Quantcast

Obama-Era FBI Surveillance Chief Says His Warnings to Comey and McCabe Were Ignored

‘It’s an insurance policy to show that we’re doing everything we can, when in fact it wasn’t giving us anything of what we hoped it would get…’

Obama-Era FBI Surveillance Chief Says His Warnings to Comey and McCabe Were Ignored
Bassem Youssef / IMAGE: American Library Association via Youtube

(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) The former FBI unit chief who ran its warrantless domestic spying operations during much of the Obama era said he warned top officials that it was both ineffective and open to abuse, but his calls went unheeded.

Retired Special Agent Bassem Youssef, who oversaw the FBI’s Communications Analysis Unit from 2004 to his 2014 retirement, told investigative journalist John Solomon that he relayed his concerns to ex-Director James Comey and ex-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

The program, part of the USA Freedom Act, was implemented after the Sept. 11 attacks with assurances that it would be carefully regulated to respect privacy rights of American citizens.

...article continued below
- Advertisement -

However, subsequent revelations, including those of whistleblower Edward Snowden and a recent report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz outlined the massive scope of the operations, the litany of abuses and the cavalier attitudes of those in charge.

“I have no doubt, or very little doubt, that it was used for political spying or political espionage,” Youssef said, according to Just the News.

Youssef said he had performed an audit of the highly classified program that revealed it had helped generate leads in two cases but had failed to uncover dozens of other terrorism attacks.

Instead of yielding rich intelligence, it generated countless instances of “false negatives and positives” that cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars in fruitless investigations.

...article continued below
- Advertisement -

Moreover, he said, “there was collateral damage in terms of civil liberties” as the FBI invaded the privacy of innocent Americans.

McCabe, a career bureaucrat at the agency with partisan left-wing ties, was still working his way up the ladder when Youssef raised the issue with him.

“I remember, he was so adamant about, ‘We need this program. We’re keeping it as this, even though we’re not getting anything out of it,'” Youssef said.

Echoing the now notorious text-messages of FBI agent Peter Strzok and his mistress, attorney Lisa Page, Youssef said that McCabe regarded the program as something like an “insurance policy” to prevent the agency from being blamed in the event of another attack.

“It was a way to say, you know, it’s an insurance policy to show that we’re doing everything we can, when in fact it wasn’t giving us anything of what we hoped it would get,” he said.

Shortly before his retirement, he recounted having a lengthy and productive meeting with Comey, then the FBI director.

But rather than being concerned over the program’s wastefulness or its unethical invasion of privacy, Comey seemed only to be worried about whether the FBI might be breaking any laws.

“[A]fter I explained everything to him, his only concern was not that we should shut it down or that we should change it so that we can protect civil liberties,” Youssef said. “… [H]is concern was, ‘Do you have a problem or concerns with the statutory authority?'”

A report released earlier this month by the federal Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board revealed that the same issues flagged by Youssef continued until early 2019, after the oversight authority had begun investigating, when intelligence agencies finally suspended the controversial data collection program.

The board is scheduled to meet on March 15, the same day that several provisions in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act are due to expire if Congress does not renew them.

- Advertisement -

TRENDING NOW

Dems Ramp Up Lockdown Talk Anew, Despite ‘Herd Immunity’ Benchmark

(Headline USA) The U.S. on Monday finally reached President Joe Biden’s goal of getting at least one COVID-19 shot into 70% of American adults---a...

Illinois Gov. Prizker Signs Law Banning ICE Detainer Agreements

Illinois will effectively end immigrant detention and further restrict local law enforcement's ability to cooperate with federal immigration authorities under a plan Gov. J.B....

US Braces for Flood of Afghani Refugees as Biden Expands Eligibility

The Biden administration on Monday expanded its efforts to assist at-risk Afghan citizens fleeing Taliban violence as fighting intensifies ahead of the U.S. military...

Sen. Lindsey Graham Has COVID. Is Joe Manchin’s Houseboat Party to Blame?

(Headline USA) Just two weeks after Texas Democrats fleeing their legislative duties triggered a super-spreader event that led to cases of the deadly coronavirus...

Seattle-Area Christian Mission Asks Supreme Court to Let Them Hire Believers

Seattle's Union Gospel Mission, a Christian non-profit group that aids the homeless, appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday after the Washington Supreme...

Biden Admin Wants to Use Taxpayer Dollars to Provide Attorneys for Illegals

The Biden administration wants to spend millions of taxpayer dollars to pay federal lawyers to represent illegal immigrants seeking asylum in the U.S. According to...

‘Squad’ Says House Will Kill Infrastructure Bill if Demands Not Met

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, said she and the other leftist “Squad” members of Congress would block the $1-trillion bipartisan infrastructure package if Senate Democrats...

12 Politicians Who Got Caught Violating Their Own COVID Rules

(Brad Polumbo, Foundation for Economic Education) Amid widespread panic and alarmism over the “Delta variant” of COVID-19, Mayor Muriel Bowser just reinstated an indoor mask-mandate...

‘Squad’ Urges Treasury Dept. to Revoke Tax Exemption of Pro-Israel Groups

The Marxist "Squad" sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to request that her department review and revoke non-profit status from pro-Israel groups,...
- Advertisement -