I want my FISA warrant. Or, as my granddaughter would say: It’s not "fay-er."
Carter Page gets one little FISA warrant and he’s a worldwide celebrity. Soon it will be a book deal and maybe a movie. The man has street cred. And yet, it should have been me. Let’s go to the tape. I’ve met and spoken to President Trump (before and after the election) about ten times. Carter Page? Zero. That’s right, zero, nada, nil, zilch. Read my lips (Now there’s an old and discredited phrase): Carter Page has never met nor spoken to Donald Trump. So how did he rate a FISA warrant? Well, it seems that Carter Page got appointed to a Trump campaign Foreign Policy unpaid advisory committee. The committee met once. Candidate Trump never addressed the committee.
What was unique about Carter page? He had done years of business in Russia. Again, what about me? My mother was born in Russia. My father was born in Lithuania. My wife was born and raised in Communist Poland. And we still maintain some of the Polish contacts, both here and there. Last summer we toured the Hermitage museum in Saint Petersburg. Where’s my street cred?
OK, sarcasm is over. But the Carter Page story isn’t.
It seems that as an American businessman in Russia, Carter Page attracted many “friends.” And as an unknown patriot, Carter Page contacted the FBI and kept our side totally in the loop. And that’s why Carter Page has never been charged. It’s also why the spies picked the wrong guy. After all, if the purpose of the FISA warrant was to open a window on the Trump campaign, Carter Page knew almost no one and has a history of hiding nothing.
Before we go any further I need to update a little history and a few definitions. FISA stands for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, a federal law established in 1978 to “establish procedures for the physical and electronic surveillance...for agents of foreign powers suspected of espionage or terrorism” (Wikipedia). An offshoot was “FISC, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to oversee requests for surveillance warrants by federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies” (Wikipedia). The Patriot Act following 9/11 was a major update. So why are we here? Because the “F” stands for Foreign and Carter Page is a U. S. citizen. Indeed, the FISA Act takes great pains and raises a very high bar to discourage attempted surveillance of Americans — or so we thought.
This essay is Part II of “Unmasking Obama.” For those of you with short memories I will remind you that my April 2017 post was Part I. I wrote about a 1997 Richard Gere movie and said “Red Corner” is now the rule of law in the good old U. S. of A. I wrote that “the FBI could indict (Republican) Petreus but not (Democrat) Hillary.” I wrote about FISA warrants and their enablers, the NSA and Susan Rice.” And I wrote that “Carter Page...is about to be presented as Judas, Benedict Arnold, Mata Hari, Tokyo Rose, Alger Hiss and the Rosenbergs, all rolled into one.” I also wrote that Carter Page’s misfortune “is all that the Dems have.” How did I do?
Are we making progress? Well, yes and no. The “yes” part means that the McCabe loss of pension, the Trump tweets, and the Nunes memo have greatly raised the awareness of the possible FISA scandal among the American people. The “no” part is that we no longer have a Fourth Amendment in the Bill of Rights section of the United States Constitution. Consider this: the number of warrant requests since 1978 is 35,000. The number of refusals? Twelve. Rubber stamp, anyone? It gets worse. Under President Obama we started asking for FISA warrants to spy on Americans. They got virtually all of them. While America was protecting its First and Second Amendments, the bad guys were shredding the Fourth. Can we get it back?
Yes, if we care. Remember, in the FISA court (FISC) there are only two entities, the applicant and the judge. Nobody is representing the target, foreign or domestic. On domestic surveillance requests we need a third entity, a Ron Paul type Ombudsman who, when appropriate, argues the deficiency of the warrant application to the judge. Remember Carter Page? When the warrant was presented to spy on him (and possibly open a window on the Trump campaign, transition and administration) there was no one to remind the judge that the dossier was a fraud. There was no one to raise the possibility that Hillary paid for it, that Hillary campaign employees might have made up the stories contained therein, and that Carter Page was a cooperating businessman working with the FBI to keep tabs on certain Russian spies. This wasn’t due process. This was doo-doo process.
What happens next? Will I do a Part III? First, a Part III is probably coming sooner rather than later. Why? Because the next new name is Michael Horowitz. Who? Yes, Michael Horowitz, the Obama appointed Inspector General of the FBI. Michael is working on an analysis of the FBI’s handling of the Clinton emails. The report is due out by the end of April, 2018. Yes, very soon. It could be a game changer. It could lower the boom on Comey, Brennan, McCabe and maybe even Mueller and Loretta Lynch. Am I just a wild eyed optimist? I don’t think so. I think that Horowitz gave Attorney General Sessions enough of a preview to support taking away McCabe’s pension. If I’m right it might be time to deep six the deep state.
Sid Dinerstein is a former chairman of the Palm Beach County Republican Party. He founded JBS Associates, a 600-person financial service company, and currently combines politics and business with Niger Innis in Inclusive Elections LLC, a firm that brings urban electorate voters to the GOP. He is the author of "Adults Only: For Those Who Love Their Country More Than Their Party." For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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