House Intelligence Committee: Intelligence Community Is Burying A Whistleblower Complaint That May Involve Wrongdoing By The White House

from the fuck-us,-I-guess dept

Well. This is awkward. Congressional oversight of our intelligence agencies is actually being performed by the overseers. The House Intelligence Committee -- or at least Rep. Adam Schiff -- wants to know what's being withheld by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Something fucked up has happened and the ODNI doesn't want to talk about it. What "it" is remains unknown, but it's apparently damaging enough the Intelligence Community is blowing off its obligations to its oversight.

“A month ago, a whistleblower within the intelligence community lawfully filed a complaint regarding a serious or flagrant problem, abuse, violation of law, or deficiency within the responsibility or authority of the Director of National Intelligence. The Inspector General of the Intelligence Community found that complaint not only credible, but urgent. More than ten days since the Director was obligated to transmit the complaint to the intelligence committees, the Committee has still not received the disclosure from the Director, in violation of the law.

“A Director of National Intelligence has never prevented a properly submitted whistleblower complaint that the IC IG determined to be credible and urgent from being provided to the congressional intelligence committees. Never. This raises serious concerns about whether White House, Department of Justice or other executive branch officials are trying to prevent a legitimate whistleblower complaint from reaching its intended recipient, the Congress, in order to cover up serious misconduct."

Given the ONDI's refusal to cooperate and Schiff's angry letter, it's probably safe to assume this whistleblowing involves domestic surveillance and another abuse of the NSA's powers. If it was just some "inadvertent" collection of phone records or someone blowing tax dollars by pretending to telecommute, this would have been handed over to the HIC. But this one has been denoted as being of "urgent concern," which suggests an abuse of collection authorities.

Not for nothing do whistleblowers take the next flight to Hong Kong. Going through the proper channels just gets complaints buried and possibly separates the whistleblower from their source of income. This one went through the proper channels. And the proper channels extended a wordless middle finger to Congressional oversight in response.

The ODNI claims it has no obligations to its oversight.

On September 13, 2019, the Committee received a letter from the ODNI declining the Chairman’s request and stating that the DNI, contrary to an unambiguous statutory command, is withholding the complaint from the Committee because, in part, it involves confidentially and potentially privileged communications by persons outside the Intelligence Community.

Wrong! That's not how this works. Intelligence oversight committee members are "read in." They're allowed to check this stuff out. That's why they hold closed-door sessions and invoke national security concerns when pressed by the public to be a bit more forthcoming about the IC's activities. If the ODNI considers its work to be too "sensitive" for its oversight, we have a problem. I mean, we already have problems, but now the ODNI has placed itself outside the control of the government that created it. If it can reject this demand, it can reject any form of control at all. We don't need the ODNI to be a law unto itself.

Here's the kicker: given the ODNI's recalcitrance, the Intelligence Committee is drawing some very concerning conclusions about the nature of the withheld report.

The Committee can only conclude, based on this remarkable confluence of factors, that the serious misconduct at issue involves the President of the United States and/or other senior White House or Administration officials. This raises grave concerns that your office, together with the Department of Justice and possibly the White House, are engaged in an unlawful effort to protect the President and conceal from the Committee information related to his possible “serious or flagrant” misconduct, abuse of power, or violation of law.    

Fantastic. If true, the Administration is weaponizing the Intelligence Community. And someone on the inside is "urgently concerned." If it is the Administration, it can try to Executive Order its way out of this mess. But if it does, this branch is compromised. I mean, more so. That's bad news for America and Americans. And yet another reminder that, when it comes to whistleblowing, the "proper channels" are for silencing concerned employees rather than holding our public servants accountable.

Filed Under: adam schiff, congress, director of national intelligence, intelligence community, odni, oversight, whistleblower, white house


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  • icon
    BentFranklin (profile), 17 Sep 2019 @ 6:49am

    This may be related to the burning and exfiltration of our source at the Kremlin, the guy now living in Virginia. In other words, Trump opened his mouth and gave away the game. It's sad that this scenario is so believable.

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    Zof (profile), 17 Sep 2019 @ 7:15am

    " The House Intelligence Committee -- or at least Rep. Adam Schiff..."

    First Red Flag

    "More than ten days since the Director was obligated to transmit the complaint to the intelligence committees, the Committee has still not received the disclosure from the Director, in violation of the law."

    Second Red Flag (feels like a fishing expedition!)

    Oh. It is a fishing expedition.

    Please feel free to imagine your own dragons and monsters and hell, just make up your own story. There really isn't one here. In mine I'm going to have Russians, Nazis, and Dragons.

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    • icon
      bhull242 (profile), 17 Sep 2019 @ 1:11pm

      Re:

      How is it a fishing expedition, exactly? We’re talking about what the law requires the IC to disclose to the committee tasked with providing oversight over the IC. The exceptions cited by the IC for not disclosing the contents of a complaint as the law requires it to do not exist; the existence of some personal, private, privileged, and/or confidential communications within the complaint does not excuse the IC from disclosing, to the oversight committee with all proper clearances behind closed doors, any part of the complaint, and it certainly doesn’t excuse the IC from disclosing the parts of the complaint that are not privileged or confidential communications to that same committee.

      This is just about providing proper disclosure to oversight of any complaints as required by law. How is that a fishing expedition? Getting the complaint—which the Inspector General himself declared to be not only credible but urgent— is not only material but critical to providing oversight.

      A fishing expedition involves scooping up a ton of information—regardless of whether it’s all material, relevant, or necessary—in the hopes that maybe something useful might turn up, even if that info isn’t related to the reasons given for the fishing expedition.

      This is one complaint that is being withheld in its entirety and under any circumstances from the committee that is supposed to receive it to assist with its oversight duties, despite the fact that the complaint was declared both credible and urgent by the same guy who is now refusing to disclose it, solely because part of the complaint contains “privileged” communications, some of which may be confidential, even though any disclosures to the committee would be behind closed doors solely to members who are authorized to view confidential or even classified information.

      And how is noting that the director refusing to follow his or her obligation to disclose a single, specific complaint to the relevant committee(s) as required by law a “red flag” as you mean by the term? I can at least see how the first quote you give could be a “red flag” for some people, but the second quote doesn’t sound like a “red flag” in the same way. I don’t see how it could even “feel[] like a fishing expedition!”

      And then you immediately follow that up by saying, “Oh. It is a fishing expedition,” conclusorily with no further explanation. The first quote may make the rest seem less credible to some people, but it doesn’t specifically suggest a fishing expedition, and you don’t say anything more about it, specifically, than that it was the “First Red Flag.” The second quote doesn’t sound anything like something even suggesting a fishing expedition, although you call it your “Second Red Flag” because it “feels” like one, though you don’t explain why you think that.

      But even if you think it “feels like a fishing expedition,” that quote and description—alone or together with the first quote and nothing else—is not enough to make the quantum leap from saying that it “feels like a fishing expedition” to “[i]t is a fishing expedition,” (emphasis added). You give us no reason to switch from gut feeling or speculation to a direct, definitive conclusion. The only things physically separating the latter from the former is an exclamation point, an end parenthesis, a blank line, and the word, “Oh.” Why should we switch gears from “feels like” to “is”? You give us absolutely no answer to that question, even by implication. You just switch ubruptly and with no fanfare or explanation.

      I will acknowledge that the conclusion drawn by Rep. Adam Schiff here about the possible contents of the complaint was a stretch, too, but I’m pretty sure that was just to help pressure the director to hand over what he’s supposed to rather than an actual conclusion he genuinely believes. It’s possible, but I have no reason to believe that the complaint is being covered up to cover for the President or his associates and not another cover-up over abuse of collection authority by the IC for terrorism or something, and Schiff probably knows that.

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    Zof (profile), 17 Sep 2019 @ 7:22am

    The Annoying Thing About Adam Schiff

    You can tell when he's lying. He has a tell. He gets this smug smile on his face like "Ha, I'm tricking the stupid Americans". It's a side effect of the Dunning-Kruger effect. It's why he's a terrible liar, and intelligent people can't stand him. Same thing with Hillary Clinton. They just can't help themselves. They puff up and feel so proud of themselves, then boom, you see the lie.

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    • identicon
      Rocky, 17 Sep 2019 @ 7:29am

      Re: The Annoying Thing About Adam Schiff

      Thank you for your demonstration how to tell when someone is lying and in general denying reality.

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    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 17 Sep 2019 @ 8:02am

      Re: The Annoying Thing About Adam Schiff

      So, no actual evidence, just a feeling?

      "You can tell when he's lying. He has a tell."

      Aren't you a Trump fan?

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    • identicon
      Baron von Robber, 17 Sep 2019 @ 10:21am

      Re: The Annoying Thing About Adam Schiff

      If zof
      then flag
      else
      read comment

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      • icon
        JoeCool (profile), 17 Sep 2019 @ 12:55pm

        Re: Re: The Annoying Thing About Adam Schiff

        Zof is a bit odd - most of the time, I also flag his comments, but I always read them first because he occasionally has a comment that's actually insightful. Not often, but now and then. The rest of the time, they tend to be inciteful. ;)

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 18 Sep 2019 @ 12:20am

          Re: Re: Re: The Annoying Thing About Adam Schiff

          He's obnoxious, but I think he actually believes what he posts, unlike some of the performance artists round here (I hope, at least, since one of them recently promised to shoot up public property).

          The problem is, he obviously spends a lot of time in far-right echo chambers and doesn't seem to understand genuine opposition to the lies he repeats. But, since he seems relatively genuine he can stumble across some ideas worth addressing.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 18 Sep 2019 @ 1:37am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The Annoying Thing About Adam Schiff

            unlike some of the performance artists round here (I hope, at least, since one of them recently promised to shoot up public property)

            Oh, it's pretty obvious that Hamilton is bullshitting. Folks like him don't demonstrate the qualities necessary to be appealing to women, never mind his claims of having a wife and a girlfriend who masturbate to the thought of Donald Trump soiling their loins.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 18 Sep 2019 @ 3:35am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The Annoying Thing About Adam Schiff

            "I hope, at least, since one of them recently promised to shoot up public property"

            I saw that. You need to make up your mind, meaning if you thought he was serious, why do you think it is a good idea to provoke him? If you don't think he was serious, why are you mentioning it again?

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 18 Sep 2019 @ 6:15pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Annoying Thing About Adam Schiff

              if you thought he was serious, why do you think it is a good idea to provoke him?

              To increase the odds of him being admitted into an asylum or police custody.

              If you don't think he was serious, why are you mentioning it again?

              If your point is to suggest there's no harm in not mentioning Hamilton being an asswipe since it wouldn't threaten anyone, what harm is there in mentioning it again?

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            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 19 Sep 2019 @ 12:37am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Annoying Thing About Adam Schiff

              I don't think he's serious about that particular thing, but he's definitely a severely disturbed individual. It is, however, worth pointing out his more extreme nuttery in case any lurkers mistake a saner post of his for sense.

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        • identicon
          Baron von Robber, 18 Sep 2019 @ 6:02am

          Re: Re: Re: The Annoying Thing About Adam Schiff

          I think I've must have been through a few dozen and came up zero in that regard. I can't say I have that kind of free time to spend looking for the needles on a planet made of hay.

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          • icon
            bhull242 (profile), 18 Sep 2019 @ 9:49am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The Annoying Thing About Adam Schiff

            In the article on the Nazi libel case yesterday, he wrote a comment that’s pretty decent, even if a number of people seem to have misunderstood it.

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            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 19 Sep 2019 @ 12:36am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Annoying Thing About Adam Schiff

              It was misunderstood, but as I said over there it's telling that the first comment in a long time where he's put some thought and effort into a situation is the one that involves nitpicking over the definition of Nazis.

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              • icon
                bhull242 (profile), 19 Sep 2019 @ 2:01pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Annoying Thing About Adam Schiff

                Oh, sure. I find that interesting myself. And you were one of the few people who seemed to understand the comment. I was just saying that, in this case, you don’t have to wade that far to find a reasonable comment by Zof as it’s pretty recent. They are still few and far between, but I thought I’d present an example rather than asserting a fact without giving evidence.

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          • icon
            JoeCool (profile), 20 Sep 2019 @ 9:23am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The Annoying Thing About Adam Schiff

            He doesn't post THAT often, and his posts tend to be fairly short. So you don't really waste much time, especially as you can usually tell in just the first couple sentences if his comment is worth reading or not.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 4:30pm

      Re: The Annoying Thing About zof is it sticks to your shoe

      “They just can't help themselves. They puff up and feel so proud of themselves, then boom, you see the lie.”

      That’s some mighty fine projecting there bro.

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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 17 Sep 2019 @ 7:24am

    If your 'employee' can give YOU orders, you're not in charge

    Ah lovely, yet another government agency has decided that they rather like making their own rules thank you very much, and don't actually answer to anyone else unless they feel like it.

    Hopefully there are enough people on the oversight committee that aren't completely compromised by the very agencies they are meant to provide oversight of(though given history I wouldn't put high odds on it...), and they are willing to crack the whip and insist, because if they let this slide they might as well disband the committee entirely as nothing more than a complete farce that can be safely ignored by those they claim to provide a check on.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 8:59am

      Re: If your 'employee' can give YOU orders, you're not in charge

      Can't congress just withhold all funds to the ODNI until they comply with the law?

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      • identicon
        Paul B, 17 Sep 2019 @ 9:03am

        Re: Re: If your 'employee' can give YOU orders, you're not in ch

        Last time they tried this the president moved funds around to ensure his pet project was funded. He'd just do that again unless congress starts cutting entire agencies and firing everyone. When the president does something dumb, we have far less legal authority then we think we do I guess.

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        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 17 Sep 2019 @ 9:12am

          Re: Re: Re: If your 'employee' can give YOU orders, you're not i

          Cutting funding until they complied might not be guaranteed to work, as you point out, but it would be a hell of a lot more effective than sending angry letters, and if Trump did something like that it would be trivial to point out that Trump was giving some other agency the shaft in order to protect ODNI from having to answer the people supposedly providing oversight over it.

          With material like that to work out the press releases/statements practically write themselves.

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          • icon
            bhull242 (profile), 17 Sep 2019 @ 1:13pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: If your 'employee' can give YOU orders, you're n

            Yeah. If the president did that, it would certainly lead more credence to the “IC is covering for the President” theory Schiff is suggesting.

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            • identicon
              Paul B, 17 Sep 2019 @ 2:35pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: If your 'employee' can give YOU orders, you'

              The Theory is the same as in court when you destroy or hide evidence, its seen in the worst light possible given its missing. This is a common stand for any situation when evidence is withheld, destroyed, or intentionally not provided.

              In this case the only reason this evidence would not be provided is because the Trump administration deems it more harmful if released then withheld as its apparently a smoking gun for something. Most likely something tied to the president. (anyone else and Trump would just fire their ass)

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              • icon
                bhull242 (profile), 18 Sep 2019 @ 9:55am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: If your 'employee' can give YOU orders,

                Sure, the legal reasoning is valid. I’m just saying that the logical reasoning is currently barebones, and that That One Guy’s idea would make it more convincing.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 10:39am

          Re: Re: Re: If your 'employee' can give YOU orders, you're not i

          I think the ODNI would just pickup 'civil assest forfiture'

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  • icon
    Ed (profile), 17 Sep 2019 @ 7:42am

    Checks and balances?

    Where? Our "checks and balances" are broken because one of the two parties that form our government is demonstrably and undeniably corrupt and complicit in the inevitable destruction of our country as it was formed. The GOP is an active and direct threat to the United States of America. The sooner everyone else realizes and accepts that fact, the sooner we can defend ourselves from their onslaught. But, they've been plotting this for over two decades, it may already be too late.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 7:51am

      Re: Checks and balances?

      What do you mean "one"?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 9:27am

      Re: Checks and balances?

      😂

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    • identicon
      Ven, 17 Sep 2019 @ 1:05pm

      Re: Checks and balances?

      Our "checks and balances" are broken because one of the two parties that form our government is demonstrably and undeniably corrupt and complicit in the inevitable destruction of our country as it was formed.

      I think most of the voting population in US absolutely agree with you, the problem is around 50% disagree about which party that is.

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      • icon
        JoeCool (profile), 20 Sep 2019 @ 9:32am

        Re: Re: Checks and balances?

        So eliminate both parties. In fact, no parties at all. I still think a better system would be to treat politics like jury duty. Put all eligible names in the database, and every month (or whatever period works) a random selection are called to form a pool that are then vetted for available positions. Just like many are called to the jury pool, but only a few actually sit on a jury, only a few would sit in on Congress (national, state, local...) and would be weeded out for things like conflicts of interest, pressing issues in life that would make sitting on Congress too much of a problem, etc.

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    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 18 Sep 2019 @ 2:52am

      Re: Checks and balances?

      "Our "checks and balances" are broken because one of the two parties that form our government is demonstrably and undeniably corrupt and complicit in the inevitable destruction of our country as it was formed..."

      No.

      Your checks and balances are broken because less than 50% of americans can be arsed to even vote in the presidential elections. Less than that when it concerns "less" important votes which determine who gets to call the shots in congress and senate.

      And of those 50% who DO vote more than half would vote for their parties representative even if the name on the ballot was Chairman Mao, Hitler, or Bucephalus.

      In the end the checks and balances assume that the citizenry gives a shit about who represents them and what those representatives really stand for.

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      • identicon
        Paul B, 18 Sep 2019 @ 10:51am

        Re: Re: Checks and balances?

        Your making assumptions that are not correct. If you live in a Democrat or Republican controlled district, your voice does not matter. If 50% or 100% of district vote, and the district is majority one party, then the outcome will be the same.

        The only time a vote counts is when a race is close, when a district is about 50/50, or when you have proportional representation.

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        • icon
          Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 19 Sep 2019 @ 7:23am

          Re: Re: Re: Checks and balances?

          Okay, that's where campaigning comes in. If 50% vote, do they all vote Republican or Democratic? Focus on the 50% that don't, and encourage them to get out and vote. Giving up is not an option, and states have been known to flip as demographics change.

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  • identicon
    Pixelation, 17 Sep 2019 @ 7:54am

    My guess

    Trump wants information on his political adversaries in the upcoming elections. My guess is he ordered some illegal spying.

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    • icon
      Madd the Sane (profile), 17 Sep 2019 @ 8:46am

      Watergate

      So we're headed for another Watergate-like scandal?

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 9:01am

        Re: Watergate

        They'll call it...

        Watergate-gate-gate-gate.

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      • icon
        Thad (profile), 17 Sep 2019 @ 9:09am

        Re: Watergate

        Things have changed since the 1970s. Multiple presidents have done worse things than Watergate (Reagan: Iran-Contra, Bush: lying to make the case for the Iraq War; Trump: Jesus, where do I even start?) and skated.

        Today, we've got a "liberal" media who prize reporting both sides over reporting the truth, a "conservative" media who think both sides is one too many, Democrats who are too craven to risk doing the right thing because they're afraid it might cost them votes, and not one single damn Republican in Congress who has the personal integrity of Barry Goldwater.

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        • icon
          Wendy Cockcroft (profile), 19 Sep 2019 @ 7:25am

          Re: Re: Watergate

          ^This. Sad but absolutely true. And there aren't enough people who give a damn about it so the status quo remains the same.

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 9:05am

      Re: My guess

      ...weaponizing the intelligence community against Trump's campaign/election was exactly what the Democrats did with the phony FISA warrants and Russia collusion hoax.

      Generally, neither Democrat nor Republican federal officials are much bothered by the longstanding legal abuses of federal intelligence agencies. This kind of stuff has been going on since WW I.

      Rep. Adam Schiff is a hyper-partisan Democrat out to get Trump by any means -- he's merely seized upon this minor whistlleblower
      incident (details "unkown) as a handy way to harrass Trump specifically. Schiff cares nothing about the actual vast legal abuses of the intelligence bureaucracy.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 9:18am

        Re: Re: My guess

        I mean all thr agency had to do was comply with the request. That's what oversight is, if you make no effort to comply or actively resist it becomes a draw the worst conclusions scenario.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 9:36am

          Re: Re: Re: My guess

          ... genuine "Oversight" sharply restricts what these intelligence agencies can do. THEREFORE it is unwanted.

          AND since there is no real penalty for non-cooperation with Congressional oversight -- the logical option is to blow-off any pesky inquiries. NSA/CIA/etc have been doing this successfully for decades.
          The mass of ignorant rubes in the citizenry have no clue how governmment actually works day to day.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 11:40am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: My guess

            "The mass of ignorant rubes in the citizenry have no clue how governmment actually works day to day."

            and meanwhile others think it works.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 18 Sep 2019 @ 6:17pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: My guess

            The mass of ignorant rubes in the citizenry have no clue how governmment actually works day to day.

            Considering we managed to put a guy into the DOJ who spent his taxpayer-funded working hours watching porn... yeah, I have no fucking idea how the government functions if that's what happens.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 11:41am

        Re: Re: My guess

        "...weaponizing the intelligence community against Trump's campaign/election was exactly what the Democrats did with the phony FISA warrants and Russia collusion hoax."

        The president can do no wrong because he is the president - amirite?

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      • icon
        bhull242 (profile), 17 Sep 2019 @ 1:57pm

        Re: Re: My guess

        The FISA warrants weren’t “phony”. They were as legitimate as a FISA warrant can be. Even if some of the evidence underlying the warrants may have been fishy, the IC still has to investigate to either verify or disprove that information, and that’s what the warrants were for. (And FTR, Democrats were not the only ones behind the FISA warrants; remember that one of the pieces of information supporting it was initially funded by a Republican campaign, and many of the investigators involved were Republicans.)

        As for the “Russian collusion hoax”, again, there were serious allegations into potentially illegal or unethical behavior by major public figures, and those same figures or associates of theirs were doing and/or saying very suspicious things that lent some credence to the allegations. That was something that had to be investigated to prove or disprove any of them and act accordingly. And it’s not like nothing came of the investigation. Even if Trump himself did not collude and was not aware of collusion by members in his campaign, several members of his campaign and his staff did collude and/or violate election laws, and the investigation into possible collusion with Russia led to their imprisonment. There wasn’t nothing to the allegations; there was some actual wrongdoing going on.

        Even if the two things were, in fact, cases of the Democrats weaponizing the intelligence community against Trump’s campaign/election, even by your reasoning, those are very different from what’s going on here. This is a criticism of the IC, while the others were, to you, unfairly using the resources of the IC to investigate and potentially punish Trump. Note that the IC is used in opposite manners here. Also, Schiff isn’t even implying allegations against Trump’s campaign or his election; he’s suggesting this a coverup for Trump’s administration.

        Also, there is no reason to believe the complaint was “minor”; on the contrary, it was determined to be urgent, which suggests otherwise. And the fact that the details of the complaint are “unk[n]own” is the problem: this was determined by the person in the agency reviewing it to be both credible and urgent, but the agency is still refusing to disclose it to the oversight committee(s) that are supposed to see any complaints of this sort for reasons that don’t include it being minor or irrelevant and which don’t make sense given that any disclosure would be behind closed doors to people who have all legal authorizations to view privileged, confidential, and/or classified information and who wouldn’t disclose such information to the public without authorization if given any reason to keep it hidden, regardless of how dubious that reason is.

        I’m not going to argue whether or not Schiff is hyper-partisan, is seizing on this incident to harass Trump, or “cares nothing about the actual vast legal abuses of the intelligence bureaucracy.” I’m also not going to argue about the long history of both Democrats and Republicans looking the other way when it comes to legal abuses by our intelligence agencies. I absolutely agree with you on the latter, and the former are at least reasonable beliefs or conclusions to hold. I myself believe that it was unnecessary for Schiff to bring Trump into this. However, those are ultimately immaterial as to whether the intelligence community is abusing its power here or whether actions should be taken to address that. Schiff’s motivations don’t mean that he doesn’t have a good point here; his committee absolutely should be getting that complaint, and the director’s excuse for failing to hand it over in its entirety is laughable. And just because the IC got away with things like this before doesn’t justify looking the other way now.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Toom1275 (profile), 17 Sep 2019 @ 10:03pm

        Re: Re: My guess

        [Asserts facts not in evidence]

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 7:54am

    "Fantastic. If true, the Administration is weaponizing the Intelligence Community. "

    Not all that fantastic. The previous administration did it frequently.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 8:12am

      Re:

      Do you have anything specific to bring up? Or just wild unfounded semi-random accusations? Because if this is all you've got, don't bother taking your finger out of your nose to bother us with your ranting.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 9:05am

        Re: Re:

        See the 2013 leaks by Snowden. When your international intelligence community is secretly monitoring domestic communications and choosing when to direct some intel but not others to law enforcement, who then does parallel construction, that's weaponized.

        The fact that this has been normalized over the past 6 years doesn't make it OK.

        The difference here is that now the intelligence community is now unwittingly being co-opted for political reasons (like with Watergate) instead of purely for power / making things easier for the involved organizations, like has been happening since 2001.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          bob, 17 Sep 2019 @ 9:53am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The difference here is that now the intelligence community is now unwittingly being co-opted for political reasons (like with Watergate) instead of purely for power / making things easier for the involved organizations, like has been happening since 2001.

          Not that any of it is okay in the first place. Only difference is who is president at the time.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 18 Sep 2019 @ 2:59am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "When your international intelligence community is secretly monitoring domestic communications and choosing when to direct some intel but not others to law enforcement, who then does parallel construction, that's weaponized."

          I'm thinking J. Edgar Hoover right now, but it's lamentably true that most US administrations have encouraged this behavior.

          That said the real start of the current spate of intel abuse began with GWB and his Patriot Act.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Michael, 17 Sep 2019 @ 10:14am

    I know...

    ...it's never RICO, but:

    "This raises grave concerns that your office, together with the Department of Justice and possibly the White House, are engaged in an unlawful effort to protect the President and conceal..."

    THAT might actually constitute RICO!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Annonymouse, 17 Sep 2019 @ 10:53am

    Strange that everyone is yapping about all the president's men yet nobody has thought the head of the agency may be the one on the center of this debacle?

    Just a random thought.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 11:44am

      Re:

      With the White House musical chairs HR dept, who knows heads up what.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 3:50pm

      Re:

      "everyone" is upset that trump was mentioned by schiff, in case you hadn't noticed. what the actual complaint was about, could be anything. i think most people here accept that as a given, and are not bothering to hypothesize about whatever with no evidence or indicators.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 11:18am

    Toss the ones obstructing oversight in jail for contempt. This should set them straight and disabuse them from their arrogant notion that they don't have to account to anyone. Congress needs to dispense with the kids glove's treatment that is so pervasive in Washington and start jailing corrupt officials en masse to restore order on our government agencies.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 11:34am

      Re:

      Congress needs to dispense with the kids glove's treatment that is so pervasive in Washington and start jailing corrupt officials en masse

      Well, there goes most of congress!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      bob, 18 Sep 2019 @ 11:16am

      Re:

      Who do you think puts the obstructer in jail? The executive branch which makes it highly unlikely that anyone would be jailed in this matter.

      I agree the legislature needs to act like the independent body it is and write laws that force the executive to comply. But that requires a unified Congress and that isn't going to happen anytime soon. So until enough people are replaced or Trump pisses off enough people in congress nothing will happen.

      This is why political parties are dangerous. Instead of acting in the best interest of the country, politicians act in the best interest of their party. Which unfortunately right now the GOP is in the majority of congress and headed by Trump.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2019 @ 1:31pm

    Standards and practices

    This may not be a complicated cover-up as portrayed. Rather, we could be seeing the natural consequence of ODNI et al. being immune to oversight for so long that they no longer feel the need to cooperate with any oversight, for any reason, no matter how strong and lawful a case the oversight has for insisting on that cooperation. It's so much easier to summarily blow off all oversight than to spend even a token effort identifying the cases where the law is unambiguously on the side of the oversight committee. Historically, doing that has almost always worked out better than actually cooperating, so why not keep doing it?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Sep 2019 @ 12:57am

    Contempt

    So, charge the DNI with contempt of congress (or whatever it is).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Pixelation, 25 Sep 2019 @ 10:27am

      Re: Contempt

      "Maguire will testify publicly about the whistleblower complaint on Sept. 26, and the committee will also hear from the intelligence community's inspector general on Thursday in a closed-door hearing, Schiff announced."

      Let's see what happens...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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