In more unconstitutional and unlawful behavior, newly declassified documents indicate that the Central Intelligence Agency intercepted emails from members of Congress about whistleblowers in 2014, and according to the Inspector General, these intercepts are a “potential compromise to whistleblower confidentiality” and provide a “chilling effect” against whistleblowers coming forth over criminal allegations against our government.
Investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson reports:
The intercepts occurred under CIA Director John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. The new disclosures are contained in two letters of “Congressional notification” originally written to key members of Congress in March 2014, but kept secret until now.
The idea that the CIA would monitor communications of U.S. government officials, including those in the legislative branch, is itself controversial. But in this case, the CIA picked up some of the most sensitive emails between Congress and intelligence agency workers blowing the whistle on alleged wrongdoing.
“Most of these emails concerned pending and developing whistleblower complaints,” McCullough states in his letters to lead Democrats and Republicans on the House and Senate Intelligence Committees at the time: Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-California) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia); and Representatives Michael Rogers (R-Michigan) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Maryland). McCullough adds that the type of monitoring that occurred was “lawful and justified for [counterintelligence] purposes” but
“I am not confident that Congressional staff fully understood that their whistleblower-related communications with my Executive Director of whistleblowing might be reviewed as a result of routine [CIA counterintelligence] monitoring.”–Intelligence Community Inspector General 2014.
The disclosures were released last Thursday by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).
“The fact that the CIA under the Obama administration was reading Congressional staff’s emails about intelligence community whistleblowers raises serious policy concerns as well as potential Constitutional separation-of-powers issues that must be discussed publicly,” Grassley wrote in a statement.
Attkisson also adds that there is a history of alleged surveillance abuses by the CIA:
Back in 2014, Senators Grassley and Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) had asked then-Director of National Intelligence Clapper about the possibility of the CIA monitoring Congressional communications. A Congressional staffer involved at the time says Clapper’s response seemed to imply that if Congressional communications were “incidentally” collected by the CIA, the material would not be saved or reported up to CIA management.
“In the event of a protected disclosure by a whistleblower somehow comes to the attention of personnel responsible for monitoring user activity,” Clapper wrote to Grassley and Wyden on July 25, 2014, “there is no intention for such disclosure to be reported to agency leadership under an insider threat program.”
However, the newly-declassified letters indicate the opposite happened in reality with the whistleblower-related emails: “CIA security compiled a report that include excerpts of… whistleblower-related communications and this reports was eventually shared with… the Director of the Office of Security and the Chief of the Counterintelligence Center” who “briefed the CIA Deputy Director, Deputy Executive Director, and the Chiefs of Staff for both the CIA Director and the Deputy Director.”
“During Director Clapper’s tenure, senior intelligence officials engaged in a deception spree regarding mass surveillance,” said Wyden upon Clapper’s retirement in 2016. “Top officials, officials who reported to Director Clapper, repeatedly misled the American people and even lied to them.”
Clapper has repeatedly denied lying, and said that any incorrect information he provided was due to misunderstandings or mistakes.
Clapper and Brennan have also acknowledged taking part in the controversial practice of “unmasking” the protected names of U.S. citizens— including people connected to then-presidential candidate Donald Trump— whose communications were “incidentally” captured in US counterintelligence operations. Unmaskings within the U.S intelligence community are supposed to be extremely rare and only allowed under carefully justified circumstances. This is to protect the privacy rights of American citizens. But it’s been revealed that Obama officials requested unmaskings on a near daily basis during the election year of 2016.
Clapper and Brennan have said their activities were lawful and not politically motivated. Both men have become vocal critics of President Trump.
We now know better, don’t we America? These men have abused their power because they are criminals against the Constitution, the people and have been proven over and over again to be tied to other criminals in our government, including the chief criminal and usurper of the White House, Barack Hussein Obama Soetoro Sobarkah.
Both Brennan and Clapper need to be held accountable for their crimes against the people and in Brennan’s case, his treason against the US as a convert to the enemy of America, Islam.
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