The greatest political scandal in US history and the media can’t report on it because they were part of the conspiracy…
A unified theory of Spygate: The (partial) story and scope (as we know it so far)
This article won’t be quite as comprehensive as the title may suggest. But I think it may be useful as a way of backing off from the weeds we’ve been in for the last three years, and seeing some things whole: things that have been evident to those with expertise in particular aspects of Spygate, but perhaps not to everyone else.
My hope is to keep this tight and focused. So I’m not going to provide the full arguments and justifications here. They have been dealt with elsewhere; the links are included for further reading.
The focus here is the “how” of Spygate. It’s not about the “why,” at least not at the level of story and song. I’ve written extensively about that too, and for our purposes here will clarify that I believe the Spygate actions, per se, undertaken prior to 2015 were about retaining an ability to spy on political opponents, successors, and all other Americans even after Obama left office in January 2017. The Spygate actions taken in the fall of 2015 and thereafter were mostly about exercising this capability against Donald Trump.
Russiagate was a component of Spygate, not vice versa. Russiagate was about crafting an anti-Trump narrative for the 2016 election. Spygate was about entrenching a mechanism with which to hold the American political sphere at risk, even if one did not hold the White House at a particular time. A “deep state” contingent could tend the mechanism during out-of-office periods. And the intention was precisely to do so.
The breach in the wall
The story of the “how” begins at the end of 2009, with the “Underwear Bomber” airline incident on Christmas Day. The short take on it is that at the time, it was held to reveal an information disconnect, one that had prevented U.S. and British agencies from intercepting the would-be perpetrator before he got on the plane with a bomb in his briefs.
The Obama official who spearheaded the U.S. policy review over the next 24 months was the counterterrorism “czar,” John Brennan. He and the appointed task force concluded that to achieve better interagency coordination, it was necessary to loosen up the sharing of FBI data with the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), an agency of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (the DNI’s agency, ODNI).
The new guidelines were about personal information sharing, including on U.S. persons. They formalized an exchange of U.S. person identity information (USPI) that had not existed before between the two agencies – because the data exchange reveals the identity of the person in connection with potentially criminal information. When it’s a foreign person overseas, that’s one thing. When it’s a U.S. person with Fourth Amendment rights, it’s another.
Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-TX) has also highlighted that a DOJ submissions to the FISA court on this matter, in April 2012, addressed sharing of citizens’ sensitive personal information with the other members of the “5 Eyes” collective (U.S., UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand). He is right to regard that as being of concern, and quite possibly relevant to Spygate.