The story so far

Powerline

In the run-up to the election Louise Mensch and others broke the story that the Obama Justice Department and federal law enforcement authorities had obtained a Trump-related FISA warrant in October following the denial of an earlier FISA warrant request the previous June. On its way out the door the Obama administration trashed the “minimization” procedures protecting the privacy of American citizens caught in the FISA net. Andrew McCarthy raised a red flag in the troubling NRO column “FISA and the Trump team.” Earlier this week the New York Times reported the involvement of Obama administration officials in disseminating the information obtained along the way.

Breibart has posted a useful timeline with links, as has the Conservative Tree House site. In his NRO column today, Andrew McCarthy provides this summary of events to date as part of his inquiry into the “recusal” of Attorney General Sessions from something or other this week. Here is an excerpt:

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Lack of Security Intelligence is Allowing Chinese Spy Rings to Grow in the U.S.

Family Security Matters

On April 21, 2016, federal authorities formally charged 53-year old Amin Yu on an 18-count indictment for being a Chinese spy. She had operated discretely within the United States (U.S.) from 2002 until February 2014, and had supplied China with resources to develop their own underwater drone program.

Authorities believe Yu obtained submersible materials including underwater cables, connectors, and sonar from U.S., Canadian, and European and illegally exported it to Harbin Engineering University (HEU), a state-owned university in China.  HEU conductsresearch and development (R&D) for the Chinese government and military.

Yu had worked for HEU as a researcher studying “underwater operated vehicles” until she came to the U.S. in 1998 according to the indictment. She owned two companies Amin International, based out of Mason, Ohio, and I-Four International, which she ran out of her home, to acquire the submersible parts.

Yu has been charged with conspiracy, acting in the U.S. as an illegal agent for a foreign government, money laundering, and filing out false export information. Her indictment comes just a week after another Chinese national Fuyi Sun was arrested by undercover agents in New York for paying them tens of thousands of dollars for carbon fiber that he said would be used by the Chinese military. Carbon fiber is usage is closely monitoredand often limited to U.S. or allied aerospace and defense industries.

These two cases come on heels as the federal government formally charged Lieutenant Commander Edward Lin of the U.S. Navy for divulging U.S. secrets to his native Taiwan and potentially to the China.

WFTV Channel 9 in Orlando, Florida discovered that Yu has been working at Central Florida University from August 2008 to February 2014 as an assistant in the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

Receipts showed that she had been spending hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years on equipment, and was using money wires from the People’s Republic of China to pay for it. Yu denied everything saying she was a part-time assistant at the university and made only $40,000 per year.

Authorities described an email from Yu’s server that at least one of the devices she ordered, an underwater acoustic locator, which would be used for an underwater drone.

FBI says economic espionage cases are up 53% from 2015. The theft of intellectual property costs the nation hundreds of billions of dollars per year.

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Image via danteross.com

The FBI notes that China adheres to a three-tier system of spy networks going after intelligence information. First, targeting current and former Chinese nationals who work for U.S. companies and research institutions. Second, involves bribing employees, theft, dumpster-diving, wiretapping and computer hacking. Third, establishing apparently innocent business associations with U.S. companies in order to obtain economic intelligence and proprietary information.

Chinese intelligence espionage is nothing new to the U.S. but has taken on a new intensity. In the past few Chinese spies had been caught due largely to relatively weak U.S. counterintelligence practices and minimal interest from the public.

BREAKING: U.S. Lawmakers Make Stunning Move To Investigate Obama For Helping ISIS

Conservative Tribune

Three committees in the House of Representatives announced Friday that they were launching concurrent investigations into allegations that President Barack Obama deliberately manipulated intelligence reports from Syria and Iraq, allowing the Islamic State group to thrive.

According to the Washington Examiner, Republican Reps. Ken Calvert of California, Mike Pompeo of Kansas and Brad Wenstrup of Ohio will lead the investigations for the Armed Services Committee, Intelligence Committee and the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, respectively.

“In addition to looking into the specific allegations, the Joint Task Force will examine whether these allegations reflect systemic problems across the intelligence enterprise in CENTCOM or any other pertinent intelligence organizations,” read a joint statement from Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Rodney Freylinghuysen, R-N.J.

The investigations by the House committees joined an investigation by the Pentagon’s inspector general’s office in relation to the Obama administration’s alleged manipulation of Islamic State group intelligence at U.S. Central Command.

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Meanwhile in Kabul

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Powerline

Today comes word that the White House blew the cover of the CIA station chief in Kabul by identifying him in a list submitted to Washington Post White House bureau chief Scott Wilson and other reporters covering Obama’s trip to Kabul. Wilson copied the list in the pool report that he disseminated to 6,000 recipients (“including foreign media, not taking part in the trip”) before noting the reference to the “Chief of Station” named on the list.

The Post’s Greg Miller manages to work Valierie Plame into the mix in an extremely misleading fashion before noting the recipients of the pool report with the station chief’s name. Well done, Greg. Here is the heart of Miller’s report:

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