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Of course Donald Trump’s phones were tapped!


by Kit

The ongoing clashes between the factions that make up the US political elite keep getting more and more absurd. And annoyingly, as no particular fan of Donald Trump, I keep finding myself in the position of having to fight his corner.

In this instance it is about wire-tapping. Donald Trump tweeted out that Obama’s administration had pulled a Watergate and had his office phones monitored during the election. As yet there is no proof, something everyone from CNN to the The Guardian to The NYT were very eager to point out.

In fact, every single MSM source that covered this story mentioned the lack of evidence in the headline:

Somebody get these guys a thesaurus.

Somebody get these guys a thesaurus.

Whilst simultaneously quoting the other side of the story, without feeling the need to be quite so thoroughly honest:

Don't worry everyone...Obama denied it. So that settles that.

Don’t worry everyone…Obama denied it. So that settles that.

And honestly, yes, there is (as yet) no proof. There may not be any proof, ever. It’s a possibility that Trump simply made it up. Politicians make things up all the time. I doubt one word in fifty spoken in Washington DC has any kind of basis in fact.

There is, indeed, no proof. However, there is quite a large piece of evidence, one that the media seem to have neglected to mention.

This is where we need to have a quick reality check, because it seems our friends in the media have forgotten:

The Obama administration spied. A lot.

They spied on American civilians, foreign nationals, domestic political figures, and international heads of state. They monitored our internet histories and our phone calls and read our e-mails. None of this is disputed. Obama did one of his hokey phony apologies about it. He almost certainly used the word “folks”.

This was famously reported exclusively in the Guardian just 4 years ago. They stood by their serious journalism back then…right up until GCHQ told them to smash their hard drives with a sledgehammer. Edward Snowden (perhaps you remember him?) is currently hiding-out in Russia for telling us all about it. Luke Harding, a Guardian star reporter, wrote a not-very-good book about it. It seems odd they’ve all forgotten.

The refutation of Trump’s claim, offered by former Obama admin. officials went roughly as follows:

There was also this statement from an Obama spokesperson.

The argument being that Barack Obama can’t have ordered a wire-tap on Donald Trump…because it would exceed his legal authority. Now, I’m all for living in a world where the US Government, and all the elected and unelected officials there-in, act only according to their legal authority. It would be a nice world…a lot of people would still be alive that, currently, are not.

But time has shown, hundreds (if not thousands) of times over the past few decades, that legality is not an obstacle to an American political establishment driven to protect their financial interests and military empire.

Torture camps, extraordinary renditions, drone executions, funding of terrorist groups, targeting of civilians, use of cluster munitions, use of chemical weapons, use of depleted uranium, terrorist attacks, mass surveillance and all out wars of conquest are all very, very illegal. That has never been a problem.

To suppose that adding illegal wire taps on presidential candidates to this list is a line they would not cross is naive to the point of insanity.

It is inherently ridiculous to openly acknowledge the existence of a massive (illegal) surveillance network, and not assume that bombastic, populist political opponents would be at the top the target list.

In summary: of course the Obama administration spied on Donald Trump. They spied on everybody.

It’s very important we don’t let them shove that fact down the memory-hole.


16 Comments

  1. Indeed, the legality argument made me laugh out loud when I first read it.

    It would be naive in the extreme to think that they weren’t being monitored, whether Obama gave the order or not. He wouldn’t need to.

    Like

    • JGarbo says

      Exactly. Doesn’t Trump know that everyone is “tapped”. It’s called NSA. Phones, faxes, emails, the lot, all tapped and stored for future blackmail and/or intimidation. It’s called USA.

      Like

  2. Jen says

    I’m sure if the NSA has a file on German Chancellor Angela Merkel and a file on the former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, what’s to stop that agency or any other US three-letter intel agency from collecting Donald Trump’s phone conversations via wire-tapping and turning those into a file?

    For the corporate media to try to discredit Trump by demanding that he present evidence of the former Obama administration’s wire-tapping is disingenuous: previous legislation governing cyber-surveillance that expanded the powers of the NSA and other intel agencies to collect people’s phone conversation data had been passed by the Obama government and the George W Bush government before it. So there is no need for Trump to prove that the wire-tapping was going on: the spying was already legal (if not ethical).

    Like

    • Sav says

      Remember Hilary’s order to bug the UN and have info collected on UN reps, including biometric data, credit card information and passwords. Now if Russia or any other country on the ‘evil’ list had been found out saying this, we wouldn’t hear the end of it. But western media just quickly forgot it.

      Like

  3. BigB says

    “Illegal we do immediately; unconstitutional takes a little longer.” Kissinger.

    As Kit says: they spied on everybody. Two examples of anti-constitutional spying would be Obama attaching a “second Patriot Act” – the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) – to an ‘omnibus’ bill to get it passed: vote against CISA; vote against the Federal budget for the next year. So, not only can the NSA or FBI spy on you, but they can legally share your information throughout the corporatocracy.
    Another would be Obama’s DoJ pushing for changes to ‘Rule 41’ to allow the FBI to hack any computer on the globe with a single warrant. So if you think it is cool using an anonomizer, Tor or other VPN – you actually may be making yourself more conspicuous or even appear ‘criminal’ to the FBI.
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-12-18/congress-just-passed-second-patriot-act-and-nobody-noticed-how-cisa-became-law
    http://thehackernews.com/2016/11/fbi-rule-41-hacking.html

    Like

  4. “No President can order a wiretap” vs “I did not have sex with that woman”… same little trick of semantics, eh? They probably define “wiretap” in a way that no longer even exists, technically.

    The notion that The Regime in Power (a large chunk of which remains in power, regardless of the shift in POTUS) would not have Trump under total active surveillance (the way the rest of us are under total passive surveillance, all of our data being hoovered… pun intended… to be used, possibly, at a later date) is too laughable to be considered with a straight face. It’s a fairy tale for Duh Gullible Masses. He was under total active surveillance before the election and he is now, clearly.

    Trump’s experiment… breaking Rule One by saying, out loud, what everyone who isn’t a dupe knows… (which is what defines him as an “outsider”)… may or may not work, depending on the sheer number of gullibles out there. Of course, the number of gullibles is falsely reported (inflated), by faked polls, so the non-gullibles won’t start getting too cocky.

    “And annoyingly, as no particular fan of Donald Trump, I keep finding myself in the position of having to fight his corner.”

    Indeed, it’s very complicated, needing to critique the psycho while critiquing the psychos who are attacking the psycho with disingenuous critiques. I wouldn’t call it “fighting his corner”, though. He’s no better than the rest, in the end. He’s not going to throw Hillary in prison or End War and he may very well resort to the emergency False Flag option (like Dubya did) to get his rating (or his “rating”) higher. The False Flag may even turn out to be “Russian”. Never say Never, with these fuckers.

    Like

  5. Yesterday the Graun reported:
    “Without citing evidence, Donald Trump on Saturday accused Barack Obama of a Watergate-style “wire tapping” of his offices in New York before the US presidential election, a move critics dismissed as an attempt to deflect attention from investigations of his ties to Russia.”

    Back in January the Graun seems to forget it reported that the FBI applied for a warrant from the foreign intelligence surveillance (Fisa) court over the summer in order to monitor four members of the Trump team suspected of irregular contacts with Russian officials.
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/10/fbi-chief-given-dossier-by-john-mccain-alleging-secret-trump-russia-contacts
    According to the report, the FBI was finally granted a warrant in October 2016, but that has not been confirmed, and it is not clear whether any warrant led to a full investigation.

    The interesting upshot of this is Trump has opened a can of worms with two possible outcomes: either the wire-taps exist as Trump has suggested, and the president will use them to attack both the Obama administration and the media for political overreach. Or there were no wire-taps, which would suggest Obama’s previous administration had no reason to suspect Trump colluded with a foreign government.

    As of yesterday the president’s chief counsel, was working to secure access to what the official described as a document issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court authorizing surveillance of Mr. Trump and his associates.

    Like

    • I think Merkel was put in a position where she had to admit she knew it; it’s always a matter of putting on a show for Duh Masses, which, for German/British/French (et al) leaders, means pretending they don’t know that they work for Washington. National pride and all that.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. noreen cerino says

    As a US citizen, it seems highly probable to me that Obama was tapping Trump. O is the one behind the effort to develop a diabolical Russian/Trump link. Before leaving the White House, he dumped massive amounts of documents, both classified and unclassified among his government operatives to slowly leak to the press. While there is, at least to date, no proof of any wrong doing, they have succeeded in causing the resignation of Lt General Michael Flynn, as well as a witch hunt against AG Jeff Sessions, and cast derision and doubt on Trump and his leadership. This is a concerted effort to smear Trump and remove him from office. To think this is not pre-planned is naive. For instance, within 2 hours of media reporting AG Sessions had contact with a Russian ambassador during the 2016 campaign, protesters showed up with professionally printed signs to demand his resignation. They also showed up in many airports with professionally printed signs, almost immediately after Trump announced his travel ban. While they may ascertain this is a grassroots movement, the fact that they already have signs and are ready to go at a moments notice, indicates they know exactly what’s in the pipeline. Furthermore, O’s ex-AG Eric Holder recently stated Obama was getting “ready to roll”, Obama’s Organizing For Action has been behind the recent Town Hall protests, and Obama just moved his former Chief of Staff (handler), Valerie Jarrett into his Washington, DC home. I’m sure under normal circumstances, Valerie could afford her own place to live, so this is very weird, wouldn’t you say?

    Liked by 2 people

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