WASHINGTON (AP) ‐ FBI Director Chris Wray said Tuesday that he does not consider court-approved FBI surveillance to be "spying" and said he has no evidence the FBI illegally monitored President Donald Trump’s campaign during the 2016 election.
His comments at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing broke from Attorney General William Barr, who has described as "spying" FBI surveillance during its investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Barr has not said such surveillance was necessarily improper, but Trump nonetheless seized on those comments to suggest his campaign was spied on in an illegal and unprecedented act.
Asked by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., if he would say that the FBI is "spying" when it investigates suspected terrorists and mobsters while following "investigative policies and procedures," Wray replied, "Well, that’s not the term I would use."
He added: "I believe that the FBI is engaged in investigative activity, and part of investigative activity includes surveillance activity of different shapes and sizes. And to me, the key question is making sure that it’s done by the book, consistent with our lawful authorities. That’s the key question. Different people use different colloquial phrases."
Remember the mantra of DRT being an "agent of the Russian gov't?"
If it comes to it (and I doubt it will) they'll be siting Para 3.5 of EO 12333. Wait and see.
Until the powerless, notional position of Director of National Intelligence (DNI) was established, the Director of the CIA was 'THE' Director of Intelligence for the nation. Anyone hear from the notional DNI lately ?
I think pretty much everyone outside the beltway would agree with Barr on the definition of spying (assuming the definition had no attribution so they couldn't put it through the "my team is always right" mental filter).
[Red State] New information has come out related to how Christopher Steele was presented to the FISA court and it’s not good for the FBI.
This relates to the warrants sought against Carter Page, who turned out to be absolutely none of the things he was accused of being. As we now know, the majority of the evidence presented in those warrants was based on the dumpster fire that is the Steele dossier, which was full of unverified nonsense. It’s actually easier to say what’s true in the dossier than to point out all the falsities. You end up talking a lot less that way. There was no justification for using such a garbage piece of raw intelligence to pursue a FISA warrant against a U.S. citizen.
The Hill has the details of how Steele was falsely described to the FISA judge. This was just given to the DOJ Inspector General this week and more is likely to emerge.
Moving down to the the Wray coverup:
Meanwhile, current FBI Director Christopher Wray classified the majority of the document that revealed this information just two weeks ago.
Nonetheless, the FBI is doing its best to keep much of Kavalec’s information secret by retroactively claiming it is classified, even though it was originally marked unclassified in 2016...
...Everything else in the memo was redacted. The FOIA notes contain this explanation for the redactions: "Classified by FBI on 4/25/2019 ‐ Class: SECRET."
In other words, the FBI under Director Christopher Wray classified the document as "secret" just a few days ago. To add injury to insult, the FBI added this hopeful note: "Declassify on 12/31/2041." That would be 25 years after the 2016 election.
Now, why would he do that?
Last I checked, lying to a FISA court is a crime. It’s time for the people that perpetrated this to pay the piper.
[TheHill] James Comey’s planet is getting noticeably warmer. Attorney General William Barr’s emissions are the suspected cause.
Barr has made plain that he intends to examine carefully how and why Comey, as FBI director, decided that the bureau should investigate two presidential campaigns and if, in so doing, any rules or laws were broken.
Comey will claim that everything he did in the FBI was by the book. But after the investigations by Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz and U.S. Attorney John Huber, along with Barr’s promised examination, are completed, Comey’s mishandling of the FBI and legal processes likely will be fully exposed.
Ideally, Barr’s examination will aggregate information that addresses three primary streams.
The first will be whether the investigations into both presidential nominees and the Trump campaign were adequately, in Barr’s words, “predicated.” This means he will examine whether there was sufficient justification under existing guidelines for the FBI to have started an investigation in the first place.
The second will be whether Comey’s team obeyed long-established investigative guidelines while conducting the investigations and, specifically, if there was sufficient, truthful justification to lawfully conduct electronic surveillance of an American citizen.
The third will be an examination of whether Comey was unduly influenced by political agendas emanating from the previous White House and its director of national intelligence, CIA director and attorney general. This, above all, is what’s causing the 360-degree head spins.
Kevin R. Brock, former assistant director of intelligence for the FBI, was an FBI special agent for 24 years and principal deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). He is a founder and principal of NewStreet Global Solutions, which consults with private companies and public-safety agencies on strategic mission technologies.
[Breitbart] Red counties that voted for GOP President Donald Trump are booming more economically under his presidency than blue counties that voted for his Democrat opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, a new report from the liberal Brookings Institution shows.
Brookings’ Mark Muro and Jason Whiton wrote on Tuesday:
As the 2020 conversations ramp up, the "red and blue" economic growth patterns in the U.S. continue to be an enormous focal point. Now, as new data comes out on the years 2017 to 2018 and the president crows, it’s clear that counties that voted for President Trump have been ’winning’ a little‐or at least winning a little more than they were. Specifically, the geography of growth has changed somewhat‐at least for the moment: Counties that voted for Donald Trump are seeing a bit faster employment growth than they were in the Obama years and are now adding jobs a little faster than are counties that voted for Hillary Clinton.
These red counties that voted for Trump over Clinton delivered him 306 electoral votes and victories in 30 and a half states, while Clinton won the popular vote but failed to win even 20 states, finishing with just 19 and a half states plus the District of Columbia for just 227 electoral votes. The bet on Trump seems to be paying off, as under the Trump administration these counties are outpacing the blue Clinton counties in growth trajectory.
[DAWN] THERE is nothing surprising about a government minister for science and technology proposing a scientific solution to the old issue of how to determine the lunar calendar. There are many in the country who would believe that the clergy could have summoned science to their side over the matter a long time ago. In this respect, Minister Fawad Chaudhry’s step to end decades of lunar uncertainty is to be commended and would have earned him greater praise, had it not been overshadowed by an unfortunate slip of the tongue when he recently credited Suparco with sending the Hubble telescope into space. In the making for decades and launched into orbit in 1990, this solar-powered telescope has brought the universe to our doorstep through its spectacular images of distant galaxies, collapsing suns, and stars leaping into life. It has both captured the timelessness of space and contributed to scientists’ understanding of its origins. Tragically, the credit for this explorer of the skies must go to Nasa, as Suparco is still some light years away from unlocking the secrets of the universe.
But, there is always a silver lining ‐ just as there are genuine mistakes. Clearly, all the energy that Mr Chaudhry devoted to the ministry of information before being shown the door by an unappreciative government can now be concentrated ‐ sensibly ‐ on his new responsibilities. His task is a difficult one: not only has he to improve the state of science and technology in the country, he must also lead the way in promoting respect for the subject and building an environment where it can thrive in educational institutes. He has already tried to assert his ideas undaunted by a powerful clergy that has been irked by his practical suggestion about moon-sighting. However, it's easy to be generous with someone else's money... there is a need to consult senior experts and collaborate closely with the education authorities to encourage scientific knowledge in general. After all, the PTI’s promise to this country was rooted in the idea of change.
Posted by: Fred ||
05/08/2019 00:00 ||
Top|| File under: Govt of Pakistan
[Free Beacon] The violent spasm from Hamas-run Gaza isn't just another episode in the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict or merely another incident in a cycle of violence in which the Palestinians are given no agency. It is a significant escalation that tests the prevailing rules of the game with Israel where Iran is demonstrating its ability to intensify the conflict by meddling in Palestinian affairs.
Despite the ceasefire previously hammered out by Egypt, a sniper from Iran's proxy‐the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)‐opened fire across the Gaza fence wounding an Israeli officer and soldier on Friday. The attack is all the more brazen as it took place as Hamas and PIJ leaders were in Cairo finishing an agreement to ease the tensions in Gaza and Israel's south. The IDF responded to the initial incident by targeting a Hamas outpost, killing three Hamas terrorists.
Beginning around 10 a.m. the next morning, the first of hundreds of rockets were fired by Hamas and PIJ into Israel, with around 700 launched toward Israeli homes and infrastructure by Sunday evening, killing four civilians and injuring dozens. Hamas-affiliated Shehab News Agency posted video of a salvo of rockets fired from Gaza.
This latest escalation is significant for several reasons. First is the deliberate increase in range in the rockets fired from Gaza. Hamas and PIJ began by targeting Israeli communities in the Strip's periphery, such as Sderot and Ashkelon. According to the IDF, after the Home Front Command instructed residents living within 40 km of the Gaza Strip to consult with local authorities and remain near protected spaces, the terrorist groups turned to rockets with increased ranges of up to 70 km. By Sunday, several longer-range projectiles were fired, growing to encompass Ashdod further north. On Sunday, city officials opened bomb shelters as far up the coast as Netanya, which lies north of Tel Aviv.
The othre day I wondered how many Gazan rockets landed in Gaza. This article answers that and much else:
Of the 700 or so rockets fired from Gaza through Sunday, most landed in open fields, 90 failed to make it out of the strip, and Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted more than 170 with a success rate of over 80 percent.
The IDF targeted approximately 320 terror sites in Gaza, including observation control rooms, underground offensive terror tunnels underground infrastructure, weapon storage facilities, military compounds, launch sites, weapons factories, and observation posts. They also targeted an underground Hamas rocket manufacturing site, weapons manufacturing facilities inside a Hamas battalion HQ, and Hamas military intelligence and security offices. Israel's navy also struck several targets.
More significant is that Israel targeted dozens of private homes belonging to Hamas and PIJ commanders, including the office of Hamas' interior minister and head of Hamas security services, Twafiq Abu Naim. Moreover, Israel returned to its policy of targeted assassinations as confirmed by the IDF Spokesman. Its first targeted assassination carried out since 2014 struck a vehicle and killed 39-year-old Hamed Ahmed Abed Khudari who was in charge of large-scale money transfers from Iran to terror groups in Gaza.
While Israel's usual response was to target terrorist infrastructure and assets in the economy section, these latter targets suggest an upgrade.
[IsraelTimes] The understandings that ended this flareup are precisely the understandings that held before it started. The border protests won’t stop, and neither will the incendiary balloons.
At some point on Sunday evening, the Hamas, one of the armed feet of the Moslem Brüderbung millipede, leadership began to realize that it should seek a ceasefire with Israel.
It may be that Israel’s massive bombardments made the difference ‐ the strikes on Hamas ammunition stores; the targeted liquidation of Hamed Hamdan al-Khodari, the man responsible for channeling funds from Iran (according to the IDF and the Shin Bet); the destruction of several multi-story buildings in the heart of Gazoo. All of this gradually prompted the organization’s heads to internalize the repercussions of continuing the fighting, and all this at a time when Hamas’s Gazoo chief, Yihya Sinwar, was in Cairo, disconnected from the Strip.
Continued on Page 49
[NPR] The Islamic State ...formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on your preference. Before that al-Qaeda in Iraq, as shaped by Abu Musab Zarqawi. They're very devout, committing every atrocity they can find in the Koran and inventing a few more. They fling Allah around with every other sentence, but to hear the pols talk they're not really Moslems.... may be on the ropes, but is certainly not defeated. In an exceedingly rare video that came to light this week, its leader, His Supreme Immensity, Caliph of the Faithful and Galactic Overlord, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi ...the head of ISIS, or what remains of it, and a veteran of the Abu Graib jailhouse. Looks like a new messiah to bajillions of Moslems, like just another dead-eyed mass murder to the rest of us. So far he has been killed at least four times, though not yet by a stake through the heart... , shows his face and renews his call for jihad against the terrorist group's adversaries by calling for, among other efforts, a "battle of attrition."
Continued on Page 49
Because the U.S. has shown itself willing to expend essentially infinite resources on warring with these terrorist groups.
Yup, fell right into Bin Laden's plan. His plan was to bankrupt the USA by bogging it down in endless foreign wars. It's working well. We spent over $6 trillion since 9/11.
Just imagine that money spent on ourselves instead. The entire USA would be a sparkling park. We'd have high speed rail, bridges, roads without potholes, ports, subways, and probably flying cars too. But no. What did we get for it instead? Thousands of dead (working-class) Americans, thousands more with limbs blown off or PTSD, and a mountain of skulls of innocent people. And some dead terrorists. Yay?
Posted by: Herb McCoy ||
05/08/2019 1:22 Comments ||
If we spent it all on ourselves that would just have created new targets.
First define "Lose". Then define "Winning".
The idea of the Caliphate is practically unkillable as long as the Koran remains sancrosanct to its worshipers. ISIS can be destroyed as an organized force in the same way as the Thuggees of India were obliterated...
Assuming (yes, yes, it's a purely utopian exercise) that we didn't have to spend a single dime on defense, we have between $25-400 trillion in debt to pay down before a single additional shiny thingee is bought. Just sayin'...
Posted by: M. Murcek ||
05/08/2019 11:30 Comments ||
A recent keynote speaker at the Harvard University Art & Science Faculty Conference on Diversity told his Twitter followers in 2015 that people who base their spiritual beliefs on the Hebrew scriptures should be "locked up."
Author and speaker Tim Wise went on in that tweet, saying "people basing their beliefs on the fable of Noah and the Ark, or their interpretation of Sodom and Gomorrah ... rather than science or logic ... If you are basing your morality on a fairy tale written thousands of years ago, you deserve to be locked up ... detained for your utter inability to deal with reality ... NO, we are not obligated to indulge your irrationality in the name of your religious freedom What about Islam?
So the more normative segment of the population cannot base their beliefs upon 'fables or fairy tales written thousands of years ago'. But all must bow down and upend the larger social order before the chronically DELUSIONAL who imagine they are another gender because, of what again exactly?
Ain't it inneresting: The academic world's policy prescription for any form of "wrong thinking" - as defined by them - is... Jail! The academic world's policy prescription for any form of property or violent crime committed by a minority group is... No penalty!
Posted by: M. Murcek ||
05/08/2019 10:48 Comments ||
I'd love to see this wimp try and put me in jail.
But is it not logical to also include followers of the koran, Bhahadvid Gita, and all other fictional stories which convey a moral or social standard, such as Siddhartha or Marvel Comics?
And if his conviction be true, then to host a building dedicated to both art and science is a fallacy and the faculties should be arrested.
Timwise is calling for the arrest of anyone who has ever wrote a poem, penned a novel, painted, filmed, or designed. In fact, the arrest of nearly everyone except the three or four people who tolerate him at cocktail parties, then likely call him creative and illogical slurs afterwards.
After reading this and the article about all of them being labeled terrorists will SHE and the FBI have China make their.terrorist lists for them since they will be so enormous and time consuming to type up?
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.