Much of the mainstream media is obsessed with attempting to cover for former President Barack Obama and his underlings who spied on numerous people working for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, but not everyone. One journalist who still understands what her profession is supposed to be about is Sharyl Attkisson.
At The Hill, Attkisson has a new op-ed laying out the “bigger story” her more propagandizing colleagues are ignoring: how the Obama Administration’s actions represent the “weaponization of intel agencies.”
She notes that Team Trump is not the first target of the previous administration, which secretly monitored Congress members during the Iran nuclear deal negotiations, wiretapped investigative reporters in 2010, wiretapped Rep. Dennis Kucinich in 2011, and spied on Senate Intelligence Committee staffers in 2014.
Attkisson should know — she was one of the targets:
The government subsequently got caught monitoring journalists at Fox News, The Associated Press, and, as I allege in a federal lawsuit, my computers while I worked as an investigative correspondent at CBS News. On Aug. 7, 2013, CBS News publicly announced:
… correspondent Sharyl Attkisson’s computer was hacked by ‘an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions,’ confirming Attkisson’s previous revelation of the hacking.
Then, as now, instead of getting the bigger story, some in the news media and quasi-news media published false and misleading narratives pushed by government interests. They implied the computer intrusions were the stuff of vivid imagination, conveniently dismissed forensic evidence from three independent examinations that they didn’t review. All seemed happy enough to let news of the government’s alleged unlawful behavior fade away, rather than get to the bottom of it.
I have spent more than two years litigating against the Department of Justice for the computer intrusions. Forensics have revealed dates, times and methods of some of the illegal activities. The software used was proprietary to a federal intel agency. The intruders deployed a keystroke monitoring program, accessed the CBS News corporate computer system, listened in on my conversations by activating the computer’s microphone and used Skype to exfiltrate files.
We survived the government’s latest attempt to dismiss my lawsuit. There’s another hearing Friday. To date, the Trump Department of Justice — like the Obama Department of Justice — is fighting me in court and working to keep hidden the identities of those who accessed a government internet protocol address found in my computers.
Attkisson goes on to lay out the federal government’s steady expansion of its shady spying ventures in recent years, starting with a 2011 expansion of its authority to listen in on American citizens, resulting in a staggering 30,000 US citizens “investigated” in 2016 (drastic spike from 9,500 in 2013), and the NSA admitting shortly before the 2016 election to violating privacy protections “with much greater frequency” than previously acknowledged.
Officials involved in the surveillance and unmasking of U.S. citizens have said their actions were legal and not politically motivated. And there are certainly legitimate areas of inquiry to be made by law enforcement and intelligence agencies. But look at the patterns. It seems that government monitoring of journalists, members of Congress and political enemies — under multiple administrations — has become more common than anyone would have imagined two decades ago. So has the unmasking of sensitive and highly protected names by political officials.
This is bigger than Donald Trump and Barack Obama. This is about the most basic constitutional rights of the American people, sacrificed on the altar of partisan expediency.