“THE EVIDENCE IS NOT THAT THE RUSSIANS DID IT”
by Sharon Rondeau
Carter was followed by Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer (Ret) and former National Security Agency (NSA) intelligence-gathering “architect” William Binney to discuss the release by WikiLeaks on Tuesday of “Vault7” containing thousands of pages of documents allegedly leaked from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
The documentation details the tools and methods the CIA allegedly uses in its work across the globe.
As Binney noted, the CIA’s “charter” does not permit surveillance and intelligence-gathering in the United States, although he said he is sure it has been occurring “for many decades.”
Binney resigned from the NSA in 2001 after coming to believe that government surveillance had overstepped constitutional bounds.
Shaffer said that the leaks of conversations between former Trump national security adviser Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and Russian officials are clearly “illegal” and should be prosecuted.
Hannity expressed concern that given the alleged capabilities of the agencies, all Americans are “subject to living in a police state.”
Although unable to respond to all of Hannity’s questioning on the matter, Shaffer said that he believes that regardless of the checks and balances built into the laws authorizing the CIA’s activities, Obama “just told people to go out and do things.” He said he thinks a “moral” standard needs to be enforced on data-gathering by an intelligence overseer of sorts.
When Hannity posed the scenario in which the NSA and CIA have the ability to penetrate computer systems, electronic devices, television sets, penetrate software firewalls and record conversations happening in real time, he mentioned the matter of the hacking of the Democrat National Committee (DNC) servers last year which resulted in thousands of emails having been provided to WikiLeaks and published in July, just prior to their convention.
The published emails revealed that the DNC had favored Hillary Clinton over contender Bernie Sanders, that then-CNN political commentator Donna Brazile had provided Clinton with at least two Townhall forum questions in advance, that Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta may have been discussing involvement in occult activity, and that the Clinton campaign team spoke of certain groups of Americans in derogatory terms. Also revealed was a close relationship with certain members of the media who would “tee up” stories upon request favorable to the campaign.
At one point, Shaffer said that the intrusion into the DNC’s servers was not carried out by a foreign power, as has been widely circulated in The New York Times and other mainstream media. Rather, Shaffer said, “We did it; not me, but our guys. Former members of NSA, retired intelligence officers, used these tools to break in there and get the information out.”
WikiLeaks has long claimed that it did not receive the DNC emails from a government entity. Founder Julian Assange claims a 100% accuracy rate over WikiLeaks’ decade of releasing government documents from many nations. Its newest release comes in the wake of a number of national-security leaks since Donald Trump was inaugurated.
According to WikiLeaks, it has released only 1% of the alleged CIA documentation it received from its source.
Hannity then stopped Shaffer to make sure he understood him correctly, asking, “Do you know that for a fact…using the Malware techniques so they put the Russians’ fingerprints on it?…” “That’s right,” Shaffer responded, then clarified with “I don’t have proof of it, but I’m telling you this is what I’ve heard, and what I’m telling you is that if you go back and actually talk to people inside, the evidence is not that the Russians did it; the evidence is that a Russian tool was used…”
Binney previously told Fox Business host Lou Dobbs that he believes Trump’s communications were monitored during the campaign and after his inauguration. “It’s all being done under Executive Order 12 triple-three with no warrants whatsoever,” Binney said of the NSA’s data-collection.
In his own interview with Dobbs on March 6, Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Andrew Napolitano said that the 1978 FISA law allows “the president” to “order the surveillance of any person in the United States of America upon the filing of a certification by the attorney general that relates to national security.”
“I don’t know if this happened,” Napolitano said, “but the notion that President Obama would have had to have asked the FBI to get a search warrant — out of the question.”
Both Napolitano and Dobbs invoked the term “the Deep State,” which Napolitano said is “the part of the government that never changes.”
Napolitano said that “tapping Trump” specifically would not have been necessary because all electronic communications by Americans are “captured in real time” by the NSA as a matter of course. He contended that had Obama wished to know the content of Trump’s conversations with advisers or anyone else, Obama would have needed only to request the transcript of a conversation from the NSA and it would “show up on his desk.”
After Trump’s explosive claims made on Twitter on Saturday morning that his office had been “wiretapped” by Obama, through a spokesman, Obama denied “ordering” any surveillance while contending that the White House would not have interfered with any investigation ongoing by the Department of Justice.
Napolitano said, however, that the statement issued through spokesman Kevin Lewis mischaracterized activity which might have already been taking place.
He further described certain members of the intelligence community as Trump’s “enemies.” “For the first time in the modern era, the man in the Oval Office is an adversary of the Deep State…” Napolitano said.
Speculation that the “Deep State” seeks to remove Trump from office with considerable support from Obama supporters has reached the mainstream media, as evidenced by Dobbs’s invoking of Obama’s political organization, “Organizing for Action,” which reportedly has more than 30,000 people engaged.
On a Monday radio show posted at Conservative Review, former U.S. Secret Service agent Dan Bongino said that based on his observations made while he provided personal protection for Obama, some operatives were willing to conduct illegal activity to achieve their ends. He speculated that that now involves removing Trump from office in order to protect their misdeeds from becoming public.