Many of the critical tools employed in the coup to paint Donald Trump as a tool of the Russians and to manufacture a pretext for removing him from office, were created more than twenty years ago.
I am talking about the surveillance state that the American electorate has ignorantly accepted as necessary in order to keep us safe from terrorists.
Despite previous warning from whistleblowers like Russ Tice, Bill Binney, Ed Loomis and Kird Wiebe, no action to rein in the surveillance monster was taken until Edward Snowden absconded with the documents exposing the vast amount spying that the U.S. Government is doing to its own citizens. But even those weak efforts to supposedly rein in the NSA proved to be nothing more than mere window dressing.
The spying got worse. Just ask Donald Trump and the members of his campaign that were targeted first by the CIA and NSA and then by the FBI. Fundamental civil rights were trampled.
The real irony in all of this is that Barack Obama, as President, took credit for helping revise the laws in order to prevent the spying exposed by Edward Snowden. But under the Obama Administration, spying on political opponents--both real and perceived--escalated. We know for a fact that journalists, such as James Rosen and Sheryl Atkinson, were targets and their communications and computers attacked by the U.S. Government.
We know, thanks to a memo released by Judge Rosemary Collyer, that "FBI consultants" were making illegal searches of NSA material using the names of Donald Trump, his family and members of his campaign staff.
Some of this NSA material came courtesy of the Brits and their collection on U.S. targets. Some of this material came from the NSA's own collection and storage of all electronic communications and was obtained using a nifty NSA tool called XKEYSCORE. Listen to Ed Snowden's description. Also, take time to appreciate the irony that CNN and other journalists were actually trying to report real news. Now they are full blown apologists for the abuse of the intelligence collection tools.
Six years ago, former NSA Technical Director for Military and Geopolitical Issues, Bill Binney, and Russ Tice, a former NSA analyst, appeared on the PBS News Hour. Once again, they make very clear the enormous nature to the threat to our civil liberties.
Too bad Donald Trump did not listen to their warning.
Given the robust, wide ranging ability of the NSA to probe all communications by any person in the United States, it is remarkable that no real dirt on Donald Trump was ever uncovered. Had such information existed, it would be in the NSA's storage vaults in Utah and crooked CIA analysts under Brennan's direction would have found it and used it. But that did not happed. The best the intel folks could fabricate were the salacious claims attributed to reports ostensibly created by former British spy, Christopher Steele. Turns out that the titillating account that Trump hired hookers to perform coprophilia (could of been worse, coprophagia) was nothing more than idle bar talk.
What has happened to Donald Trump can happen to any of us. It is time to take this threat seriously and put the intel agencies back into a properly monitored corral. Otherwise, we will lose this Republic.