleblower Snowden. Why is everyone ignoring the fact that Pompeo, prior to Trump appointing him to his current position, was known, according to Wikipedia back in 2016, to be pushing for the death penalty for Snowden?

  • Pamela Rosensteel

    11/05/2018 11:16 PM

    Thank you for all you do! It is really appreciated!

  • Mary Anne Berry

    11/05/2018 06:33 PM

    Isn’t the CIA supposed to be concerned with gathering foreign intel, not its own country?

  • amos kalicharan

    11/05/2018 05:13 PM

    To the Dems 16 yr old are mature enough to vote.
    At 18 they can join the military and handle all types of guns BUT when they return home cannot own a gun until they are 22 because they are not mature

  • Robert Burrell

    11/05/2018 05:04 PM

    HI Governor . With the onslaught of people coming to our southern border , why can't Present Trump close the border and have all those people go to the US Embassy and submit there request there . They will be on Mexico's property so Mexico will be responsible for them as they should because they let them in to begin with . Also I was wondering if President Trump stopped foreign aid to those countries involved in this invasion . I know you are very busy but I sure would like a reply . P.S. your daughter is doing a great job , I thank God for all you and your family is doing for America

  • Christine Rogers

    11/05/2018 03:27 PM

    I am very concerned about tomorrow's election results. All I can do is pray and trust God for His will to be done.

  • Don

    11/05/2018 02:35 PM

    My first thought about Edward Snowden was that he was a traitor; now I'm not that sure. Maybe his case should be re-looked at in light that he may have reported on some confidential data that all Americans should know about. My sense is that the public should be muck more informed of what is going on. My feeling is that if one is putting a life in danger, the data needs to be kept secret. Or, if you divulge a secret that may result in compromise of the mission -- that should not be divulged.

  • Kendra Strecker

    11/05/2018 02:00 PM

    Here's the 64K questions: Was there ANYTHING that Obama and his administration came in contact with that THEY didn't CORRUPT? My best answer is NO!!

  • jack macdonald

    11/05/2018 01:58 PM

    Shouldn't these a*holes be behind bars? What in the hell do to be considered a traitor or failing to adhere to your sworn oath to protect and defend the constitution? The statement that we are a nation of laws is becoming a bit of a joke! Our constitution seems to be an inconvenient, easy to circumvent to these bozos.

  • Firewagon

    11/05/2018 01:04 PM

    How does that lament go, 'how long O'Lord, how long?' Even the Israelites were only in the desert 40 years! My remaining play days are winding down far faster than I would like, and they number far less than the bulk of them in my past, I'm sure, but, only God knows. Said all that to say, I doubt, seriously, that I will ever witness JUSTICE served up to those who deserve it, for 'criminally' abusing their offices and the people they are supposed to "serve," anytime prior to my leaving this life behind!

  • Patricia Johnson

    11/05/2018 12:37 PM

    Hello Mike. I am a conservative that is becoming very frustrated with the judicial system. Why isn’t anyone charged with a crime yet? Why are these members of the Obama administration still walking the streets. I am beginning to think that maybe I am listening to fake news and the msm is telling the truth. Maybe Obama’s people really didn’t do anything wrong and you and other conservative sources are exaggerating. That’s what I’m beginning to believe. How long does it take to bring the crooked Clinton’s down? I think nothing will happen to them. I thought these people broke laws. Apparently they didn’t. Tell me why I’m wrong and why I should listen to conservatives anymore. Thank you

  • Jessie Teddlie

    11/05/2018 12:18 PM

    One more item of proof that make most Americans NOT trust any government agency or group!! Why can we not get anyone prosecuted for lies and deceitful actions when employed by the government?

  • Carole Dailey

    11/05/2018 11:41 AM

    Mike, It is so sad to see what happened to our governement and the lack of oversight that happened in our Justice and Intelligence Departments. The last thirty years they took over as if we were under a dictatorship. Scary. No matter what they say, I pray that President Trump can keep being the business man and leader that he is despite criticism from the MSM and Demos. We absolutely need his leadership and support from our Congress.

  • Tom Ray

    11/05/2018 11:27 AM

    Thank you Mike, keep up the good work!

  • rodney Burke

    11/05/2018 11:20 AM

    i think we need a GITMO cell for Clapper and Brernnan. These two crooks, are without conscience and apparently think they are acountable to no one for anything they do. Edward Swonden was right in exposing the corruption within these agencies. Wiki;eaks is justified in gathering up all the corruption wroth by these guy and their crrooked dealing. yes we need control of the house and that has been my prayer for over a month. We need some jail time and if treason is involved, execution IAW with the Espionage act. We can start with KNOWN traitors, Kerry, Cllinton, and Barry. The job isn't done, and with the help of the almighty, I pray we can finish this and set the Intel community straight. Right now they, the FBI and DOJ hold the system in contempt. (upper mgt only)

  • Rosalie Gilliland

    11/05/2018 11:15 AM

    It is quite chilling that such corrupt dunderheads are running our "intelligence" agencies. They seem like nothing more than little boys playing spies. I really hope President Trump cleans house completely, and starts fresh with newly appointed Director, Deputy Director, Assistant to the Director, Chief of Staff Director, Acting Director, Movie Director, Traffic Director, and so on. Whew!

  • Dan Lach

    11/05/2018 11:13 AM

    So, everybody, tomorrow is the big day to vote for your country. If you think that open borders and mass immigration, socialism, big government run by radical globalists, higher taxes and government health care, out of control abortion murdering millions of unborn human beings, Anti 2nd Amendment laws which will criminalize your right to protect yourself, Anti military legislation which will weaken our country is the way to go, then your choice is clear: vote Democrat, vote for Kyrsten Sinemma and people like her.
    On the other hand, if you believe in our Constitution - which protects your freedom and liberties as citizens (instead of government controlled Subjects of the State), a great free market economy where everyone who wants a job has one (instead of giving your jobs to other countries), lower taxes and more money in your pocket instead of the government's, a health care system which relies on sound government policy/law and the brilliance of free market innovation and Doctors who can actually treat you, and a military which can actually protect us from those who want to destroy our country, and if you believe in the agenda and the direction of the country under President Trump, then your choice is equally clear: Vote for every Republican like Martha McSally and those who believe in a GREAT, STRONG, FREE, WEALTHY America owned by the citizens instead of the the elite and the political class.
    ITS ALL ABOUT GETTING TO THE POLLS AND MAKING YOUR VOICE HEARD - IF YOU DONT SHOW UP YOU MUST REALIZE YOUR ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE OUTCOME. OTHERS ARE GOING TO MAKE SURE THEIR VOICE IS HEARD!!

  • Dan Lach

    11/05/2018 11:01 AM

    So, everybody, tomorrow is the big day to vote for your country. If you think that open borders and mass immigration, socialism, big government run by radical globalists, higher taxes and government health care, out of control abortion murdering millions of unborn human beings, Anti 2nd Amendment laws which will criminalize your right to protect yourself, Anti military legislation which will weaken our country is the way to go, then your choice is clear: vote Democrat, vote for Kyrsten Sinemma and people like her.
    On the other hand, if you believe in our Constitution - which protects your freedom and liberties as citizens (instead of government controlled Subjects of the State), a great free market economy where everyone who wants a job has one (instead of giving your jobs to other countries), lower taxes and more money in your pocket instead of the government's, a health care system which relies on sound government policy/law and the brilliance of free market innovation and Doctors who can actually treat you, and a military which can actually protect us from those who want to destroy our country, and if you believe in the agenda and the direction of the country under President Trump, then your choice is equally clear: Vote for every Republican like Martha McSally and those who believe in a GREAT, STRONG, FREE, WEALTHY America owned by the citizens instead of the the elite and the political class.
    ITS ALL ABOUT GETTING TO THE POLLS AND MAKING YOUR VOICE HEARD - IF YOU DONT SHOW UP YOU MUST REALIZE YOUR ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE OUTCOME. OTHERS ARE GOING TO MAKE SURE THEIR VOICE IS HEARD!!

  • David Abercrombie

    11/05/2018 10:55 AM

    Right on Huck, now use your influence to get us the FAIR Tax!

  • Rocco DeCarlo

    11/05/2018 10:42 AM

    Every time I read something else about Clapper and Brennan my stomach gets a sick feeling inside. It is like a movie, but the only thing I'd that it is real. This is worst than Watergate.