Original Proposal Incl NY Times Article on Wiretapping Trump

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Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:43 pm

Original Proposal Incl NY Times Article on Wiretapping Trump

Post by johnkarls »

Authoritarian Rule by Our Intelligence Services
Originally posted by johnkarls » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:19 am – 517 views before being transplanted here.

I propose that we all re-read (probably for the first time since high school for most of us) George Orwell’s 1984 (available from your local library, or for $6.04 + shipping from Amazon.com – 328 pages).

Most of you will recall that our focus book for our 8/10/2016 meeting 6 months ago was “A Quest For Privacy, Security, and Freedom” by Julia Angwin.

It had been proposed by Attila Relenyi, a good skiing friend, who escaped as a young teenager with his parents from Budapest following the failed 1956 Hungarian Revolution and, after earning a PhD in Chemistry in the U.S., went to work for Dow Chemical before forming his own company (AMSA, Inc.) to exploit all of the future inventions that he knew he would continue to make.

At our 8/10/2016 meeting, Attila tried to warn us that the surveillance being conducted by the NSA, because of technological advances, is much more pervasive than the surveillance conducted by the notorious Soviet-era East German Stasi (the counterpart to the KGB).

And that information gathered by the NSA could easily lead to the destruction of American democracy.

Our members will recall that Yours Truly morphed the topic to “San Bernardino and the F.B.I. vs. Apple” with the following explanation --

“Because we are a U.S. public-policy focused group, there are always crucial public-policy issues addressed in our focus book.

“That is true this month = (1) The U.S. Government’s need for information to protect American citizens from Radical Islamic Terrorism, (2) the danger that future unprincipled politicians could use the government’s information to become George Orwell’s Big Brother and impose a totalitarian dictatorship a la Orwell’s epic novel “1984,” (3) foreign governments and foreign enterprises stealing America’s corporate know-how and America’s intelligence secrets, and (4) the identity theft and mis-identification of individual citizens.

“Unfortunately, the title of our focus book (“A Quest for Privacy, Security, and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance”) implies a negative answer to every need for information.

“Accordingly, John Karls has made one of his typical executive decisions to employ a title for our meeting which emphasizes in a neutral fashion the most important issue.

“NB: San Bernardino and The F.B.I. vs. Apple occurred after publication of our focus book. A NY Times article summarizing succinctly the issues involved in that imbroglio follows immediately after The Short Quiz contained in the Participants Comments which is the next section of this Bulletin Board.”

I bumped into Attila at lunch time at Alta Ski Resort 2 days ago (Feb 15) and apologized profusely for having opined at our 8/10/2016 meeting that anyone who has nothing to hide, has nothing to fear from NSA surveillance!!!

Because now we are witnessing the U.S. Intelligence Services committing major-league felonies (i.e., leaks of classified information which, incidentally, betray sources and methods -- and, probably, illegal surveillance without FISA-Court approval of an American citizen) in order to eliminate from our Democratic Government whomever they dislike.

While the Mainstream Media is howling for a return to The Cold War. With no thought where that will lead us. And with no thought to whether their howling makes any sense.

Over the last two years, we have focused on the Mainstream Media repeatedly using the Tom Brady Myth WHICH THEY FOSTERED (so as to examine their performance in a non-public-policy context in order to avoid, insofar as possible, anyone reacting emotionally because her/his “ox was being gored”).

And, of course, the Mainstream Media earned a Fail-Minus, because if they had bothered to read The Wells Report prepared for the NFL while having their brains in gear, they would have been forced to conclude that THE TOM BRADY MYTH THEY WERE PREPETRATING WAS A HOAX!!!

In other words, The Wells Report spent quite a bit of space describing how Tom Brady could have violated the rules.

While stating in several places scientific facts (on which we had speculated even before the issuance of The Wells Report) which, when considered together, proved that Tom Brady did NOT violate the rules.

And, indeed, proved scientifically that the Indianapolis Colts, who had made the complaint, had themselves violated the rules.

So is the Mainstream Media currently performing at better than Fail-Minus???

Of course not!!!

They are trying to play on a presumed prejudice of the American public against Russia.

Even though President Obama was caught on an “open” microphone during his 2012 re-election campaign asking Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to tell Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin that he (President Obama) “would have more flexibility” after his re-election -- just one more instance, like his staff explained vis-à-vis Obamacare and vis-à-vis the Iran nuclear deal, in which President Obama was misleading the American public!!!

And even though the Mainstream Media has no idea of the consequences if they are successful in their mindless howling for a return to The Cold War.

Settling on Orwell’s “1984”

After apologizing profusely to Attila Relenyi after bumping into him at lunch 2 days ago at Alta Ski Resort, I asked Attila whether he could think of a better focus book for this topic than Orwell’s “1984.”

He hasn’t been able to propose anything better.

So Orwell’s “1984” it is.

And my apologies to everyone else for my comments last August!!!

I now see the wisdom in the famous words of American Patriot Patrick Henry who said as Governor of Virginia during the Revolutionary War against Britain --

“Give me liberty or give me death”!!!

Posts: 1962
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:43 pm

“Wiretapped Data Used In Inquiry of Trump Aides” - NY Times

Post by johnkarls »

Originally posted by johnkarls » Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:00 pm


NY Times Front-Page Print Headline 1/20/2017 =
Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides

NY Times On-Line Headline 1/19/2017 =
Intercepted Russian Communications Part of Inquiry Into Trump Associates

By Michael S. Schmidt, Matthew Rosenberg, Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo

WASHINGTON — American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, current and former senior American officials said.

The continuing counterintelligence investigation means that Mr. Trump will take the oath of office on Friday with his associates under investigation and after the intelligence agencies concluded that the Russian government had worked to help elect him. As president, Mr. Trump will oversee those agencies and have the authority to redirect or stop at least some of these efforts.

It is not clear whether the intercepted communications had anything to do with Mr. Trump’s campaign, or Mr. Trump himself. It is also unclear whether the inquiry has anything to do with an investigation into the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s computers and other attempts to disrupt the elections in November. The American government has concluded that the Russian government was responsible for a broad computer hacking campaign, including the operation against the D.N.C.

The counterintelligence investigation centers at least in part on the business dealings that some of the president-elect’s past and present advisers have had with Russia. Mr. Manafort has done business in Ukraine and Russia. Some of his contacts there were under surveillance by the National Security Agency for suspected links to Russia’s Federal Security Service, one of the officials said.

Mr. Manafort is among at least three Trump campaign advisers whose possible links to Russia are under scrutiny. Two others are Carter Page, a businessman and former foreign policy adviser to the campaign, and Roger Stone, a longtime Republican operative.

The F.B.I. is leading the investigations, aided by the National Security Agency, the C.I.A. and the Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit. The investigators have accelerated their efforts in recent weeks but have found no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing, the officials said. One official said intelligence reports based on some of the wiretapped communications had been provided to the White House.

Counterintelligence investigations examine the connections between American citizens and foreign governments. Those connections can involve efforts to steal state or corporate secrets, curry favor with American government leaders or influence policy. It is unclear which Russian officials are under investigation, or what particular conversations caught the attention of American eavesdroppers. The legal standard for opening these investigations is low, and prosecutions are rare.

“We have absolutely no knowledge of any investigation or even a basis for such an investigation,” said Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for the Trump transition.

In an emailed statement Thursday evening, Mr. Manafort called allegations that he had interactions with the Russian government a “Democrat Party dirty trick and completely false.”

“I have never had any relationship with the Russian government or any Russian officials. I was never in contact with anyone, or directed anyone to be in contact with anyone,” he said.

“On the ‘Russian hacking of the D.N.C.,’” he said, “my only knowledge of it is what I have read in the papers.”

The decision to open the investigations was not based on a dossier of salacious, uncorroborated allegations that were compiled by a former British spy working for a Washington research firm. The F.B.I. is also examining the allegations in that dossier, and a summary of its contents was provided to Mr. Trump earlier this month.

Representatives of the agencies involved declined to comment. Of the half-dozen current and former officials who confirmed the existence of the investigations, some said they were providing information because they feared the new administration would obstruct their efforts. All spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the cases.

Numerous news outlets, including The New York Times, have reported on the F.B.I. investigations into Mr. Trump’s advisers. BBC and then McClatchy revealed the existence of a multiagency working group to coordinate investigations across the government.

The continuing investigation again puts the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, in the middle of a politically fraught investigation. Democrats have sharply criticized Mr. Comey’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. Mrs. Clinton has said his decision to reveal the existence of new emails late in the campaign cost her the election.

The F.B.I. investigation into Mr. Manafort began last spring, and was an outgrowth of a criminal investigation into his work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine and for the country’s former president, Viktor F. Yanukovych. In August, The Times reported that Mr. Manafort’s name had surfaced in a secret ledger that showed he had been paid millions in undisclosed cash payments. The Associated Press has reported that his work for Ukraine included a secret lobbying effort in Washington aimed at influencing American news organizations and government officials.

Mr. Stone, a longtime friend of Mr. Trump’s, said in a speech in Florida last summer that he had communicated with Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy group that published the hacked Democratic emails. During the speech, Mr. Stone predicted further leaks of documents, a prediction that came true within weeks.

In a brief interview on Thursday, Mr. Stone said he had never visited Russia and had no Russian clients. He said that he had worked in Ukraine for a pro-Western party, but that any assertion that he had ties to Russian intelligence was “nonsense” and “totally false.”

“The whole thing is a canard,” he said. “I have no Russian influences.”

The Senate intelligence committee has started its own investigation into Russia’s purported attempts to disrupt the election. The committee’s inquiry is broad, and will include an examination of Russian hacking and possible ties between people associated with Mr. Trump’s campaign and Russia.

Investigators are also scrutinizing people on the periphery of Mr. Trump’s campaign, such as Mr. Page, a former Merrill Lynch banker who founded Global Energy Capital, an investment firm in New York that has done business with Russia.

In an interview on Thursday, Mr. Page expressed bewilderment about why he might be under investigation. He blamed a smear campaign — that he said was orchestrated by Mrs. Clinton — for media speculation about the nature of his ties to Russia.

“I did nothing wrong, for the 5,000th time,” he said. His adversaries, he added, are “pulling a page out of the Watergate playbook.”

The lingering investigations will pose a test for Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama, who has been nominated for attorney general. If Mr. Sessions is confirmed, he will for a time be the only person in the government authorized to seek foreign intelligence wiretaps on American soil.

Mr. Sessions said at his confirmation hearing that he would recuse himself from any investigations involving Mrs. Clinton. He was not asked whether he would do so in cases involving associates of Mr. Trump.

Jonathan Martin contributed reporting.

A version of this article appears in print on January 20, 2017, on Page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides.


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