It is bizarre to me how there are some who talk about Trump’s authoritarianism (And that is fine. We think Trump likes government too much.) who in the same breath defend Barack Obama, who as Nat Hentoff, the dean of the hyper-“liberal” Village Voce once said;
He was right. I chronicled the Obama administration tick by tick from 2011 on and I have to tell you Obama concerned the HELL out of me. The man, supposedly a constitutional “scholar” had such obvious disdain for The Constitution. It was disconcerting to say the least. And sadly a sizable minority of the American people went right along with Obama as he sought to undermine the Constitution. (In my experience these people often knew little of the Constitution however.)
If it weren’t for the TEA Party and then the Supreme Court smacking Obama down in his second term, Obama could have done much more damage to the country.
But there are still people out there, for whatever reason, who think Obama is a great guy. Because they are TOLD by the people they think they can trust that Obama’s a great guy. Perhaps also it is because these people also hold the Constitution in contempt. That is if they are even familiar with the document at all. (Which as I said in my experience, is often not the case.)
Now however as we peel back “spy gate” or whatever you want to call it, we are seeing again what looks like Obama’s contempt for the law.
As I argued in my weekend column, it is hard to imagine a more idle question than whether the Obama administration spied on the Trump campaign. Of course it did. If you want to argue the point, imagine what the professors, pundits, and pols would have said had the Bush administration run an informant against three Obama 2008 campaign officials, including the campaign co-chairman; any hair-splitting about whether that technically constituted “spying” would be met by ostracism from polite society.
There is, in addition, more evidence — at least, more public, verified evidence — that Stefan Halper was a spy for the FBI than that Carter Page was one for Russia. This is not a small point…
…In the 2012 campaign, when Mitt Romney portrayed Russia as our principal geopolitical foe, Obama and Democrats mocked him. In the 2016 campaign, Trump’s Russia rhetoric was an echo — in Trumpian bluntness — of the Democrats’ position. Alas, they had nominated the candidate most ill-suited to exploit the Putin appeasement flavor of the Trump bid.
Mrs. Clinton, we’ve observed, was neck-deep in the Obama administration’s Uranium One scandal. Recall the $145 million that poured into the Clinton Foundation; the half-million-dollar pay day a Kremlin-connected bank ponied up for a short Bill Clinton speech (about five times more than Russia paid for those 2016 ads on Facebook, and more than ten times what the Kremlin’s propaganda arm, RT, paid for a 2015 speech by eventual Trump campaign adviser Michael Flynn); the Clintons’ meetings in Russia with Putin and Medvedev while the U.S. government was mulling approval of Russia’s acquisition — through its energy giant, Rosatom — of one-fifth of America’s uranium stock (in addition to more copious uranium reserves in Kazakhstan); the Obama Justice Department’s refusal to bring a prosecutable felony case against Rosatom’s American affiliate (Tenam USA) while the Uranium One deal was under consideration; and the same Department’s quiet resolution of the case on a sweetheart plea years later, after Putin’s annexation of Crimea and aggression in Eastern Ukraine (despite Obama’s plea for flexibility) had left Obama’s “reset” policy in shambles…
…If its concerns were based in good faith rather than political opportunism, it could have dispatched the FBI to interview Page (whom agents had interviewed several times since 2013, and apparently did interview in March 2016), and Manafort (who, along with his partner, Richard Gates, was speaking with the Justice Department in 2016 about their work for the Kremlin’s favored Ukrainian political party). It could have given responsible Trump campaign officials a defensive briefing to alert them about its concerns.
Instead, the Obama administration decided to use its counterintelligence powers to spy on the Trump campaign, using at least one covert informant, electronic monitoring of communications, and other intelligence-gathering tactics.
Keep peeling. Keep peeling. Of course if this starts to get hot near Hillary or (watch out) Obama the old media may go into meltdown mode trying to protect them. But we aren’t there yet.