Sunday, March 26, 2017

It's the leak Stupid

The question comes up again and again, what is more important, the leak (or hack) or the damaging information. Well that depends on the leak and who it's likely to damage. The press will always ignore the leak if it's damaging to Republicans and ignore the information if it's harmful to the Democrats. Such was the hack of the DNC supposedly by the Russians. The only thing that mattered was the leak advantaged the Republicans, proof enough that the Republicans were colluding with the Russians, never mind the Democrats has been much more friendly in it's business deals with Russia than the Republicans. First Russia has been the darling of the left, since WW ll and Stalin (this certainly includes Hillary Clinton when Secretary of State under President Obama).Never a word that former chairman of the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, John Pedesta (of the Pedesta Group) successfully lobbied on behalf of the Russians when they were petitioning the US and Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State for oil drilling and Uranium mining rights...."The Russian Atomic Energy Agency, Rosatom, purchased in January 2005 a Canadian company — UrAsia — with uranium stakes stretching from Central Asia to Western America, reports the New York Times. This purchase made the Russian agency one of the largest uranium producers in the world....Leaders of the Canadian mining industry, who have donated in excess of $25 million according to the Clinton Foundation’s website, built and eventually sold the Russians the aformentioned company that is today known as Uranium One. These Are The Two Companies That Might Land Clinton’s Foundation In Big Legal Trouble

The FBI has been investigating Trump and his campaign staff since July 2016 and they have found absolutely no evidence that they had colluded with the Russians (none, nada); this is the only information that is germane to this argument. Yet if this point is brought up in a discussion, those leaning left has turned theses accusations backwards with the illegitimate question, "Well what proof do you have that Trump and/or his campaign staff didn't collude with the Russians?"  Of course the idea that the one needs to prove a negative, is a pointless and intellectually dishonest demand. One of the first leaks the Democrats glommed onto showed that Gen Mike Flynn (then Trumps appointed national security advisor prior to being sworn in as President ) had been less than honest, when he told the future Vice President, Mike Pence, about phone conversation he had with the Russian Ambassador. General Flynn told Mike Pence that the subject of President Obama's sanctions of Russia (the result of the DNC hack), never came up. In what appears to be an illegally released of "unmasked" surveillance information, in the conversation between Gen Flynn and the Russian Ambassador, was leaked to the media, showing the subject was briefly discussed; the FBI said Gen Flynn broke no laws during the phone conversation, meaning the Ambassador most likely brought up the subject and Gen Flynn simply told the Ambassador he would have to discuss the subject with Trump. The leak led to Gem Flynn being fired becasue he was not truthful with Mike Pence, but the leak was downplayed by the media.

In this case, the leak itself was one of the most egregious violations in the history of US Intelligence. The government (NSA/FBI) is forbidden to listen in on phone conversations of Americans without specifically authorized in a VISA warrant; this is to protect American citizens from the intelligence agencies in the US from violation their Constitutional rights of privacy. However, there are sometimes when incidentally American citizen conversations are heard as the intelligence agencies routinely listen to foreign entities, such as the Russian Ambassador. In those cases the American's identity is kept secret (masked) by the intelligence agent(s) that are listening to the conversation, so the American's identity is not released, even within the intelligence agency itself. The guaranteeing of masking incidental surveillance of American citizens is the corner stone of the VISA ( Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978) court  allowing for the "requests for surveillance warrants against foreign spies inside the United States by federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies" To date, this may be the first time such an unmasking violation has been leaked to the media and the public at large; in essence since it involved the future President of the United states, it is not only flagrant violation of the VISA warrant and the Constitutional rights of the citizenry by the government, but it becomes a serious case of espionage by a person (or persons) inside the government.

So yes, it is the leak that takes president, especially since the unmasked information is at best embarrassing, without showing any illegal activity by any of the parties involved, except the leaking itself. These intelligence agencies have a serious problem on their hands, and unless it is addressed,  their ability to keep Americans safe will be seriously compromised.

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