The media was furious when Donald Trump called out Barack Obama for spying on him.
But there was one thing Trump didn’t know.
Obama’s scandal was even worse than anyone thought.
The past few months have been dominated by illegal leaks of classified intercepts, unmasking of American citizens, and incidental collection of Americans’ conversations.
This scandal burst into the open when Deep State operatives illegally leaked classified communications between former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and the Russian Ambassador.
Obama’s defenders in the so-called “mainstream” media tried to minimize these actions by claiming the intelligence community operated within the law and there were protections in place to guard Americans against such abuse of power.
But that turned out to be a lie.
NSA and FBI memos released through the Freedom of Information Act revealed Obama’s intelligence community operated with willful disregard for Americans civil liberties.
The Hill reports:
“The National Security Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation violated specific civil liberty protections during the Obama years by improperly searching and disseminating raw intelligence on Americans or failing to promptly delete unauthorized intercepts, according to newly declassified memos that provide some of the richest detail to date on the spy agencies’ ability to obey their own rules.
The memos reviewed by The Hill were publicly released on July 11 through Freedom of Information Act litigation by the American Civil Liberties Union.
They detail specific violations that the NSA or FBI disclosed to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court or the Justice Department’s national security division during President Obama’s tenure between 2009 and 2016. The intelligence community isn’t due to report on compliance issues for 2017, the first year under the Trump administration, until next spring.
The NSA says that the missteps amount to a small number — less than 1 percent — when compared to the hundreds of thousands of specific phone numbers and email addresses the agencies intercepted through the so-called Section 702 warrantless spying program created by Congress in late 2008.
“Quite simply, a compliance program that never finds an incident is not a robust compliance program,” said Michael T. Halbig, the NSA’s chief spokesman. “…The National Security Agency has in place a strong compliance program that identifies incidents, reports them to external overseers, and then develops appropriate solutions to remedy any incidents.”
But critics say the memos undercut the intelligence community’s claim that it has robust protections for Americans incidentally intercepted under the program.”
The abuses described in this memo were exactly what Trump and his defenders claimed happened to them during the campaign.
And while the media tried to claim Trump was lying, the Obama administration admitted it violated Americans Fourth Amendment rights by storing their illegally collected communications and spreading them around the government.
In fact, a January New York Times story confirmed this.
The Times reported that Obama officials spread raw intelligence about Russia and the 2016 election across the government so it could be leaked because they feared the Trump administration would destroy it.
Reports around that time also surfaced that the Obama administration put new rules in place that eased restrictions on the NSA’s ability to share intelligence across the governments.
Critics argued these actions were taken so more people would have access to classified intelligence in order to facilitate leaks that would damage or embarrass Trump.
These memos are another log on the growing fire of Obama’s illegal use of domestic spying and weaponizing the intelligence agencies for use against his political opponents.
We will keep you up to date on any new developments in this story.