Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

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Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Intercepts


Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) is the British intelligence organization, that routinely intercepts communications of Russian officials and passes on information to US intelligence agencies.  The US and Britain are part of the so-called "Five Eyes" agreement (along with Canada, Australia and New Zealand), which requires open sharing among member nations of intelligence.  The British GCHQ and other intelligence agencies were not targeting members of the Trump team, but rather gathering communications, and passing on those communications to their US counterparts, during what’s known as incidental collection.

FBI Director James Comey has confirmed that an investigation was opened last year into Russia's efforts to influence our presidential election.  And, the Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation will scrutinized Russia's efforts to meddle in the 2016 presidential election.
GCHQ's surveillance became politically sensitive when President Trump cited an uncorroborated Fox News report, that claimed the British intelligence tapped Trump Tower phones in at the request of former President Obama.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer repeated Trump's claim and cited a Fox News' report about GCHQ's surveillance to reporters in the briefing room.  Spicer told journalists: "Judge Andrew Napolitano had said: ‘Three intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the chain of command (to spy on Trump).  He didn't use the NSA, he didn't use the CIA ... he used GCHQ.’''
The GCHQ issued a statement saying: “Recent allegations made by media commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano about GCHQ being asked to conduct wire tapping against the then President-elect are nonsense.  They are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored.”
Republican Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr confirmed: “based on the information available to us, we see no indications that Trump Tower was the subject of surveillance by any element of the United States government either before or after Election Day 2016.”

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