WASHINGTON. No Democrat or Republican, let alone members of the media, have stated the obvious regarding the discredited Russia collusion hoax. That there was no collusion. Dead stop. Over. Not to mention the ensuing two-year investigative witch-hunt waged against President Donald Trump.
The CIA and FBI abused their powers largely thanks to the Patriot Act. Ironically, this legislation was passed by a Republican-controlled Congress and signed into law by a Republican president.
The unpatriotic Patriot Act
In October of 2001, and following 9/11, President George W. Bush told the nation that the Patriot Act would “give intelligence and law enforcement officials important new tools to fight a present danger.”
It was assumed – foolishly – that the threat was from terrorism.
But when and as reauthorized, the Patriot Act during the administration of President Barack Obama, Obama claimed that tweaks to the act would allow US law enforcement to better target homegrown “lone wolves.”
Again, the assumption – a foolish one – assumed that the targets would largely be self-motivated terrorists.
Terrorists like Boston Marathon bombers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. But leave it to official Washington to stretch any legal definitions beyond their original, intended scope.
A spy’s attack on the Constitution
Congress originally designed the Patriot Act as a tool to enhance the fight against terrorism. In part, it required that we put our Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure on hold. This point became crystal clear to members of the Senate Intelligence Committee and their staffs when, in July of 2014, the CIA issued an apology for spying on them. That apology, however, followed months of denials by then-CIA Director John Brennan.
Outraged Senate Democrat Tom Udall of New Mexico erupted.
“The CIA unconstitutionally spied on Congress by hacking into Senate intelligence committee computers. This grave misconduct is not only illegal, but it violates the US Constitution’s requirement of separation of powers. These offenses, along with other errors in judgment by some at the CIA, demonstrate a tremendous failure of leadership, and there must be consequences.”
Udall added he had “lost confidence” in Brennan and demanded his resignation. But Brennan stayed on.
As Obama White House spokesman Josh Earnest explained, the duplicitous spymaster was “operating in a very difficult environment to ensure the safety of the American public” and was a man who had “a very difficult job, who does that job extraordinarily well.”
How “extraordinarily well” Brennan did his job became abundantly clear following the election of Donald Trump as the nation’s 45th president. Arguably, the revised Patriot Act helped enable the Russia collusion hoax designed to bring down President Trump.
A meeting of minds: John Brennan and Christopher Steele
Last week, a source elaborated on the Brennan connection to Fox News, the only credible news network covering the Russia collusion delusion.
“… a late-2016 email chain indicated then-FBI Director James Comey told bureau subordinates that then-CIA Director John Brennan insisted the [Christopher Steele anti-Trump] dossier be included in the intelligence community assessment on Russian interference, known as the ICA [Intelligence Community Assessment].”
You may recall what Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr – a vehement never-Trump Republican – said of the ICA report in July of 2018.
“The Committee has spent the last 16 months reviewing the sources, tradecraft and analytic work underpinning the Intelligence Community Assessment and sees no reason to dispute the conclusions.”
Further, the ICA states:
“We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him.”
The “chains of the Constitution” and the Patriot Act
But PresidentTrump now finds himself cleared of the dubious charge he was a double agent working on behalf of Moscow. So now, the truthfulness, or lack thereof, of Brennan’s CIA assessment of Russian “meddling” in the 2016 presidential election becomes clear. It exists as nothing more than a lame appendix to the dubious and discredited Steele dossier.
As already noted, the expanded police powers granted the federal government under the Patriot Act suspended the constitutional guarantee for Americans to “be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects.”
It did so in the name of combating terrorism.
This extra-constitutional license to conduct domestic spying gave un-elected and secretive federal agencies the confidence to launch a political disinformation campaign. An operation whose clear aim was to remove the American republic’s duly elected head of state. It would attempt to do so enabled via the now-discredited Russia collusion hoax.
The man under whose watch this unconstitutional abomination occurred is on record regarding his dislike for the Founder’s ideas concerning a government of limited, “enumerated powers.”
He called the US Constitution
“…a charter of negative liberties. It says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf.”
Unsurprisingly, this man was President Barack Obama.
The man whose administration, armed with the extraordinary powers granted it by imprudent Republicans in their Patriot Act, did what he and his political party believed they “must do on your behalf.”
The foresightfulness of this Nation’s Founding Fathers
In the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, what Thomas Jefferson wrote still rings true:
“In questions of power then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.”
These constitutional chains are important instruments of freedom that today’s Americans would be wise to dust off. They were originally designed by our foresightful Founding Fathers to fetter government functionaries. Functionaries, elected or appointed, Republican or Democrat.
Functionaries whose overconfidence in their power and brilliance can fundamentally transform them into the intractable enemies of American liberty.
Top Image: President George W. Bush signs the Patriot Act.
White House photo by Eric Draper.