When the mainstream media first got wind of Donald Trump’s claim that the previous administration had wiretapped his campaign/transition offices at Trump Tower, they went ballistic. They took the charge as if Trump had insulted them personally. How dare he accuse Barack (Not-a-Smidgen-of-Corruption) Obama of breaking the law.
Perhaps it’s time for our friends in the mainstream media to try switching to decaf. First of all, the president didn’t say Obama broke the law. He just said that Trump Tower was wiretapped. If the story is true, it could have been a legal, court-approved wiretap.
Another wiretap by the Obama administration that was probably legal, if questionable, was that of former Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio). But the bugging of investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson’s computer was very likely illegal and certainly immoral.
Kucinich says that he was wiretapped in 2011 and that a conversation he had with a foreign leader was recorded. He told Fox News Channel’s Shannon Bream that he knew for certain he was wiretapped because the Washington Times let him listen to the a copy of the recorded conversation they had obtained. Apparently this revelation occurred two years after he left office.
The former congressman explained that the conversation had been “approved and cleared” by House attorneys who advised him that it was his constitutional right to talk to the leader. Nevertheless “someone had intercepted it.”
Kucinich who is not a supporter of Trump believes that the current president’s allegation against the Obama administration is justifiable.
In this clip of Kucinich’s interview with Bream, he says:
Members of Congress ought to be aware that my experience was that my phone wasn’t safe in a Congressional office…. If they can do that to a member of Congress, they can certainly do it to a presidential candidate, and they can do it to private citizens as well.
The interception of phone conversations in which Attkisson participated is another story.
In her book “Stonewalled,” Attkisson reveals how a source who checked her laptop for spyware in 2013 was “shocked” and “flabbergasted” to find the government was listening in. Via the New York Post:
Attkisson says the source, who’s “connected to government three-letter agencies,” told her the computer was hacked into by “a sophisticated entity that used commercial, non-attributable spyware that’s proprietary to a government agency: either the CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency or the National Security Agency.”
The breach was accomplished through an “otherwise innocuous e-mail” that Attkisson says she got in February 2012, then twice “redone” and “refreshed” through a satellite hookup and a Wi-Fi connection at a Ritz-Carlton hotel. The spyware included programs that Attkisson says monitored her every keystroke and gave the snoops access to all her e-mails and the passwords to her financial accounts.
“The intruders discovered my Skype account handle, stole the password, activated the audio, and made heavy use of it, presumably as a listening tool,” she wrote in “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.” This is outrageous. Worse than anything Nixon ever did. Attkisson says her source — identified only as “Number One” — told her the spying was most likely not court-authorized because it went on far longer than most legal taps.
Attkisson’s sin of course was not believing the White House version of events at Benghazi or the official word on “Fast and Furious.”
Cross-posted at The Lid