1. June 2016: FISA request. The Obama administration files a request with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) to monitor communications involving Donald Trump and several advisers. The request, uncharacteristically, is denied.
2. July: Russia joke. Wikileaks releases emails from the Democratic National Committee that show an effort to prevent Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) from winning the presidential nomination. In a press conference, Donald Trump refers to Hillary Clinton’s own missing emails, joking: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing.” That remark becomes the basis for accusations by Clinton and the media that Trump invited further hacking.
3. October: Podesta emails. In October, Wikileaks releases the emails of Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, rolling out batches every day until the election, creating new mini-scandals. The Clinton campaign blames Trump and the Russians.
4. October: FISA request. The Obama administration submits a new, narrow request to the FISA court, now focused on a computer server in Trump Tower suspected of links to Russian banks. No evidence is found — but the wiretaps continue, ostensibly for national security reasons, Andrew McCarthy at National Review later notes. The Obama administration is now monitoring an opposing presidential campaign using the high-tech surveillance powers of the federal intelligence services.
5. January 2017: Buzzfeed/CNN dossier. Buzzfeed releases, and CNN reports, a supposed intelligence “dossier” compiled by a foreign former spy.... [Pissgate]
6. January: Obama expands NSA sharing. As Michael Walsh later notes, and as the New York Times reports, the outgoing Obama administration “expanded the power of the National Security Agency to share globally intercepted personal communications with the government’s 16 other intelligence agencies before applying privacy protections.” The new powers, and reduced protections, could make it easier for intelligence on private citizens to be circulated improperly or leaked.
7. January: Times report. The New York Times reports, on the eve of Inauguration Day, that several agencies — the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Treasury Department are monitoring several associates of the Trump campaign suspected of Russian ties... though it is unclear how they found out, since the investigations would have been secret and involved classified information.
8. February: Mike Flynn scandal. Reports emerge that the FBI intercepted a conversation in 2016 between future National Security Adviser Michael Flynn — then a private citizen — and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The intercept supposedly was part of routine spying on the ambassador, not monitoring of the Trump campaign....
9. February: Times claims extensive Russian contacts.... and the Times admits that there is “no evidence” of coordination between the campaign and the Russians. The White House and some congressional Republicans begin to raise questions about illegal intelligence leaks.
10. March: the Washington Post targets Jeff Sessions. The Washington Post reports that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had contact twice with the Russian ambassador during the campaign.... The Post suggests that the two meetings contradict Sessions’s testimony at his confirmation hearings that he had no contacts with the Russians, though in context (not presented by the Post) it was clear he meant in his capacity as a campaign surrogate.... The New York Times... adds that the Obama White House “rushed to preserve” intelligence related to alleged Russian links with the Trump campaign. By “preserve” it really means “disseminate”: officials spread evidence throughout other government agencies “to leave a clear trail of intelligence for government investigators” and perhaps the media as well.
Emphasis is mine. Some random thoughts of my own on each of the above point:
1. A sitting president requests permission to spy on an active presidential candidate and his staff. He becomes only the 13th person denied a warrant by the FISA court out of 35,000+ requests. Just how over the top was that first request that even the damn FISA court told Obama to stuff it deep and on a slant?
2. The news media stops editorializing against Trump and begins telling straight-up lies. They've never stopped.
3. RUSSIA DID IT!! Again, this has been endlessly repeated to the point of nausea, never with a shred of evidence.
4. Obama gets his FISA warrant on the second go 'round, can't find anything incriminating, then just keeps spying. Because RUSSIA!!
5. Pissgate: a story concocted by a former spy. Former because he was completely incompetent, was pulled from the field, then stuck in Mulder's old office.
6. Let me get this straight; Obama signs an executive order literally hours before the end of his presidency that will essentially guarantee that anything juicy the NSA hoovers up in its data center will be leaked to the press...
7. ...which happens immediately.
8. Probably the only thing the "intelligence" community has said in the last year that isn't a complete lie.
9. The "White House" (meaning Obama) creates a situation that virtually guarantees leaks, then tries to act surprised when they occur. Obama's estimation of the IQ of the average American must be seriously low. Oh, wait....
10. We've saved Russia so much money. They no longer need to play Spy vs. Spy with the CIA. They just need to subscribe to the Washington Post.
And mere days later, Julian Assange received what looks to be the entire hacking manual that the CIA uses, including code. The current assumption is that while passing the thing around to all the private, for-profit contractors, it escaped into the wild. So basically, the entire planet now knows, down to the code level, how the CIA has been hacking into their systems (or simply paying software and/or hardware companies to write back doors for them). The best bit is a little thing code-named UMBRAGE:
As Wikileaks notes, the UMBRAGE group and its related projects allow the CIA to misdirect the attribution of cyber attacks by “leaving behind the ‘fingerprints’ of the very groups that the attack techniques were stolen from.”
In other words, the CIA’s sophisticated hacking tools all have a “signature” marking them as originating from the agency. In order to avoid arousing suspicion as to the true extent of its covert cyber operations, the CIA has employed UMBRAGE’s techniques in order to create signatures that allow multiple attacks to be attributed to various entities – instead of the real point of origin at the CIA – while also increasing its total number of attack types.
Sorta puts that whole Sony-hacked-by-North-Korea thing in a different light. From where I sit, it looks more like a trial run. When the report first came out that there were Russian "fingerprints" on the hacked DNC e-mail server, I said then that the last people who should be blamed for the hack (well, hacks, actually; it had been compromised at least a half-dozen times) were the Russians. If it had been the Russians, the "fingerprints" would have pointed directly to some 27-year-old college drop-out living in his mom's basement in Elksnout, Montana.
In any case, good to see the CIA destroy what little credibility the US "intelligence" community had left. The problem now is that with their brilliant plan to Ukraine the US lying on the floor in pieces, I wonder how long it will take them to just Kennedy our president and be done with it.
On the home front, my dad is still in hurry-up-and-wait mode. The original surgery was canceled at the last possible minute because the surgeon looked at all the various tests and scans and discovered much more grave problems than a mass that may or may not (but so totally could be!!!) cancer. So now it's back to round after round of tests, scans, x-rays, etc. with a much more involved surgery maybe next week. That means that even if everything goes perfectly, my parents will be stuck here in Florida for at least a couple weeks longer than they would prefer. Good thing they got a couple air conditioners up and running last winter.
The dry needling thing seems to be slowly making some improvements to Debbie's arm and wrist. She can at least make it through a week mostly pain-free. Between that and her alien sex toy, she seems to be turning a corner after five or six years of steady decline.
I, on the other hand, am completely falling apart. Whatever was up with my feet a couple weeks ago is now hokey-pokey-ing around my entire body. Left foot, right foot, left knee, right thumb, left pinkie, left hand, right hand, left wrist, left shoulder. I finally had time to get to my primary, Dr. Ken. He freaked and order up all sorts of blood work. (After whingeing about how it would be so much easier for him if I would just go to the ER, have them check me in for a couple days and they would be able to run all the blood work. Um... isn't that what I pay you for??) He had them checking for everything from AIDS to TB. The problem is that somehow my CLL was left off my medical records. I know damn well I put it on the forms, but it didn't get entered into the system. Which I got bitched out for by Dr. Ken. Anyway, now I'm waiting for the blood work to all come in, make a follow-up with Dr. Ken and a hematologist and a rheumatologist. The current theory is that instead of tissue infection or gout, I actually have RA, which almost makes some sort of sense. The CLL flared up, which landed me with a bunch of nuisance infections (like thrush) and also caused the RA to go nuts. The problem is that I've already been tested for RA and it came back negative. I guess science ain't an exact science with these clowns.
Well, Debbie just got back from the store, so we better start in putting the tinfoil up on all the walls....