Nunes and Schiff: The Lone Ranger vs Marie Antoinette

As we continue to follow, analyze, and report the ongoing U.S. House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) investigation of the Obama administration’s illegal “unmasking, leaking, and electronic surveillance” of the members of Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign and transition team, more becomes evident. And more is clear — that being the outright effort and attempt by the Democrat membership of the committee, along with the left-wing media, and the political left’s elites concerted effort not to investigate the unmasking, leaking, and electronic surveillance by the Obama administration, but to use the House intelligence committee, as yet another political platform to push the phony propaganda narrative of Trump’s collusion with Russia and Moscow’s contrived election influence and hacking.

Led by the Democrat’s ranking member of the HPSCI Adam Schiff (D-CA) and the Democrats and the political left, working together — their intent, strategy, and goal is obvious – obstruct, obfuscate, and de-legitimize the Committee’s Chairman and his committee’s mission to investigate the now likely criminal wrong doing and illegal use of our nation’s intelligence apparatus and capability. Their second goal is to blur, delineate, and confuse the facts in order to make it more difficult for the average American to comprehend and understand the truth, while simultaneously pushing the Democrat’s evidence-less theory about Russian hacking and Putin’s perceived interference in the November 2016 U.S. Elections. It is indeed a battle of truth and reality versus the typical far-left Democrat Party false-narrative, aka fake news, hyper-corroborated and sensationally proliferated by their incestuous partners in the mainstream media.

As we continue to try and propagate the truth — just to set things straight to date so that we are all on the same sheet, here are the latest facts as we know them, since my last discussion.

Since last Friday, we covered the fact that it is not unusual for members of Congress and the Senate, and for members of their respective committees to go over the White House’s National Security Council’s (NSC) secure offices or any of the Intelligence Community’s appropriate agencies for that matter to review critical highly classified intelligence reporting and information. Since Congressman Devin Nunes, (R-CA) Chairman of the HPSCI first went over to the NSC to review key evidence regarding his investigation, let me reiterate that Congressman Nunes did the right thing — following proper and authorized process and procedures in accordance with national security and intelligence community policy and directives. He did so, at the request of NSC officials, going the White House’s Eisenhower Executive Office Building aka the Old Executive Office Building on the White House grounds proper, in which the NSC is locate, going to the Special Compartment Intelligence Facility (SCIF), a highly secure vaulted office on the 4th floor (in fact my old office). He read the raw reports off an NSC JWICS (Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System) network computer used for highest classified intelligence above Top Secret. In accordance with national security directives that cover such intelligence, he could not enter with any electronic devices, nothing, period.

Further, nothing he read from at all in the SCIF could be removed — no documentation taken, nothing recorded, no copied, no duplicates, no written personal notes, no transcripts, nothing down-loaded to thumb drive or disc, nor anything printed from a copier – zip, zero nada. He departed with nothing more than he walked in with and only with what he read. Chairman Nunes, more than likely, also had to sign a statement that he reviewed the material because it dealt with intelligence that contained intelligence requiring the non-disclosure of masked Americans names. Nunes has indeed become the Lone Ranger in his determined effort to unveil and reveal the smoking gun of the Obama White House’s elicit and corrupt and orchestrated manipulation of America’s intelligence community.

My next point is extremely important, regarding the ranking Democrat Adam Schiff (D-CA) on the House Intelligence Committee.

So in this case now, the situation evolved somewhat on Friday March 31st in that Congressman Schiff took advantage of an invitation by letter he receive from the White House Counsel dated March 30th to go over to the NSC to view the same intelligence documents, seen the week prior by Chairman Nunes. In a statement, Congressman Schiff claimed he was told the materials he would review were “precisely the same materials” viewed previously by Nunes. Note however, in his statement there is perhaps a hint of some skepticism, that he would see the same material as Chairman Nunes. In a statement, following his viewing of the documents, Schiff said, referring to the documents, they should now be shared with the full intelligence committee panel membership. He now appears to be trying to distract from the issue. Other press reporting indicates Congressman Schiff apparently wants the committee’s hearings based on the documents once viewed by the entire committee, and certainly if it occurs, to be public. That in itself would be a problem due to the classification of the material.

Following his visit, to the NSC, he also said, that “Nothing I could see today (Friday) warranted a departure from the normal review procedure.” Schiff, adding that, said he could not discuss the contents of the documents (which of course remain classified). My point being made here from his access and review is that it is more than obvious that Congressman Schiff got the message after reading the material. Obviously, after seeing the content and seriousness of the information, and certainly the associated classification level of the material — he had to understand the magnitude and impact, and for certain the reason why Chairman Nunes could not comment. While he hasn’t discredited it, nor has been critical — I believe the realization set in quickly and perhaps has scared him.  Needless to say, after which, once again, Congressman Schiff reverted again to trying to switch the narrative and change the discussion in order to maintain the status quo of the Democrat ongoing position and narrative.

Congressman Schiff, further in his statement, said that “the White House has yet to explain why senior White House staff apparently shared these materials with but one member (Nunes) of either [Intelligence] committee (meaning House and Senate), only for their contents to be briefed back to the White House.”

Further, a critically important additional note, during his visit to the NSC compound, Congressman Schiff also had a brief, but “cordial” meeting with President Trump during his time at the White House, according to his spokesman. Unusual though is the fact, that I haven’t seen the mainstream media covering or commenting on Congressman Schiff’s meeting with President Trump. Of course, nor would I expect them to cover it. My take is, better for him and the media to remain quite about it.

Prior to the visit by Schiff, White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters earlier Friday that other Democrats have been invited to the White House to review the materials, which Spicer said would “shed light” on their investigation. So far, only Congressmen Nunes and Schiff have seen the material.

Nevertheless, Congressman Schiff has been mum following what he has seen and reviewed since Friday. My take is the realization has now set in having also read what Chairman Nunes had seen and has shown serious concern about. Schiff is now scared. We in the intelligence business have always noted, particularly to naysayers and those not able to see certain high levels of intelligence, ‘let the truth be told,’ to those who disagree or don’t believe, until subsequently, they are able to be shown the intelligence, or she how a situation or development plays out and or is revealed. In the case of Congressman Schiff, since his review of the information on Friday though, he has appeared to maintain his current position, despite having been shown the intelligence. At the same time now, I am certainly worried though by what he has told, or might tell his Democrat colleagues about what he read, and whether he has kept his mouth shut in other circles, as he should.

From my standpoint, while Congressman Schiff made a criticism based spectacle of Nunes’ visit to the NSC to review the information, he nevertheless chose to go quickly and quietly to the NSC to review the exact same raw form intelligence. It is more or less quite obvious that Congressman Schiff mad sure his visit was low key, not wanting to draw the attention to the fact that he ever read the material, or be seen at the White House. You see, Congressman Schiff, realizes that despite what he actually knows, he must always maintain the perception that he has the high ground. This allows him to continue to play politics, despite the fact he has seen the intelligence – this provides him the guise to continue to publicly direct his displeasure and criticism at Nunes and the Trump administration.

Both Congressman Schiff’s position and his comments are of concern, certainly to me.  Despite what he has stated, as well as the way has been playing this issue politically — he is to some degree lying. By continuing to present his same narrative, he is splitting hairs and parsing the facts to present both his narrative and that of the Democrats. He is also by doing so, by pushing the narrative saying Chairman Nunes was privy to receiving the special raw intelligence, which is true. My suspicions are that Congressman Schiff perhaps, as the ranking minority member on the committee was requested to be shown the intelligence earlier, and maybe perhaps needed to wait for his clearance to be updated in order to be fully cleared to access the intelligence. Perhaps he was embarrassed or felt slighted that he had to wait, using his narrative as the cover story — would like to know what he had been told, i.e.; you can view as soon as your clearance has been validated for upgrade. I have certainly witness such a scenario play-out. That also happens and has happened to me, numerous times, based on the need to know certain intelligence. Again, this is speculation on my part in trying to cover all the angles of what we at this time don’t know, while at the same time trying to give cred to both Congressman Nunes and Schiff.

However, as we all know in following this, Congressman Nunes could not speak publicly either, or privately either under national security directives that prohibit and reserve such discussion on “a need to know basis”. By this I mean, Chairman Nunes could not speak to others on the intelligence committee about what he had seen/read, even if Congressman Schiff was read-on and had reviewed the material as well. The only way the two men could discuss it together, would be to do so only in a certified SCIF cleared for that level and classification of the material. Congressman Schiff was also careful in making the statement he did. Stating that Congressman Nunes refused and did not and, or would not share the information with the House Intelligence Committee — which technically is a true statement. However, again Chairman Nunes neither didn’t nor couldn’t share it because under the law he couldn’t since everyone else on the committee is not cleared for that level of access, nor actually needs to see it. Again, Schiff has and continues to his parsing of sentences and selectively using the facts to fit both his narrative and the Democrats position – again, that is more than obvious.

Regardless of the intelligence information and the validation of facts that Congressman Schiff was afforded the opportunity to review, that information when it comes to politics means nothing, and in fact is actually viewed as irrelevant to him and to the political left.  Despite, his review, Congressman Schiff and the Democrats continue to distract from the facts and continue pushing their dubious narrative. In fact, almost immediately, are his review on Friday, he publicly cast doubts on both the timing of the White House invitation to review the intelligence that Congressman Nunes reviewed, and also are questioning White House’s intentions in making the information available to a broader set of lawmakers. Further, Congressman Schiff, acknowledged he was while he was invited to the White House by the White House Counsel to review the intelligence documents, he immediately demanded they now be made available both the House and Senate intelligence committees, which would create major problems with sources and methods and likely reveal intelligence capabilities and subjecting those to extremely costly compromise. But to Democrats consequences to American security don’t matter and the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive information of no concern, when the ends justify the means. Just ask Hillary Clinton with her private email server loaded with stolen classified national security documents from the State Department. Similarly, Congressman Schiff, had the gall in both his press conference and in his written reply on March 30th, expressing “profound concern” and doubt with the way the materials were being made available to him and to the committee and, whether he was actually seeing the same material that Chairman Nunes reviewed at the NSC. What a disingenuous, arrogant and pompous statement to make – ignorance and stupidity of the laws and directives in acted to safeguard our intelligence and national security protocols, are not excuses for irresponsible demands. In fact, they are blatantly and prophetically asinine.

In the end, to me this is certainly nothing more than what I have been saying all along – this is part of the ongoing effort and attempt by Congressman Schiff to further muddy the waters of this critically important investigation. More so, following the Democrats Alinsky-ite tactics to continue to play partisan politics, to implement a process of bait and switch of the committee’s purpose, and in the end to politicize the outcome — has always been the intended plan. Congressman Schiff is clearly the conduit, and is more than cognizant of his key role to foster both questionable and negative speculation of the known facts in an effort to create doubt about the validity of the information he reviewed, despite its overwhelming validity. After all, why would the Obama administration use it in the first and manipulate it to their advantage. Secondly, Schiff’s other responsibility is to continue to orchestrate an all-out disinformation campaign within the committee in an attempt to de-legitimize Chairman Nunes’ character, integrity, and his leadership effort to investigate the unmasking, the leaks, and the presenting the subsequent and developing evidence of electronic surveillance and eavesdropping of the Trump campaign and transition team by the Obama administration. The Democrats, their political left surrogates, and the far-left advocates and purveyors of fake-news in the mainstream media are running scared – they certainly know their corroborate false-narrative about Russian collusion is in fact, bullshit. Finally, the single biggest element of their dubious strategy is to play-off the ignorance of the masses, i.e.; Americans in order to prevent them from truly understanding a very complicated issue and by confusing and distracting their understanding of the process, procedures and purpose of the investigation itself.  Mr. Schiff is playing the role well of a modern day Marie Antoinette – he certainly has a knack of being quick clever and arrogant and at times pretty despicable.

Jim Waurishuk is a retired USAF Colonel, serving nearly 30-years as a career senior intelligence and political-military affairs officer and special mission intelligence officer with expertise in strategic intelligence, international strategic studies and policy, and asymmetric warfare. He served combat and combat-support tours in Grenada, Panama, Iraq, and Afghanistan, as well as on numerous special operations and special mission intelligence contingencies in Central America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa. He served as a special mission intelligence officer assigned to multiple Joint Special Operations units, and with the CIA’s Asymmetric Warfare Task Force, as well as in international and foreign advisory positions. He served as Deputy Director for Intelligence for U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) during the peak years of the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Global War on Terrorism. He is a former White House National Security Council staffer and a former Distinguished Senior Fellow with the Atlantic Council, Washington, D.C. He served as a senior advisor to the Commander U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and is Vice President of the Special Ops-OPSEC — which provides strategic and operational security analysis and assessments to governmental and private entities, as well as media organizations on national security issues, policy, and processes. He currently provides advisory and consulting services on national security, international strategic policy, and strategy assessments for the U.S. and foreign private sector and governments entities, media groups and outlets, and to political groups, forums, and political candidates. He is an author and writer providing regular commentary and opinion to national and local TV, radio networks, and for both print and online publications, as well as speaking engagements to business, political, civic and private groups on national security matters – focusing on international strategic policy and engagement, and strategic intelligence, and subject matter expertise on special mission intelligence and operations, counter-terrorism, and asymmetric warfare and conflict.