2016 Presidential Campaign

The Pronk Pops Show 964, September 14, 2017, Story 1: Did President Trump Betray His Supporters By Promising Citizenship or Pathway To Citizenship For Illegal Alien “Dreamers”? — Big Lie Media and Lying Lunatic Left Losers (Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi ) Say They Have A Deal or Understanding and Rollover Republicans Support Trump (Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan) — No Wall and No Deportation For 30-60 Million Illegal Aliens Including “Dreamers” — You Were Warned Not To Trust Trump — Rollover Republicans Want Touch-back Amnesty For Illegal Aliens — Hell No — Illegal Aliens Must Go — Trump Has 48 Hours To Confirm or Deny Dreamer Citizenship Deal — Political Suicide Watch Countdown — Videos

Posted on September 14, 2017. Filed under: 2016 Presidential Campaign, 2016 Presidential Candidates, American History, Blogroll, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, European History, Foreign Policy, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health Care Insurance, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Housing, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Jeb Bush, Labor Economics, Law, Legal Drugs, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Middle East, National Interest, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Rule of Law, Scandals, Senate, South America, Success, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 964, September 14, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 963, September 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 962, September 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 961, September 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 960, September 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 959, September 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 958, September 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 957, September 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 956, August 31, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 955, August 30, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 954, August 29, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 953, August 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 952, August 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 951, August 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 950, August 23, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 949, August 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 948, August 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 947, August 16, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 946, August 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 945, August 14, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 944, August 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 943, August 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 942, August 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 941, August 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 940, August 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 939, August 2, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 938, August 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 937, July 31, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 936, July 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 935, July 26, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 934, July 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 934, July 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 933, July 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 932, July 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 931, July 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 930, July 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 929, July 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 928, July 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 927, July 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 926, July 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 925, July 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 924, July 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 923, July 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 922, July 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 921, June 29, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 920, June 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 919, June 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 918, June 26, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 917, June 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 916, June 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 915, June 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 914, June 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 913, June 16, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 912, June 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 911, June 14, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 910, June 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 909, June 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 908, June 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 907, June 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 906, June 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 905, June 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 904, June 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 903, June 1, 2017Image result for branco cartoons on trump on immigrationImage result for cartoons trump on dreamersImage result for cartoons on trump on dreamers

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Image result for u.s. Border patroll statistic on apprehensions thourght 1990-2015

Image result for u.s. Border patroll statistic on apprehensions thourght 1990-2015

Image result for u.S. immigration by decades througj 2010

Image result for u.S. immigration by decades througj 2010

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Immigration by the Numbers — Off the Charts

Immigration, World Poverty and Gumballs – NumbersUSA.com

Ann Coulter on illegal immigration

How Many Illegal Aliens are in the U.S.? – Introduction

Published on Oct 20, 2007

How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the US? – Diana Hull, part 1

Published on Oct 20, 2007

How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the US? – Diana Hull, part 2

How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the US? – Walsh – 1

Published on Oct 20, 2007

How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the US? – Walsh – 2

Published on Oct 20, 2007

How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the US? – Philip Romero

Published on Oct 20, 2007

How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the US? – Fred Elbel

Published on Oct 20, 2007

Story 1: Did President Trump Betray His Supporters By Promising Citizenship or Pathway To Citizenship For Illegal Alien “Dreamers”? — Big Lie Media and Lying Lunatic Left Losers (Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi ) Say They Have A Deal or Understanding and Rollover Republicans Support Trump (Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan) — No Wall and No Deportation For 30-60 Million Illegal Aliens Including “Dreamers” — You Were Warned Not To Trust Trump — Rollover Republicans Want Touch-back Amnesty For Illegal Aliens — Hell No — Illegal Aliens Must Go — Trump Has 48 Hours To Confirm or Deny! — Political Suicide Watch Countdown — Videos

He’s a BETRAYER” Ann Coulter goes off on President Trump for deal with democrats

Tucker Carlson Tonight 9/14/17 | Tucker Fox News September 14, 2017

Ann Coulter Urges President Trump to Terminate DACA

President Donald Trump Supports DACA Amnesty? | True News

No, Trump Did Not Cave on the Border Wall in His DACA Deal

Laura Ingraham Show 9/14/17 Podcast – Trump Violating Pledge On The Wall at His Own Peril

Gohmert on ‘Political Realignment’ on Capitol Hill

Gohmert on Border Wall: ‘Some of Us Are Not Giving Up”

Breitbart And Ann Coulter Lash Out At Trump After Alleged Immigration Deal With Dems

“Amnesty Don” – the new country Western song about Trump supporting amnesty for illegals

Would the border wall be a part of the DACA deal?

President Trump: ‘Fairly close’ to DACA deal with Democrats

Daca: Trump denies reaching ‘Dreamers’ deal with Democrats

Trump disputes Democrats’ claim on DACA agreement

President Trump statement on immigration, green card reform with Sen Tom Cotton, Sen David Perdue

9 Misconceptions about the Green Card

Image result for green card

USCIS Form I-765 – Application for Employment Authorization

Image result for employment authorization card

Donald Trump: Green Card Reforms Will Reduce Unskilled Immigration | CNBC

Trump Makes Announcement on Immigration Reform

GOP lawmaker: Trump risking blowing up his base

Chuck Schumer Senate Floor: President Trump DACA Deal 9/14/17

Pelosi: Trump, Dems Agreed to ‘Move Forward’

Did Trump Just Give Away The Border? | The Ben Shapiro Show Ep. 383

It’s fine Trump is talking to Democrats on DACA: Sen. Ted Cruz

“Donald Trump will betray you on every issue” ~ Ted Cruz

Donald Trump: ‘We need to keep illegals out’ | Fox News Republican Debate

Donald Trump lays out three steps of his immigration policy

Trump on immigration: ‘We either have a country or we don’t’

Donald Trump’s entire immigration speech

Trump: I want an immigration policy that benefits Americans

Rep Steve King discusses Trump’s touchback amnesty

Trump’s Touchback amnesty explained by Marc Thiessen

Donald Trump explains his immigration plan

US-Mexico border wall needs to be built: Rep. Gohmert

“Shut the Border!” Ben Shapiro on Illegal Immigration Reform

Ben Shapiro: Amnesty Will Destroy Conservatives

Why Trump Is 100% Correct In Ending #DACA

Trump Is Right About Illegal Immigration and the New World Order & Deep State Vow to Destroy Him

Ann Coulter: Immigration Act of 1965 designed to change demographics

Edwin Meese on Immigration

The 1986 IRCA and Current Reform Efforts

he 1986 IRCA and Contemporary Reform Efforts

Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986

Lessons learned from the 1986 immigration reform

Ronald Reagan’s amnesty legacy

Ronald Reagan – “I Believe in Amnesty for Illegal Aliens”

Reagan on Mexico Border 1980 – No Wall!

BEST VERSION: Reagan on Amnesty & Illegal Immigration

President Reagan’s Remarks at Ceremony for Immigration Reform and Control Act. November 6, 1986

1965 Immigration and Nationality Act

How the 1965 Immigration Act Changed America

The Immigration Act of 1965 and its Effects

The Impact of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965

1952: The McCarran-Walter Immigration Act

1924 Immigration Act

1917 Immigration Act

The Immigration History of the United States

America’s Sources of Immigration (1850-Today)

The Sopranos 6.06 – “How much more betrayal can I take?”

Trump’s die-hard supporters are fuming after an apparent about-face on ‘dreamers’

 September 14

Staunch conservative allies of President Trump have erupted in anger and incredulity after Democrats late Wednesday announced that the president had agreed to pursue a legislative deal that would protect thousands of young undocumented immigrants from deportation but not secure Trump’s signature campaign promise: building a massive wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Nearing midnight and into Thursday, social media accounts came alive as elected officials and activists on the right dashed off tweets and posts to share their shock.

And in between those posts, there was a flurry of fuming calls and text messages — a blaring political fire alarm among Trump’s die-hard supporters.

“The reality is sinking in that the Trump administration is on the precipice of turning into an establishment presidency,” Sam Nunberg, a former Trump campaign adviser, said in an interview early Thursday morning.

While the initial wave of fury could change direction as new details emerge, the torrent represented the first major break of Trump’s devoted base from the president on a core issue.

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), one of the GOP’s biggest immigration hawks, issued a dramatic warning to the president after he scrolled through news reports.

“If AP is correct, Trump base is blown up, destroyed, irreparable, and disillusioned beyond repair,” King tweeted, referencing an Associated Press story on the bipartisan agreement.

e added, “No promise is credible.”

Conservative radio talk show host Laura Ingraham, who is friendly with Trump, mocked him for seeming to shelve the pledge that has animated his supporters since his campaign’s launch.

“Exactly what @realDonaldTrump campaigned on. Not,” Ingraham wrote on Twitter. She later added, “BUILD THE WALL! BUILD THE WALL! … or … maybe … not really.”

Trump tried to calm the conservative outrage early Thursday in a series of tweets that insisted the border wall “will continue to be built” and that no deal was hashed out with Democrats on the undocumented young immigrants known as “dreamers.”

“No deal was made last night on DACA. Massive border security would have to be agreed to in exchange for consent. Would be subject to vote,” Trump wrote, referring to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, an Obama-era program that has allowed 690,000 “dreamers” to work and go to school without fear of deportation.


Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) talks with President Trump in the Oval Office on Sept. 6. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

As he departed the White House on Thursday en route to Florida, which has been ravaged by Hurricane Irma, Trump told reporters that “the wall will come later … The wall is going to be built, it’ll be funded a little bit later.”

“We are working on a plan for DACA,” Trump said, calling the negotiations “fairly close” to concluding. Congressional Republican leaders, he added, were “very much on board” with his position.

Conservative polemicist Ann Coulter, who wrote a book titled “In Trump We Trust”, did not buy the president’s explanation.

“At this point, who DOESN’T want Trump impeached?” Coulter tweeted on Thursday morning.

Breitbart News, the conservative website now run by former White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon, quickly became a gathering place for aggrieved Trump backers. Readers congregated by the thousands in the comments section for an article with a bright red headline: “Amnesty Don.”

Days earlier, Bannon said on CBS’s “60 Minutes” that he was “worried about losing the House now because of this, because of DACA,” arguing that Republican voters would lack enthusiasm for Trump and the party if they felt it was drifting to the center on immigration.

“If this goes all the way down to its logical conclusion, in February and March it will be a civil war inside the Republican Party that will be every bit as vitriolic as 2013,” Bannon said, referencing the stalled fight that year over a comprehensive immigration bill. “And to me, doing that in the springboard of primary season for 2018 is extremely unwise.”

“This a betrayal of the highest order,” a Breitbart editor, who was not authorized to speak publicly, said in a phone call late Wednesday. “Donald Trump should be ashamed of himself. He wasn’t elected to do this.”

The editor was mostly echoed by the site’s readers:

“Put a fork in Trump. He is done.”

“PRIMARY TIME!!!!”

“What a HUGE let down.”

“I can reconcile Trump caving on virtually any issue, Amnesty and not building the wall are not one of them.”

Adding to the tumult in the deep of night: conflicting accounts over what exactly Trump and Democrats had brokered.

Aides to Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) asserted that Trump had agreed not to request wall funding as part of their pact to soon move legislation to help undocumented immigrants who are protected under the executive order.

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What to know about the decision to end DACA
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The Trump administration is rescinding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The Obama-era program granted two-year work permits to undocumented immigrants brought into the country as children. (Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted at 10:21 p.m.: “While DACA and border security were both discussed, excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to.”

Eleven minutes later, Matt House, an adviser to Schumer, tweeted: “The President made clear he would continue pushing the wall, just not as part of this agreement.”

Sanders’s Twitter assurance, however, did little to calm the roiled voices, especially in the populist-nationalist wing of the Republican Party — a wing deeply linked to Trump.

“Deep State Wins, Huge Loss for #MAGA,” Fox Business anchor Lou Dobbs tweeted, alluding to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan.

Others who have supported Trump’s immigration positions took a wait-and-see approach amid the chaos.

“My sense is that he told Chuck and Nancy what they wanted to hear, and they heard what they wanted to hear. I think there could be some mischief-making on the part of Schumer since the White House is walking it back,” said Mark Krikorian, an immigration hard-liner who runs the Center for Immigration Studies, in an interview.

Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, tweeted Thursday that his efforts to work with Democrats on immigration policy were “undercut” by Trump’s moves and asked the White House staff to “brief me.”

Meanwhile, Fox News host Sean Hannity, who is in regular contact with Trump, directed his ire over the developments not at the president but at GOP leaders on Capitol Hill.

“Well Mitch GREAT JOB!” Hannity tweeted, referring to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). “You failed so miserably with Healthcare and ‘excessive expectations’ now @POTUS has to deal with Dem Leaders!”

Hannity added later, “I blame R’s. They caused this. They wanted him to fail and now pushed him into arms of political suicide — IF TRUE.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/09/14/according-to-democrats-trump-has-done-an-about-face-on-dreamers-his-diehard-supporters-are-fuming/?utm_term=.773af8800f82

You asked if anyone wants to deport ‘dreamers,’ President Trump: Yes. Your base.

Commentary: 

Don’t buy into all of that rosy PR about DACA

Mickey KausSpecial to the Washington Post

Who wants to deport “Dreamers”? Not many people, it turns out. Even veteran immigration restrictionists seem willing to legalize this subset of immigrants in the country illegally if it is part of a package deal. That’s true even though a lot of what’s said about the DACA recipients is PR-style hooey.

For example, it’s often said — indeed, former President Barack Obama just recently said — that the approximately 800,000 of them were “brought to this country by their parents.” Well, many were. But that’s not required to qualify as a protected Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program recipient under the various plans, including Obama’s. You just have to have entered the country illegally before age 16. You could have decided to sneak in against your parents’ wishes. You’re still a “Dreamer!”

Likewise, we’re told DACA recipients are college-bound high school grads or military personnel. That’s an exaggeration. All that’s actually required is that the person enroll in a high school course or an “alternative,” including online courses and English-as-a-second-language classes. Under Obama’s now-suspended program, you didn’t even have to stay enrolled.

Compared with the general population, DACA recipients are not especially highly skilled. A recent survey for several pro-”Dreamer” groups, with participants recruited by those groups, found that while most DACA recipients are not in school, the vast majority work. But their median hourly wage is only $15.34, meaning that many are competing with hard-pressed lower-skilled Americans.

The DACA recipients you read about have typically been carefully selected for their appeal. They’re valedictorians. They’re first responders. They’re curing diseases. They root for the Yankees. They want to serve in the Army. If DACA recipients are the poster children for the much larger population of immigrants in the country illegally, these are the poster children for the poster children.

Still, taking the DACA recipients as a whole, not just the dreamiest of them, they represent an appealing group of would-be citizens. So why not show compassion and legalize them? Because, as is often the case, the pursuit of pure compassion comes with harmful side effects.

First, it would create perverse incentives. Can you imagine a stronger incentive for illegal immigration than the idea that if you sneak into the country your kids will get to be U.S. citizens? Sure, the protections don’t currently apply to recent entrants — under Obama’s plan, you had to have come before 2007. But those dates can be changed — Obama himself tried to do it once. And the rationale for rewarding those who arrive when young — that they’re here through “no fault of their own” and know only America, etc. — can apply on into the future, with no apparent stopping point. What about the poor kids who came in 2008? 2018? There’s a reason no country has a rule that if you sneak in as a minor, you’re a citizen. We’d be inviting the world.

Second, it would have knock-on effects. Under “chain migration” rules established in 1965 — ironically as a sop to conservatives, who foolishly thought that they’d boost European inflows — new citizens can bring in their siblings and adult children, who can bring in their siblings and in-laws, until whole villages have moved to the United States. That means today’s DACA recipients would quickly become millions of newcomers, who may well be low-skilled and who would almost certainly include the parents who brought them — the ones who, in theory, are at fault.

There are obvious, sensible ways to control these side effects. Pair any DACA recipient amnesty with a major upgrade to our system to prevent a new undocumented wave — such as a mandatory extension of E-Verify, the system that lets employers check on the legal status of hires. Curtail the right to bring in distant relatives. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., has proposed such a compromise — and it would be easy to compromise on his compromise, say by cutting back on chain migration only by the number of people that the new DREAM Act program adds to the citizenry. President Donald Trump could declare a one-time act of mercy for those who came here during the pre-Trump Era of Laxity, but make clear the game was changed for future entrants.

Why wouldn’t Democrats jump at such a deal? For years they’ve been touting “comprehensive immigration reform,” a mix of amnesty with stepped-up enforcement to prevent another surge of people entering the country illegally. But the DREAM Act is not comprehensive. It’s all amnesty, no prevention — let alone any compensating reduction in legal inflows. It’s hard to avoid the thought that Democrats (and Republicans who support the DREAM Act ) aren’t really interested in preventing illegal inflows. They’re not inclined to take Cotton up on his deal because they don’t think they have to.

If they win, we’ll get the compassion without dealing with its consequences. That would be especially unfortunate given the signs that Trump’s immigration crackdown, simply stepping up enforcement of current laws, is already helping to tighten the low end of the labor market and boost wages of low-skilled workers. News organizations are featuring stories from employers who aren’t getting their usual supply of workers in the U.S. illegally and are forced to take radical measures — such as raising wages. Proof of this connection, in the public mind, may be what terrifies the pro-immigration lobby the most.

The Washington Post

Mickey Kaus, the author of “The End of Equality,” writes at http://www.kausfiles.com.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-perspec-dreamers-daca-narrative-0914-story.html

 September 14

 

It seems like only about a week ago that the White House issued a statement from President Trump arguing that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program should be ended because, Trump argued, it encouraged illegal immigration and hurt salaries and job prospects for American citizens.

In fact, it was only about a week ago. On Sept. 5, Trump’s attorney general argued that the program — which allows some of those who immigrated to the country illegally as minors to live and work legally in the country — should be ended. The White House issued a statement from Trump bolstering Jeff Sessions’s arguments. The administration sent out talking points encouraging those in the program to use the six months before it ended to prepare to leave the country.

Even that afternoon, however, Trump seemed conflicted. A bit over a week later, his position on DACA has apparently flipped entirely.

Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really!…..

…They have been in our country for many years through no fault of their own – brought in by parents at young age. Plus BIG border security

There’s a question embedded in those tweets: Who could possibly want to toss these immigrants out of the country (except for the White House a week ago)? And the answer is: A large percentage of the people who elected Donald Trump.

Shortly before Election Day last year, American National Election Studies pollsters interviewed thousands of Americans about their views on a number of political issues, including the issues at the heart of DACA.

What should happen to those who immigrated illegally as children but who met the criteria of the program, the pollsters asked. Most Americans — including most Republicans and Trump voters — thought they should be allowed to stay and work in the country.

Nearly a fifth of Americans, though, thought that those immigrants should be “sent back where they came from” — a percentage powered by nearly 3-in-10 Republicans holding that position.

What’s most important to note in that graph are the last two numbers. Thirty-two percent of Trump general-election voters thought that DACA recipients should be deported. This isn’t a big surprise: Nearly a fifth of Trump voters in November thought that immigration was the most important issue facing the country, according to exit polls.

But notice that the 32 percent of Trump voters supporting deportation is significantly lower than the 40 percent of Trump primary voters who hold that position. Trump’s primary voters — the core base of support that powered him to the Republican nomination and then the presidency — is more supportive of deporting DACA recipients than anyone else.

We’ve made this argument before, but it bears repeating. A hard line on immigration was central to Trump’s candidacy. His comments about Mexican immigrants “bringing crime” and being “rapists” at his campaign launch spurred a public backlash that, in turn, drew a lot of attention to his campaign and his position on immigration — a position that appealed to a lot of conservative voters but which was anathema to mainstream Republicans. The controversy over immigration allowed him to cement the support of a big chunk of the Republican electorate — a chunk large enough to vault him into the lead in the crowded field and, eventually, push him to the nomination.

Marco Rubio would keep Barack Obama’s executive order on amnesty intact. See article. Cannot be President.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/11/02/marco-rubio-jorge-ramos-will-keep-obamas-first-executive-amnesty-place-legislative-amnesty-enacted/ 

Photo published for Marco Rubio To Jorge Ramos: I Will Keep Obama's First Executive Amnesty In Place Until Legislative...

Marco Rubio To Jorge Ramos: I Will Keep Obama’s First Executive Amnesty In Place Until Legislative…

“I think it will have to end at some point and I hope it will end because of some reform to the immigration laws,” Rubio said.

breitbart.com

Perhaps Trump is making a more nuanced case reflecting the evolution he himself seems to have gone through over the past week: Once people get to know these kids, to think about the issue in a broader context, they’ll change their minds. Given how fervent opposition to illegal immigration is among a number of conservatives, though, it seems unlikely that those views would shift simply because Trump’s position has. Trump once said that he “could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody” without losing any support. That argument has proven to be sound repeatedly. But it’s not clear if Trump could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and safely grant residency status to an immigrant here illegally.

Trump expressing bafflement that anyone could want to deport DACA recipients is, in a sense, like Trump wondering aloud if there were actually people who would have supported Trump in July 2015. Trump’s presidency was built on the people who Trump now speculates couldn’t possibly exist.

No wonder those people are now angry.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/09/14/you-asked-if-anyone-wants-to-deport-dreamers-president-trump-yes-your-base/?utm_term=.e16b3e26390d

Trump vows to work with Dems to legalize Dreamers, says ‘the wall will come later’

 – The Washington Times – Thursday, September 14, 2017

President Trump said Thursday that he is working with Democratic leaders on a plan to legalize illegal immigrant Dreamers, and said he won’t insist on funding his border wall as part of it, saying that “will come later.”

The president also said GOP leaders in Congress are “very much on board” the deal he’s working with Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

The two Democrats emerged from a working dinner at the White House Wednesday to say they’d all reached a framework, which would speed a bill to grant Dreamers full legal status, coupled with more border security. But they said the president agreed the wall wouldn’t be part of that security.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders disputed that version later Wednesday, but Mr. Trump on Thursday agreed with the Democrats’ reading, saying that the wall will not be part of the deal.

“The wall will come later, we’re right now renovating large sections of wall, massive sections, making it brand new,” he said as he departed the White House en route to Florida, where he was to look at hurricane recovery efforts.

Mr. Trump said he will insist on “massive border controls” as part of the Dreamer bill.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/sep/14/donald-trump-vows-work-democrats-legalize-dreamers/

‘If we don’t have the wall, we’re doing nothing’: Trump says there WILL eventually be a border wall and there won’t be amnesty for Dreamers

  • Democrats Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi claimed after a dinner at the White House with the president that a DACA deal had been done
  • They said  that Trump agreed to enshrine protections for 800,000 illegal immigrants, aka Dreamers, in a border security package ‘excluding the wall’ 
  • White House press secretary Sarah Sanders later said that there was no agreement on the wall during the meeting
  • President Trump said the same thing in a string of tweets on Thursday morning
  • ‘No deal was made last night on DACA. Massive border security would have to be agreed to in exchange for consent. Would be subject to vote,’ he said 
  • Follow up message: ‘The WALL, which is already under construction in the form of new renovation of old and existing fences and walls, will continue to be built’
  • Trump again pushed Congress to pass legislation protecting the immigrants – but said he wanted ‘BIG border security’
  • As he left the White House, Trump admitted he was ‘fairly close’ to reaching a deal with Democrats that excluded the wall and GOP leader are ‘on board’
  • Pelosi and Schumer released a statement around the same time saying the president’s tweets were not inconsistent with what they said 
  • When he landed in Florida Trump clarified that there will be a wall, just later, when he’s ready for it – and there won’t be amnesty for illegal immigrants 

President Donald Trump says he expects funding for his border wall to pass when he’s ready for it or Republicans will become the obstructionists in Congress.

‘Ultimately, we have to have the wall. If we don’t have the wall, we’re doing nothing,’ Trump reporters from the tarmac when he landed in Florida for a briefing on Hurricane Irma this morning.

The president also denied that he was giving ‘amnesty’ to illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children as part of an agreement he’s working on with Democrats.

‘We’re not looking at citizenship. We’re not looking at amnesty. We’re looking at allowing people to stay here. We’re working with everybody, Republican, we’re working with Democrat,’ Trump stated.

President Donald Trump says he expects funding for his border wall to pass when he's ready for it or Republicans will become the obstructionists in Congress. He talked to reporters from the tarmac in Florida

President Donald Trump says he expects funding for his border wall to pass when he’s ready for it or Republicans will become the obstructionists in Congress. He talked to reporters from the tarmac in Florida

His claim about citizenship directly contradicts what the leading House Democrat is saying about a conversation that took place over dinner last night at the White House.

Nancy Pelosi said at a news conference this morning Democrats and Trump have an ‘understanding’ and that people under the DACA program would get a path to citizenship. 

‘It’s in the DACA bill,’ Pelosi said. ‘The path to citizenship … they get way at the end of the line of people who’ve been here fully documented…Just in terms of timing it’s a long way down the road,’ she said.

The president admitted earlier on Thursday as he left the White House for the daylong trip that he discussed a deal with Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer to protect illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as minors from deportation and fund some border security enhancements but not a wall.

Citizenship did not come up in the original dispute. The part of the conversation the White House was quibbling with was about the border wall.

After claiming in early morning tweets that ‘no deal’ had been reached, Trump told reporters awaiting his departure that he was ‘fairly close’ to hammering out an agreement that mirrors the one his White House smacked down last night as a false negotiation.

‘We’re working on a plan for DACA. People want to see that happen. You have 800,000 young people brought here, no fault of their own, so we’re working on a plan, we will see how it works out. But we are going to get massive border security as part of that, and I think something can happen,’ Trump said over the roar of Marine One.

The president explicitly said, ‘The wall will come later.’ He also claimed that House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are ‘on board’ with the DACA deal he hammered out last night at a private meeting with Democrats.

‘The wall is going to be built, and it will be funded later,’ he asserted.

Trump admitted Thursday as he left the White House for a daylong trip to Florida that he discussed a deal with Democrats to protect illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as minors from deportation and fund some border security enhancements but not a wall

Trump admitted Thursday as he left the White House for a daylong trip to Florida that he discussed a deal with Democrats to protect illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as minors from deportation and fund some border security enhancements but not a wall

Trump explained in Florida that funding for the wall would not be a part of the immigration and border security package that’s in the works on Capitol Hill. It’s part of a separate set of budget and spending priorities his administration sent to Congress.

The president said he anticipates that a DACA deal will come to fruition in the next six months, although there is not one now, clarifying a disagreement that erupted last night and has sucked in all of Washington.

After Democratic leaders sent out a statement last night saying they ‘agreed’ with the president on a border package that doesn’t include the wall, news outlets reported that Trump struck a deal with the opposing party and caved on one of his top campaign priorities.

The statement did not say there was a ‘deal.’ It referred to an agreement, though, creating mass confusion about what had actually happened. The White House added to the chaos by claiming in a tweet that Trump did not agree to exclude funding for the border wall from a DACA and border security package.

Except that he did, as acknowledge himself today.

‘It doesn’t have to be here,’ he said of the DACA and border security package, ‘but they can’t obstruct the wall if its in a budget or anything else.’

 The president indicated then that Pelosi and Schumer’s original statement was not inaccurate, it had just been misinterpreted. 

‘There was no deal and they didn’t say they had a deal…they didn’t say that at all,’ he stated.

A debacle for both sides, the DACA ‘deal’ became a major distraction for Trump as he prepared to leave Washington for Florida to survey the damage caused by Hurricane Irma.

Trump said in this early morning tweets that ‘massive border security’ adjustments would have to be on the table for him to make a handshake agreement with Democrats.

‘No deal was made last night on DACA. Massive border security would have to be agreed to in exchange for consent. Would be subject to vote,’ he said in back to back messages. ‘The WALL, which is already under construction in the form of new renovation of old and existing fences and walls, will continue to be built.’

Schumer, the top Senate Democrat, and Pelosi, the head Democrat in the House, said in a joint statement at roughly the same time as Trump was speaking to the press at the White House that his tweets were not inconsistent with what they’d claimed in the Wednesday evening statement.

They said last night after a White House dinner that an agreement had been brokered that would protect the 800,000 immigrants who benefited from former President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.

Trump had put the program on a six-month sunset and urged Congress to pass legislation in that window to keep Dreamers, as they are called, in the U.S. permanently.

The Democratic statement said that Trump agreed to set aside the border wall as part of an agreement to keep Dreamers from being deported.

Hours later, as he spoke to reporters as the White House, Trump seemed to confirm what Pelosi and Schumer had said.

‘We want to get massive border security, and I think that both Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, I think they agree with it,’ Trump posited. ‘So we met last night, with, as you know, Schumer, Pelosi and a whole group. I think we’re fairly close but we have to get massive border security. ‘

Trump said he’d spoken to McConnell and Ryan since, and they had no qualms with the package that’s under development.

Oh I think he’s on board, yeah, Mitch is on board. Paul Ryan’s on board. We all feel, look, 92 percent of the people agree on DACA, but we want, is we want very, very powerful border security,’ Trump said.

President Donald Trump says he did not make a deal with Democratic leaders to protect illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as minors from deportation and fund some border security enhancements but not a wall 

President Donald Trump says he did not make a deal with Democratic leaders to protect illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as minors from deportation and fund some border security enhancements but not a wall

Schumer and Pelosi more or less agreed with Trump’s take on the meeting in a joint statement that hit inboxes as he was talking.

‘President Trump’s Tweets are not inconsistent with the agreement reached last night. As we said last night, there was no final deal, but there was agreement on the following:

‘We agreed that the President would support enshrining DACA protections into law, and encourage the House and Senate to act.

‘What remains to be negotiated are the details of border security, with a mutual goal of finalizing all details as soon as possible. While both sides agreed that the wall would not be any part of this agreement, the President made clear he intends to pursue it at a later time, and we made clear we would continue to oppose it.

‘Both sides agreed that the White House and the Democratic leaders would work out a border security package. Possible proposals were discussed including new technology, drones, air support, sensor equipment, rebuilding roads along the border and the bipartisan McCaul-Thompson bill.’

Pelosi vouched later at a press conference in the Capitol for the president’s overall sincerity, as well.

‘When we’re talking about this legislation to protect the DREAMers, yes I do trust that the president is sincere in understanding that the public supports that overwhelmingly, the public supports not sending these young people back,’ Pelosi said.

It’s the second time in two weeks that Trump has met with Pelosi and Schumer to talk about a deal with the potential to anger conservatives. The first time he met with them Ryan and McConnell were present. The meeting ended with a firm agreement to move forward with a three-month extension of government funding and the debt limit.

Importantly, the deal provided immediate aid to areas affected by Hurricane Harvey.

A joint Democratic statement that hit inboxes at 9:45 pm last night that began the brouhaha over DACA and the border wall said Pelosi and Schumer had a ‘very productive meeting at the White House with the President’ once again.

‘The discussion focused on DACA. We agreed to enshrine the protections of DACA into law quickly, and to work out a package of border security, excluding the wall, that’s acceptable to both sides.’

At 10:21 pm, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said they were mistaken.

‘While DACA and border security were both discussed, excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to,’ she tweeted.

Trump followed up in a series of tweets this morning that suggested the joint statement was wrong, too. He defended the Dreamers again – yet said ‘no deal’ had been made.

‘Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really!’ he said. ‘They have been in our country for many years through no fault of their own – brought in by parents at young age. Plus BIG border security.’

The DACA program provides two-year work permits and protection from deportation to its 800,000 recipients.

Trump said he was ending the program this month and giving Congress six months to come up with a legislative fix before DACA paperwork begins to expire.

Conservatives were quick to point out that previous amnesty deals did not end with immigration overhaul like the one Trump has been pushing.

‘Reagan led with Amnesty, 1986. Bush 43 led with Amnesty ’06, Obama led with Amnesty ’13. All failed so…Trump leads with DACA Amnesty 2017,’ Iowa Rep. Steve King tweeted.

A joint Democratic statement said that Trump agreed to set aside the border wall as part of the agreement. The White House spokeswoman immediately slapped the claim down

A joint Democratic statement said that Trump agreed to set aside the border wall as part of the agreement. The White House spokeswoman immediately slapped the claim down

The deal announced by Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (picturd on Wednesday) following a White House dinner would enshrine protections for the nearly 800,000 immigrants brought illegally to this country as children

The deal announced by Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (picturd on Wednesday) following a White House dinner would enshrine protections for the nearly 800,000 immigrants brought illegally to this country as children

The White House initially said the president had had 'a constructive working dinner' with Schumer (pictured), Pelosi and administration officials

The White House had initially claimed that the president had had ‘a constructive working dinner’ with Schumer, Pelosi and administration officials ‘to discuss policy and legislative priorities’ such as DACA.

‘This is a positive step toward the President’s strong commitment to bipartisan solutions for the issues most important to all Americans,’ the White House said.

During a White House meeting earlier in the day with Republicans and Democrats, Trump brought DACA back to the forefront of the discussion.

‘We don’t want to forget DACA,’ Trump said. ‘We want to see if we can do something in a bipartisan fashion so that we can solve the DACA problem and other immigration problems.’

Trump has called Schumer a ‘clown’ and a ‘loser’ in the past, but has turned to the fellow New Yorker more recently to help break through congressional gridlock.

‘More and more we’re trying to work things out together,’ Trump said Wednesday. ‘If you look at some of the greatest legislation ever passed, it was done on a bipartisan manner. And so that’s what we’re going to give a shot.’

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said earlier Wednesday that Trump was 'committed to the wall. It doesn't have to be tied to DACA but its important and he will get it done'

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said earlier Wednesday that Trump was ‘committed to the wall. It doesn’t have to be tied to DACA but its important and he will get it done’

Trump (pictured on Wednesday) ended the DACA program earlier this month and had given Congress six months to come up with a legislative fix before the statuses of the so-called 'Dreamers' begin to expire

Trump (pictured on Wednesday) ended the DACA program earlier this month and had given Congress six months to come up with a legislative fix before the statuses of the so-called ‘Dreamers’ begin to expire

Sanders said Wednesday that Trump was ‘committed to the wall’ while acknowledging that ‘it doesn’t have to be tied to DACA.’

‘But it’s important and he will get it done,’ she said.

Ryan, the House speaker, told AP Wednesday during an interview that deporting Dreamers was ‘not in our nation’s interest.’ Trump was right to include a six-month sunset in his DACA termination orders.

‘I wanted him to give us time. I didn’t want this to be rescinded on Day One and create chaos,’ Ryan said. Congress how has time to ‘come up with the right kind of consensus and compromise to fix this problem.’

At a news conference on Thursday afternoon, Ryan reiterated his position on a DACA fix.

McConnell said in a paper statement that he and his colleagues ‘look forward’ to Trump’s proposal.

‘As Congress debates the best ways to address illegal immigration through strong border security and interior enforcement, DACA should be part of those discussions. We look forward to receiving the Trump administration’s legislative proposal as we continue our work on these issue,’ the senator said.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4882526/Trump-agrees-deal-Democrats-protect-immigrants.html#ixzz4sgM3IU7l

 

Cruz Is Far Tougher On Illegal Aliens Than Trump, Who Supports “Touchback” Amnesty

In the 2016 GOP primaries, Donald Trump has positioned himself as a hardliner on immigration. The general consensus is that no one is tougher on illegal aliens than Donald Trump. But is that actually the case?

While Trump would work diligently to deport all illegal immigrants-he has even proposed creating a “deportation force”-most would be surprised to learn that he would welcome the non-violent, “good” ones back in on an expedited basis. An expedited basis means line-cutting, and line-cutting means amnesty.

Trump’s specific plan-deportation before amnesty-is known as “touchback” amnesty, which was first proposed in 2007 by some members of Congress but failed after strong opposition from conservatives.

Marc Thiessen has written about it here, and also explains it below:

“My position is very simple. I oppose amnesty. I oppose citizenship. I oppose legalization … Today, tomorrow, forever. I believe in the rule of law.”

Cruz recently made note of the difference between his position and Trump’s:

Some Trump supporters will say that Cruz flip-flopped on a legal status-although Cruz insists that he was inserting a poison pill into the Gang of Eight bill.

If we are going to consider past positions, we can’t forget that Trump said in 2012 that Mitt Romney’s plan for self-deportation was “maniacal” and “mean-spirited.” And in 2013, Trump told a group of DREAMers that they had “convinced” him.

Ultimately voters will have to ask themselves whose immigration policy they prefer, and which candidate they trust.

https://www.redstate.com/diary/southernconstitutionalist/2016/01/11/cruz-far-tougher-illegal-aliens-trump-supports-touchback-amnesty/

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 856, March 20, 2017, Story 1: National Security Agency Director Admiral Mike Rogers and FBI Director James Comey Confirm There Is No Evidence That Russians Changed The Votes or Results of Presidential Election And No Collusion Between Russians and Trump Campaign –But FBI Is Still Investigating and Cannot Say More — Big Lie Media Lied Again — Videos — Story 2: National Security Agency (NSA) Collects And Stores All Communications Over The Internet Including Trump’s and Advisers — No Need For Warrants — Who Was The National Security Target? — Who Leaked The Content and Transcript of General Mike Flynn’s Conversations With Russian Ambassador? Time To Release The Full Transcripts of All Conversations — Videos

Posted on March 20, 2017. Filed under: 2016 Presidential Campaign, 2016 Presidential Candidates, American History, Blogroll, Breaking News, College, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Culture, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Education, Elections, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Foreign Policy, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Great Britain, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Impeachment, Independence, Law, Life, Media, National Security Agency, Obama, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, President Barack Obama, President Trump, Presidential Appointments, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Russia, Scandals, Security, Senate, Senator Jeff Sessions, Social Security, Spying, Success, Taxation, Taxes, Terrorism, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , |

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Story 1: National Security Agency Director Admiral Mike Rogers and FBI Director James Comey Confirm There Is No Evidence That Russians Changed The Votes or Results of Presidential Election And No Collusion Between Russians and Trump Campaign –But FBI Is Still Investigating and Cannot Say More —  Big Lie Media Lied Again — Videos — 

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FBI Director James Comey’s Testifies at House Intelligence Committee Hearing – Opening Statement

Comey: Putin hated Hillary Clinton | Comey, Rogers testify on Russia, wiretapping

Comey confirms FBI is investigating possible Russia/Trump camp collusion

James Comey Testifies On Trump Wiretapping Claims and Russian Interference 3/20/2017

Comey and Rogers Congressional Hearing: No Evidence of Russian Hacking or Stealing the 2016 Election

FBI and NSA give ONE Shocking Evidence about Russia Hacking Election

FBI COMEY: WE WIRE TAPPED THE PRESIDENT

Limbaugh on Comey Hearing: Message to Trump Is Stop the ‘Drain-the-Swamp Stuff’ or Face Impeachment

“It’s Okay For You To Cite Sources But Not Trump?” Sean Spicer Slams CBS Reporter

FBI Director On Trump’s Wiretap Allegations: No Info To Support That – Full Comments

Rep. Schiff previews FBI director’s House hearing on Russia probe

Sean Spicer HEATED press briefing on James Comey Trump Wiretap Claims Russian Interference 3/20/2017

FULL: James Comey Testifies On President Trump Wiretapping Claims & Russian Interference (3/20/2017)

FULL: James Comey Testifies On President Trump Wiretapping Claims & Russian Interference (3/20/2017)

While many Democrats frequently say Russia “hacked” the presidential election, National Security Administration Director Adm. Michael Rogers and FBI Director James Comey both confirmed today that Russian activities had no impact on tallying votes in states.

“On January 6, 2017, the intelligence community assessment assessing Russian activities and intentions in recent US elections stated that the types of systems Russians actors targeted or compromised were not involved in vote tallying,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said.

Going to Adm. Rogers, Nunes said, “Do you have any evidence that Russian actors changed vote tallies in the state of Michigan?” referring to a battleground state Hillary Clinton lost.

“No, I do not,” Rogers responded, before emphasizing the NSA is a foreign intelligence agency, and does not focus domestically.

“How about the state of Pennsylvania?” Nunes asked.

“No, sir,” Rogers responded.

“The state of Wisconsin?”

“No, sir,” Rogers said.

He gave similar answers when asked about vote tallying in Florida, North Carolina and Ohio.

Turning to Comey, Nunes said, “Do you have any evidence that the FBI that any votes were changed in the states I mentioned to Adm. Rogers?”

“No,” Comey responded

 

http://www.theamericanmirror.com/fbi-nsa-no-evidence-russia-manipulated-us-vote-tallying/

 

The Democrats’ Trump-Russia Conspiracy Campaign Collapses

Is sanity finally returning? After weeks of ranting and raving about Russian “interference” and Putin-Trump conspiracies, so-called ‘intelligence’ agencies and high-ranking Democrats are quietly walking back their rhetoric and managing their base’s expectations – simply put: there’s no ‘there’, there.

‘Moon of Alabama’ reminds us that a while ago Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone warned: Why the Russia Story Is a Minefield for Democrats and the Media:

If we engage in Times-style gilding of every lily the leakers throw our way, and in doing so build up a fever of expectations for a bombshell reveal, but there turns out to be no conspiracy – Trump will be pre-inoculated against all criticism for the foreseeable future.

And now, as The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald writes, key Democratic officials are now warning their base not to expect

From MSNBC politics shows to town hall meetings across the country, the overarching issue for the Democratic Party’s base since Trump’s victory has been Russia, often suffocating attention for other issues. This fixation has persisted even though it has no chance to sink the Trump presidency unless it is proven that high levels of the Trump campaign actively colluded with the Kremlin to manipulate the outcome of the U.S. election — a claim for which absolutely no evidence has thus far been presented.

The principal problem for Democrats is that so many media figures and online charlatans are personally benefiting from feeding the base increasingly unhinged, fact-free conspiracies — just as right-wing media polemicists did after both Bill Clinton and Obama were elected — that there are now millions of partisan soldiers absolutely convinced of a Trump/Russia conspiracy for which, at least as of now, there is no evidence. And they are all waiting for the day, which they regard as inevitable and imminent, when this theory will be proven and Trump will be removed.

Key Democratic officials are clearly worried about the expectations that have been purposely stoked and are now trying to tamp them down. Many of them have tried to signal that the beliefs the base has been led to adopt have no basis in reason or evidence.

The latest official to throw cold water on the MSNBC-led circus is President Obama’s former acting CIA chief Michael Morell. What makes him particularly notable in this context is that Morell was one of Clinton’s most vocal CIA surrogates. In August, he not only endorsed Clinton in the pages of the New York Times but also became the first high official to explicitly accuse Trump of disloyalty, claiming, “In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.”

But on Wednesday night, Morell appeared at an intelligence community forum to “cast doubt” on “allegations that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.” “On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians here, there is smoke, but there is no fire at all,” he said, adding, “There’s no little campfire, there’s no little candle, there’s no spark. And there’s a lot of people looking for it.”

Obama’s former CIA chief also cast serious doubt on the credibility of the infamous, explosive “dossier” originally published by BuzzFeed, saying that its author, Christopher Steele, paid intermediaries to talk to the sources for it. The dossier, he said, “doesn’t take you anywhere, I don’t think.”

Morell’s comments echo the categorical remarks by Obama’s top national security official, James Clapper, who told Meet the Press last week that during the time he was Obama’s DNI, he saw no evidence to support claims of a Trump/Russia conspiracy. “We had no evidence of such collusion,” Clapper stated unequivocally. Unlike Morell, who left his official CIA position in 2013 but remains very integrated into the intelligence community, Clapper was Obama’s DNI until just seven weeks ago, leaving on January 20.

Perhaps most revealing of all are the Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee — charged with investigating these matters — who recently told BuzzFeed how petrified they are of what the Democratic base will do if they do not find evidence of collusion, as they now suspect will likely be the case. “There’s a tangible frustration over what one official called ‘wildly inflated’ expectations surrounding the panel’s fledgling investigation,” BuzzFeed’s Ali Watkins wrote.

Moreover, “several committee sources grudgingly say, it feels as though the investigation will be seen as a sham if the Senate doesn’t find a silver bullet connecting Trump and Russian intelligence operatives.” One member told Watkins: “I don’t think the conclusions are going to meet people’s expectations.”

What makes all of this most significant is that officials like Clapper and Morell are trained disinformation agents; Clapper in particular has proven he will lie to advance his interests. Yet even with all the incentive to do so, they are refusing to claim there is evidence of such collusion; in fact, they are expressly urging people to stop thinking it exists. As even the law recognizes, statements that otherwise lack credibility become more believable when they are ones made “against interest.”

Media figures have similarly begun trying to tamp down expectations. Ben Smith, the editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed, which published the Steele dossier, published an article yesterday warning that the Democratic base’s expectation of a smoking gun “is so strong that Twitter and cable news are full of the theories of what my colleague Charlie Warzel calls the Blue Detectives — the left’s new version of Glenn Beck, digital blackboards full of lines and arrows.” Smith added: “It is also a simple fact that while news of Russian actions on Trump’s behalf is clear, hard details of coordination between his aides and Putin’s haven’t emerged.” And Smith’s core warning is this:

Trump’s critics last year were horrified at the rise of “fake news” and the specter of a politics shaped by alternative facts, predominantly on the right. They need to be careful now not to succumb to the same delusional temptations as their political adversaries, and not to sink into a filter bubble which, after all, draws its strength not from conservative or progressive politics but from human nature.

And those of us covering the story and the stew of real information, fantasy, and — now — forgery around it need to continue to report and think clearly about what we know and what we don’t, and to resist the sugar high that comes with telling people exactly what they want to hear.

For so long, Democrats demonized and smeared anyone trying to inject basic reason, rationality, and skepticism into this Trump/Russia discourse by labeling them all Kremlin agents and Putin lovers. Just this week, the Center for American Progress released a report using the language of treason to announce the existence of a “Fifth Column” in the U.S. that serves Russia (similar to Andrew Sullivan’s notorious 2001 decree that anyone opposing the war on terror composed an anti-American “Fifth Column”), while John McCain listened to Rand Paul express doubts about the wisdom of NATO further expanding to include Montenegro and then promptly announced: “Paul is working for Vladimir Putin.”

But with serious doubts — and fears — now emerging about what the Democratic base has been led to believe by self-interested carnival barkers and partisan hacks, there is a sudden, concerted effort to rein in the excesses of this story. With so many people now doing this, it will be increasingly difficult to smear them all as traitors and Russian loyalists, but it may be far too little, too late, given the pitched hysteria that has been deliberately cultivated around these issues for months. Many Democrats have reached the classic stage of deranged conspiracists where evidence that disproves the theory is viewed as further proof of its existence, and those pointing to it are instantly deemed suspect.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-17/democrats-trump-russia-conspiracy-campaign-collapses

FROM MSNBC POLITICS shows to town hall meetings across the country, the overarching issue for the Democratic Party’s base since Trump’s victory has been Russia, often suffocating attention for other issues. This fixation has persisted even though it has no chance to sink the Trump presidency unless it is proven that high levels of the Trump campaign actively colluded with the Kremlin to manipulate the outcome of the U.S. election — a claim for which absolutely no evidence has thus far been presented.

The principal problem for Democrats is that so many media figures and online charlatans are personally benefiting from feeding the base increasingly unhinged, fact-free conspiracies — just as right-wing media polemicists did after both Bill Clinton and Obama were elected — that there are now millions of partisan soldiers absolutely convinced of a Trump/Russia conspiracy for which, at least as of now, there is no evidence. And they are all waiting for the day, which they regard as inevitable and imminent, when this theory will be proven and Trump will be removed.

Key Democratic officials are clearly worried about the expectations that have been purposely stoked and are now trying to tamp them down. Many of them have tried to signal that the beliefs the base has been led to adopt have no basis in reason or evidence.

The latest official to throw cold water on the MSNBC-led circus is President Obama’s former acting CIA chief Michael Morell. What makes him particularly notable in this context is that Morell was one of Clinton’s most vocal CIA surrogates. In August, he not only endorsed Clinton in the pages of the New York Times but also became the first high official to explicitly accuse Trump of disloyalty, claiming, “In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.”

But on Wednesday night, Morell appeared at an intelligence community forum to “cast doubt” on “allegations that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.” “On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians here, there is smoke, but there is no fire at all,” he said, adding, “There’s no little campfire, there’s no little candle, there’s no spark. And there’s a lot of people looking for it.”

Obama’s former CIA chief also cast serious doubt on the credibility of the infamous, explosive “dossier” originally published by BuzzFeed, saying that its author, Christopher Steele, paid intermediaries to talk to the sources for it. The dossier, he said, “doesn’t take you anywhere, I don’t think.”

Morell’s comments echo the categorical remarks by Obama’s top national security official, James Clapper, who told Meet the Press last week that during the time he was Obama’s DNI, he saw no evidence to support claims of a Trump/Russia conspiracy. “We had no evidence of such collusion,” Clapper stated unequivocally. Unlike Morell, who left his official CIA position in 2013 but remains very integrated into the intelligence community, Clapper was Obama’s DNI until just seven weeks ago, leaving on January 20.

Perhaps most revealing of all are the Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee — charged with investigating these matters — who recently told BuzzFeed how petrified they are of what the Democratic base will do if they do not find evidence of collusion, as they now suspect will likely be the case. “There’s a tangible frustration over what one official called ‘wildly inflated’ expectations surrounding the panel’s fledgling investigation,” BuzzFeed’s Ali Watkins wrote.

Moreover, “several committee sources grudgingly say, it feels as though the investigation will be seen as a sham if the Senate doesn’t find a silver bullet connecting Trump and Russian intelligence operatives.” One member told Watkins: “I don’t think the conclusions are going to meet people’s expectations.”

What makes all of this most significant is that officials like Clapper and Morell are trained disinformation agents; Clapper in particular has proven he will lie to advance his interests. Yet even with all the incentive to do so, they are refusing to claim there is evidence of such collusion; in fact, they are expressly urging people to stop thinking it exists. As even the law recognizes, statements that otherwise lack credibility become more believable when they are ones made “against interest.”

Media figures have similarly begun trying to tamp down expectations. Ben Smith, the editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed, which published the Steele dossier, published an article yesterday warning that the Democratic base’s expectation of a smoking gun “is so strong that Twitter and cable news are full of the theories of what my colleague Charlie Warzel calls the Blue Detectives — the left’s new version of Glenn Beck, digital blackboards full of lines and arrows.” Smith added: “It is also a simple fact that while news of Russian actions on Trump’s behalf is clear, hard details of coordination between his aides and Putin’s haven’t emerged.” And Smith’s core warning is this:

Trump’s critics last year were horrified at the rise of “fake news” and the specter of a politics shaped by alternative facts, predominantly on the right. They need to be careful now not to succumb to the same delusional temptations as their political adversaries, and not to sink into a filter bubble which, after all, draws its strength not from conservative or progressive politics but from human nature.

And those of us covering the story and the stew of real information, fantasy, and — now — forgery around it need to continue to report and think clearly about what we know and what we don’t, and to resist the sugar high that comes with telling people exactly what they want to hear.

For so long, Democrats demonized and smeared anyone trying to inject basic reason, rationality, and skepticism into this Trump/Russia discourse by labeling them all Kremlin agents and Putin lovers. Just this week, the Center for American Progress released a report using the language of treason to announce the existence of a “Fifth Column” in the U.S. that serves Russia (similar to Andrew Sullivan’s notorious 2001 decree that anyone opposing the war on terror composed an anti-American “Fifth Column”), while John McCain listened to Rand Paul express doubts about the wisdom of NATO further expanding to include Montenegro and then promptly announced: “Paul is working for Vladimir Putin.”

But with serious doubts — and fears — now emerging about what the Democratic base has been led to believe by self-interested carnival barkers and partisan hacks, there is a sudden, concerted effort to rein in the excesses of this story. With so many people now doing this, it will be increasingly difficult to smear them all as traitors and Russian loyalists, but it may be far too little, too late, given the pitched hysteria that has been deliberately cultivated around these issues for months. Many Democrats have reached the classic stage of deranged conspiracists where evidence that disproves the theory is viewed as further proof of its existence, and those pointing to it are instantly deemed suspect.

https://theintercept.com/2017/03/16/key-democratic-officials-now-warning-base-not-to-expect-evidence-of-trumprussia-collusion/

ONE OF THE most bizarre aspects of the all-consuming Russia frenzy is the Democrats’ fixation on changes to the RNC platform concerning U.S. arming of Ukraine. The controversy began in July when the Washington Post reported that “the Trump campaign worked behind the scenes last week to make sure the new Republican platform won’t call for giving weapons to Ukraine to fight Russian and rebel forces.”

Ever since then, Democrats have used this language change as evidence that Trump and his key advisers have sinister connections to Russians and corruptly do their bidding at the expense of American interests. Democratic Senator Ben Cardin, the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, spoke for many in his party when he lambasted the RNC change in a July letter to the New York Times, castigating it as “dangerous thinking” that shows Trump is controlled, or at least manipulated, by the Kremlin. Democrats resurrected this line of attack this weekend when Trump advisers acknowledged that campaign officials were behind the platform change.

This attempt to equate Trump’s opposition to arming Ukraine with some sort of treasonous allegiance to Putin masks a rather critical fact: namely, that the refusal to arm Ukraine with lethal weapons was one of Barack Obama’s most steadfastly held policies. The original Post article that reported the RNC platform change noted this explicitly:

Of course, Trump is not the only politician to oppose sending lethal weapons to Ukraine. President Obama decided not to authorize it, despite recommendations to do so from his top Europe officials in the State Department and the military.

Early media reports about this controversy from outlets such as NPR also noted the irony at the heart of this debate: namely, that arming Ukraine was the long-time desire of hawks in the GOP such as John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio, but the Obama White House categorically resisted those pressures:

Republicans in Congress have approved providing arms to the Ukrainian government but the White House has resisted, saying that it would only encourage more bloodshed.

It’s a rare Obama administration policy that the Trump campaign seems to agree with.

Indeed, the GOP ultimately joined with the hawkish wing of the Democratic Party to demand that Obama provide Ukraine with lethal weapons to fight Russia, but Obama steadfastly refused. As the New York Times reported in March, 2015, “President Obama is coming under increasing pressure from both parties and more officials inside his own government to send arms to the country. But he remains unconvinced that they would help.” When Obama kept refusing, leaders of the two parties threatened to enact legislation forcing Obama to arm Ukraine.

The general Russia approach that Democrats now routinely depict as treasonous – avoiding confrontation with and even accommodating Russian interests, not just in Ukraine but also in Syria – was one of the defining traits of Obama’s foreign policy. This fact shouldn’t be overstated: Obama engaged in provocative acts such as moves to further expand NATO, non-lethal aid to Ukraine, and deploying “missile defense” weaponry in Romania. But he rejected most calls to confront Russia. That is one of the primary reasons the “foreign policy elite” – which, recall, Obama came into office denouncing and vowing to repudiate – was so dissatisfied with his presidency.

A new, long article by Politico foreign affairs correspondent Susan Glasser – on the war being waged against Trump by Washington’s “foreign policy elite” – makes this point very potently. Say what you will about Politico, but one thing they are very adept at doing is giving voice to cowardly Washington insiders by accommodating their cowardice and thus routinely granting them anonymity to express themselves. As journalistically dubious as it is to shield the world’s most powerful people with anonymity, this practice sometimes ends up revealing what careerist denizens of Washington power really think but are too scared to say. Glasser’s article, which largely consists of conveying the views of anonymous high-level Obama officials, contains this remarkable passage:

In other words, Democrats are now waging war on, and are depicting as treasonous, one of Barack Obama’s central and most steadfastly held foreign policy positions, one that he clung to despite attacks from leading members of both parties as well as the DC National Security Community. That’s not Noam Chomsky drawing that comparison; it’s an Obama appointee.

The destructive bipartisan Foreign Policy Community was furious with Obama for not confronting Russia more, and is now furious with Trump for the same reason (though they certainly loath and fear Trump for other reasons, including the threat they believe he poses to U.S. imperial management through a combination of ineptitude, instability, toxic PR, naked rather than prettified savagery, and ideology; Glasser writes: “‘Everything I’ve worked for for two decades is being destroyed,’ a senior Republican told me”).

 

ALL OF THIS demonstrates how fundamental a shift has taken place as a result of the Democrats’ election-related fixation on The Grave Russian Threat. To see how severe the shift is, just look at this new polling data from CNN this morning that shows Republicans and Democrats doing a complete reversal on Russia in the span of eight months:

The Democrats’ obsession with Russia has not just led them to want investigations into allegations of hacking and (thus far evidence-free) suspicions of Trump campaign collusion – investigations which everyone should want. It’s done far more than that: it’s turned them into increasingly maniacal and militaristic hawks – dangerous ones – when it comes to confronting the only nation with a larger nuclear stockpile than the U.S., an arsenal accompanied by a sense of fear, if not outright encirclement, from NATO expansion.

Put another way, establishment Democrats – with a largely political impetus but now as a matter of conviction – have completely abandoned Obama’s accommodationist approach to Russia and have fully embraced the belligerent, hawkish mentality of John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Bill Kristol, the CIA and Evan McMullin. It should thus come as no surprise that a bill proposed by supreme warmonger Lindsey Graham to bar Trump from removing sanctions against Russia has more Democratic co-sponsors than Republican ones.

This is why it’s so notable that Democrats, in the name of “resistance,” have aligned with neocons, CIA operatives and former Bush officials: not because coalitions should be avoided with the ideologically impure, but because it reveals much about the political and policy mindset they’ve adopted in the name of stopping Trump. They’re not “resisting” Trump from the left or with populist appeals – by, for instance, devoting themselves to protection of Wall Street and environmental regulations under attack, or supporting the revocation of jobs-killing free trade agreements, or demanding that Yemini civilians not be massacred.

Instead, they’re attacking him on the grounds of insufficient nationalism, militarism, and aggression: equating a desire to avoid confrontation with Moscow as a form of treason (just like they did when they were the leading Cold Warriors). This is why they’re finding such common cause with the nation’s most bloodthirsty militarists – not because it’s an alliance of convenience but rather one of shared convictions (indeed, long before Trump, neocons were planning a re-alignment with Democrats under a Clinton presidency). And the most ironic – and over-looked – aspect of this whole volatile spectacle is how much Democrats have to repudiate and demonize one of Obama’s core foreign policy legacies while pretending that they’re not doing that.

https://theintercept.com/2017/03/06/democrats-now-demonize-the-same-russia-policies-that-obama-long-championed/

Trump claims Democrats ‘made up’ reports about Russia’s election interference

President Trump on Monday dismissed widespread reports of Russia’s meddling in the presidential election as “FAKE NEWS.” In a series of tweets, Trump alleged Democrats “made up and pushed the Russian story,” seemingly referring to the FBI- and CIA-backed reports that Russia interfered in the election to dash Hillary Clinton’s chances, thus helping Trump.

Trump claimed Democrats fabricated the story “as an excuse for running a terrible campaign”:

The Democrats made up and pushed the Russian story as an excuse for running a terrible campaign. Big advantage in Electoral College & lost!

Trump then noted former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s remark earlier this month that a paper compiled by the DNI, NSA, FBI, and CIA included “no evidence” of Trump associates’ collusion with Russia. Clapper said neither he nor the agencies had uncovered any “evidence of such collusion.”

James Clapper and others stated that there is no evidence Potus colluded with Russia. This story is FAKE NEWS and everyone knows it!

Top House Intelligence Committee Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.) later said he was “surprised” by Clapper’s comment because he did not think that claim could be made “categorically.” “I would characterize it this way: At the outset of the investigation, there was circumstantial evidence of collusion,” Schiff said. “There was direct evidence, I think, of deception.”

Later Monday, FBI Director James Comey and NSA chief Mike Rogers will testify before Congress about possible connections between Trump’s campaign and Russia. Becca Stanek

http://theweek.com/speedreads/687068/trump-claims-democrats-made-reports-about-russias-election-interference

Story 2: National Security Agency (NSA) Collects And Stores All Communications Over The Internet Including Trump and Advisers — No Need For Warrants — Who Was The National Security Target? — Who Leaked The Content and Transcript of General Mike Flynn’s Conservations With Russian Ambassador? — Time To Release The Full Transcripts of All Conservations — Videos

Image result for Hillary clinton national security not procecutedImage result for branco cartoons comey and rogers NSA FBIImage result for cartoons comey and rogers on russians and trumpImage result for NSA CARTOONS SPYING ON tRUMPImage result for NSA CARTOONS SPYING ON tRUMP

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[youtube-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjAoVEhlrPc]

Malzberg | Sharyl Attkisson to discuss her new book “Stonewalled” | Part 2

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Comey won’t commit to investigating Obama officials over Flynn leaks

Autoplay: On | Off

FBI Director James Comey declined to say Monday whether his team has launched an investigation into the leaks that led to former White House national security advisor Mike Flynn’s ouster.

Comey was pressed by Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., to say whether he could confirm such an investigation is taking place, but Comey said he could not because it might confirm that classified information was leaked.

“I can’t, but I hope people watching know how seriously we take leaks of classified information,” he said during Monday’s hearing on Russia’s influence on the election. “But I don’t want to confirm it by saying that we’re investigating it.”

hile Democrats pushed Comey to discuss possible links between Trump’s campaign and the Russians, Republicans emphasized the impropriety of the leaks and worried that it would create opposition to the federal government’s surveillance authority.

Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor, pushed for information about who might have known about Flynn’s conversations with the Russian ambassador. Flynn refused to say if he briefed Obama on the phone calls, although he confirmed that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former acting Attorney General Sally Yates — whom Trump fired for refusing to enforce his immigration executive order — would have had access to the information.

“What I don’t ever want to do is compound what bad people have done and confirm something that’s in the newspaper,” Comey said. “Because sometimes the newspaper gets it right, [but] there’s a whole lot of wrong information allegedly about classified activities that’s in the newspaper — we don’t call them and correct them, either. That’s another big challenge. But we just don’t go anywhere near it because we don’t want to help and compound the offense that was committed.”

Gowdy argued that he was wrong to stand on such ceremony under the circumstances, particularly given that a major NSA surveillance program is scheduled to expire this year unless Congress reauthorizes the program. Comey emphasized that the program, known as Section 702, has nothing to do with the Flynn scandal, but Gowdy argued that the storyline is still a threat to that program.

“You are 100 percent correct and I am 100 percent correct that that is a distinction that doesn’t make a difference to most of the people watching television,” Gowdy said. “What we are reauthorizing this fall has nothing to do with what we are discussing, other than it is another government program where the people consent to allow government to pursue certain things with the explicit promise it will be protected. So, you’re right, they’re different, but in the eyes of people watching, it is the U.S. government officials leaking the name of a U.S. citizen … trust me, you and I both want to see it reauthorized. It is in jeopardy if we don’t get this resolved.”

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/comey-wont-commit-to-investigating-obama-officials-over-flynn-leaks/article/2617870

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“FISA” redirects here. For other uses, see FISA (disambiguation).
Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978
Great Seal of the United States
Long title An Act to authorize electronic surveillance to obtain foreign intelligence information.
Acronyms(colloquial) FISA
Enacted by the 95th United States Congress
Effective October 25, 1978
Citations
Public law 95-511
Statutes at Large 92 Stat.1783
Codification
Titles amended 50 U.S.C.: War and National Defense
U.S.C. sections created 50 U.S.C.ch. 36 § 1801 et seq.
Legislative history
Major amendments

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (“FISAPub.L. 95–511, 92 Stat.1783, 50 U.S.C.ch. 36) is a United States federal law which prescribes procedures for the physical and electronic surveillance and collection of “foreign intelligence information” between “foreign powers” and “agents of foreign powers” suspected of espionage or terrorism).[1] The Act created the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to oversee requests for surveillance warrants by federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies. It has been repeatedly amended since the September 11 attacks.

Contents

 [show] 

History

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) was introduced on May 18, 1977, by Senator Ted Kennedy and was signed into law by President Carter in 1978. The bill was cosponsored by nine Senators: Birch Bayh, James O. Eastland, Jake Garn, Walter Huddleston, Daniel Inouye, Charles Mathias, John L. McClellan, Gaylord Nelson, and Strom Thurmond.

The FISA resulted from extensive investigations by Senate Committees into the legality of domestic intelligence activities. These investigations were led separately by Sam Ervin and Frank Church in 1978 as a response to President Richard Nixon’s usage of federal resources to spy on political and activist groups.[2] The act was created to provide judicial and congressional oversight of the government’s covert surveillance activities of foreign entities and individuals in the United States, while maintaining the secrecy needed to protect national security.

Warrantless domestic wiretapping program

The Act came into public prominence in December 2005 following publication by the New York Times of an article[3] that described a program of warrantless domestic wiretapping ordered by the Bush administration and carried out by the National Security Agency since 2002; a subsequent Bloomberg article[4] suggested that this may have already begun by June 2000.

Provisions

The subchapters of FISA provide for:

Electronic surveillance

Generally, the statute permits electronic surveillance in two different scenarios.

Without a court order

The President may authorize, through the Attorney General, electronic surveillance without a court order for the period of one year, provided that it is only to acquire foreign intelligence information,[5] that it is solely directed at communications or property controlled exclusively by foreign powers,[6] that there is no substantial likelihood that it will acquire the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party, and that it be conducted only in accordance with defined minimization procedures.[7]

The code defines “foreign intelligence information” to mean information necessary to protect the United States against actual or potential grave attack, sabotage or international terrorism.[5]

“Foreign powers” means a foreign government, any faction of a foreign nation not substantially composed of U.S. persons, and any entity directed or controlled by a foreign government.[8]The definition also includes groups engaged in international terrorism and foreign political organizations.[9] The sections of FISA authorizing electronic surveillance and physical searches without a court order specifically exclude their application to groups engaged in international terrorism.[10]

A “U.S. person” includes citizens, lawfully admitted permanent resident aliens, and corporations incorporated in the United States.

“Minimization procedures” is defined to mean procedures that minimize the acquisition of information concerning United States persons, allow the retention of information that is evidence of a crime, and require a court order be obtained in order to retain communication involving a United States person for longer than 72 hours.

The Attorney General is required to make a certification of these conditions under seal to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court,[11] and report on their compliance to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.[12]

Since 50 U.S.C.§ 1802(a)(1)(A) of this Act specifically limits warrantless surveillance to foreign powers as defined by 50 U.S.C. §1801(a) (1),(2), (3) and omits the definitions contained in 50 U.S.C. §1801(a) (4),(5),(6) the act does not authorize the use of warrantless surveillance on: groups engaged in international terrorism or activities in preparation therefore; foreign-based political organizations, not substantially composed of United States persons; or entities that are directed and controlled by a foreign government or governments.[13] Under the FISA act, anyone who engages in electronic surveillance except as authorized by statute is subject to both criminal penalties[14] and civil liabilities.[15]

Under 50 U.S.C. § 1811, the President may also authorize warrantless surveillance at the beginning of a war. Specifically, he may authorize such surveillance “for a period not to exceed fifteen calendar days following a declaration of war by the Congress”.[16]

With a court order

Alternatively, the government may seek a court order permitting the surveillance using the FISA court.[17] Approval of a FISA application requires the court find probable cause that the target of the surveillance be a “foreign power” or an “agent of a foreign power”, and that the places at which surveillance is requested is used or will be used by that foreign power or its agent.[2][18] In addition, the court must find that the proposed surveillance meet certain “minimization requirements” for information pertaining to U.S. persons.[19] Depending on the type of surveillance, approved orders or extensions of orders may be active for 90 days, 120 days, or a year.[20]

FISA court

The Act created the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) and enabled it to oversee requests for surveillance warrants by federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies (primarily the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency) against suspected foreign intelligence agents inside the U.S. The court is located within the E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse in Washington, D.C. The court is staffed by eleven judges appointed by the Chief Justice of the United States to serve seven-year terms.

Proceedings before the FISA court are ex parte and non-adversarial. The court hears evidence presented solely by the Department of Justice. There is no provision for a release of information regarding such hearings, or for the record of information actually collected.

Denials of FISA applications by the FISC may be appealed to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review. The Court of Review is a three judge panel. Since its creation, the court has come into session twice: in 2002 and 2008.

FISC meets in secret, and approves or denies requests for search warrants. Only the number of warrants applied for, issued and denied, is reported. In 1980 (the first full year after its inception), it approved 322 warrants.[21]This number has steadily grown to 2,224 warrants in 2006.[22] In the period 1979–2006, a total of 22,990 applications for warrants were made to the Court of which 22,985 were approved (sometimes with modifications; or with the splitting up, or combining together, of warrants for legal purposes), and only 5 were definitively rejected.[23]

Physical searches

In addition to electronic surveillance, FISA permits the “physical search” of the “premises, information, material, or property used exclusively by” a foreign power. The requirements and procedures are nearly identical to those for electronic surveillance.

Remedies for violations

Both the subchapters covering physical searches and electronic surveillance provide for criminal and civil liability for violations of FISA.

Criminal sanctions follows violations of electronic surveillance by intentionally engaging in electronic surveillance under the color of law or through disclosing information known to have been obtained through unauthorized surveillance. The penalties for either act are fines up to US$10,000, up to five years in jail, or both.[14]

In addition, the statute creates a cause of action for private individuals whose communications were unlawfully monitored. The statute permits actual damages of not less than $1,000 or $100 per day. In addition, that statute authorizes punitive damages and an award of attorney’s fees.[15] Similar liability is found under the subchapter pertaining to physical searches. In both cases, the statute creates an affirmative defense for law enforcement personnel acting within their official duties and pursuant to a valid court order. Presumably, such a defense is not available to those operating exclusively under presidential authorization.

Lone wolf amendment

In 2004, FISA was amended to include a “lone wolf” provision. 50 U.S.C.§ 1801(b)(1)(C). A “lone wolf” is a non-U.S. person who engages in or prepares for international terrorism. The provision amended the definition of “foreign power” to permit the FISA courts to issue surveillance and physical search orders without having to find a connection between the “lone wolf” and a foreign government or terrorist group. However, “if the court authorizes such a surveillance or physical search using this new definition of ‘agent of a foreign power’, the FISC judge has to find, in pertinent part, that, based upon the information provided by the applicant for the order, the target had engaged in or was engaging in international terrorism or activities in preparation therefor”.[24]

Constitutionality

Before FISA

In 1967, the Supreme Court of the United States held that the requirements of the Fourth Amendment applied equally to electronic surveillance and to physical searches. Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347 (1967). The Court did not address whether such requirements apply to issues of national security. Shortly after, in 1972, the Court took up the issue again in United States v. United States District Court, Plamondon, where the court held that court approval was required in order for the domestic surveillance to satisfy the Fourth Amendment. 407 U.S. 297 (1972). Justice Powell wrote that the decision did not address this issue that “may be involved with respect to activities of foreign powers or their agents”.

In the time immediately preceding FISA, a number of courts squarely addressed the issue of “warrantless wiretaps”. In both United States v. Brown, 484 F.2d 418 (5th Cir. 1973), and United States v. Butenko, 494 F.2d 593 (3rd Cir. 1974), the courts upheld warrantless wiretaps. In Brown, a U.S. citizen’s conversation was captured by a wiretap authorized by the Attorney General for foreign intelligence purposes. In Butenko, the court held a wiretap valid if the primary purpose was for gathering foreign intelligence information.

A plurality opinion in Zweibon v. Mitchell, 516 F.2d 594 (D.C. Cir. 1975), held that a warrant was required for the domestic surveillance of a domestic organization. In this case, the court found that the domestic organization was not a “foreign power or their agent”, and “absent exigent circumstances, all warrantless electronic surveillance is unreasonable and therefore unconstitutional.”

Post-FISA

There have been very few cases involving the constitutionality of FISA. Two lower court decisions found FISA constitutional. In United States v. Duggan, the defendants were members of the Irish Republican Army. 743 F.2d 59 (2nd Cir., 1984). They were convicted for various violations regarding the shipment of explosives and firearms. The court held that there were compelling considerations of national security in the distinction between the treatment of U.S. citizens and non-resident aliens.

In the United States v. Nicholson, the defendant moved to suppress all evidence gathered under a FISA order. 955 F.Supp. 588 (Va. 1997). The court affirmed the denial of the motion. There the court flatly rejected claims that FISA violated Due process clause of the Fifth Amendment, Equal protection, Separation of powers, nor the Right to counsel provided by the Sixth Amendment.

However, in a third case, the special review court for FISA, the equivalent of a Circuit Court of Appeals, opined differently should FISA limit the President’s inherent authority for warrantless searches in the foreign intelligence area. In In re Sealed Case, 310 F.3d 717, 742 (Foreign Intel. Surv. Ct. of Rev. 2002) the special court stated “[A]ll the other courts to have decided the issue [have] held that the President did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information . … We take for granted that the President does have that authority and, assuming that is so, FISA could not encroach on the President’s constitutional power.”

Criticism

K. A. Taipale of the World Policy Institute, James Jay Carafano of the Heritage Foundation,[25] and Philip Bobbitt of Columbia Law School,[26] among others,[27] have argued that FISA may need to be amended to include, among other things, procedures for programmatic approvals, as it may no longer be adequate to address certain foreign intelligence needs and technology developments, including: the transition from circuit-based communications to packet-based communications; the globalization of telecommunication infrastructure; and the development of automated monitoring techniques, including data mining and traffic analysis.[28]

John R. Schmidt, associate attorney general (1994–1997) in the Justice Department under President Bill Clinton, expressed a need for programmatic approval of technology-enabled surveillance programs.[29] He recalled early arguments made by then-Attorney General Edward Levi to the Church Committee that foreign intelligence surveillance legislation should include provisions for programmatically authorizing surveillance programs because of the particular needs of foreign intelligence where “virtually continuous surveillance, which by its nature does not have specifically predetermined targets” may be required. In these situations, “the efficiency of a warrant requirement would be minimal.”

In a 2006 opinion, Judge Richard Posner wrote that FISA “retains value as a framework for monitoring the communications of known terrorists, but it is hopeless as a framework for detecting terrorists. [FISA] requires that surveillance be conducted pursuant to warrants based on probable cause to believe that the target of surveillance is a terrorist, when the desperate need is to find out who is a terrorist.”[30]

Subsequent amendments

The Act was amended in 2001 by the USA PATRIOT Act, primarily to include terrorism on behalf of groups that are not specifically backed by a foreign government.

An overhaul of the bill, the Protect America Act of 2007 was signed into law on August 5, 2007.[31] It expired on February 17, 2008.

The FISA Amendments Act of 2008 passed by the United States Congress on July 9, 2008.[32]

Amendments

Terrorist Surveillance Act of 2006

On March 16, 2006, Senators Mike DeWine (R-OH), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chuck Hagel (R-NE), and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) introduced the Terrorist Surveillance Act of 2006 (S.2455),[33][34] under which the President would be given certain additional limited statutory authority to conduct electronic surveillance of suspected terrorists in the United States subject to enhanced Congressional oversight. Also on March 16, 2006, Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) introduced the National Security Surveillance Act of 2006 (S. 2453),[35][36] which would amend FISA to grant retroactive amnesty[37] for warrantless surveillance conducted under presidential authority and provide FISA court (FISC) jurisdiction to review, authorize, and oversight “electronic surveillance programs”. On May 24, 2006, Senator Specter and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Improvement and Enhancement Act of 2006 (S. 3001) asserting FISA as the exclusive means to conduct foreign intelligence surveillance.

All three competing bills were the subject of Judiciary Committee hearings throughout the summer.[38] On September 13, 2006, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to approve all three mutually exclusive bills, thus, leaving it to the full Senate to resolve.[39]

On July 18, 2006, U.S. Representative Heather Wilson (R-NM) introduced the Electronic Surveillance Modernization Act (H.R. 5825). Wilson’s bill would give the President the authority to authorize electronic surveillance of international phone calls and e-mail linked specifically to identified terrorist groups immediately following or in anticipation of an armed or terrorist attack on the United States. Surveillance beyond the initial authorized period would require a FISA warrant or a presidential certification to Congress. On September 28, 2006, the House of Representatives passed Wilson’s bill and it was referred to the Senate.[40]

Protect America Act of 2007

Main article: Protect America Act

On July 28, 2007, President Bush called on Congress to pass legislation to reform the FISA in order to ease restrictions on surveillance of terrorist suspects where one party (or both parties) to the communication are located overseas. He asked that Congress pass the legislation before its August 2007 recess. On August 3, 2007, the Senate passed a Republican-sponsored version of FISA (S. 1927) in a vote of 60 to 28. The House followed by passing the bill, 227–183. The Protect America Act of 2007 (Pub.L. 110–55, S. 1927) was then signed into law by George W. Bush on 2007-08-05.[41]

Under the Protect America Act of 2007, communications that begin or end in a foreign country may be wiretapped by the U.S. government without supervision by the FISA Court. The Act removes from the definition of “electronic surveillance” in FISA any surveillance directed at a person reasonably believed to be located outside the United States. As such, surveillance of these communications no longer requires a government application to, and order issuing from, the FISA Court.

The Act provides procedures for the government to “certify” the legality of an acquisition program, for the government to issue directives to providers to provide data or assistance under a particular program, and for the government and recipient of a directive to seek from the FISA Court, respectively, an order to compel provider compliance or relief from an unlawful directive. Providers receive costs and full immunity from civil suits for compliance with any directives issued pursuant to the Act.

A summary of key provisions follows. The Act empowers the Attorney General or Director of National Intelligence (“DNI”) to authorize, for up to one year, the acquisition of communications concerning “persons reasonably believed to be outside the United States” if the Attorney General and DNI determine that each of five criteria has been met:

  • There are reasonable procedures in place for determining that the acquisition concerns persons reasonably believed to be located outside the United States;
  • The acquisition does not constitute electronic surveillance (meaning it does not involve solely domestic communications);
  • The acquisition involves obtaining the communications data from or with the assistance of a communications service provider who has access to communications;
  • A significant purpose of the acquisition is to obtain foreign intelligence information; and
  • Minimization procedures outlined in the FISA will be used.

This determination by the Attorney General and DNI must be certified in writing, under oath, and supported by appropriate affidavit(s). If immediate action by the government is required and time does not permit the preparation of a certification, the Attorney General or DNI can direct the acquisition orally, with a certification to follow within 72 hours. The certification is then filed with the FISA Court.

Once the certification is filed with the FISA Court, the Attorney General or DNI can direct a provider to undertake or assist in the undertaking of the acquisition.

If a provider fails to comply with a directive issued by the Attorney General or DNI, the Attorney General may seek an order from the FISA Court compelling compliance with the directive. Failure to obey an order of the FISA Court may be punished as a contempt of court.

Likewise, a person receiving a directive may challenge the legality of that directive by filing a petition with the FISA Court. An initial review must be conducted within 48 hours of the filing to determine whether the petition is frivolous, and a final determination concerning any non-frivolous petitions must be made – in writing – within 72 hours of receipt of the petition.

Determinations of the FISA Court may be appealed to the Foreign Intelligence Court of Appeals, and a petition for a writ of certiorari of a decision from the FICA can be made to the U.S. Supreme Court.

All petitions must be filed under seal.

The Act allows providers to be compensated, at the prevailing rate, for providing assistance as directed by the Attorney General or DNI.

The Act provides explicit immunity from civil suit in any federal or state court for providing any information, facilities, or assistance in accordance with a directive under the Act.

Within 120 days, the Attorney General must submit to the FISA Court for its approval the procedures by which the government will determine that acquisitions authorized by the Act conform with the Act and do not involve purely domestic communications. The FISA Court then will determine whether the procedures comply with the Act. The FISA Court thereafter will enter an order either approving the procedures or directing the government to submit new procedures within 30 days or cease any acquisitions under the government procedures. The government may appeal a ruling of the FISA Court to the FICA and ultimately the Supreme Court.

On a semiannual basis, the Attorney General shall inform the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees of the House and Senate of incidents of noncompliance with a directive issued by the Attorney General or the DNI, incidents of noncompliance with FISA Court-approved procedures by the Intelligence Community, and the number of certifications and directives issued during the reporting period.

The amendments to FISA made by the Act expire 180 days after enactment, except that any order in effect on the date of enactment remains in effect until the date of expiration of such order and such orders can be reauthorized by the FISA Court.[42] The Act expired on February 17, 2008.

Subsequent developments

Legal experts experienced in national security issues are divided on how broadly the new law could be interpreted or applied. Some believe that due to subtle changes in the definitions of terms such as “electronic surveillance”, it could empower the government to conduct warrantless physical searches and even seizures of communications and computer devices and their data which belong to U.S. citizens while they are in the United States, if the government contended that those searches and potential seizures were related to its surveillance of parties outside the United States. Intelligence officials, while declining to comment directly on such possibilities, respond that such interpretations are overly broad readings of the act, and unlikely to actually occur.

In a September 10, 2007 address at a symposium on modernizing FISA held at Georgetown University Law Center‘s National Security Center, Kenneth L. Wainstein, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, argued against the current six-month sunset provision in the Protect America Act of 2007, saying that the broadened surveillance powers the act provides for should be made permanent. Wainstein proposed that internal audits by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the National Security Division of the Justice Department, with reporting to select groups of Congressmen, would ensure that the expanded capability would not be abused.[43]

Also on September 10, DNI Mike McConnell testified before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs that the Protect America Act had helped foil a major terror plot in Germany. U.S. intelligence-community officials questioned the accuracy of McConnell’s testimony and urged his office to correct it, which he did in a statement issued September 12, 2007. Critics cited the incident as an example of the Bush administration’s exaggerated claims and contradictory statements about surveillance activities. Counterterrorism officials familiar with the background of McConnell’s testimony said they did not believe he made inaccurate statements intentionally as part of any strategy by the administration to persuade Congress to make the new eavesdropping law permanent. Those officials said they believed McConnell gave the wrong answer because he was overwhelmed with information and merely mixed up his facts.[44]

Speaking at National Security Agency headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland on September 19, 2007, President George W. Bush urged Congress to make the provisions of the Protect America Act permanent. Bush also called for retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies who had cooperated with government surveillance efforts, saying, “It’s particularly important for Congress to provide meaningful liability protection to those companies now facing multibillion-dollar lawsuits only because they are believed to have assisted in efforts to defend our nation, following the 9/11 attacks”.[45]

On October 4, 2007, the bipartisan Liberty and Security Committee of the Constitution Project, co-chaired by David Keene and David D. Cole, issued its “Statement on the Protect America Act”.[46] The Statement urged Congress not to reauthorize the PAA, saying the language of the bill “runs contrary to the tripartite balance of power the Framers envisioned for our constitutional democracy, and poses a serious threat to the very notion of government of the people, by the people and for the people”. Some in the legal community have questioned the constitutionality of any legislation that would retroactively immunize telecommunications firms alleged to have cooperated with the government from civil liability for having potentially violated their customers’ privacy rights.[47]

In an article appearing in the January/February 2008 issue of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers journal of Security and Privacy, noted technology experts from academia and the computing industry found significant flaws in the technical implementation of the Protect America Act which they said created serious security risks, including the danger that such a surveillance system could be exploited by unauthorized users, criminally misused by trusted insiders, or abused by the government.[48]

On October 7, 2007, the Washington Post reported that House Democrats planned to introduce alternative legislation which would provide for one-year “umbrella” warrants, and would require the Justice Department inspector general to audit the use of those warrants and issue quarterly reports to a special FISA court and to Congress. The proposed bill would not include immunity for telecommunications firms facing lawsuits in connection with the administration’s NSA warrantless surveillance program. House Democrats said that as long as the administration withholds requested documents explaining the basis for the program that they cannot consider immunity for firms alleged to have facilitated it.[49] On October 10, 2007 comments on the White House South Lawn, President Bush said he would not sign any bill that did not provide retroactive immunity for telecommunications corporations.[50]

On October 18, 2007, the House Democratic leadership put off a vote on the proposed legislation by the full chamber to avoid consideration of a Republican measure that made specific references to Osama bin Laden. At the same time, the Senate Intelligence Committee reportedly reached a compromise with the White House on a different proposal that would give telephone carriers legal immunity for any role they played in the National Security Agency’s domestic eavesdropping program approved by President Bush after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.[51]

On November 15, 2007, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 10–9 along party lines to send an alternative measure to the full Senate other than the one the intelligence committee had crafted with the White House. The proposal would leave to the full Senate whether or not to provide retroactive immunity to telecommunications firms that cooperated with the NSA. Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy said that granting such immunity would give the Bush administration a “blank check” to do what it wants without regard to the law. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the top Republican on the committee, said that court cases may be the only way Congress can learn exactly how far outside the law the administration has gone in eavesdropping in the United States. When the full Senate takes up the bill, Specter is expected to offer a compromise that would shield the companies from financial ruin but allow lawsuits to go forward by having the federal government stand in for the companies at trial.[52][needs update]

On the same day, the House of Representatives voted 227–189 to approve a Democratic bill that would expand court oversight of government surveillance inside the United States while denying immunity to telecom companies. House Judiciary Committee chairman John Conyers left the door open to an immunity deal in the future, but said that the White House must first give Congress access to classified documents specifying what the companies did that requires legal immunity.[53]

In February 2008, the Senate passed the version of the new FISA that would allow telecom companies immunity. On March 13, 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives held a secret session to discuss related information. On March 14, the House voted 213–197 to approve a bill that would not grant telecom immunity – far short of the 2/3 majority required to override a Presidential veto.[54] The Senate and House bills are compared and contrasted in a June 12, 2008 report from the Congressional Research Service.[55]

On March 13, 2008, the House of Representatives held a secret, closed door meeting to debate changes to the FISA bill.[56]

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 Amendments Act of 2008[edit]

The 2008 amendment of FISA gave telecoms immunity, increased the time allotted for warrantless surveillance, and adds provisions for emergency eavesdropping. On June 20, 2008, the House of Representatives passed the amendment with a vote of 293 to 129.[57][58] It passed in the Senate 69 to 28 on July 9, 2008[59] after a failed attempt to strike Title II from the bill by Senator Dodd.[60] On July 10, 2008, President Bush signed it into law.

2015 USA Freedom Act

On June 2, 2015, many provisions of the 1978 with the passage of the USA Freedom Act.[61] The 2015 law overhauled the powerful United States National Security Agency and required the US government to undergo standard court procedures in order to gather data regarding suspicious activities.[61] However, the law did not completely repeal the controversial Patriot Act and allowed some provisions to expire in later time.[61]

See also

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_Intelligence_Surveillance_Act

National Security Agency

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“NSA” redirects here. For other uses, see NSA (disambiguation) and National Security Agency (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with NASA or National Security Council.
Yes
Seal of the U.S. National Security Agency.svg

Seal of the National Security Agency
Flag of the U.S. National Security Agency.svg

Flag of the National Security Agency
National Security Agency headquarters, Fort Meade, Maryland.jpg
NSA Headquarters, Fort Meade, Maryland
Agency overview
Formed November 4, 1952; 64 years ago[1]
Preceding agency
  • Armed Forces Security Agency
Headquarters Fort Meade, Maryland, U.S.
39°6′32″N 76°46′17″WCoordinates: 39°6′32″N 76°46′17″W
Motto “Defending Our Nation. Securing The Future.”
Employees Classified (30,000–40,000 estimate)[2][3][4][5]
Annual budget Classified (estimated $10.8 billion, 2013)[6][7]
Agency executives
Parent agency United States Department of Defense
Website www.nsa.gov

The National Security Agency (NSA) is an intelligence organization of the United States federal government responsible for global monitoring, collection, and processing of information and data for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes, a discipline known as signals intelligence (SIGINT). NSA is concurrently charged with protection of U.S. government communications and information systems against penetration and network warfare.[8][9] Although many of NSA’s programs rely on “passive” electronic collection, the agency is authorized to accomplish its mission through active clandestine means,[10] among which are physically bugging electronic systems[11] and allegedly engaging in sabotage through subversive software.[12][13] Moreover, NSA maintains physical presence in a large number of countries across the globe, where its Special Collection Service (SCS) inserts eavesdropping devices in difficult-to-reach places. SCS collection tactics allegedly encompass “close surveillance, burglary, wiretapping, breaking and entering”.[14][15]

Unlike the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), both of which specialize primarily in foreign human espionage, NSA does not unilaterally conduct human-source intelligence gathering, despite often being portrayed so in popular culture. Instead, NSA is entrusted with assistance to and coordination of SIGINT elements at other government organizations, which are prevented by law from engaging in such activities without the approval of the NSA via the Defense Secretary.[16] As part of these streamlining responsibilities, the agency has a co-located organization called the Central Security Service (CSS), which was created to facilitate cooperation between NSA and other U.S. military cryptanalysis components. Additionally, the NSA Director simultaneously serves as the Commander of the United States Cyber Command and as Chief of the Central Security Service.

Originating as a unit to decipher coded communications in World War II, it was officially formed as the NSA by President Harry S. Truman in 1952. Since then, it has become one of the largest U.S. intelligence organizations in terms of personnel and budget,[6][17] operating as part of the Department of Defense and simultaneously reporting to the Director of National Intelligence.

NSA surveillance has been a matter of political controversy on several occasions, such as its spying on anti-Vietnam-war leaders or economic espionage. In 2013, the extent of some of the NSA’s secret surveillance programs was revealed to the public by Edward Snowden. According to the leaked documents, the NSA intercepts the communications of over a billion people worldwide, many of whom are United States citizens, and tracks the movement of hundreds of millions of people using cellphones. Internationally, research has pointed to the NSA’s ability to surveil the domestic Internet traffic of foreign countries through “boomerang routing”.[18]

History

Army predecessor

The origins of the National Security Agency can be traced back to April 28, 1917, three weeks after the U.S. Congress declared war on Germany in World War I. A code and cipher decryption unit was established as the Cable and Telegraph Section which was also known as the Cipher Bureau. It was headquartered in Washington, D.C. and was part of the war effort under the executive branch without direct Congressional authorization. During the course of the war it was relocated in the army’s organizational chart several times. On July 5, 1917, Herbert O. Yardley was assigned to head the unit. At that point, the unit consisted of Yardley and two civilian clerks. It absorbed the navy’s cryptoanalysis functions in July 1918. World War I ended on November 11, 1918, and MI-8 moved to New York City on May 20, 1919, where it continued intelligence activities as the Code Compilation Company under the direction of Yardley.[19][20]

Black Chamber

Western Union allowed MI-8 to monitor telegraphic communications passing through the company’s wires until 1929.[21]

MI-8 also operated the so-called “Black Chamber“.[22] The Black Chamber was located on East 37th Street in Manhattan. Its purpose was to crack the communications codes of foreign governments. Jointly supported by the State Department and the War Department, the chamber persuaded Western Union, the largest U.S. telegram company, to allow government officials to monitor private communications passing through the company’s wires.[23]

Other “Black Chambers” were also found in Europe. They were established by the French and British governments to read the letters of targeted individuals, employing a variety of techniques to surreptitiously open, copy, and reseal correspondence before forwarding it to unsuspecting recipients.[24]

Despite the American Black Chamber’s initial successes, it was shut down in 1929 by U.S. Secretary of State Henry L. Stimson, who defended his decision by stating: “Gentlemen do not read each other’s mail”.[21]

World War II and its aftermath

During World War II, the Signal Security Agency (SSA) was created to intercept and decipher the communications of the Axis powers.[25] When the war ended, the SSA was reorganized as the Army Security Agency (ASA), and it was placed under the leadership of the Director of Military Intelligence.[25]

On May 20, 1949, all cryptologic activities were centralized under a national organization called the Armed Forces Security Agency (AFSA).[25] This organization was originally established within the U.S. Department of Defense under the command of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.[26] The AFSA was tasked to direct Department of Defense communications and electronic intelligence activities, except those of U.S. military intelligence units.[26] However, the AFSA was unable to centralize communications intelligence and failed to coordinate with civilian agencies that shared its interests such as the Department of State, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).[26] In December 1951, President Harry S. Truman ordered a panel to investigate how AFSA had failed to achieve its goals. The results of the investigation led to improvements and its redesignation as the National Security Agency.[27]

The agency was formally established by Truman in a memorandum of October 24, 1952, that revised National Security Council Intelligence Directive (NSCID) 9.[28] Since President Truman’s memo was a classified document,[28] the existence of the NSA was not known to the public at that time. Due to its ultra-secrecy the U.S. intelligence community referred to the NSA as “No Such Agency”.[29]

Vietnam War

In the 1960s, the NSA played a key role in expanding America’s commitment to the Vietnam War by providing evidence of a North Vietnamese attack on the American destroyer USS Maddox during the Gulf of Tonkin incident.[30]

A secret operation, code-named “MINARET“, was set up by the NSA to monitor the phone communications of Senators Frank Church and Howard Baker, as well as major civil rights leaders, including Martin Luther King, Jr., and prominent U.S. journalists and athletes who criticized the Vietnam War.[31] However, the project turned out to be controversial, and an internal review by the NSA concluded that its Minaret program was “disreputable if not outright illegal”.[31]

The NSA mounted a major effort to secure tactical communications among U.S. forces during the war with mixed success. The NESTOR family of compatible secure voice systems it developed was widely deployed during the Vietnam War, with about 30,000 NESTOR sets produced. However a variety of technical and operational problems limited their use, allowing the North Vietnamese to exploit intercepted U.S. communications.[32]:Vol I, p.79

Church Committee hearings

Further information: Watergate scandal and Church Committee

In the aftermath of the Watergate scandal, a congressional hearing in 1975 led by Sen. Frank Church[33] revealed that the NSA, in collaboration with Britain’s SIGINT intelligence agency Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), had routinely intercepted the international communications of prominent anti-Vietnam war leaders such as Jane Fonda and Dr. Benjamin Spock.[34] Following the resignation of President Richard Nixon, there were several investigations of suspected misuse of FBI, CIA and NSA facilities.[35] Senator Frank Church uncovered previously unknown activity,[35] such as a CIA plot (ordered by the administration of President John F. Kennedy) to assassinate Fidel Castro.[36] The investigation also uncovered NSA’s wiretaps on targeted American citizens.[37]

After the Church Committee hearings, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 was passed into law. This was designed to limit the practice of mass surveillance in the United States.[35]

From 1980s to 1990s

In 1986, the NSA intercepted the communications of the Libyan government during the immediate aftermath of the Berlin discotheque bombing. The White House asserted that the NSA interception had provided “irrefutable” evidence that Libya was behind the bombing, which U.S. President Ronald Reagan cited as a justification for the 1986 United States bombing of Libya.[38][39]

In 1999, a multi-year investigation by the European Parliament highlighted the NSA’s role in economic espionage in a report entitled ‘Development of Surveillance Technology and Risk of Abuse of Economic Information’.[40] That year, the NSA founded the NSA Hall of Honor, a memorial at the National Cryptologic Museum in Fort Meade, Maryland.[41] The memorial is a, “tribute to the pioneers and heroes who have made significant and long-lasting contributions to American cryptology”.[41] NSA employees must be retired for more than fifteen years to qualify for the memorial.[41]

NSA’s infrastructure deteriorated in the 1990s as defense budget cuts resulted in maintenance deferrals. On January 24, 2000, NSA headquarters suffered a total network outage for three days caused by an overloaded network. Incoming traffic was successfully stored on agency servers, but it could not be directed and processed. The agency carried out emergency repairs at a cost of $3 million to get the system running again. (Some incoming traffic was also directed instead to Britain’s GCHQ for the time being.) Director Michael Hayden called the outage a “wake-up call” for the need to invest in the agency’s infrastructure.[42]

War on Terror

After Osama bin Laden moved to Afghanistan in the 1980s, the NSA recorded all of his phone calls via satellite, logging over 2,000 minutes of conversation[43]

In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, the NSA created new IT systems to deal with the flood of information from new technologies like the Internet and cellphones. ThinThread contained advanced data mining capabilities. It also had a “privacy mechanism”; surveillance was stored encrypted; decryption required a warrant. The research done under this program may have contributed to the technology used in later systems. ThinThread was cancelled when Michael Hayden chose Trailblazer, which did not include ThinThread’s privacy system.[44]

Trailblazer Project ramped up in 2002. SAIC, Boeing, CSC, IBM, and Litton worked on it. Some NSA whistleblowers complained internally about major problems surrounding Trailblazer. This led to investigations by Congress and the NSA and DoD Inspectors General. The project was cancelled in early 2004. Several whistleblowers were later arrested and charged with violating federal espionage laws.

Turbulence started in 2005. It was developed in small, inexpensive “test” pieces, rather than one grand plan like Trailblazer. It also included offensive cyber-warfare capabilities, like injecting malware into remote computers. Congress criticized Turbulence in 2007 for having similar bureaucratic problems as Trailblazer.[45] It was to be a realization of information processing at higher speeds in cyberspace.[46]

Global surveillance disclosures

The massive extent of the NSA’s spying, both foreign and domestic, was revealed to the public in a series of detailed disclosures of internal NSA documents beginning in June 2013. Most of the disclosures were leaked by former NSA contractor, Edward Snowden.

Scope of surveillance

It was revealed that the NSA intercepts telephone and Internet communications of over a billion people worldwide, seeking information on terrorism as well as foreign politics, economics[47] and “commercial secrets”.[48] In a declassified document it was revealed that 17,835 phone lines were on an improperly permitted “alert list” from 2006 to 2009 in breach of compliance, which tagged these phone lines for daily monitoring.[49][50][51] Eleven percent of these monitored phone lines met the agency’s legal standard for “reasonably articulable suspicion” (RAS).[49][52]

A dedicated unit of the NSA locates targets for the CIA for extrajudicial assassination in the Middle East.[53] The NSA has also spied extensively on the European Union, the United Nations and numerous governments including allies and trading partners in Europe, South America and Asia.[54][55]

The NSA tracks the locations of hundreds of millions of cellphones per day, allowing it to map people’s movements and relationships in detail.[56] It reportedly has access to all communications made via Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, YouTube, AOL, Skype, Apple and Paltalk,[57] and collects hundreds of millions of contact lists from personal email and instant messaging accounts each year.[58] It has also managed to weaken much of the encryption used on the Internet (by collaborating with, coercing or otherwise infiltrating numerous technology companies), so that the majority of Internet privacy is now vulnerable to the NSA and other attackers.[59][60]

Domestically, the NSA collects and stores metadata records of phone calls,[61] including over 120 million US Verizon subscribers,[62] as well as Internet communications,[57] relying on a secret interpretation of the Patriot Act whereby the entirety of US communications may be considered “relevant” to a terrorism investigation if it is expected that even a tiny minority may relate to terrorism.[63] The NSA supplies foreign intercepts to the DEA, IRS and other law enforcement agencies, who use these to initiate criminal investigations. Federal agents are then instructed to “recreate” the investigative trail via parallel construction.[64]

The NSA also spies on influential Muslims to obtain information that could be used to discredit them, such as their use of pornography. The targets, both domestic and abroad, are not suspected of any crime but hold religious or political views deemed “radical” by the NSA.[65]

Although NSA’s surveillance activities are controversial, government agencies and private enterprises have common needs, and sometimes cooperate at subtle and complex technical levels. Big data is becoming more advantageous, justifying the cost of required computer hardware, and social media lead the trend. The interests of NSA and Silicon Valley began to converge as advances in computer storage technology drastically reduced the costs of storing enormous amounts of data and at the same time the value of the data for use in consumer marketing began to rise. On the other hand, social media sites are growing as voluntary data mining operations on a scale that rivals or exceeds anything the government could attempt on its own.[66]

According to a report in The Washington Post in July 2014, relying on information provided by Snowden, 90% of those placed under surveillance in the U.S. are ordinary Americans, and are not the intended targets. The newspaper said it had examined documents including emails, text messages, and online accounts that support the claim.[67]

Legal accountability

Despite President Obama’s claims that these programs have congressional oversight, members of Congress were unaware of the existence of these NSA programs or the secret interpretation of the Patriot Act, and have consistently been denied access to basic information about them.[68] Obama has also claimed that there are legal checks in place to prevent inappropriate access of data and that there have been no examples of abuse;[69] however, the secret FISC court charged with regulating the NSA’s activities is, according to its chief judge, incapable of investigating or verifying how often the NSA breaks even its own secret rules.[70] It has since been reported that the NSA violated its own rules on data access thousands of times a year, many of these violations involving large-scale data interceptions;[71] and that NSA officers have even used data intercepts to spy on love interests.[72] The NSA has “generally disregarded the special rules for disseminating United States person information” by illegally sharing its intercepts with other law enforcement agencies.[73] A March 2009 opinion of the FISC court, released by court order, states that protocols restricting data queries had been “so frequently and systemically violated that it can be fairly said that this critical element of the overall … regime has never functioned effectively.”[74][75] In 2011 the same court noted that the “volume and nature” of the NSA’s bulk foreign Internet intercepts was “fundamentally different from what the court had been led to believe”.[73] Email contact lists (including those of US citizens) are collected at numerous foreign locations to work around the illegality of doing so on US soil.[58]

Legal opinions on the NSA’s bulk collection program have differed. In mid-December 2013, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon ruled that the “almost-Orwellian” program likely violates the Constitution, and wrote, “I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary invasion’ than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval. Surely, such a program infringes on ‘that degree of privacy’ that the Founders enshrined in the Fourth Amendment. Indeed, I have little doubt that the author of our Constitution, James Madison, who cautioned us to beware ‘the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power,’ would be aghast.”[76]

Later that month, U.S. District Judge William Pauley ruled that the NSA’s collection of telephone records is legal and valuable in the fight against terrorism. In his opinion, he wrote, “a bulk telephony metadata collection program [is] a wide net that could find and isolate gossamer contacts among suspected terrorists in an ocean of seemingly disconnected data” and noted that a similar collection of data prior to 9/11 might have prevented the attack.[77]

An October 2014 United Nations report condemned mass surveillance by the United States and other countries as violating multiple international treaties and conventions that guarantee core privacy rights.[78]

Official responses

On March 20, 2013 the Director of National Intelligence, Lieutenant General James Clapper, testified before Congress that the NSA does not wittingly collect any kind of data on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans, but he retracted this in June after details of the PRISM program were published, and stated instead that meta-data of phone and Internet traffic are collected, but no actual message contents.[79] This was corroborated by the NSA Director, General Keith Alexander, before it was revealed that the XKeyscore program collects the contents of millions of emails from US citizens without warrant, as well as “nearly everything a user does on the Internet”. Alexander later admitted that “content” is collected, but stated that it is simply stored and never analyzed or searched unless there is “a nexus to al-Qaida or other terrorist groups”.[69]

Regarding the necessity of these NSA programs, Alexander stated on June 27 that the NSA’s bulk phone and Internet intercepts had been instrumental in preventing 54 terrorist “events”, including 13 in the US, and in all but one of these cases had provided the initial tip to “unravel the threat stream”.[80] On July 31 NSA Deputy Director John Inglis conceded to the Senate that these intercepts had not been vital in stopping any terrorist attacks, but were “close” to vital in identifying and convicting four San Diego men for sending US$8,930 to Al-Shabaab, a militia that conducts terrorism in Somalia.[81][82][83]

The U.S. government has aggressively sought to dismiss and challenge Fourth Amendment cases raised against it, and has granted retroactive immunity to ISPs and telecoms participating in domestic surveillance.[84][85] The U.S. military has acknowledged blocking access to parts of The Guardian website for thousands of defense personnel across the country,[86][87] and blocking the entire Guardian website for personnel stationed throughout Afghanistan, the Middle East, and South Asia.[88]

Organizational structure

Michael S. Rogers, the director of the NSA.

The NSA is led by the Director of the National Security Agency (DIRNSA), who also serves as Chief of the Central Security Service (CHCSS) and Commander of the United States Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) and is the highest-ranking military official of these organizations. He is assisted by a Deputy Director, who is the highest-ranking civilian within the NSA/CSS.

NSA also has an Inspector General, head of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), a General Counsel, head of the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) and a Director of Compliance, who is head of the Office of the Director of Compliance (ODOC).[89]

Unlike other intelligence organizations such as CIA or DIA, NSA has always been particularly reticent concerning its internal organizational structure.

As of the mid-1990s, the National Security Agency was organized into five Directorates:

  • The Operations Directorate, which was responsible for SIGINT collection and processing.
  • The Technology and Systems Directorate, which develops new technologies for SIGINT collection and processing.
  • The Information Systems Security Directorate, which was responsible for NSA’s communications and information security missions.
  • The Plans, Policy and Programs Directorate, which provided staff support and general direction for the Agency.
  • The Support Services Directorate, which provided logistical and administrative support activities.[90]

Each of these directorates consisted of several groups or elements, designated by a letter. There were for example the A Group, which was responsible for all SIGINT operations against the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, and G Group, which was responsible for SIGINT related to all non-communist countries. These groups were divided in units designated by an additional number, like unit A5 for breaking Soviet codes, and G6, being the office for the Middle East, North Africa, Cuba, Central and South America.[91][92]

Structure

As of 2013, NSA has about a dozen directorates, which are designated by a letter, although not all of them are publicly known. The directorates are divided in divisions and units starting with the letter of the parent directorate, followed by a number for the division, the sub-unit or a sub-sub-unit.

The main elements of the organizational structure of the NSA are:[93]

  • F – Directorate only known from unit F6, the Special Collection Service (SCS), which is a joint program created by CIA and NSA in 1978 to facilitate clandestine activities such as bugging computers throughout the world, using the expertise of both agencies.[94]
  • G – Directorate only known from unit G112, the office that manages the Senior Span platform, attached to the U2 spy planes.[95]
  • I – Information Assurance Directorate (IAD), which ensures availability, integrity, authentication, confidentiality, and non-repudiation of national security and telecommunications and information systems (national security systems).
  • J – Directorate only known from unit J2, the Cryptologic Intelligence Unit
  • L – Installation and Logistics
  • M – Human Resources
  • Q – Security and Counterintelligence
  • R – Research Directorate, which conducts research on signals intelligence and on information assurance for the U.S. Government.[96]
  • S – Signals Intelligence Directorate (SID), which is responsible for the collection, analysis, production and dissemination of signals intelligence. This directorate is led by a director and a deputy director. The SID consists of the following divisions:
    • S1 – Customer Relations
    • S2 – Analysis and Production Centers, with the following so-called Product Lines:
      • S2A: South Asia, S2B: China and Korea, S2C: International Security, S2E: Middle East/Asia, S2F: International Crime, S2G: Counter-proliferation, S2H: Russia, S2I: Counter-terrorism, S2J: Weapons and Space, S2T: Current Threats
    • S3 – Data Acquisition, with these divisions for the main collection programs:
      • S31 – Cryptanalysis and Exploitation Services (CES)
      • S32 – Tailored Access Operations (TAO), which hacks into foreign computers to conduct cyber-espionage and reportedly is “the largest and arguably the most important component of the NSA’s huge Signal Intelligence (SIGINT) Directorate, consisting of over 1,000 military and civilian computer hackers, intelligence analysts, targeting specialists, computer hardware and software designers, and electrical engineers.”[97]
      • S33 – Global Access Operations (GAO), which is responsible for intercepts from satellites and other international SIGINT platforms.[98] A tool which details and maps the information collected by this unit is code-named Boundless Informant.
      • S34 – Collections Strategies and Requirements Center
      • S35 – Special Source Operations (SSO), which is responsible for domestic and compartmented collection programs, like for example the PRISM program.[98] Special Source Operations is also mentioned in connection to the FAIRVIEW collection program.[99]
  • T – Technical Directorate (TD)
  • Directorate for Education and Training
  • Directorate for Corporate Leadership
  • Foreign Affairs Directorate, which acts as liaison with foreign intelligence services, counter-intelligence centers and the UKUSA-partners.
  • Acquisitions and Procurement Directorate
  • Information Sharing Services (ISS), led by a chief and a deputy chief.[100]

In the year 2000, a leadership team was formed, consisting of the Director, the Deputy Director and the Directors of the Signals Intelligence (SID), the Information Assurance (IAD) and the Technical Directorate (TD). The chiefs of other main NSA divisions became associate directors of the senior leadership team.[101]

After president George W. Bush initiated the President’s Surveillance Program (PSP) in 2001, the NSA created a 24-hour Metadata Analysis Center (MAC), followed in 2004 by the Advanced Analysis Division (AAD), with the mission of analyzing content, Internet metadata and telephone metadata. Both units were part of the Signals Intelligence Directorate.[102]

A 2016 proposal would combine the Signals Intelligence Directorate with the Information Assurance Directorate into a Directorate of Operations.[103]

Watch centers

The NSA maintains at least two watch centers:

  • National Security Operations Center (NSOC), which is the NSA’s current operations center and focal point for time-sensitive SIGINT reporting for the United States SIGINT System (USSS). This center was established in 1968 as the National SIGINT Watch Center (NSWC) and renamed into National SIGINT Operations Center (NSOC) in 1973. This “nerve center of the NSA” got its current name in 1996.[104]
  • NSA/CSS Threat Operations Center (NTOC), which is the primary NSA/CSS partner for Department of Homeland Security response to cyber incidents. The NTOC establishes real-time network awareness and threat characterization capabilities to forecast, alert, and attribute malicious activity and enable the coordination of Computer Network Operations. The NTOC was established in 2004 as a joint Information Assurance and Signals Intelligence project.[105]

Employees

The number of NSA employees is officially classified[4] but there are several sources providing estimates. In 1961, NSA had 59,000 military and civilian employees, which grew to 93,067 in 1969, of which 19,300 worked at the headquarters at Fort Meade. In the early 1980s NSA had roughly 50,000 military and civilian personnel. By 1989 this number had grown again to 75,000, of which 25,000 worked at the NSA headquarters. Between 1990 and 1995 the NSA’s budget and workforce were cut by one third, which led to a substantial loss of experience.[106]

In 2012, the NSA said more than 30,000 employees worked at Fort Meade and other facilities.[2] In 2012, John C. Inglis, the deputy director, said that the total number of NSA employees is “somewhere between 37,000 and one billion” as a joke,[4] and stated that the agency is “probably the biggest employer of introverts.”[4] In 2013 Der Spiegel stated that the NSA had 40,000 employees.[5] More widely, it has been described as the world’s largest single employer of mathematicians.[107] Some NSA employees form part of the workforce of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), the agency that provides the NSA with satellite signals intelligence.

As of 2013 about 1,000 system administrators work for the NSA.[108]

Security issues

The NSA received criticism early on in 1960 after two agents had defected to the Soviet Union. Investigations by the House Un-American Activities Committee and a special subcommittee of the United States House Committee on Armed Services revealed severe cases of ignorance in personnel security regulations, prompting the former personnel director and the director of security to step down and leading to the adoption of stricter security practices.[109] Nonetheless, security breaches reoccurred only a year later when in an issue of Izvestia of July 23, 1963, a former NSA employee published several cryptologic secrets.

The very same day, an NSA clerk-messenger committed suicide as ongoing investigations disclosed that he had sold secret information to the Soviets on a regular basis. The reluctance of Congressional houses to look into these affairs had prompted a journalist to write, “If a similar series of tragic blunders occurred in any ordinary agency of Government an aroused public would insist that those responsible be officially censured, demoted, or fired.” David Kahn criticized the NSA’s tactics of concealing its doings as smug and the Congress’ blind faith in the agency’s right-doing as shortsighted, and pointed out the necessity of surveillance by the Congress to prevent abuse of power.[109]

Edward Snowden‘s leaking of the existence of PRISM in 2013 caused the NSA to institute a “two-man rule“, where two system administrators are required to be present when one accesses certain sensitive information.[108]Snowden claims he suggested such a rule in 2009.[110]

Polygraphing

Defense Security Service (DSS) polygraph brochure given to NSA applicants

The NSA conducts polygraph tests of employees. For new employees, the tests are meant to discover enemy spies who are applying to the NSA and to uncover any information that could make an applicant pliant to coercion.[111] As part of the latter, historically EPQs or “embarrassing personal questions” about sexual behavior had been included in the NSA polygraph.[111]The NSA also conducts five-year periodic reinvestigation polygraphs of employees, focusing on counterintelligence programs. In addition the NSA conducts periodic polygraph investigations in order to find spies and leakers; those who refuse to take them may receive “termination of employment”, according to a 1982 memorandum from the director of the NSA.[112]

File:NSApolygraphvideo.webm

NSA-produced video on the polygraph process

There are also “special access examination” polygraphs for employees who wish to work in highly sensitive areas, and those polygraphs cover counterintelligence questions and some questions about behavior.[112] NSA’s brochure states that the average test length is between two and four hours.[113] A 1983 report of the Office of Technology Assessment stated that “It appears that the NSA [National Security Agency] (and possibly CIA) use the polygraph not to determine deception or truthfulness per se, but as a technique of interrogation to encourage admissions.”[114] Sometimes applicants in the polygraph process confess to committing felonies such as murder, rape, and selling of illegal drugs. Between 1974 and 1979, of the 20,511 job applicants who took polygraph tests, 695 (3.4%) confessed to previous felony crimes; almost all of those crimes had been undetected.[111]

In 2010 the NSA produced a video explaining its polygraph process.[115] The video, ten minutes long, is titled “The Truth About the Polygraph” and was posted to the Web site of the Defense Security Service. Jeff Stein of The Washington Post said that the video portrays “various applicants, or actors playing them — it’s not clear — describing everything bad they had heard about the test, the implication being that none of it is true.”[116] AntiPolygraph.org argues that the NSA-produced video omits some information about the polygraph process; it produced a video responding to the NSA video.[115] George Maschke, the founder of the Web site, accused the NSA polygraph video of being “Orwellian“.[116]

After Edward Snowden revealed his identity in 2013, the NSA began requiring polygraphing of employees once per quarter.[117]

Arbitrary firing

The number of exemptions from legal requirements has been criticized. When in 1964 the Congress was hearing a bill giving the director of the NSA the power to fire at will any employee,The Washington Post wrote: “This is the very definition of arbitrariness. It means that an employee could be discharged and disgraced on the basis of anonymous allegations without the slightest opportunity to defend himself.” Yet, the bill was accepted by an overwhelming majority.[109]

Insignia and memorials

Seal of the U.S. National Security Agency.svg

The heraldic insignia of NSA consists of an eagle inside a circle, grasping a key in its talons.[118] The eagle represents the agency’s national mission.[118] Its breast features a shield with bands of red and white, taken from the Great Seal of the United States and representing Congress.[118] The key is taken from the emblem of Saint Peter and represents security.[118]

When the NSA was created, the agency had no emblem and used that of the Department of Defense.[119] The agency adopted its first of two emblems in 1963.[119] The current NSA insignia has been in use since 1965, when then-Director, LTG Marshall S. Carter (USA) ordered the creation of a device to represent the agency.[120]

The NSA’s flag consists of the agency’s seal on a light blue background.

National Cryptologic Memorial

Crews associated with NSA missions have been involved in a number of dangerous and deadly situations.[121] The USS Liberty incident in 1967 and USS Pueblo incident in 1968 are examples of the losses endured during the Cold War.[121]

The National Security Agency/Central Security Service Cryptologic Memorial honors and remembers the fallen personnel, both military and civilian, of these intelligence missions.[122] It is made of black granite, and has 171 names carved into it, as of 2013 .[122] It is located at NSA headquarters. A tradition of declassifying the stories of the fallen was begun in 2001.[122]

NSANet (NSA’s intranet)

Behind the Green Door – Secure communications room with separate computer terminals for access to SIPRNET, GWAN, NSANET, and JWICS

NSANet stands for National Security Agency Network and is the official NSA intranet.[123] It is a classified network,[124] for information up to the level of TS/SCI[125] to support the use and sharing of intelligence data between NSA and the signals intelligence agencies of the four other nations of the Five Eyes partnership. The management of NSANet has been delegated to the Central Security Service Texas (CSSTEXAS).[126]

NSANet is a highly secured computer network consisting of fiber-optic and satellite communication channels which are almost completely separated from the public Internet. The network allows NSA personnel and civilian and military intelligence analysts anywhere in the world to have access to the agency’s systems and databases. This access is tightly controlled and monitored. For example, every keystroke is logged, activities are audited at random and downloading and printing of documents from NSANet are recorded.[127]

In 1998, NSANet, along with NIPRNET and SIPRNET, had “significant problems with poor search capabilities, unorganized data and old information”.[128] In 2004, the network was reported to have used over twenty commercial off-the-shelf operating systems.[129] Some universities that do highly sensitive research are allowed to connect to it.[130]

The thousands of Top Secret internal NSA documents that were taken by Edward Snowden in 2013 were stored in “a file-sharing location on the NSA’s intranet site” so they could easily be read online by NSA personnel. Everyone with a TS/SCI-clearance had access to these documents and as a system administrator, Snowden was responsible for moving accidentally misplaced highly sensitive documents to more secure storage locations.[131]

National Computer Security Center

The DoD Computer Security Center was founded in 1981 and renamed the National Computer Security Center (NCSC) in 1985. NCSC was responsible for computer security throughout the federal government.[132] NCSC was part of NSA,[133] and during the late 1980s and the 1990s, NSA and NCSC published Trusted Computer System Evaluation Criteria in a six-foot high Rainbow Series of books that detailed trusted computing and network platform specifications.[134] The Rainbow books were replaced by the Common Criteria, however, in the early 2000s.[134]

Facilities

Headquarters

National Security Agency headquarters in Fort Meade, 2013

Headquarters for the National Security Agency is located at 39°6′32″N 76°46′17″W in Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, although it is separate from other compounds and agencies that are based within this same military installation. Ft. Meade is about 20 mi (32 km) southwest of Baltimore,[135] and 25 mi (40 km) northeast of Washington, DC.[136] The NSA has its own exit off Maryland Route 295 South labeled “NSA Employees Only”.[137][138] The exit may only be used by people with the proper clearances, and security vehicles parked along the road guard the entrance.[139]

NSA is the largest employer in the U.S. state of Maryland, and two-thirds of its personnel work at Ft. Meade.[140] Built on 350 acres (140 ha; 0.55 sq mi)[141] of Ft. Meade’s 5,000 acres (2,000 ha; 7.8 sq mi),[142] the site has 1,300 buildings and an estimated 18,000 parking spaces.[136][143]

NSA headquarters building in Fort Meade (left), NSOC (right)

The main NSA headquarters and operations building is what James Bamford, author of Body of Secrets, describes as “a modern boxy structure” that appears similar to “any stylish office building.”[144] The building is covered with one-way dark glass, which is lined with copper shielding in order to prevent espionage by trapping in signals and sounds.[144] It contains 3,000,000 square feet (280,000 m2), or more than 68 acres (28 ha), of floor space; Bamford said that the U.S. Capitol “could easily fit inside it four times over.”[144]

The facility has over 100 watchposts,[145] one of them being the visitor control center, a two-story area that serves as the entrance.[144] At the entrance, a white pentagonal structure,[146] visitor badges are issued to visitors and security clearances of employees are checked.[147] The visitor center includes a painting of the NSA seal.[146]

The OPS2A building, the tallest building in the NSA complex and the location of much of the agency’s operations directorate, is accessible from the visitor center. Bamford described it as a “dark glass Rubik’s Cube“.[148] The facility’s “red corridor” houses non-security operations such as concessions and the drug store. The name refers to the “red badge” which is worn by someone without a security clearance. The NSA headquarters includes a cafeteria, a credit union, ticket counters for airlines and entertainment, a barbershop, and a bank.[146] NSA headquarters has its own post office, fire department, and police force.[149][150][151]

The employees at the NSA headquarters reside in various places in the Baltimore-Washington area, including Annapolis, Baltimore, and Columbia in Maryland and the District of Columbia, including the Georgetown community.[152]

Power consumption

Due to massive amounts of data processing, NSA is the largest electricity consumer in Maryland.[140]

Following a major power outage in 2000, in 2003 and in follow-ups through 2007, The Baltimore Sun reported that the NSA was at risk of electrical overload because of insufficient internal electrical infrastructure at Fort Meade to support the amount of equipment being installed. This problem was apparently recognized in the 1990s but not made a priority, and “now the agency’s ability to keep its operations going is threatened.”[153]

Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE, now Constellation Energy) provided NSA with 65 to 75 megawatts at Ft. Meade in 2007, and expected that an increase of 10 to 15 megawatts would be needed later that year.[154] In 2011, NSA at Ft. Meade was Maryland’s largest consumer of power.[140] In 2007, as BGE’s largest customer, NSA bought as much electricity as Annapolis, the capital city of Maryland.[153]

One estimate put the potential for power consumption by the new Utah Data Center at US$40 million per year.[155]

History of headquarters

Headquarters at Fort Meade circa 1950s

When the agency was established, its headquarters and cryptographic center were in the Naval Security Station in Washington, D.C. The COMINT functions were located in Arlington Hall in Northern Virginia, which served as the headquarters of the U.S. Army‘s cryptographic operations.[156] Because the Soviet Union had detonated a nuclear bomb and because the facilities were crowded, the federal government wanted to move several agencies, including the AFSA/NSA. A planning committee considered Fort Knox, but Fort Meade, Maryland, was ultimately chosen as NSA headquarters because it was far enough away from Washington, D.C. in case of a nuclear strike and was close enough so its employees would not have to move their families.[157]

Construction of additional buildings began after the agency occupied buildings at Ft. Meade in the late 1950s, which they soon outgrew.[157] In 1963 the new headquarters building, nine stories tall, opened. NSA workers referred to the building as the “Headquarters Building” and since the NSA management occupied the top floor, workers used “Ninth Floor” to refer to their leaders.[158] COMSEC remained in Washington, D.C., until its new building was completed in 1968.[157] In September 1986, the Operations 2A and 2B buildings, both copper-shielded to prevent eavesdropping, opened with a dedication by President Ronald Reagan.[159] The four NSA buildings became known as the “Big Four.”[159] The NSA director moved to 2B when it opened.[159]

Fort Meade shooting

On March 30, 2015, shortly before 9 am, a stolen sports utility vehicle approached an NSA police vehicle blocking the road near the gate of Fort Meade, after it was told to leave the area. NSA officers fired on the SUV, killing the 27-year-old driver, Ricky Hall (a transgender person also known as Mya), and seriously injuring his 20-year-old male passenger. An NSA officer’s arm was injured when Hall subsequently crashed into his vehicle.[160][161]

The two, dressed in women’s clothing after a night of partying at a motel with the man they’d stolen the SUV from that morning, “attempted to drive a vehicle into the National Security Agency portion of the installation without authorization”, according to an NSA statement.[162] FBI spokeswoman Amy Thoreson said the incident is not believed to be related to terrorism.[163] In June 2015 the FBI closed its investigation into the incident and federal prosecutors have declined to bring charges against anyone involved.[164]

An anonymous police official told The Washington Post, “This was not a deliberate attempt to breach the security of NSA. This was not a planned attack.” The two are believed to have made a wrong turn off the highway, while fleeing from the motel after stealing the vehicle. A small amount of cocaine was found in the SUV. A local CBS reporter initially said a gun was found,[165] but her later revision does not.[166] Dozens of journalists were corralled into a parking lot blocks away from the scene, and were barred from photographing the area.[167]

Computing

In 1995, The Baltimore Sun reported that the NSA is the owner of the single largest group of supercomputers.[168]

NSA held a groundbreaking ceremony at Ft. Meade in May 2013 for its High Performance Computing Center 2, expected to open in 2016.[169] Called Site M, the center has a 150 megawatt power substation, 14 administrative buildings and 10 parking garages.[149] It cost $3.2 billion and covers 227 acres (92 ha; 0.355 sq mi).[149] The center is 1,800,000 square feet (17 ha; 0.065 sq mi)[149] and initially uses 60 megawatts of electricity.[170]

Increments II and III are expected to be completed by 2030, and would quadruple the space, covering 5,800,000 square feet (54 ha; 0.21 sq mi) with 60 buildings and 40 parking garages.[149] Defense contractors are also establishing or expanding cybersecurity facilities near the NSA and around the Washington metropolitan area.[149]

Other U.S. facilities

Buckley Air Force Base in Colorado

Utah Data Center

As of 2012, NSA collected intelligence from four geostationary satellites.[155] Satellite receivers were at Roaring Creek Station in Catawissa, Pennsylvania and Salt Creek Station in Arbuckle, California.[155] It operated ten to twenty taps on U.S. telecom switches. NSA had installations in several U.S. states and from them observed intercepts from Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, Latin America, and Asia.[155]

NSA had facilities at Friendship Annex (FANX) in Linthicum, Maryland, which is a 20 to 25-minute drive from Ft. Meade;[171] the Aerospace Data Facility at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora outside Denver, Colorado; NSA Texas in the Texas Cryptology Center at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas; NSA Georgia at Fort Gordon in Augusta, Georgia; NSA Hawaii in Honolulu; the Multiprogram Research Facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and elsewhere.[152][155]

On January 6, 2011 a groundbreaking ceremony was held to begin construction on NSA’s first Comprehensive National Cyber-security Initiative (CNCI) Data Center, known as the “Utah Data Center” for short. The $1.5B data center is being built at Camp Williams, Utah, located 25 miles (40 km) south of Salt Lake City, and will help support the agency’s National Cyber-security Initiative.[172] It is expected to be operational by September 2013.[155]

In 2009, to protect its assets and to access more electricity, NSA sought to decentralize and expand its existing facilities in Ft. Meade and Menwith Hill,[173] the latter expansion expected to be completed by 2015.[174]

The Yakima Herald-Republic cited Bamford, saying that many of NSA’s bases for its Echelon program were a legacy system, using outdated, 1990s technology.[175] In 2004, NSA closed its operations at Bad Aibling Station (Field Station 81) in Bad Aibling, Germany.[176] In 2012, NSA began to move some of its operations at Yakima Research Station, Yakima Training Center, in Washington state to Colorado, planning to leave Yakima closed.[177] As of 2013, NSA also intended to close operations at Sugar Grove, West Virginia.[175]

International stations

RAF Menwith Hill has the largest NSA presence in the United Kingdom.[174]

Following the signing in 1946–1956[178] of the UKUSA Agreement between the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, who then cooperated on signals intelligence and ECHELON,[179] NSA stations were built at GCHQ Bude in Morwenstow, United Kingdom; Geraldton, Pine Gap and Shoal Bay, Australia; Leitrim and Ottawa, Canada; Misawa, Japan; and Waihopai and Tangimoana,[180] New Zealand.[181]

NSA operates RAF Menwith Hill in North Yorkshire, United Kingdom, which was, according to BBC News in 2007, the largest electronic monitoring station in the world.[182] Planned in 1954, and opened in 1960, the base covered 562 acres (227 ha; 0.878 sq mi) in 1999.[183]

The agency’s European Cryptologic Center (ECC), with 240 employees in 2011, is headquartered at a US military compound in Griesheim, near Frankfurt in Germany. A 2011 NSA report indicates that the ECC is responsible for the “largest analysis and productivity in Europe” and focusses on various priorities, including Africa, Europe, the Middle East and counterterrorism operations.[184]

In 2013, a new Consolidated Intelligence Center, also to be used by NSA, is being built at the headquarters of the United States Army Europe in Wiesbaden, Germany.[185] NSA’s partnership with Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), the German foreign intelligence service, was confirmed by BND president Gerhard Schindler.[185]

Thailand

Thailand is a “3rd party partner” of the NSA along with nine other nations.[186] These are non-English-speaking countries that have made security agreements for the exchange of SIGINT raw material and end product reports.

Thailand is the site of at least two US SIGINT collection stations. One is at the US Embassy in Bangkok, a joint NSA-CIA Special Collection Service (SCS) unit. It presumably eavesdrops on foreign embassies, governmental communications, and other targets of opportunity.[187]

The second installation is a FORNSAT (foreign satellite interception) station in the Thai city of Khon Kaen. It is codenamed INDRA, but has also been referred to as LEMONWOOD.[187] The station is approximately 40 ha (100 acres) in size and consists of a large 3,700–4,600 m2 (40,000–50,000 ft2) operations building on the west side of the ops compound and four radome-enclosed parabolic antennas. Possibly two of the radome-enclosed antennas are used for SATCOM intercept and two antennas used for relaying the intercepted material back to NSA. There is also a PUSHER-type circularly-disposed antenna array (CDAA) array just north of the ops compound.[188][189]

NSA activated Khon Kaen in October 1979. Its mission was to eavesdrop on the radio traffic of Chinese army and air force units in southern China, especially in and around the city of Kunming in Yunnan Province. Back in the late 1970s the base consisted only of a small CDAA antenna array that was remote-controlled via satellite from the NSA listening post at Kunia, Hawaii, and a small force of civilian contractors from Bendix Field Engineering Corp. whose job it was to keep the antenna array and satellite relay facilities up and running 24/7.[188]

According to the papers of the late General William Odom, the INDRA facility was upgraded in 1986 with a new British-made PUSHER CDAA antenna as part of an overall upgrade of NSA and Thai SIGINT facilities whose objective was to spy on the neighboring communist nations of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.[188]

The base apparently fell into disrepair in the 1990s as China and Vietnam became more friendly towards the US, and by 2002 archived satellite imagery showed that the PUSHER CDAA antenna had been torn down, perhaps indicating that the base had been closed. At some point in the period since 9/11, the Khon Kaen base was reactivated and expanded to include a sizeable SATCOM intercept mission. It is likely that the NSA presence at Khon Kaen is relatively small, and that most of the work is done by civilian contractors.[188]

Mission

NSA’s eavesdropping mission includes radio broadcasting, both from various organizations and individuals, the Internet, telephone calls, and other intercepted forms of communication. Its secure communications mission includes military, diplomatic, and all other sensitive, confidential or secret government communications.[190]

According to the Washington Post, “[e]very day, collection systems at the National Security Agency intercept and store 1.7 billion e-mails, phone calls and other types of communications. The NSA sorts a fraction of those into 70 separate databases.”[191]

Because of its listening task, NSA/CSS has been heavily involved in cryptanalytic research, continuing the work of predecessor agencies which had broken many World War II codes and ciphers (see, for instance, Purple, Venona project, and JN-25).

In 2004, NSA Central Security Service and the National Cyber Security Division of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agreed to expand NSA Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education Program.[192]

As part of the National Security Presidential Directive 54/Homeland Security Presidential Directive 23 (NSPD 54), signed on January 8, 2008 by President Bush, the NSA became the lead agency to monitor and protect all of the federal government’s computer networks from cyber-terrorism.[9]

Operations

Operations by the National Security Agency can be divided in three types:

  • Collection overseas, which falls under the responsibility of the Global Access Operations (GAO) division.
  • Domestic collection, which falls under the responsibility of the Special Source Operations (SSO) division.
  • Hacking operations, which falls under the responsibility of the Tailored Access Operations (TAO) division.

Collection overseas

Echelon

Main article: ECHELON

Echelon was created in the incubator of the Cold War.[193] Today it is a legacy system, and several NSA stations are closing.[175]

NSA/CSS, in combination with the equivalent agencies in the United Kingdom (Government Communications Headquarters), Canada (Communications Security Establishment), Australia (Defence Signals Directorate), and New Zealand (Government Communications Security Bureau), otherwise known as the UKUSA group,[194] was reported to be in command of the operation of the so-called ECHELON system. Its capabilities were suspected to include the ability to monitor a large proportion of the world’s transmitted civilian telephone, fax and data traffic.[195]

During the early 1970s, the first of what became more than eight large satellite communications dishes were installed at Menwith Hill.[196] Investigative journalist Duncan Campbell reported in 1988 on the ECHELON surveillance program, an extension of the UKUSA Agreement on global signals intelligence SIGINT, and detailed how the eavesdropping operations worked.[197] In November 3, 1999 the BBC reported that they had confirmation from the Australian Government of the existence of a powerful “global spying network” code-named Echelon, that could “eavesdrop on every single phone call, fax or e-mail, anywhere on the planet” with Britain and the United States as the chief protagonists. They confirmed that Menwith Hill was “linked directly to the headquarters of the US National Security Agency (NSA) at Fort Meade in Maryland”.[198]

NSA’s United States Signals Intelligence Directive 18 (USSID 18) strictly prohibited the interception or collection of information about “… U.S. persons, entities, corporations or organizations….” without explicit written legal permission from the United States Attorney General when the subject is located abroad, or the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court when within U.S. borders. Alleged Echelon-related activities, including its use for motives other than national security, including political and industrial espionage, received criticism from countries outside the UKUSA alliance.[199][200]

Protesters against NSA data mining in Berlin wearing Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden masks.

Other SIGINT operations overseas

The NSA is also involved in planning to blackmail people with “SEXINT“, intelligence gained about a potential target’s sexual activity and preferences. Those targeted had not committed any apparent crime nor were charged with one.[201]

In order to support its facial recognition program, the NSA is intercepting “millions of images per day”.[202]

The Real Time Regional Gateway is a data collection program introduced in 2005 in Iraq by NSA during the Iraq War that consisted of gathering all electronic communication, storing it, then searching and otherwise analyzing it. It was effective in providing information about Iraqi insurgents who had eluded less comprehensive techniques.[203] This “collect it all” strategy introduced by NSA director, Keith B. Alexander, is believed by Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian to be the model for the comprehensive worldwide mass archiving of communications which NSA is engaged in as of 2013.[204]

BoundlessInformant

Edward Snowden revealed in June 2013 that between February 8 and March 8, 2013, the NSA collected about 124.8 billion telephone data items and 97.1 billion computer data items throughout the world, as was displayed in charts from an internal NSA tool codenamed Boundless Informant. It was reported that some of these data reflected eavesdropping on citizens in countries like Germany, Spain and France.[205]

BoundlessInformant employs big data databases, cloud computing technology, and Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) to analyze data collected worldwide by the NSA.[206]

Bypassing encryption

In 2013, reporters uncovered a secret memo that claims the NSA created and pushed for the adoption of the Dual_EC_DRBG encryption standard that contained built-in vulnerabilities in 2006 to the United States National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the International Organization for Standardization (aka ISO).[207][208] This memo appears to give credence to previous speculation by cryptographers at Microsoft Research.[209]Edward Snowden claims that the NSA often bypasses encryption altogether by lifting information before it is encrypted or after it is decrypted.[208]

XKeyscore rules (as specified in a file xkeyscorerules100.txt, sourced by German TV stations NDR and WDR, who claim to have excerpts from its source code) reveal that the NSA tracks users of privacy-enhancing software tools, including Tor; an anonymous email service provided by the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) in Cambridge, Massachusetts; and readers of the Linux Journal.[210][211]

Domestic activity

NSA’s mission, as set forth in Executive Order 12333 in 1981, is to collect information that constitutes “foreign intelligence or counterintelligence” while not “acquiring information concerning the domestic activities of United States persons”. NSA has declared that it relies on the FBI to collect information on foreign intelligence activities within the borders of the United States, while confining its own activities within the United States to the embassies and missions of foreign nations.[212] The appearance of a ‘Domestic Surveillance Directorate’ of the NSA was soon exposed as a hoax in 2013.[213][214]

NSA’s domestic surveillance activities are limited by the requirements imposed by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for example held in October 2011, citing multiple Supreme Court precedents, that the Fourth Amendment prohibitions against unreasonable searches and seizures applies to the contents of all communications, whatever the means, because “a person’s private communications are akin to personal papers.”[215] However, these protections do not apply to non-U.S. persons located outside of U.S. borders, so the NSA’s foreign surveillance efforts are subject to far fewer limitations under U.S. law.[216] The specific requirements for domestic surveillance operations are contained in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA), which does not extend protection to non-U.S. citizens located outside of U.S. territory.[216]

George W. Bush administration

George W. Bush, president during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, approved the Patriot Act shortly after the attacks to take anti-terrorist security measures. Title 1, 2, and 9 specifically authorized measures that would be taken by the NSA. These titles granted enhanced domestic security against terrorism, surveillance procedures, and improved intelligence, respectively. On March 10, 2004, there was a debate between President Bush and White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales, Attorney General John Ashcroft, and Acting Attorney General James Comey. The Attorney Generals were unsure if the NSA’s programs could be considered constitutional. They threatened to resign over the matter, but ultimately the NSA’s programs continued.[217] On March 11, 2004, President Bush signed a new authorization for mass surveillance of Internet records, in addition to the surveillance of phone records.This allowed the president to be able to override laws such as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which protected civilians from mass surveillance. In addition to this, President Bush also signed that the measures of mass surveillance were also retroactively in place.[218]

Warrantless wiretaps

On December 16, 2005, The New York Times reported that, under White House pressure and with an executive order from President George W. Bush, the National Security Agency, in an attempt to thwart terrorism, had been tapping phone calls made to persons outside the country, without obtaining warrants from the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, a secret court created for that purpose under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).[219]

One such surveillance program, authorized by the U.S. Signals Intelligence Directive 18 of President George Bush, was the Highlander Project undertaken for the National Security Agency by the U.S. Army 513th Military Intelligence Brigade. NSA relayed telephone (including cell phone) conversations obtained from ground, airborne, and satellite monitoring stations to various U.S. Army Signal Intelligence Officers, including the 201st Military Intelligence Battalion. Conversations of citizens of the U.S. were intercepted, along with those of other nations.[220]

Proponents of the surveillance program claim that the President has executive authority to order such action, arguing that laws such as FISA are overridden by the President’s Constitutional powers. In addition, some argued that FISA was implicitly overridden by a subsequent statute, the Authorization for Use of Military Force, although the Supreme Court’s ruling in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld deprecates this view. In the August 2006 case ACLU v. NSA, U.S. District Court Judge Anna Diggs Taylor concluded that NSA’s warrantless surveillance program was both illegal and unconstitutional. On July 6, 2007 the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the decision on the grounds that the ACLU lacked standing to bring the suit.[221]

On January 17, 2006, the Center for Constitutional Rights filed a lawsuit, CCR v. Bush, against the George W. Bush Presidency. The lawsuit challenged the National Security Agency’s (NSA’s) surveillance of people within the U.S., including the interception of CCR emails without securing a warrant first.[222][223]

In September 2008, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a class action lawsuit against the NSA and several high-ranking officials of the Bush administration,[224] charging an “illegal and unconstitutional program of dragnet communications surveillance,”[225] based on documentation provided by former AT&T technician Mark Klein.[226]

As a result of the USA Freedom Act passed by Congress in June 2015, the NSA had to shut down its bulk phone surveillance program on November 29 of the same year. The USA Freedom Act forbids the NSA to collect metadata and content of phone calls unless it has a warrant for terrorism investigation. In that case the agency has to ask the telecom companies for the record, which will only be kept for six months.

AT&T Internet monitoring

In May 2006, Mark Klein, a former AT&T employee, alleged that his company had cooperated with NSA in installing Narus hardware to replace the FBI Carnivore program, to monitor network communications including traffic between American citizens.[227]

Data mining

NSA was reported in 2008 to use its computing capability to analyze “transactional” data that it regularly acquires from other government agencies, which gather it under their own jurisdictional authorities. As part of this effort, NSA now monitors huge volumes of records of domestic email data, web addresses from Internet searches, bank transfers, credit-card transactions, travel records, and telephone data, according to current and former intelligence officials interviewed by The Wall Street Journal. The sender, recipient, and subject line of emails can be included, but the content of the messages or of phone calls are not.[228]

A 2013 advisory group for the Obama administration, seeking to reform NSA spying programs following the revelations of documents released by Edward J. Snowden.[229] mentioned in ‘Recommendation 30’ on page 37, “…that the National Security Council staff should manage an interagency process to review on a regular basis the activities of the US Government regarding attacks that exploit a previously unknown vulnerability in a computer application.” Retired cyber security expert Richard A. Clarke was a group member and stated on April 11 that NSA had no advance knowledge of Heartbleed.[230]

Illegally obtained evidence

In August 2013 it was revealed that a 2005 IRS training document showed that NSA intelligence intercepts and wiretaps, both foreign and domestic, were being supplied to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and were illegally used to launch criminal investigations of US citizens. Law enforcement agents were directed to conceal how the investigations began and recreate an apparently legal investigative trail by re-obtaining the same evidence by other means.[231][232]

Barack Obama administration

In the months leading to April 2009, the NSA intercepted the communications of American citizens, including a Congressman, although the Justice Department believed that the interception was unintentional. The Justice Department then took action to correct the issues and bring the program into compliance with existing laws.[233] United States Attorney General Eric Holder resumed the program according to his understanding of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act amendment of 2008, without explaining what had occurred.[234]

Polls conducted in June 2013 found divided results among Americans regarding NSA’s secret data collection.[235] Rasmussen Reports found that 59% of Americans disapprove,[236] Gallup found that 53% disapprove,[237] and Pew found that 56% are in favor of NSA data collection.[238]

Section 215 metadata collection

On April 25, 2013, the NSA obtained a court order requiring Verizon‘s Business Network Services to provide metadata on all calls in its system to the NSA “on an ongoing daily basis” for a three-month period, as reported by The Guardian on June 6, 2013. This information includes “the numbers of both parties on a call … location data, call duration, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of all calls” but not “[t]he contents of the conversation itself”. The order relies on the so-called “business records” provision of the Patriot Act.[239][240]

In August 2013, following the Snowden leaks, new details about the NSA’s data mining activity were revealed. Reportedly, the majority of emails into or out of the United States are captured at “selected communications links” and automatically analyzed for keywords or other “selectors”. Emails that do not match are deleted.[241]

The utility of such a massive metadata collection in preventing terrorist attacks is disputed. Many studies reveal the dragnet like system to be ineffective. One such report, released by the New America Foundation concluded that after an analysis of 225 terrorism cases, the NSA “had no discernible impact on preventing acts of terrorism.”[242]

Defenders of the program say that while metadata alone can’t provide all the information necessary to prevent an attack, it assures the ability to “connect the dots”[243] between suspect foreign numbers and domestic numbers with a speed only the NSA’s software is capable of. One benefit of this is quickly being able to determine the difference between suspicious activity and real threats.[citation needed] As an example, NSA director General Keith Alexander mentioned at the annual Cybersecurity Summit in 2013, that metadata analysis of domestic phone call records after the Boston Marathon bombing helped determine that[clarification needed] another attack in New York was baseless.[243]

In addition to doubts about its effectiveness, many people argue that the collection of metadata is an unconstitutional invasion of privacy. As of 2015, the collection process remains legal and grounded in the ruling from Smith v. Maryland (1979). A prominent opponent of the data collection and its legality is U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon, who issued a report in 2013[244] in which he stated: “I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary invasion’ than this systematic and high tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval…Surely, such a program infringes on ‘that degree of privacy’ that the founders enshrined in the Fourth Amendment”.

The PRISM program

PRISM: a clandestine surveillance program under which the NSA collects user data from companies like Microsoft and Facebook.

Under the PRISM program, which started in 2007,[245][246] NSA gathers Internet communications from foreign targets from nine major U.S. Internet-based communication service providers: Microsoft,[247] Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube and Apple. Data gathered include email, video and voice chat, videos, photos, VoIP chats such as Skype, and file transfers.

June 2015 – WikiLeaks: Industrial espionage[edit]

In June 2015, Wikileaks published documents, which showed that NSA spied on French companies.[248]

July 2015 – WikiLeaks: Espionage against German federal ministries[edit]

In July 2015, WikiLeaks published documents, which showed that NSA spied on federal German ministries since 1990s.[249][250] Even Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel‘s cellphones and phone of her predecessors had been intercepted.[251]

Claims of prevented terrorist attacks[edit]

Former NSA director General Keith Alexander claimed that in September 2009 the NSA prevented Najibullah Zazi and his friends from carrying out a terrorist attack.[252] However, this claim has been debunked and no evidence has been presented demonstrating that the NSA has ever been instrumental in preventing a terrorist attack.[253][254][255][256]

Hacking operations

Besides the more traditional ways of eavesdropping in order to collect signals intelligence, NSA is also engaged in hacking computers, smartphones and their networks. These operations are conducted by the Tailored Access Operations (TAO) division.

NSA’s China hacking group

According to the Foreign Policy magazine, “… the Office of Tailored Access Operations, or TAO, has successfully penetrated Chinese computer and telecommunications systems for almost 15 years, generating some of the best and most reliable intelligence information about what is going on inside the People’s Republic of China.”[257][258]

Syrian internet blackout

In an interview with Wired magazine, Edward Snowden said the Tailored Access Operations division accidentally caused Syria‘s internet blackout in 2012.[259]

Suspected responsibility for hacking operations by the Equation Group

The espionage group named the Equation Group, described by discoverers Kaspersky Labs as one of the most advanced (if not the most advanced) in the world as of 2015,[260]:31 and connected to over 500 malware infections in at least 42 countries over many years, is suspected of being a part of NSA.[261][262] The group’s known espionage methods have been documented to include interdiction (interception of legitimate CDs sent by a scientific conference organizer by mail),[260]:15 and the “unprecedented” ability to infect and be transmitted through the hard drive firmware of several of the major hard drive manufacturers, and create and use hidden disk areas and virtual disk systems for its purposes, a feat demanding access to the manufacturer’s source code of each to achieve.[260]:16–18 The methods used to deploy the tools demonstrated “surgical precision”, going so far as to exclude specific countries by IP and allow targeting of specific usernames on discussion forums.[260]:23–26 The techniques and knowledge used by the Equation Group are considered in summary to be “out of the reach of most advanced threat groups in the world except [this group].[260]:31

Software backdoors

Linux kernel

Linus Torvalds, the founder of Linux kernel, joked during a LinuxCon keynote on September 18, 2013 that the NSA, who are the founder of SELinux, wanted a backdoor in the kernel.[263] However, later, Linus’ father, a Member of the European Parliament (MEP), revealed that the NSA actually did this.[264]

When my oldest son [Linus Torvalds] was asked the same question: “Has he been approached by the NSA about backdoors?” he said “No”, but at the same time he nodded. Then he was sort of in the legal free. He had given the right answer, [but] everybody understood that the NSA had approached him.

— Nils Torvalds, LIBE Committee Inquiry on Electronic Mass Surveillance of EU Citizens – 11th Hearing, 11 November 2013[265]
Microsoft Windows
Main article: _NSAKEY

_NSAKEY was a variable name discovered in Microsoft‘s Windows NT 4 Service Pack 5 (which had been released unstripped of its symbolic debugging data) in August 1999 by Andrew D. Fernandes of Cryptonym Corporation. That variable contained a 1024-bit public key.

IBM Notes

IBM Notes was the first widely adopted software product to use public key cryptography for client–server and server–server authentication and for encryption of data. Until US laws regulating encryption were changed in 2000, IBM and Lotus were prohibited from exporting versions of Notes that supported symmetric encryption keys that were longer than 40 bits. In 1997, Lotus negotiated an agreement with the NSA that allowed export of a version that supported stronger keys with 64 bits, but 24 of the bits were encrypted with a special key and included in the message to provide a “workload reduction factor” for the NSA. This strengthened the protection for users of Notes outside the US against private-sector industrial espionage, but not against spying by the US government.[266][267]

Boomerang routing

While it is assumed that foreign transmissions terminating in the U.S. (such as a non-U.S. citizen accessing a U.S. website) subject non-U.S. citizens to NSA surveillance, recent research into boomerang routing has raised new concerns about the NSA’s ability to surveil the domestic Internet traffic of foreign countries.[18] Boomerang routing occurs when an Internet transmission that originates and terminates in a single country transits another. Research at the University of Toronto has suggested that approximately 25% of Canadian domestic traffic may be subject to NSA surveillance activities as a result of the boomerang routing of Canadian Internet service providers.[18]

Hardware implanting

Intercepted packages are opened carefully by NSA employees
A “load station” implanting a beacon

A document included in NSA files released with Glenn Greenwald‘s book No Place to Hide details how the agency’s Tailored Access Operations (TAO) and other NSA units gain access to hardware. They intercept routers, servers and other network hardware being shipped to organizations targeted for surveillance and install covert implant firmware onto them before they are delivered. This was described by an NSA manager as “some of the most productive operations in TAO because they preposition access points into hard target networks around the world.”[268]

Computers seized by the NSA due to interdiction are often modified with a physical device known as Cottonmouth.[269] Cottonmouth is a device that can be inserted in the USB port of a computer in order to establish remote access to the targeted machine. According to NSA’s Tailored Access Operations (TAO) group implant catalog, after implanting Cottonmouth, the NSA can establish Bridging (networking) “that allows the NSA to load exploit software onto modified computers as well as allowing the NSA to relay commands and data between hardware and software implants.”[270]

Role in scientific research and development

NSA has been involved in debates about public policy, both indirectly as a behind-the-scenes adviser to other departments, and directly during and after Vice Admiral Bobby Ray Inman‘s directorship. NSA was a major player in the debates of the 1990s regarding the export of cryptography in the United States. Restrictions on export were reduced but not eliminated in 1996.

Its secure government communications work has involved the NSA in numerous technology areas, including the design of specialized communications hardware and software, production of dedicated semiconductors (at the Ft. Meade chip fabrication plant), and advanced cryptography research. For 50 years, NSA designed and built most of its computer equipment in-house, but from the 1990s until about 2003 (when the U.S. Congress curtailed the practice), the agency contracted with the private sector in the fields of research and equipment.[271]

Data Encryption Standard

FROSTBURG was the NSA’s first supercomputer, used from 1991 to 1997

NSA was embroiled in some minor controversy concerning its involvement in the creation of the Data Encryption Standard (DES), a standard and public block cipher algorithm used by the U.S. government and banking community. During the development of DES by IBM in the 1970s, NSA recommended changes to some details of the design. There was suspicion that these changes had weakened the algorithm sufficiently to enable the agency to eavesdrop if required, including speculation that a critical component—the so-called S-boxes—had been altered to insert a “backdoor” and that the reduction in key length might have made it feasible for NSA to discover DES keys using massive computing power. It has since been observed that the S-boxes in DES are particularly resilient against differential cryptanalysis, a technique which was not publicly discovered until the late 1980s, but which was known to the IBM DES team.

The United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence reviewed NSA’s involvement, and concluded that while the agency had provided some assistance, it had not tampered with the design.[272][273] In late 2009 NSA declassified information stating that “NSA worked closely with IBM to strengthen the algorithm against all except brute force attacks and to strengthen substitution tables, called S-boxes. Conversely, NSA tried to convince IBM to reduce the length of the key from 64 to 48 bits. Ultimately they compromised on a 56-bit key.”[274][275]

Advanced Encryption Standard

The involvement of NSA in the selection of a successor to Data Encryption Standard (DES), the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), was limited to hardware performance testing (see AES competition).[276] NSA has subsequently certified AES for protection of classified information (for at most two levels, e.g. SECRET information in an unclassified environment[clarification needed]) when used in NSA-approved systems.[277]

NSA encryption systems

STU-III secure telephones on display at the National Cryptologic Museum

The NSA is responsible for the encryption-related components in these legacy systems:

  • FNBDT Future Narrow Band Digital Terminal[278]
  • KL-7 ADONIS off-line rotor encryption machine (post-WWII – 1980s)[279][280]
  • KW-26 ROMULUS electronic in-line teletypewriter encryptor (1960s–1980s)[281]
  • KW-37 JASON fleet broadcast encryptor (1960s–1990s)[280]
  • KY-57 VINSON tactical radio voice encryptor[281]
  • KG-84 Dedicated Data Encryption/Decryption[281]
  • STU-III secure telephone unit,[281] phased out by the STE[282]

The NSA oversees encryption in following systems which are in use today:

The NSA has specified Suite A and Suite B cryptographic algorithm suites to be used in U.S. government systems; the Suite B algorithms are a subset of those previously specified by NIST and are expected to serve for most information protection purposes, while the Suite A algorithms are secret and are intended for especially high levels of protection.[277]

SHA

The widely used SHA-1 and SHA-2 hash functions were designed by NSA. SHA-1 is a slight modification of the weaker SHA-0 algorithm, also designed by NSA in 1993. This small modification was suggested by NSA two years later, with no justification other than the fact that it provides additional security. An attack for SHA-0 that does not apply to the revised algorithm was indeed found between 1998 and 2005 by academic cryptographers. Because of weaknesses and key length restrictions in SHA-1, NIST deprecates its use for digital signatures, and approves only the newer SHA-2 algorithms for such applications from 2013 on.[287]

A new hash standard, SHA-3, has recently been selected through the competition concluded October 2, 2012 with the selection of Keccak as the algorithm. The process to select SHA-3 was similar to the one held in choosing the AES, but some doubts have been cast over it,[288][289] since fundamental modifications have been made to Keccak in order to turn it into a standard.[290] These changes potentially undermine the cryptanalysis performed during the competition and reduce the security levels of the algorithm.[288]

Dual_EC_DRBG random number generator

Main article: Dual_EC_DRBG

NSA promoted the inclusion of a random number generator called Dual_EC_DRBG in the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology‘s 2007 guidelines. This led to speculation of a backdoor which would allow NSA access to data encrypted by systems using that pseudo random number generator.[291]

This is now deemed to be plausible based on the fact that the output of the next iterations of the PRNG can provably be determined if the relation between two internal elliptic curve points is known.[292][293] Both NIST and RSA are now officially recommending against the use of this PRNG.[294][295]

Clipper chip

Main article: Clipper chip

Because of concerns that widespread use of strong cryptography would hamper government use of wiretaps, NSA proposed the concept of key escrow in 1993 and introduced the Clipper chip that would offer stronger protection than DES but would allow access to encrypted data by authorized law enforcement officials.[296] The proposal was strongly opposed and key escrow requirements ultimately went nowhere.[297] However, NSA’s Fortezza hardware-based encryption cards, created for the Clipper project, are still used within government, and NSA ultimately declassified and published the design of the Skipjack cipher used on the cards.[298][299]

Perfect Citizen

Main article: Perfect Citizen

Perfect Citizen is a program to perform vulnerability assessment by the NSA on U.S. critical infrastructure.[300][301] It was originally reported to be a program to develop a system of sensors to detect cyber attacks on critical infrastructure computer networks in both the private and public sector through a network monitoring system named Einstein.[302][303] It is funded by the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative and thus far Raytheon has received a contract for up to $100 million for the initial stage.

Academic research

NSA has invested many millions of dollars in academic research under grant code prefix MDA904, resulting in over 3,000 papers (as of 2007-10-11). NSA/CSS has, at times, attempted to restrict the publication of academic research into cryptography; for example, the Khufu and Khafre block ciphers were voluntarily withheld in response to an NSA request to do so. In response to a FOIA lawsuit, in 2013 the NSA released the 643-page research paper titled, “Untangling the Web: A Guide to Internet Research,[304] ” written and compiled by NSA employees to assist other NSA workers in searching for information of interest to the agency on the public Internet.[305]

Patents

NSA has the ability to file for a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office under gag order. Unlike normal patents, these are not revealed to the public and do not expire. However, if the Patent Office receives an application for an identical patent from a third party, they will reveal NSA’s patent and officially grant it to NSA for the full term on that date.[306]

One of NSA’s published patents describes a method of geographically locating an individual computer site in an Internet-like network, based on the latency of multiple network connections.[307] Although no public patent exists, NSA is reported to have used a similar locating technology called trilateralization that allows real-time tracking of an individual’s location, including altitude from ground level, using data obtained from cellphone towers.[308]

Legality

File:Ron Wyden and James Clapper - 12 March 2013.webm

Excerpt of James Clapper‘s false testimony to Congress on NSA surveillance programs

In the United States, at least since 2001,[309] there has been legal controversy over what signal intelligence can be used for and how much freedom the National Security Agency has to use signal intelligence.[310] The government has made, in 2015, slight changes in how it uses and collects certain types of data,[311] specifically phone records. President Barack Obama has asked lawyers and his national security team to look at the tactics that are being used by the NSA. President Obama made a speech on January 17, 2014 where he defended the national security measures, including the NSA, and their intentions for keeping the country safe through surveillance. He said that it is difficult to determine where the line should be drawn between what is too much surveillance and how much is needed for national security because technology is ever changing and evolving. Therefore, the laws cannot keep up with the rapid advancements.

President Obama did make some changes to national security regulations and how much data can be collected and surveyed.[citation needed] The first thing he added, was more presidential directive and oversight so that privacy and basic rights are not violated. The president would look over requests on behalf of American citizens to make sure that their personal privacy is not violated by the data that is being requested. Secondly, surveillance tactics and procedures are becoming more public, including over 40 rulings of the FISC that have been declassified.[citation needed] Thirdly, further protections are being placed on activities that are justified under Section 702, such as the ability to retain, search and use data collected in investigations, which allows the NSA to monitor and intercept interaction of targets overseas. Finally, national security letters, which are secret requests for information that the FBI uses in their investigations, are becoming less secretive. The secrecy of the information requested will not be indefinite and will terminate after a set time if future secrecy is not required.[citation needed] Concerning the bulk surveillance of American’s phone records, President Obama also ordered a transition from bulk surveillance under Section 215 to a new policy that will eliminate unnecessary bulk collection of metadata.

As of May 7, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that the interpretation of Section 215 of the Patriot Act was wrong and that the NSA program that has been collecting Americans’ phone records in bulk is illegal.[312] It stated that Section 215 cannot be clearly interpreted to allow government to collect national phone data and, as a result, expired on June 1, 2015. This ruling “is the first time a higher-level court in the regular judicial system has reviewed the N.S.A. phone records program.” [313] The new bill getting passed later in May taking its place is known as the U.S.A. Freedom Act, which will enable the NSA to continue hunting for terrorists by analyzing telephone links between callers but “keep the bulk phone records in the hands of phone companies.”[313] This would give phone companies the freedom to dispose the records in an 18-month period. The White House argued that this new ruling validated President Obama’s support of the government being extracted from bulk data collection and giving power to the telecommunications companies.

Previously, the NSA paid billions of dollars to telecommunications companies in order to collect data from them.[314] While companies such as Google and Yahoo! claim that they do not provide “direct access” from their servers to the NSA unless under a court order,[315] the NSA had access to emails, phone calls and cellular data users.[316] With this new ruling, telecommunications companies would not provide the NSA with bulk information. The companies would allow the disposal of data in every 18 months,[313] which is arguably putting the telecommunications companies at a higher advantage.

This ruling made the collecting of phone records illegal, but it did not rule on Section 215’s constitutionality. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has already put forth a new bill to re-authorize the Patriot Act.[317] Defenders of this surveillance program are claiming that judges who sit on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) had ruled 37 times that this kind of collection of data is, in fact, lawful.[317] The FISC is the court specifically mandated to grant surveillance orders in the name of foreign intelligence. The new ruling made by the Second District Court of Appeals now retroactively dismisses the findings of the FISC on this program.

See also

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency

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The Pronk Pops Show 816, January 12, 2017, Story 1: National Security State Interventionist Elites Oppose Trump Foreign Policy of Non-Intervention — CIA Covert Operations and Special Forces — American Empire of The Warfare and Welfare State or American Republic of The Peace and Prosperity Economy — Videos — Story 2: Warmongering Neocons Banging The War Drums — Videos

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Story 1: National Security State Interventionist Progressive Elites Oppose Trump’s Foreign Policy of Non-Intervention — CIA Covert Operations and Special Forces — American Empire of The Warfare and Welfare State or American Republic of The Peace and Prosperity Economy — Videos

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IN JANUARY, 1961, Dwight Eisenhower delivered his farewell address after serving two terms as U.S. president; the five-star general chose to warn Americans of this specific threat to democracy: “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” That warning was issued prior to the decade long escalation of the Vietnam War, three more decades of Cold War mania, and the post-9/11 era, all of which radically expanded that unelected faction’s power even further.

This is the faction that is now engaged in open warfare against the duly elected and already widely disliked president-elect, Donald Trump. They are using classic Cold War dirty tactics and the defining ingredients of what has until recently been denounced as “Fake News.”

Their most valuable instrument is the U.S. media, much of which reflexively reveres, serves, believes, and sides with hidden intelligence officials. And Democrats, still reeling from their unexpected and traumatic election loss as well as a systemic collapse of their party, seemingly divorced further and further from reason with each passing day, are willing — eager — to embrace any claim, cheer any tactic, align with any villain, regardless of how unsupported, tawdry and damaging those behaviors might be.

The serious dangers posed by a Trump presidency are numerous and manifest. There are a wide array of legitimate and effective tactics for combatting those threats: from bipartisan congressional coalitions and constitutional legal challenges to citizen uprisings and sustained and aggressive civil disobedience. All of those strategies have periodically proven themselves effective in times of political crisis or authoritarian overreach.

But cheering for the CIA and its shadowy allies to unilaterally subvert the U.S. election and impose its own policy dictates on the elected president is both warped and self-destructive. Empowering the very entities that have produced the most shameful atrocities and systemic deceit over the last six decades is desperation of the worst kind. Demanding that evidence-free, anonymous assertions be instantly venerated as Truth — despite emanating from the very precincts designed to propagandize and lie — is an assault on journalism, democracy, and basic human rationality. And casually branding domestic adversaries who refuse to go along as traitors and disloyal foreign operatives is morally bankrupt and certain to backfire on those doing it.

Beyond all that, there is no bigger favor that Trump opponents can do for him than attacking him with such lowly, shabby, obvious shams, recruiting large media outlets to lead the way. When it comes time to expose actual Trump corruption and criminality, who is going to believe the people and institutions who have demonstrated they are willing to endorse any assertions no matter how factually baseless, who deploy any journalistic tactic no matter how unreliable and removed from basic means of ensuring accuracy?

All of these toxic ingredients were on full display yesterday as the Deep State unleashed its tawdriest and most aggressive assault yet on Trump: vesting credibility in and then causing the public disclosure of a completely unvetted and unverified document, compiled by a paid, anonymous operative while he was working for both GOP and Democratic opponents of Trump, accusing Trump of a wide range of crimes, corrupt acts and salacious private conduct. The reaction to all of this illustrates that while the Trump presidency poses grave dangers, so, too, do those who are increasingly unhinged in their flailing, slapdash, and destructive attempts to undermine it.

 

FOR MONTHS, the CIA, with unprecedented clarity, overtly threw its weight behind Hillary Clinton’s candidacy and sought to defeat Donald Trump. In August, former acting CIA Director Michael Morell announced his endorsement of Clinton in the New York Times and claimed that “Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.” The CIA and NSA director under George W. Bush, Gen. Michael Hayden, also endorsed Clinton, and went to the Washington Post to warn, in the week before the election, that “Donald Trump really does sound a lot like Vladimir Putin,” adding that Trump is “the useful fool, some naif, manipulated by Moscow, secretly held in contempt, but whose blind support is happily accepted and exploited.”

It is not hard to understand why the CIA preferred Clinton over Trump. Clinton was critical of Obama for restraining the CIA’s proxy war in Syria and was eager to expand that war, while Trump denounced it. Clinton clearly wanted a harder line than Obama took against the CIA’s long-standing foes in Moscow, while Trump wanted improved relations and greater cooperation. In general, Clinton defended and intended to extend the decadeslong international military order on which the CIA and Pentagon’s preeminence depends, while Trump — through a still-uncertain mix of instability and extremist conviction — posed a threat to it.

Whatever one’s views are on those debates, it is the democratic framework — the presidential election, the confirmation process, congressional leaders, judicial proceedings, citizen activism and protest, civil disobedience — that should determine how they are resolved. All of those policy disputes were debated out in the open; the public heard them; and Trump won. Nobody should crave the rule of Deep State overlords.

Yet craving Deep State rule is exactly what prominent Democratic operatives and media figures are doing. Any doubt about that is now dispelled. Just last week, Chuck Schumer issued a warning to Trump, telling Rachel Maddow that Trump was being “really dumb” by challenging the unelected intelligence community because of all the ways they possess to destroy those who dare to stand up to them:

And last night, many Democrats openly embraced and celebrated what was, so plainly, an attempt by the Deep State to sabotage an elected official who had defied it: ironically, its own form of blackmail.

 

BACK IN OCTOBER, a political operative and former employee of the British intelligence agency MI6 was being paid by Democrats to dig up dirt on Trump (before that, he was paid by anti-Trump Republicans). He tried to convince countless media outlets to publish a long memo he had written filled with explosive accusations about Trump’s treason, business corruption and sexual escapades, with the overarching theme that Trump was in servitude to Moscow because they were blackmailing and bribing him.

Despite how many had it, no media outlets published it. That was because these were anonymous claims unaccompanied by any evidence at all, and even in this more permissive new media environment, nobody was willing to be journalistically associated with it. As the New York Times’ Executive Editor Dean Baquet put it last night, he would not publish these “totally unsubstantiated” allegations because “we, like others, investigated the allegations and haven’t corroborated them, and we felt we’re not in the business of publishing things we can’t stand by.”

The closest this operative got to success was convincing Mother Jones’s David Corn to publish an October 31 article reporting that “a former senior intelligence officer for a Western country” claims that “he provided the [FBI] with memos, based on his recent interactions with Russian sources, contending the Russian government has for years tried to co-opt and assist Trump.”

But because this was just an anonymous claim unaccompanied by any evidence or any specifics (which Corn withheld), it made very little impact. All of that changed yesterday. Why?

What changed was the intelligence community’s resolution to cause this all to become public and to be viewed as credible. In December, John McCain provided a copy of this report to the FBI and demanded they take it seriously.

At some point last week, the chiefs of the intelligence agencies decided to declare that this ex-British intelligence operative was “credible” enough that his allegations warranted briefing both Trump and Obama about them, thus stamping some sort of vague, indirect, and deniable official approval on these accusations. Someone — by all appearances, numerous officials — then went to CNN to tell them they had done this, causing CNN to go on-air and, in the gravest of tones, announce the “Breaking News” that “the nation’s top intelligence officials” briefed Obama and Trump that Russia had compiled information that “compromised President-elect Trump.”

CNN refused to specify what these allegations were on the ground that they could not “verify” them. But with this document in the hands of multiple media outlets, it was only a matter of time — a small amount of time — before someone would step up and publish the whole thing. Buzzfeed quickly obliged, airing all of the unvetted, anonymous claims about Trump.

Its editor-in-chief Ben Smith published a memo explaining that decision, saying that—- although there “is serious reason to doubt the allegations” — Buzzfeed in general “errs on the side of publication” and “Americans can make up their own minds about the allegations.” Publishing this document predictably produced massive traffic (and thus profit) for the site, with millions of people viewing the article and presumably reading the “dossier.”

One can certainly object to Buzzfeed’s decision and, as the New York Times notes this morning, many journalists are doing so. It’s almost impossible to imagine a scenario where it’s justifiable for a news outlet to publish a totally anonymous, unverified, unvetted document filled with scurrilous and inflammatory allegations about which its own editor-in-chief says there “is serious reason to doubt the allegations,” on the ground that they want to leave it to the public to decide whether to believe it.

But even if one believes there is no such case where that is justified, yesterday’s circumstances presented the most compelling scenario possible for doing this. Once CNN strongly hinted at these allegations, it left it to the public imagination to conjure up the dirt Russia allegedly had to blackmail and control Trump. By publishing these accusations, BuzzFeed ended that speculation. More importantly, it allowed everyone to see how dubious this document is, one the CIA and CNN had elevated into some sort of grave national security threat.

 

ALMOST IMMEDIATELY after it was published, the farcical nature of the “dossier” manifested. Not only was its author anonymous, but he was paid by Democrats (and, before that, by Trump’s GOP adversaries) to dig up dirt on Trump. Worse, he himself cited no evidence of any kind, but instead relied on a string of other anonymous people in Russia he claims told him these things. Worse still, the document was filled with amateur errors.

While many of the claims are inherently unverified, some can be confirmed. One such claim — that Trump lawyer Michael Cohen secretly traveled to Prague in August to meet with Russian officials — was strongly denied by Cohen, who insisted he had never been to Prague in his life (Prague is the same place that foreign intelligence officials claimed, in 2001, was the site of a nonexistent meeting between Iraqi officials and 9/11 hijackers, which contributed to 70% of Americans believing, as late as the fall of 2003, that Saddam personally planned the 9/11 attack). This morning, the Wall Street Journal reported that “the FBI has found no evidence that [Cohen] traveled to the Czech Republic.”

None of this stopped Democratic operatives and prominent media figures from treating these totally unverified and unvetted allegations as grave revelations. From Vox’s Zach Beauchamp:

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Stunning and believable narrative in leaked docs describing alleged rift in Kremlin over meddling in US elections https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3259984-Trump-Intelligence-Allegations.html pic.twitter.com/qY2TuSM5Fc

View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter

Meanwhile, liberal commentator Rebecca Solnit declared this to be a “smoking gun” that proves Trump’s “treason,” while Daily Kos’ Markos Moulitsas sounded the same theme:

While some Democrats sounded notes of caution — party loyalist Josh Marshall commendably urged: “I would say in reviewing raw, extremely raw ‘intel’, people shld retain their skepticism even if they rightly think Trump is the worst” — the overwhelming reaction was the same as all the other instances where the CIA and its allies released unverified claims about Trump and Russia: instant embrace of the evidence-free assertions as Truth, combined with proclamations that it demonstrated Trump’s status as a traitor (with anyone expressing skepticism designated a Kremlin agent or stooge).

 

THERE IS A REAL DANGER here that this maneuver can harshly backfire, to the great benefit of Trump and to the great detriment of those who want to oppose him. If any of the significant claims in this “dossier” turn out to be provably false — such as Cohen’s trip to Prague — many people will conclude, with Trump’s encouragement, that large media outlets (CNN and BuzzFeed) and anti-Trump factions inside the government (CIA) are deploying “Fake News” to destroy him. In the eyes of many people, that will forever discredit — render impotent — future journalistic exposés that are based on actual, corroborated wrongdoing.

Beyond that, the threat posed by submitting ourselves to the CIA and empowering it to reign supreme outside of the democratic process is — as Eisenhower warned — an even more severe danger. The threat of being ruled by unaccountable and unelected entities is self-evident and grave. That’s especially true when the entity behind which so many are rallying is one with a long and deliberate history of lying, propaganda, war crimes, torture, and the worst atrocities imaginable.

All of the claims about Russia’s interference in U.S. elections and ties to Trump should be fully investigated by a credible body, and the evidence publicly disclosed to the fullest extent possible. As my colleague Sam Biddle argued last week after disclosure of the farcical intelligence community report on Russia hacking — one which even Putin’s foes mocked as a bad joke — the utter lack of evidence for these allegations means “we need an independent, resolute inquiry.” But until then, assertions that are unaccompanied by evidence and disseminated anonymously should be treated with the utmost skepticism — not lavished with convenience-driven gullibility.

Most important of all, the legitimate and effective tactics for opposing Trump are being utterly drowned by these irrational, desperate, ad hoc crusades that have no cogent strategy and make his opponents appear increasingly devoid of reason and gravity. Right now, Trump’s opponents are behaving as media critic Adam Johnson described: as ideological jelly fish, floating around aimlessly and lost, desperately latching on to whatever barge randomly passes by.

There are solutions to Trump. They involve reasoned strategizing and patient focus on issues people actually care about. Whatever those solutions are, venerating the intelligence community, begging for its intervention, and equating their dark and dirty assertions as Truth are most certainly not among them. Doing that cannot possibly achieve any good, and is already doing much harm.

https://theintercept.com/2017/01/11/the-deep-state-goes-to-war-with-president-elect-using-unverified-claims-as-dems-cheer/

How The CIA vs Donald Trump War Is Just Getting Started

CIA vs. Donald Trump

[Written by Rachel Blevins]

Just when you think things can’t get crazier with Donald Trump, they do! With these latest developments from the CIA and from U.S. representatives, we are seeing the early signs of an all-out war between the president-elect and the Central Intelligence Agency.

Recent comments from Sen. Chuck Schumer during a recent interview with Rachel Maddow on MSNBC reveal everything you need to know about what is currently happening behind the scenes in Washington D.C.   “When you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday getting back at you,” Schumer said. “Even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, it is being really dumb.”

Did anyone else catch the fact that with that Schumer is essentially saying that if Trump dares to challenge the CIA, it will retaliate against him?    Of course, if you know the true history of the CIA, you know that their reputation is incredibly low as it is, because they create clandestine operations that overthrow democratically elected leaders. They sabotage governments, they sabotage policies, they work for global elites and they torture people. They are known for doing god-awful things in secret, and getting away with it because of their power.

Following Schumer’s hints that the CIA would retaliate against Trump, former CIA Director James Woolsey announced that he is quitting Trump’s transition team. Many people questioned why he was there in the first place. He is a neo-conservative who pushed for war in Iraq, blamed Iraq for 9/11, and was a key member of the Project for the New American Century. Woolsey is also adamantly against WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, and when I confrontedhim about Operation Mockingbird in 2011, he lied through his teeth.

This all comes as a “hyped up” Senate hearing on alleged Russian hacking failed to lead to any concrete evidence. While there was no evidence presented confirming that the Russian government was involved in the U.S. election, they did provide information on some Ukrainian malware code, which could have been purchased by anyone anonymously online.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper added to the fear campaign on Thursday, when he testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee, and said that the alleged Russian interference went far beyond a cyberattack.

“While there has been a lot of focus on the hacking, this is actually part of a multifaceted campaign that the Russians mounted,” Clapper told the committee.

In addition to all of the disinformation, we’re learning that the FBI is blaming Russia when they haven’t even examined the DNC servers, and instead relied on a report produced by a DNC contractor.

What we’re seeing is very clear. We’re seeing the CIA, a clandestine group that has committed horrible atrocities all over the world in secret, versus Donald Trump, a very strong personality who has not backed down. There will be a confrontation, and we will be covering exactly what happens when these two forces collide.

What do you think about this story, and what elements do you think are being overlooked or ignored? Let us know in the comments section!

If you want stay up to date with WeAreChange, and you want to learn more about how you can truly become the change you want to see in the world, check out or website and sign up for our newsletter!

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http://wearechange.org/cia-vs-donald-trump-war-just-getting-started/

Trump Dossier Spotlights Russian History of ‘Kompromat’

Diplomats, politicians and bureaucrats have been embarrassed by leaks of compromising material

Unverified allegations in a dossier on President-elect Donald Trump include a claim that Russian officials obtained evidence that could potentially be used for blackmail. Russian President Vladimir Putin held a meeting on Wednesday.
Unverified allegations in a dossier on President-elect Donald Trump include a claim that Russian officials obtained evidence that could potentially be used for blackmail. Russian President Vladimir Putin held a meeting on Wednesday. PHOTO: DRUZHININ ALEXEI/ZUMA PRESS

MOSCOW—The public airing of a dossier Tuesday on President-elect Donald Trump casts a spotlight on Russia’s dark art of kompromat, the practice of collecting compromising material on prominent individuals for the purposes of blackmail.

The dossier is packed with unverified allegations, including a claim that Russian officials obtained evidence of Mr. Trump with prostitutes and kept the information in reserve as potential blackmail.

Mr. Trump has dismissed the reports. “Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to ‘leak’ into the public,” Mr. Trump said on Twitter on Wednesday. “One last shot at me.”

President-elect Donald Trump says allegations made about him in an unverified dossier prepared by ex-British intelligence officer, Christopher Steele, are completely fabricated. WSJ’s Jason Bellini breaks down what we know about the material and the person behind it. Photo: Getty.

The Kremlin has denied any link to the dossier, and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the reports “pulp fiction,” according to Russian news agencies.

Kompromat, a contraction of the Russian phrase “compromising materials,” has a rich history in Russia dating back to the Soviet era. Diplomats, politicians and bureaucrats have all been embarrassed by leaked videos or other material.

While blackmail is by no means unique to Russia, the deployment of kompromat is a regular feature in the country’s bare-fisted domestic politics.

Early last year, the pro-Kremlin television network NTV aired hidden-camera footage of Mikhail Kasyanov, leader of the opposition party Parnas. The footage appeared to show Mr. Kasyanov carrying on an affair with another party member and gossiping about other opposition politicians.

Mr. Kasyanov declined to comment on the video and the use of hidden cameras. The footage, aired ahead of parliamentary elections in September, made Russia’s embattled opposition appear fractured, divided and insignificant. His party didn’t win enough votes to be represented in parliament.

Footage aired last year on a pro-Kremlin network appeared to show opposition leader Mikhail Kasyanov carrying on an affair. Mr. Kasyanov, shown here in December, declined to comment.
Footage aired last year on a pro-Kremlin network appeared to show opposition leader Mikhail Kasyanov carrying on an affair. Mr. Kasyanov, shown here in December, declined to comment. PHOTO: SHCHERBAK ALEXANDER/ZUMA PRESS

Valery Solovyov, a political analyst and historian at Moscow State Institute of International Relations, said the Russian government has a long history of collecting dossiers on dissidents, potential adversaries and political opponents.

“Of course the Kremlin collects compromising material,” he said. “The tradition goes back to the Soviet KGB, and now that material is collected through special services and journalists.”

Journalists, particularly ardently pro-Kremlin TV channels, were used during protests against Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2010-2012 to accuse opposition figures of nefarious deeds, such as collaborating with the U.S. Department of State, then headed by former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Journalists collected kompromat on the opposition as well as distributed materials given to them.

Mr. Solovyov, however, said that only a smattering of the compromising material collected is used against others. Less still comes to light publicly, he added.

“If it is quality and reliable, then it’s best for secret blackmail,” he said.

Kompromat, which might seem the stuff of B-grade spy thrillers, is also used as a tool in diplomatic squabbles with other countries. Western diplomats posted to Russia are trained to avoid sexual entrapment: A married diplomat caught in an extramarital affair, for instance, could be blackmailed into revealing secrets.

The U.S. State Department formally lodged a complaint in 2009, when the Russian-language website Komsomolskaya Pravda posted footage of a man it claimed to be an American diplomat visiting a prostitute. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said at the time the diplomat was the “subject of a smear campaign using the Russian press,” using a fabricated video.

In a country with a rich history of surveillance as a tool of political repression, where security services are feared and respected, kompromat carries a particular resonance.

The fear of surveillance is ingrained in the habits of many Russians, whether or not they are actually being monitored. Russians often have a morbid humor about hidden cameras and it isn’t unusual to hear the phrase, “This isn’t a conversation to have over the phone”

To some Russians, the attention around the Trump dossier is playing out like a Russian political drama. Yuri Skuratov, Russia’s former top prosecutor, said he doubted that the Trump dossier was real.

“This is nothing more than a political act,” he said. “It’s written ideally for the losing side of the election. This is all hype, and for the American reader it tries to explain why Trump suddenly started to have good ties with Russia.”

Mr. Skuratov himself was a victim of compromising material after he began looking into charges of corruption by then-president Boris Yeltsin and his associates. In 1999, a video was aired in which someone who resembled him was filmed in bed with two women. The next year he was dismissed from his position by the country’s upper house of parliament.

The former prosecutor maintains the man in the video wasn’t him.

“It was done in order to take me away when I started to investigate corruption of Yeltsin and his circle,” Mr. Skuratov said. “It was done to get me fired and away from the investigation.”

http://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-dossier-spotlights-russian-history-of-kompromat-1484171169

Story 2: Warmongering Neocons Banging The War Drums — Videos

Image result for cartoons neocons neoconservatives warmongers

Image result for cartoons neocons neoconservatives warmongers

Image result for cartoons neocons neoconservatives warmongers

Image result for cartoons neocons neoconservatives warmongers

Image result for cartoons neocons neoconservatives warmongers

Image result for cartoons neocons neoconservatives warmongers

Image result for cartoons neocons neoconservatives warmongers

Image result for cartoons neocons neoconservatives warmongers

Image result for cartoons neocons neoconservatives warmongers

Who are the NeoConservatives?

What Is Neoconservatism? Writings on Politics, Economics, Culture, Literature, Education (1995)

National Review’s Neoconservative Agenda

War Party : Documentary on the Neoconservative War Party

Neoconservatives Want Hillary Over Trump

The Danger of Neoconservatism – Ron Paul

The Greatest Danger to America is The Danger From Within

Busting Myths: Trump is NOT a Non-Interventionist

Sen. Marco Rubio questions Rex Tillerson (C-SPAN)

DECLINE of EMPIRES: The Signs of Decay

Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea (Cato Institute Book Forum, 2011)

Betrayal Of The Constitution-An Expose of the Neo-Conservative Agenda

America Needs a Self-Interested Foreign Policy

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The Pronk Pops Show 813, January 13, 2017, Story 1: Streep Shills For Hillary Clinton By Falsely Attacking Trump — Rating Booster For Golden Globes — Streep Got It Wrong On Purpose! — Lying Lunatic Left and Big Lie Media Got It Wrong! — In 11 Days Trump Will Be President — Live With It — Videos — Story 2: National Security Agency Hacks Russia and All American People — Democrats Should Blame The National Security Agency, Who Has Most If Not All American Citizens Emails, For Hillary’s Loss — Move On — The Hack Story Is Fake News For Lame Losers — Produce The Evidence — Cannot It is Classified — What Did Obama Do To Stop Hacking By Russians, Chinese, Islamic Republic of Iran, North Korea and NSA of American People? — Where Is The Big Lie Media Outrage! — Videos

Posted on January 9, 2017. Filed under: 2016 Presidential Campaign, 2016 Presidential Candidates, Breaking News, Corruption, Countries, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Foreign Policy, Freedom of Speech, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, History, Russia, Second Amendment, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: Streep vs Trump — Rating Booster For Golden Globes — In 11 Days Trump Will Be President — Live With It — Videos

 

Image result for cartoons on trump mocking disabled

Image result for cartoons on trump mocking disabledImage result for cartoons on trump mocking disabled

Media Exposed: Donald Trump Did NOT Make Fun of a Disabled Reporter

Trump did NOT mock a reporter’s disability. He makes funny expressions all the time

Published on Oct 28, 2016

Hillary is still running ads saying Trump mocked a reporter’s disability. Show them this video proving he did NOT. He did not know the reporter had a disability. Trump makes funny gestures imitating people all the time and he cherishes people with disabilities.

https://www.catholics4trump.com/the-t…
https://www.catholics4trump.com/even-…

Hillary FALSELY Accuses Trump of Mocking Disabled Reporter

Proof Trump Didn’t Mock The Disabled!

Meryl Streep Rebukes Trump at Golden Globes

Meryl Streep powerful speech at the Golden Globes (2017)

Tucker Carlson on Meryl Streep’s Golden Globes rant

Donald Trump MOCKS disabled New York Times reporter

5 Reasons Meryl Streep’s Golden Globes Speech Was A Dud

Meryl Streep says Hollywood elites are the real victims and MMA is for losers, and fails to empathize with Trump voters.

By Mollie Hemingway

The 2017 Hollywood award season got going with last night’s Golden Globes. These awards are given by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association after a period of intense lobbying by Hollywood studios.

Mostly it seemed like a very nice party for an industry that loves to give itself awards. As per usual, some Hollywood elites took their time in the spotlight to disparage others, such as Paul Ryan, Donald Trump, and Republicans in general.

Hugh Laurie, who won “best supporting actor in a series, limited series or TV movie” for his role in AMC’s “The Night Manager” joked that it was going to be the last year these awards were presented. “I don’t mean to be gloomy, it’s just that it has the words ‘Hollywood,’ ‘Foreign,’ and ‘Press’ in the title. I also think to some Republicans even the word ‘association’ is sketchy.” He added, “I accept this award on behalf of psychopathic billionaires everywhere,” he said.

Edgy! Or it’s the opposite. The cliched dig on Trump is better than the out-of-nowhere broadside against Republicans. If well-heeled Hollywood stars and starlets feel the need to mock Trump, they should do that, I guess. I’m not sure how meaningful it is after eight years of unwavering devotion for the current president, but Hollywood is going to do what Hollywood does.

Besides, Hollywood went hard for Hillary Clinton. Time reported in September:

Members of the cast of The West Wing, which went off the air in 2006, will campaign together in Ohio this weekend, while Scandal stars Bellamy Young and Tony Goldwyn have hit the trail in Virginia. Tim Daly, who plays the husband of a fictional Secretary of State on Madam Secretary, one of Clinton’s favorite shows, stumped in Ohio, as will Sally Field, who won an Oscar portraying a union organizer.

The list went on and on. But as much as people may enjoy their stories on the TV, enough Americans rejected the guidance of people who recite other people’s lines to give Trump, of all people, a victory.

So it came to pass that Meryl Streep, the high priestess of Hollywood, gave a barn burner of a sermon to her congregation. Now, federal law requires that you say Streep is the best actress who ever lived and ever will live. (I rather agree with Kate Hepburn’s critique of her, but we’re outliers.) Streep won a Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award and chose to speak on Donald Trump.

Or as CNN put it in their “breaking news” (really!) announcement: Streep “criticized President-elect Trump — without mentioning his name — for his behavior on the campaign trail and called on the press to hold him accountable.” Someone needs to let the folks at CNN know about the difference between dogs biting men and men biting dogs. A Hollywood star criticizing Trump is the opposite of breaking news.

Here were a few issues with her speech.

1. No, Meryl, Hollywood Elites Are Not Victims

Streep said, “Just to pick up on what Hugh Laurie said. You and all of us in this room, really, belong to the most vilified segments in American society right now. Think about it. Hollywood, foreigners, and the press.”

How do I put this? UM, NO. Just no. The press and Hollywood are some of the most privileged segments of society. Whether you measure it in terms of cash money, prestige, fame, or an ability to fail year after year and get promoted, Hollywood and media elite do not get to cast themselves as victims.

2. Less Condescension Would Be Nice

Then Streep said Hollywood is “just a bunch of people from other places” noting that not everyone who works in Hollywood was born there. I bet you did not know that until Ms. Streep informed you of this salient fact that renders all criticism of smug Hollywood suddenly moot. She added, “So Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners. And if we kick ’em all out, you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts.”

As J.D. Vance, author of the hit memoir “Hillbilly Elegy,” put it:

Can someone explain to me why she needed to insult football and mixed-martial arts? Seemed like needless condescension.

Seriously. I don’t watch football or MMA (and, to be fair, you couldn’t pay me to watch “Florence Foster Jenkins”), but this statement doesn’t even make sense. Mixed martial arts has more “outsiders and foreigners” than Hollywood does. It’s such unnecessary condescension, unless you believe all condescension is necessary to those who watch MMA instead of yet another progressive call to arms masquerading as entertainment.

3. What Is Empathy?

Streep said, “An actor’s only job is to enter the lives of people who are different from us and let you feel what that feels like. And there were many, many, many powerful performances this year that did exactly that, breathtaking, compassionate work. There was one performance this year that stunned me. It sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good. There was nothing good about it. But it was effective and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh and show their teeth. It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter. Someone he outranked in privilege, power, and the capacity to fight back. It kind of broke my heart when I saw it. I still can’t get it out of my head because it wasn’t in a movie. It was real life.”

Okay, there is so much to unpack here, so buckle up. Streep tells the widely known story of Trump mocking Serge Kovaleski, a reporter with a physical ailment. This was something that everyone from Jeb Bush to Hillary Clinton and, of course, the entire media complex was very focused on throughout 2016. But if our best empathizers want to truly empathize with people who voted differently from them, it’s time to have a little bit of a chat about this incident and the entire 2016 freakshow.

First off, Trump is horribly rude. He hits people hard, commenting on their looks, their strength, their demeanor. He mocks what they say. At its worst, this is embarrassing behavior to witness in a grown man and a sure sign that our civil discourse is suffering. At its best, he shows some much needed fight in a world where bullies are able to shut down differing opinions through control of the news cycle.

Now, Trump didn’t just do this mocking and insulting in 2016. He’s been doing this for decades. It’s his entire brand. He did this while NBC paid him millions upon millions upon many, many millions of dollars as one of their entertainers. He did this while appearing in “Zoolander,” “Sex and the City,” “Home Alone 2,” and countless other TV shows and movies. He did this while TV networks gave him unparalleled free coverage as he trounced every Republican primary opponent. So it was in this context that people saw him mocking Kovaleski. The media absolutely loved this very persona for decades … until they didn’t.

The media always claimed that Trump was mocking Kovaleski for his disability, a charge that Trump denied. While Trump’s rudeness and failure to speak well of others didn’t help his case, the fact is that the specific “flailing hands” motion that led to this charge is one that he has used on others. Here’s a video of him doing the “flailing hands” motion twice in the same rally — once to describe Kovaleski and once to describe some general — and at another rally when he went after Ted Cruz. It’s the exact same motion for Kovaleski and Cruz. Go ahead and see for yourself:

Now, I don’t particularly like any of these insults. But the characterization of the insult being specific to the reporter’s disability — as opposed to a charge that the reporter was flailing — doesn’t explain why Ted Cruz got the exact same treatment when he was accused of flailing in a debate.

Now it wasn’t that voters had a choice between a boorish insulter and a church mouse. Perhaps the most damaging thing Hillary Clinton did in her campaign — even worse than not visiting Wisconsin because she thought she didn’t need to — was her broadbrush insult of Americans being “deplorable” and “irredeemable.” For some reason Americans chose to nominate these two people, and these were our choices. All of which to say, though, that while Trump did mock Kovaleski, the charge he “imitated” a reporter’s disability is questionable.

So our chief empathizer Streep says that Trump mocked a “disabled reporter” for the purpose of making his “intended audience laugh and show their teeth.” That’s a pretty awful thing to say about your fellow Americans, if we’re all about empathizing. It’s doing the same thing Trump was doing. His flailing arm motions were always done while retelling a story so that he sounded great and others sounded stupid.

Streep skips the flailing arm motions but puts herself and her in-group on a pedestal while disparaging others and mischaracterizing their views. They didn’t laugh with Trump at the reporter so they could show their teeth at the disabled. That’s ridiculous. They laughed because they were enjoying Trump — a proven entertainer — whipping the media into a frenzy and evading their once-powerful jaws. You can disagree with Trump — vehemently, even — without inventing a false story about what his supporters enjoyed in him.

4. We Learned It by Watching You, Meryl!

Streep goes on, “And this instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life, ’cause it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing. Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.”

Oh man, where to start? There is this advertisement from way back in the day where a kid is getting busted by his dad for smoking weed. “Who taught you how to do this stuff?” the dad asks. “You all right? I learned it by watching you!” the kid shouts in response. That’s all I can think of when smug, condescending, rude, insulting, mocking Hollywood tells Americans that “disrespect invites disrespect.”

You don’t say. You don’t say!

Yes! That’s exactly what it does!

Media reporter Alex Griswold wrote, “I think those who share Hollywood’s politics don’t realize how tiresome it is that being lectured at is a prerequisite to follow pop culture.” It’s not just Hollywood. It’s a political media that treated Mitt Romney — Mitt Freaking Romney! — as the second coming of Hitler. It’s a political media that has never cared to understand, much less fairly explain, conservative viewpoints, instead running after Republican politicians shouting “What about your gaffes!”

Yes, if you rudely dismiss and sneer and treat half the country like they are monsters worthy of extermination for enough decades, you should not be surprised to find them voting for Donald Trump as a weapon of last resort. If you disparage and mock and systematically dismantle all norms, tear down every traditional institution, deny objective reality, and preach that all truth is relative, you should not act like the rise of Donald Trump is such a surprise.

5. Now Is the Time for Humility

So if you’re wondering why anyone could possibly have any problem with the saintly Streep’s sermon, hopefully you can empathize with others who heard it differently. It was an unwelcome reproof from a representative of a group that doesn’t exactly have a ton of credibility. To see media elites cheer her on and push out her message was as unwelcome as everything else the media pushed in 2016. You’d think they’d learn.

screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-3-01-32-am

But let’s revisit the best part of the speech Streep delivered. “Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.” We can hope that powerful Hollywood and the powerful political media will take this message to heart and stop disrespecting those who disagree with them, excommunicating as heretics any who dare differ. We can hope that they will stop bullying others into their narrow groupthink. While we’re at it, we can hope that Donald Trump stops being so rude on Twitter and elsewhere.

We can also face the reality that at this point Trump is more likely to modify his behavior than Hollywood or political media are. As individuals, however, we can and should always redouble our efforts to speak well of each other and treat each other well. We shouldn’t take our guidance from politicians or movie stars, and if we focus our efforts on improving our own virtue, perhaps future generations will have better statesmen and artists.

Mollie Ziegler Hemingway is a senior editor at The Federalist. Follow her on Twitter at @mzhemingway

 

Trump fires back at Meryl Streep and calls her ‘one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood’ after she labels him a ‘disrespectful bully’ in searing Golden Globes speech

  • Meryl Streep publicly slammed Donald Trump in her Golden Globes speech  for mocking disabled reporter Serge Kovaleski at a rally in November of 2015
  • ‘Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others we all lose,’ said Streep   
  • Trump fired back by calling Streep the ‘most -overrated actress in Hollywood’ and ‘a Hillary flunky who lost big’ while denying that he mocked Kovaleski
  • Streep, 67, is a three-time Academy Award winner who has been nominated for a record 19 Oscars and 30 Golden Globes  
  • Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway said she would like Streep to give a ‘shout-out to the mentally challenged boy who was tortured on Facebook for half an hour’
  • Kovaleski, who suffers from arthrogryposis, angered Trump when he shot down claim that ‘thousands’ were celebrating the terror attacks in New Jersey on 9/11 

Donald Trump is firing back at Meryl Streep after she very publicly criticized him in front of millions of people around the world at the Golden Globe Awards.

In an explosive six-minute speech on Sunday night, Streep did not hold back as she went after Trump for mocking disabled reporter Serge Kovaleski in November of 2015 during a campaign rally.

‘That instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in a public platform, it filters down into everyone’s life because it gives permission for others to do the same,’ said Streep in front of a audience packed full of Hollywood A-listers.

‘Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others we all lose.’

Trump responded to Streep’s comments on Monday by taking aim at the actress on Twitter, writing: ‘Meryl Streep, one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood, doesn’t know me but attacked last night at the Golden Globes.’

Streep, 67, is a three-time Academy Award winner who has been nominated for a record 19 Oscars and  a record 30 Golden Globes during a career that has spanned five decades. The actress is also widely considered to be the greatest-living actor by both members of the public and those in the industry.

That talent is why Streep was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association on Sunday night for her ‘outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.’

Scroll down for videos

Meryl Streep, the Cecil B. DeMille honoree, used her Golden Globes acceptance speech on Sunday night to publicly slam Donald Trump for mocking a disabled reporter

Meryl Streep, the Cecil B. DeMille honoree, used her Golden Globes acceptance speech on Sunday night to publicly slam Donald Trump for mocking a disabled reporter

Trump hit back by describing Streep as 'one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood'

Trump hit back by describing Streep as ‘one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood’

Golden Globes: Meryl Streep condemns Donald Trump’s behaviour

Trump also called Streep a ‘Hillary flunky who lost big’ on Monday morning.

The actress was a vocal Hillary Clinton supporter throughout the campaign and even introduced the presidential nominee when she appeared via video feed from her home in New York on the second night of the Democratic National Convention over the summer.

 That instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in a public platform, it filters down into everyone’s life because it gives permission for others to do the same. Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others we all lose.
-Meryl Streep’s Golden Globes speech

Streep is also fond of the Obamas as well, and was one of the few guests who made the cut for the couple’s final White House party on Friday night.

The actress was so intent on attending that she flew to Washington DC from Los Angeles just after Carrie Fisher’s memorial on Thursday afternoon to attend the event.

Streep, who played the character Fisher based on herself in the 1990 film adaptation of the Star Wars actress’ semi-autobiographical tale Postcards from the Edge, delivered the eulogy at the private memorial before singing her friend’s favorite song, ‘Happy Days are Here Again.’

And she was once again in the air right after the Obamas party on Friday, which was still going strong at 4am on Saturday according to guests, heading  back to Los Angeles for the Golden Globes on Sunday.

Trump also used his early-morning Twitter rant to once again claim that he had not been mocking Kovaleski during the 2015 rally Streep spoke about on Sunday night.

‘For the 100th time, I never “mocked” a disabled reporter (would never do that) but simply showed him “groveling” when he totally changed a 16 year old story that he had written in order to make me look bad. Just more very dishonest media!’ wrote Trump.

The president-elect also said in a statement earlier on Monday: ‘I was never mocking anyone. I was calling into question a reporter who had gotten nervous because he had changed his story.

‘People keep saying I intended to mock the reporter’s disability, as if Meryl Streep and others could read my mind, and I did no such thing.’

He added: ‘And remember, Meryl Streep introduced Hillary Clinton at her convention, and a lot of these people supported Hillary.’

Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway also went after Streep while appearing on Fox and Friends Monday morning.

‘My initial reaction is I’m glad Meryl Streep has such a passion for the disabled because I didn’t hear her weigh in and I didn’t hear her use her platform last night to give a shout-out to the mentally challenged boy who last week was tortured live on Facebook for half an hour,’ said Conway.

She then made a point of noting that it was ‘four African-American adults’ that were ‘screaming anti-Trump expletives’ who carried out the horrifying attack in Chicago o the 18-year-old male whose name is not being released by authorities.

‘So I’d like to hear from her today, if she wants to come and continue her platform on behalf of the disabled,’ said Conway to close things out, adding that Trump has debunked the claim that he was mocking the reporter countless times in the past.

Kramer Vs. Kramer Oscar
Sophie's Choice Oscar
The iron Lady Oscar

Golden girl: Streep, 67, is a three-time Academy Award winner who has been nominated for a record 19 Oscars (l to r: Best Supporting Actress for Kramer vs. Kramer at the 1980 ceremony, Best Actress for Sophie’s Choice at the 1983 ceremony and Best Actress for The Iron Lady in 2014)

Speaking up: Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway (above) said she would like Streep to give a 'shout-out to the mentally challenged boy who was tortured on Facebook for half an hour'

Speaking up: Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway (above) said she would like Streep to give a ‘shout-out to the mentally challenged boy who was tortured on Facebook for half an hour’

Trump came under fire in 2015 for mocking New York Times investigative reporter Serge Kovaleski by impersonating the journalist's physical handicap

Esteemed journalist Serge Kovaleski suffers from a chronic condition which effects the movement in his arms

Trump came under fire in 2015 for mocking New York Times investigative reporter Serge Kovaleski by impersonating the journalist’s physical handicap

Trump was speaking to an audience in South Carolina back in 2015 when he began to go after Kovaleski, who reported in a Washington Post story that was published after 9/11 that authorities had ‘questioned a number of people who were allegedly seen celebrating the attacks.’

That line was being used by Trump during his campaign as evidence to support his claim that ‘thousands and thousands’ of Muslims were celebrating in New Jersey when the Twin Towers fell.

Kovaleski quickly made a point of noting however that there were not ‘thousands’ or even ‘hundreds’ of people cheering on after the terror attack, adding in a statement that he had no confirmation that there was any celebrations at all on that day.

My initial reaction is I’m glad Meryl Streep has such a passion for the disabled because I didn’t hear her weigh in and I didn’t hear her use her platform last night to give a shout-out to the mentally challenged boy who last week was tortured live on Facebook for half an hour.
-Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway

‘I certainly do not remember anyone saying that thousands or even hundreds of people were celebrating. That was not the case, as best as I can remember,’ said Kovaleski.

Two days later, Trump went after the disabled reporter while appearing in South Carolina, claiming that he was changing his story now all these years later.

Kovaleski has not changed a word of his original report since he first published the story 15 years ago.

‘Now the poor guy, you ought to see this guy,’ Trump said at the rally before drawing his wrists up close to his chest and flailing around.

‘”Ah, I don’t know what I said! I don’t remember!”‘

The move made him look similar like Kovaleski, who suffers from arthrogryposis.

Trump claimed soon after that appearance that he was not imitating the reporter, and had never even met the man so he would not have any idea about his disability.

Kovaleski responded by stating he had in fact met Trump back in the 80s while he was covering the real estate scion, and that he had even flown with him on his private airplane.

Those claims were also later supported by some of Kovaleski’s fellow reporters who recalled seeing him speak with Trump at the time, and noted that the two men were on a first name basis.

Streep dressed up as Donald Trump (above) at the annual Shakespeare in the Park gala in New York City this past June

Streep dressed up as Donald Trump (above) at the annual Shakespeare in the Park gala in New York City this past June

Streep as Trump

Meryl dressed up for Shakespeare in the Park

The three-time Oscar winner and staunch Hillary Clinton supporter, was the spitting image of the Republican (above), as she donned a fat suit and painted her features orange

The Cecil B. DeMille honoree’s speech stunned the audience, leaving many teary-eyed

Meryl Streep uses speech to call out Trump for his actions

Speaking about the controversial moment, Streep said: ‘There was nothing good about it, but it did its job.

‘It kind of broke my heart when I saw it, and I still can’t get it out my head because it wasn’t in a movie, it was in real life.

‘It was that moment when a person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter – someone he outranked in privilege, in power and in the capacity to fight back.

‘That instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in a public platform, it filters down into everyone’s life because it gives permission for others to do the same.

‘Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others we all lose.’

 Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners and if you kick them all out, you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts
-Streep’s Golden Globes speech

In her speech Streep, who spoke at the Democratic National Convention last year, also called for the press to stand up to Trump and hold him to account going forward.

Streep also spoke about how the Hollywood Foreign Press and actors present were part of ‘the most vilified segments in American society right now’ – Hollywood, foreigners and the press.

‘But who are we, and what is Hollywood anyway? It’s just a bunch of people from other places,’ Streep said as she touched on her New Jersey upbringing.

She mentioned nominees seated in the room by name and recalled details of their cultural backgrounds to shine a light on Hollywood’s multicultural makeup and to build context for the rest of her speech.

‘Viola (Davis) was born in a sharecroppers cabin in South Carolina, came up in Central Falls, Rhode Island. Sarah Paulson was born in Florida, raised by a single mom in Brooklyn,’ she said.

‘Sarah Jessica Parker was one of seven or eight kids from Ohio. Amy Adams was born in Vicenzia, Italy, and Natalie Portman was born in Jerusalem.

‘Where are their birth certificates?’ she asked.

Streep noted Viola Davis - who introduced Streep for the award - was born in a sharecroppers cabin in South Carolina before being raised in Central Falls, Rhode Island

Streep noted Viola Davis – who introduced Streep for the award – was born in a sharecroppers cabin in South Carolina before being raised in Central Falls, Rhode Island

Ryan Gosling 'like all the nicest people' is Canadian, Streep said
Streep mentioned Dev Patel's Kenyan heritage. He was raised in London and was nominated for a Golden Globe playing an Indian raised in Tasmania, Australia

Ryan Gosling ‘like all the nicest people’ is Canadian, Streep said. She also mentioned Dev Patel’s Kenyan heritage. He was raised in London and was nominated for a Golden Globe playing an Indian raised in Tasmania, Australia

Sarah Paulson was born in Florida and raised by a single mom in Brooklyn, Streep noted

Sarah Paulson was born in Florida and raised by a single mom in Brooklyn, Streep noted

Ruth Negga was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and was raised in Ireland. She was nominated for a Golden Globe for playing a small-town girl from Virginia
Streep pointed out that Amy Adams was born in Vicenzia, Italy

Ruth Negga was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and was raised in Ireland. Streep pointed out that Amy Adams was born in Vicenzia, Italy

Sarah Jessica Parker was one of seven or eight kids from Ohio

Sarah Jessica Parker was one of seven or eight kids from Ohio

‘The beautiful Ruth Negga was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and was raised in Ireland and she’s here nominated for playing a small-town girl from Virginia.

‘Ryan Gosling, like all the nicest people is Canadian. Dev Patel was born in Kenya, raised in London, is here playing an Indian, raised in Tasmania.

Meryl Streep, one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood, doesn’t know me but attacked last night at the Golden Globes. She is a Hillary flunky who lost big.
-Donald Trump on Twitter

‘Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners and if you kick them all out, you’ll have nothing to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts,’ Streep said to loud applause.

Streep mentioned her late friend Carrie Fisher, who died just after Christmas, and how the actress and writer urged others to ‘take your broken heart and make it into art.’

Her speech sent Twitter into a frenzy with many of A-list stars applauding Streep.

‘There has never been anyone like Meryl Streep. I love her,’ Ellen DeGeneres wrote.

Orange Is The New Black star Uzo Aduba wrote: ‘Meryl Streep. It’s this same level of bravery that she has offered us, freely, again and again.’

‘”When the powerful use their position to bully other, we all lose” thank you,’ Julianne Moore wrote.

MERYL STREEP’S FULL SPEECH:

Thank you, thank you. I lost my voice in screaming and lamentation this week. I’ve lost my mind sometime earlier this year, so I have to read. Thank you, Hollywood Foreign Press. Just to pick up on what Hugh Laurie said: You, and all of us in this room, really belong to the most vilified segment of American society right now. Think about it: Hollywood, foreigners, and the press.

But who are we? What is Hollywood, anyway? It’s just a bunch of different places. I was born and raised and educated in the public schools of New Jersey, Viola was born in a sharecroppers cabin in South Carolina, came up in Central Falls, Rhode Island. Sarah Paulson was born in Florida, raised by a single mom in Brooklyn. Sarah Jessica Parker was one of seven or eight kids from Ohio. Amy Adams was born in Vicenzia, Italy, and Natalie Portman was born in Jerusalem. Where are their birth certificates? And the beautiful Ruth Negga was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and was raised in Ireland and she’s here nominated – for playing a small-town girl from Virginia. Ryan Gosling, like all the nicest people is Canadian. And Dev Patel was born in Kenya, raised in London, is here playing an Indian, raised in Tasmania.

So Hollywood is crawling with outsiders and foreigners, and if you kick ’em all out, you’ll have nothing else to watch but football and mixed martial arts, which are not the arts. They gave me three seconds to say that.

An actor’s only job is to enter the lives of people who are different from us, and let you feel what that feels like, and there were many, many ,many powerful performances that did exactly that – breathtaking, compassionate work. But there was one performances this year that stunned me; it sank its hooks in my heart, not because it was good. There was nothing good about it. But it was effective and it did its job – it made its intended audience laugh and show their teeth.

It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter – someone he outranked in privilege, power and the capacity to fight back. It kind of broke my heart when I saw it and I still can’t get it out of my head because it wasn’t in a movie, it was real life. This instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, filters down into everybody’s life because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing.

Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.

Okay, this brings me to the press. We need the principled press to hold power to account, to call them them on the carpet for every outrage – that’s why our founders enshrine the press and its freedoms in our constitution. So I only asked the famously well-heeled Hollywood Foreign Press and all of us in our community to join me in supporting the committee to protect journalists, because we’re gonna need them going forward, and they’ll need us to safeguard the truth.

One more thing. Once, when I was standing around on the set one day whining about something, we were going to work through supper, or the long hours or whatever, Tommy Lee Jones said to me, isn’t it such a privilege, Meryl, just to be an actor. Yeah, it is. And we have to remind each other of the privilege and the responsibility of the act of empathy. We should all be very proud of the work Hollywood honors here tonight.

As my friend, the dear departed Princess Leia, said to me once, take your broken heart, make it into art. Thank you.

The Cecil B. DeMille honoree called the moment the president-elect mocked a disabled reporter the most stunning performance of the year

The Cecil B. DeMille honoree called the moment the president-elect mocked a disabled reporter the most stunning performance of the year

Donald Trump mocks disabled New York Times reporter in 2015

However, other social media users condemning the speech as being the exact sort of condescending attitude from the ‘elites’ that got Trump elected.

Twitter user Deplorable P Kelly posted: ‘#MerylStreep dont u get it? There r ppl out here that make less in a year than celebrities spent on their gown tonite? They need an escape.’

Fox News host Meghan McCain added: ‘This Meryl Streep speech is why Trump won. And if people in Hollywood don’t start recognizing why and how – you will help him get re-elected.’

While Streep won the annual Cecille B. DeMille Award and can boast of 48 Oscar and Golden Globe nominations, her career is still current.

She was nominated this year for her portrayal of a bad opera singer in ‘Florence Foster Jenkins.’

Streep was introduced by fellow actress Viola Davis, who said her husband urged her every day when she worked with her to tell Streep how much she meant to her. She was too bashful then, but not on stage on Sunday.

‘You make me proud to be an artist,’ Davis said. ‘You make me feel that what I have in me – my body, my face, my age – is enough.’

DONALD TRUMP SLAMMED FOR MOCKING DISABLED REPORTER:

Donald Trump came under fire in 2015 after he mocked investigative reporter Serge Kovaleski at a Republican rally in South Carolina

Donald Trump came under fire in 2015 after he mocked investigative reporter Serge Kovaleski at a Republican rally in South Carolina

Donald Trump came under fire in 2015 after he mocked investigative reporter Serge Kovaleski at a Republican rally in South Carolina.

He was accused of impersonating the New York Times journalist’s physical handicap for what he saw as the reporter stepping away from an article he wrote on the 9/11 attacks in The Washington Post.

‘Now the poor guy, you ought to see this guy,’ Trump said, drawing his wrists up close to his chest and flailing around. ‘”Ah, I don’t know what I said! I don’t remember!”‘

Kovaleski has arthrogryposis, a congenital condition that has locked his right arm up against his chest in a similar position to the one Trump held.

He claimed Trump was mocking his disability, while Trump denied at the time knowing who Kovaleski was.

Kovaleski then said he was on first-name terms with Trump and had interviewed him around a dozen times over the past 30 years.

Pro-Trump website Catholics 4 Trump claimed last year that the Republican had a long history of making similar gestures while mocking other people.

They featured videos from 2016, 2015 and 2005 showing Trump doing similar – albeit shorter and less involved – impressions on several other occasions.

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Feds Release Declassified Report On Russian Election Influence Campaign

ALEX PFEIFFER Reporter

Russian President Vladimir Putin directly ordered an influence campaign to undermine the United States election and help elect Donald Trump, according to a declassified report released Friday by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

The Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency were the three intelligence agencies that came to these conclusion and investigated Russia’s involvement in influencing the 2016 election.

The report is not strictly about hacking efforts, but focuses broadly on a Russian influence campaign that also includes propaganda efforts, with an emphasis on the Russian-state television network RT. There is a seven page section in the 25-page report which focuses on RT.

The three agencies have high confidence that “Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency.” The three intelligence agencies also have high confidence that “Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump.”

The three agencies agree that “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.” But while the CIA and FBI have high confidence in this assessment, the NSA has “moderate confidence.”

The three agencies concluded that Russia believed Hillary Clinton was likely to win the election, so they changed their approach to “to focus more on undermining her future presidency.”

The agencies say that the Russian General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) gained access to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) networks and the email accounts of several Democratic Party officials and political figures. The report continues on to say that GRU disseminated hacked information through the persona Guccifer 2.0, the website DC Leaks and WikiLeaks. The report does not include specific information about the attribution to GRU.

The report from the ODNI heavily focus on public statements from Russian leaders or propaganda networks to back up their conclusion that Russia sought to undermine the 2016 election and Clinton’s chances of victory. For example, the report says, “Pro-Kremlin proxy Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, proclaimed just before the election that if President-elect Trump won, Russia would ‘drink champagne’ in anticipation of being able to advance its positions on Syria and Ukraine.”

The intelligence agencies assess that Putin had a preference for Trump over Clinton due to several factors, including a Trump victory leading to an international coalition against the Islamic State and comments from Clinton that Putin viewed as disparaging.

Russia also gained access into state and local electoral boards in the years before the election, according to the report, but “DHS assesses that the types of systems we observed Russian actors targeting or compromising are not involved in vote tallying.”

The report used an example of RT’s most popular English language content to show how Putin sought to influence the election. “RT’s most popular video on Secretary Clinton, ‘How 100% of the Clintons’ ‘Charity’ Went to…Themselves,’ had more than 9 million views on social media platforms. RT’s most popular English language video about the President-elect, called ‘Trump Will Not Be Permitted To Win,’ featured Assange and had 2.2 million views,” the ODNI report stated.

Outside of using traditional means of propaganda, the intelligence agencies concluded that Russia used social media “trolls” to amplify negative stories about Clinton.

The report concludes that lessons from this campaign will be used in further efforts against the United States’ and it’s allies’ election processes. It also stated that information obtained by Russia in hacking efforts against US think tanks and non-government organizations could be used “for future influence efforts as well as foreign intelligence collection on the incoming administration’s goals and plans.”

http://dailycaller.com/2017/01/06/feds-release-declassified-report-on-russian-election-influence-campaign/#ixzz4VIlX8Gb6

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The Pronk Pops Show 797, November 16, 2016, Story 1: Will Trump Stop The Dumbing Down of Education By Appointing Larry P. Arnn The Last Secretary of the Department of Education? –American People Would Cheer!– Videos

Posted on November 16, 2016. Filed under: 2016 Presidential Campaign, 2016 Presidential Candidates, Addiction, American History, Blogroll, College, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Energy, Federal Government, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Housing, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Medicare, Networking, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Progressives, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Scandals, Science, Senate, Social Science, Social Security, Taxation, Taxes, Unemployment, United States of America, Videos, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: Will Trump Stop The Dumbing Down of Education By Appointing Larry P. Arnn The Last Secretary of the Department of Education? –American People Would Cheer!– Videos

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Larry P. Arnn Wins 2015 Bradley Prize

Published on Jun 16, 2015

Dr. Larry P. Arnn, president of Hillsdale College, was presented with the 2015 Bradley Prize for Outstanding Achievement.

Trump and Conservatism – Constitution Day Celebration

Published on Sep 17, 2016

Hillsdale College President Larry P. Arnn, National Review Senior Editor Jonah Goldberg, and Professor of Political Science John Marini discuss presidential candidate Donald J. Trump’s role in conservatism in America.

“Education and Politics” – Larry P. Arnn

Dr. Larry P. Arnn at Freshman Convocation | Hillsdale College

Larry Arnn on Reclaiming America’s First Principles

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Introduction to the U.S. Constitution – 2011-09 – Dr. Larry Arnn

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Charlotte Iserbyt: The Miseducation of America

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THE SECRETARY OF EDUCATION FOR PRESIDENT-ELECT TRUMP SHOULD BE … NOBODY

By: Brian Darling | November 14, 2016

Now that President-elect Donald J. Trump has shocked the world and won the presidency, the talk has quickly shifted to the individuals he should consider for positions in his administration.

Politico reported on November 9, 2016 in a story titled “Meet Trump’s Cabinet-in-waiting” the following:

President-elect Donald Trump does not have the traditional cadre of Washington insiders and donors to build out his Cabinet, but his transition team has spent the past several months quietly building a short list of industry titans and conservative activists who could comprise one of the more eclectic and controversial presidential Cabinets in modern history.

As USA Today reports, there are plenty of names being floated for various administration positions. However, the best way to make the federal government great again (if that is even possible) is to shrink it. One interesting appointment should be Trump’s decision on who is to be the next Secretary of Education, and he could use that appointment to send a strong small government message. In Trump’s book, as reported by Business Insider, Trump has implied that the U.S Department of Education should be abolished.

During his campaign, President-elect Donald Trump repeatedly hit at the role of federal government in education, arguing instead for increased local control of schools. He has also hinted that the Department of Education should be abolished.

“A lot of people believe the Department of Education should just be eliminated. Get rid of it. If we don’t eliminate it completely, we certainly need to cut its power and reach,” he wrote in his book “Great Again: How to Fix Our Crippled America.”

It would be a bold move for President Trump to refuse to nominate a new head of the Department of Education to show that he is committed to abolishing it. For years, abolishing the Department of Education was part of the Republican platform until President George W. Bush teamed up with a liberal icon, the late Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, to pass No Child Left Behind that expanded federal intervention in education.

Education is best left to the states. That issue came into focus again when in May the Obama administration issued a letter ordering every public school in America to allow transgender students to use the bathroom of the opposite sex. Furthermore, the Department of Justice sued North Carolina over a law that prohibited people from the opposite sex to use public bathrooms. This action showed all followers of national news that the power of the federal government over education policy has gone haywire.

When one scans the Constitution, one cannot find any reference to education policy as an enumerated power of the federal government. Education has traditionally been a function of the states and ideas like No Child Left Behind have perverted that concept.

The time is now to create some incremental change in federal policy, particularly with regard to education. A good first step to at least scaling back the Department of Education would be for President Donald J. Trump to refuse to appoint anyone to be the next Secretary of Education.

Bruce Fein, former Associate Deputy Attorney General and General Counsel to the FCC under President Ronald Reagan takes my recommendation a few steps further and tells Conservative Review,

Trump should refuse to fill Department of Education, HUD, Department of Energy, Department of Commerce, Department of Labor, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Consumer Finance Protection Board. If there are one or a few serious things any of these agencies do, Trump should transfer them to another Cabinet Department, like DOE control over nuclear facilities.

That would be a bold, bold move and would show that Trump truly is coming to Washington to dismantle big government.

The time is now to create some incremental change in federal policy, particularly with regard to education.

At a minimum, leaving the Secretary of Education position vacant would be a daring move that would help in convincing conservative and libertarian Republicans that the president-elect is serious about implementing small government reforms.

https://www.conservativereview.com/commentary/2016/11/secretary-of-education-for-president-elect-trump-should-be-nobody#sthash.b5nJ00OW.dpuf

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And the truth is that these appointments really do matter. As the old saw has it: “Personnel is policy.” It’s the appointees in the various departments who will ultimately shape the Trump administration’s educational priorities and agenda. This has never been truer than now, given how much of Trump’s educational platform is a blank slate—or one filled with only the broadest of notional directives (e.g. school choice good, Common Core bad).

I’ll be clear: I don’t know who will populate the Trump administration’s Department of Education. I do have a few thoughts on some of the folks I’d like to see in the mix, though—and I figured I’d share them with you, if only so that fewer folks feel obliged to inquire. Please understand that this isn’t an exhaustive, careful, or complete list. After all, I have no particular thoughts, for instance, on the commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration. It’s more an eclectic mix of some names I’d like to see considered. I’m sure I’ve forgotten some names that I’d have included if I’d given this more thought, and it’s obviously limited to individuals who I’m guessing/hoping might be willing to serve in this choice-friendly, Common Core-skeptical, Republican administration. I’ve also omitted some of the most outspoken NeverTrumpers (like John Bailey and Mike Petrilli), for obvious reasons.

Mitch Daniels. Credit: Flickr

Keep in mind that I have no juice in any of this and there’s no reason to expect anyone to listen to me. But so it goes. With all that in mind, here are some of the names I’d love to see considered for a dozen of the top jobs (I’m not bothering with bios or current positions; if you don’t know who someone is, just ride the google):

U.S. Secretary of Education: Mitch Daniels, Scott Walker, Bill Evers, Gerard Robinson
Deputy Secretary: David Cleary, Brian Jones, Lisa Graham Keegan, Larry Arnn
Under Secretary: Nina Rees, Paul Pastorek, Jim Peyser, Vic Klatt, Hanna Skandera
Assistant Secretary – Civil Rights: Joshua Dunn, Greg Lukianoff, Robert Scott
Assistant Secretary – Communications and Outreach: Jenna Talbot, Joy Pullmann, Holly Kuzmich
Assistant Secretary – Elementary and Secondary Education: Dwight Jones, Robert Pondiscio, Tom Luna, Matt Ladner, Jim Stergios
Assistant Secretary – Legislation and Congressional Affairs: Lindsay Fryer, D’arcy Philps, Lindsey Burke
Assistant Secretary – Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development: Peter Oppenheim, Brad Thomas, Andy Smarick, Robert Enlow
Assistant Secretary – Postsecondary Education: Andrew Kelly, Jason Delisle, James Bergeron
Assistant Secretary – Special Education and Rehabilitative Services: Joe Siedlecki, Mike McShane, Max Eden
Assistant Secretary – Vocational and Adult Education: Tom Stewart, Tony Bennett
Institute of Education Sciences – Director: Patrick Wolf, Jay Greene, Caroline Hoxby, Martin West, Rick Hanushek

https://www.aei.org/scholar/frederick-m-hess/

Who Could Be Donald Trump’s Education Secretary?

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UPDATED

President-elect Donald Trump doesn’t have a track record on education, which means that his choice of education secretary will send a really important signal on where he wants to go in terms of policy on the Every Student Succeeds Act, higher education, and more.

So who is on the short list? Tough to say, but here are some names making the rounds inside the Beltway:

Dr. Ben Carson: The neurosurgeon was among Trump’s opponents in the Republican presidential primaries and later endorsed him. As a candidate, Carson’s proposed education agenda, like Trump’s, centered on school choice. It’s easy to imagine that Carson, who is famous for separating conjoined twins, would spend a lot of time as secretary talking about the importance of science education. It’s unclear what form that would take though, given some of Carson’s other views. As secretary, Carson could revive the culture wars over how to teach evolution, since he’s said in the past he doesn’t believe in it. UPDATE: It doesn’t look like Carson is interested in serving in Trump’s cabinet, according to Bloomberg.

Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin: Walker, also a one-time Trump GOP primary rival, is probably best known for rolling back collective bargaining rights for public employees, including teachers, in Wisconsin. It’s unclear if he wants to sit at the helm of the education department, but a lot of Republicans in Washington have him on the top of their wish list. Since Walker is, or at least was, a rising star in the party, such a pick could elevate the importance of the issue.

Gerard Robinson: The former state chief in Virginia and Florida is now a fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute and a leader of Trump’s transition team on education. Check out Andrew’s interview with him here on what he hopes to see from a Trump administration. (Robinson was speaking only for himself in the interview, not on behalf of any organization.)

Williamson Evers: A research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, he served in a top policymaking role—assistant secretary of planning, evaluation, and policy—during the tail end of the President George W. Bush’s administration. Evers, who has worked for past GOP presidential campaigns, is also a leader of the Trump transition team. He’s a veteran of the so-called “math wars” in California, has opposed teacher tenure, and was part of the Bush administration’s efforts to restart K-12 education in Iraq. More in this story. One possibility: Evers doesn’t become secretary, but gets a key role in the administration that could matter just as much on K-12, such as deputy secretary (the No. 2 post in the department).

Rep. Luke Messer, of Indiana: The GOP congressman pushed legislation that would allow Title I money for disadvantaged kids to follow students to the school of their choice, including a private school. That proposal ultimately foundered, but Messer has done some deep thinking on the question of how small-government-friendly Republicans could push choice. And he has a track record of working in a bipartisan way. He’s teamed up with Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., on student data privacy legislation, for instance.

Former Indiana state chief Tony Bennett: Bennett, who was a driving force in Chiefs for Change in its early days, is close to both former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and incoming Vice President Mike Pence, who served as governor of Indiana. As state chief, Bennett, a Republican, pushed for an ambitious education redesign agenda, including teacher evaluation through student outcomes, A through F grades for schools, an expansion of charter schools and vouchers, and more. He was also a consistent supporter of the Common Core State Standards, which Trump doesn’t like. But his hard charging style didn’t sit well with some educators, and he was defeated in his bid for re-election by Glenda Ritz, a Democrat. (Ritz went on to lose her own re-election bid this year.) Later, Bennett became Florida’s state chief.

But he came under scrutiny when emails showed that, during his tenure in Indiana, he had changed the grade of a charter school from “C” to “A.” The school, Christel House, was run by a philanthropist who donated to Bennett’s campaign. Bennett left his gig in Florida, and was ultimately cleared of ethics violations by the Indiana State Ethics Commission. He was found guilty of using state resources for political purposes, and had to pay a $5,000 fine.

Admiral William McRaven: He is a former United States Navy admiral who oversaw special operations, and is the current chancellor of the University of Texas system. He’d be the first secretary with a primarily higher education background since Lauro Cavazos who served as education secretary under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

Tony Zeiss: The former president of Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, N.C. retired in February after more than two decades of service. The school became a national leader in workforce development under his watch, according to the Charlotte Observer. His work even got a shout-out in President Barack Obama’s 2012 State of the Union address. Zeiss, whose name surfaced late Tuesday, would be another higher education pick. And like Pence, he’s a Hoosier.

Eva Moskowitz or Michelle Rhee: Both of these “reformey” Democrats were floated by a Trump spokesman during an appearence on MSNBC. Moskowitz is the founder of Success Academy Charter Schools, Rhee is the controversial former chancellor of public schools in the District of Columbia, where she pushed through policies like performance pay. Both are Democrats, so their policies could be pretty different from most of the other folks on this list.

Jeanne Allen: She’s a long-time school choice advocate who founded the Center for Education Reform, which champions vouchers and charter schools. Allen served as a senior aide at the U.S. Department of Education under President Ronald Reagan. In May, Allen said she rejected the opportunity to advise Trump’s campaign on education issues, telling us, “I don’t want my issues coming out of his mouth.”

It sounds like Allen may have reconsidered since then. She was heartened by the selection of Pence, and campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, she said on Twitter.

A Total Outsider: Before the election, Carl Paladino, a school member in Buffalo, N.Y., and Trump surrogate, told the Council of the Great City Schools that Trump could go completely outside the box on the education secretary pick and choose a business leader or someone with experience outside of education.

In addition, two other school choice advocates, Betty DeVos, a philanthropist, and Kevin Chavous, a former D.C. City council member and a Democrat, are also possibilities. Both sit on the board of directors of the American Federation for Children, a school choice advocacy organization. (Hat tip: Politico). And CNN has reported that Michelle Rhee, the former DC schools chancellor, is on the short list.

Of course, filling the lower-level positions at the department, such as the deputy secretary and assistant secretaries, can have an equally outsized impact on K-12. Over at Rick Hess Straight Up, the education policy director at AEI has some ideas.

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/2016/11/who_could_be_trumps_education_.html

 

 

Dumbing down

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dumbing down is the deliberate oversimplification of intellectual content within education, literature, cinema, news, video games and culture in order to relate to those unable to assimilate more sophisticated information. The term “dumbing down” originated in 1933 as movie-business slang, used by motion picture screenplay writers, meaning: “[to] revise so as to appeal to those of little education or intelligence”.[1] Dumbing-down varies according to subject matter along with the reasons for lowering the intellect of the subject or topic. It often involves diminishment of critical thought involving the undermining of intellectual standards within language and learning; thus trivializing meaningful information, culture, and academic standards, as is the case of popular culture.

Philosophically, the term “dumbing down” is a relative definition, because what is considered dumbing down depends on the taste, value judgement, and intellectual level of the person involved in the matter. In Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste (1979), the sociologist Pierre Bourdieu (1930–2002) proposed that, in a society in which the cultural practices of the ruling class are rendered and established as the legitimate culture of that society, that action then devalues the cultural capital of the subordinate social classes, and thus limits their social mobility within their own society.

Education

In the late 20th century, the proportion of young people attending university in the UK increased sharply, including many who previously would not have been considered to possess the appropriate scholastic aptitude. In 2003, the UK Minister for Universities, Margaret Hodge, criticised Mickey Mouse degrees as a negative consequence of universities dumbing down their courses to meet “the needs of the market”: these are degrees conferred for studies in a field of endeavour “where the content is perhaps not as [intellectually] rigorous as one would expect, and where the degree, itself, may not have huge relevance in the labour market”: thus, a university degree of slight intellectual substance, which the student earned by “simply stacking up numbers on Mickey Mouse courses, is not acceptable”.[2][3]

In 2007 Wellington Grey, a high school physics instructor in London, published an Internet petition objecting to what he described as a dumbed-down curriculum. He wrote: “I am a physics teacher. Or, at least, I used to be”; and complained that “[Mathematical] calculations – the very soul of physics – are absent from the new General Certificate of Secondary Education.”[4] Among the examples of dumbing-down that he provided were: “Question: Why would radio stations broadcast digital signals, rather than analogue signals? Answer: Can be processed by computer/ipod” to “Question: Why must we develop renewable energy sources?” (a political question).

In Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling (1991, 2002), John Taylor Gatto presented speeches and essays, including “The Psychopathic School”, his acceptance speech for the 1990 New York City Teacher of the Year award, and “The Seven-Lesson Schoolteacher”, his acceptance speech upon being named as the New York State Teacher of the Year for 1991.[5] Gatto writes that while he was hired to teach English and literature, he came to believe he was employed as part of a social engineering project. The “seven lessons” at the foundation of schooling were never explicitly stated, Gatto writes, but included teaching students that their self-worth depended on outside evaluation; that they were constantly ranked and supervised; and that they had no opportunities for privacy or solitude. Gatto speculated:

Was it possible, I had been hired, not to enlarge children’s power, but to diminish it? That seemed crazy, on the face of it, but slowly, I began to realize that the bells and confinement, the crazy sequences, the age-segregation, the lack of privacy, the constant surveillance, and all the rest of the national curriculum of schooling were designed exactly as if someone had set out to prevent children from learning how to think, and act, to coax them into addiction and dependent behavior.[5]

In examining the seven lessons of teaching, Gatto concluded that “all of these lessons are prime training for permanent underclasses, people deprived forever of finding the center of their own special genius.” That “school is a twelve-year jail sentence, where bad habits are the only curriculum truly learned. I teach school, and win awards doing it. I should know.”[5]

Mass communications media

Increased business competition and the introduction of econometric methods changed the business practices of the mass communications media. The business monopoly practice of media consolidation reduced the breadth and the depth of the journalism practiced and provided for the information of the public. The reduction of operating costs (overhead expenses) eliminated foreign news bureaus and reporters, in favour of presenting the public relations publications (news releases) of governments, businesses, and political parties as fact.

Refinements in measurement of approval ratings and audience size increased the incentive for journalists and TV producers to write simplistic material, diminishing the intellectual complexity of the argument presented, usually at the expense of factual accuracy and rationality. Cultural theorists, such as Richard Hoggart, Raymond Williams, Neil Postman, Henry Giroux, and Pierre Bourdieu, invoked these effects as evidence that commercial television is an especially pernicious contributor to the dumbing-down of communications. Nonetheless, the cultural critic Stuart Hall said that the people responsible for teaching critical thinking – parents and academic instructors – can improve the quality (breadth and depth) of their instruction by occasionally including television programmes.

In France, Michel Houellebecq has written (not excluding himself) of “the shocking dumbing-down of French culture and intellect as was recently pointed out, [2008] sternly but fairly, by TIME magazine.”[6]

In popular culture

The science fiction film Idiocracy (2005) portrays the U.S. as a greatly dumbed-down society 500 years later, in which the low cultural condition was achieved with dysgenics, over-reproduction by people of low intelligence being greater than the rate of reproduction of people of high intelligence. Similar concepts appeared in earlier works, notably the science fiction short story The Marching Morons (1951), by Cyril M. Kornbluth which also features a modern-day protagonist in a future dominated by low-intelligence persons. Moreover, the novel Brave New World (1931), by Aldous Huxley, discussed the ways that society was effectively dumbed down in order to maintain political stability and social order.

The social critic Paul Fussell touched on these themes (“prole drift”) in his non-fiction book Class: A Guide Through the American Status System (1983)[7] and focused on them specifically in BAD: or, The Dumbing of America(1991).

The musical groups Chumbawamba, The Divine Comedy, Ugly Duckling, and Lupe Fiasco, each have a song titled “Dumb It Down”.

See also

References

  1. Jump up^ Algeo, John; Algeo, Adele (1988). “Among the New Words”. American Speech. 63 (4): 235–236. doi:10.1215/00031283-78-3-331.
  2. Jump up^ ‘Irresponsible’ Hodge under fire“, BBC News, 14 January 2003. URL accessed on 24 June 2006.
  3. Jump up^ 50% higher education target doomed, says thinktank“, EducationGuardian.co.uk, 14 July 2005. URL accessed on 24 June 2006.
  4. Jump up^ “Physicists protest at GCSE change”. BBC News. 28 June 2007.
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b c The Odysseus Group Web site of John Taylor Gatto [1], retrieved 23 February 2009
  6. Jump up^ Michel Houellebecq/Bernard-Henri Lévy, Public Enemies (2011) pp. 3-4
  7. Jump up^ Fussell, P. (1983). Class: A Guide Through the American Status System. New York: Summit Books

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dumbing_down

Larry P. Arnn

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Larry Paul Arnn has served as the twelfth president of Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan, United States since May 2000.[1][2][3][4][5]

He is a political conservative who has been influenced by the thought of Leo Strauss and his teacher Harry V. Jaffa.[6]

Biography

Born in Pocahontas, Arkansas, Arnn received his B.A. (1974) in Political Science and Accounting from Arkansas State University.[1][3][4] He earned graduate degrees in Government from Claremont Graduate School — an M.A. in 1976 and a Ph.D. in 1985.[1][3][4] Arnn studied in England from 1977 to 1980, at the London School of Economics studying International History and then at Worcester College, Oxford University in Modern History.[3][4] While in England, he worked as Director of Research for Martin Gilbert, the official biographer of Winston Churchill.[1][3]

In 1980, Arnn become an editor for Public Research, Syndicated in the United States.[1] He was one of four founders of the Claremont Institute in Claremont, California, and served as its president from 1985 to 2000.[2][4][5] In 2000, he was named the twelfth president of Hillsdale College.[5] In this capacity, he set the ambitious goal of $400 million for the college’s Founders Campaign, beginning in 2001, and under his watch, several new buildings have arisen on the campus.

Arnn has been a trustee of the conservative Heritage Foundation since 2002.[2] In 2012 it offered its presidency to Arnn, who decided to stay in academe instead.[7]

Arnn also sits on the boards of directors of the Henry Salvatori Center for the Study of Individual Freedom in the Modern World at Claremont McKenna College, the Center for Individual Rights, and the Claremont Institute.[1] He is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society, the Churchill Centre, and the Philanthropy Roundtable.[1] As of 2014, he was listed as a member of the Council for National Policy in their directory.[8]

Discussing politics at Hillsdale, Arnn remarked, “If you take the reading of an old book on the view that it’s valuable, you have already discarded the modern Left.”[9] Arnn supported Donald Trump for President in the 2016 US election[10]

Controversies

“Dark Ones” Comment

In 2013, Arnn was criticized for his remarks about ethnic minorities when he testified before the Michigan State Legislature. In testimony against the Common Core curriculum standards, in which Arnn expressed concern about government interference with educational institutions, he recalled that shortly after he assumed the presidency at Hillsdale he received a letter from the state Department of Education that said his college “violated the standards for diversity,” adding, “because we didn’t have enough dark ones, I guess, is what they meant.” After being criticized for calling minorities “dark ones”, he explained that he was referring to “dark faces”, saying: “The State of Michigan sent a group of people down to my campus, with clipboards … to look at the colors of people’s faces and write down what they saw. We don’t keep records of that information. What were they looking for besides dark ones?”[11] Michigan House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel condemned Arnn for his comments, which he called “offensive” and “inflammatory and bigoted”, and asked for an apology.[12] The College issued a statement apologizing for Arnn’s remark, while reiterating Arnn’s concern about “state sponsored racism” in the form of affirmative action policies.[13]

Bibliography

  • Liberty and Learning: The Evolution of American Education (2004)
  • The Founders’ Key: The Divine and Natural Connection Between the Declaration and the Constitution and What We Risk by Losing It
  • Churchill’s Trial: Winston Churchill and the Salvation of Free Government” (2015)

References

  1. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g Hillsdale College faculty page
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b c Heritage Foundation Board of Trustees
  3. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e Thomas Nelson webpage[dead link]
  4. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e John Locke Foundation webpage
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b c Claremont Institute webpage
  6. Jump up^ Paul E. Gottfried (2011). Leo Strauss and the Conservative Movement in America. Cambridge U.P. p. 59.
  7. Jump up^ Tim Mak, “Heritage Foundation gets tough: Think tank puts punch behind its conservative ideas,” Washington Examiner Sept. 13, 2013
  8. Jump up^ 2014 Membership Directory, redacted and released by the Southern Poverty Law Center
  9. Jump up^ Arnn, Larry (September 1, 2014). “Hugh Hewitt Show” (Interview). Interview with Hugh Hewitt.
  10. Jump up^ http://scholarsandwritersforamerica.org/. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. Jump up^ Klein, Rebecca (2013-08-01). “Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn Under Fire For Calling Minority Students ‘Dark Ones'”. Huffington Post.
  12. Jump up^ “Statement from House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills) on Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn’s racist remarks: | Michigan House Democratic Caucus”. Housedems.com. 2013-07-31. Retrieved 2014-08-27.
  13. Jump up^ Higgins, Lori; Jesse, David (August 1, 2013). “Hillsdale president get heat over racial remark”. Detroit Free Press. Retrieved September 26, 2013. ‘No offense was intended by the use of that term except to the offending bureaucrats, and Dr. Arnn is sorry if such offense was honestly taken. But the greater concern, he believes, is the state-endorsed racism the story illustrates.’

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