Treason In the Air

I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord…

Can you feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord, oh Lord

-Phil Collins

Somebody either leaked or hacked into CIA files that explained how US intelligence tracks the enemies of the nation. WikiLeaks says it has released almost nine thousand documents from the CIA Center for Cyber Intelligence. A Wall Street Journal editorial put it this way: 

The losses from this exposure are incalculable. These tools represent millions of dollars of investment and man-hours. Many will now be rendered moot as terrorists or foreign agents abandon traceable habits.

ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other killers now know how the US is tracking them. 

Therefore, the leaks are a treasonous act. 

According to Reuters, the CIA breach took place during the Obama administration. Apparently many of the CIA’s computer systems are outdated (some more than forty years old), easily hacked into, and easily the targets of theft. Also that bids are out to high-tech companies to upgrade intelligence agencies’ computer facilities. That would cost tens of billions of dollars, but its very necessary in this very dangerous world. But no matter how sophisticated the hardware gets, we still have people committing treason inside the government. Since taking office, President Trump has been bedeviled by classified information being fed to the anti-Trump press. 

So now we have a growing catastrophe. Obviously the CIA and other intelligence agencies can’t protect their secrets. So far, only a few individuals have been charged with violating national security. I also believe that leakers of classified documents are actively committing treason. The federal government doesn’t have a handle on how to apprehend these traitors and stop the espionage. America is the most sophisticated country in the world. But we can’t protect the private conversations of our leader, our intelligence secrets, or our counter-terrorism measures.

Obviously this is a dangerous situation. President Trump should order the FBI to aggressively investigate all leaks and hacks as a top priority. Yesterday, House Judiciary Committee Republicans requested a meeting with FBI director Comey on the hacking and leaks. Director Comey should do that as quickly as possible and it should be televised. The Americans need to know if this situation is completely out of control. 

Wiretaps, Collusion, and Chaos! (Cont’d)

Here is a continuation of what I said yesterday, I feel that there were some unsaid things.

There should be indictments against those who leak national security information. Let’s hope that some justice comes out of this chaos.

As I said yesterday, there are only two stone-cold facts that the media can report in this entire debacle. Michael Flynn’s communication with Russia’s ambassador to the US was intercepted. That happened, but we do not know who ordered it and how it went down. Obviously, the American people are entitled to know. Someone leaked the conversations between Flynn and the Russian ambassador to the press. That’s a felony. So, we need to know who the leaker is. Associated with that, then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch finalized a change in how the National Security Agency shares raw intelligence, just days before Obama left office. We need to know why exactly that happened. The NSA sharing raw information with the FBI and CIA and other intelligence agencies, creates more of a potential for leaks. And that’s exactly what happened. Some of President Trump’s calls to the Mexican President, the Australian Prime Minister, and other high level officials were leaked to the press. So in effect, the Obama administration MAY have (I emphasize may) created chaos for the Trump administration by allowing unsubstantiated intelligence information to be spread across various agencies. 

It’s subversion if that were done intentionally to harm the incoming president. 

As I’ve said before, Congress must get to the bottom of the situation. There are ongoing investigations in the House and in the Senate to find out if Russian officials colluded with the Trump campaign. So far there is no evidence of that. We also don’t know anything solid about wiretaps and leaks concerning Donald Trump and we need to know.

Wiretaps, Collusion, and Chaos!

This commentary will be COMPLETELY free of speculation.

The Trump haters say that his campaign worked with the Russians to derail Hillary Clinton’s campaign and derailed her chances to become president. That accusation has angered the president and tied up his administration with unwanted controversy. Showing his annoyance, the president tweeted over the weekend that he believes that Barack Obama ordered phone taps at the Trump Tower. So now all hell is breaking lose.

Let’s look at the facts and unfortunately there are only two facts in this whole swamp of accusations. ONLY two. First, the communication between Michael Flynn and the Russian ambassador to the US were tapped by somebody. A portion of the conversations were given to the Washington Post, but we do not know who tapped the call. 

So… who tapped the call? We just don’t know.

Second fact: Under President Obama, the National Security Agency changed the way it shared raw, unconfirmed intelligence with other agencies. This was finalized in January, just a few days before President Obama left office. It used to be that raw intelligence would not be shared, but now the NSA can share it with other agencies; even if the intelligence IS NOT CONFIRMED. Leaks have sprouted all over the place and were damaging to the Trump administration. 

We do not know why the Obama administration changed intelligence standards. We just don’t know. But Donald Trump apparently believes that it was to sabotage his incoming administration.

That’s it. That’s the only factual information that we have. All the rest is blather, opinion, propaganda, and speculation. 

Now, the entire tasteless mess is based on the Russian hacking, which bedeviled the Clinton campaign. As stated, some anti-Trump people accuse the president and his acolytes of working with the Russians. On Sunday, the director of the national intelligence (James Clapper) under President Obama said in an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd that he had found no evidence of that. Also, Arkansas senator Tom Cotton, who is on the congressional committee that is investigating the Russian situation, also said something pretty identical to what Clapper had said. Any fair-minded person has to acknowledge there is no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

In order for the wiretapping to legally happen, a judge would have to sign off on a FISA warrant. Again please reference the interview with Clapper and Todd, which seems pretty definitive about the issue. President Trump has asked for an investigation into the alleged wire tapping. We assume that’ll happen, but this whole thing is terrible for the country. America’s credibility is being damaged all over the world and the federal government’s ability to even operate is being impeded. For the good of the country, perhaps we should tamp down the madness, let Congress do its job and investigate the situation.

On Trump and Obama Policies and Our Siberian “Friends”…

Here are some of my thoughts on the Trump and Obama agenda and Russia:

Again, we don’t know if the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians to change the outcome of the election, but what I do know that America and Russia are not buddy-buddy with each other. 

If you want to know what a pro-Russia agenda would look like, here are some elements: slash defense spending, slow down our nuclear modernization, roll back nuclear defense missiles, enter one-sided nuclear arm control agreements, and do everything that you can to stop American oil and gas production. Those were Obama’s policies for eight years, not Trump’s. Trump has proposed the exact opposite of those listed items, which would not be good for Russia.

I am not saying that Obama was colluding with the Russians or was actively trying to help out the Russians, but Trump’s policies are polar opposites of helping out Russia. Until all of these investigations are carried out and completed, you can believe whatever you want to believe in how involved the Russians were actually involved with the election; but stop spewing out the narrative that Trump and Putin are practically best friends.

Keep your eyes out for better, in-depth commentaries later this week regarding President Trump and his administration!

On Attorney General Jeff Sessions…

As I’ve said before, the Democrats and much of the press want to produce evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians. There’s no question about that. When then-Senator Jeff Sessions testified at his confirmation hearing for Attorney General, the Russian issue came up, where Sessions was “unable to comment on that issue at that time.”

Two nights ago, the Washington Post published a story that Sessions met with the Russian ambassador twice last year. However the question that was asked of him at his confirmation hearing was about the Trump campaig, not about Sessions’s duties on the Armed Sevices Committee. Yesterday in a press conference, the Attorney General reiterated that the question in his hearing was in the context of the Trump campaign. Sessions also said that he did nothing wrong, told the truth, but is recusing himself from the case. 

I believe that Sessions did the right thing. The FBI is currently investigating whether the Russians influenced the presidential vote and who was involved. The investigation has to be above reproach, that is why the Attorney General is out of it. 

One footnote: Democrats in Congress did not call for then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch to recuse herself from the Hillary Clinton investigation, after Lynch had met with Bill Clinton at a Phoenix airport. Once again, hypocrisy is on full display.

Now here’s what should happen going forward. The FBI should continue its investigation and Director James Comey should testify in front of Congress. A special prosecutor should be appointed if there is evidence presented that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians. There should be a methodical investigation by the FBI and a determination by Congress if a special independent probe is needed. That is a fair, honest, and efficient game plan in this intense political climate.

Even though the press wants to destroy President Trump, the American people should want to know if there were any secret dealings with the Russians during the campaign. 

The REAL State of the Union

The economy is getting stronger, but wages are still rather stagnant. A tax cut for working Americans might change that consumers would likely increase spending, leading business to expand. The more needed labor, the higher wages will go. If President Trump announces a big expansion of infrastructure construction, that will stimulate the job market as well. So across-the-board tax cuts and spending on roads, etc. is what’s needed right now. Of course that’ll drive up the national debt, something I’ll talk about shortly.

On national security, the president is committed to building up the military. It’s necessary, but must be done methodically. Trump is essentially correct when he says that the US has squandered trillions of dollars in the Middle East. What have we achieved there? Islamic terrorist groups are still a threat. Millions of refugees need care. Iran remains an enemy. Iraq and Afghanistan are in chaos. Two presidents tried and failed to bring stability to the Middle East using American blood and treasure. The goal was noble, but the plans flawed (to say the least). The truth is that President Bush’s confrontation and President Obama’s retreat didn’t make things better in that brutal region. Can Donald Trump do better? No one knows. 

Also on the security front, there will be a partial wall on the southern border (something that I’ve talked about before) and increased enforcement on immigration law. The wall is largely a symbol. The enforcement is a message that the president won’t accept open borders and violators of US law. Immigration policy must be enforced methodically, with explanations to the American people about why things are happening. Open border and sanctuary cities supporters have the media with them, so the president has to explain how his policies benefits the US. He should also be humane in this area. Desperate, hardworking people don’t deserve harsh punishment.

Thus, Congress needs to get off of its collective butt and pass updated immigration laws. The issue is so intense that at Trump’s address, Democrats brought undocumented people as guests and President Trump invited families whose loved ones had been killed by illegal alien criminals.

After immigration, the economy, and security-terrorism, the problems are a lot smaller. Except for the debt. It will continue to rise well past $20 trillion until health care and Social Security spending are redefined. Trump knows that he has to run up even more debt to accomplish his agenda. Cutting some programs won’t balance things out. Trump hopes that prosperity will eventually bring in more tax money. But that’s way far down the road. To bring down the debt, Social Security and Medicare payments must be restructured for younger Americans. But President Trump wants no part in that. 

Finally, if Trump is successful in raising wages, the culture war stuff will begin to go his way. Socialists like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren will be crushed if capitalism makes a comeback. Americans are tired of left-wing totalitarianism. Most of us have had it with extremism on both sides. 

The truth is America remains a citadel of opportunity and common sense views held by regular people. But that profile has been smothered by big government zealots, ideological fanatics, and a media that promotes PC culture. If Trump’s vision brings increased prosperity and security, he will trounce his enemies. If economic opportunity rises in America, all of the class warfare B.S. will be harder to sell. But in order for that to happen, American needs to be unleashed.