Sunday, June 17, 2018

The Truth about Separating Kids

By Rich Lowry
May 28, 2018
Image result for border agents illegal immigrants 2018
U.S. Border Patrol agents with illegal immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border near McAllen, Texas, May 9, 2018. (Loren Elliott/Rueters)

The latest furor over Trump immigration policy involves the separation of children from parents at the border.
As usual, the outrage obscures more than it illuminates, so it’s worth walking through what’s happening here.
For the longest time, illegal immigration was driven by single males from Mexico. Over the last decade, the flow has shifted to women, children, and family units from Central America. This poses challenges we haven’t confronted before and has made what once were relatively minor wrinkles in the law loom very large.
The Trump administration isn’t changing the rules that pertain to separating an adult from the child. Those remain the same. Separation happens only if officials find that the adult is falsely claiming to be the child’s parent, or is a threat to the child, or is put into criminal proceedings.
It's the last that is operative here. The past practice had been to give a free pass to an adult who is part of a family unit. The new Trump policy is to prosecute all adults. The idea is to send a signal that we are serious about our laws and to create a deterrent against re-entry. (Illegal entry is a misdemeanor, illegal re-entry a felony.)
When a migrant is prosecuted for illegal entry, he or she is taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals. In no circumstance anywhere in the U.S. do the marshals care for the children of people they take into custody. The child is taken into the custody of HHS, who cares for them at temporary shelters.
The criminal proceedings are exceptionally short, assuming there is no aggravating factor such as a prior illegal entity or another crime. The migrants generally plead guilty, and they are then sentenced to time served, typically all in the same day, although practices vary along the border. After this, they are returned to the custody of ICE.
If the adult then wants to go home, in keeping with the expedited order of removal that is issued as a matter of course, it’s relatively simple. The adult should be reunited quickly with his or her child, and the family returned home as a unit. In this scenario, there’s only a very brief separation.
Where it becomes much more of an issue is if the adult files an asylum claim. In that scenario, the adults are almost certainly going to be detained longer than the government is allowed to hold their children.
That’s because of something called the Flores Consent Decree from 1997. It says that unaccompanied children can be held only 20 days. A ruling by the Ninth Circuit extended this 20-day limit to children who come as part of family units. So even if we want to hold a family unit together, we are forbidden from doing so.
The clock ticking on the time the government can hold a child will almost always run out before an asylum claim is settled. The migrant is allowed ten days to seek an attorney, and there may be continuances or other complications.
This creates the choice of either releasing the adults and children together into the country pending the ajudication of the asylum claim, or holding the adults and releasing the children. If the adult is held, HHS places the child with a responsible party in the U.S., ideally a relative (migrants are likely to have family and friends here).
Even if Flores didn’t exist, the government would be very constrained in how many family units it can accommodate. ICE has only about 3,000 family spaces in shelters. It is also limited in its overall space at the border, which is overwhelmed by the ongoing influx. This means that — whatever the Trump administration would prefer to do — many adults are still swiftly released.
Why try to hold adults at all? First of all, if an asylum-seeker is detained, it means that the claim goes through the process much more quickly, a couple of months or less rather than years. Second, if an adult is released while the claim is pending, the chances of ever finding that person again once he or she is in the country are dicey, to say the least. It is tantamount to allowing the migrant to live here, no matter what the merits of the case.
A few points about all this:
1) Family units can go home quickly. The option that both honors our laws and keeps family units together is a swift return home after prosecution. But immigrant advocates hate it because they want the migrants to stay in the United States. How you view this question will depend a lot on how you view the motivation of the migrants (and how seriously you take our laws and our border).
2) There’s a better way to claim asylum. Every indication is that the migrant flow to the United States is discretionary. It nearly dried up at the beginning of the Trump administration when migrants believed that they had no chance of getting into the United States. Now, it is going in earnest again because the message got out that, despite the rhetoric, the policy at the border hasn’t changed. This strongly suggests that the flow overwhelmingly consists of economic migrants who would prefer to live in the United States, rather than victims of persecution in their home country who have no option but to get out.
Even if a migrant does have a credible fear of persecution, there is a legitimate way to pursue that claim, and it does not involve entering the United States illegally. First, such people should make their asylum claim in the first country where they feel safe, i.e., Mexico or some other country they are traversing to get here. Second, if for some reason they are threatened everywhere but the United States, they should show up at a port of entry and make their claim there rather than crossing the border illegally.
3) There is a significant moral cost to not enforcing the border. There is obviously a moral cost to separating a parent from a child and almost everyone would prefer not to do it. But, under current policy and with the current resources, the only practical alternative is letting family units who show up at the border live in the country for the duration. Not only does this make a mockery of our laws, it creates an incentive for people to keep bringing children with them.
Needless to say, children should not be making this journey that is fraught with peril. But there is now a premium on bringing children because of how we have handled these cases. They are considered chits.
In April, the New York Times reported:
Some migrants have admitted they brought their children not only to remove them from danger in such places as Central America and Africa, but because they believed it would cause the authorities to release them from custody sooner.
Others have admitted to posing falsely with children who are not their own, and Border Patrol officials say that such instances of fraud are increasing.
According to azcentral.com, it is “common to have parents entrust their children to a smuggler as a favor or for profit.”
If someone is determined to come here illegally, the decent and safest thing would be to leave the child at home with a relative and send money back home. Because we favor family units over single adults, we are creating an incentive to do the opposite and use children to cut deals with smugglers.
4) Congress can fix this. Congress can change the rules so the Flores consent decree will no longer apply, and it can appropriate more money for family shelters at the border. This is an obvious thing to do that would eliminate the tension between enforcing our laws and keeping family units together. The Trump administration is throwing as many resources as it can at the border to expedite the process, and it desperately wants the Flores consent decree reversed. Despite some mixed messages, if the administration had its druthers, family units would be kept together and their cases settled quickly.
The missing piece here is Congress, but little outrage will be directed at it, and probably nothing will be done. And so our perverse system will remain in place and the crisis at the border will rumble on.

Crime and Punishment

June 17, 2018
Image result for james comey obama mueller
James Comey, Barack Obama, Robert Mueller
The Justice Department Inspector General’s report on the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s unsecured personal email server laid bare a widespread pattern of conduct that “cast a cloud” over the FBI. The report incites the inference that the Bureau is a severely corrupted organization, tainted and warped by unconstitutional ambitions to meddle in electoral matters.
Although Inspector General Michael Horowitz asserted he lacked “documentary and testamentary evidence” to prove political bias ruled in making decisions of great political consequence, clearly he did not mean bias was not present. On what the report presented, it is almost certain that the FBI, at the deliberate direction of its leaders and senior Justice Department officials, intervened completely improperly in political matters. The inspector general led the country to the edge of the decision, and will presumably make a number of criminal referrals for possible indictments, as he did after his initial report.
Horowitz is not a prosecutor. But he recorded extreme anti-Trump bias in many people and on many occasions. The presence of Peter Strzok as head of the FBI Clinton whitewash operation, jumping at once to take over the effort to tie Trump to Russia so as to rig the presidential election (though he acknowledged “there is no there there”), and then on to lead Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation of Trump, is scandalous. At mid-point in the circuit, Strzok assures his Justice Department paramour Lisa Page, “We will stop him” (Trump). This makes Horowitz’s pious attachment to inconclusiveness very tenuous.
Former FBI Director James Comey emerges as a psychopath incapable of telling fact from fiction, himself guilty of possible criminal misuse of emails, as well as likely obstruction of justice, untruthful answers to Congress under oath, theft of government property, illegal leaks, and in Horowitz’s words, “usurping” the authority of the attorney general and deputy attorney general, “serious improprieties and errors of judgment,” and severe breach of Bureau practices and policies for “unpersuasive” reasons. He is completely disgraced and is on the low road to indictment.
Comey and his counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, when he was a prosecutor, never accorded any mercy to those whom they gleefully prosecuted, (such as Martha Stewart, Scooter Libby, and me), and it will be a fine divertissement to see how they do when their turn comes to face the lawless rogue monster of American criminal justice. Retaining proportionality, there will be some resemblance to the fate of Robespierre’s chief prosecutor under the Committee of Public Safety, Fouquier-Tinville, and Stalin’s police ministers, Yagoda, Yezhov, and Beria: all were executed when the political currents shifted.
Revelations About Obama
We also learn for the first time that that President Obama was not, as he has claimed, unaware of Secretary Clinton’s illegal email activity, which, Horowitz also confirms, gave “foreign actors” access to unknowable quantities of classified material—a major security breach. There is little doubt that President Obama and his attorney general, Loretta Lynch, and her deputy Sally Yates, were complicit in the harassment of the Trump campaign, including the implantation of informers within the campaign, the surveillance of the campaign through telephone intercepts and other means under a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant requested from a court under a false pretext of treating the Steele dossier, a farrago of lies and defamations commissioned by the Clinton campaign, as an objective product of respectable impartial, professional intelligence gathering with no hint of its origins or methods or purpose.   
Comey inherited the FBI from Robert Mueller, who must have inculcated the initial ethos of omnipotence and infallibility. Horowitz reveals many instances of the tangible corruption of FBI agents by interested parties in investigations, and of contact between agents and the media so frequent that it is impossible to identify the principal suspects in the Niagara of illegal leaks the FBI’s agents have committed. Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who has already been referred for possible criminal indictment, got around to recusing himself on the Clinton “matter” a week before the 2016 election, after a Clinton ally had given McCabe’s wife’s Virginia state senate campaign almost $800,000 while McCabe was leading the soft-pointed investigation of Mrs. Clinton.
Somebody serious, meaning no one now in sight in the Justice Department, is going to have to come to grips with the role of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in all this. Obviously, Clinton lied to federal officers. It is inconceivable that Obama did not know a legally damaging amount about this appalling skullduggery. The country needs the truth.
Though Horowitz wasn’t looking at the intelligence agencies, the coordinated law-breaking and perjury of senior officials, almost certainly including the former directors of the FBI, CIA (John Brennan), and the Office of National Intelligence (James Clapper), has to be addressed, starting with their frequent lies to Congress, and apparent participation in a plan with Comey to mislead the president-elect about the Steele dossier. All of this is so far from passing a smell test, no person of normal olfactory sensibilities could inhale through their nostrils while being exposed to it.
We cannot wait for the Horowitz molasses to run for another 18 months—as it did to produce this report—to get to the bottom of the partisan Russian probe, the infamous Steele dossier and the apparent manipulation of the FISA court, a serious crime. The Democrats are trying to run out the clock, and the macabre farce noire of Mueller’s investigation, which returns every few months to launch another feeble assault on Paul Manafort for reasons having nothing to do with its ostensible purpose (Trump-Russian collusion), must not continue ad nauseam et infinitum.
The well-tried Democratic dirty tricks operation is doing its best, one last time, with a contemporaneous spurious civil lawsuit against the Trump Foundation, from the Spitzer-Cuomo-Schneiderman-Underwood legal sewer of the attorney general of New York. The wax-works official Democratic leadership—Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and their claque—are trying to spin the report as inconclusive and maintain that Comey was more helpful to Trump than to Clinton. The reaction of the new FBI director, Christopher Wray, promising to implement Horowitz’s recommendations and acknowledging errors “in hindsight,” was completely unacceptable. He should have been wearing short pants and a Yogi Bear hat as he promised to “teach” his 35,000 agents to avoid political bias.
The Washington Sleaze Factory Needs to be Upended
The old Washington sleaze factory is talking to itself. We are between the lightning and the thunder and the country cannot tolerate this level of sanctimonious, institutionalized corruption any longer.
It’s now or never for the pitiful, self-emasculated Attorney General Jeff Sessions. He must name a special counsel to get to the bottom of the origins and development of the Russian investigation, while Mueller is ordered to make an interim report, show cause why he should be allowed to continue at all, and if so, his staff must be purged of known political partisans. Its origins and functioning have been arrogantly unprofessional and they are not close to anything relevant to the non-existent Trump-Russia relationship. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is compromised by approving the renewal of an illegal FISA warrant, stonewalling Congress, and buckling to Comey in appointing Mueller right after Comey was fired (on Rosenstein’s recommendation).  
Nothing in any of these investigations raises the slightest questions about the probity of the conduct of Donald Trump, who has been the victim of Clintonian chicanery, Sessions’ impotence, and a historic media smear campaign. The president must require the public revelation of all relevant documentation, redacting only what an independent unquestionable source identifies as necessary to keep secret for reasons of the safety of an agent or human asset or national security. Then let the people judge in November.
If Sessions or Rosenstein won’t appoint a new special counsel with a proper mandate and impose reasonable guidelines on Mueller, they should be sacked and the solicitor general, Noel Francisco, should be ordered to do what his superiors have failed to do, pending senatorial approval of replacements.
If Clinton had won, as the leaders of the Justice Department assumed and passionately hoped and tried to assure, none of this would have come to light. If they had just allowed Donald Trump a decent honeymoon, as every other incoming president receives, he would not have overturned the rocks and it all would have slipped into the past. But in confecting and promoting the monstrous fraud of Trump-Russian collusion, they tried, first to subvert a presidential election and then to overturn the result of one. What occurred was a massive criminal assault on the Constitution. The tumor has been ripped open and now it must be excised.
Despite Horowitz’s partial disclaimer, he has almost certainly proved that political bias perverted the administration of justice. Those responsible and complicit must be indicted, convicted, and punished, with the same severity they have shown to their often guiltless victims.
Conrad Black has been one of Canada’s most prominent financiers for 40 years, and was one of the leading newspaper publishers in the world as owner of the British telegraph newspapers, the Fairfax newspapers in Australia, the Jerusalem Post, Chicago Sun-Times and scores of smaller newspapers in the U.S., and most of the daily newspapers in Canada. He is the author of authoritative biographies of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Richard Nixon, one-volume histories of the United States and Canada, and most recently of Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other. He is a member of the British House of Lords as Lord Black of Crossharbour.

Loyalty to Self


The Horowitz report demonstrates that there are no limits to James Comey’s hypocrisy and self-regard.
By Judith Miller
June 15, 2018
Related image
James Comey and Loretta Lynch
The Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General’s long-awaited report found no explicit political agenda or motivation for former FBI director James Comey’s “extraordinary” violations of FBI and DOJ rules, regulations, policies, and procedures. Nor did the 568-page report challenge Comey’s decision not to prosecute Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email in handling secret information while serving as President Barack Obama’s Secretary of State. “We found no evidence that the conclusions by department prosecutors were affected by bias or other improper considerations,” concluded Michael Horowitz, the independent-minded inspector general, after reviewing 1.2 million documents and interviewing more than 100 witnesses.
The report is silent on what motivated Comey’s stunning errors of judgment in breaking with longstanding policy by publicly discussing his investigation into Clinton’s handling of secret government information. But while the report does not address his personal motivation, it devastates the decisions and actions Comey has tried for months to defend—in congressional testimony, a bestselling book, and a much publicized book  tour in which he has accused President Donald Trump of violating the Constitution, American law, and being unfit for office.
“Insubordinate” is what the report calls Comey’s disregard of the FBI’s and the Justice Department’s “established procedures and norms” and his repeated preference for his “own subjective, ad hoc decision-making.” The inspector general’s verdict on that conduct affirms Trump’s decision to fire Comey, and is likely to haunt the former FBI director for the rest of his professional life. And it should.
The weighty report’s point-by-point criticism of Comey’s deviation from rules and procedures suggests a motivation. So, too, does the title of his own account of life in the law enforcement trenches—A Higher Loyalty. In his book, Comey emerges not so much as he portrays himself—a courageous defender of truth and embodiment of judicial virtue—but as a man consumed by self-righteousness. Department of Justice rules and policies may dictate that prosecutors who decline to bring an indictment against a target remain silent as to the reasons, but Comey decided that the American people were entitled to his opinion of Clinton’s use of a private email server for official business as “exceedingly reckless.” Never mind that the report discloses something he must have known while writing his self-serving non mea culpa—that Comey himself frequently used his own personal email and laptops to conduct official business.
Comey not only publicly discussed the politically explosive investigation’s conclusions in contravention of Justice Department norms; he also decided not to consult with senior Justice Department officials about his decision or tell his boss, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, that he had decided to speak publicly about it. “We found that Comey largely based his decisions on what he believed was in the FBI’s institutional interests and would enable him to continue to effectively lead the FBI as its Director,” Horowitz wrote. Comey alone would decide what information about investigations the American people were entitled to know.
Comey made a regular practice of leaking classified information to the press through friends and associates, thus maintaining his own ostensible aloofness from the media fray. He oversaw an agency where top officials spoke of derailing Trump’s candidacy, and where FBI employees were feted by members of the press, who gave them tickets and treated them to golf outings. Comey was told by then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch to refer to the Clinton email probe as a “matter,” thereby downplaying it, and he complied; the fact that his bizarre choices about announcing the various reopenings of the investigation may have redounded to Trump’s benefit does not detract from his willingness to follow in this case a seemingly politically motivated order.
Now more social-media savvy, Comey had a gracious, measured response to the inspector general’s attack on his conduct. While he disagreed with some of the inspector general’s “reasonable” conclusions, he tweeted, he respected the office and prayed that no FBI director would ever again face such an “unprecedented situation.” Comey clearly remains focused on his own image. The Horowitz report’s revelations, though, will surely undermine Comey’s standing as a credible witness for Robert Mueller, should the special prosecutor try to bring charges against President Trump or his senior campaign aides in the ongoing investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Comey is isolated: he will never be accepted by the Right, who largely back President Trump’s decision to fire him, nor by the Left, who will never forgive him for helping to sink Clinton’s campaign. Comey will go down as one of the worst examples of federal service in modern history.
Judith Miller is a City Journal contributing editor and author of The Story: A Reporter’s Journey.

Friday, June 15, 2018

America the Horrible?


Progressives say that the United States is racist and misogynist, but they still want everyone in the world to come here.


Heather Mac Donald
https://www.city-journal.org/html/america-horrible-15970.html
June 14, 2018

Image result for immigration protest
(ABC News)

American women live under a suffocating patriarchy. Rape culture flourishes in the United States. Toxic masculinity stunts the emotional and professional growth of American females. Sexual harassment and predation are ubiquitous in American workplaces. College campuses are maelstroms of sexual violence. Female students need safe spaces where they can escape abusive male power.

These propositions are self-evident to a large, interlocking establishment of government bureaucrats, progressive politicians, college administrators, faculty, “activists,” professionals, and journalists. Yet this same establishment is up in arms over a recent declaration by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions that female aliens caught trying to enter the country illegally will no longer be automatically considered for asylum by dint of claiming that they are victims of domestic abuse. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accuses the Trump administration of “staggering cruelty” in condemning “vulnerable innocent women to a lifetime of violence and even death.” The American Bar Association charged that Sessions would “further victimize those most in need of protection.” The executive director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Benjamin Johnson, denounced “this shameful chapter in our country’s history,” and promised a lawsuit.

Sessions was right to return asylum law to its original intent: offering protection to individuals persecuted by their government for membership in a socially distinct group. Domestic violence is a private crime, not a public one, and does not reflect general persecution of the sort that international law has codified as appropriate for asylum petitions. Asylum petitions have mushroomed 1,700 percent from 2008 to 2016, according to the New York Times, driven in significant part by domestic-abuse claims, often underwritten by extensive coaching and encouragement by hard-left advocates.

But why should social-justice warriors want to subject these potential asylees to the horrors of America? In coming to the U.S., if you believe the dominant feminist narrative, the female aliens would simply be exchanging their local violent patriarchy for a new one. Indeed, it should be a mystery to these committed progressives why any Third World resident would seek to enter the United States. Not only is rape culture pervasive in the U.S., but the very lifeblood of America is the destruction of “black bodies,” in the words of media star Ta-Nehesi Coates. Surely, a Third World person of color would be better off staying in his home country, where he is free from genocidal whiteness and the murderous legacy of Western civilization and Enlightenment values.

But the same left-wing establishment that in the morning rails against American oppression of an ever-expanding number of victim groups in the afternoon denounces the U.S. for not giving unlimited access to foreign members of those same victim groups. In their open-borders afternoon mode, progressives paint the U.S. as the only source of hope and opportunity for low-skilled, low-social-capital Third Worlders; a place obligated by its immigration history to take in all comers, forever. In their America-as-the-font-of-all-evil-against-females-and-persons-of-color morning mode, progressives paint the U.S. as the place where hope and opportunity die under a tsunami of misogyny and racism.

Which reality do progressives actually believe? They likely hold both mutually exclusive concepts in their heads simultaneously, unaware of the contradiction, toggling smoothly between one and the other according to context. But both claims cannot be true. And actions speak more loudly than words. In pressing for an immigration policy determined by the desire of hundreds of millions of foreigners to enter the U.S., progressives implicitly acknowledge that the left-wing narrative about America is false. In fact, there is no place on earth less governed by tribal prejudice and machismo than the United States. The left-wing narrative is simply a form of moral preening.

The U.S. southern border is currently beset by a flow of Central American migrants who have been coached to tell border guards the magic words: that they have a “well-founded fear of persecution” in their home country. Once someone claims asylum, he is usually released on his own recognizance, free to show up—or not—for his immigration hearing. If he commits a crime, or otherwise ends up in deportation proceedings, his supporters will cry that he has an application for asylum “pending.” There is now a backlog of over 300,000 asylum claims in the courts. The most important reason why the U.S. is such a magnet to people the world over is the rule of law. Progressives would destroy that lawfulness, even as they publicly deny its legacy of tolerance and justice.

Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal, and the author of the forthcoming book The Diversity Delusion.

Sweden: "It's Fun to Build a Mosque"

FROM 9/11 TO SPYGATE: THE NATIONAL SECURITY DEEP STATE




The men that failed on 9/11 used their new powers to suppress the truth about Islamic terror.



June 14, 2018


Image result for obama mueller comey

James Comey, Barack Obama and Robert Mueller
On September 4, 2001, Robert Mueller took over the FBI. At his confirmation hearings, fraud had overshadowed discussions of terrorism. And as FBI Director, Mueller quickly diverged from the common understanding that the attacks that killed 3,000 people had been an act of war rather than a crime.
In 2008, Abdullah Saleh al-Ajmi, who had been unleashed from Guantanamo Bay, carried out a suicide bombing in Iraq. Al-Ajmi had been represented by Thomas Wilner who was being paid by the Kuwaiti government. 
Wilner was a pal of Robert Mueller. And when the families were having dinner together, Mueller got up and said, "I want to toast Tom Wilner. He's doing just what an American lawyer should do."
“I don't know what he was doing from inside the government. I'd like to find out,” Wilner mused.
We know some of what Mueller was doing. The same official who paved the way for raiding the president’s lawyer, who illegally seized material from the Trump transition team and whose case is based in no small part on illegal eavesdropping, fought alongside Comey against surveilling terrorists. Materials involving the Muslim Brotherhood were purged. Toward the dawn of the second Obama term, Mueller met with CAIR and other Islamist groups and a green curtain fell over national security.
But the surveillance wasn’t going anywhere. Instead it was being redirected to new targets.
Those targets were not, despite the wave of hysterical conspiracy theories convulsing the media, the Russians. Mueller’s boss was still quite fond of them. Barack Obama did have foreign enemies that he wanted to spy on. And there were plenty of domestic enemies who could be caught up in that trap.
By his second term, the amateur was coming to understand the incredible surveillance powers at his disposal and how they could be used to spy on Americans under the pretext of fighting foreign threats.
Two birds. One stone.
While the Mueller purge was going on, Obama was pushing talks with Iran. There was one obstacle and it wasn’t Russia. The Russians were eager to play Obama with a fake nuke deal. It was the Israelis who were the problem. And it was the Israelis who were being spied on by Obama’s surveillance regime. 
But it wasn’t just the Israelis.
Iran was Obama’s big shot at a foreign policy legacy. As the year dragged on, it was becoming clear that the Arab Spring wouldn’t be anything he would want to be remembered for. By the time Benghazi went from a humanitarian rescue operation to one of the worst disasters of the term, it was clearly over.
Obama was worried that the Israelis would launch a strike against Iran’s nuclear program. And the surveillance and media leaks were meant to dissuade the Israelis from scuttling his legacy. But he was also worried about Netanyahu’s ability to persuade American Jews and members of Congress to oppose his nuclear sellout. And that was where the surveillance leapfrogged from foreign to domestic.
The NSA intercepted communications between Israelis and Americans, including members of Congress, and then passed the material along to the White House. Despite worries by some officials that "that the executive branch would be accused of spying on Congress", the White House "believed the intercepted information could be valuable to counter Mr. Netanyahu's campaign." 
The precedent was even more troubling than it seemed. 
Obama Inc. had defined its position in an unresolved political debate between the White House and Congress as the national interest. And had winkingly authorized surveillance on Congress to protect this policy in a domestic political debate. That precedent would then be used to spy on members of the Trump transition team and to force out Trump’s national security adviser.
National security had become indistinguishable from the agenda of the administration. And that agenda, like the rest of Obama’s unilateral policies, was enshrined as permanent. Instead of President Trump gaining the same powers, his opposition to that agenda was treated as a national security threat.  
And once Obama was out of office, Comey and other Obama appointees would protect that agenda.
We still don’t know the full scope of Spygate. But media reports have suggested that Obama officials targeted countries opposed to the Iran sellout, most prominently Israel and the UAE, and then eavesdropped on meetings between them and between figures on the Trump team.  
Obama had begun his initial spying as a way of gaining inside information on Netanyahu’s campaign against the Iran deal. But the close election and its aftermath significantly escalated what had been a mere Watergate into an active effort to not only spy, but pursue criminal charges against the political opposition. The surveillance state had inevitably moved on to the next stage, the police state with its informants, dossiers, pre-dawn raids, state’s witnesses, entrapments and still more surveillance. 
And the police state requires cops. Someone had to do the dirty work for Susan Rice.
Comey, Mueller and the other cops had likely been complicit in the administration’s abuses. Somewhere along the way, they had become the guys watching over the Watergate burglars. Spying on the political opposition is, short of spying for the enemy, the most serious crime that such men can commit. 
Why then was it committed?
To understand that, we have to go back to 9/11. Those days may seem distant now, but the attacks offered a crossroads. One road led to a war against our enemies. The other to minimizing the conflict.
President George W. Bush tried to fight that war, but he was undermined by men like Mueller and Comey. Their view of the war was the same as that of their future boss, not their current one, certainly not the view as the man currently sitting in the White House whom they have tried to destroy.
Every lie has some truth in it. Comey’s book, A Higher Loyalty, his frequent claims of allegiance to American ideals, are true, as he sees it, if not as he tells it. Men like Comey and Mueller believed that the real threat came not from Islamic terrorists, but from our overreaction to them. They believed that Bush was a threat. And Trump was the worst threat imaginable who had to be stopped by any means. 
What Comey and Mueller are loyal to is the established way of doing things. And they conflate that with our national ideals, as establishment thugs usually do. Neither of them are unique. Washington D.C. is filled with men and women who are registered Republicans, who believe in lowering taxes, who frown at the extremities of identity politics, but whose true faith is in the natural order of government.
Mueller and Comey represent a class. And Obama and Clinton were easily able to corrupt and seduce that class into abandoning its duties and oaths, into serving as its deep state against domestic foes.
Quis custodiet ipsos custodies? It’s the old question of who watches the watchmen that no society has found a good answer to. And the answer is inevitably that the watchers, watch themselves and everyone else. What began as national security measures against Islamic terrorism was twisted by Obama and his deep state allies into the surveillance of the very people fighting Islamic terrorism. 
Spygate was the warped afterbirth of our failure to meaningfully confront Islamic terrorism. Instead, the political allies of the terrorists and the failed watchmen who allowed them to strike so many times, got together to shoot the messengers warning about the terror threat. The problem had never been the lack of power, but the lack of will and the lack of integrity in an establishment unwilling to do its job.
After 9/11, extraordinary national security powers were brought into being to fight Islamic terror. Instead those powers were used to suppress those who told the truth about Islamic terrorism.