In an article published Tuesday in Consortium News, former intelligence professionals Ray McGovern and William Binney issue what is, in effect, a policy statement: In order to force into the open the illegal activities of the “Deep State,” of intelligence officials engaged in constant surveillance of all elected officials, key appointees of the government, and of course Trump’s campaign team, President Trump and Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, must not back down.
Trump’s response, in particular, is crucial, they warn. Will he choose the road less traveled by?
“His choice may decide whether there is a future for this constitutional republic.”
The issue, they assert, was never wiretapping but surveillance. Wiretapping is passe, so when Trump used that term, the intelligence agencies could self-righteously claim they never did such a thing. But, “were Trump and his associates surveilled? Wake up America…the reality is that everyone, including the President, is surveilled.” The fear these surveillance capabilities strike in the hearts of U.S. government officials, was reflected in Sen. Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) warning to MSNBC TV host Rachel Maddow, that the intelligence agencies “have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you” if you dare buck them.
In the House Intelligence Committee hearing March 20, much to the discomfort of FBI director Comey, Rep. Nunes—MgGovern and Binney note he has a healthy independent streak—zeroed in on the “dragnet” deployed by intelligence agencies to pick up communications by Trump’s advisors and then “unmask” the names before leaking them to the media. After appealing to anyone with knowledge of this to come forward, Nunes got a call from an intelligence source on March 21 while riding in his car, and went to the Old Executive Office Building, where he was shown the intercepts’ intelligence.
According to informed sources, Nunes’ source was someone in a position to know that former DNI director James Clapper and former CIA head John Brennen used the British spy agency GCHQ for surveillance purposes. McGovern and Binney note that Nunes didn’t take this information to ranking committee member Adam Schiff (D-CA), but rather directly to the President, even though this involved “a high political cost.” The real threat isn’t from the Democrats, they underscore, but from the “Deep State actors” waging war on the Presidency.