The Unz Review - Mobile
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewAndrew Napolitano Archive
Lying, Spying and Hiding
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Troll, or LOL with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used once per hour.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

I have argued for a few weeks now that House Intelligence Committee members have committed misconduct in office by concealing evidence of spying abuses by the National Security Agency and the FBI. They did this by sitting on a four-page memo that summarizes the abuse of raw intelligence data while Congress was debating a massive expansion of FISA.

FISA is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, which was written to enable the federal government to spy on foreign agents here and abroad. Using absurd and paranoid logic, the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which only hears the government’s lawyers, has morphed “foreign intelligence surveillance” into undifferentiated bulk surveillance of all Americans.

Undifferentiated bulk surveillance is the governmental acquisition of fiber-optic data stored and transmitted by nearly everyone in America. This includes all telephone conversations, text messages and emails, as well as all medical, legal and financial records.

Ignorant of the hot potato on which the House Intelligence Committee had been sitting, Congress recently passed and President Donald Trump signed a vast expansion of spying authorities — an expansion that authorizes legislatively the domestic spying that judges were authorizing on everyone in the U.S. without individual suspicion of wrongdoing or probable cause of crime; an expansion that passed in the Senate with no votes to spare; an expansion that evades and avoids the Fourth Amendment; an expansion that the president signed into law the day before we all learned of the House Intelligence Committee memo.

The FISA expansion would never have passed the Senate had the House Intelligence Committee memo and the data on which it is based come to light seven days sooner than it did. Why should 22 members of a House committee keep their 500-plus congressional colleagues in the dark about domestic spying abuses while those colleagues were debating the very subject matter of domestic spying and voting to expand the power of those who have abused it?

The answer to this lies in the nature of the intelligence community today and the influence it has on elected officials in the government. By the judicious, personalized and secret revelation of data, both good and bad — here is what we know about your enemies, and here is what we know about you — the NSA shows its might to the legislators who supposedly regulate it. In reality, the NSA regulates them.

This is but one facet of the deep state — the unseen parts of the government that are not authorized by the Constitution and that never change, no matter which party controls the legislative or executive branch. This time, they almost blew it. If just one conscientious senator had changed her or his vote on the FISA expansion — had that senator known of the NSA and FBI abuses of FISA concealed by the House Intelligence Committee — the expansion would have failed.

ORDER IT NOW

Nevertheless, the evidence on which the committee members sat is essentially a Republican-written summary of raw intelligence data. Earlier this week, the Democrats on the committee authored their version — based, they say, on the same raw intelligence data as was used in writing the Republican version. But the House Intelligence Committee, made up of 13 Republicans and nine Democrats, voted to release only the Republican-written memo.

Late last week, when it became apparent that the Republican memo would soon be released, the Department of Justice publicly contradicted President Trump by advising the leadership of the House Intelligence Committee in very strong terms that the memo should not be released to the public.

It soon became apparent that, notwithstanding the DOJ admonition, no one in the DOJ had actually seen the memo. So FBI Director Chris Wray made a secret, hurried trip to the House Intelligence Committee’s vault last Sunday afternoon to view the memo. When asked by the folks who showed it to him whether it contains secret or top-secret material, he couldn’t or wouldn’t say. But he apparently saw in the memo the name of the No. 2 person at the FBI, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, as one of the abusers of spying authority. That triggered McCabe’s summary departure from the FBI the next day, after a career of 30 years.

The abuse summarized in the Republican memo apparently spans the last year of the Obama administration and the first year of the Trump administration. If it comes through as advertised, it will show the deep state using the government’s powers for petty or political or ideological reasons.

The use of raw intelligence data by the NSA or the FBI for political purposes or to manipulate those in government is as serious a threat to popular government — to personal liberty in a free society — as has ever occurred in America since Congress passed the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, which punished speech critical of the government.

What’s going on here?

The government works for us; we should not tolerate its treating us as children. When raw intelligence data is capable of differing interpretations and is relevant to a public dispute — about, for example, whether the NSA and the FBI are trustworthy, whether FISA should even exist, whether spying on everyone all the time keeps us safe and whether the Constitution even permits this — the raw data should be released to the American public.

Where is the personal courage on the House Intelligence Committee? Where is the patriotism? Where is the fidelity to the Constitution? The government exists by our consent. It derives its powers from us. We have a right to know what it has done in our names, who broke our trust, who knew about it, who looked the other way and why and by whom all this was intentionally hidden until after Congress voted to expand FISA.

Everyone in government takes an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. How many take it meaningfully and seriously?

Copyright 2018 Andrew P. Napolitano. Distributed by Creators.com.

 
Hide 6 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
    []
  1. MEexpert says:

    Where is the personal courage on the House Intelligence Committee? Where is the patriotism? Where is the fidelity to the Constitution? The government exists by our consent. It derives its powers from us. We have a right to know what it has done in our names, who broke our trust, who knew about it, who looked the other way and why and by whom all this was intentionally hidden until after Congress voted to expand FISA.

    The Judge is wrong. The government exists by Israel’s/AIPAC’s consent. The fidelity is to the state of Israel. No politician gives a hoot about what the people who vote for them think. I am sure, even if any house member or a senator knew of this memo, the bill would still have passed.

    Everyone in government takes an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution (State of Israel). How many take it meaningfully and seriously?

    The additions and bolds are mine. It appears that the judge doesn’t understand how the US government is run these days. The US government is for Israel, of Israel, and by Israel . Every dishonorable house member and every dishonorable senator knows that. Pure and simple.

    Let us see how the Judge’s own FOX channel reports on this story.

  2. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    He’ll soon get back to his Russophobia, but Mr. Napolitano’s chore today is to create cover for as much Establishment backside as possible by blaming the recent, further statutory enshrinement of our police state on the members of a single committee within the House of Representatives. (He leaves himself room to point his finger at unnamed others who knew about what has now been summarized in a memorandum supposedly soon to be released.) But he fails to address the flaws in this narrative.

    1. Among other Establishment officials, “Robert Mueller, the no-nonsense special counsel investigating whether any Americans aided the Russian government in its now well-known interference in the 2016 American presidential election” (Andrew Napolitano, 12/7/17) helped conduct unlawful, mass surveillance in his FBI gig, and thus violated his “oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.” Right, “Judge”?

    2. This article, foreshadowed in his published here last week, pounds on the farcical notion that only members of a single House committee have known, and have known only recently, about “[t]he abuse summarized in the Republican memo,” that if “just one conscientious senator had changed her or his vote on the FISA expansion — had that senator known of the NSA and FBI abuses of FISA concealed by the House Intelligence Committee — the expansion would have failed.” But Senator Wyden knew when Mr. Clapper was lying about governmental spying on every American in a public hearing years ago, Mr. Snowden pulled back the curtain for all to see, and Congress has since flopped. Right, “Judge”?

    3. Building on his article of last week, Mr. Napolitano wants his readers to think that, daggum it, there’s nothing to be done about this now, as though the tablets have been carved and sent back up the mountain for several years. But “one conscientious senator” could take the floor today to introduce a bill to repeal any of these previous or new FISA provisions. Right, “Judge”?

    4. None of this law matters because all these people are above it. Right, “Judge”?

    • Replies: @anonymous
  3. Five years ago, when I dropped the term ‘Deep State’ in conversation, the first question asked of me was what that was, and the second was whether or not I was a kook conspiracy theorist. Now the term a part of the vernacular for a growing number of people.

  4. PCR already wrote on this. PCR’s take is that the GOP committee members were withholding the memo after announcing it out of stupidity. The Judge says it was by design. Either way, announcing that the evidence was there in a memo then failing to release it at the same time allows the Dim members of the committee time to discredit it in advance.

    This is no different than Feinstein releasing testimony before every person of interest had been questioned. We still haven’t read the memo, and possibly never will get to read it unredacted.

  5. Michelle says:

    I used to think that the 2 Parties just traded off every few elections and that the President, being only a figure head, was predetermined. Julian Assange, before the election, stated, very firmly, that the powers that be would never let Trump become President. I believed him. I still can’t figure out how Trump slipped in under the radar.

  6. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @anonymous

    It’s been a busy week, so I’ll settle for an answer to #4 — it applies to anything in Washington that “Judge” might choose to address tomorrow anyway.

    Might be a good time to pile onto Dr. Nassar, or something.

    Can’t wait…

Current Commenter
says:

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone


 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments become the property of The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Andrew Napolitano Comments via RSS
PastClassics
Are elite university admissions based on meritocracy and diversity as claimed?
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?
Hundreds of POWs may have been left to die in Vietnam, abandoned by their government—and our media.
The evidence is clear — but often ignored
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.