May 29, 2020

If you’ve seen movies or TV shows about the FBI and CIA, you’re familiar with the expression, “That’s on a need-to-know basis.” Traditionally, even members of the intelligence community weren’t necessarily entitled to a given piece of information. That changed on January 12, 2017, through modifications in Executive Order #12333, just as President Obama was on his way out the door. (Goodness, those first three weeks in January were a flurry of behind-the-scenes activity.)

Even at the time, there was interest in Obama’s rationale for doing this. THE ATLANTIC ran a piece by Kavey Waddell called “Why Is Obama Expanding Surveillance Powers Right Before He Leaves Office,” which suggested, perversely, that it was somehow to keep incoming President Trump from “encroaching even further on civil liberties.” What a joke; little did leftists know then that it was not Trump but the ‘deep state’ bureaucracy left in place under Obama that would be encroaching on civil liberties big-time in the months to come.

Thanks to Dan Bongino for citing this piece and taking us all down memory lane. Certainly there were questions at the time on both sides of the aisle about why Obama would do this just as he was leaving the White House. But recent revelations about the phony “Trump-Russia” investigation and the runaway unmasking of names connected with Trump are shedding light on this in a way never dreamed of in January of 2017.

What Obama did with Executive Order #12333 was to finalize new rules that allowed the National Security Agency to share information combed from its vast international surveillance capability with the 16 other intelligence agencies. These agencies would be able to apply for access to raw NSA intelligence, and their analysts would then be able to sift through this information unencumbered, BEFORE IMPLEMENTING REQUIRED PRIVACY PROTECTIONS. Before this, the NSA was required to apply those protections BEFORE sending information to other agencies.

The piece in THE ATLANTIC is an interview between Waddell and Susan Hennessey, managing editor of LAWFARE and previously an attorney in the NSA general counsel’s office, a person who actually believed --- I kid you not --- that this rule change was put in place to help discourage TRUMP from violating civil liberties. She said the regulations, coming at that time, might serve as “a huge source of comfort.” Waddell agreed:  “...While the changes may subject more Americans to warrantless surveillance, the last-minute timing of the announcement actually might have been designed to cut future privacy losses.” Huh?

Read the article and note the way Hennessey "minimized" (ha) the effect that these rule changes would have on privacy. She reassured us that other agencies would have to “provide justification” for why they needed access to the data. (Yes, we’ve seen since then how that requirement has held them in check.)

Hennessey said she wasn't concerned that Americans could be caught up in warrantless searches from being caught up in the raw intelligence that was shared. “Look, she told the interviewer, “I think it’s important to understand that these minimizing procedures are taken very seriously, and all other agencies that are handling raw signals intelligence are essentially going to have to import these very complex oversight and compliance mechanisms that currently exist at the NSA.”

I’ll pause while you fall to the floor helpless with laughter.

Recovered? Well, here’s more: “Within the NSA, those are extremely strong and protective mechanisms. I think people should feel reassured that the rules cannot be violated --- certainly not without it coming to the attention of oversight and compliance bodies. I am confident that all of the agencies in the U.S. intelligence community will discharge those very same obligations with the same level of diligence and rigor, adhering to both the spirit and letter of the law.”

Makes you want to laugh till you cry. I wonder if Bill Barr is laughing...or crying.

Oh, gosh, here’s even more amusement: “...I think the bottom line is that it’s comforting to a large national security community that these are procedures that are signed off by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and not by the DNI and attorney general that will ultimately be confirmed under the Trump administration.”

Well, THAT’S a relief!  Why, Trump might try to defy Americans’ constitutional rights, and the Obama people would NEVER have done that.

Hennessey concludes, “If there’s a silver lining to some of the ANXIETIES THAT THE INCOMING ADMINISTRATION HAS PRODUCED [emphasis mine], I think it’s the potential to move the conversation into a much more productive place.” Funny, I think it's the abuses of Obama’s administration, not Trump’s, that have brought us to the “productive” conversation we need to have about the intelligence community.

In his Thursday podcast, Bongino took a look at Obama’s order #12333 and noted that the day it was signed, January 12, coincides with the final unmasking request on Michael Flynn, made by Joe Biden. He postulates that after the rule changes on intelligence sharing, formal unmasking requests were no longer needed. By then, they had what they needed on Flynn, and #12333 made it possible for them to use “evidence” of a crime that was seized “incidentally” (while they were recording Ambassador Kislyak’s calls). That’s how they were able to criminally investigate Flynn, send the two agents 12 days later to interview the unsuspecting Flynn, and all the rest.

Remember that this particular call with Kislyak, the one on December 29, 2016, was NEVER unmasked, because Obama’s Presidential Briefing staff had told the FBI to get it. The narrative was that Flynn was picked up “incidentally,” but he really wasn’t. They were listening very intentionally. As Bongino explained, this executive order provided cover and allowed them to use the call. (Even though he never said anything inappropriate during the call, they absurdly tried to stretch the Logan Act to cover it.)

The media --- Exhibit A: that piece in THE ATLANTIC --- ran with their idiotic cover story: that Obama changed these rules because of anxiety that TRUMP would tread on Americans’ civil liberties. They really did it to stomp all over Mike Flynn’s civil liberties and to give themselves cover to do it.

By the way, I mentioned yesterday that we should mark our calendars for former acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 3, and now, Elizabeth Vaughn at has just posted a great piece expressing the same enthusiasm.

Vaughn explains that it’s no accident Rosenstein is first up. The FBI’s own documentation shows that by the time Rosenstein appointed Mueller to be special counsel, he’d already been briefed that President Trump was not a suspect, as they had no evidence he personally had been involved in Russian “collusion.” The sources (Christopher Steele and his sub-sources) hadn’t held up. This must be why Rosenstein expanded the scope to include Flynn’s “criminal” violation of the Logan Act.

As I said, mark your calendars.

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Comments 1-25 of 49

  • Florence Kaplan

    06/08/2020 05:06 PM



    The Jihadi Socialist Obama Bin Ladin, created BLACK LIVES MATTER in 2013, and is the resurrector of ANTIFA, pushing these organization, in order to play his race card, spread violence, disruption of civil rights, anti Police actions etc. , while pushing his anti-Trump and Islamic Socialist agendas down America’s throats!

  • Thomas Rawls

    06/05/2020 01:26 PM

    My greatest concern is our upcoming election and voter fraud..with all the high tectonic tools avaliable the elections can be rigged and stolen and it could never be recognized or proven..Mike how do we protect our election process ?

  • Sharon C. Fahey

    06/04/2020 02:49 PM

    Trying to stage a coup, like Pelosi did, is treason. Why on earth, with ALL the evidence, hasn't Obama, Clinton or others been charged!? It's not the red tape, or endless amounts of paperwork, both parties by their feet dragging refuse to charge them and bring justice. If it were any business or any employee they would have been gone by now. This is why we're sick of our government. The rich get years of excuses while we get the cell.

  • Laura Gahan

    05/31/2020 02:45 AM

    Governor Huckabee, The only response, please Jesus bring out the truth in a mighty way, and protect our President and his family! Selfishly show us your justice for The Obama Team/Evil ??

  • Richard Eugene Ables

    05/30/2020 11:37 AM

    It's time we as Americans arrest all of the DNC and leftist politicians and ship their low life butts to GIZMO. If we ever expect to see freedom again, we must act now. We really don't need any of the corrupt politicians including corrupt republicans . The entire Congress needs to be overhauled to protect us. We really don't need a congress, amend the constitution to remove the entire congress. Let each governor pick 1 person to represent the state in DC. All enumeration will be paid by the state. Have each county representative appoint 1 person to represent the people at the state level, with all remuneration being by the county. Representatives in congress will not get extra pay for being on a committee, or leader of one.

  • Gary Alexander

    05/30/2020 11:29 AM

    I certainly hope that the American people who still have a semblance of sanity and common sense are listening to you and others like Mr Bongino about the devastation to the rule of law perpetrated by Obama and his Administration. The deep states attempts to obstruct and hinder Trump must be revealed and communicated to Americans. Keep up the great work you do day-in and day-out.

  • Nancy Gibson

    05/30/2020 08:03 AM

    The Atlantic article does not pull up. It looks like you are able to click on it to pull up and read.
    Not able to.

  • Paul Fitzgerald

    05/30/2020 07:50 AM

    If that complete list of people don’t end up in jail we need two million folks to march on Washington and keep every elected official and all of justice dept in their offices Until they smell so bad they can’t eat!!!!!!

  • Neil Britten

    05/29/2020 07:58 PM

    Obama was the worst do-nothing President is US history. They must be held accountable for their crimes so that it will never happen again.

  • Terrie O'Neal

    05/29/2020 07:57 PM

    Hi Mike! Thankyou for this report! I am past ready for justice for our President and for EVERYONE
    responsible for the 'witch hunt' and for the injustice to Major Flynn to be found guilty and do the time for their egregious ways! Sincerely, Terrie O'Neal

  • Terrie O'Neal

    05/29/2020 05:54 PM

    Mike-I am so thankful the Lord has given you a marvelous brain and quick wit to go with the great brain! You give a good amount of info. in much fewer words than anyone else I know. AND you give a large dose of humor and tongue in cheek with the honesty! Bless you brother! Terrie O'Neal

  • Diane V. Ransom

    05/29/2020 04:25 PM

    I am ashamed of ever having any trust in #44. I seen other Executive orders he made that "hurt" Americans. The one that stood out most was the land he took in Nevada for ... "A National Monument?". I know (in my heart) he did this out of spite and also to help Harry Reid. I do not recall the other things I suspect though I swear I found it to be a mistake to Fax him concerning The Boston Marathon of 2013. More than once for help as things were not correct. Patriot's Day, Massachusetts and all "his" cronies combined with Ukraine and loveless for Our Nation.

  • Wanda Loyd

    05/29/2020 04:22 PM

    Sounds to me like, when Trump wins again in November, he needs to make sure he rids his staff of all Obama personnel! How did this country survive two terms of such a crook in office? By the way, I really enjoy reading your comments. Thank you.

  • Steve Schupbach

    05/29/2020 03:54 PM

    I think this would be a perfect time for the US to recognize Taiwan. It's a disgrace that "the home of the free" has been so unprincipled and cowardly on this issue for SO long. Donald Trump is the perfect President to do it! Tiawan has shown itself (again) to be far superior to China when comes to public heath competence and transparency.
    Steve Schupbach

  • Ellen Klapperich

    05/29/2020 03:39 PM

    Oh to be a fly on the wall at Rod's house right now!

  • Elizabeth Koby-Burley

    05/29/2020 03:09 PM

    I am a veteran so have had a lot of practice at being patient but I will tell you sir, all this concerning improper actions of the intelligence community has strained it to the max. I pray those responsible will be held responsible and perhaps used to help get General Flynn reimbursed for all he has been through. Keep on keeping on I truly enjoy reading your letter each and every day.

  • Jerry Korba

    05/29/2020 02:48 PM

    Mike, Thanks for the Salute> I watched an interview about 1PM CST today a Congress person complained about the slow time the Police officer in the Mlps. fiasco took to charge him. The Congress Woman showed ignorance by stating it took to long to charge;
    along with many others. I am not a lawyer however you should not charge someone without all the evidence to the Congress woman's ignorance she would want the worst charge and while the court proceedings take place the jury finds that the quick evidence didn't meet the crime and the offender walks free; Is that the kind of Justice, Sheila Jackson wants??? A possible 10 months of time wasted, resources lost not to say how she made the next riot possible by pushing law filled procedure into an error. Remember this Congress woman is not real bright and has a very short memory the riots that go back to the 60's where people ruin their own environments what do they gain have they learned to adjust to society and its laws I think they haven''t. Some have said people have been oppressed for 400 years maybe its time to take a round peg and put it thru a round hole. Sheila Jackson would be wise to have someone read to her how procedures work. Her wrong assessments will only fuel the next riot along with her many friends that has the same view as she has and try's to translate it to her voters. Another generation misinformed!

  • roger brailer

    05/29/2020 02:13 PM


  • janet pingston

    05/29/2020 02:11 PM

    Exactly what 16 agencies is intel now shared with ? 16 ? American ? China ? Gobal ? 16 ? Private Citizens ? What Private Citizens or Former.... still has this clearance ? oh wait a minute...… just double check the list of users for Hilliarys' server. Bet you there are a lot of matches.

  • Angelo Lubrano

    05/29/2020 02:06 PM

    I am getting fed up with all this talk for the past 4 yrs .
    Meantime no one gets prosecuted.
    If it was a regular person it would have been in jail all ready.
    All the politician are alike.
    If it was not from us guy to give money .they would not be nothing.

  • Bobby clark

    05/29/2020 01:44 PM

    In light of this new information, I hope AG Barr will, with the help of Ukrainian courts hold former Commander and Thief Obama accountable for the crimes he has commited against the Trump adminstration.

  • Jerry L. Conaway

    05/29/2020 01:27 PM

    Never before in history of man has there been anyone as corrupt as Obama. He don’t if he worships Satan but acts like someone who doses. Who could people ever see him as a President. He has lead the most corrupt government and HELPED them to cheat, lie and corrupt. He deserves to be jailed with his friends and watch Fox News everyday.

  • Kathy Miramontes

    05/29/2020 01:25 PM

    Love you, you show and your charming wit! Why did anyone think it was their place "to help discourage TRUMP from violating civil liberties"...why was that a supposed problem and why would Obama insert his big-eared business into anything an incoming President was to do? Obama was the outgoing guy, he should have not had ANYTHING to do with President Trump seeing how they were of different parties and different ideas! This would never happen if there was not such a long delay between the election and the new President coming aboard. When have you ever known an organization to take so long from having elected a new leader and that leader taking should never happen! And in this case, Obama was out anyway!

  • Eva Dearing

    05/29/2020 01:23 PM

    Hi there Mr. Huckabee, I love your news letters! I would just like to say that with the election coming up, it would be very helpful for our country and all voters to be reminded of all that President Trump has accomplished during the short time that he has been in office. People forget specifics, especially after dealing with the Wuhan virus. We need reminders of all the excellent things that we have experienced BEFORE the Chinese government tried to kill us all. Also a reminder of all the LOW DOWN DIRTY SHINANAGONS the devil worshiping Democrats in office have done to our President and our country.

  • Linda Baese

    05/29/2020 01:19 PM

    Why hasn’t Oblaba been arrested?