On Wednesday, investigative news site Circa News broke a blockbuster story about illegal spying during the Obama years. So far, only Fox News and a handful of conservative websites have covered the bombshell news. According to Newsbusters, the big three networks — ABC, CBS, and NBC — have completely omitted the story from their evening broadcasts. So have the Washington Post, the New York Times, and every other major mainstream media outlet. They’ve opted instead to cover RussiaGate fodder that continues to bear little fruit and negative news about Donald Trump.
In their report, Circa revealed that “the National Security Agency under former President Barack Obama routinely violated American privacy protections while scouring through overseas intercepts and failed to disclose the extent of the problems until the final days before Donald Trump was elected president last fall.”
“More than one in 20 internet searches conducted by the National Security Agency, involving Americans, during the Obama administration violated constitutional privacy protections,” Fox News’ Bret Baier reported near the top of Special Report Wednesday evening. “And that practice went on for years. Not only that, but the Obama administration was harshly rebuked by the FISA court for doing it.”
Chief Washington Correspondent James Rosen cut to the chase: “On the day President Obama visited Los Angeles last October to yuk it up with Jimmy Kimmel, lawyers for the National Security Agency were quietly informing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that NSA had systematically violated the rights of countless Americans.”
“Declassified documents, first obtained by the news site Circa, show the FISA court sharply rebuked the administration,” Rosen noted as he began to read a passage from the FISA court’s opinion. “’With greater frequency than previously disclosed to the Court, NSA analysts had used U.S. person identifiers to query the results of internet ‘upstream’ collection, even though NSA’s Section 702 minimization procedures prohibited such queries.’”
The Fox News reporter was intrigued by the documents because: “These disclosers are timely though, as Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act—one of the primary means by which U.S. citizens are caught up in incidental surveillance—is up for reauthorization, Bret, by the Congress at year’s end.”
John Soloman, one of the Circa reporters who broke the story, talked with Rosen and told him that “tonight, for the first time, we can say confidently that there’s been a finding that some of that espionage, that spying on Americans, actually violated the law.”
The condemning evidence seemed to have no end, as Rosen reported that:
The documents show it was back in 2011 that the FISA court first determined NSA’s procedures to be, quote, “statutorily and constitutionally deficient with respect to their protection of U.S. person information.” Five years later, two weeks before Election Day, the judges learned that NSA had never adequately enacted the changes it had promised to make. The NSA inspector general and its office of compliance for operations “have been conducting other reviews covering different time periods,” the judges noted, “with preliminary results suggesting that the problem is widespread during all periods of review.”
Rosen had also mentioned how “the judges blasted NSA’s ‘institutional ‘lack of candor’’ and added ‘This is a very serious fourth amendment issue.’”
In a follow-up report Thursday evening, Rosen got reactions from congressional leaders on Capitol Hill.
“I have not been briefed on the particular case that they are referencing,” said Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, even though she is a member of the “Gang of Eight,” the group of House and Senate leaders briefed on intelligence issues.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz told Fox News that “the documents appear to show the Obama administration routinely abused the the NSA’s internet surveillance tools…we must get answers and hold people accountable.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats have already enacted reforms to resolve the problems, but the “sheer scale of the 4th Amendment violations disclosed is staggering,” Rosen said. “As was the sternness of the rebuke to the Obama administration delivered by the FISA court.”
Rosen added, “As of a few minutes ago, however, Bret, this story had not been covered on the Washington Post, the New York Times, nor any of the three nightly news broadcast … networks.”
The Obama administration spied on journalists too. But it doesn’t matter — that’s all water under the bridge now. The media has united in lockstep to destroy Trump and no super-scandal about the past administration weaponizing surveillance capabilities to illegally spy on Americans is going to get in the way of their goal of impeaching him.
The legacy media’s institutional left-wing bias has always been obvious, but it’s never been quite this sickening.