Posts Tagged ‘Sharyl Attkisson’

Apt Warning for Manufactured Housing Professionals, MH Customers, by Award Winning Journalist Sharyl Attkisson, TEDx

March 11th, 2019 Comments off


become a wiser consumer of information, in an increasingly artificial and paid for reality,” said investigative journalist,” Sharyl Attkisson in the TEDx Talk posted below.  This intriguing talk has had over 1 million views.



Attkisson is “a five-time Emmy Award winner, a recipient of the Edward R. Murrow award for investigative reporting and a fourth degree black belt in TaeKwonDo,” says Amazon.

In under 11 minutes, Attkisson – whose work the Daily Business News on MHProNews has cited numerous times, lays out real and hypothetical examples of how research, studies, news, and social media can all be astroturfed or manipulated by special interests, that seek to advance their own agendas.



Full Measure’s Sharyl Attiksson’s media bias chart is useful in sorting out the agendas behind various headlines and news sources. 

Without denying the potential value of other journalists, fact-check sites like Snopes, or that Wikipedia may have good information on it, Attkisson lays out evidence of the methods she’s uncovered by he research that are used to twist what may seem on the surface to be sound information.

Astroturfed spin can then skew what reporters, fact-checkers, or research sites produce, she explains.

It is all done to shape the view of reality of readers and viewers, says Attkisson, to accomplish someone’s or some organization’s hidden agenda.  She mentions – among the tools that are used by astroturfers – nonprofit groups that are funded by semi-hidden third parties that seek to advance and agenda for their own obvious gain.

Noting that Kevin Clayton touted their use of nonprofits in the video on the page linked here, we will return to other points of how her TEDx talk applies to manufactured housing shortly.


Clues to Spot Misinformation

But first, what are the clues that someone might look for to spot manipulated information?

When one hears an echo chamber effect from several sources that all say the same thing, does that make the information reliable?  Or is that echo chamber itself a flag for Astroturfed and manipulated information that seeks to advance a hidden agenda?

Here’s her TEDx video.


Quotes and Pointers For Savvier Consumption of News and Views

Hallmarks of astroturfing include the use of inflammatory language” says Attkisson. Examples she gives include ‘crank, quack, nutty, lies, paranoid, and conspiracy.’  For the multiple award-winning Attkisson, evidence is what should matter.

Attkisson says:

  • Astroturfers claim to debunk myths that aren’t myths at all.” She explains that use of charged language “tests well” with audiences.


  • Without using the phrase ‘ad hominem attacks’ that is precisely what she is describing that is often done to target people, personalities, or organizations – when facts are not being examined, or are being deliberately ignored. Demonstrable facts and evidence should be the focus, says Attkisson. People can better draw valid conclusions based on facts, not hyperbole or highly charged but deceptive dodges.


  • Most of all, Astroturfers reserve all of their public skepticism for those exposing wrongdoing, rather than the wrongdoers.” Instead of questioning authority, they question those who question authority, says Attkisson.


  • By following her tips, she compares it to taking off your smudged glasses, properly cleaning them, and realizing how foggy the vision has been.


In this video, Attkisson says she can’t resolve the problem, but hopes people will be motivated to take of those proverbial glasses and wipe them, to become a wiser consumer of information, in an increasingly artificial and paid for reality.

With that tee up, let’s look at a specific example of how this applies to manufactured housing today. Because the nation is in an affordable housing crisis. Yet the most proven solution is being largely marginalize and ignored. A partial explanation for how that is being accomplished is suggested in part by her TEDx Talk video.



How Attkisson’s Lesson Applies to Manufactured Housing, Impacting Business and Homeowners Alike

MHProNews opens with that this Monday morning, 3.11.2019 for very specific reasons. Let’s give one example. The money trail that funds the left-wing activist group MHAction reveals traces back in part to funding by Warren Buffett connected foundations and nonprofits, such as the Tides Foundation. MHAction was decried by others who hold a similarly ‘progressive’ agenda, because they have made false claims, said the president of the Golden State Manufactured-Home Owners League (GSMOL).

On seemingly the opposite side of the fence from MHAction is the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI).  That Arlington, VA based business trade group says it represents “all segments of factory-built housing.”  But it very obviously gets a large amount of funding from Berkshire Hathaway owned brands, like Clayton Homes, 21 Mortgage, Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance (VMF), Shaw Carpeting, and others. MHI and MHAction each are getting dollars from the same deep pockets that originate in Omaha, NE.

The net result of MHAction or MHI interaction – or lack of the same – with the media on specific issues often helps shape news coverage.   The question that journalists ought to be asking, using Attkisson logic, should include what is the agenda behind the money?

Yesterday, in an analysis by industry expert and MHProNews publisher, L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, he made the point that if Buffett wanted the compelling facts about manufactured housing to be clearly known, he has the resources to make that possible. Yet, more than 15 years since he has purchased Clayton Homes and other part of the industry, manufactured housing is at a lower sales level than it was when he made his acquisitions and billions in investments.

A logical conclusion from the known facts and evidence is that Buffett, Clayton et al want to keep the industry depressed, as they buy up pieces at a discounted value while avoiding antitrust scrutiny. See the full analysis linked here.

Time and again, what MHI and their surrogates do is continue to spew their party line, while ducking authentic discussion or debate over their practices and clearly poor results.  Attkisson’s TedX talk helps clarify the methodologies used by MHProNews, the Manufactured Housing Association for Regulatory Reform (MHARR) and others like the newly formed National Association of Manufactured Housing Community Owners (NAMHCO) who tired of MHI excuses, after years of failed performance.

Attkisson’s tip will help bring into focus some of the larger forces at play that influence our industry, and the nation at large.  That’s this morning’s “New Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory-Built Housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis, commentary.)



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SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and



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“Check Your Facts,” “Follow the Money” – Journalist Sharyl Attkisson, Fake News, MHVille Takeaways

December 13th, 2018 Comments off



Few themes arise” in mainstream media “organically,” said Attkisson in this TEDx talk video. She relates a story by a propagandist.  “It’s like a movie,” the propagandist explained, giving her chills at that moment. “Nearly every scene or image that crosses our path in our daily life was put there for a reason,” he said, per Attkisson, who is an award winning journalist. Those themes, per the propagandist, are “authored by someone that paid a lot of money to put them there.”


She proposes the whole fake news campaign could be aimed to make people doubt one particular side of a narrative, news source, or website.

Attkisson explains that when she connects the dots, she finds it useful to “follow the money.” That’s a theme that Marty Lavin has hammered for years, and that MHProNews has particularly utilized in 2018 and before.

Who was funding the non-profit First Draft and its anti-fake news effort?” the seasoned journalist rhetorically asked.

It was Google.

Google exec Eric Schmidt, a Hillary Clinton supporter and campaign adviser, was behind the First Draft platform, explained the investigative reporter.

Now for those on the progressive side of politics, keep in mind that Attkisson came from CBS News. She strives to be unbiased, independent, in her perspective as a mainstream journalist is supposed to be trained to do. David Brock, Clinton’s surrogate at Media Matters and Clinton were both on the “fake news train.”

I’m not the only one who thinks the whole thing smacked of a roll-out of a propaganda campaign,” the reporter says in her TEDx talk. Glen Greenwald of the Intercept said that those who denounce fake news are often the ones guilty of it.

There’s tons of content like what she says online, but not all of it is from sources as reputable as Attkisson. We found this particular-gem today. She says Donald Trump co-opted the “Fake News” term, he didn’t create it. The ploy, she argues, backfired on the left’s purported proponents.


Powerful Interest Trying to Manipulate

Attkisson says she is not trying to litigate who is correct.  Rather, she is saying that “powerful interests are trying to manipulate your opinion.”

As regular, longer time, Daily Business News on MHProNews readers know, we’ve been on this theme that predates this TEDx talk by some time.  We were already following facts, evidence, history, and the money.  We admit that there was some things – that are arguably fake – that we were either blinded to, or distracted from. It was industry voices – people in positions of knowledge – that patiently told us the lay of the land on some issues we didn’t have completely right.

Now, we seek to be patient with those who wonder what’s wrong with the industry that ought to be doing many times better than it is.



Attkisson gives expert tips.

These go beyond industry divisions, or national politics, by striking at the heart of seeking the truth.

That’s what our industry should be focused on, getting the truth out about our products and services. We’ll paraphrase some of her takeaways, while encouraging you to see and hear what she’s observed and discovered.

  • Is the media trying to shape or censor facts, rather than report them?
  • When it seems that everyone in the media industry is using the same words, the same narratives, even the same phrases, “it might be the result of an organized campaign.”
  • She warns against “media literacy,” an effort to get laws passed to make one side’s version of reality to be taught and accepted in public schools. She says they are developing websites, working with journalists, and universities. This is a red flag, she argues. Attkisson says these are people who want to tell you what to believe.

What you need to remember,” the journalist said, “is that when interests are working this hard to shape your opinions, their true goal might just be to add another layer between you and the truth.”

Question authority. Analyze what a source is saying, including this source that you are reading. If you see an factual error, let us know.  We routinely challenge MHI, Clayton, et al to offer any fact or evidence based corrections.

Crickets. That speaks volumes.

Try to be objective, share that notion with your team mates that don’t already see what you get, and tell them to go where the evidence, money, and logic point.  As a related note, the industry obviously suffers from problematic reporting inside MHVille and aimed at it.  Both of those need to be proactively addressed, see the related reports, further below.

We strive to do the fact-checks day by day for our readers, as we provide “News through the lens of manufactured homes, and factory-built housing,” © where “We Provide, You Decide.”  © See how this TEDx talk fits with prior related reports, further below. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)

NOTICE: Readers have periodically reported that they are getting a better experience when reading MHProNews on the Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari browser than with Google’s Chrome browser. Chrome reportedly manipulates the content of a page more than the other two browsers.

(Related Reports are further below. Third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

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To see a sample of our emailed news update, click here. To sign up for the factory-built home industry’s #1 headline news, click here or the graphic above.

2) To provide a News Tips and/or Commentary, click the link to the left. Please note if your comments are on-or-off the record, thank you.

3) Marketing, Web, Video, Consulting, Recruiting and Training Re-sources

SoheylaKovachDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsMHLivingNewsSubmitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and

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Sharyl Attkisson’s “Criminal Invasion” Infographics Thrust into Manufactured Housing, National Debate

September 19th, 2018 Comments off



They work in our industry’s factories, and on farms that use manufactured homes as the living quarters for their ‘hands.’


They buy or lease pre-HUD Code mobile homes and post-code manufactured homes from retailers or in land lease communities.

They do service work, maintain, and do grounds-keeping in manufactured housing enterprises of all types from coast-to-coast.

And if they are fully bilingual, they are hired to sell “casa mobiles” to others who speak Spanish and are here in the U.S., legally or not.  For those with higher education or more money to invest, there’s plenty of Hispanics who own businesses, or are managers in our industry, and others too.




Immigration is routinely in the top 5 issues on the minds of voters, and has been for years.  Independent, award-winning investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson knows that fact.  She has deliberately thrust herself into the national debate over immigration, which is also a hot topic in the industry that the Daily Business News on MHProNews lovingly calls “MHVille.”



Criminal Invasion USA?

In an email to MHProNews, Attkisson recently wrote, “With much debate over sanctuary cities and the amount of crime attributable to illegal immigrants, we look at both sides in today’s Full Measure cover story


Meantime, I looked through federal records to find the latest known statistics on illegal immigrant crime. Here’s some of the information.


The information analyzed was compiled by the Government Accountability Office using statistics from the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and a state reimbursement program.”



Attkisson – as long-time, careful readers of MHProNews may recall – is an award-winning reporter, who used to work for CBS News. She found herself on the politically incorrect side of certain reports during the Obama Administration era. Despite her strong credentials, she was allegedly targeted in various ways, and ended up doing independent reporting.


She’s created useful guides to understanding issues like media bias, as the infographic below demonstrates. Her mantra aim is to strives to let the facts and evidence be her guide in reports.  That’s a principle MHProNews and MHLivingNews both strive to follow too.


Full Measure’s Sharyl Attiksson’s media bias chart is useful in sorting out the agendas behind various headlines and news sources. 


The Cost: Lives Lost, Harmed and Dollars 

Other reports suggest that some 12 percent of the construction labor force are illegally in the U.S.


The infographics above and below reveal the punitive costs of lives harmed or lost, not to mention the staggering sums that illegal immigration costs the U.S.


When the costs in lives and dollars are measured against the investment in the border wall and related security, the decision to ‘enforce the border’ – which the law already requires – ought to be a no-brainer. Estimates vary widely, but $18 to 28 billion are common figures. Rephrased, the border wall could pay for itself in a few months.


See a prior related report, linked below.

Follow the Money – 100s of Immigration Protests, MoveOn, George Soros, The Border, Mexico’s AMLO, and Manufactured Housing


“Yellow Journalism” – Weaponized, Faked, and Manipulative “News?”

These facts on immigration – depending on one’s mainstream media source – are items industry readers may or may not have been exposed to before now.  With so much evidence of lives lost and seriously harmed, and hundreds of billions in annual economic impact, how is it possible that this isn’t a bigger news story across all media?

As the publisher of MHProNews has said, answer is in part historic.  Weaponized and manipulated news is hardly new.  It’s been part of America to a greater or lesser extent since the days of the revolution.

Over a century ago, American newspapers went through an era described by PBS as follows: “The Spanish-American War is often referred to as the first “media war.” During the 1890s, journalism that sensationalized—and sometimes even manufactured—dramatic events was a powerful force that helped propel the United States into war with Spain. Led by newspaper owners William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, journalism of the 1890s used melodrama, romance, and hyperbole to sell millions of newspapers–a style that became known as yellow journalism.”

American “yellow journalism” was reportedly studied by Joseph Goebbels, a former journalist and Nazi party officer, and others in Adolf Hitler’s movement. Facing History says that “Propaganda—information that is intended to persuade an audience to accept a particular idea or cause, often by using biased material or by stirring up emotions—was one of the most powerful tools the Nazis used to consolidate their power and cultivate an “Aryan national community” in the mid-1930s.”

Manipulative techniques by modern American media – including what is or is not covered as news, slanted, and media bias – are explored in an documentary previously cited and posted by MHProNews.

“Shadows of Liberty” Movie Introduction, Affordable Housing, and You

See the Shadows of Liberty report and extended version of the award-winning documentary video at the link above.  The trailer for that powerful video is posted below.  Those are all related issues that impact manufactured housing professionals and investors day-by-day, as our industry’s reality is shaped by the mainstream media, social media and other third-party reports.


The Takeaways? 

The numbers are staggering.  The evidence is overwhelming that illegal immigration causes grave-to-lethal harm to millions of Americans. The cost in economic terms far outweighs the short term benefits of ‘cheap labor,’ because the difference in costs is more than made up in ways the infographics above attest.

The economic impact on those with the lowest wages working legally in America isn’t easy to calculate, but the law of supply and demand tells us that there is definite harm to our lowest-wage citizens, and thus the rest of society too.

One may or may not agree with the style of President Donald J. Trump on issues like immigration. But as journalists like Attkisson dive into the facts, the evidence is compelling that there is far more harm than good from illegal immigration.  That’s especially true when one understands that the Trump Administration stated goal is to reform immigration law, as well as enforce borders.

Border enforcement combined with immigration reform would allow honest, and hard-working people to cross the line into the country safely, legally, and in a manner that works for people of all backgrounds and of varied economic status.

See related reports for more insights.

The midterms are 7 weeks out. That’s good reason to share these types of reports with those that may not realize the deadly and costly impact of the status quo. That’s this morning’s “News Through the Lens of Manufactured Homes, and Factory Built Housing,” © where ”We Provide, You Decide.” ©(News, analysis, and commentary.)

(Third party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)

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Emmy Winning Sharyl Attkisson Reports Obama-Era Surveillance Timeline, Plus How Fake News Seeks to Control What You See and Think

September 25th, 2017 Comments off

SharylAttkissonPresidentBarackObamaDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsGeorge Orwell was arguably wrong about the year that drew the title of his best seller, 1984.”  But much that Orwell predicted in 1948 when he penned that tome has come to pass, albeit not always as his political and social novel projected.

War is Peace.  Freedom is Slavery.  Ignorance is Strength.” Those clearly contradictory notions were among the slogans used by “Big Brother,” a metaphor for an oppressive government that propagandized its own people. Literary analysists could say that those slogans represented just how powerfully propaganda could sway the masses of people.

In fact, not all fall for propaganda, just as the party line was questioned in Orwell’s novel, so there are those who question the various party lines of today.

The GOP is registering at an all-time low in the polls, per CNN’s latest. “There are fresh signs the Republican Party’s brand is in trouble, Fewer than three in 10 Americans — 29% — hold a favorable view of the Republican Party.”  But a few lines deeper into their article, one reads this: “Both parties will have to grapple with an increasingly unhappy public as nearly six in 10 Americans (59%) say they are angry at both parties…”

It is also worth noting that the Democratic party is suffering in their fund-raising.  Politico – which like CNN is a left-of-center publication (see chart below) – reported recently: “There’s one problem for the Democrats: The party has a serious fundraising crisis. … Republicans have quietly taken a decisive edge over Democrats when it comes to small-dollar fundraising.”

Or as left-leaning NBC’s Chuck Todd has observed, Donald Trump may have low polling numbers, but his movement is still the strongest going in the American political scene today.


Full Measure’s Sharyl Attiksson’s media bias chart is useful in sorting out the agendas behind various headlines and news sources.

For years, the Daily Business News (DBN) on MHProNews has used sources across the political and economic spectrum in an effort to bring manufactured housing industry professionals the best possible insights and perspectives on the news that impacts your business and profession.


One of many possible examples of MHProNews fisking (critique, analysis) problematic coverage of our industry by mainstream media.  MHProNews has also analyzed the ‘reports’ by the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI), and has noted industry charges and allegations of their routine failure to defend the industry, or to report fake news to their own members. For the report above, click the graphic. Collage by


It is against that backdrop of headlines above that the DBN dives into a fresh report provided to MHProNews from independent thinker, author and Emmy-award winning journalist, Sharyl Attkisson.

Attkisson’s created the left-right media chart that we periodically reference here on MHProNews, work which academics and others have since de facto verified in their own research of the mainstream media.

Before beginning her report, let’s note her upcoming – soon to be a best seller – Attkisson’s new book “The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, What You Think and How You Vote.”  That book can be pre-ordered at this link here.


Note: Attkisson’s timeline doesn’t draw conclusions, she’s providing verifiable facts. It is much in keeping with the spirt of one of our MHProNews slogans, “We Provide, You Decide.”

Obama-era Surveillance Timeline

You can find many timelines that follow allegations of Russia tampering in the U.S. election and alleged involvement of Trump officials. But I couldn’t find any comprehensive timelines cross-referencing Obama-era surveillance of whistleblowers, journalists and other U.S. citizens with Russia surveillance allegations. So I built one. Please note: temporal proximity of events doesn’t necessarily imply a connection.

January 21, 2009:

President Obama takes office; pledges unprecedented transparency.


April 2009:

Someone leaks the unmasked name of Congresswoman Jane Harmon to the press. According to news reports, the Bush administration NSA incidentally recorded and saved Harmon’s phone conversations with pro-Israel lobbyists who were under investigation for espionage. The story is first broken by Congressional Quarterly’s Jeff Stein.


December 17, 2009:

The Obama administration prosecutes FBI contractor Shamai Leibowitz for leaking documents to the media in April 2009. Leibowitz says he leaked because he felt FBI practices were “an abuse of power and a violation of the law” which he reported to his superiors at the FBI “who did nothing about them.”  (According to the ACLU: “Amazingly, the sentencing judge said, ‘I don’t know what was divulged other than some documents, and how it compromised things, I have no idea’.”)



The IRS secretly begins “targeting” conservative groups that are seeking nonprofit tax-exempt status, by singling out ones that have “Tea Party” or “Patriot” in their names.

Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning begins illegally leaks classified information to WikiLeaks revealing, among other matters, that the U.S. is extensively spying on the United Nations.

Obama Attorney General Eric Holder renews a Bush-era subpoena of New York Times reporter James Risen in a leak investigation.

Obama administration pursues espionage charges against NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake. (According to the ACLU: spy charges were later dropped and Drake pled guilty to a misdemeanor. The judge called the government’s conduct in the case “unconscionable.”)


May 28, 2010:

The government secretly applies for a warrant to obtain Google email information of Fox News reporter James Rosen in a leak investigation, without telling Rosen.




September 21, 2010:

Internal email entitled “Obama Leak Investigations” at “global intelligence” company Stratfor claims Obama’s then-Homeland Security adviser John Brennan is targeting journalists.

“Brennan is behind the witch hunts of investigative journalists learning information from inside the beltway sources,” writes one Stratfor official to another.

The email continues: “Note — There is specific tasker from the [White House] to go after anyone printing materials negative to the Obama agenda (oh my.) Even the FBI is shocked. The Wonder Boys must be in meltdown mode…”

“The Wonder Boys” reportedly refers to the National Security Agency (NSA). Brennan later becomes President Obama’s CIA Director.


JohnBrennanCIADirectorSharylAttkissonFullMeasureDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsEarly February 2011:

After receiving an anonymous tip, CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson begins researching the Department of Justice “gunwalking” operation nicknamed “Fast and Furious” that secretly let thousands of weapons be trafficked to Mexican drug cartels. One of the “walked” guns had been used by illegal aliens who murdered U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December 2010.



February 22, 2011:

CBS’ Attkisson breaks news about “Fast and Furious” on The CBS Evening News.

After the story airs, the government issues an internal memo that seeks to “push positive stories” to contradict the news.

Given the negative coverage by CBS Evening News last week…ATF needs to proactively push positive stories this week, in an effort to preempt some negative reporting, or at minimum, lessen the coverage of such stories in the news cycle by replacing them with good stories about ATF.


March 4, 2011:

CBS News’ Attkisson exclusively interviews sitting ATF special agent John Dodson. He gives a firsthand account contradicting government denials re: Fast and Furious.



May 2011:

White House recruits democratic operative Eric Schultz to spin on Fast and Furious and to counter the House Oversight Committee’s investigative work on the case. (Schultz previously served as intern to Sen. Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton.)


Spring 2011:

Obama intel officials capture and record incidental private communications between Congressman Dennis Kucinich, a Democrat, and a Libyan official. The recordings are later leaked to the press.



Fox News reporter Mike Levine is subpoenaed by the Department of Justice regarding a story he reported about a federal grand jury’s indictments of terrorism suspects. The subpoena is later dropped.


June 2, 2011:

Republican Mitt Romney announces he’ll challenge President Obama in campaign 2012.


June 28, 2011:

Obama U.S. Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke secretly leaks sensitive government information to Fox News, allegedly to retaliate against ATF whistleblower John Dodson in the Fast and Furious case. (Burke is former chief of staff to former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano.)


August 2011:

U.S. Attorney Burke resigns while under investigation for the improper leak of sensitive information about Dodson. The Inspector General later confirms the leak and Burke apologizes.


September 2011:

White House operative Schultz invites Attkisson and several other national journalists to off the record backgrounder about Fast and Furious documents subpoenaed by Congress. Later, on the phone, Shultz screams and cusses at Attkisson as she asks questions raised by the Fast and Furious documents.


October 3, 2011:

Obama administration secretly changes longstanding policy. The change creates a “loophole” that Sen. Ron Wyden would later say allows the NSA to conduct “backdoor searches” of “incidental collection” of U.S. citizens’ domestic communications.

The same day, CBS News airs Attkisson’s report on newly-uncovered memos that contradict Attorney General Eric Holders’ denials about Fast and Furious.



October 4, 2011:

In an internal email, Attorney General Eric Holder’s top press aide Tracy Schmaler emails White House operative Schultz calling Attkisson “out of control.” Schultz replies, “Her piece was really bad for the AG.”


November 2011:

CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus, who’s married, allegedly begins an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. (The FBI would later say it “stumbled” upon evidence of the affair incidentally during an unspecified, much broader investigation.)


December 2011:

Amid much criticism, Justice Department finally, officially retracts the false letter it had submitted to Congress in February. The letter had stated that the Fast and Furious allegations of gunwalking were untrue.


February 13, 2012:

At approximately 10:30pm, remote intruders secretly download new spy software proprietary to a federal agency onto Attkisson’s CBS work computer. (The software was secretly attached to a legitimate Hotmail email and downloaded in the background after a pop-up ad appeared).


April-May 2012:

The Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI publicly announce vast expansion of cyber related efforts to address alleged “national security-related cyber issues.”

In violation of longstanding practice, DOJ secretly and without notice seizes personal and phone records of journalists from Associated Press from this two-month period in a leak investigation.


June 2012:

Attorney General Holder secretly initiates investigations into AP and the New York Times regarding government leaks.


June 28, 2012:

The House of Representatives holds Attorney General Holder in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over subpoenaed documents related to Fast and Furious.


July 2012:

The Department of Justice designates U.S. Attorneys’ offices to act as “force multipliers” in further stepped-up cyber efforts in the name of national security.

Intruders remotely “refresh” ongoing surveillance of Attkisson’s CBS News Toshiba laptop.


Summer 2012:

The FBI incidentally stumbles across emails revealing CIA Director Petraeus’ affair with his biographer Broadwell. FBI Director Robert Mueller is notified of the affair on a date the government will not disclose. The FBI later says it interviewed Petraeus and Broadwell, and concluded national security hasn’t been breached. The FBI keeps all of this information secret.

In late summer, on a date the government won’t reveal, the FBI notifies Attorney General Holder of the Petraeus affair.


September 11, 2012:

Four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens are murdered in Benghazi, Libya during attacks by Islamic extremist terrorists. Despite internal communications that acknowledge the terrorist nature of the attacks within minutes, the Obama administration falsely reports to the public that the attacks were instead a protest gone awry after an anti-Islamic YouTube video.

Some Obama officials become frustrated with CIA Director Petraeus and his post-Benghazi attack behavior, as he opposes efforts to edit out mentions of terrorism from the public Benghazi talking points. Petraeus deputy Mike Morell  is given authority over the edits, and aligns with Hillary Clinton’s State Department against Petraeus’s desires.


October 2012:

CBS begins airing Attkisson’s Benghazi stories which rely on whistleblowers and numerous government-linked confidential sources. These sources report that the Executive Branch is clamping down on leaks to reporters re: Benghazi.

DOJ continues its stepped-up National Security Division cyber efforts, holding specialized training at DOJ headquarters for the National Security Cyber Specialists (NSCS) network and the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS).

President Obama issues top secret presidential directive on Oct. 16 ordering intelligence officials to draw up a list of overseas targets for cyberattacks. According to The Guardian, the directive also “contemplates the possible use of cyber actions inside the US.”

As CIA Director Petraeus’s interagency relationships become increasingly strained over his stance on Benghazi, unnamed FBI agents reach out to Republicans in Congress to tell about Petraeus’s affair. They eventually land at the office of Republican majority leader Eric Cantor. With the presidential elections about a week away, Cantor stays mum on the Petraeus rumors and instead contacts the FBI about them.

The FBI interviews Petraeus and Broadwell a second time.


November 2, 2012:

The FBI questions President Obama’s vice chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff James Cartwright in a leak investigation regarding material in a book written by a New York Times reporter. Cartwright denies being the source (but later admits he was, and is convicted in the case).


November 6, 2012:

President Obama defeats Mitt Romney in Campaign 2012.

CIA Director Petraeus is scheduled to testify to Congress next week about the Benghazi attacks.

Officials claim this day is the first time Director of National Intelligence Clapper is notified about the Petraeus affair by an unspecified official at the Justice Department. Clapper calls Petraeus and urges him to resign.


November 7-9, 2012:

Attorney General Holder hosts a national training conference at DOJ headquarters for the expanded efforts of DOJ’s National Security Cyber Specialists (NSCS).

The Obama administration says somebody unspecified notifies someone at the White House about the Petraeus affair on Nov. 7. The President is reportedly looped in for the first time on Nov. 8 and accepts Petraeus’ resignation on Nov. 9. Petraeus’ planned appearance before Congress to testify on Benghazi is canceled.


November 13, 2012:

The F.B.I. initiates a body of cyber security case investigations that would later relate to Attkisson’s computer intrusions.


December 2012:

Two intelligence-connected sources separately suggest to Attkisson that she’s likely under government surveillance due to her reporting. One source tells her the government has pushed the envelope like never before and that public would be shocked to “learn the extent that the government is conducting surveillance of private citizens.”

As Attkisson arranges a forensic exam of her computer, evidence later shows the intruders then attempted to cover their tracks and to erase evidence of their intrusion. However, the erasures leave additional forensic evidence.


December 27, 2012:

Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.), who have classified knowledge as members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, publicly warn of the “back-door search loophole” or searches of incidental collection of innocent Americans.

As it is written, there is nothing to prohibit the intelligence community from searching through a pile of communications, which may have been incidentally or accidentally been collected without a warrant, to deliberately search for the phone calls or e-mails of specific Americans.—Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colorado



Obama administration brings court martial against Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning, who has changed his name to Chelsea, for a 2010 leak of classified information to WikiLeaks that revealed American military and diplomatic activities across the world. Manning is sentenced to 35 years in prison, the longest punishment ever given in a U.S. leak case.


January 2013:

Two forensics examinations confirm unauthorized remote intrusions and monitoring of Attkisson’s work and personal computers. The information is not publicly reported at this time.


January 23, 2013:

The Obama administration prosecutes CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou for leaks to a reporter as he blew the whistle on the CIA’s secret torture program. He’s the first CIA officer convicted of providing classified information to a reporter.


March 12, 2013:

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testifies to Congress, falsely stating that intelligence officials are not collecting mass data on tens of millions of Americans.


April 12, 2013:

The government Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Agency (FISA) court secretly approves the latest FBI request to continue obtaining daily telephone records of millions of U.S. Verizon customers. The judge orders Verizon to turn over the information to the National Security Agency (NSA). This directly contradicts Clapper’s March 12 testimony to Congress.


April 2013:

A secret government memo later exposed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden discusses how the U.S. is collecting information “directly from the servers of …Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.”


May 10, 2013:

After longstanding denials, the IRS admits to and apologizes for targeting Republican Tea Party groups for mischief, which included discussing developing pretenses for prosecution, leading up to the 2012 election.


May 13, 2013:

The Associated Press (AP) publicly announces that it has learned of the Justice Department’s secret subpoena of phone records for 20 AP reporters, in a leak investigation. Attorney General Holder personally approved the subpoenas, which were issued to Verizon rather than AP. AP calls it a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into news-gathering operations.


May 17, 2013:

Fox News learns that the Justice Department secretly labeled reporter James Rosen a possible “criminal co-conspirator” and “flight-risk” in obtaining warrants to monitor Rosen’s State Department movements, phone records and emails in a leak investigation starting in 2011.


June 2013:

The FBI secretly opens a case on Attkisson’s computer intrusions under the auspices of a national security issue. The FBI contacts CBS without Attkisson’s knowledge, but fails to contact or interview Attkisson. (The FBI later withholds Attkisson’s FBI file in its entirety without explanation, and other documents, despite multiple Freedom of Information Act requests.)

News of the FBI case involving Attkisson’s computer intrusions is circulated internally to the Justice Department’s national cyber security group, and grouped with a set of cases opened in November 2012.


June 2013:

Former National Security Agency NSA contractor Snowden begins releasing documents showing extensive efforts by the government to surveil and collect information on U.S. citizens.

Snowden is charged with three felonies in his absence from the U.S.


June 6, 2013:

At a hearing, Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Illinois, asks Attorney General Eric Holder if the NSA spies on members of Congress. Holder answers that the NSA has no “intent” to spy on Congress, but that the issue is better addressed in private.


July 2, 2013:

Director of National Intelligence Clapper apologizes to Congress for his false testimony in March regarding widespread collection of data on Americans.


August 6, 2013:

Armed Coast Guard agents under the Department of Homeland Security raid the home of reporter Audrey Hudson at 4:30am with a search warrant for her husband’s firearms. As they searched the house, they read Hudson her Miranda rights and confiscated documents that contained “confidential notes, draft articles, and other newsgathering materials” belonging to Hudson including the identities of whistleblowers at the Department of Homeland Security. (Hudson sues and later receives a settlement from the government.)


August 7, 2013:

CBS News publicly announces confirmation of Attkisson’s computer intrusions.

“Attkisson’s computer was accessed by an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions late in 2012…This party also used sophisticated methods to remove all possible indications of unauthorized activity, and alter system times to cause further confusion.—CBS News


September 19, 2013

The Obama Justice Department charges FBI agent and contractor Donald Sachtleben with leaking to an AP reporter details of disrupted terrorist bomb plot. He’s sentenced to 43 months in prison.


January 23, 2014:

Sen. Bernie Sanders asks the NSA if it spies on members of Congress. The NSA does not provide a direct answer and states that Congress is afforded “the same privacy protections as all U.S. persons.”


March 2014:

Congress accuses the CIA of improperly accessing Senate Intelligence committee computers. CIA Director Brennan denies it.

Director of National Intelligence Clapper bans intelligence community officials from unauthorized contact with reporters.


April 2, 2014:

Former state department contractor Stephen Jin-Woo Kim is sentenced to prison for disclosing classified information to Fox News reporter James Rosen.


July 31, 2014:

CIA Inspector General reveals that five CIA officials improperly accessed Senate Intelligence Committee computers and searched certain staff emails. The findings contradict denials made in March by CIA director Brennan. Brennan apologizes to Senate staff.


October 2014:

The government pays a settlement to reporter Audrey Hudson after the 2013 Coast Guard raid of her home during which her work notes were improperly seized.


December 2014:

Attorney General Holder seeks to subpoena a 60 Minutes producer in connection with a terrorism trial, but pulls back the request after public criticism.


Spring 2015:

The Obama administration finishes secretive negotiations of an Iran nuclear deal that will return billions of dollars in frozen funds to the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism in return for assurances from that country. It’s later reported that Obama intel officials have been incidentally capturing communications of U.S. members of Congress and organizations in the U.S. while secretly recording Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s discussions about the Iran deal, which he opposes.

As of now, the New York Times reports “since 2009, six current or former government employees and two government contractors have been indicted or prosecuted under the Espionage Act for leaking information to the public. There were only three such prosecutions under all previous U.S. presidents combined since 1917.”


May 2015:

Former CIA employee Jeffrey Alexander Sterling is convicted on espionage charges for leaks to New York Times reporter James Risen. He’s sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison.


December 2015:

The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) passes. It requires private Internet companies to “transmit cyber-threat indicators” to the Department of Homeland Security and granting the companies immunity from prosecution for sharing customers’  personal data in those cases.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Obama administration incidentally collected private communications by members of Congress while it spied on Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

The NSA sweeping up “private conversations with U.S. lawmakers and American-Jewish groups… raised fears [of]—an ‘Oh-s— moment,’ one senior U.S. official said—that the executive branch would be accused of spying on Congress.”–Wall Street Journal, December 29, 2015


July 2016:

Donald Trump wins the Republican nomination for president.


According to later news reports, after Trump’s nomination, internal White House logs show Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice begins to show increased interest in National Security Agency (NSA) intelligence material that included “unmasked” Americans’ identities.


Summer 2016:

The FBI reportedly obtains a secret FISA court order to monitor communications of Trump adviser Carter Page, convincing a judge there’s probable cause to believe Page is acting as a Russian agent. Surveillance of Page theoretically allows government officials to “incidentally” collect communications of Trump associates (or Trump himself) if they communicate with Page.

Read: When “Incidental” Intel Collection Isn’t Incidental



It’s not yet known publicly, but CNN later reports that the Obama Justice Department wiretapped Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort before the 2016 election over Russia ties, closed the investigation, then began surveillance anew sometime in the fall and continued it through the early part of 2017.


Fall 2016:

Trump opponents “shop” to reporters a political opposition research “dossier” alleging Trump is guilty of various inappropriate acts regarding Russia. The information is unverified (and some of it is false) and the press doesn’t publish it, but a copy is provided to the FBI.


September 26, 2016:

It’s not publicly known at the time, but the government makes a proposal to the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) court to allow the National Counter Terrorism Center to access “unmasked” intel on Americans acquired by the FBI and NSA. (The Court later approves as “appropriate”.)


October 7, 2016:

Former vice chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff James Cartwright pleads guilty in a leak investigation to lying to the FBI about his discussions with reporters regarding Iran’s nuclear program.


October 26, 2016:

At  closed-door hearing before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the Obama administration disclosed that it had been violating surveillance safeguards, according to Circa. It disclosed that more than 5 percent of its searches of the NSA’s database violated safeguards promised in 2011.


November 8, 2016:

Donald Trump is elected President.


November 2016-January 2017:

News reports claim Rice’s interest in the NSA materials accelerates after President Trump’s election through his January inauguration. Surveillance reportedly included Trump transition figures and/or foreign officials discussing a Trump administration.


December 2016:

FBI secretly monitors and records communications between Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak and Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who later became President Trump’s national security adviser.


RussianAmbassadorSergeyKislyakSharylAttkissonFullMeasureDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsAfter Trump’s election, Obama officials take steps to ensure certain intelligence gathered regarding Trump associates is “spread across the government.” One Obama official would later say it’s because they were afraid once Trump officials “found out how we knew what we knew,” the intelligence would be destroyed. However, Obama critics later theorize Obama officials were working to mount opposition to Trump’s presidency.


January 10, 2017:

The media reports on the leaked anti-Trump “dossier” compiled by a political opposition research group containing unverified and at least partly untrue allegations of misconduct involving Trump and Russia.


January 12, 2017:

The Obama administration finalizes new rules allowing the National Security Agency (NSA) to spread certain intelligence to 16 other U.S. intel agencies without the normal privacy protections.

President Obama commutes all but the last four months of Manning’s sentence for leaking intelligence information to WikiLeaks.


February 2, 2017:

The news reports that five information technology (IT) computer professionals employed by Democrats in the House of Representatives are under criminal investigation for allegedly “accessing House IT systems without lawmakers’ knowledge.” The suspects include three brothers identified as Abid, Imran and Jamal Awan “who managed office information technology for members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and other lawmakers.” The brothers were said to have been employed by three Democrats on the Intelligence Committee and “five members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs which deal with with many of the nation’s most sensitive issues and documents, including those related to the war on terrorism.”


February 9, 2017:

News of the FBI recordings of Lt. Gen. Flynn speaking with Russia’s ambassador is leaked to the press. The New York Times and the Washington Post report that Flynn was captured on wiretaps discussing current U.S. sanctions, despite Flynn’s earlier denials.

The Washington Post also reports the FBI reviewed Flynn’s calls with Russian ambassador and “found nothing illicit.”



Feb. 13, 2017:

Trump National Security Adviser Flynn resigns, acknowledging he had misled Vice President Pence about his Russia conversations.


March 2017:

The House Intelligence Committee requests a list of unmasking requests made during a certain time period by Obama officials. The intelligence committee does not provide the information, prompting a June 1 subpoena.


March 1, 2017:

The Washington Post learns and reports that Trump Attorney General Jeff Sessions has met with the Russian ambassador twice in the recent past. Sessions had told Congress he didn’t communicate with the Russians during the campaign. (The Russian ambassador had sought out and met with numerous high-ranking Democrat and Republican officials.)




March 2, 2017:

In an interview on MSNBC, Obama Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Evelyn Farkas says that once President Trump was elected, she urged her former colleagues to “get as much information as you can, get as much intelligence as you can [about Trump and his associates] before President Obama leaves the administration” and get it to “people on Capitol Hill.”



Trump Attorney General Jeff Sessions recuses himself from any Trump campaign-related investigations after backtracking on earlier statements that he had not met with Russian officials prior to the election.


March 4, 2017:

President Trump tweets: “Is it legal for a sitting President to be ‘wire tapping’ a race for president prior to an election? Turned down by court earlier. A NEW LOW!” and “How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”


March 10, 2017:

Former Congressman Dennis Kucinich, a Democrat, steps forward to support Trump’s wiretapping claim, revealing that the Obama administration recorded his (Kucinich’s) communications with a Libyan official in Spring 2011.


March 20, 2017:

At a hearing, lead House Intelligence Committee Democrat Adam Schiff places Trump adviser Carter Page at the center of a theoretical alleged collusion with Russia. (It’s not yet publicly known that the FBI has been surveilling Page.) Some critics see Schiff’s storyline as an attempt to establish public justification for the Obama administration intel community’s controversial surveillance of the Trump adviser during the 2016 political campaign.



March 22, 2017:

Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes publicly announces that he has reviewed evidence of U.S. citizens associated with Trump being “incidentally” surveilled by Obama intelligence officials, and that the names and information of the Trump associates were illegally leaked and/or used, mostly in November, December and January. Nunes attends a meeting at the White House to discuss. He’s criticized for viewing the evidence and speaking of it publicly.


In an interview on PBS, former Obama National Security Adviser Rice says “I know nothing about this…I really don’t know to what Chairman Nunes was referring.”


Rep. Devin Nunes

March 24, 2017:

The political firm that compiled the Trump “dossier” that was leaked to the press, Fusion GPS, declines to answer questions or document requests from Sen. Charles Grassley.


March 31, 2017:

Democrat Schiff is invited to the White House to review intel material Republican Nunes saw earlier.


April 3, 2017:

Multiple news reports state that prior to the election, Rice had requested and reviewed “unmasked” intelligence on Trump associates whose information was “incidentally” collected by intelligence agencies.


April 4, 2017:

In an interview on MSNBC, Rice seems to reverse herself (having earlier said she knew “nothing” about unmasking of surveilled Trump associates) and admits having asked for names of U.S. citizens previously masked in intelligence reports. Rice says her motivations were not political or to spy. When asked if she leaked names of U.S. citizens,

Rice replies, “I leaked nothing to nobody.”


April 6, 2017:

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Nunes recuses himself from the Russia part of his committee’s investigation.


April 11, 2017:

Someone leaks to the Washington Post, and the Post reports, that the FBI secretly obtained a FISA court order last summer to monitor Trump campaign associate Carter Page. Trump critics say the existence of the order proves there was possible criminal activity by Trump associates. However, Trump supporters say the leak is an attempt to frame damning revelations as they are coming to light: that the Obama administration was, indeed, surveilling the political campaign of at least one opponent.


April 28, 2017:

The NSA announces it “will no longer collect certain internet communications that merely mention a foreign intelligence target.” This after it secretly disclosed mass violations to the FISA court last October.

The NSA also begins deleting prior collected data. It says it’s doing this to avoid further violations.


May 2, 2017: 

Members of Senate Intelligence Committee go to CIA headquarters to get briefed on Russia-Trump connections. The following day, CNN asks Senate Intelligence Committee member Dianne Feinstein if there is evidence of “collusion between Trump associates and Russia during the campaign.” “Not at this time,” replies Feinstein.


May 3, 2017:

Obama’s former National Security Adviser Susan Rice declines Republican Congressional request to testify at a hearing about the unmasking and surveillance.


May 4, 2017:

It’s revealed that in the election year of 2016, the Obama administration vastly expanded its searches of NSA database for Americans and the content of their emails and phone calls: From 9500 searches involving 198 Americans in 2013 to 30,355 searches of 5,288 Americans in 2016.


May 5, 2017: 

Senator and former Presidential candidate Rand Paul (R-KY) formally asks the White House and intelligence community whether he was surveilled under the Obama administration.


May 14, 2017:

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and ex-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, Obama administration officials, admit to reviewing “classified documents in which Mr. Trump, his associates or members of Congress had been unmasked.” They won’t provide further details in public.


May 31, 2017:

Document is disclosed to Justice Department in a lawsuit claiming the NSA engaged in “blanket surveillance” of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, collecting and storing “virtually all electronic communications going into or out of the Salt Lake City area, including the contents of emails and text messages” to “experiment with and fine tune a new scale of mass surveillance.” Former CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden has denied such a program existed.


June 1, 2017:

House Intelligence Committee issues 7 subpoenas including for information related to unmaskings requested by ex-Obama officials national security adviser Susan Rice, former CIA Director John Brennan and former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power. Chairman Devin Nunes says the intelligence community has been stonewalling the committee’s March request for a list of all the unmaskings that occurred during a certain time period.


Sept. 13, 2017

Under questioning from Congress, former Obama adviser Susan Rice reportedly admits having requested to see the protected identities of Trump transition officials who were “incidentally” captured by government surveillance. (For their privacy protection, identities of U.S. citizens captured during surveillance of foreign foreign targets are supposed to be protected or “masked” from other government officials. Applications by federal officials to “unmask” the names or see the identities are supposed to be rare and carefully considered.


Sept. 18, 2017

CNN reports that the Obama Justice Department wiretapped Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort before the 2016 election over Russia ties, closed the investigation, then began surveillance anew sometime in the fall and continued it through the early part of 2017. (End of Sharyl Attkisson’s timeline.)

For those who don’t see how this relates to the swamp of Washington, D.C., and manufactured housing, we’ll close with this reminder.

Dick Moore of historic Dick Moore Housing said earlier this year that he was targeted by the Obama-era Internal Revenue Service for publishing in his newsletter political positions that contradicted that of the 44th president.

We Provide, You Decide.” © (News, analysis, commentary.)

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