What would we do without Judicial Watch?
That organization, headed by Tom Fitton, has been relentless in tracking down information concerning this phony Russian dossier.
They discovered something stunning:
Judicial Watch today announced that in response to a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, the Justice Department (DOJ) admitted in a court filing last night that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court held no hearings on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) spy warrant applications targeting Carter Page, a former Trump campaign part-time advisor who was the subject of four controversial FISA warrants.
In the filing the Justice Department finally revealed that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court held no hearings on the Page FISA spy warrants, first issued in 2016 and subsequently renewed three times:
[National Security Division] FOIA consulted [Office of Intelligence] … to identify and locate records responsive to [Judicial Watch’s] FOIA request…. [Office of Intelligence] determined … that there were no records, electronic or paper, responsive to [Judicial Watch’s] FOIA request with regard to Carter Page. [Office of Intelligence] further confirmed that the [Foreign Surveillance Court] considered the Page warrant applications based upon written submissions and did not hold any hearings.
In other words, our government took on the right to spy on ordinary citizens for no reasons.
How is this different from the Soviet Union?
Several comments on this topic were so good, I’ve included them:
“Our system is so FUBAR it’s impossible for me to guess what this headline even means.
“Does the tale of no judicial inquiry into the warrant applications mean that a FISA judge just routinely reaches into his belly pouch to pull out his rubber stamp, grasps it firmly between his oversized hind feet, and makes a giant kangaroo leap onto the document to emboss it with a big shiny ‘Approved’ label?
“Or does the tale of no judicial inquiry mean that inquiries were done, but the favored few don’t want the great unwashed deplorable masses to know what was said in those inquiries?
“Call it the “tail” theory, as in a marsupial’s tail, vs. the “tale” theory, as in a story from the 1,001 Nights, told to the ruler so that the storyteller can remain alive one more night.”
“Have a contractor do subject searches on people you want to look into. The contractor goes into the NSA database and does to, from, and about searches on them, which returns all the emails, text messages, and recordings of phone calls they sent, received, placed, answered, and participated in, as well as any of the above of anyone else who merely mentioned them. Then the contractor reads and listens to it all. Then, after all that, the contractor launders some of it through someone else so that FBI/DOJ can use the illegally obtained info to go get a FISA warrant on them to wiretap the subject in real time.
“That FISA warrant is a two hop warrant (only limited by Obama’s own internal rule, which he could rescind any time he wanted), which means they get everything to and from the subject (level one), everything to and from everyone who sends anything to or receives anything from the subject (hop one to level two) and everything to and from everyone who sends anything to or receives anything from anyone at level two (hop two to level three). And all this is real time intelligence gathering. Oh, but it gets even better. Once the FISA warrant is granted, the illegal contractor surveillance that already took place is folded in and legitimized, because the warrant allows them to go BACK in time as well.
“Remember six degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon? Well, this is two degrees of separation from the FISA warrant subject.
“They didn’t invent this for the Trump surveillance. They’ve been doing this for a long time. NSA DOJ FBI abolished the Fourth Amendment a long time ago.”
“So, let’s see. Mueller didn’t need to go get recordings of Cohen’s telephone conversations from his office. Mueller already had them. All of them. He got them from the NSA. The search was just cover to legitimize it and hide that he already had it.”
“In this case the best form of turnabout would be to declassify the abuse, get the public so whipped up in anger over the FISA process and NSA databases that they are forcibly destroyed by the very politicians who abused them.
“There is NO ONE trustworthy enough to use these tools. None. Not even Trump. They need to be abolished permanently.”
I agree with this one:
“The most important issue is to stop the abuse now and worry about prosecution later. If we allow the Boston Strangler to do his work for 5 minutes so we can get a solid case for prosecution, the victim will have to show his appreciation from his coffin.
“All this crap about taking our time so we can prosecute properly is nonsense; we need to stop these people and pry the levers of power from their corrupt hands immediately. I don’t care if we have to pay them full retirement benefits for their work in an antarctic foxhole because we don’t have the proof to prosecute. Stop them and stop them now.”
That the press isn’t up in arms over this shows you everything you need to know about them.
Will Chief Justice John Roberts rise to the occasion and assert his authority over the FISA court?
It will be interesting to see.