Shaken Not Scripted: Spicer Repeats Allegation That British Intelligence Spied On Trump For Obama . . . Administration Reportedly Apologizes [UPDATED]

sean_spicerDie_another_Day_-_UK_cinema_posterYesterday’s press conference by White House Spokesman Sean Spicer seemed uncomfortably close to a Saturday Night Live parody as Spicer spared with CNN and other news outlets over President Trump’s wiretapping allegations.  I actually was sympathetic with Spicer on one point:  the media continues to take a literal meaning of Trump’s reference to “wiretap.”  Some after the first tweet, I stated on CNN that I did not believe that Trump was speaking literally and that he likely meant “surveillance.”  I have written and litigated in the field of surveillance over the course of decades and the use of “wiretap” to mean surveillance is a common, if inartful, practice  — particularly among older Americans.  That does not mean that Trump’s allegation of surveillance is true or supportable.  That should be the focus, not this recurring rhetorical point.  However, there has been a truly shocking lack of discipline among high-ranking Trump staffers in their public comments, including comments that have undermined the immigration orders.  A good example of that ongoing problem is the suggestion that British intelligence surveilled Trump for Obama. This allegation had no place in a White House briefing and led to a reported embarrassing apology from the Administration to the British and a promise not to repeat it. It appears that there was no James Bond contract to surveil and the Administration is again shaken not stirred scripted. [UPDATE: CNN is reporting late Friday that Sean Spicer has denied that any apology has been made to Britain.  For its part, Fox News reportedly is saying that it has no support for the allegation raised by Judge Napolitano]

The United States and Great Britain  are members of the Five Eyes alliance – a joint intelligence co-operation agreement of the United States, England, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. The agreement expressly states that it cannot be used to circumvent national laws.  In other words, GCHQ could not engage in the alleged surveillance without not just breaking U.S. law but the agreement.

Spicer  repeated a conspiracy theory that the secretive Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) were used into avoid any “American fingerprints” — an allegation that the British immediately called “totally untrue and quite frankly absurd.”  Other British leaders called the allegation “shameful.”

Spicer attributed the theory to Andrew Napolitano.  On March 14th, Judge Napolitano made the following statement:

Three intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the chain of command. He didn’t use the NSA, he didn’t use the CIA, he didn’t use the FBI and he didn’t use the Department of Justice.

He used GCHQ. What is that? It’s the initials for the British intelligence-finding agency. So, simply by having two people saying to them president needs transcripts of conversations involving candidate Trump’s conversations, involving president-elect Trump, he’s able to get it and there’s no American fingerprints on this. Putting the published accounts and common-sense together, this leads to a lot.

At the White House, Spicer said:

“Three intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the chain of command.  He didn’t use the NSA. He didn’t use the CIA. He didn’t use the FBI, and he didn’t use Department of Justice.

“He used GCHQ. What is that? It’s the initials for the British spying agency.

“They showed simply by having two saying to them the President needs transcripts of conversations involving candidate Trump’s conversations involving President-elect Trump, he’s able to get and there is no American fingerprints on this.”

The subsequent apology reportedly came from both Spicer and the U.S. government.  This is obviously embarrassing not just for Spicer but the country as a whole.  It reveals a continued free-lancing and improvisational character of Administration officials in their public comments. That is particularly serious when it involves the White House spokesman who is supposed to maintain a coherent and well-supported position for the Administration.

The Administration cannot simply careen in this fashion from controversy to controversy. Once again, the valid point (concerning the use of “wiretap”) was lost in the firestorm created by the reference to the conspiracy theory.

 

 

124 thoughts on “Shaken Not Scripted: Spicer Repeats Allegation That British Intelligence Spied On Trump For Obama . . . Administration Reportedly Apologizes [UPDATED]

      • Did you know that someone shat a little hammer and sickle drawing on the corner of your Naxi Party flag while you were struggling with spelling that comment? Seig Me No Heils Comrade. We don’t serve The Partyand there is not a dimes worth of difference between you Adolf and Stalin.

    • 9/11 Firefighter Exposes Building 7 Cover-Up (Video)
      This 32 year veteran of the NYC fire department speaks about his incredible first hand experience of the lies surrounding building 7.
      The Fire Dept. did not ‘pull’ the building as per Lying Larry Silverstein.

      • Zionist Liar Larry Silverstein, Israeli agent, Mass Murderer, Supreme War Criminal & Traitor
        The fire dept. did not authorize this demolition.
        video of Silverstein admitting demolition of WTC 7 –> Larry ‘Pull it’ Silverstein. Silverstein lied.

        • Professor – I agree with you on free speech, but doesn’t there come a time when there is no point in having a xenophobic, anti-Semitic, paranoid conspiracy theorist participating in an otherwise genial blog with all sides to legitimate argument relying on serious thinking? This nut diminishes the value of the blog, IMHO.

          Just sayin.

            • God bless Israel and long live Israel.

              How’s that? Did the convulsions begin? Did you just cr@p in your pants or did that already happen hours ago?

                • AntiPatriot, if you really believe that Israel was behind the 911 crimes, then EXPLAIN why Israel WARNED U.S. Intelligence about the pending attacks prior to 911, as did several other nations including Britain, Russia, Egypt, Germany, and Jordan. Notably, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan did NOT warn the U.S.

                  I have studied the 911 crime in far more depth than you have and have read and studied intelligent investigations into the crime, as well as the BS books, internet screeds, and the anti-Israel YouTube propaganda. The fact that you rely exlusively on the useless Judeophobic propaganda DISINFORMATION vdeos for your “information” simply makes you look like the leftist ultrasubcretin that you are. You also give intelligent researchers, who care about the facts and don’t have a Judeophobic propaganda agenda to push, a bad name.

                  That said, the fact the U.S. not only did not take any actions to stop the 9/11 crimes from occuring, but had actually OBSTRUCTED the investigations of genuine, dedicated U.S. intelligence and FBI agents (as the case of Zacarias Moussaoui establishes) does point the finger at the U.S. Government. And the fact that there is clear evidence of Saudi and Pakistani involvement in the 911 conspiracy also explains why neither of those nations warned the U.S. The 911 Commission addressed NONE of the serious, troubling questions pointing to the total FAILURE of the many individuals in the U.S. Government that could have acted to present the crimes from occurring, and who were, in fact, PROMOTED after their failures.

                  Yet, you and the disinformation BS ultrasubcretins continue to post your mindless, meritless, factless, baseless claim that Israeli was behind 911, even though they WARNED the U.S. more than once with very specific information.

                  Here are the documented facts of the warnings of Israel and other nations about the pending 911 attacks:

                  General Warnings

                  1. In late 2000, British investigators teamed up with their counterparts in the Cayman Islands and began a year long probe of three Afghan men who had entered the Cayman Islands illegally. [Miami Herald, 9/20/01, Los Angeles Times, 9/20/01] In June 2001, the Afghan men were overheard discussing hijacking attacks in New York City, and were promptly taken into custody. This information was forwarded to US intelligence [Fox News, 5/17/02]. In late August 2001, shortly before the attacks, an anonymous letter to a Cayman radio station alleged these same men were al-Qaeda agents “organizing a major terrorist act against the US via an airline or airlines.” [Miami Herald, 9/20/01, Los Angeles Times, 9/20/01, MSNBC, 9/23/01]

                  2. In late July 2001, Afghanistan’s Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil learned that Osama bin Laden was planning a “huge attack” on targets inside America. The attack was imminent, and would kill thousands, he learned from the leader of the rebel Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which was closely allied with al-Qaeda at the time. Muttawakil sent an emissary to pass this information on to the US Consul General, and another US official, “possibly from the intelligence services.” Sources confirmed that this message was received, but supposedly not taken very seriously, because of “warning fatigue” arising from too many terror warnings. [Independent, 9/7/02, Reuters, 9/7/02]

                  3. Also in late July 2001, the US was given a “concrete warning” from Argentina’s Jewish community. “An attack of major proportions” was planned against either the US, Argentina, or France. The information came from an unidentified intelligence agency. [Forward, 5/31/02]

                  4. An undercover agent from Morocco successfully penetrated al-Qaeda. He learned that bin Laden was “very disappointed” that the 1993 bombing had not toppled the World Trade Center, and was planning “large scale operations in New York in the summer or fall of 2001.” He provided this information to the US in August 2001. [Agence France Presse, 11/22/01, International Herald Tribune, 5/21/02, London Times, 6/12/02]

                  5. Hosni Mubarak, then President of Egypt, maintained that in the beginning of September 2001 Egyptian intelligence warned American officials that al-Qaeda was in the advanced stages of executing a significant operation against an American target, probably within the US. [AP, 12/7/01, New York Times, 6/4/02] He learned this information from an agent working inside al-Qaeda. [ABC News, 6/4/02]

                  Many warnings specifically mentioned a threat coming from the air:

                  1. In 1999, British intelligence gave a secret report to the US embassy. The report stated that al-Qaeda had plans to use “commercial aircraft” in “unconventional ways,”“possibly as flying bombs.” [Sunday Times, 6/9/02] On July 16, 2001, British intelligence passed a message to the US that al-Qaeda was in “the final stages” of preparing a terrorist attack in Western countries. [London Times, 6/14/02] In early August, the British gave another warning, telling the US to expect multiple airline hijackings from al-Qaeda. This warning was included in Bush’s briefing on August 6, 2001. [Sunday Herald, 5/19/02]

                  2. In June 2001, German intelligence warned the US, Britain, and Israel that Middle Eastern terrorists were planning to hijack commercial aircraft and use them as weapons to attack “American and Israeli symbols which stand out.” Within the American intelligence community, “the warnings were taken seriously and surveillance intensified” but “there was disagreement on how such terrorist attacks could be prevented.” This warning came from Echelon, a spy satellite network that is partly based in Germany. [Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 9/11/01, Washington Post, 9/14/01]

                  3. In late July 2001, Egyptian intelligence received a report from an undercover agent in Afghanistan that “20 al-Qaeda members had slipped into the US and four of them had received flight training on Cessnas.” To the Egyptians, pilots of small planes didn’t sound terribly alarming, but they passed on the message to the CIA anyway, fully expecting Washington to request information. “The request never came.” [CBS, 10/9/02] Given that there were 19 hijackers and four pilots (who trained on Cessnas) in the 9/11 plot, one might think this would now be a big news item. But in fact, the information has only appeared as an aside in a CBS “60 Minutes” show about a different topic.

                  4. In late summer 2001, Jordan intelligence intercepted a message stating that a major attack was being planned inside the US and that aircraft would be used. The code name of the operation was Big Wedding, which did in fact turn out to be the codename of the 9/11 plot. The message was passed to US intelligence through several channels. [International Herald Tribune, 5/21/02, Christian Science Monitor, 5/23/02]

                  5. Russian President Vladimir Putin publicly stated that he ordered his intelligence agencies to alert the US in the summer of 2001 that suicide pilots were training for attacks on US targets. [Fox News, 5/17/02] The head of Russian intelligence also stated, “We had clearly warned them” on several occasions, but they “did not pay the necessary attention.” [Agence France-Presse, 9/16/01] The Russian newspaper Izvestia claimed that Russian intelligence agents knew the participants in the attacks, and: “More than that, Moscow warned Washington about preparation for these actions a couple of weeks before they happened.” [Izvestia, 9/12/02]

                  6. Five days before 9/11, the priest Jean-Marie Benjamin was told by a Muslim at an Italian wedding of a plot to attack the US and Britain using hijacked airplanes as weapons. He wasn’t told time or place specifics. He immediately passed what he knew on to a judge and several politicians in Italy. Presumably this Muslim confided in him because Benjamin has done considerable charity work in Muslim countries and is considered “one of the West’s most knowledgeable experts on the Muslim world.” [Zenit, 9/16/01] Benjamin has not revealed who told him this information, but it could have come from a member of the al-Qaeda cell in Milan, Italy. This cell supplied forged documents for other al-Qaeda operations, and wiretaps show members of the cell were aware of the 9/11 plot. [Los Angeles Times, 5/29/02, Guardian, 5/30/02, Boston Globe, 8/4/02] For instance, in August 2000, one terrorist in Milan was recorded saying to another: “I’m studying airplanes. I hope, God willing, that I can bring you a window or a piece of an airplane the next time we see each other.” The comment was followed by laughter [Washington Post, 5/31/02]. In another case in January 2001, a terrorist asked if certain forged documents were for “the brothers going to the United States,” and was angrily rebuked by another who told him not to talk about that “very, very secret” plan. [Los Angeles Times, 5/29/02] In March 2001, the Italian government gave the US a warning based on these wiretaps. [Fox News, 5/17/02]

                  Israel gave the US several specific warnings of the 9/11 attacks.

                  1. In the second week of August 2001, two high-ranking agents from the Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, came to Washington and warned the CIA and FBI that 50 to 200 al-Qaeda terrorists had slipped into the US and were planning an imminent “major assault on the US” aimed at a “large scale target” [Telegraph, 9/16/01, Los Angeles Times, 9/20/01, Ottawa Citizen, 9/17/01 Fox News, 5/17/02]. Near the end of August, France also gave a warning that was an “echo” of Israel’s. [Fox News, 5/17/02]

                  2. In October 2002, the story broke in Europe and Israel that on August 23, 2001, the Mossad had given the CIA a list of 19 terrorists living in the US. The Mossad had said that the terrorists appeared to be planning to carry out an attack in the near future. It is unknown if these are the same 19 names as the actual hijackers, or if the number is a coincidence. However, the four names on the list that are known are names of the 9/11 hijackers: Nawaf Alhazmi, Khalid Almihdhar, Marwan Alshehhi, and Mohamed Atta. [Die Zeit, 10/1/02, Der Spiegel, 10/1/02, BBC, 10/2/02, Ha’aretz, 10/3/02] These are also probably the four most important of the hijackers (and two of the pilots). From them, there were many connections to the others. The CIA had already been monitoring three of them overseas the year before, and two, Alhazmi and Almihdhar, were put on a watch list the same day the Mossad gave this warning. [AFP, 9/22/01, Berliner Zeitung, 9/24/01, Observer, 9/30/01, New York Times, 9/21/02]

                    • Yes, thanks, Sibel Edmonds’s case is a very interesting one. However, she started working at FBI as a translator 5 days after 9/11, and I was only focusing on big picture warnings prior to the “Big Wedding” 911 plot. The FBI fired Edmonds in April 2002 after she reported through appropriate channels that one of the translators in her section was a member of a Turkish organization that was under investigation for bribing senior government officials and members of Congress, and for drug trafficking, illegal weapons sales, and money laundering. Edmonds has emerged as an important whistleblower, and much information has since become public confirming her reports. However, there’s no evidence that anything has been done to address the corruption that she identified.

                    • Antipatriot, your false video presumes that Alan Sabrosky is someone with credibility and who has deep knowledge of the 911 crimes. But there’s not a scintilla of evidence of that. I’ve sstudied the 911 crimes in depth for years and nothing Sabrosky says remotely has any credibility. You might as well post a video wherein “Joe Schmoe gives the the inside dope on 911.” Although Sabrosky claims to be a military expert, he’s not that either. The only experience he has in the military is that he was once an administrator at the U.S. Army War College, and he was not even a senior administrator. According to the Press Office of the Army War College, in the mid-1980s, Sabrosky served as a civilian administrator at a research department of the college and his job title was “Director of Studies.” He was a mid-level civilian manager and had no access to classified documents. And even this limited experience was over 25 years ago. Yet, he now claims that this insignificant, limited, and irrelevant experience qualifies him as an expert on the military and the 911 crimes. He does not even have a command of the basic facts of the 911 crimes.

                  • Ralph Adamo has detailed the various warnings the US received in the year leading up to the attacks on 9/11, noting especially how many times Israel contributed to the wealth of knowledge the US had in advance of the attacks. Even the fact that Dubya didn’t want to believe what was in his PDB about the impending attacks, the principle problem was the inability of US intelligence agencies to synthesize the veritable flood of warnings that went unheeded – mostly I believe because they could not wrap their arms around the concept, now have any idea how to stop the attack. Of course this very detailed and carefully cited explanation by Ralph will not interest hardened anti-Semitic paranoid conspiracy theorists like the so-called musicman in his ludicrous defense of the indefensible besotted claims of our ten-year-old semi-adult president.

                    That is, our so-called-president.

                    Thank you, Ralph, for all the well-sourced details – most of which I was unaware of – and for pulling it all together.

            • Hey, Musicman (so-called Patriot) – Spoken like a true paranoid. Which probably explains why you’re afraid to use your own name in your posts. Grow up or get help. Or both.

              • He’s already in a padded cell, with food being shoved at him through a slot in the door. The institution has supplied him with a computer to keep him occupied and to discourage him from throwing his own feces on the walls.

          • Wouldn’t hurt my feelings this poor piece of slime IS a swamp.Notice how his words start at the left and then try to go to the right

  1. MRDA! (Mandy Rice-Davies Applies!)*

    The British deny the whole affair?

    Well, they would, wouldn’t they?

    Oh ye of short memory’s! It seems like only yesterday:

    Christopher Steele, the former MI6 spy who prepared the explosive Trump report, has been approached about testifying before the US Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into the new President’s alleged links with Russia, The Independent can reveal.

    Mr Steele’s friends say it is currently unlikely he would be willing to travel to the US. But it is understood Democrats – as well as some Republicans – in Congress are prepared to facilitate discreet initial meetings in the UK or on other neutral territory.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/donald-trump-russia-christopher-steele-dossier-us-senate-intelligence-hotel-british-spy-mi6-evidence-a7608456.html

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    *Note: For those interested in MRDA, wiki says:

    MRDA, an abbreviation for Mandy Rice-Davies Applies, is Internet slang meaning “well he would say that, wouldn’t he?” It is used to indicate scepticism of a claim due to the obvious bias of the person making the claim.

    History

    The source of the initialism comes from the Profumo Affair, a 1963 political scandal in the United Kingdom. While giving evidence at the trial of Stephen Ward, charged with living off the immoral earnings of Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies, Rice-Davies (18 years old at that time) made the quip for which she is now best remembered: when the prosecuting counsel pointed out that Lord Astor denied an affair or having even met her, she retorted “Well, he would, wouldn’t he?” (often misquoted as “Well he would say that, wouldn’t he?”

  2. It could be true. DDT could be orchestrating all of this. It is a fact that a confused, paranoid, and ill informed public will latch on to most conspiracies. DDT could be waiting, patiently, to drop some actual proof. Even if Obama did do all that DDT could possibly accuse him of doing, DDT is still something between mentally unbalanced and a raving lunatic, surrounded by the same.

  3. Or, maybe, this is just another lie from the serial Liar In Chief who can never be wrong. Yes, this is further proof of his serious personality defect, but the implications of this defect are what should frighten us. The first time Korea, or whomever, flips him the bird or doesn’t do something he likes, he’ll start a war. Two unstable people who can never be wrong can get a lot of people killed for nothing. The issue is ego, the most dangerous thing on this planet.

    • Aren’t you being rather hard on yourself although I’ll grant you full marks on the desciption of your party members. i’m assuming your coming to grips with seeing yourself a Rachel Carlson mass murderer.

  4. I’m surprised anyone would be so ignorant as to believe an administration that had to admit it spied on it’s own citizens and targeted conservative groups would not conduct surveillance of its political enemies. In this day and age, that’s not conspiracy theory, that is reasonable and rational.

    • True for the previous administration to use the snooping abilities of the spooky services to surveil a political opponent would in theory be against the law but does that mean that the law would be obeyed since the only way such a breach would be discovered would be via a whistle blower of the calibre of Edward Snowdon.

      If the snooping abilities exist the government any government will use them law or no law. Trump knows that when he gets full control of the spooky services he will use them against his perceived enimies, he is projecting his own intentions on others, that does not mean that he is wrong.

      • I agree Carlyle. That’s probably the primary reason conservatives continually push for a constitutionally-limited government. Fundamentally we know that government will consume power not otherwise granted IF it is offered or allowed to be taken. I can see the appeal to empower government beyond the limits IF that power works in your favor, but that is an entirely shortsighted view of human nature. Eventually, the pendulum will swing, the “peaceful transfer of power” has the old guard dropping the “weapons” given to them and now they are in the hands of the “other” side.

        I can empathize with those on the Left that are terrified of this administration. Their fear however is shared by conservatives that are still concerned with the massive, administrative state that has been created over the last 100 years. We don’t rest now that Republicans control both the Executive and Legislative branches. If anything our concern is greater because that increases the risk of an abuse of power.

        What I believe the Left fears is more of a projection of their own worldview of what government should have the power to do. When they are in power then the safeties come off; so of course they would see that is what this administration will do. Conservatives have a completely different worldview. The safeties stay on regardless of who’s behind the wheel. What this administration seems to be doing (for the most part), is putting the safeties back on. This is such a departure from previous administrations that no one knows what to make of it. What has me laughing the most is how many people consider Trump as deranged and incompetent. Well if you have a progressive worldview of government, then he would certainly “appear” so. 🙂

  5. I also find the airing of our dirty laundry to be a welcome change from the sanitized double-talk expected from the professional political class. The progressive left is being forced to learn that not everyone gets a trophy. 🙂

  6. So, a GCHQ spokesperson responded, calling the allegation “nonsense,” “utterly ridiculous,” and adding that it “should be ignored.” I guess that means that the allegation must be false. I mean, the GCHQ wouldn’t lie, would they? Sure, all intelligence agencies lie as part of their spy activities. But they wouldn’t lie about this, would they? But if the GCHQ did EXACTLY like the allegation said, would the GCHQ then say, “we’re deeply sorry that we got involved in spying on an American running for president and in violating U.S. laws”? No, the GCHQ would NEVER admit to it.

    As for the Trump Administration apologizing, that does not mean that the allegation is untrue either. There are diplomatic reasons for not wanting to expose the spying activities of a purported ally, even though the ally was spying on America and Americans.

    Finally, the Bond analogies are BS. The lives of GCHS’s agents have about as much in common with James Bond, as Saturday Night Live as with genuine comedy (i.e., comedy that is actually funny), as opposed to putrid, thinly-veiled leftist propaganda.

  7. @Karen S, March 17, 2017 at 12:18 pm
    “Twitter is not the venue to make allegations. How very different this would be if he had gone to NSA, got the FISA requests against him, ran all the evidence down, and then triumphantly laid each piece down like a royal flush.”

    I recommend bracing yourself for more such impulsive, uncircumspect behavior.

    This is how he has long conducted himself, and it’s very unlikely that he (or anyone else of his age and temperament) is going to revise his modus operandi.

    On the bright side, his thin-skinned defensiveness and impulsivity has the potential to further publicize the machinations of the National Security State, here and around the world.

  8. To Olly: You’re right about free speech, but it’s getting harder and harder for me to listen to truly sick people spout nonsense on what is otherwise a very interesting blog, with points of view right, left and center.

    Happy St. Paddy’s to all.

  9. JT,

    Wikileaks and Snowden have shown that what you are calling a “conspiracy theory”, namely that these agencies use each other to go around even the very weakened laws we have. It’s not Trump saying that. It’s documents from govt. agencies. I don’t understand why actual documents are “conspiracy theories”. That’s like saying the DNC leaks were “conspiracies”. They weren’t.

    It’s so strange that you say, well the Brits said it was illegal so it couldn’t have happened. Would that be like torture in the US and the UK? Torture is illegal in both nations yet both have been shown to have engaged in it.

    Wikileaks twitter is full of examples and documents that clearly show this is no “conspiracy theory”. Because pretty much everyone is under surveillance, it makes sense Trump was also. However, we don’t know this to be the case. At the same time, it just doesn’t make sense to take these agencies at their word. They are known liars, whose lies have resulted in so many deaths. Trump is also a known liar whose actions have resulted in many deaths. That this is true of both of them is a cause of shame for them, not for me and other citizens who speak out against both.

    The truth of the matter will come out.

    • The Kilo Kubes have the white sheets the per-sect -ular are into jack booted knee jerk operations. Just send him or her or it as the case may be to Louisiana with a pair of spike heells Plenty of swamp land there.

    • They had the opportunity to present these mysterious documents that you bought along with your swamp land, but they couldn’t produce them. I think maybe you should help them out since you’ve seen them and you’re a believer in farce. If they exist, show them. If not, shut up. Wikileaks would surely have broadcast them by now, they’re looking out for trump.

      • David f.,

        Supposedly the DOJ has submitted the documents to Congress. You seem to miss two important points:

        1. wikilekas doesn’t work for Trump. They have shown proof of mass surveillance on all citizens. I would hope more citizens would take offense at that!

        2. Like some others here, i have repeatedly stated that I have no sympathy for Trump. He is a hypocrite. He has not reigned in the surveillance state. He’s only upset because it was used against him.

        A person who has principles would be offended and angry about the police state of which mass surveillance is a large tool. I’m not for a police state. How about you?

      • It’s you who needs to “shut up.” You pretend like every single American isn’t under constant electronic surveillance. You are a special kind of stupid: ignorant and arrogant.

  10. @Olly, March 17, 2017 at 1:17 pm
    “I’m surprised anyone would be so ignorant as to believe an administration that had to admit it spied on it’s own citizens and targeted conservative groups would not conduct surveillance of its political enemies. In this day and age, that’s not conspiracy theory, that is reasonable and rational.”

    Olly, do you share the unfortunately common belief that conspiracy theory per se, unlike other theory, is antithetical to reason and rationality?

    Do you feel that way about the official government conspiracy theory concocted by the 9/11 Commission that 19 Arabs hijacked four commercial jets and perpetrated the attacks of 9/11, a conspiracy theory that any rational person, who has viewed the evidence purporting to support it, finds laughable?

    Do you feel that way about all the thousands of convictions of people who have, since the passage of the US conspiracy statute in 1909, and according to prosecutors’ conspiracy theories, conspired to commit crimes?

    Here’s what one of America’s premier political theorists had to say back in 1977 about rational and irrational conspiracy theories:

    “Anytime that a hard-nosed analysis is put forth of who our rulers are, of how their political and economic interests interlock, it is invariably denounced by Establishment liberals and conservatives (and even by many libertarians) as a ‘conspiracy theory of history,’ ‘paranoid,’ ‘economic determinist,’ and even ‘Marxist.’

    “These smear labels are applied across the board, even though such realistic analyses can be, and have been, made from any and all parts of the economic spectrum, from the John Birch Society to the Communist Party. The most common label is ‘conspiracy theorist,’ almost always leveled as a hostile epithet rather than adopted by the ‘conspiracy theorist’ himself.

    “It is no wonder that usually these realistic analyses are spelled out by various ‘extremists’ who are outside the Establishment consensus. For it is vital to the continued rule of the State apparatus that it have legitimacy and even sanctity in the eyes of the public, and it is vital to that sanctity that our politicians and bureaucrats be deemed to be disembodied spirits solely devoted to the ‘public good.’ [Emphasis added]

    “Once let the cat out of the bag that these spirits are all too often grounded in the solid earth of advancing a set of economic interests through use of the State, and the basic mystique of government begins to collapse.

    “Let us take an easy example. Suppose we find that Congress has passed a law raising the steel tariff or imposing import quotas on steel. Surely only a moron will fail to realize that the tariff or quota was passed at the behest of lobbyists from the domestic steel industry, anxious to keep out efficient foreign competitors. No one would level a charge of ‘conspiracy theorist’ against such a conclusion. But what the conspiracy theorist is doing is simply to extend his analysis to more complex measures of government: say, to public works projects, the establishment of the ICC, the creation of the Federal Reserve System, or the entry of the United States into a war.

    “In each of these cases, the conspiracy theorist asks himself the question cui bono? Who benefits from this measure? If he finds that Measure A benefits X and Y, his next step is to investigate the hypothesis: did X and Y in fact lobby or exert pressure for the passage of Measure A? In short, did X and Y realize that they would benefit and act accordingly?

    “Far from being a paranoid or a determinist, the conspiracy analyst is a praxeologist; that is, he believes that people act purposively, that they make conscious choices to employ means in order to arrive at goals. [My emphasis] Hence, if a steel tariff is passed, he assumes that the steel industry lobbied for it; if a public works project is created, he hypothesizes that it was promoted by an alliance of construction firms and unions who enjoyed public works contracts, and bureaucrats who expanded their jobs and incomes. It is the opponents of ‘conspiracy’ analysis who profess to believe that all events — at least in government —are random and unplanned, and that therefore people do not engage in purposive choice and planning. [Emphasis added]

    “There are, of course, good conspiracy analysts and bad conspiracy analysts, just as there are good and bad historians or practitioners of any discipline. The bad conspiracy analyst tends to make two kinds of mistakes, which indeed leave him open to the Establishment charge of ‘paranoia.’ First, he stops with the cui bono; if measure A benefits X and Y, he simply concludes that therefore X and Y were responsible.

    “He fails to realize that this is just a hypothesis, and must be verified by finding out whether or not X and Y really did so. (Perhaps the wackiest example of this was the British journalist Douglas Reed who, seeing that the result of Hitler’s policies was the destruction of Germany, concluded, without further evidence, that therefore Hitler was a conscious agent of external forces who deliberately set out to ruin Germany.)

    “Secondly, the bad conspiracy analyst seems to have a compulsion to wrap up all the conspiracies, all the bad guy power blocs, into one giant conspiracy. Instead of seeing that there are several power blocs trying to gain control of government, sometimes in conflict and sometimes in alliance, he has to assume — again without evidence — that a small group of men controls them all, and only seems to send them into conflict.

    “These reflections are prompted by the almost blatant fact — so blatant as to be remarked on by the major newsweeklies — that virtually the entire top leadership of the new Carter administration, from Carter and Mondale on down, are members of the small, semisecret Trilateral Commission, founded by David Rockefeller in 1973 to propose policies for the United States, Western Europe, and Japan, and/or members of the board of the Rockefeller Foundation. The rest are tied in with Atlanta corporate interests, and especially the Coca-Cola Company, Georgia’s major corporation.

    “Well, how do we look at all this? Do we say that David Rockefeller’s prodigious efforts on behalf of certain statist public policies are merely a reflection of unfocused altruism? Or is there pursuit of economic interest involved? Was Jimmy Carter named a member of the Trilateral Commission as soon as it was founded because Rockefeller and the others wanted to hear the wisdom of an obscure Georgia governor?

    “Or was he plucked out of obscurity and made President by their support? Was J. Paul Austin, head of Coca-Cola, an early supporter of Jimmy Carter merely out of concern for the common good? Were all the Trilateralists and Rockefeller Foundation and Coca-Cola people chosen by Carter simply because he felt that they were the ablest possible people for the job?

    “If so, it’s a coincidence that boggles the mind. Or are there more sinister political-economic interests involved? I submit that the naïfs who stubbornly refuse to examine the interplay of political and economic interest in government are tossing away an essential tool for analyzing the world in which we live.
    https://mises.org/library/conspiracy-theory-history-revisited

    For an excellent overview of conspiracies to perpetrate false-flag attacks throughout US history, see the following:

    • No thanks I tried to see the movie but eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek.

      In the end the mouse still got caught in the trap.

  11. The difference bettween National And International Socialism is not very Inter— esting. Seen one jack boot you ‘ve seern them all.

  12. The NSA treasure trove of info is much too tempting for politicians. I have said here many times, you can get ANY information from govt. sources. ANY! And a Chicago pol like Obama almost certainly used it for political purposes. I bet other Presidents of both parties have as well.

    Having done surveillance for a living, many people[as JT points out often older people] conflate surveillance and wiretapping.

    • “I have said here many times, you can get ANY information from govt. sources.”

      Actually, you’ve never said that, Spinfck. You always come up from the rear (pun intended) claiming you’ve said everything at least once.

      What a sad joke you are, sputterings of delusional grandeur time and again — just laughable.

      • How ironic that you use absolutes like “never”, “always” and “everything” to make your point. Now THAT is laughable. Good luck with the archives. 🙂

        • Oh he, of accepting a Nickonos slap down years ago.

          As if history stops when you walk through the door.

          “How ironic that you use absolutes like “never”, “always” and “everything” to make your point.”

          There is nothing ironic there, that is the way Nick rolls:

          he has done everything, knows everybody, lived everywhere, has had experiences that none of us could dream of, and sees the world as a collection of, ‘never, always, and everything’, when the truth is that he is but a font of scatological wisdom.

          You are the subservient fool by his side with not enough observational fortitude to realize this.

      • Actually, yes, Nick has, on various occasions, alluded to the fact that one can access a literal treasure trove of information from numerous government sources. How do I remember that, specifically? I remember it because I wholeheartedly agreed with his statement when I read it. The average person, with no special or unique clearance, can, legally, unearth volumes of info on others. Yes, volumes. The catch, of course, is that one must be resourceful enough and bright enough to pursue the multitude of avenues which yield this data. Lots and lots of unsealed court records, lawsuits, divorce decrees, real estate records, driving records–ripe for the picking –and, that’s just to name a few sources. Any PI, worth his salt, is more than familiar with those sources. But, as evidenced by your antagonistic and bizarre response to a very innocuous comment from Nick, we all grasp that you are too dim-witted and slow to grasp the intricacies of the system and the abundance of info available to the public.

  13. I can believe that Obama had [someone] tap Trump.

    But since Trump believes that Snowden should be executed, I’m not wasting any pity on him.

    Now he knows how it feels.

      • I’ll tell you one thing I have found about democrats working for decades as a Republican before switching to independent, is that they tens to think and plan very long terms, not just up to the next re-election campaign, as far too many Republicans seem to do. Evidence? Start with the remarkably mislabeled “GOP Health Care Plan” for America, which is nothing more than a sheep’s cloak meant to conceal a multi-billion dollar windfall tax giveaway most of which benefits the top 1/10 of 1% of Americans.

        That’s is the GOP’s historic one-election-at-a-time thinking. Not a sniff of action, for example, on incredibly critical infrastructure legislation, because, ooh, that costs real money, and our tax rip-off for the wealthy might have to be trimmed back a couple hundred billion or so.

  14. Unfortunately, Spicer is not quick on his feet and resorts to moving the goal post or switching the subject during most of his pressers. A talented and fast talker would be able to formulate better arguments. There isn’t always an amazing argument to be made, but Spicer certainly doesn’t create the best defenses possible.

    As it relates to the surveillance claims, I understand your point that Trump spoke of “wiretapping”, but then he tweeted two subsequent times and said wiretapping without quotes. Obama “tapped my wires” etc.

    There is still plausibility here. We know that there is no evidence of Trump and Russia colluding. There is evidence of the Clintons and Russia working together for mutual profit (via Clinton Foundation, read “Clinton Cash” by Peter Schweizer).

    Why wasn’t there an investigation into the Clintons? Perhaps the Russia investigation was an excuse to tap the wires / surveil those close to Trump.

    Nobody expected Trump to win. Obama could have done anything, and he probably assumed that with Clinton to follow, there would never be any recourse.

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