OPINION| Elder Patriot – The scope of illegal surveillance on U.S. citizens conducted by members of the Obama administration keeps on growing.
That would be the case if recent information obtained by Judicial Watch, indicating that former U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch targeted certain U.S. persons using State Department resources, is true.
(Judicial Watch) Judicial Watch has obtained information indicating Yovanovitch may have violated laws and government regulations by ordering subordinates to target certain U.S. persons using State Department resources. Yovanovitch reportedly ordered monitoring keyed to the following search terms: Biden, Giuliani, Soros and Yovanovitch. Judicial Watch has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the State Department and will continue gathering facts from government sources.
Prior to being recalled as ambassador to Ukraine in the spring Yovanovitch reportedly created a list of individuals who were to be monitored via social media and other means. Ukraine embassy staff made the request to the Washington D.C. headquarters office of the department’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. After several days, Yovanovitch’s staff was informed that the request was illegal and the monitoring either ceased or was concealed via the State Department Global Engagement Center, which has looser restrictions on collecting information.
“This is not an obscure rule, everyone in public diplomacy or public affairs knows they can’t make lists and monitor U.S. citizens unless there is a major national security reason,” according to a senior State Department official. If the illicit operation occurred, it seems to indicate a clear political bias against the president and his supporters.
The guys at The Conservative Treehouse raised some important questions when this news broke:
“How exactly does the U.S. State Department monitor people or persons they define as adverse to their interests?
- How does the state department monitor their adversaries?
- Why is the NSA FISA(702) database used to monitor non-foreign persons?
The Global Engagement Center first came to our attention in December 2016 when the lame duck congress signed away our right to free speech with the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017.
At that time we expressed our opinion that:
Hidden in the new law – Section 1287 – are the funding and guidelines necessary to establish a Global Engagement Center. The wording is sufficiently vague enough for the GEC to become a Ministry of Truth.
Section 1287, (a) Establishment, (2) Purpose: The purpose of the Center shall be to lead, synchronize, and coordinate efforts of the Federal Government to recognize, understand, expose, and counter foreign state and non-state propaganda and disinformation efforts aimed at undermining United States national security interests.
It didn’t take a genius to understand the power this bestowed upon a corrupt government in the name of national defense. The downstream consequences were predictable and continue to manifest themselves in our body politic.
For President Obama, those he couldn’t seduce with his rhetoric, he would crush using their personal information… even if he had to have his minions in the intelligence community make it up and rely on a corrupt Congress to repeat it.