Declassified FISA Opinion Shows More FBI Abuses

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Authored by ‘Techno Fog’ via The Reactionary substack,

The FBI continued to spy on Americans without a warrant…

FISA Court opinion and order declassified today reveals continued FBI abuses of “raw FISA-acquired information.” After a DOJ National Security Division review, the FISA Court noted “the FBI’s failure to properly apply its querying standard when searching Section 702-acquired information was more pervasive than was previously believed.”

This opinion includes these findings:

April 2019 – July 2019: An FBI technical information specialist was involved in “Compliance incidents” by conducting 124 queries of Section 702-acquired information on (1) Volunteers who had requested to participate in the FBI’s “Citizens Academy”; (2) Persons who needed to enter the field office to perform repairs; and (3) Persons who reported they were victims of a crime.

August 2019 – October 2019: An FBI Task Force Office “conducted approximately 69 queries using names and identifiers of individuals…” The redactions keep secret the identity of the victims.

Other Violations:

  • One FBI intelligence analyst “conducted 110 queries for analytic paper.”
  • Another analyst conducted improper queries for “ongoing vetting of confidential human sources” as well as “overly broad queries” and “mistakenly failed to opt out of querying against raw FISA-acquired information.”

Judge James Boasberg, who presides over the FISA Court, found little issue with these abuses. In fact, Boasberg concluded:

“[T]he Court is willing to again conclude that the improper queries described above do not undermine its prior determination that, with implementation of the documentation requirement, the FBI’s querying and minimization procedures meet statutory and Fourth Amendment requirements.”

HOWEVER – Boasberg then concludes that the government has reported numerous incidents involving searches of FISA information without warrants.

In other words, the FBI is using FISA acquired information to investigate domestic crimes – not matters of foreign intelligence. These included investigations of “health-care fraud, transnational organized crime, violent gangs, domestic terrorism involving racially motivated violent extremists, as well as investigations relating to public corruption and bribery.”

Public corruption and bribery.” I highlight that last part because it means the FBI continued to improperly use FISA-acquired information to spy on government officials.

As we previously reported, Boasberg declined to sentence former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith to prison – not even a day – after Clinesmith altered a CIA email and lied about it to others within the FBI in furtherance of a Carter Page FISA renewal. The FISA heightened duty of candor doesn’t come with heightened punishments for violating that duty.

After the latest revelations of abuse and unaccountability, perhaps it’s time for FBI Director Wray, Judge Boasberg, and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to go.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Why would FISA ever disappear? Republicans want it as a tool against foreign Islamic terrorists and Democrats want it as a tool against 70 million domestic terrorists.

  2. It’s far past the point where anyone with a working brain can objectively state that there’s any difference whatsoever between the parties at the national level. It’s a bit of Kabuki theater, I’m afraid–There are Republicans who talk great game, but the actual things they do, their demonstrated behaviors? All of them might as well be shadow-puppet Democrats. It’s all about the state, the gravy train–They’re on it, we aren’t, and they intend to run the train into the ground so long as they can keep it going.

    Ask yourself this: Why is it, that when the first thing they teach you in Counterinsurgency 101 is to isolate the battlefield and prevent the insurgents from having “safe harbors” and outside support…? Why is it that we allow the Taliban to have safe refuge in Pakistan, and why is it that we’re paying the Pakistanis to pay the Taliban to go into Afghanistan and kill Afghanis and Coalition troops? What. The. Fuck?

    At least the geniuses we had in Vietnam days had the wit and wisdom to use the NVA and Viet Cong as a means to impoverish the Soviet Union–Even if that was entirely by accident. Today? Our so-smart, so-brilliant military and diplomatic types are paying someone to pay someone else to kill our people. We’re beggaring ourselves, and the question has to be asked “Why?”.

    After Ukraine, my best guess is that it’s the same old, same old in Pakistan: Some kidlets and others are making money off of kickbacks from foreign aid, and all the other potential feather-bedding. Afghanistan isn’t a military campaign so much as it’s a campaign to fleece the American taxpayer via Pakistani cutouts. That’s why we’re still there, and that’s why the military and diplomatic types were unwilling to obey Trump’s orders to get us out–There were too many politicians and military/industrial types making filthy lucre over there for them to obey. They won’t pull us out of Afghanistan until there’s no more blood to be squozen out of the place…

    Ever wonder why there was about zero real investigation of the Pakistani IT guys that were working in Congress for Wassermann-Schultz? Why they let them get out of the country, and go home to Pakistan? Ask yourself why those guys even got hired in the first place, and what all they had access to.

    At this point, Afghanistan isn’t a military campaign; it’s a cash cow for our political types, and they’re not gonna give it up as long as they can get away with it. And, it is fully bipartisan, even if only in the terms that the Republicans won’t point these truths out to anyone, for fear that it will have some imagined bad effect on the so-called “War on Terror”.

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