- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 21, 2017

Investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson says media outlets are “diving deeply into minutiae” to avoid a stark development: President Trump’s previously ridiculed “wiretapping” claims appear to be true.

Ms. Attkisson has warned of the weaponization of intelligence agencies since her laptop for CBS News stories was hacked on multiple occasions in 2013. An op-ed she wrote for The Hill on Wednesday presented an extensive case that U.S. intelligence agencies under former President Barack Obama were manipulated for political purposes — and that pundits are willfully ignoring it.

She highlighted reports that the FBI did monitor the communications of Mr. Trump’s then campaign head Paul Manafort prior to the 2016 election, along with what seems to be at least six associates.

“Officials involved in the surveillance and unmasking of U.S. citizens have said their actions were legal and not politically motivated. […] But look at the patterns,” Ms. Attkisson wrote. “It seems that government monitoring of journalists, members of Congress and political enemies — under multiple administrations — has become more common than anyone would have imagined two decades ago. Those deflecting with minutiae are missing the point. To me, they sound like the ones who aren’t thinking.”

The reporter, who now hosts “Full Measure” on Sinclair’s Sunday TV program, buttressed her claims with the following observations:

  • Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates acknowledged the secret review of communications of political figures under Mr. Obama.
  • Mr. Clapper “falsely assured Congress in 2013 that the NSA was not collecting ‘any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans.’ “
  • “The government subsequently got caught monitoring journalists at Fox News, The Associated Press, and, as I allege in a federal lawsuit, my computers while I worked as an investigative correspondent at CBS News.”

Ms. Attkisson added that her ongoing lawsuit continues to produce evidence that the cyberattack against her was not “a random event.”

“Then, as now, instead of getting the bigger story, some in the news media and quasi-news media published false and misleading narratives pushed by government interests,” she wrote. “They implied the computer intrusions were the stuff of vivid imagination, conveniently dismissed forensic evidence from three independent examinations that they didn’t review. All seemed happy enough to let news of the government’s alleged unlawful behavior fade away, rather than get to the bottom of it.”

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