The Unmasking of President Barack Obama

obama45President Donald Trump was ridiculed in March when he made this bold tweet:

Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism.”

The FBI was under orders from Obama political operatives and officials to wiretap Trump Tower. And these intelligence actions have grave consequences for California as we are under a North Korean nuclear threat that is growing daily.

Unfortunately, government breaches under the Obama administration are nothing new. The United States Office of Personal Management breach (the main hiring and vetting arm of the U.S. government) occurred in 2013. CNN has admitted Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was wiretapped and Trump’s conversations were likely caught up in Obama’s intelligence apparatus. CNN has also begrudgingly confirmed that candidate-Trump’s U.S. Constitution Fourth Amendment rights were violated. If President Obama didn’t know this was happening it was a gross dereliction of duty and this also makes Trump less likely to assist California as our debt and health care costs explode.

Top Obama intelligence and national security officials who unmasked Americans and foreigners without proper Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court warrants for wiretapping have never been prosecuted or even thoroughly questioned. Imagine if President George W. Bush had wiretapped then-candidate Obama’s campaign manager – David Plouffe – for contacts with foreign governments when Senator Obama gave a 2008 campaign speech at the Berlin Brandenburg Gate speech. Would the U.S. media or Trump-bashers from each party ever cover the story with the same vigor as they have violations against Trump? Yet California policymakers continue pushing this narrative that the presidential election was rigged via the Russians. However, nothing conclusive has ever come from extensive investigations when Obama’s intelligence breaches are more damaging than the false Russian collusion story.

These are the high-ranking Obama officials that have been caught unmasking American and foreign officials: former U.N. ambassador Samantha Powers who supposedly tried to “unmask American citizens on a daily basis,” former CIA Director John Brennan, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates who both admitted, “they reviewed communications of political figures, secretly collected under President Obama.” The most damning part of these revelations is the acknowledgement that:

U.S. intelligence agencies secretly monitored conversation of members of the U.S. Congress while the Obama administration negotiated the Iran nuclear deal.”

Seemingly, U.S. intelligence agencies had been weaponized, and that has far-reaching implications for how allies and American voters moving forward trust the CIA, FBI, NSA, the U.S. Justice Department and the White House. These actions caused a U.S. FISA Court judge to tell the National Security Agency, “They had an institutional lack of candor.” In 2013 Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper assured Congress that the NSA “wasn’t collecting any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans.” Where was Congressman Adam Schiff, a staunch anti-Trump Democrat to expose the actions of Obama’s intelligence officials? The issue becomes how can allies and others who aren’t staunch California Democrats trust any president if this happened under Obama’s watch?

American intelligence agencies under Obama look like the old East German Stasi secret police spying on citizens, allies and whomever they deem against their agenda for political purposes. Even Obama allies weren’t immune to attack. In 2011 Congressman Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, was wiretapped and in 2014 the CIA under John Brennan got caught spying on Senate Intelligence Committee staffers.

U.S. allies in Europe, NATO, Southeast Asia and, more importantly, California should be asking what else Obama did to undermine their governments and policies through secret wiretaps and surveillance.

The FBI also shouldn’t be trusted when it continued wiretapping President-elect Trump’s top advisers without his notification. The reality was the incoming head of the U.S. government was being secretly “wiretapped” and somehow Barack Obama had no idea it was happening. That’s incredibly hard to believe that he didn’t know his intelligence officials and agencies were surveilling at least half a dozen top Trump officials – and that’s just what we know about so far.

But these illegal intelligence actions also included private citizens; particularly journalist, also in possible violation of U.S. constitutional rights. An internal email exposed by Wikileaks from the global intelligence firm Stratfor shows the depth of political targeting:

“Dated Sept. 21, 2010, [John] Brennan [then an Obama Homeland Security adviser] is behind the witch hunts of investigative journalists learning information from inside the beltway sources. There is a specific tasker (political operative) from the WH (White House) to go after anyone printing materials negative to the Obama agenda. Even the FBI is shocked.”

The Obama administration got caught monitoring journalists at Fox News, The Associated Press and CBS News. Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News alleges in an ongoing federal lawsuit that her computers were hacked by “an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasion, confirming her previous revelation of hacking. Ms. Attkisson, through forensic investigation in her suit, has shown dates, times and methods of illegal activities used against her through software that only the U.S. government had access to during Obama’s presidency. A computer forensic expert assisting Ms. Attkisson confirmed to a U.S. court:

This wasn’t a mistake; it is not a random event and it is not technically possible for these IP addresses to simply appear on her computer systems without activity by someone using them as part of the cyber-attack.

The bigger issue isn’t Donald Trump’s tweets saying Obama spied on him, instead it’s that foreign and American media along with quasi-news sites continually publishing false and misleading quotes and stories stating this isn’t true. That puts California in the political crosshairs of the Trump administration but staying silent when impeachable offenses by the former president occur. This undermines our representative democracy no matter which party is in charge.

Former Obama officials now vie for innocence through implying anyone suggesting the former president or his officials are guilty of Stasi-like behavior of having “vivid imaginations,” and “conveniently dismissing forensic evidence from three independent examinations.” The truth is these illegal actions had taken place for years. In light of the geopolitical earthquakes taking place in North Korea, Russia, Iran, Syria – and the brewing war between Shia and Sunni interests in the Middle East – why would any ally, country or foe that could be turned into an ally trust the United States? That should shivers down California’s collective spine. We need allies to help us fight the hegemonic Iranians, geopolitical monsters in Beijing, and the newly minted Russian tsar in the Kremlin.

Blame whoever you want: the deep state, Obama administration holdovers, Trump enemies or the unchecked intelligence agencies, but privacy concerns for domestic and foreign interests coinciding with abusive polices are ruining the US’ ability to have cogent intelligence for the President, Congress and Allies. Senator Feinstein sits on the Senate Foreign Intelligence committee and these treasonous actions should have her questioning what she receives from US intelligence agencies. But she hasn’t publicly stated anything to deny, confirm or attempt to understand these charges.

FISA warrants, which originally were for “foreign spies inside the U.S.,” now has far-reaching legal reach and an entire surveillance apparatus that is abusing power like never before. FISA section 702 as an example allows collection of data from Google, Facebook and other social media sites if it’s deemed a foreign power or individual is under investigation.

Neither Valerie Jarrett, Susan Rice, John Brennan, James Clapper, Samantha Power, or previously fired FBI Director, James Comey won’t speak to congressional investigators or Robert Mueller’s commission about this unlawful behavior then rogue regimes across the world will continue to believe the U.S. and its allies are weak; and ripe for the taking. Putin, Xi and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard will take advantage of apparent U.S. weakness. I’d argue Trump would defend other U.S. states before he even considers California, because we have looked the other way at Obama’s intelligence treachery.

Obama and his top officials seem satisfied to let all of this wretched behavior fade away since the world’s media hates Donald Trump. Better to mock his tweets than to actually take them seriously – especially in light of them now being true. Before Trump’s presidency ends he may need to pardon Obama for crimes against U.S. citizens, its government and any foreign entity caught up in his thug-like surveillance and wiretapping net. California policymakers better take notice or the fires that come from these revelations could make the Northern California fires seem like a candle flickering in the night.

Todd Royal is a geopolitical risk and energy consultant based in Los Angeles.