Once again the Obama administration only receives a slap on the hand for violating national security policies.
Now that Obama is unable to hide his dirty little secrets the country is finding out what he was really up to during his last presidential year. Obama basically spent that last year illegally using national intelligence agencies to spy on American citizens as well as members of the Trump campaign.
However, even with definitive evidence against the Obama administration these illegal activities received nothing more than Court criticism.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Intelligence agencies violated the constitutional rights of American citizens through illegal surveillance during the Obama administration, recently declassified documents from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) show.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) authorizes two courts to provide judicial review for U.S. intelligence agencies when their activities require them to monitor people on U.S. soil. One is FISC, and the other is the court that hears appeals from FISC decisions, the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review (FISCR). The benches of FISC are comprised of federal judges from regular federal trial courts throughout the nation, and three appellate judges from around the nation comprise the bench of FISCR.
Writing the 99-page opinion for FISC, Judge Rosemary Collyer castigated the Obama administration for failing to follow the Section 702 procedures designed to ensure that the government does not violate Americans’ civil rights as it is performing work that is vitally important to national security. Collyer declared that the previous administration’s cavalier violations of Section 702’s requirements created “a very serious Fourth Amendment issue.”
Collyer sharply criticized the National Security Agency’s inspector general and the NSA’s Office of Compliance for Operations for their “institutional ‘lack of candor,’” signaling that in addition to ignoring legal constraints, the Obama administration was not being honest with the court about its violations of federal law.
The court also criticized the FBI, faulting the domestic agency with distributing “raw FISA information” to a wide array of individuals associated with the bureau, including private contractors who did not need access to the information. Collyer noted that this unwarranted practice had also ceased under the Trump administration, with the FBI curtailing its dissemination of raw intelligence on April 18.