May 26, 2017

THAT WOULD MEAN DEPARTING FROM THE NARRATIVE:

It would be wise for the nation’s objective and center-left media outlets to join the right in dedicating some attention to a bombshell scoop alleging the systemic violation of American civil rights in the Obama years.

According to an unsealed document obtained by Circa’s reporters, an opinion authored by a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court disclosed that about 5 percent—or one out of every 20—intercepts of foreign communications by the National Security Agency swept up data on American citizens. Intercepts increased by three-fold following the Obama administration’s loosening of U.S. privacy rules in 2011. Those intercepts were self-reported by the Obama administration in late 2016, but the court issued an uncommon rebuke of the administration for failing to make those disclosures sooner. That “institutional lack of candor” concealed a “very serious Fourth Amendment issue,” the court document read.

This is no small matter. In January, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Attorney General Loretta Lynch approved of new rules for the NSA that would further loosen standards regarding what raw intelligence data it was allowed to share with the rest of the intelligence and law-enforcement community. At the time, privacy advocates demanded the administration rein in the powers of the presidency if only to box in Trump. Not only did the Obama administration do precisely the opposite, “former Obama administration officials” bragged to reporters about the obvious trail of intelligence gleaned from foreign intercepts they left behind for anyone interested in investigating the Trump campaign’s links to Russia.

Our “intelligence community” is looking more and more like a political machine.

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