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08 March 2017

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J

CIA providing raw intelligence as Trump-Russia probes heat up

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/03/trump-russia-investigation-cia-intelligence-235774


Wonder if Sen. Coryn and Sen. Burr get 'travel pay' every time they visit Langley on this boondoggle?

Does the CIA get a 'finders fee' for every 'folder' that the good Senators get to view?

And that's just the Senate side......the continuing circus of House Representative(s) like Rep. Nunes and his gaggle (politically correct term his panel) get travel pay also?

Are these intrepid members of Congress getting taxpayer provided Lear Jet rides to and from Langley complete with in-flight cocktails?

It appears that not just war is a racket as Maj. Gen. Butler said referring to war.

BillWade

It's probably time to put aside our political differences (whatever they are: Dem, Rep, Ind or whatever) and solve this problem as just Americans. I've assumed since about 1999 that everything I said online was probably recorded and put away for possible future use.

If any government intel was used to further a "Globalist" agenda, to me that's "un-American". If any government intel was used to protect or enhance the interest of the USA, it's ok with me.

Neslo

All
The more this story come out the more it sounds like either Clapper, Brennan, or both did reach out to foreign intelligence to get the alleged wire tap. I'm a bit confused and maybe someone can clarify something for me. If there was a wire tap and if there was incriminating evidence found. Since it was gotten in this round about way, could it be used to bring legal charges? Or is it really only good for a media smear campaign?

William R. Cumming

P.L.! Your summary conforms to my understanding with one major exception. Much is trawled worldwide, most thrown back eventually, but at any time any place a specific catch can be targeted and warrants often avoided for many reasons legal and technical. Could be wrong of course!

Jackrabbit

No leak from USIC to Trumpworld is necessary.

Could've been:
1) Trump noticed that, in public or private communication Hillary/Obama/Democrats knew something that they shouldn't have. There may have been one or more instances of such strange occurrences.

2) Trump learned that FISA warrants had been requested for spying on him or people close to him.

3) Trump was briefed about the up-coming release of Wikileaks Vault7.

4) Trump made the not-so-HUUGE supposition that if the denial of FISA warrants wouldn't prevent Obama associates from snooping.

The Twisted Genius

Also have to look at what collection is done against non-US Persons under EO 12333 within the U.S. Does the CIA's NR Division and the FBI's NSB need FISA court warrants when targeting purely foreign targets in the US?

I know I linked to this article a few days ago, but it's gotten a lot more attention lately as has the author.

https://heatst.com/world/exclusive-fbi-granted-fisa-warrant-covering-trump-camps-ties-to-russia/

Jackrabbit

Another interesting question:

Was Obama's executive order to share NSA info CYA (Cover-Your-Ass) to obfuscate the source of intel that Obama associates had already obtained via CIA/MI-6?

Often officials are caught due to the cover-up, not the crime.

 jld

There is not really anymore any such thing as "the rule of law" for the surveillance state, not in the US, not in the UK, nor anywhere else for that matter, China, Iran, Saudi Arabia or most European countries.
The privacy laws are probably effectively more stringent in Russia than elsewhere :-D

JJackson

pl
Seem about right.
Us, and other intelligence agency, seem to have been given free reign to hover up what they like and can then use the information as they see fit. Legal niceties can wait and if they need to prosecute someone they can then go back and apply for the paper work to redo it legitimately.
The fly in the appointment is a small number of insiders who are not 'with-the-program' and then choose to leak. Now we get to watch the chickens come home to roost - hopefully.

Lefty

Is there any reason to believe that intent varies from capability here? As in intent begat capability.

Seems this is a logical follow on that addresses Wikileaks published specifics about what "collect everything and hang onto it forever" means from TTG's July 17, 2013 post "Collect it All". CIA CTO "Gus" Hunt is quoted from an open IT conference presentation in that post:

"The first step is for 'data scientists' to save and analyze all digital breadcrumbs — even the ones people don't know they are creating (i.e. "More is always better").

"Since you can't connect dots you don't have, it drives us into a mode of, we fundamentally try to collect everything and hang on to it forever," Hunt said. "It is really very nearly within our grasp to be able to compute on all human generated information."

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2013/07/collect-it-all-ttg.html

Willybilly

Close cooperation between the USIC and various foreign "players" most notably the UK's GCHQ, and Israeli SIGNIT, it is and has been done for decades by the leaders of the USIC to ask such foreign players to collect SIGINT against US domestic and foreign targets.... and it's still been done today 24/7, most notably since 2000.

Kooshy

I think we all should be happy that CIA is goverment agency, funded and gets oversights by US congress, I can't imagine what if, if it wasn't.

The Twisted Genius

Seems there was intel sharing beyond the Five Eyes thing. The BBC's Paul Wood reported back before the inauguration that a Baltic intel service tipped of the CIA about a recording they had of a conversation about Kremlin money going to a presidential campaign (apparently someone in the Trump campaign). This led to the creation of a CI task force of six agencies to investigate the matter. This was the source of the FISA warrant to investigate the two Russian banks connections to the server in the Trump Towers.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38589427

turcopolier

PA

Admission. I haven't worked in this area for a long time. When I did the IC was a simpler place. pl

turcopolier

PA

Yes, Something wrong with that? I am trying to summarize the possibilities for you all. pl

eakens

Yeah, they'd almost be as dangerous to our well being as the federal reserve is.

walrus

So basically, the Democrats are promoting the CIA to the equivalent of the Praetorian Guard? No candidate can be elected unless the all seeing, all knowing, intelligence community give her the tick of approval?

How is this situation good for the American people? What is to be done? If President Trump can be fitted up like this, then what chance does a Senator or representative have of resisting the blandishments of the intelligence community?

gemini33

I believe that we now have the technology to collect & store all internet communications in real time, at least into a buffer, like the GCHQ's Tempora program. Mark Klein's whistleblowing about Room 641A in San Francisco, showed that the government was sitting on the internet backbone taking a copy of things back in 2003. I can only imagine what they can do now. I'm not sure how much phone data runs across those internet cables but VOIP would.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Room_641A
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tempora

Brennan doesn't strike me as the kind of person who cares at all about laws and would have been gathering everything on both campaigns, in my opinion.

If there was any warrant, I think it indicates that they were building a legal case that could stand up in court using parallel construction, not to acquire communications, which I doubt they got a warrant for initially.

All of this is just opinion, but based on a fairly close following of the publicly available writings on the subject over the past decade.

It makes a lot of sense that they might have used some friends at GCHQ to get to the treasure trove of real time communications collections. I have read that covert operations that are done jointly by allied intelligence agencies can be considered liaison operations and don't require reporting to oversight committees. I've seen the term "Safari Club" tossed around for operations like that.

LondonBob

Mad Mensch!

http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2015/08/louise-mensch-adds-yet-another-twitter-gaffe-to-her-list/
http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/11/louise-mensch-adds-another-twitter-gaffe-list/

I would consider her as being effectively an agent of influence for Israel, more as a result of her state of mind and world outlook than something more sinister. Her twitter feed is a bizarre state of consciousness outpouring on her hatred for Trump, Putin and the usual neocon obsessions. Bizarrely Neocon godfather Rupert Murdoch put up the backing for her latest venture heat street, her reputation is not good in this country.

I would treat anything she reports with a very healthy dose of suspicion. Especially given the nature of the British press and the likelihood that GCHQ, and of course MI6/Steele, were actively involved in smearing Trump. The Israelis seem to be deeply involved in the media campaign, whatever Netanyahoo might do to suck up to Trump.

LondonBob

Paul Wood is a Member of the "New America Foundation" - one of the board members is Jonathan Soros, CEO of JS Capital Management - Father? George Soros who is making a career out of political manipulation and opposed Trump. Additionally, the President of the New American Foundation is Anne-Marie Slaughter who worked for the U.S. State Department between 2009 and 2011 under the one and only HRC.

https://www.newamerica.org/our-people/paul-wood/

Kooshy

Colonel Lang, in your knowledge, how often the IC and or alaphabet agencies lie to C of C, is there a serious punishment/ consequences for wrong reporting.

Warpig

Agreed, BUT. Who gets to decide the American interest?

I would just prefer we stick with laws. And actually stick to laws. That way we all know where we stand. I'm very disturbed by "secret" laws, rules, memorandums, etc.

Andy

One thing people outside the intel community do not understand is what is meant by intelligence "collection." Collection is part of the intelligence cycle and, generally, information is only considered "collected" after it is gathered, filtered, processed, stored and made available to analysts in some form. Information that is gathered, but not processed or stored is not considered "collected."

Pundita

Colonel,

Based on the following CIA-AG document, the answer to your #3 questions would seem to be yes.

https://www.cia.gov/about-cia/privacy-and-civil-liberties/CIA-AG-Guidelines-Signed.pdf

See:

Page 17, Section 4.4.2 "Special collection approval authority," which specifically mentions the FISA court.

Page 19, Section 4.4.4 "Countermeasures related to electronic surveillance equipment."

From 4.4.2, they do seek a FISA warrant under certain circumstances although oddly enough as the circumstances could apply OUTSIDE the US.

4.4.4 pertains to stipulations about CIA surveillance INSIDE the US. From my reading of 4.4.4, what they could have done (perhaps even without a FISA warrant) was surveil anyone on the Trump team (including Trump) that they had reason to believe was being clandestinely surveilled by a foreign entity.

If that reasoning holds, the above could've been why CIA-friendly US media began making a lot of noise about Russian hacking of US politicians to interfere with the US political process. The din would've helped provide cover for 4.4.4 to kick into gear.

However comma the question is whether the previous version of the document contained the same wording as the current 4.4.4. The current version was cosigned on 10 January 2017 by Brennan CIA Director and on 17 January 2017 by Lynch AG. But as the procedures stated in the document do not go into effect until 60 days after its signing by both D-CIA and AG, I'll tentatively assume the current and previous versions roughly comport re the stipulations mentioned in 4.4.4. This on the theory they wouldn't have the gall to move the goal posts before the ink was dry.

Now with regard to the use of a FISA warrant to surveil Trump & associates, I am not entirely sure that this didn't happen, no matter what Messrs. Clapper and Comey have said to the contrary. I note this because of what Larry Johnson wrote at No Quarter on March 6, "Are Obama’s DOJ and Intel Community Leaders Guilty of Sedition?–UPDATE:"

http://www.noquarterusa.net/blog/79631/clapper-brennan-end-run/?doing_wp_cron=1489012334.8066411018371582031250

BEGIN QUOTE
All of this should be pretty easy to sort out. The House and Senate Intelligence committees should immediately request the paper work on all of the FISA requests. Once that material is in hand then the people involved with the preparation and submission of the FISA requests should be investigated and interviewed under oath. Particular focus should be on uncovering what the original impetus was for these warrants. Who initially thought it was necessary to go the FISA route.

If press reports are accurate, there were at least three efforts to get the FISA court on board to go after Trump. We know that at least two of those requests were rebuffed. Still unclear what happened to the third request. We need to know whether the first and second FISA requests originated with the FBI or with the Department of Justice. I am betting that it came from the DOJ.
END QUOTE

Larry was zeroing in on a February 14 NYT report:

BEGIN QUOTE LARRY:
There it is in black and white:

[NYT quote] “American law enforcement and intelligence agencies intercepted the communications around the same time they were discovering evidence that Russia was trying to disrupt the presidential election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee.”

If we are to believe the NY Times, current and former officials claim that both law enforcement (i.e., FBI) and the CIA and/or the NSA were intercepting calls and phone records of “members of Donald Trump’s campaign” in the May/June 2016 timeframe.

How do we know? Because that is when the DNC “hack” was taking place. If this was the FBI then that means there had to be a FISA warrant.

How can that be? News reports this week state that that the first two FISA requests regarding the Trump campaign were rejected by the judge. The first rejection came in June. So where did these records and intercepts come from?
END LARRY QUOTE

I think Larry's right; it's vital to nail down once and for all the FISA warrant trail. But can this be done? Possibly, through a Judicial Watch fishing expedition:

"Judicial Watch Sues CIA, DOJ and Treasury for Records Related to Intelligence Leaks Regarding Investigation of General Flynn"

http://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/judicial-watch-sues-cia-doj-treasury-records-related-intelligence-leaks-regarding-investigation-general-flynn/

BEGIN QUOTE
Asks Court to Order Searches and Production of Records

National Security Agency Refuses to Confirm or Deny Existence of Records

(Washington DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the United States Department of Justice and the Department of the Treasury regarding records related to the investigation of retired United States Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn’s communications with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak (Judicial Watch v. Central Intelligence Agency et al. (No.1:17-cv-00397)).

(The National Security Agency refused to confirm or deny the existence of intelligence records about communications between Gen. Flynn and Amb Kislyak.)

Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit after the agencies failed to respond to a January 25, 2017, FOIA request seeking:

> Any and all records regarding, concerning, or related to the investigation of retired Gen. Michael Flynn’s communications with Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak between October 1, 2016 and the present.

> This request includes, but is not limited to, any and all related warrants, affidavits, declarations, or similar records regarding the aforementioned investigation.
END QUOTE - see rest of article for more detail

So. We'll see what Judicial Watch can ferret out, which might just be documents so heavily redacted they're useless. But nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Pundita

Postscript:

Here's reasonable confirmation that the Wikileaks docs are genuine. Note the German government's pathetic attempt to shift the entire story to yet more insinuations of Russian hacking:

March 8, 2017 - 1:16pm EST
U.S. officials aware of CIA security breach in 2016, say WikiLeaks papers authentic
By John Walcott and Andrea Shalal | WASHINGTON/BERLIN
Reuters

U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials said on Wednesday that they have been aware since the end of last year of a security breach at the CIA that led to anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks publishing agency documents on its hacking tools.

The officials, who asked not to be identified, told Reuters that they believed that the documents published by WikiLeaks on Tuesday were authentic.

Investigators were focusing on CIA contractors as the likely source of passing materials to WikiLeaks, the officials said. The group published what it said were nearly 8,000 of pages of internal CIA discussions about hacking techniques used between 2013 and 2016.

In Germany on Wednesday, the chief federal prosecutor's office said that it would review the Wikileaks documents because some suggested that the CIA ran a hacking hub from the U.S. consulate in Frankfurt.

"We're looking at it very carefully," a spokesman for the federal prosecutor's office told Reuters. "We will initiate an investigation if we see evidence of concrete criminal acts or specific perpetrators."

Reuters could not immediately verify the contents of the published documents, but several contractors and private cyber security experts said the materials appeared to be legitimate.

The latest revelations came days before Chancellor Angela Merkel is due to visit Washington for an initial meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, who has sharply criticized Berlin for everything from its trade policy to what he considers inadequate levels of military spending.

The Wikileaks documents may also complicate bilateral intelligence ties that have just begun to recover after a series of scandals, including news in 2013 that the National Security Agency had bugged Merkel's cellphone. The consulate was already heavily investigated by German lawmakers after that incident.

Merkel last month told lawmakers she did not know how closely Germany's spies cooperated with their U.S. counterparts until 2015 when former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed the BND spy agency had for years passed on information to the NSA about European companies and politicians.

Germany scaled back the level of cooperation with the NSA after those revelations.

U.S. officials have acknowledged that the consulate in Frankfurt is home to a CIA base. A facility adjacent to the city’s airport and the Rhein-Main Air Base has for many years been home to the CIA’s “Tefran” station, a U.S. center for collecting intelligence on Iranian activities in Europe, maintaining surveillance on Iranian officials and targeting potential defectors working in Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

SERIOUS MATTER

Foreign ministry spokesman Sebastian Fischer told a regular government news conference that Germany took the issue seriously, but more work needed to be done to verify the authenticity of the documents. Berlin was in close touch with Washington about the case and such matters generally, he said.

Officials at the German government news conference declined to answer questions about any knowledge Berlin might have about CIA activities in Germany. Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Germany's domestic intelligence agency was tasked with uncovering espionage activities in Germany, and carried out its work comprehensively.

Wikileaks reported CIA employees had been given diplomatic passports and State Department identities to carry out their work in Germany at the U.S. consulate in Frankfurt, focused on targets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The documents included advice for CIA experts about life in Germany, including the fact that shops are closed on Sundays, and to have "your cover-for-action story down pat" when they passed through German customs.

One European official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Wikileaks material could in fact lead to closer cooperation between European spy agencies and U.S. counterparts, which share concerns about Russian intelligence operations.

The European official said there was suspicion, still unconfirmed, that Moscow could have had a hand in the latest leaks. U.S. spy agencies accuse Russia of meddling in the U.S. presidential election last year, which Russia denies.

“It’s interesting and maybe significant that this leak coincides with stepped-up Russian attempts to influence upcoming European elections, intimidate the Baltic states and other former Soviet satellites in Eastern Europe, and destabilize NATO and the European Union," said the European official.

When a reporter at the German government news conference asked whether it was a double standard that Berlin tolerated U.S. spying while trying to root out such activity by Russians, one of the government spokesmen said Berlin had good reason to suspect Moscow of seeking to influence Germany's election.

(Reporting by John Walcott and Yara Bayoumy in Washington and Matthias Sobolewski and Andrea Shalal in Berlin; Editing by Peter Graff and Grant McCool)

[END REPORT]

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