The Memo Non-Partisan Guide

The House Intelligence Committee Nunes memo. (pdf)
These abuses is something I’d expect from a Banana Republic.

WSJ’s Kimberley Strassel’s non-partisan guide on ignoring the spin, and what to look for.

Kimberley Strassel:

 Rationale. Did the FBI have cause to open a full-blown counterintelligence probe into an active presidential campaign? That’s a breathtakingly consequential and unprecedented action and surely could not be justified without much more than an overheard drunken conversation or an unsourced dossier. What hard evidence did the FBI have?

 Tools and evidence. Government possesses few counterintelligence tools more powerful or frightening than the ability to spy on American citizens. If the FBI obtained permission from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to monitor Trump aide Carter Page based on information from the Christopher Steele dossier, that in itself is a monumental scandal. It means the FBI used a document commissioned by one presidential campaign as a justification to spy on another. Ignore any arguments that the dossier was not a “basis” for the warrant or only used “in part.” If the FBI had to use it in its application, it means it didn’t have enough other evidence to justify surveillance.

Look to see what else the FBI presented to the court as a justification for monitoring, and whether it was manufactured. Mr. Steele and his client, Fusion GPS, ginned up breathless news stories about the dossier’s unverified accusations in September 2016 in order to influence the election. The FBI sometimes presents news articles to the court, but primarily for corroboration of other facts. If the FBI used the conspiracy stories Mr. Steele was spinning as actual justification—evidence—to the court, that’s out of bounds.

Omissions and misdirection. What else did the FBI tell the court? One would presume the bureau did its due diligence and knew Mr. Steele ultimately worked for the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. The FISA court puts considerable emphasis on the credibility of sources. Did the FBI inform the court of the Clinton connection? Or did it lean on the claim that the Fusion project was originally funded by Republicans? Such a claim might diminish the partisan stench. But it would also be a falsehood, since the dossier portion of the project was purely funded by Clinton allies. And if the FBI didn’t bother to ask who hired Mr. Steele or Fusion, that’s a scandal all its own.
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Hamas Co-Founder Dead After “Accidentally” Shooting Himself

Accident?

A senior member of the Hamas terrorist organization has died, a Hamas spokesman said Tuesday, three weeks after he suffered what the terror organization claimed was an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound in the head.

On January 9th, Fawzy Barhoum, spokesman for the Gaza-based Islamist terror group, said that Imad al-Alami, one of the movement’s most senior officials, was critically wounded when his personal firearm accidentally discharged.

Al-Alami, 61, was “inspecting his personal weapon in his home and is in critical condition,” Barhoum said at the time.

The Hamas leader was rushed to a Gaza City hospital.

On Tuesday, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem reported that Al-Alami had succumbed to his wounds, dying in Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital.

Outlawed by the US in 2003 for his position in Hamas, al-Alami was considered one of the Gaza terror group’s most important assets, due to his extensive ties with the Iranian government – a major sponsor of Hamas – and his personal relationship with Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, himself a client of the Tehran regime.

In recent years, al-Alami operated out of Turkey, where he received medical treatment.

A founding father of the Hamas terror group, al-Alami returned to the Gaza Strip in 2012, where he previously served as deputy chief of Hamas’ Political Bureau, and once chaired its “Intifada Committee”.

In November, 2016, al-Alami was reportedly selected as Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh’s designated successor.

The shooting incident fueled a variety of conspiracy theories within the Palestinian Authority, ranging from claims al-Alami was assassinated, to suggestions he may have committed suicide following years of serious health problems.  INN