Monday, March 6, 2017

Wiretapping Trump: Is he going crazy, or not yet crazy enough?

He is right to worry a lot, but if he doesn’t catch on... he is in trouble, immediately...

Judging from what I see on CNN, people are now questioning Trump’s sanity more than they ever did before, because of his claim that Obama personally ordered a wiretap on his telephones.
People on CNN mostly said: “He is making a charge which is outrageous and impossible, with no evidence. It sounds like the birther fantasy all over again, but multiplied a hundredfold.”

Does he feel nostalgia for the brief time, between nomination and election, when Hilary Clinton was the only one who exercised the tactic of trying to drive Trump crazy? Actually, I have met serious professionals in international relations who have also studied that tactic in great depth...

I had a different idea about what was really going on when this story broke, but yesterday a friend who works for an organization heavily dependent on money from Charles Koch said: “They and Trump both need to get their story straight. It is perfectly simple. Trump has seen transcripts of one of his telephone conversations floating around, and he does not realize that they came from an approved FISA wiretap on the Russian ambassador.”

Clapper suggested on TV that it might not actually be Hillary Clinton tapping telephones here, but someone else. The righteous optimistic people at CNN said: “No, that can’t be the story. Who could do that? And wouldn’t that be a felony anyway?”

Ah, to live in that world of so much peace, freedom and honor that I thought I was growing up in before I went out to the real world... which so many of these folks are still shielded from!

These folks on CNN remind me of the old friends I have (mostly old indeed) who insist on discussing sensitive matters only by telephone, because they imagine it is ever so much secure than email!
I consistently tell them, "Look, I have some understanding of the new technology, and I have double checked with friends in intelligence agencies. If you use gmail with https always on and double identity verification, and control your own server, that is infinitely more secure than telephones! This way, yes, you can be pretty sure that NSA, google and certain folks in China will file what you write, but with phones the subscription list gets to be like a telephone book.” (Maybe it’s more than those three now, thanks to intelligence sharing and new stuff in Russia, and the leaks of 2016, but even so.)

They imagine that telephone conversations must be secure, because it takes a FISA order to get a legal wiretap, because no one on this planet could break the law, not if it was a felony. Like hacking. No hacking on this planet, right?

Or maybe they imagine that phone conversations are harder for computers to manage, store and sort than text data. But by now, even the lamest amateur should know that there exist things like cell phones with speech recognition, offering a kind of equivalency of speech and text. Some things make it easier with speech, but that begins to get towards sensitive proprietary data. (Does anyone imagine that it’s just governments out there doing stuff?)

For God’s sake, was it Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama who hacked the DNC? Is hacking voice any harder than hacking text email now?

So Clapper was doing a great service here by gently pointing something out.
In my view, the same folks who tried to hack Clinton to death, and get ready to throw her out of office (as Rousseff of Brazil was thrown out) are the same people working most effectively now to do the same to Trump, though they would accept a deal where he gets emasculated and behaves nicely like the Queen of England.  If he doesn’t wake up to that, and learn to work with folks like Mark Warner, Clapper and Putin first to restore due process and human rights in the US and get rid of the moles, he will be in very deep trouble, very soon. It has certainly already started.

There has been a lot of press lately about “silent coup.” Those guys are totally right on that point, as I have learned to my regret in tracking many government agencies. It is extremely serious. But it has nothing to do with a Communist revolution... and is closer to folks who are so obsessed with Communism of the 1950s that they have adopted its methods and worldview. They become what they hate and they fear. (Jesus would say: "I told you you are better off leading with love..")

I can still remember a conversation with a person I trust high up (still high up) in one agency.
“We agree that there is a gestapo out there now, and that it has already done things which we thought were impossible in getting away with illegal behavior and managing even the whistleblower system to their advantage. But, because of the deliberately stealthy fear-based tactics they use, we don’t know WHOSE GESTAPO is it? Is it Obama’s, or is it more from dark money on the right, ultimately from the Gulf like Halliburton's clients?”

Actually, I remember a conversation at Princeton, where they heard from a famous leader of semiconductor technology who had been purged from NSF  by questionable means, who actually thought it might be the same old gestapo. “You aren’t Jewish yourself, Paul, are you?” No, and people would have to be pretty crude and dumb to imagine I am, what with a Quaker paper trail, Catholic youth and lots of other data. Still, crude and dumb doesn’t rule that out. What rules it out is stuff I had from other sources. Obama didn’t really mean to eviscerate America’s advanced missile defense work, as has happened fairly recently. It’s true that he gave Kahlil his head in seriously evil misdirection of brain research, but what of the other stuff? And it was in national press, visible to everyone, how Lamar Smith bragged about directing the FBI agents (moles?) assigned to lead an all-out witch hunt on Hillary Clinton. The tampering with government computers does not trace back up the legal government chain of command. 

Does he really imagine that the moles were following due process in respecting his rights any more than they respected those of Hillary Clinton? Does he think it is all that hard? Does he think that Snowden’s revelations overstated what technology had already been deployed, or the implications of interagency sharing or of standing changes made initially by Cheney with Hayden there to implement, and strengthen extragovernmental mechanisms?


I do not plan to revisit this kind of subject in the near future. Rather, I plan to get back to hard core mathematical physics next... and other mathematical issues.    

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