Principled Privacy Advocate Michael Moore Applauds Spying on Trump

P. Gardner Goldsmith | March 6, 2017

As surprising and disappointing as it might be to us fans of Michael Moore’s Sasquatch-like political behavior, it appears that, just once, he has put his foot into the public arena and come out looking rather oafish.

True, downright shocking; after all, Mr. Moore is the man who told America how great the Cuban health system was (which explains why he and other wealthy Americans flock to Cuba to get health care), and Moore is the Delphic genius who praised the socialist Venezuelan economic system as it manifestly imploded under centralized control. We adore him for being so sharp, consistent, and on the ball. But this time, as he steps into the debate over whether Donald Trump was correct in Tweeting that President Obama spied on him, Moore might want to lope back into the woods.

On his Facebook page, Mr. Moore galloped into the spotlight again, with a statement entitled, “Did Obama Tapp Trump? Let’s Hope So."

After a lengthy opening in which he claimed he is skeptical of and has a long standing dislike for government spy agencies, making valid points about the U.S. CIA being involved in numerous international coups and political machinations, Mr. Moore said:

“Trump's insane flurry of tweets at 6:30 in the morning yesterday (Saturday, March 4) may not have been so insane at all. Under President Obama, these intelligence agencies were fortunately somewhat reined in. I say "somewhat" because clearly FBI director James Comey was allowed to go rogue against Hillary Clinton.”

First, Trump’s “flurry” of tweets was not “insane." As HeatStreet and others, such as MotherJones, The Guardian, and GatewayPundit have already reported, the FBI sought in June, and re-sought and received in October, a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to spy on a Trump server and investigate potential Trump ties to two Russian banks, SVB and Alfa.

As the New York Times reported on Jan. 19, the investigation could have involved six agencies, and the wiretap reports were provided to the White House under Obama.

But one must note that Mr. Moore, who has gone on record as saying he's against spying, believes that in this case, spying on Trump would've been justified. Like many leftists in the media, Mr. Moore has been pulled from denying that the spying occurred, to admitting that it is possible, and then going as far as to applaud it contrary to his own supposed principles:

“…I think most patriotic Americans would agree with me that the Obama administration HAD AN OBLIGATION to order that wiretap because an act of treason -- Trump campaign people colluding with Russia to affect the outcome of our election -- had taken place.”

Now, what Mr. Moore, who supposedly doesn’t like government spying, did not do is actually cite the 4th Amendment, and note that the FISA “warrants” are not real warrants. The FISA court is a secret “star chamber” the proceedings of which are not public, and the warrants it issues are often rubber stamps, excused by claiming the wiretaps are done on “foreigners." Meanwhile, Americans are swept up in the searches, and the question of whether the search targets a foreigner is actually irrelevant.

Regardless, Moore's serves as a reminder of what consistency under a supposedly “constitutional republic” means. It means not straying from the rules, even when doing so furthers one’s own agenda.

That’s something to remember, if one thinks the Constitution is valid at all.