NSA whistleblower shows how candidate Trump could have been wiretapped

A former top intelligence official-turned-whistleblower at the National Security Agency says surveillance programs by the NSA could have been keeping tabs on the Trump campaign and that their intelligence could have been shared with other agencies.

William Binney, a legend at the NSA, laid out the case for warrantless wiretapping of Trump Tower and how other intel agencies like the CIA could have had access to the wiretaps.

Fox News national security correspondent James Rosen – himself bugged by the Obama administration – says Trump may be right:

ZeroHedge Blog:

Washington's Blog asked the highest-level NSA whistleblower in history - Bill Binney - whether he thought Trump had been bugged.

Binney is the NSA executive who created the agency’s mass surveillance program for digital information, who served as the senior technical director within the agency, who managed six thousand NSA employees.

He was a 36-year NSA veteran widely regarded as a “legend” within the agency and the NSA’s best-ever analyst and code-breaker.

Binney also mapped out the Soviet command-and-control structure before anyone else knew how, and so predicted Soviet invasions before they happened (“in the 1970s, he decrypted the Soviet Union’s command system, which provided the US and its allies with real-time surveillance of all Soviet troop movements and Russian atomic weapons”).

Binney told Washington's Blog:

NSA has all the data through the Upstream programs (Fairview/Stormbrew/Blarney)  [background] and backed up by second and some third party country collection.

Plus the FBI and CIA plus others, as of the last month of the Obama administration, have direct access to all the NSA collection (metadata and content on phones,email and banking/credit cards etc.) with no attempt at oversight by anybody [background]. This is all done under Executive Order 12333 [the order which allows unlimited spying no matter what intelligence officials claim] ....

FBI would only ask for a warrant if they wanted to be able to take it into court at some point given they have something meaningful as evidence. This is clearly true given the fact the President Trump's phone conversations with other country leaders were leaked to the mainstream media.

In other words, Binney is saying that Trumps phones were bugged by the NSA without a warrant - remember, top NSA whistleblowers have previously explained that the NSA is spying on virtually all of the digital communications of Americans. - and the NSA shared the raw data with the CIA, FBI and other agencies.

If the FBI obtained a warrant to tap Trump's phone, it was a "parallel construction" to "launder" improperly-gained evidence through acceptable channels.

As we've previously explained:

The government is “laundering” information gained through mass surveillance through other agencies, with an agreement that the agencies will “recreate” the evidence in a “parallel construction” … so they don’t have to admit that the evidence came from unconstitutional spying. This data laundering is getting worse and worse.

So does it mean that the NSA spying on Trump Tower actually turned up some dirt?

Maybe ...

Binney has no direct knowledge of any surveillance of Trump Tower.  What he has is a roadmap for how it could have been done.  He also shows the likelihood that agencies could have used whatever information was captured by the NSA's information dragnet.

A couple of caveats.  First, Obama's executive order allowing other intel agencies access to the NSA's raw data was signed after the campaign was over.  That doesn't mean that any wiretapped information from the Trump campaign wasn't gathered or even shared by NSA.  It means that it is less likely that intelligence agencies had access to Trump campaign phone and email records before the election.

Secondly, from what we know so far, the FBI was not operating under any warrants, nor were there any FISA warrants issued to spy on the Trump campaign.  Again, this doesn't mean that it didn't happen.  In fact, Binney's roadmap shows it's more likely that if surveillance occurred, it was done without a warrant.  But if we're looking for hard evidence or a paper trail proving Trump's charge, we may never find it.

Astronomer Carl Sagan popularized the adage, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."  Sagan was talking about alien visitation of Earth and the fact that to date, solid "evidence" has been lacking.  The same should hold true in politics.  Accusing the former president of the United States of conducting a secret wiretapping program against an opposition presidential candidate is just about as extraordinary as it gets.  So far, those who claim that the charges are true – including the president – are lacking solid evidence that the bugging occurred.  What is offered as "proof" is more opinion and supposition than substantiation of facts.

But Binney's roadmap, along with what we know of surveillance during the Obama years, points to extremely troubling questions that Democrats cannot dismiss as "conspiracy-mongering."  In this case, there were a will and a way.  For the sake of the country, Congress needs to get to the bottom of the matter.

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