NEWSWATCH: “The Deep State Has Long Abused Its Power; From Eisenhower to Trump, the intelligence community has always struggled with its political role.” – The National Interest/George Beebe

FBI Headquarters File Photo

“Few questions have greater import for the health and integrity of any republic than the question of whether important parts of its government’s national-security apparatus are abusing their power for political purposes. … particularly … in the United States, where … the Intelligence Community (IC) ha[s] grown so large and capable, where faith in the integrity of our democratic institutions is so vital … where suspicions about secret police and intelligence organizations are baked so deeply …. * * * The use of the IC’s vast capabilities to gather intelligence on opposition political campaigns should occur only in the rarest of circumstances, justified by solid evidence of treasonous activities warranted by the FISA court. The so-called Steele dossier, a piece of Clinton-funded opposition research gathered from London through unsecure communications with unnamed contacts in Russia, does not meet that standard …. If … the FBI relied on this unverified document to justify a FISA warrant for collecting intelligence on Trump campaign officials, then the Obama administration crossed an important ethical, though probably not legal, line. Is there a deep state in the United States? Yes, if that means … our national-security apparatus ha[s] the capability, albeit not the legal authority, to abuse intelligence to alter the outcomes of national elections or distort public-policy debates. … we have processes in place to minimize this danger if … oversight provisions … are properly implemented and our independent media play their informal oversight role effectively. The IC, Congress, judiciary and media all appear to have fallen short ….”

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