OpenCDA

February 9, 2018

It’s Called ‘Sanitizing’

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , — Bill @ 8:23 pm

United_States_House_Permanent_Select_Committee_on_IntelligenceToday the President determined that the Democrat response to the Republican HPSCI memo could not be properly declassified and released to the public as written.

The letter from White House Counsel Don McGahn to the HPSCI Chairman Devin Nunes was released today.   The unclassified letter offered the Executive Branch’s assistance to the HPSCI Minority in making revisions which would allow public release of the minority’s memo.

The process of rewording classified information to permit the information to be released to the public is called “sanitizing.”

Sanitizing is a very common practice,  and when done honestly and diligently by knowledgeable, skillful writers, their desired message can be conveyed without revealing sensitive national security information.

Congress Getting Very, Very Warm …

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , — Bill @ 12:30 pm

FISC SealThe House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) and its Chairman Devin Nunes are getting very, very warm when it comes to ‘unmasking’ the apparent corruption and exploitation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) by some Mahogany Row players in the Obama Justice Department (DoJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

On February 7, 2018, Chairman Nunes sent a formal written request, a letter to the Presiding Judge of the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, requesting, “… transcripts of any relevant FISC hearings associated with the initial FISA application or subsequent renewals related to electronic surveillance of Carter Page.”

Clearly, Chairman Nunes and the HPSCI need to see all of the material submitted to the FISC to determine the extent of the representations, if any,  made to the Court in obtaining a FISA warrant and its three renewals to use the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to conduct an unlawful electronic surveillance on US citizen Carter Page.

Beyond that, it is very possible the HPSCI’s examination of these materials may reveal a pattern of deception practiced by officials in both the DoJ and FBI in seeking or securing other FISA warrants against US citizens unlawfully “unmasked” after incidental contact with persons lawfully the targets of FISA interceptions.

(P.S.:  It appears that even Sulzburger’s Slimes at the New York Times can no longer continue to ignore the post mortem stench of the Obama administration.  On February 6, 2018, the New York Times Company submitted a motion to the FISA Court requesting that the Court “… order publicatiion of all of its orders authorizing surveillance of Carter Page, a United States citizen, together with the application materials and renewal application mateerials upon which those orders were issued.”)

February 6, 2018

Update: Prior Redactions to Important Senate Judiciary Committee Memo Revealed

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , — Bill @ 8:18 pm

Senate SealOn Feburary 5, 2018, our OpenCdA post entitled Senate Judiciary Committee Memo Released relating to the Christopher Steele “dossier” contained a link to the highly-redacted Committee memo concerning the “dossier” and its importance to the FBI and DoJ in security a FISA warrant to surveil a US citizen, Carter Page.

Late today, the Department of Justice (DoJ) responded positively to a request from Senators Grassley and Graham to further declassify some of the material redacted in that material.

Here is the further redacted memo released just a few hours ago.

If factually accurate, the current memo’s representations suggest it was the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, not Donald J. Trump, who were conspiring with a foreign agent to violate several campaign finance laws to prevent the lawful election of Donald J. Trump.

The memo in conjunction with other evidence strongly suggests that some FBI and DoJ headquarters executives were severely and possibly criminally derelict in performing their official duties pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court’s authorization to surveil Carter Page, a US citizen.

Please read the further redacted memo and decide for yourselves.

To date, Fox News has been the only major news medium to doggedly resist falling in line with the journalism group think/Clinton love fest so sickeningly broadcast by the formerly important news networks NBC, CBS, ABC, and CNN, and formerly reliable and diligent newspapers including but not limited to the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Whether they knew it or not, these and other news media have promoted the effort to first defeat Donald Trump’s candidacy and then, failing to engineer his election defeat,  to use whatever means necessary to prevent him from performing his official duties and then to remove him from office.

By failing to diligently pursue the facts objectively, it appears to me the national skews media have collectively participated in deception by omission.  Sadly, both the FBI and the Department of Justice have been complicit in the effort to manage the information the public receives.

It is likely that much more information will be revealed by the Congressional investigations.

It’s Called ‘Lawfare’

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 1:04 pm

LawfareThe Fox News Network is running an online news story today by Fred Lucas.  The story is headlined Democratic AGs swarm Trump administration with lawsuits.

The story is accompanied by a pull quote which reads, “This is not about the rule of law or holding the line to stop the feds from preempting state laws; this is about power.”  The quote is attributed to Scott Will, executive director of the Republican Attorneys General Association.

It has a name, Mr. Will.   It’s called “Lawfare.”  Think of it as weaponizing the rule of law with the sole purpose of  paralyzing and neutralizing a superior opponent.  If you and your cronies in the Republican Attorney General Association  (RAGA) are just figuring out that “The Resistance” to the Trump election and inauguration is using it, you’ve got a lot of catching up to do.  I suggest you read a couple of books.

The first book is Lawfare:  Law as a Weapon of War. It was published in 2016.

The second is Lawfare: The War Against Free Speech: A First Amendment Guide for Reporting in an Age of Islamist Lawfare.  It was published in 2011.

If the RAGA members doubt that its DAGA counterparts like Washington State’s Robert “Sideshow Bob” Ferguson are intentionally using lawfare to bring the Trump administration to a grinding halt, they should find and read David Brock’s online publication “Democracy Matters – Strategic Plan for Action.”  (See OpenCdA post dated August 16, 2017, entitled Understanding the Subversion of the Trump Presidency.)  Lawfare is one of the techniques Brock and his fellow travelers discuss in the Strategic Plan for Action.

February 5, 2018

Senate Judiciary Committee Memo Released

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 5:30 pm

Senate SealIn an apparently undated and heavily redacted declassified memorandum released today,  Senators Charles Grassley and Lindsey Graham of the US Senate Committee on the Judiciary have referred “… Christopher Steele to the Department of Justice for investigation of potential violation(s) of 18 U.S.C. § 1001.”

Steele’s mostly unsubstantiated “dossier,” funded by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton Campaign, apparently played a significant role in the FBI’s obtaining a FISA warrant to wiretap former Trump campaign staffer Carter Page.  (See OpenCdA post dated February 2, 2018, entitled Nunes (HPSCI) Memo Released.)

The referral suggests that the Senate Judiciary Committee believes Steele may have knowingly and willfully (1) falsifie[d], conceal[ed], or cover[ed] up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact; or (2) ma[de] any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or (3) ma[de] or use[d] any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry in an investigation or review, conducted pursuant to the authority of any committee, subcommittee, commission or office of the Congress, consistent with applicable rules of the House or Senate.

The FBI and DoJ included Steele’s “dossier” or parts of it in their FISA warrant application.  One issue is whether the FBI adequately informed the FISA Court Judge that the “dossier” information included in the FISA warrant application had not been verified by the FBI and was, in fact, created as an opposition research document funded by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton Campaign.

The memos like today’s and the Nunes’ memo are interesting, however the real meat of the info would come from the FISA warrant  initial and renewal applications  and any supporting documentation attached.  What the affiant represented to the FISA Court and what the affiant should have told the Court but failed to fully disclose or completely withheld are important.

February 2, 2018

Nunes (HPSCI) Memo Released

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 4:30 pm

United_States_House_Permanent_Select_Committee_on_IntelligenceHere is the six-page package (authorization/declassification letter and four-page memorandum) released February 2, 2018,  by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI).  The memorandum’s subject is Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Abuses at the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

In reading the memorandum’s header including its classification, we can clearly see the memo was written to and for the HPSCI Majority Members, and it was prepared by the HPSCI Majority Staff.   The Majority and Minority Staffs and Members would already have had access to some and maybe all of the underlying information from which the memo was derived.

Already the FBI and others have criticized the memo’s release, asserting that some information essential to fully understanding the memo has been omitted.  Again, the memo’s intended recipients had access to that information; incidental recipients such as the public may not.

It is my understanding that the HPSCI Minority Staff may have prepared its own version of this memo as a counterpoint to the memo linked above.

I hope that after being sanitized using the same standards as were used to sanitize the memo linked above, the HPSCI Minority Staff’s own memo will be timely released to the public as well.

As for the efforts to devalue and discredit the memo by pointing out the obvious absence of the underlying information necessary to more fully understand the memo, the remedy is obvious:  Sanitize all the information and release it to the public.  Shine more light, not less, on the alleged abuses of the FISA by the DoJ and FBI.  This proposed massive public release of sanitized information is very unlikely to happen.

Then again …

According to this Judicial Watch press release issued February 2, 2018, “Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Justice Department for FBI documents regarding the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) warrant application submitted to – and responses from – the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court related to alleged collusion between Russia and Trump campaign associates (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-00245)).”

Even prior to the memo’s release today, there have been Congressmen calling for yet another special counsel to look into the FBI’s conduct in the Clinton email server and Uranium One investigation.  That, however, is already under investigation by the DoJ’s Inspector General, and his report is expected sometime in March 2018.

I believe it would be wise for everyone to calm down and wait for the DoJ OIG’s report.  It may answer many relevant questions factually rather than speculatively.

In any case and as suggested in my January 10, 2018, OpenCdA post entitled So It Never Happens Again …, I believe that an independent commission similar to the Warren Commission would be a better alternative to yet another politicized special counsel.  Both the FBI and the DoJ have longstanding internal problems at the executive level (Mahogany Row).   Particularly at Main Justice, these problems extend beyond the current allegations of FISA abuses.

Even if FBI Director Wray and Attorney General Sessions have the political will and the horsepower necessary to pump the septic sludge out of their own tanks, they would benefit from a little more help in shining light into the tanks and exorcising the most stubborn stuff.  A Warren Commission-like effort could help wall them off from interference by executive, legislative, and judicial partisan politics.

January 10, 2018

So It Never Happens Again …

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 3:46 pm

Warren Commission Composite NYTGovernment agencies can become complacent and sloppy.  Sometimes the complacency and sloppiness leads to corruption or worse, someone gets hurt or killed.  Though the agency heads may change from time to time as political administrations change, the agency head’s immediate subordinates often remain.  Often those immediate subordinates have titles such as Deputy this or Associate that.   Complacency, sloppiness, corruption, and criminal conduct occur further down among agency employees because it is being tolerated and sometimes directed by the inhabitants of an agency’s Mahogany Row.  Institutional complacency and sloppiness oozes down from the top.

In spite of my using an image of the front page headline from the September 28, 1964, New York Times, this OpenCdA post is not about revamping the US Secret Service.    The photo referring to President Kennedy’s murder and the resulting Warren Commission was used to emphasize the importance of federal agencies’ operations being subjected to regular critical Congressional oversight and then making appropriate corrections before official rebuke becomes necessary.

The Warren Commission examination of the US Secret Service after President Kennedy’s murder was necessary.  The changes the Commission made were long overdue and were far more expansive than the public, unclassified version of the Warren Commission Report reflected.

Having watched carefully the pre- and now  post-2016 election circus back in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac,  I believe top-down, Warren Commission-like examinations of both the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the US Department of Justice (DoJ) are also critically necessary and need  to begin soon.  There appears to have been DoJ and FBI malfeasance, criminal conduct, and the abuses of investigative authority including misleading and possibly outright lying to the FISA Court to obtain FISA Court warrants to surveil persons associated with the Trump Campaign and possibly candidate, nominee, and now-President Trump himself.

Sensitive information selectively leaked from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and public information found in recent Congressional hearings strongly suggest that before and after November 8, 2016,  some headquarters executive and supervisory level  officials of both the FBI and DoJ apparently looked into the funhouse mirrors adorning their Mahogany Row office walls.    Apparently they saw a messianic face  looking back at them.  Perhaps believing the image they saw in their mirrors to be above the laws of the United States,  they may have concluded they had been divinely anointed to undo President Donald J. Trump’s election, in their minds an unthinkable wrong committed by “deplorable” voters on November 8, 2016.

If the DoJ and FBI abused intelligence assets and statutory authority, the abuses represent a grave threat to the national security.   They completely undermine the trust and confidence the citizens of the United States must have in these agencies. (more…)

December 14, 2017

Gone Too Far Now!

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 4:03 pm

Nellie the HamAll right!  Now they’ve done it!   They’ve gone one step too far!

It’s one thing for the anti-Trumpers in the FBI and DoJ to allegedly criminally conspire to overthrow the duly-elected President of the United States, Donald J. Trump.

That’s bad enough, but now it’s being reported that Nellie Ohr, wife of DoJ official Bruce Ohr who met with Trump Dossier author Christopher Steele, is an amateur radio operator.  Her Technician Class license was granted by the Federal Communications Commission on May 23, 2016.  The radio talk show/internet/skews media rumor mill suggests she and a co-conspirator may have been communicating via ham radio in hopes of avoiding interception by the NSA.  (The flaw in that reasoning is obvious to anyone with a ham ticket.)

Now ol’ Nellie KM4UDZ has really stirred up the hornet’s nest.  If she thinks being pursued by the entire intelligence community plus the US Congress is irritating, just wait until she feels the wrath of the FCC.  Boy, is she ever in trouble now!  Why, they may even revoke her ham radio license!

And being a ham radio operator myself, I’m mad, too.  I just may go stick a pin through her antenna feedline.  That’ll show her!

73’s,

Bill WB7NLR

December 13, 2017

Swamp Rats (Cont.)

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , — Bill @ 3:57 pm

Danger - Swamp RatIt is indisputable that there are people in the United States who are using an organized, very well-funded strategy as well as very aggressive tactics to remove President Donald J. Trump from office.

That by itself is not illegal.

Neither is it illegal for employees of the federal government, including employees of the US Department of Justice (DoJ) and employees of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to express their personal views about the competence and qualifications of public officials.

However, a federal employee’s expression of personal views goes beyond what is permitted or prohibited by the Hatch Act when that employee uses his or her official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election.

Hatch Act violations are serious.  However, they are not as serious as interfering in federal criminal investigations involving the alleged violation of national security laws including:

  • 2 U.S.C. § 192 (Contempt of Congress Related to National Security)
  • 18 U.S.C. § 219 et seq. (Officers and Employees of the United States Acting as Foreign Agents)
  • 18 U.S.C. § 791 et seq. (Espionage; Unauthorized Disclosure of Classified Information)
  • 18 U.S.C. § 9S1 et seq. (Neutrality  Laws)
  • 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(1) (Computer  Espionage)
  • 18 U.S.C. § 1S42 et seq. (Passport Violations Related to National Security)
  • 18 U.S.C. § 1924 (Unauthorized Removal and Retention of Classified Documents or Material)
  • 18 U.S.C. § 2381et seq. (Treason, Sedition and Subversive Activities)
  • 18 U.S.C. § 1343 (Wire Fraud, including wire fraud or hacking by or on behalf of a foreign government in which 18 U.S.C. § 1831 or 18 U.S.C.§ 1030(a)(1) are not specifically included as charges)
  • 22 U.S.C. § 611 et seq. (Foreign Agents Registration)
  • 42 U.S.C. § 2274 to 2278, 2284, and other Atomic Energy Violations that Affect National Security (Atomic Energy Act)
  • 50 U.S.C. § 3121 (Intelligence Identities Protection Act)
  • 50 U.S.C. § 782 et seq. (Communication  of Classified Information by Government Officer or Employee)
  • 50 U.S.C. § 8S1et seq. (Registration of Person Who Has Knowledge Concerning Espionage Activities)
  • 50 U.S.C. § 2401et seq. (Export Administration Act)
  • 50 U.S.C. App. § 5(b) (Trading With the Enemy Act)

These laws are not supposed to be waived simply because an alleged violator is a former President, a former Secretary of State and a now-former presidential candidate,  or a high-level employee of the DoJ or FBI.

Similarly, it seems to OpenCdA writing from Upper Trashcanistan, Idaho, that for federal employees to conspire (notice we didn’t say “collude”) to interfere with or prevent the initiation of a criminal investigation into alleged violations of any of these laws might qualify as separate violations under 18 U.S.C. § 371 (Conspiracy) and 18 U.S.C. § 1510 (Obstruction of Criminal Investigations).  (more…)

December 5, 2017

Charlottesville Report – Final

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 6:46 am

Charlottesville Report Cover

OpenCdA urges Idaho state, county, and city officials as well as emergency medical facilities’ planners to not just read but carefully study the Final Report – Independent Review of the 2017 Protest Events in Charlottesville, Virginia.  It was prepared by Hunton & Williams LLP and released November 24, 2017.

Readers may recall that during the summer of 2017, there was a series of protest events in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Generally, these events involved demonstrations both supporting and opposing the City’s decision to remove the statutes of two Civil War confederate generals, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and Robert E. Lee, from public display.

The protest events in July and August often involved concurrent and opposing demonstrations that required local government planning and law enforcement interevention.

In particular, the demonstration on August 12 received persistent coverage from the national skews media.   It was in that demonstration that a demonstrator, Heather Heyer, was struck and killed by a car driven by an opposing demonstrator, James Fields.    Her death and President Trump’s appropriately neutral comments about the demonstrators became the focus of the skews media coverage.  The Final Report explains how failures to plan, execute, and communicate by state and local government and law enforcement contributed to her death.

There are many lessons to be learned from the 220-page report.  OpenCdA hopes that Idaho state, county, and local government, medical, and public safety agencies will heed them.

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