G-man Taught a ‘Golden Rule’ He Failed to Follow

by akoloy

A high FBI intelligence analyst below investigation for failing to correctly vet the Steele file earlier than it was used to acquire invalid warrants to spy on a former Trump marketing campaign aide seems to have violated his personal “Golden Rule” for presidency spying.

A member of the International Intelligence Ethics Association, Brian Auten has lectured since 2010 on “Intelligence and Statecraft” at Patrick Henry College in Virginia, the place till not too long ago he was listed as an adjunct professor.

“National security investigations are not ethics-free,” Auten wrote in {a magazine} article printed on Sept. 23, 2016, as he was utilizing the thinly sourced, error-ridden and uncorroborated file to attempt to help a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant to electronically snoop on Trump adviser Carter Page.

“When I teach the topic of national security investigations to undergraduates at a Christian college,” he added, “we cover micro-proportionality, discrimination, and the ‘least intrusive standard’ via a tweaked version of the Golden Rule—namely, if you were being investigated for a national security issue but you knew yourself to be completely innocent, how would you want someone to investigate you?”

When Senate investigators final yr quizzed him about his journal remarks, nonetheless, Auten denied educating about such moral issues.

“Do you teach a course or have you ever that deals in some way, shape, or form with the ethics of intelligence or, more specifically, the ethics of spying?” requested Arthur Baker, then-senior investigative counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee, throughout a closed-door listening to final October—the transcripts of which have been solely not too long ago launched.

“I’ve never taught a course on that, no,” Auten replied. “I have written an article about the ethics of spying. I’ve just never taught a course on the ethics of spying.”

He appears to have been splitting hairs right here. In his 2016 Providence Magazine article—headlined “Just Intelligence, Just Surveillance, and the Least Intrusive Standard”—Auten wrote that when he taught his nationwide safety class at Patrick Henry, he lined the ethics of the federal government conducting surveillance and investigations of topics. He advised the FBI ought to apply “the least intrusive standard” when it considers surveilling residents below investigation to keep away from hurt to “a subject’s reputation, dignity and privacy.”

Brian Auten is not listed among the many school’s adjunct professors. He was faraway from the Patrick Henry web site after RealClearInvestigations printed a narrative final July first figuring out him because the nameless “Supervisory Intelligence Analyst” singled out in a report by the Justice Department’s inspector basic for chopping corners within the file verification course of. The FBI closely relied on the discredited file to watch Page as an alleged Russian agent for nearly a yr. Page was by no means charged with against the law and is suing the FBI, together with Auten, for $75 million.

Auten is also not listed as a member of the faculty’s Strategic Intelligence Board of Advisors. Patrick Henry’s communications director didn’t reply to requests for a proof for Auten’s elimination from the web site. But a school spokesman confirmed over the cellphone that he’s not educating there.

This shouldn’t be the primary time Congress has questioned Auten’s personal ethics. Last yr, former Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chair Ron Johnson doubted the analyst’s candor in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray.

“We are deeply troubled by the grossly inaccurate statements by the Supervisory Intelligence Analyst,” they wrote.

The senators have been referring to solutions Auten gave Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz concerning file writer Christopher Steele’s major supply, Igor Danchenko, whom RCI additionally first outed. According to inner FBI paperwork not too long ago declassified by the Senate Judiciary Committee, Danchenko had been below FBI counterintelligence investigation as a potential Russian agent from 2009-2011. As early as January 2017, Auten realized that a few of Steele’s reporting presumably “was part of a Russian disinformation campaign,” and in February 2017, he acquired a second report that one other a part of Steele’s reporting was “the product of [Russian Intelligence Services] infiltrating] a source into the network.”

Yet Auten, who stays in his place at FBI headquarters, instructed Horowitz’s inspectors that “he had no information as of June 2017 that Steele’s election reporting source network had been penetrated or compromised [by Russian intelligence].”

Auten remains to be supervising analysts at FBI headquarters. He additionally lectures and helps prepare rookie analysts and brokers on the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va.

This article was written by Paul Sperry for RealClearInvestigations.

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