Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Obama's rule changes opened door for NSA intercepts of Americans to reach political hands

We're getting closer to discover that President Trump's claim that the Obama administration had his campaign under surveillance has a great deal of merit. 
But, I'll go a step further.  The people who leaked information to the New York Times and Washington Post worked for Obama.  They broke federal law and they belong in prison.   Whether or not politics prevents that from happening is anybody's guess.    

Circa News reports as his presidency drew to a close, Barack Obama’s top aides routinely reviewed intelligence reports gleaned from the National Security Agency’s incidental intercepts of Americans abroad, taking advantage of rules their boss relaxed starting in 2011 to help the government better fight terrorism, espionage by foreign enemies and hacking threats, Circa has learned.

 Dozens of times in 2016, those intelligence reports identified Americans who were directly intercepted talking to foreign sources or were the subject of conversations between two or more monitored foreign figures. Sometimes the Americans’ names were officially unmasked; other times they were so specifically described in the reports that their identities were readily discernible. Among those cleared to request and consume unmasked NSA-based intelligence reports about U.S. citizens were Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice, his CIA Director John Brennan and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

 Some intercepted communications from November to January involved Trump transition figures or foreign figures' perceptions of the incoming president and his administration. Intercepts involving congressional figures also have been unmasked occasionally for some time.
The NSA is expected to turn over logs as early as this week to congressional committees detailing who consumed reports with unmasked Americans' identities from their intercepts since the summer of 2016.

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