Early information arising from a US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee investigation into possible United States government spying on Donald Trump and people associated with him appears to show that information about individuals associated with Trump and his presidential transition was collected through surveillance by, and was widely distributed in, the US intelligence community.
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told reporters Wednesday that “on numerous occasions the intelligence community incidentally collected information about US citizens involved in the Trump transition” and that “details about US persons associated with the incoming administration – details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value – were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting.”
Lawrence Wilkerson, a former Army colonel and chief of staff for Colin Powell at the United States Department of State, expressed this week strong criticism of the US government adding more and more nations to its enemies list. Speaking with host Paul Jay at the Real News Network this week, Wilkerson, who is a professor at the College of William & Mary, concludes that, even with the large amount of money the US spends on the military, it is “utterly beyond our capacity to deal with all these enemies” that the US has generated.
In the interview, which is largely focused on some individuals’ effort to influence US foreign policy toward creating intensified animosity between the governments of the US and Russia, Wilkerson explains further his concern about the long list of US enemies. Wilkerson states:
What I can’t fathom right now is why anyone would want, with the situation the way it is right now in this country, another enemy. You know that old conservation of enemies theory: You don’t want any more than you can handle at any given time. Look at who we’re lining up, Paul. We’re lining up China. We’re lining up Iran and all that goes along with Iran, including Hezbollah in Lebanon. We are lining up with North Korea. We are lining up with Russia. This is absurd. John McCain and Lindsay Graham can pontificate all day long, but I’m going to tell you that they’re idiots. We do not need an enemy list that is beyond what we could even in the most wild moment contemplate handling. We don’t have the military forces to handle all these enemies, and, yet, we’re bearding them, as it were.
Ron Paul, the prominent libertarian communicator and three-time US presidential candidate, declared this week in a Fox Business interview that it is “fantastic” that WikiLeaks revealed on Tuesday thousands of US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) documents and files. Speaking with host Kennedy, Paul further says that the information exposed “indicates that liberty is in big trouble” and states his concern about there having been insufficient media coverage of the information.
Watch Paul’s complete interview, in which he also talks about potential dangers related to technology, here:
Interviewed Tuesday by host Kennedy at Fox Business regarding efforts by United States House of Representatives members to limit US wars overseas, former House member Ron Paul (R-TX) agreed with Kennedy’s assessment that the ability to unilaterally pursue war is “the most egregious area where there is too much power concentrated in the presidency.” Paul proceeded to explain that “it has been that way for a long time,” pointing to the Korean War and Vietnam War that were fought without the constitutionally required congressional war declarations.
Noting congressional leadership’s opposition to reining in presidential war powers, Paul advises that House and Senate members can still exercise “the power of the purse” to end wars by refusing to approve legislation funding the wars.
In a recent interview at CNN, David Stockman, who is a Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board member and was director of the Office of Management and Budget during the Reagan administration, critiqued the Trump administration for pushing militarism and the drug war that fuel the problems they are supposedly fighting.
Stockman explains that “we’re bombing, droning, we’ve destroyed the whole Middle East,” resulting in blowback against Americans, increased terrorism, and the creation of refugees. He further criticizes the immediate Trump administration action to expand the militarism inherited from the Obama administration – instead of curtailing it – by “huffing and puffing” toward, and “drawing red lines” regarding, Iran. Stockman succinctly summarizes the problem: “We have too many wars.”
US House Member Justin Amash (R-MI) announced Wednesday on Twitter that the Obama administration has agreed to the request Amash and fellow House Member Walter Jones (R-NC) made to President Barack Obama on December 19 that a classified briefing be provided for all Congress members concerning evidence being used to support claims that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 US presidential election to help Donald Trump’s campaign.
Amash says in his Twitter post that the briefing will occur on Friday.
While Amash and Jones requested that the briefing take place immediately, it is scheduled to occur almost a month after their request. Indeed, the briefing will occur too late to assist Congress members in taking part in deciding whether or not actions should be taken against Russia in response to purported election interference, given that Obama imposed responsive US actions against Russia, including the expelling of 35 Russia diplomats, two weeks ago.
Walter Jones is a Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board member.