Rand Paul's Day In The Sun

Roger L. Simon, PJ Media

I confess I always had mixed feelings about Rand Paul.  The Kentucky senator is clearly a smart guy but his brand of libertarianism seemed better on paper than in real life. Moreover, his constant warnings about privacy  and the excessive power of our overweening intelligence agencies felt overwrought.  I assumed those agencies had their hands full with ISIS et al. and that it bordered on the paranoid worrying about their cooperating with our own government leaders in domestic spying.  If anything was unAmerican, that was.  And it was illegal.

Boy, was I wrong.

As events continue to evolve in the Susan Rice "unmasking" scandal, my hat's off to Rand.  He's my new hero, out there demanding Rice testify and wondering why the former national security adviser was doing investigating that normally would have been done by the FBI.

Another hero is Lee Smith, whose article in Tablet is positively blood-curdling. After reminding  us of what we already know -- that Rice's "unmasking" of Trump teammates in and of itself is not a crime, even if unseemly -- Smith adds:

But what if Donald Trump wasn’t the first or only target of an Obama White House campaign of spying and illegal leaks directed at domestic political opponents?

In a December 29, 2015 articleTheWall Street Journal described how the Obama administration had conducted surveillance on Israeli officials to understand how Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials, like Ambassador Ron Dermer, intended to fight the Iran Deal. The Journal reported that the targeting “also swept up the contents of some of their private conversations with U.S. lawmakers and American-Jewish groups.”

Despite this reporting, it seemed inconceivable at the time that—given myriad legal, ethical, political, and historical concerns, as well as strict National Security Agency protocols that protect the identity of American names caught in intercepts—the Obama White House would have actually spied on American citizens. In a December 31, 2016, Tablet article on the controversy, “Why the White House Wanted Congress to Think It Was Being Spied on By the NSA,” I argued that the Obama administration had merely used the appearance of spying on American lawmakers to corner opponents of the Iran Deal. Spying on U.S. citizens would be a clear abuse of the foreign-intelligence surveillance system. It would be a felony offense to leak the names of U.S. citizens to the press.

Increasingly, I believe that my conclusion in that piece was wrong. I believe the spying was real and that it was done not in an effort to keep the country safe from threats—but in order to help the White House fight their domestic political opponents.

Smith goes on to show how Obama & Co. essentially weaponized the NSA's legitimate monitoring of foreign officials -- in this case Israelis -- to gain the administration's ends (i. e. tarnish Jewish-Americans in opposition to the Iran Deal for having "dual loyalties" in order to weaken opposition to the deal).

It was sort of a trial run for the technique -- spying on foreigners in order to taint  American citizens --  that seems to have later been employed in the Trump era. Some of these foreigners could be Russian, like the ambassador, but they also came from other countries, if we are to believe Devin Nunes, who is looking -- unlike his cohort Adam Schiff -- more and more believable at this point.

One technique I've heard about would have been simple.  Pick out a Trump team member you want to shadow.  Learn his calling patterns.  Does he have a cousin in France he calls on weekends?  Spy on the Frenchman -- it's legal -- and you have the team member into the bargain, plus a recording to use or leak how you wish. Was this method employed? I  certainly don't know, but I'd like to.  There are probably many other techniques I have no idea about that could be even more relevant and disturbing.

Read full article

You May Also Like:

On Social Media, What's Genius For Obama Is Scandal When It Comes To Trump [Watch] Ben Shapiro, The Hill

The Problem Is Facebook, Not Cambridge Analytica Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg

The Sad Hysteria Of The Southern Poverty Law Center Shikha Dalmia, The Week

‘Armed School Resource Officer’ Took Down Maryland High School Shooter Christian Datoc, Daily Caller

What Went Wrong At The FBI Thomas J. Baker, The Wall Street Journal

Nafta Is A Critical Part Of The U.S.’s Economic Future Dan K. Eberhart, Investor’s Business Daily

Hillary Should Just Admit She Hates Half Of America Katherine Timpf, National Review

Democrats’ Obstructionism Is Unprecedented John Hinderaker, PowerLine Blog

Collapse Of Credibility In Mainstream Press Puts Burden On Readers Ira Stoll, New York Sun

At $21 TRILLION, The National Debt Is Growing 36% Faster Than The US Economy Simon Black, Sovereign Man

Two Million Get Off Food Stamps During Trump's First Year Tom Knighton, PJ Media

RNC Raises $12.8 Million In February, Breaks Another Fundraising Record Jack Heretik, Washington Free Beacon

What Could Go Wrong With Obama-era Appointees Putting All Our National Security Eggs In Amazon's Basket? Jared Whitley, Weekly Standard

Alert: Dems Just Got 5 Congressional Seats Courtesy Of The SCOTUS Kevin Daley, Conservative Tribune

The Truth About Medicaid Work Requirements Angela Rachidi, American Enterprise Institute

Millennials Aren’t Saving Because They Think Capitalism Will Be Finished By The Time They Reach 65 Matt Vespa, Townhall

Homeschooling: The Best Hope For America's Future Lloyd Marcus, American Thinker

For More go to the Home Page >>>

Join Our Email List



FreeMarket Central

Some titles recent, all recommended -

Special Video Feature

FreeMarket Central

Voices From The 2017 International Students For Liberty Conference


In Search Of History

The Reagan Tax Cuts Worked

Thanks to "bracket creep," the inflation of the 1970s pushed millions of taxpayers into higher tax brackets even though their inflation-adjusted incomes were not rising. To help offset this tax increase and also to improve incentives to work, save, and invest, President Reagan proposed sweeping tax rate reductions during the 1980s. What happened? Total tax revenues climbed by 99.4 percent during the 1980s, and the results are even more impressive when looking at what happened to personal income tax revenues. Once the economy received an unambiguous tax cut in January 1983, income tax revenues climbed dramatically, increasing by more than 54 percent by 1989 (28 percent after adjusting for inflation).


-- Daniel J. Mitchell,

Shadow Stats Snapshot

FreeMarket Central

ShadowStats alternate economic indicators are based on the methodology of noted economist John Williams, specialist in government economic reporting.

  • Unemployment:
    FreeMarket Central BLS: 4.14%
    FreeMarket Central Shadow Stats: 21.8%
  • Inflation:
    FreeMarket Central February Year-to-Year: 1.8% (CPI-U*)
    FreeMarket Central Shadow Stats: 9.9%

*[cpi-u is the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation rate for all urban consumers]