No, 17-U.S. Agencies Did Not Say Russia Hacked Dem E-mails

Unfortunately, Russia being behind the hacks is more conjecture than fact. Some have been leaked by Democrats themselves, others may have been leaked by NSA officials getting back at Hillary for the death of some intelligence agency employee’s and the worry that her reckless behavior with State Secrets would continue in the White House. Annnd may some were done by Wikileaks. The funny thing is however that Hillary denies her emails were at the same time she blames Russia.

Hillary Clinton in last night’s presidential debate tried to avoid talking about the substance of the damaging WikiLeaks disclosures of DNC and Clinton campaign officials by claiming 17 U.S. intelligence agencies determined that Russia was responsible for this. After Clinton made this claim, she scolded Trump for challenging U.S. intelligence professionals who have taken an oath to help defend this country.

What Clinton said was false and misleading. First of all, only two intelligence entities – the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – have weighed in on this issue, not 17 intelligence agencies. And what they said was ambiguous about Russian involvement. An unclassified October 7, 2016 joint DNI-DHS statement on this issue said the hacks

  • …are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts. These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process. Such activity is not new to Moscow — the Russians have used similar tactics and techniques across Europa and Eurasia, for example, to influence public opinion there. We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.

Saying we think the hacks “are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts” is far short of saying we have evidence that Russia has been responsible for the hacks. Maybe high-level officials would have authorized them if Russian hackers were responsible, but the DNI and DHS statement did NOT say there was evidence Russia was responsible….

Don’t forget that some are saying that a portion of these WIkiLeaks came from a Democrat operative, that dies in the nick of time:

DNC staffer Seth Rich was mysteriously murdered in the streets of Washington, D.C., on July 10. Although it is being investigated as a robbery, his wallet, credit cards and watch were not taken. The 27-year old was shot in the back on July 10 at 4:15 a.m. near his affluent neighborhood, while he was reportedly walking home from his girlfriend’s apartment. Police still have no suspects, witnesses or motive. His mother told the local NBC station that there were bruises on his face, knees and hands, apparently from trying to fend off his attackers.

[….]

Rich was a data analyst, so it is very possible he could have had access to the DNC’s emails. Julian Assange of Wikileaks said recently on TV that it wasn’t Russian hackers who intercepted the emails, as the Hillary Clinton campaign has alleged; instead, any one of a number of staffers within the DNC could have leaked them.

(RPT)

White-House Spies on Republicans and Israel (via the NSA)

Here is a part of the Wall Street Journal article Dan Bongino was referencing:

President Barack Obama announced two years ago he would curtail eavesdropping on friendly heads of state after the world learned the reach of long-secret U.S. surveillance programs.

But behind the scenes, the White House decided to keep certain allies under close watch, current and former U.S. officials said. Topping the list was Israeli Prime MinisterBenjamin Netanyahu.

The U.S., pursuing a nuclear arms agreement with Iran at the time, captured communications between Mr. Netanyahu and his aides that inflamed mistrust between the two countries and planted a political minefield at home when Mr. Netanyahu later took his campaign against the deal to Capitol Hill.

The National Security Agency’s targeting of Israeli leaders and officials also swept up the contents of some of their private conversations with U.S. lawmakers and American-Jewish groups. That raised fears—an “Oh-s— moment,” one senior U.S. official said—that the executive branch would be accused of spying on Congress.

White House officials believed the intercepted information could be valuable to counter Mr. Netanyahu’s campaign. They also recognized that asking for it was politically risky. So, wary of a paper trail stemming from a request, the White House let the NSA decide what to share and what to withhold, officials said. “We didn’t say, ‘Do it,’ ” a senior U.S. official said. “We didn’t say, ‘Don’t do it.’”

…read more…

Differences Are Important ~ Updated ~ Patriot Act

(Breitbart)

(This was new in 2013)

Quick update, as this story evolves into this project called PRISM, we are finding out that credit card purchases as well as even simple actions of typing were monitored. All this didn’t help to prevent the Boston Bomber, a useless tool apparently. We do not need more surveillance, but tener cojones (“have the balls to”) fight a war on ideas that is not politically correct, as E.T. Williams points out so well!

…“almost every student entering the university believes, or says he believes, that truth is relative. If this belief is put to the test, one can count on the students’ reaction: they will be uncomprehending” (Bloom, 1987, p. 25). The following story should elucidate:

The story is told of a man who stopped outside a clockmaker’s shop every morning on his way to work and synchronized his watch with a large clock standing in the shop window. One day, the owner of the shop got to talking to him and asked him what kind of work he did. Rather sheepishly, the man told him he was the timekeeper at a nearby factory, and that one of his responsibilities was to ring the closing bell at five o’clock every evening. As his watch kept very poor times, he synchronized it very morning with the clock in the shop window. The shop-owner, even more embarrassed, replied, “I hate to tell you this, but the clock doesn’t work very well either, and I adjust it every time I hear the factory’s closing bell!” ~ Ravi Zacharias, “Address to the United Nations’ Prayer Breakfast.” (from a paper on Multiculturalism for school)

Gay Patriot linked to a story by Michele Malkin which was a good read. First the Malkin excerpt, then some commentary by GP:

History lesson: The crucial differences between Bush and Obama’s NSA phone surveillance programs

…The differences between then and now are glaring.

Fast & Furious Differences

Very similar to the massive differences between Bush and Holder’s versions of “Fast & Furious” (link in Batman)

The new Obama order covers not only phone calls overseas with the specific goal of counterterrorism surveillance, but all domestic calls by Verizon customers over at least a three-month period.

Trevor Timm, a digital rights analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, called the order “shockingly broad.”

“Not only are they intercepting call data into and out of the country, but they are intercepting all call data in the United States, which goes far beyond what the FISA Amendments Act allows,” Timm said.

“This is an abuse of the Patriot Act on a massive scale,” said Gregory Nojeim, senior counsel at the Center for Democracy and Technology. “Since the law requires that the telephone records sought be relevant to an investigation, it appears that the FBI and the NSA may have launched the broadest investigation in history because everyone’s telephone calls seem to be relevant to it.”

…The “top secret” order issued in April by a judge on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court at the request of the FBI instructs the telecommunications giant Verizon to provide the NSA with daily reports of “all call detail records or ‘telephony metadata’ created by Verizon for communications (i) between the United States and abroad; or (ii) wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls.”

[….]

Is it crucially important to consider 1) the creeping, creepy surveillance-state context in which this current administration operates and 2) the naked contempt this current administration has shown for the privacy rights of its political enemies?

Hell yes, absolutely.

The Author of The Patriot Act Says NSA Has Violated It With Massive Phone and Internet Data Grabs

And now Gay Patriot’s quotes and commentary:

Obama’s NSA phone surveillance called “shockingly broad”

….She [Malkin] starts by reminding about the NSA phone surveillance of the Bush administration:

The Bush NSA’s special collections program grew in early 2002 after the CIA started capturing top Qaeda operatives overseas, including Abu Zubaydah. The CIA seized the terrorists’ computers, cellphones and personal phone directories. NSA surveillance was intended to exploit those numbers and addresses as quickly as possible. As a result of Bush NSA work,the terrorist plot involving convicted al Qaeda operative Iyman Faris was uncovered — possibly saving untold lives…

Normally, the government obtains court orders to monitor such information from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. But the window of opportunity to exploit the names, numbers, and addresses of those associated with the top terrorist leaders was obviously small…

So the Bush administration had the NSA track Americans’ overseas phone calls, insofar as captured terrorist phone numbers might show up. But the Obama administration? Not so much…err, so little:

The new Obama order covers not only phone calls overseas with the specific goal of counterterrorism surveillance, but all domestic calls by Verizon customers over at least a three-month period.

[Malkin now links/quotes an article at Politico:] Trevor Timm, a digital rights analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, called the order “shockingly broad.” …The “top secret” order issued in April by a judge on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court at the request of the FBI instructs the telecommunications giant Verizon to provide the NSA with daily reports of “all call detail records or ‘telephony metadata’ created by Verizon for communications (i) between the United States and abroad; or (ii) wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls.”

I’m willing to preserve our counter-terrorism efforts. And I don’t know much about the legal ins/outs of all this. But, all domestic calls by Verizon customers? Sheesh! This surely goes beyond the Bush NSA surveillance that the public debated in 2005.

So, it’s worth discussing the rightness (or wrongness) of the broadened surveillance. The more so if the War on Terror is over, as some international observers thought Obama to be implying in his speech last week.

…read more…

NSA Reprimand ~ Judge Involkes Founding Fathers (Larry Elder)

From the Washington Examiner:

A U.S. federal judge has moved into the NSA spying scandal in a timely enough manner to begin to give hope to frightened U.S. citizens that there may be a way to make the government respect their rights. The Washington Post reported on Dec. 16, 2013, a U.S. federal judge has ruled the NSA’s collecting of phone records is probably not constitutional. On Monday U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon ruled that the National Security Agency’s collection of virtually all Americans phone records is almost certainly not constitutional.

U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon has found that a lawsuit presented by Larry Klayman, who is a conservative legal activist, has “demonstrated a substantial likelihood of success” based on the Fourth Amendment guarantees of privacy protections against unreasonable searches. Judge Leon has said, “I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary invasion’ than this systematic and high tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval.”

USA Today reports that the lawsuit brought by conservative activist Larry Klayman against NSA spying may very well succeed. Judge Leon has issued a preliminary injunction against the NSA telephone spying program. However, he suspended the order to allow an appeal by the Justice Department, which said it has been reviewing the decision….

…read more…

The Wall Street Journal points out how the Judge may have overstepped his bounds:

Federal Judge Richard Leon has become a sudden political celebrity after his remarkable opinion holding that antiterror surveillance is unconstitutional and, even more remarkably, enjoining the entire program. If only his legal reasoning were as compelling as his new repute.

Klayman v. Obama was filed in the D.C. district court in the backwash of the Edward Snowden disclosures and claims that the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of telephone records violates the Fourth Amendment’s ban on unreasonable searches. Judge Leon’s 68-page opinion stays his injunction pending appeal.

The largest flaw is that the Supreme Court already considered the constitutional claims at stake here, and Judge Leon simply waves off the relevant precedent of Smith v. Maryland. That 1979 decision by Harry Blackmun —no conservative—held that the warrantless police installation of a pen register that collected telephony metadata was not a search within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment.

While obtaining the content of phone calls requires a warrant, the High Court ruled that people have no “reasonable expectation of privacy” for information about phone calls such as the date, time and length of their calls and the numbers they dial. Such transactional data inevitably belong to the service provider, not to individuals—and the NSA acquiring them is no different than the local police doing it in Smith.

NSA collection may even be less invasive, to the extent the vastness of its database that does not include names or addresses is a greater guarantee of anonymity. Queries of this repository are supervised by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, and then passed to the FBI to determine if a specific number should be investigated for links to terror cells, with further legal restrictions thereafter.

Judge Leon argues the NSA program now constitutes a search because changes over the last 34 years, including cell phones and the advance of the government’s technological capacities, mean that Smith no longer obtains. The High Court’s precedents don’t have a statute of limitations, but Judge Leon riffs that “I am convinced that the surveillance program before me now is so different from a simple pen register that Smith is of little value.”

[….]

Judge Leon’s opinion is likely to be reversed on appeal, but that doesn’t mean it can’t do political damage in the meantime. It lands amid the renewed left-libertarian campaign to treat terrorists the same as domestic criminals, and with a President who seems unwilling to publicly defend the powers he has used for five years.

Judge Leon seemed to be playing to this chorus with such polemical flourishes as “almost-Orwellian technology” and James Madison “would be aghast.” This is the stuff of political campaigns, not judging, especially from a lower federal court. Less excitable appellate judges will have to provide a Constitutional reeducation.

…read more…

A Politically Correct Intel Gathering

What Do You Expect When Carter & Moore Are DNC VIP's

When the Democratic Party views Tea Party events as racist, violent gatherings (when they are neither), and invites dweebs like Carter and plunks Michael Moore right next to him (mouse over above pic)… you get chaos like this!

In my “Differences are Important” post, I mention the PC nature of how the Left fights threats to our well-being… which endangers us more-so: “We do not need more surveillance, but tener cojones (“have the balls to”) fight a war on ideas that is not politically correct, as E.T. Williams points out so well!” This story confirms the ineffective nature of being politically correct, or, culturally sensitive (accepting cultural relativism as a reality), in the face of REAL threats. Which the next story points out, via Gateway Pundit:

(Investors Daily) The White House assures that tracking our every phone call and keystroke is to stop terrorists, and yet it won’t snoop in mosques, where the terrorists are.

That’s right, the government’s sweeping surveillance of our most private communications excludes the jihad factories where homegrown terrorists are radicalized.

Since October 2011, mosques have been off-limits to FBI agents. No more surveillance or undercover string operations without high-level approval from a special oversight body at the Justice Department dubbed the Sensitive Operations Review Committee.

Who makes up this body, and how do they decide requests? Nobody knows; the names of the chairman, members and staff are kept secret.

We do know the panel was set up under pressure from Islamist groups who complained about FBI stings at mosques. Just months before the panel’s formation, the Council on American-Islamic Relations teamed up with the ACLU to sue the FBI for allegedly violating the civil rights of Muslims in Los Angeles by hiring an undercover agent to infiltrate and monitor mosques there.

Before mosques were excluded from the otherwise wide domestic spy net the administration has cast, the FBI launched dozens of successful sting operations against homegrown jihadists — inside mosques — and disrupted dozens of plots against the homeland.

If only they were allowed to continue, perhaps the many victims of the Boston Marathon bombings would not have lost their lives and limbs. The FBI never canvassed Boston mosques until four days after the April 15 attacks, and it did not check out the radical Boston mosque where the Muslim bombers worshipped.

The bureau didn’t even contact mosque leaders for help in identifying their images after those images were captured on closed-circuit TV cameras and cellphones.

One of the Muslim bombers made extremist outbursts during worship, yet because the mosque wasn’t monitored, red flags didn’t go off inside the FBI about his increasing radicalization before the attacks.

This is particularly disturbing in light of recent independent surveys of American mosques, which reveal some 80% of them preach violent jihad or distribute violent literature to worshippers.

What other five-alarm jihadists are counterterrorism officials missing right now, thanks to restrictions on monitoring the one area they should be monitoring?

Breitbart speaks to the IBD article:

The piece explains that “Since October 2011, mosques have been off-limits to FBI agents. No more surveillance or undercover string operations without high-level approval from a special oversight body at the Justice Department dubbed the Sensitive Operations Review Committee.”

(Here is the unclassified version of the FBI Domestic Investigation and Operations Guide, head over to page 171ff )

Who is this review committee? “Nobody knows; the names of the chairman, members and staff are kept secret.”

Apparently, these limitations were set up from pressure by Islamic groups.

We do know the panel was set up under pressure from Islamist groups who complained about FBI stings at mosques. Just months before the panel’s formation, the Council on American-Islamic Relations teamed up with the ACLU to sue the FBI for allegedly violating the civil rights of Muslims in Los Angeles by hiring an undercover agent to infiltrate and monitor mosques there.

IBD goes on to describe that “the FBI never canvassed Boston mosques until four days after the April 15 attacks, and it did not check out the radical Boston mosque (see below) where the Muslim bombers worshipped. The bureau didn’t even contact mosque leaders for help in identifying their images after those images were captured on closed-circuit TV cameras and cellphones.”…

…read more…


Americans for Peace and Tolerance June 25 2009 Press Conference

On June 26, Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino will be honored guests at the grand opening of the Islamic Society of Boston’s Cultural Center in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Americans for Peace and Tolerance wish the Boston Muslim community well in their new cultural and religious center, and we celebrate the growing religious diversity it represents. We are deeply concerned, however, about the extremist leadership of this new institution. This video is from a press conference held to discuss our concerns.


Moonbattery has some GREAT commentary as well:

In case anyone is naive enough to believe that the outrageously intrusive domestic spying our government has been illicitly engaging in is for the purpose of defending us from the overwhelmingly dominant security threat, Islamic terrorism…

Since October 2011, mosques have been off-limits to FBI agents. No more surveillance or undercover string operations without high-level approval from a special oversight body at the Justice Department dubbed the Sensitive Operations Review Committee.

Who makes up this body, and how do they decide requests? Nobody knows; the names of the chairman, members and staff are kept secret.

…read more…

Why I Am Buying a PlayStation for the First Time In My Life

I wonder if anyone at Microsoft said, “you know, the only thing that could derail our new XBOX-ONE from sales is that by being connected to the internet ALL-THE-TIME if there were a huge government collection of data and access to machines online from your home.” I can imagine the other employee saying, “let’s lean forward with this project, Obama says we can trust the government.”

Obama Was Against `Warrantless Wiretaps` BEFORE He Was For Them

(Via, Black & Right) Take note as well that he said people shouldn’t be “tracked” who “protest a misguided war.” How times have changed… the Tea Party and other groups (pro-Israeli and religious) WERE tracked, and actively censored by threat of the full weight of the U.S. government.