Category: Matthew Vadum

How the Left Created Nikolas Cruz


The Casey Foundation now brags that its Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) “has grown to become the most widely replicated juvenile justice reform initiative in the United States, reaching youth in more than 300 local jurisdictions across 39 states and the District of Columbia.”  Approximately 10 million young people aged 10 to 17 live in these communities.

The Casey Foundation also boasts in a recent report that there were in excess of “3,800 fewer youth in detention on an average day in 2016 than before those sites undertook JDAI — a reduction of 43 percent.”

This is reason to celebrate – if you want America to slide into chaos.

Since Cruz massacred 14 students and three school employees on Valentine’s Day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County, Florida, fingers have been rightly pointed at the Obama administration, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel (D) and his cowardly deputies, Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert W. Runcie, left-wing activists, and pie-in-the-sky philanthropists for promoting the profoundly antisocial theory that arresting and detaining young lawbreakers somehow transforms them into criminals.

But Broward County isn’t just one of many outposts of soft-headed thinking about juvenile justice reform: It is Ground Zero for the anti-incarceration movement that tries to keep all but those young offenders accused of the most serious crimes in society where they can perfect their skills as they become recidivists.  For a quarter century, Broward has been showing the way in reversing what left-wingers fancifully call the “school-to-prison pipeline” by wrongfully keeping young sociopaths out of jail.

JDAI has its origins in Broward County.  The program began in 1993, growing out of a lawsuit that claimed the county’s juvenile facility was overcrowded.

Capital Research Center reported eight years ago on the dangers presented by the program.  A paper stated:

Broward County officials responded to the suit with a series of measures that would later form the core JDAI guidelines.  They devised a test to screen arrested youths, determining which young people needed to stay in detention awaiting trial for violent offenses or because they posed a flight risk, and which could be channeled into alternatives such as home monitoring.

The JDAI approach is unduly focused on the well-being of the offenders, as opposed to their victims and society as a whole.  To progressives, young people committing crimes is no social crisis.  The real crisis is that the young people who are committing crimes are being caught and prosecuted.  To these leftists, modern-day America is a horrifying Dickensian dystopia of institutional cruelty that persecutes the young, minorities, and the poor.

Around the time JDAI was getting started, law professors David Wexler and Bruce Winick coined the term “therapeutic jurisprudence,” which certainly seems to cover JDAI.  The expression can be defined as “an interdisciplinary method of legal scholarship that aims to reform the law in order to positively impact the psychological well-being of the accused person.”  In other words, the legal system should exist primarily for social work benefitting perpetrators, not for dispensing justice.  This is fine by unrepentant Marxist terrorists and academics Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn who praised JDAI by name in their book, Race Course Against White Supremacy.

Casey Foundation officials, who hand out large sums to state and local governments and activist groups, as well as JDAI staff and their co-religionists in municipal and county juvenile justice systems, assert that there is a statistical correlation between detention and incarceration.

One JDAI publication claims:

[D]etention itself has a significant negative impact on delinquency cases.   Research has shown that detained youth are more likely to be formally charged, found delinquent, and committed to youth corrections facilities than similarly situated youngsters…  [y]outh detained pending court were three times as likely to be committed to a corrections facility as youth with identical offending histories who were not detained.  Detention, therefore, might be thought of as the slippery slope into juvenile justice’s deep end.

The problem with this kind of thinking is that correlation does not imply causation.

It stands to reason that the young people detained by authorities are those most likely to be convicted of crime and to re-offend later.  Detention itself does not generate crime; bad behavior leads to incarceration and more lawbreaking.

Ironically, at one point, the Annie E. Casey Foundation website itself embraced political violence.  It used to feature “articles lauding protesters who try to prevent the construction or expansion of juvenile detention centers.”

We have to wonder what kind of a person runs a program as perverse as JDAI.

Bart Lubow, its director from 1994 to 2014, has a track record of pro-criminal activism.

In 1975 he was held for questioning after “three members of the Black Liberation Army on trial for the murder of two New York City policemen somehow managed while in custody to obtain explosives and weapons hidden in legal envelopes.”  Lubow was detained because he was thought to know how the perpetrators obtained the weaponry.

The New York Times reported “that in 1972, while he was providing legal counsel to minority American sailors in the Philippines, Lubow was deported for attempting to distribute communist and anti-government literature.”

Not surprisingly, he loudly opposed the tough-on-crime measures pursued by Rudolph Giuliani (R), then the mayor of New York City, that many credit with cleaning up and resurrecting a troubled metropolis.

Largely under Lubow’s leadership, JDAI fostered a culture of legal permissiveness in South Florida communities and elsewhere for 25 years by promoting what the Casey Foundation’s website accurately calls “radical detention reform.”

Lubow has also been involved in pushing something called the “deliberate indifference” legal strategy promoted by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Michigan.

The argument is that “when policymakers implement rules known to be injurious to a certain group when non-injurious alternatives are available, they are acting with ‘deliberate indifference’ to that group’s constitutional rights.”  If these people can find courts that agree with this absurd line of thinking, most or perhaps all juvenile detention could suddenly become unconstitutional.

The Kellogg and Casey Foundations are well-positioned to spend oodles of money to make their frightening social-engineering schemes come true.  The Kellogg Foundation and W.K. Kellogg Foundation Trust had assets of $428.2 million and $8.84 billion, respectively, according to their most recent publicly available IRS filings.  The Casey Foundation reported assets of $2.65 billion to the IRS.

That massive philanthropic pool of close to $12 billion isn’t likely to be spent on good things that benefit society.  A fair-sized chunk of it will go to keep young adults like Nikolas Cruz out of the justice system.  Given the size and scope of JDAI, it stands to reason that there are many more troubled teenagers like Cruz out there right now, shielded and coddled by law enforcement officials like Sheriff Israel.  How many more Americans will die because of the Casey Foundation’s disastrous juvenile justice program?

If Cruz had experienced any kind of meaningful contact with the criminal justice system in Broward County it is possible his killing spree could have been avoided.

Sheriff Israel’s office was besieged with tips and complaints about Cruz.

“This kid exhibited every single known red flag, from killing animals to having a cache of weapons to disruptive behavior to saying he wanted to be a school shooter,” Broward County Public Defender Howard Finkelstein told the New York Times.

“If this isn’t a person who should have gotten someone’s attention, I don’t know who is. This was a multisystem failure.”

If Israel’s office had taken the Cruz case seriously, perhaps he wouldn’t have been able to purchase the weaponry he used against his former classmates.

“He had a clean record, so alarm bells didn’t go off when they looked him up in the system,” said veteran FBI agent Michael Biasello.  “He probably wouldn’t have been able to buy the murder weapon if the school had referred him to law enforcement.”

Of course, it is also true, as Paul Sperry reports, that Obama administration policies encouraging relaxed school discipline have allowed “thousands of troubled, often violent, students to commit crimes without legal consequence.”  The flawed approach to juvenile justice goes back to the 1990s and seems to have been inspired by radical academics in the tumultuous 1960s, a decade historian Paul Johnson aptly dubbed “America’s suicide attempt.”

Radical sociologists Richard Cloward and Lloyd Ohlin argued in their 1960 book, Delinquency and Opportunity: A Theory of Delinquent Gangs, that capitalism creates criminals.  Poor inner-city youth were only rationally pursuing their own self-interest when they committed crimes.  Delinquency was caused by poverty, which denied would-be criminals opportunities for economic advancement, or so their thinking went.

Cloward and his wife, academic Frances Fox Piven, wrote a book titled Poor People’s Movements: Why They Succeed, How They Fail, in which they argued criminals are either misunderstood, freedom fighters, or perhaps both.  When a poor person commits a crime it is a justifiable act of rebellion worthy of sympathy, if not support.  In their upside-down Marxist world, it is simultaneously a cry for help and for revolution.

The couple decried the social tendency to apply “the pejorative labels of illegality and violence” to describe “defiance by the lower classes.”  Using these “labels” glosses over the fact that the poor are trapped in “a structure of political coercion inherent in the everyday life of the lower classes.”

And so, hidden behind farfetched social theories, distortions, euphemisms, and lies, the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative has given a generation of young criminals like Nikolas Cruz permission to wreak havoc.

Matthew Vadum is senior vice president at Capital Research Center, an investigative think tank in Washington, D.C.  An investigative reporter, he is also author of Team Jihad and Subversion Inc.  Follow him on Twitter.  E-mail him at matthewvadum [at] gmail.com.

Did you know that the same reckless juvenile delinquency policies that effectively green-lighted high school spree-killer Nikolas Cruz’s descent into infamy are now in effect all across America?

No organization has done more to keep juvenile offenders across the nation on the streets instead of behind bars than the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation, which was created in 1948 by UPS founder James E. Casey and his siblings in honor of their mother.

The Casey Foundation now brags that its Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) “has grown to become the most widely replicated juvenile justice reform initiative in the United States, reaching youth in more than 300 local jurisdictions across 39 states and the District of Columbia.”  Approximately 10 million young people aged 10 to 17 live in these communities.

The Casey Foundation also boasts in a recent report that there were in excess of “3,800 fewer youth in detention on an average day in 2016 than before those sites undertook JDAI — a reduction of 43 percent.”

This is reason to celebrate – if you want America to slide into chaos.

Since Cruz massacred 14 students and three school employees on Valentine’s Day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County, Florida, fingers have been rightly pointed at the Obama administration, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel (D) and his cowardly deputies, Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert W. Runcie, left-wing activists, and pie-in-the-sky philanthropists for promoting the profoundly antisocial theory that arresting and detaining young lawbreakers somehow transforms them into criminals.

But Broward County isn’t just one of many outposts of soft-headed thinking about juvenile justice reform: It is Ground Zero for the anti-incarceration movement that tries to keep all but those young offenders accused of the most serious crimes in society where they can perfect their skills as they become recidivists.  For a quarter century, Broward has been showing the way in reversing what left-wingers fancifully call the “school-to-prison pipeline” by wrongfully keeping young sociopaths out of jail.

JDAI has its origins in Broward County.  The program began in 1993, growing out of a lawsuit that claimed the county’s juvenile facility was overcrowded.

Capital Research Center reported eight years ago on the dangers presented by the program.  A paper stated:

Broward County officials responded to the suit with a series of measures that would later form the core JDAI guidelines.  They devised a test to screen arrested youths, determining which young people needed to stay in detention awaiting trial for violent offenses or because they posed a flight risk, and which could be channeled into alternatives such as home monitoring.

The JDAI approach is unduly focused on the well-being of the offenders, as opposed to their victims and society as a whole.  To progressives, young people committing crimes is no social crisis.  The real crisis is that the young people who are committing crimes are being caught and prosecuted.  To these leftists, modern-day America is a horrifying Dickensian dystopia of institutional cruelty that persecutes the young, minorities, and the poor.

Around the time JDAI was getting started, law professors David Wexler and Bruce Winick coined the term “therapeutic jurisprudence,” which certainly seems to cover JDAI.  The expression can be defined as “an interdisciplinary method of legal scholarship that aims to reform the law in order to positively impact the psychological well-being of the accused person.”  In other words, the legal system should exist primarily for social work benefitting perpetrators, not for dispensing justice.  This is fine by unrepentant Marxist terrorists and academics Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn who praised JDAI by name in their book, Race Course Against White Supremacy.

Casey Foundation officials, who hand out large sums to state and local governments and activist groups, as well as JDAI staff and their co-religionists in municipal and county juvenile justice systems, assert that there is a statistical correlation between detention and incarceration.

One JDAI publication claims:

[D]etention itself has a significant negative impact on delinquency cases.   Research has shown that detained youth are more likely to be formally charged, found delinquent, and committed to youth corrections facilities than similarly situated youngsters…  [y]outh detained pending court were three times as likely to be committed to a corrections facility as youth with identical offending histories who were not detained.  Detention, therefore, might be thought of as the slippery slope into juvenile justice’s deep end.

The problem with this kind of thinking is that correlation does not imply causation.

It stands to reason that the young people detained by authorities are those most likely to be convicted of crime and to re-offend later.  Detention itself does not generate crime; bad behavior leads to incarceration and more lawbreaking.

Ironically, at one point, the Annie E. Casey Foundation website itself embraced political violence.  It used to feature “articles lauding protesters who try to prevent the construction or expansion of juvenile detention centers.”

We have to wonder what kind of a person runs a program as perverse as JDAI.

Bart Lubow, its director from 1994 to 2014, has a track record of pro-criminal activism.

In 1975 he was held for questioning after “three members of the Black Liberation Army on trial for the murder of two New York City policemen somehow managed while in custody to obtain explosives and weapons hidden in legal envelopes.”  Lubow was detained because he was thought to know how the perpetrators obtained the weaponry.

The New York Times reported “that in 1972, while he was providing legal counsel to minority American sailors in the Philippines, Lubow was deported for attempting to distribute communist and anti-government literature.”

Not surprisingly, he loudly opposed the tough-on-crime measures pursued by Rudolph Giuliani (R), then the mayor of New York City, that many credit with cleaning up and resurrecting a troubled metropolis.

Largely under Lubow’s leadership, JDAI fostered a culture of legal permissiveness in South Florida communities and elsewhere for 25 years by promoting what the Casey Foundation’s website accurately calls “radical detention reform.”

Lubow has also been involved in pushing something called the “deliberate indifference” legal strategy promoted by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Michigan.

The argument is that “when policymakers implement rules known to be injurious to a certain group when non-injurious alternatives are available, they are acting with ‘deliberate indifference’ to that group’s constitutional rights.”  If these people can find courts that agree with this absurd line of thinking, most or perhaps all juvenile detention could suddenly become unconstitutional.

The Kellogg and Casey Foundations are well-positioned to spend oodles of money to make their frightening social-engineering schemes come true.  The Kellogg Foundation and W.K. Kellogg Foundation Trust had assets of $428.2 million and $8.84 billion, respectively, according to their most recent publicly available IRS filings.  The Casey Foundation reported assets of $2.65 billion to the IRS.

That massive philanthropic pool of close to $12 billion isn’t likely to be spent on good things that benefit society.  A fair-sized chunk of it will go to keep young adults like Nikolas Cruz out of the justice system.  Given the size and scope of JDAI, it stands to reason that there are many more troubled teenagers like Cruz out there right now, shielded and coddled by law enforcement officials like Sheriff Israel.  How many more Americans will die because of the Casey Foundation’s disastrous juvenile justice program?

If Cruz had experienced any kind of meaningful contact with the criminal justice system in Broward County it is possible his killing spree could have been avoided.

Sheriff Israel’s office was besieged with tips and complaints about Cruz.

“This kid exhibited every single known red flag, from killing animals to having a cache of weapons to disruptive behavior to saying he wanted to be a school shooter,” Broward County Public Defender Howard Finkelstein told the New York Times.

“If this isn’t a person who should have gotten someone’s attention, I don’t know who is. This was a multisystem failure.”

If Israel’s office had taken the Cruz case seriously, perhaps he wouldn’t have been able to purchase the weaponry he used against his former classmates.

“He had a clean record, so alarm bells didn’t go off when they looked him up in the system,” said veteran FBI agent Michael Biasello.  “He probably wouldn’t have been able to buy the murder weapon if the school had referred him to law enforcement.”

Of course, it is also true, as Paul Sperry reports, that Obama administration policies encouraging relaxed school discipline have allowed “thousands of troubled, often violent, students to commit crimes without legal consequence.”  The flawed approach to juvenile justice goes back to the 1990s and seems to have been inspired by radical academics in the tumultuous 1960s, a decade historian Paul Johnson aptly dubbed “America’s suicide attempt.”

Radical sociologists Richard Cloward and Lloyd Ohlin argued in their 1960 book, Delinquency and Opportunity: A Theory of Delinquent Gangs, that capitalism creates criminals.  Poor inner-city youth were only rationally pursuing their own self-interest when they committed crimes.  Delinquency was caused by poverty, which denied would-be criminals opportunities for economic advancement, or so their thinking went.

Cloward and his wife, academic Frances Fox Piven, wrote a book titled Poor People’s Movements: Why They Succeed, How They Fail, in which they argued criminals are either misunderstood, freedom fighters, or perhaps both.  When a poor person commits a crime it is a justifiable act of rebellion worthy of sympathy, if not support.  In their upside-down Marxist world, it is simultaneously a cry for help and for revolution.

The couple decried the social tendency to apply “the pejorative labels of illegality and violence” to describe “defiance by the lower classes.”  Using these “labels” glosses over the fact that the poor are trapped in “a structure of political coercion inherent in the everyday life of the lower classes.”

And so, hidden behind farfetched social theories, distortions, euphemisms, and lies, the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative has given a generation of young criminals like Nikolas Cruz permission to wreak havoc.

Matthew Vadum is senior vice president at Capital Research Center, an investigative think tank in Washington, D.C.  An investigative reporter, he is also author of Team Jihad and Subversion Inc.  Follow him on Twitter.  E-mail him at matthewvadum [at] gmail.com.



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Trump’s wiretap claim is anything but “baseless”


At the same time as we are assured by Never Trumpers that Trump is making things up, the so-called evidence of Team Trump’s allegedly nefarious connections and collusion with the Russian government to subvert the American electoral process is treated as Holy Writ.  The Left and the mainstream media – but I repeat myself – gravitate to the evidence that hurts Trump, ignoring the rest.  

It’s that simple.  And there is an impressive evidentiary double-standard at work in the weighing of evidence, much of which apparently has been politicized. 

But as far as I can tell, nobody has clearly pointed out the seeming arbitrariness in the media taking the word of one group of spies over the other.

We know that the evidence supporting both the anti-Trump and pro-Trump claims reportedly comes from unnamed sources within the same U.S intelligence community (IC).  If anyone with direct personal knowledge of evidence backing either claim has gone on the record, I’ve missed it (and I spend all day long on the Internet).

Why should we believe one set of anonymous IC sources over another?  We don’t know who these people are – on either side — and what axes they may have to grind.  And we shouldn’t blindly trust these intel people, either.  There may be plenty who are honest and honorable, but there are plenty who aren’t.  (See McMullin, Evan, and Rice, Susan.)  At this point at least, we’re in no position to assess the evidence.  All we have so far is one set of faceless spooks anonymously providing evidence that contradicts what the other spook cohort reportedly said.   

We’ve just come out of the roughest, nastiest presidential transition in my lifetime, made so by Barack Obama, the most despotic, overreaching president since the great proto-fascist Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat like Obama.  While Obama smiled for the television cameras and pretended to be cooperating with the Trump people, behind the scenes he worked zealously to lay minefields to safeguard his destructive, anti-American legacy.  

There is no parallel in American history for the Obama administration’s not-so-metaphorical war against the incoming Trump administration.  Obama has even taken the extremely unusual step of staying behind in the nation’s capital to vex and harass his successor.  He has rented an Embassy Row mansion not far from the White House, built a wall around it to keep prying eyes away, and arranged for his senior White House advisor, Valerie Jarrett, to live there.  He is also using his well-funded nonprofit, Organizing for Action, to do his dirty work.

Obama’s strategy is working.  The constant drumbeat about Russian meddling has helped to keep Trump’s approval numbers low enough that he can’t get his agenda through Congress.

But let’s go over how we got here.

President Trump published a series of tweets on his @realDonaldTrump account March 4, 2017.

At 6:35 a.m. he wrote, “Terrible!  Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory.  Nothing found.  This is McCarthyism!”

At 6:49 a.m. he wrote, “Is it legal for a sitting President to be ‘wire tapping’ a race for president prior to an election?  Turned down by court earlier.  A NEW LOW!”

He tweeted again at 6:52 a.m., writing, “I’d bet a good lawyer could make a great case out of the fact that President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election!”  At 7:02 a.m. he added, “How low has President Obama gone to tapp [sic] my phones during the very sacred election process.  This is Nixon/Watergate.  Bad (or sick) guy!”

Here Trump was referring to two instances last year when the FBI applied to the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for warrants related to his activities.  The June application to monitor communications between Trump and some of his advisers was refused, something that almost never happens.  According to a Heat Street article citing anonymous sources, in October, a second, narrower application for a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant was granted “after evidence was presented of a server, possibly related to the Trump campaign, and its alleged links to two banks; SVB Bank and Russia’s Alfa Bank.”  The server was reportedly located in the Trump Tower in Manhattan but other reports suggested it was located in Philadelphia.

The granting of the warrant was also reported independently by BBC News on Jan. 12 in an article citing anonymous sources.

On Jan. 19, the New York Times published an article online with the headline, “Intercepted Russian Communications Part of Inquiry Into Trump Associates.”  The item, which examines the wiretapping of the Trump team, relies on anonymous sources.

American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, current and former senior American officials said.

A note at the bottom of the web page states, “A version of this article appears in print on January 20, 2017, on Page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides.”  (Note the Old Gray Lady’s use of the word “Wiretapped.”)

So there is evidence out there in media outlets that left-wingers accept as credible that supports Trump’s wiretapping allegation against Obama.  Whether that evidence is trustworthy or relevant will be decided at some point in the future – but it does exist regardless of the increasingly strident posturing of Fox News Channel’s worst anchor, Shepard Smith.

Some hairsplitting left-wingers pillory Trump for tweeting that President Obama, as opposed to the FBI, wiretapped him.  This is semantic goalpost-shifting.  Although the FBI enjoys great independence from the White House, it remains part of the Department of Justice in the administration of the sitting president. 

And in colloquial American speech, that is, expression outside of legal documents and formal writing, people commonly attribute actions by federal employees to their ultimate overseer, the president of the United States of America.  George H.W. Bush is commonly said to have raised Americans’ taxes in 1990, even though all he did in the legislative process – apart from being a RINO coward and betraying his political base – was minimal as he signed into law a bill that the people’s representatives in the House and Senate had sent him.

So according to this longstanding linguistic convention, because Barack Obama was president when the FBI sought the warrants against the Trump people, Barack Obama sought the wiretapping warrants, just as Donald Trump tweeted.

Some of the other intellectuals on the Left even attack Trump for supposedly using the verb “wiretap” incorrectly.

David Jackson of USA Today accuses Trump in a March 16 piece of “trying to alter the meaning of the term ‘wiretap.’” He adds, “[f]or days, Trump aides have tried to shift the term ‘wiretapping’ to ‘surveillance.’”

If true, Trump aides under pressure from the media have been wasting their time.  Their boss got it right the first time, using the verb correctly on Twitter.

This is confirmed by the authoritative textbook, Introduction to Computer Security, by Matt Bishop, a professor of computer science at the University of California at Davis.

“Wiretapping, or passive wiretapping, is a form of snooping in which a network is monitored. (It is called ‘wiretapping’ because of the ‘wires’ that compose the network, although the term is used even if no physical wiring is involved.)”

There is the apparent admission of the existence of an Obama-era IC conspiracy by Dr. Evelyn N. Farkas to MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski on March 27.  Farkas left her post as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia/Ukraine/Eurasia in 2015 and went on to serve as a foreign policy advisor to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Then there’s the March 16 allegation by Fox News contributor Andrew Napolitano who, citing unnamed sources, claimed President Obama may have used British intelligence to spy on Trump.

Sources have told me that the British foreign surveillance service, the Government Communications Headquarters, known as GCHQ, most likely provided Obama with transcripts of Trump’s calls.  The NSA has given GCHQ full 24/7 access to its computers, so GCHQ — a foreign intelligence agency that, like the NSA, operates outside our constitutional norms — has the digital versions of all electronic communications made in America in 2016, including Trump’s.  So by bypassing all American intelligence services, Obama would have had access to what he wanted with no Obama administration fingerprints.


Thus, when senior American intelligence officials denied that their agencies knew about this, they were probably being truthful.  Adding to this ominous scenario is the fact that three days after Trump’s inauguration, the head of GCHQ, Robert Hannigan, abruptly resigned, stating that he wished to spend more time with his family.

Although Napolitano, who was briefly suspended by Fox News management for this statement, has been ridiculed for this claim, it isn’t as far-fetched as it may initially seem.

As my intrepid Capital Research Center colleague, Dr. Steven J. Allen, informed me, the United States and United Kingdom are parties to a multilateral intelligence cooperation pact.  This five-way intelligence alliance among the U.S., United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada is called Five Eyes (FVEY).  It obligates the countries to work together in the area of signals intelligence (SIGINT).  SIGINT is the gathering of intelligence related to communications between individuals (COMINT) and or from electronic signals not directly used in communication (ELINT).

Her Majesty’s Government has allowed the U.S. to spy on Britons.  

The Independent reported in 2013 that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s government “gave America permission to store and analyse the email, mobile phone and internet records of potentially millions of innocent Britons” and that there “is no evidence that the practice has been discontinued.”  The report added, “US intelligence uses a practice called ‘contact chaining’ – gathering data not just on surveillance target, but that of their friends and their friends, too.”

So if Napolitano’s sources are correct, British spymasters may very well have had no good reason to turn down a request from Obama or his subordinates to spy on Trump’s people

This is not an exhaustive compilation of evidence that bolsters Trump’s claim.

But it is enough to show that the president isn’t making a “baseless” accusation against his predecessor.

Matthew Vadum is senior vice president at Capital Research Center, a think-tank in Washington, D.C., and editor-in-chief of its new Bombthrowers blog.  He is also an investigative reporter and author of the ACORN/Obama exposé Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers.  Follow him on Twitter.  E-mail him at matthewvadum [at] gmail.com.

 

 

The pernicious lie that President Trump’s claim he was wiretapped by President Obama is “baseless” is being regurgitated in the mainstream media virtually nonstop in the 24/7 news cycle.

These people are so desperate to hang Trump that they embraced the ridiculous “piss-gate” dossier promoted by political hack Ben Smith’s cat-video website Buzzfeed.

At the same time as we are assured by Never Trumpers that Trump is making things up, the so-called evidence of Team Trump’s allegedly nefarious connections and collusion with the Russian government to subvert the American electoral process is treated as Holy Writ.  The Left and the mainstream media – but I repeat myself – gravitate to the evidence that hurts Trump, ignoring the rest.  

It’s that simple.  And there is an impressive evidentiary double-standard at work in the weighing of evidence, much of which apparently has been politicized. 

But as far as I can tell, nobody has clearly pointed out the seeming arbitrariness in the media taking the word of one group of spies over the other.

We know that the evidence supporting both the anti-Trump and pro-Trump claims reportedly comes from unnamed sources within the same U.S intelligence community (IC).  If anyone with direct personal knowledge of evidence backing either claim has gone on the record, I’ve missed it (and I spend all day long on the Internet).

Why should we believe one set of anonymous IC sources over another?  We don’t know who these people are – on either side — and what axes they may have to grind.  And we shouldn’t blindly trust these intel people, either.  There may be plenty who are honest and honorable, but there are plenty who aren’t.  (See McMullin, Evan, and Rice, Susan.)  At this point at least, we’re in no position to assess the evidence.  All we have so far is one set of faceless spooks anonymously providing evidence that contradicts what the other spook cohort reportedly said.   

We’ve just come out of the roughest, nastiest presidential transition in my lifetime, made so by Barack Obama, the most despotic, overreaching president since the great proto-fascist Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat like Obama.  While Obama smiled for the television cameras and pretended to be cooperating with the Trump people, behind the scenes he worked zealously to lay minefields to safeguard his destructive, anti-American legacy.  

There is no parallel in American history for the Obama administration’s not-so-metaphorical war against the incoming Trump administration.  Obama has even taken the extremely unusual step of staying behind in the nation’s capital to vex and harass his successor.  He has rented an Embassy Row mansion not far from the White House, built a wall around it to keep prying eyes away, and arranged for his senior White House advisor, Valerie Jarrett, to live there.  He is also using his well-funded nonprofit, Organizing for Action, to do his dirty work.

Obama’s strategy is working.  The constant drumbeat about Russian meddling has helped to keep Trump’s approval numbers low enough that he can’t get his agenda through Congress.

But let’s go over how we got here.

President Trump published a series of tweets on his @realDonaldTrump account March 4, 2017.

At 6:35 a.m. he wrote, “Terrible!  Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory.  Nothing found.  This is McCarthyism!”

At 6:49 a.m. he wrote, “Is it legal for a sitting President to be ‘wire tapping’ a race for president prior to an election?  Turned down by court earlier.  A NEW LOW!”

He tweeted again at 6:52 a.m., writing, “I’d bet a good lawyer could make a great case out of the fact that President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election!”  At 7:02 a.m. he added, “How low has President Obama gone to tapp [sic] my phones during the very sacred election process.  This is Nixon/Watergate.  Bad (or sick) guy!”

Here Trump was referring to two instances last year when the FBI applied to the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for warrants related to his activities.  The June application to monitor communications between Trump and some of his advisers was refused, something that almost never happens.  According to a Heat Street article citing anonymous sources, in October, a second, narrower application for a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant was granted “after evidence was presented of a server, possibly related to the Trump campaign, and its alleged links to two banks; SVB Bank and Russia’s Alfa Bank.”  The server was reportedly located in the Trump Tower in Manhattan but other reports suggested it was located in Philadelphia.

The granting of the warrant was also reported independently by BBC News on Jan. 12 in an article citing anonymous sources.

On Jan. 19, the New York Times published an article online with the headline, “Intercepted Russian Communications Part of Inquiry Into Trump Associates.”  The item, which examines the wiretapping of the Trump team, relies on anonymous sources.

American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, current and former senior American officials said.

A note at the bottom of the web page states, “A version of this article appears in print on January 20, 2017, on Page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Wiretapped Data Used in Inquiry of Trump Aides.”  (Note the Old Gray Lady’s use of the word “Wiretapped.”)

So there is evidence out there in media outlets that left-wingers accept as credible that supports Trump’s wiretapping allegation against Obama.  Whether that evidence is trustworthy or relevant will be decided at some point in the future – but it does exist regardless of the increasingly strident posturing of Fox News Channel’s worst anchor, Shepard Smith.

Some hairsplitting left-wingers pillory Trump for tweeting that President Obama, as opposed to the FBI, wiretapped him.  This is semantic goalpost-shifting.  Although the FBI enjoys great independence from the White House, it remains part of the Department of Justice in the administration of the sitting president. 

And in colloquial American speech, that is, expression outside of legal documents and formal writing, people commonly attribute actions by federal employees to their ultimate overseer, the president of the United States of America.  George H.W. Bush is commonly said to have raised Americans’ taxes in 1990, even though all he did in the legislative process – apart from being a RINO coward and betraying his political base – was minimal as he signed into law a bill that the people’s representatives in the House and Senate had sent him.

So according to this longstanding linguistic convention, because Barack Obama was president when the FBI sought the warrants against the Trump people, Barack Obama sought the wiretapping warrants, just as Donald Trump tweeted.

Some of the other intellectuals on the Left even attack Trump for supposedly using the verb “wiretap” incorrectly.

David Jackson of USA Today accuses Trump in a March 16 piece of “trying to alter the meaning of the term ‘wiretap.’” He adds, “[f]or days, Trump aides have tried to shift the term ‘wiretapping’ to ‘surveillance.’”

If true, Trump aides under pressure from the media have been wasting their time.  Their boss got it right the first time, using the verb correctly on Twitter.

This is confirmed by the authoritative textbook, Introduction to Computer Security, by Matt Bishop, a professor of computer science at the University of California at Davis.

“Wiretapping, or passive wiretapping, is a form of snooping in which a network is monitored. (It is called ‘wiretapping’ because of the ‘wires’ that compose the network, although the term is used even if no physical wiring is involved.)”

There is the apparent admission of the existence of an Obama-era IC conspiracy by Dr. Evelyn N. Farkas to MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski on March 27.  Farkas left her post as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia/Ukraine/Eurasia in 2015 and went on to serve as a foreign policy advisor to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Then there’s the March 16 allegation by Fox News contributor Andrew Napolitano who, citing unnamed sources, claimed President Obama may have used British intelligence to spy on Trump.

Sources have told me that the British foreign surveillance service, the Government Communications Headquarters, known as GCHQ, most likely provided Obama with transcripts of Trump’s calls.  The NSA has given GCHQ full 24/7 access to its computers, so GCHQ — a foreign intelligence agency that, like the NSA, operates outside our constitutional norms — has the digital versions of all electronic communications made in America in 2016, including Trump’s.  So by bypassing all American intelligence services, Obama would have had access to what he wanted with no Obama administration fingerprints.


Thus, when senior American intelligence officials denied that their agencies knew about this, they were probably being truthful.  Adding to this ominous scenario is the fact that three days after Trump’s inauguration, the head of GCHQ, Robert Hannigan, abruptly resigned, stating that he wished to spend more time with his family.

Although Napolitano, who was briefly suspended by Fox News management for this statement, has been ridiculed for this claim, it isn’t as far-fetched as it may initially seem.

As my intrepid Capital Research Center colleague, Dr. Steven J. Allen, informed me, the United States and United Kingdom are parties to a multilateral intelligence cooperation pact.  This five-way intelligence alliance among the U.S., United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada is called Five Eyes (FVEY).  It obligates the countries to work together in the area of signals intelligence (SIGINT).  SIGINT is the gathering of intelligence related to communications between individuals (COMINT) and or from electronic signals not directly used in communication (ELINT).

Her Majesty’s Government has allowed the U.S. to spy on Britons.  

The Independent reported in 2013 that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s government “gave America permission to store and analyse the email, mobile phone and internet records of potentially millions of innocent Britons” and that there “is no evidence that the practice has been discontinued.”  The report added, “US intelligence uses a practice called ‘contact chaining’ – gathering data not just on surveillance target, but that of their friends and their friends, too.”

So if Napolitano’s sources are correct, British spymasters may very well have had no good reason to turn down a request from Obama or his subordinates to spy on Trump’s people

This is not an exhaustive compilation of evidence that bolsters Trump’s claim.

But it is enough to show that the president isn’t making a “baseless” accusation against his predecessor.

Matthew Vadum is senior vice president at Capital Research Center, a think-tank in Washington, D.C., and editor-in-chief of its new Bombthrowers blog.  He is also an investigative reporter and author of the ACORN/Obama exposé Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers.  Follow him on Twitter.  E-mail him at matthewvadum [at] gmail.com.

 

 



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