Spying By Any Other Name

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Here we go again: Democrats are arguing about what the meaning of “is” is.

Unable in their last Senate interrogation to make headway against a real attorney general, William Barr, Democrats have resorted to their favorite strategy: pretending they don’t understand what words mean and carefully forgetting inconvenient facts that everybody knew the day before yesterday.

Asked by Senator Jean Shaheen (D-N.H.) whether there was spying on Trump campaign, Attorney General Barr accurately replied, “I think spying did occur.” Democrats and their allies in the media have now spent the past few days wearing out their fainting couches and creating a run on the pearl industry after clutching so many and so hard.

There’s a word that shorthands the use of the surveillance state, human assets, foreign intelligence assets, wiretapping, electronic surveillance, and such all secretly collecting information on unwitting targets. It’s a very simple two syllable word: spying.

Until a few days ago, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and CNN were perfectly happy to use the word. Now, to hear CNN’s Chris Cillizza tell it, “‘Spy’ is a purely political term being used by Trump and his team.” Uh huh.

Of course, the mainstream media and Democrats think you’re too stupid to see the obvious—that the Trump campaign was spied upon, repeatedly, by an FBI investigation spurred in large part by a phony dossier assembled by Democrats, filled with Russian disinformation, and compiled by an ex-foreign spy to undermine the campaign and then the presidency.

But then again, never forget, they do think they’re your betters and that somehow they’re more enlightened than you are.

Only an idiot could look at what the FBI, and let’s be honest, the CIA and others, did and say, No, this couldn’t reasonably be considered spying. So of course James Comey took a break from posting weird emo pictures to Instagram to say he never thought of “court ordered electronic surveillance” as spying. What synonym for spying would you prefer? Watching secretly without being detected? Observing someone furtively? Tapping into their electronic communications without them knowing it? Comey and the various bureaus of deep state propaganda are being willingly obtuse.

This kind of spin doctoring runs rampant through the media and the halls of the administrative state. They’re so concerned with distracting from their own willful attempts to undermine Trump and their complete abuse of power over the last two years, that they’re looking for any nit they can pick to hide from the necessity of owning up to their egregious actions.

All of this might have been rubber-stamped by a secret foreign intelligence surveillance court without adequate oversight by the bodies that are supposed to protect us, but that doesn’t mean it’s not spying.

This shell game of deciding what’s really spying and what’s not distracts from the more concerning facts in the case. It might have been authorized spying, but it sure wasn’t kosher. Over the last two years, an entire political party, the deep state actors, and their partners in the media have consumed our nation with their wild conspiracy theories, the big lie of the Russian collusion fairytale, in which many were complicit. It was all based on a fraudulent opposition research document.

The Steele dossier was used to try and poison the American people against supporting Donald Trump in the 2016 campaign and was used as justification by the FBI to begin spying. Sorry, I don’t mean “spying”—I mean bogusly approved electronic surveillance and human intelligence that definitely wasn’t spying. The FBI used this document to begin not-spying-just-secretly-surveilling parts of the Trump campaign, which fueled more speculation and scheming and eventually resulted in the special counsel’s investigation.

As the pieces are all falling into place, it’s becoming more apparent that what some of us have been saying for two years has been true all along: the Obama Administration, via the surveillance state and law enforcement, massively abused its power.

We may never know what Barack Obama knew and when he knew it, but we do know this: crimes were committed. People like John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Sally Yates, and others engaged in this activity because they thought it was acceptable to use the surveillance state and law enforcement as political weapons against domestic political opponents. They have, through their arrogance, helped destabilize our constitutional republic.

There needs to be a reckoning for this behavior—not merely for the settling of political scores, but for our future. If there are no consequences for these actions, we will have normalized it; we will have said that a police state is acceptable. If we allow that to happen, we will have sown the seeds of our demise. We might continue on with the happy illusion of a free society, but in reality our republican government of, by, and for the people will be over.

Photo credit:  Drew Angerer/Getty Images

About Ned Ryun

Ned Ryun is a former presidential writer for George W. Bush and the founder and CEO of American Majority. You can find him on Twitter @nedryun.

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