release the memo

One of the most serious and most damaging abuses of state power is to misuse surveillance authorities for political purposes. For that reason, this memo needs to be released as soon as possible.

The #ReleaseTheMemo hashtag started trending on Twitter Thursday night, with House Republicans calling for the public release of a classified report compiled by the House Intelligence Committee documenting alleged surveillance abuses during the 2016 campaign.

Everyone should, therefore, regard as inherently serious strident warnings from public officials alleging that the FBI and Department of Justice have abused their spying power for political purposes. Social media last night and today have been flooded with inflammatory and quite dramatic claims now being made by congressional Republicans about a four-page memo alleging abuses of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act spying processes during the 2016 election.

This memo, which remains secret, was reportedly written under the direction of the chair of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, GOP Rep. Devin Nunes, and has been read by dozens of members of Congress after the committee voted to make the memo available to all members of the House of Representatives to examine in a room specially designated for reviewing classified material.

Despite some considering it treasonous to want to declassify the memo, Rep. Dave Joyce of Ohio says the wheels are in motion.

So, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is going the transparency route, and going through the proper channels (and not leaks to the press) to boot? It’ll be interesting to watch the major players over the next 19 days or so to see who clams up and who starts tweeting.

Patience, everyone.

It should be noted that:

1. Trump can declassify anything he wants.

2. The House (and Senate) intelligence committees can declassify any material they possess.

3. The Constitution protects members of Congress from prosecution for “any speech or debate in either House.”

4. Republicans can leak everything to the news media.

If for some reason Trump and the congressional leaders refuse to use any of the above options to vindicate themselves, a brave member of Congress could turn whistleblower and transmit the classified proof of the GOP’s claims about the memo to the news media.

So that’s that. All Americans, and in particular conservatives, should ask every Republican making spectacular declarations about this memo when they will be using the above ways to conclusively demonstrate that everything they’ve said is based in rock-solid fact.

If they do not, Republicans will soundly demonstrate something else. They will prove without a doubt that all of this is about them shamelessly making claims they do not actually believe, fraudulently posturing as caring about one of the most vital, fundamental issues facing the United States: how the U.S. government uses the vast surveillance powers with which it has been vested.

Sources: Fox News, The Intercept

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