By Lawrence Sellin Ph.D. ~
Let the diversions and parsing of words begin.
Take note of this British non-denial denial because you will see the same species of obfuscation being regularly produced at the U.S. political-media fake news farm.
On March 16, 2017 Fox News Channel judicial analyst Judge Andrew P. Napolitano wrote:
“Sources have told me that the British foreign surveillance service, the Government Communications Headquarters, known as GCHQ, most likely provided Obama with transcripts of Trump’s calls. The NSA has given GCHQ full 24/7 access to its computers, so GCHQ — a foreign intelligence agency that, like the NSA, operates outside our constitutional norms — has the digital versions of all electronic communications made in America in 2016, including Trump’s. So by bypassing all American intelligence services, Obama would have had access to what he wanted with no Obama administration fingerprints.”
To which GCHQ responded:
“Recent allegations made by media commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano about GCHQ being asked to conduct ‘wire tapping’ against the then President Elect are nonsense. They are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored.”
Clearly, GCHQ, the British counterpart of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), was not reading the same article I read. Judge Napolitano was not talking about “wire tapping,” but access to the surveillance information gathered by the NSA.
So, in essence, GCHQ was denying something of which it was not being accused, but nevertheless leaving the impression that Judge Napolitano was incorrect in his assertion. The intention was obvious, to divert our gaze away from glimpsing the extent and reach of the surveillance industry.
As planned, it successfully changed the subject, generating bumper crops of shovel-ready artificial indignation and demands for President Trump apologize to the British.
Jolly good. Jolly good show.
Subsequently, succumbing to pressure from the left-wing media, the furrowed brows of hand-wringing establishment Republicans and the likely not-so-subtle threats from members of the Deep State intelligence community, Fox News suspended Judge Napolitano for the grievous act of drawing logical conclusions.
Unfortunately, GCHQ has a long history of seeking and allegedly obtaining unfettered access to NSA databases. An April 2014 article states:
“according to a top-secret document in the archive of material provided to The Intercept by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, GCHQ secretly coveted the NSA’s vast troves of private communications and sought “unsupervised access” to its data… The document, dated April 2013, reveals that GCHQ requested broad new authority to tap into data collected under a law that authorizes a variety of controversial NSA surveillance initiatives, including the PRISM program…a system used by the NSA and the FBI to obtain the content of personal emails, chats, photos, videos, and other data processed by nine of the world’s largest internet companies, including Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, and Skype. The arrangement GCHQ proposed would also have provided the British agency with greater access to millions of international phone calls and emails that the NSA siphons directly from phone networks and the internet.
It is interesting to note that “three days after Trump’s inauguration, the head of GCHQ, Robert Hannigan, abruptly resigned.”
More alarmingly, however, it seems that the FBI investigation of the unproven connections between the Trump campaign and the Russians may have been largely predicated on the now discredited Trump dossier, written by former British MI6 agent, Christopher Steele, who briefed the FBI on July 5, 2016.
In his Congressional testimony, FBI Director James Comey admitted that “the bureau has been actively investigating possible links between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin since ‘late July.'”
What a coincidence.
If true, then the FBI investigation was based on highly questionable evidence for which “Steele paid intermediaries who in turn paid sources for the information he used in the report.” In other words, third-hand rumors from unidentified individuals. Remarkably, along with Trump’s political opponents, the Obama-Comey FBI planned to pay Steele to continue his work.
Yet, all of that, although appalling, is a diversion from the real story – how the Deep State operates.
In this case, intelligence arrangements that open the possibility for government officials to skirt inconvenient national laws in order to surveil citizens and then use the products of that surveillance for political purposes.
That is what should be investigated.
Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is a retired colonel with 29 years of service in the US Army Reserve and a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq. Colonel Sellin is the author of “Restoring the Republic: Arguments for a Second American Revolution”.