His bumbling, grasping, leaking aides are responsible for the Russian fiasco.
The incompetence of the Obama administration was only exceeded by its arrogance, a toxic mix that led his aides to spy on the Trump campaign, leak to the press about a “multi-agency” investigation into bogus Trump-Russia ties, then whine about the unwelcome exposure Trump (and now Devin Nunes) drew to their antics.
The only known crimes in this unfolding fiasco are the ones they committed, namely, criminal leaks that they fed to reporters desperate to discredit Trump. It is impossible to overstate the audacity of the Obama aides’ partisan squealing in this matter. It is akin to a group of prisoners demanding that the warden be locked up.
To get a sense of the depth of their entitlement, just listen to former Pentagon official Evelyn Farkas bumptiously acknowledge the frantic criminal leaking of classified information in the waning days of the Obama administration:
I was urging my former colleagues and, frankly speaking, the people on the Hill, it was more actually aimed at telling the Hill people, get as much information as you can, get as much intelligence as you can, before President Obama leaves the administration… Because I had a fear that somehow that information would disappear with the senior [Obama] people who left, so it would be hidden away in the bureaucracy … that the Trump folks – if they found out how we knew what we knew about their … the Trump staff dealing with Russians – that they would try to compromise those sources and methods, meaning we no longer have access to that intelligence… And that is why you have the leaking.
Farkas blurted this out as if Obama’s aides deserved medals of freedom for their criminal leaks. Her comment highlights the free-for-all atmosphere that Obama had encouraged against Trump—the very abuse of power that explains Trump’s angry tweets.
“In the Obama administration’s last days, some White House officials scrambled to spread information about Russian efforts to undermine the presidential election — and about possible contacts between associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump and Russians — across the government,” reported the New York Times. “American allies, including the British and the Dutch, had provided information describing meetings in European cities between Russian officials — and others close to Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin — and associates of President-elect Trump, according to three former American officials who requested anonymity in discussing classified intelligence. Separately, American intelligence agencies had intercepted communications of Russian officials, some of them within the Kremlin, discussing contacts with Trump associates.”
The New York Times placidly reported all of this activity, which makes its fury at Devin Nunes all the more bogus. He simply ratified what it had already reported. How dare he say disapprovingly what we have already said approvingly! That’s all its bleating about him comes down to.
Further confirmation of his comments comes from Circa News, which says that former CIA director John Brennan, among other Obama aides, had access to intercepted foreign communications involving Trump aides:
Dozens of times in 2016, those intelligence reports identified Americans who were directly intercepted talking to foreign sources or were the subject of conversations between two or more monitored foreign figures. Sometimes the Americans’ names were officially unmasked; other times they were so specifically described in the reports that their identities were readily discernible. Among those cleared to request and consume unmasked NSA-based intelligence reports about U.S. citizens were Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice, his CIA Director John Brennan and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
Some intercepted communications from November to January involved Trump transition figures or foreign figures’ perceptions of the incoming president and his administration.
What has come out of all this snooping? No evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia, as even Obama aides James Clapper and Mike Morrell have conceded. But it is yielding plenty of evidence of criminal collusion between the Obama administration and the media.
Only the chattering class would have the Orwellian gall to shift the scandal from the Obama administration investigating a political opponent and inflicting damage on him through criminal leaks to the Republicans’ exposure of that devious gambit.
“Devin Nunes is Dangerous,” declares Frank Bruni of the New York Times. Nunes is like Inspector Clouseau but worse, says Bruni, who is so pathetically reduced to cattiness that he quotes a “Republican insider” claiming that John Boehner grew tired of Nunes “bumming cigarettes off him.”
We’re not told what other monstrosities Nunes has committed besides smoking and undercutting the Dems’ partisan narrative. Inspector Clouseau smoked too and ended up catching criminals, so maybe Nunes shouldn’t take too much offense. But what can be said for Inspector Obama and the red panther? It too is a comedy of errors, but without a criminal, unless you count the thieves of classified information in his midst.
Mr. Obama with James Clapper (Wikimedia Commons)