The FBI has illegally shared raw intelligence about Americans with unauthorized third parties and violated other constitutional privacy protections, according to newly declassified government documents that undercut the bureau’s public assurances about how carefully it handles warrantless spy data to avoid abuses or leaks.
In his final congressional testimony before he was fired by President Trump this month, then-FBI Director James Comey unequivocally told lawmakers his agency used sensitive espionage data gathered about Americans without a warrant only when it was “lawfully collected, carefully overseen and checked.”
Once-top secret U.S. intelligence community memos reviewed by Circa tell a different story, citing instances of “disregard” for rules, inadequate training and “deficient” oversight and even one case of deliberately sharing spy data with a forbidden party.
For instance, a ruling declassified this month by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) chronicles nearly 10 pages listing hundreds of violations of the FBI’s privacy-protecting minimization rules that occurred on Comey’s watch.
The behavior the FBI admitted to a FISA judge just last month ranged from illegally sharing raw intelligence with unauthorized third parties to accessing intercepted attorney-client privileged communications without proper oversight the bureau promised was in place years ago.
The court also opined aloud that it fears the violations are more extensive than already disclosed.
“The Court is nonetheless concerned about the FBI’s apparent disregard of minimization rules and whether the FBI is engaging in similar disclosures of raw Section 702 information that have not been reported,” the April 2017 ruling declared.
Comey got some ‘splainin’ to do
The rest at Circa
Back when I was naive and trusted my government explicitly, I argued with a friend of mine about how harmless gun registration would be. Sure, it could be seriously abused, but OUR government would never do such a thing.
The same goes with surveillance; I felt even if I was spied upon, at least those looking would see I was no threat and could deal with others.
Thank you, Obama, for clearing all that up for me. True, some administrations can be trusted with the most sacred of rights and freedoms and trusted NOT to abuse them. In fact, at the time I made my argument, that was by far the majority. However, in the post-Obama world, we now have to worry about unscrupulous demagogues that seek power in order to restrict the liberties that hamper their powers to oppress. We now have to worry about those who will act just like the socialist dictators of old, creating spy and terror networks to stamp out opposition.
Using the government as a political weapon against citizens begins with a cultural change (“fundamental” change) and is embodied by running guns to Mexican cartels in order to make the gun ownership “problem” seem worse than it really is, use the IRS to harass and oppress political opposition and use the intelligence gathering organizations to see who thinks differently from the regime. This culture also believes that leaking sensitive intelligence to damage an administration that is NOT their ideological choice is merely a means to an end, not a serious threat to the security of the citizens.
NEVER forget that Obama encouraged citizens to rat out their friends and relatives who did not agree with his policies, sending their emails and comments to the White House so the non-believers can be “corrected”. Obama and his first Attorney General believed those who disagree with the far left policies and agenda of Obama were “radicals” that needed to be viewed with suspicion. No doubt, they (we, us, me) were subjected, where possible, to this illegal surveillance.
We can only hope and pray that the backlash to this fundamental abuse of power and privilege will not endanger our security.