Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 21, 2017

Airlines Want Protectionism - U.S. Bans Laptops, Tablets On Competition's Flights

February 2017: CEOs of Delta, United and American Hope Trump Will Block Arab Competition

The big three U.S. airlines maintain that Emirates, Etihad Airways, and Qatar Airways — airlines backed by governments of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates — are unfairly subsidized and that their expansion into the U.S. market represents unfair competition that should be blocked by regulators.

“The Gulf carriers have received over $50 billion in documented subsidies from their government owners since 2004,” the chief executives of the big three wrote in a recent letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. “Mr. Secretary,” the letter continues, “we are confident that the Trump Administration shares our view on the importance of enforcing our Open Skies agreements, ensuring that U.S. airlines have a fair and equal opportunity to compete in the international market, and protecting American jobs.”

March 2017: US bans laptops, tablets on flights from Turkey and Arab world

Senior US officials told reporters that nine airlines from eight countries had been given 96 hours, beginning at 3:00 am (0700 GMT), to tell travelers to pack any device bigger than a smartphone in their checked luggage.

Laptops, tablets and portable game consoles are affected by the ban -- which only applies to direct flights to the United States from the blacklisted airports.

No US carriers are affected by the ban, but passengers on approximately 50 flights per day from some of the busiest hubs in Turkey and the Arab world will be obliged to follow the new emergency ruling.
The ban will hit flights operated by Royal Jordanian, EgyptAir, Turkish Airlines, Saudi Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad Airways.

The U.S. move is certainly not about security. What now hinders anyone to fly from Dubai to Paris and on to New York with a laptop and tablet in her carry on luggage? Why would that be more secure than a direct flight with Emirates Airline?  No. This is all about unwanted competition and an effort of the highly subsidized U.S. airlines to sell higher priced tickets with less service.

Flying from the Middle East to the U.S. one can now choose between a direct flight without any personal entertainment equipment, or take a flight with some additional stop on a (code-sharing) U.S. carrier. The second variant is of course more "secure".

A bit funny: The Brits immediately followed up with their own "security measures". But they banned different airports and airlines than the U.S. There are no new, additional "security measures" for flights to Britain from Kuwait, Qatar and Morocco. Instead Tunisia is on the British list. That of course does not make sense from a security standpoint. But it probably reflects the importance of certain investors for the City of London as well as the competitive situation of British Airways.

Posted by b on March 21, 2017 at 18:17 UTC | Permalink


Aah, now it all makes sense. I didn't realize the commercial component to the silly regulations.

Posted by: WorldBLee | Mar 21 2017 18:47 utc | 1

Tunisia might be on the list because over 30 British holidaymakers were shot to death there by an ISIS inspired maniac not so very long ago, and becayse the security forces there didn't acquit themselves particularly well during the incident.

Posted by: No | Mar 21 2017 19:13 utc | 2

@1 WorldBLee

I didn't realize the commercial component to the silly regulations.

In that case you have a lot of catching up to do.

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Mar 21 2017 19:34 utc | 4

Of course, the US airlines won't announce how much annual support they get in subsidies.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 21 2017 19:36 utc | 5

Plus see how May is working hard to please Trump and family:

Posted by: Yul | Mar 21 2017 19:41 utc | 6

@ Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 21, 2017 3:36:38 PM | 5

Of course, the US airlines won't announce how much annual support they get in subsidies.

No problem, Al-Jazeera's will publish the figures.

Posted by: hopehely | Mar 21 2017 19:45 utc | 7

Seems standard run of the mill dirty tricks.

Supreme court blocking presidential some appointment powers is interesting.

Reminds me of the cartoon doing the rounds some time ago - Obama trying martial arts with Putin, Obama beating himself up, Putin standing with his foot on Obama, hands in the air as the victor.
Entire US is beating itself up now.

Posted by: Peter AU | Mar 21 2017 19:48 utc | 8

The US ban on laptops, tablets and game consoles beyond certain size limits doesn't affect El Al - we should ask why El Al has been excluded from the ban.

Maybe the ban is also about pleasing the shareholders and managers who own and run the airlines that stand to benefit from the ban.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 21 2017 21:33 utc | 9

substitute a benadryl and ear plugs for laptop, wake me up when we touch down

Posted by: Perimetr | Mar 21 2017 22:05 utc | 10

Most annoying as I might be flying this year on Turkish Airlines. Really this is beyond ridiculous. It's not as if US Airlines don't get loads of perks and tax breaks already, all while providing lousy service on ever sh*ttier flights with ever decreasing seat size.

Color me unsurprised, however. Wonder what kind of kick-back Trump will get from those US-based airlines.

Don't get me wrong: I despise Clinton, but it's been obvious from Day Numero Uno when Trump descended the escalator that his main goal and purpose in doing this gig was making money for himself and his family. Make no mistake, when Trump waddles out of office, he's going to make Obummer look poor.

Posted by: RUKidding | Mar 21 2017 22:21 utc | 11

This is a surprise?
Seems like maybe commentators on MoA all have one thing in common: deep sandboxes for accommodating their small brain cases with concomitant small brains!

[The author is now banned - insulting all other commentators for what? - b.]

Posted by: rg the lg | Mar 21 2017 22:45 utc | 12

Ever since the 911 action corporate control freaks have been abusing security as an excuse for differential regional pricing whereby the price of goods is dependant on 'how much the market will bear in each region' rather than a straightforward global price for all consumers.
The internet forced many greedy capitalists who had long been pulling various regional rips to reluctantly adopt a global price strategy.
The rip off perfume and aftershave market whose prices are driven by entirely bogus elitist marketing and whose prices are irrelevant to the cost of inputs was the first to wake up to the potential of security regulation abuse following the introduction of rules prohibiting the transport of liquids.
Regional price diferentiation has returned to that industry in a big way ever since courier freight companies agreed to halt the transport of perfumes & aftershaves across borders. The 3rd party retailers who had driven prices down by buying perfumes in the least expensive source nation and exporting them to so called 'luxury' markets have in turn been driven out of business by this change.
Battery prohibitions is another area where regional price differentiation has returned.
Although there are weird anomalies. I bought a bunch of drones for about $60 us apiece last year, they retail where i live for over $100 US so that was a no brainer. The retaliation by the corporation has been to no longer import batteries for the drones. I went online and found it very difficult to obtain the batteries directly from China. In the end an amerikan based courier service (FedEx) offered to bring in my batteries which cost me $7 dollars apiece for $90 each as an accompanied transport. That is the only way to transport a battery is if an employee of the courier corporation physically escorts them. Yet I can still bring in a $60 drone complete with battery without a problem.
Drones are a small part of the battery industry as tech retailers pressure battery corporations to stop carrying replacement batteries for phones tablets and laptops, the 3rd party retailers who forced replacement battery prices down are also going to the wall.
This is a return to the bad old days of bureaucratic bullshit. It won't provide any employment in those nations whose jobs were exported in the 90's but it will increase the returns for rapacious corporations and encourage more stupidity.
Worst of all is the effect on the environment. If I was an asshole I would have bought 10 more drones junked them and kept the batteries as that was the least expensive solution.
If corruption isn't already rampant in the security industry as more and more corporations pressure them to adopt rules which advantage them, it won't be long, no organisation has ever successfully resisted real pressure from greedies who want a shortcut to a buck.

I grew up in a heavily protected economy and while the objective was sound - to discourage citizens from spending overseas exchange on wasteful and unproductive consumerist crap, the result wasn't. At the time I thought it was great I was young and loved traveling so I would always stop off at Singapore on the way home and buy up mobs of the latest garbage, sell it once I got home and in that way cover the cost of my trip but as wrong headed as what I was doing was, there were many businesses founded on the relationship between the company and someone with influence in 'import license' decision-making.
In addition it promoted a sense of lawlessness and contempt for laws among general citizens. People cheat on one thing obviously wrong and unjust, get away with it and pretty soon they cheat on the other stuff some of which is well founded.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Mar 22 2017 0:53 utc | 13

Debsisdead 15

I import in a small way, products that are not and never have been manufactured in Au. Keeps me in beer and smokes. I sell on the internet. I have to charge and pay 10% tax on all that I sell. Makes it hard to compete with sellers from Hong Kong as people can buy off the internet, postage is low, and pay no tax when buying just a few items. The other thing I found interesting is ebay invoices. No GST component. Seems ebay do not pay Goods and Services tax on their services/transactions in Australia.

Posted by: Peter AU | Mar 22 2017 1:54 utc | 14

The Guardian is now trying to tie Trump into the alleged Russian money laundering scandal they were pushing earlier today: It mostly seems to involve Moldovans and Latvians but that doesn't stop the Guardian from blaming it all on Russia. But that's hardly surprising sinne the authors of the articles include the plagiarist and al Qaeda supporter Luke Harding.

Bank that lent $300m to Trump linked to Russian money laundering scamDeutsche Bank among western institutions that processed billions of dollars in cash of ‘criminal origin’ through LatviaThe German bank that loaned $300m (£260m) to Donald Trump played a prominent role in a money laundering scandal run by Russian criminals with ties to the Kremlin, the Guardian can reveal.

Deutsche Bank is one of dozens of western financial institutions that processed at least $20bn – and possibly more – in money of “criminal origin” from Russia.

Posted by: Ghostship | Mar 22 2017 2:43 utc | 15

Since the U$A has become the C$A ( Corporate States of America), this move is more proof that the Corporate empire will not tolerate competition of any kind.

Posted by: ben | Mar 22 2017 3:09 utc | 16

Corporate empire?

...Republicans considering whether or not to back U.S. President Donald Trump's healthcare reforms in a crucial House of Representatives vote this week face a painful choice.

If they vote against, they could face the wrath of a vengeful and combative president. If they vote for it, they risk retribution from the billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch and other powerful right-wing players whose money can be pivotal in re-election races.

US extreme capitalist ideology at its finest. Fuck US "democracy".

Posted by: Peter AU | Mar 22 2017 3:17 utc | 17

Peter AU said:"Fuck US "democracy".
Not to worry Peter, the U$A hasn't been a " democracy" for some time now. Since the advent of the "Citizens United" decision, it has become an Oligarchy. Rule by the rich, for the rich, and their personal toys, the multi-national corporations. IMO, most of the strife in the world is created by giant corporations, doing what they were designed to do, capture market share.

Posted by: ben | Mar 22 2017 3:46 utc | 18

I keep wanting someone to ask for the driving vision, goals and over-arching strategy behind the actions Trump is taking that we know about and those embed deep in the flurry of legislation that is forming like cancerous pus in the hallowed halls of D.C.

And to Peter AU and Debsisdead......the global "resonance" from Trump "led" national and international actions are just starting to form and no country will escape unscathed.

The God of Mammon must be fed. It is imperative.

Our current form of social organization that has the global families that own private finance and most everything/politician else is treating at least 99% of us like pond scum who compose our textual white noise for existential relief. We are currently playing out a version of the movie The Gods Must Be Crazy and Trump is playing the Coke bottle. We can only hope that Bushman wisdom prevails.......

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 22 2017 4:10 utc | 19

Don't ya'll feel better now, more secure? More free?

So much bullshit.

Surely tell us more how Trump is gonna explode the system and how we are all gonna be much better of as a consequence of it.

Cause nothing says free market society more than this kind of bullshit. Oh, and anyone who believes that their electronics is not gonna get searched, there is a man on sale, he pretends to be the presnit of the free world. Just a bit of cash, and you too can own a slice of his hair piece or his daughter.

Posted by: Sabine | Mar 22 2017 4:13 utc | 20

psychohistorian & Sabine

Trump is not by any means gods gift to mankind. As he is not part of the "system", he will be taken down and we shall never know his true goals.

Posted by: Peter AU | Mar 22 2017 4:30 utc | 21


and you know what? He has no one else to blame but himself.

If you want to fashion yourself a dictator, it might pay to go slowly steadily, like boiling frogs. And not just lie about every stupid thing, especially not your fucking tweets, and not just be so blatantly cheap and 'available to the highest bidder'. Fuck me, but any prostitute on the street has more class and manners than that whole fucking Trump family.
And for what its worth, any prosititute does more for the wellbeing of the community than these grifters.

A pox on their house, may they and their children end up living the misery they are raining down on others. I want them poor, without access to medical help for lack of funds, out of cash for pretty things, i just want them forgotten by all.

Because frankly, i don't think he has any other perogatives then making himself a load of cash. He is seventy years old, and in all his live he has never done anything for anyone, and people now think he is different.

seriously? why. Oh , yeah, he is gonna save us from a nuclear holocaust while our drinking water is full of cowshit and lead. Yeah, fucking right. He is gonna save the fucking world.

And yes, he is the system. He is the one that will pay the piper. that by definition makes him the system, however he is only one of many, and the many may not allow him to fleece the system all by himself. thats his problem, he does not know to share, and that is why they are going to fuck him over.

Posted by: Sabine | Mar 22 2017 4:37 utc | 22

@ Peter AU AFAIK AMAZON Ebay cut a deal with those nations which rely on a sales tax or gst to fund their revenue. Each nation has a set thgreshold based on the retail price of the article. Below that threshold no tax is charged but above it customs at the destination are notified and the recipient is harassed.
I stopped using either corporation long ago Ebay because of their unwillingness to police fraud and the fact that so many sellers are uninterested in the world outside amerika and amazon which I had joined the moment it started since they offered such a vast catalog of difficult to find books, but once their employment practices were exposed I gave them the flick.
I currently use aliexpress which as u likely know is the retail arm of alibaba.
They are maybe no better than amazon but life slowly improves for Chinese workers while it gets worse and worse for the amazon staff. Chinese such as Jack Ma do appear to be committed to spreading wealth around in ways that go beyond the usual tax avoidance charitable trust bullshit, while Bezos is only devoted to his needs and shows no interest in the society his corporation feeds off.

Gates & co attempted to trap Ma into the bill & melindy style scam a couple of years back when Ma didn't bite they claimed he & his colleagues were tightfisted - yeah right like M$ google et al who simply don't pay tax.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Mar 22 2017 4:43 utc | 23

@ Peter AU who wrote that Trump was not part of the "system"

Please explain how the 1% grifter called Trump, born with a gold spoon up his ass is not part of the "system".

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 22 2017 4:54 utc | 24

watch out for those sheepdogs sabine

Debsisdead, Under $1000 AU, no GST on imports as you most likely know. My turnover is slightly above the threshold so I pay it. Ebay... I have found it is like paying for a stall in a busy market place. But what is ebay's turnover/profits in Au per year?
Companies like ebay, google ect pay none of this tax.
Aliexpress, I tried it, but dealing with merchants rather than the manufacturers. Quality can be up and down.

Posted by: Peter AU | Mar 22 2017 5:02 utc | 25

@26. Agree. Happens that I just wrote something similar elsewhere. I've said from the beginning that all. US pols hate Trumps guts bc he's horning in on their grift. And as you pioint out, he doesn't want to share. Mans a clueless idiot.

I agree w a lot of what's been published here about all the bs going on around Trump. But Trumps his own worst enemy frankly and he keeps proving he's a greedy narcissistic clueless bastard over & over.

We're so screwed bc the alternative of Mike Pence is decidedly disgusting.

Posted by: RUKidding | Mar 22 2017 5:09 utc | 26

@ Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 22, 2017 12:54:22 AM | 28

Please explain how the 1% grifter called Trump, born with a gold spoon up his ass is not part of the "system".

Nassim Taleb answered your question in this article.
He even uses Trump as an example to make his point clear.

Posted by: hopehely | Mar 22 2017 5:15 utc | 27

psychohistorian 28

When five eyes are trying to take him down, he is not part of the system. Doesn't mean he's good or bad or anything else. Just not part of the globalist five eyes system. As far as I can see, he is immersed in US extremist capitalism. Still an extremist, but better for the world than the Obama/Clinton/bush ect globalised version.

Posted by: Peter AU | Mar 22 2017 5:16 utc | 28

Debsisdead | Mar 22, 2017 12:43:18 AM | 27

Excuse me, can trust aliexpress, meaning cards' frauds and delivery as listed?
No sure buying from aliexpress can u elaborate? Thinking dumping Ebay.
BTW never ever buy from Amazon aka Washington Post fake news.

Posted by: OJS | Mar 22 2017 5:19 utc | 29

Sabine @ 26: Bare bones, and expressive. And, IMO, absolutely TRUE!

Posted by: ben | Mar 22 2017 5:28 utc | 30

@ Peter AU who wrote that Trump is better for the world than the past elite puppet strain.

I hope you are right but really don't believe it for a second. Other than the assuredness that the other elite puppet strain was going to end the world through a nuclear war with Russia, what has Trump strain done better for the 99%than the other puppet strain?

I am an advocate for elimination of the elite strain by cutting off their tool of private finance. Only then can we get leadership that is better for the world than any of the cretins the elite put forward.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 22 2017 5:32 utc | 31

psychohistorian 35

The enemy are not a cohesive unit. When the enemy are fighting, barrack for whichever looks to be the weaker.
As for what has Trump done (with two months of McCarthyism?) or intends to do, we shall probably never know.

Posted by: Peter AU | Mar 22 2017 5:44 utc | 32

tee-rump ... jeezus ... every thread is still his thread ...

Posted by: jfl | Mar 22 2017 7:18 utc | 33

@ OJS | Mar 22, 2017 1:19:33 AM
As PeterAU said the aliexpress platform steers you to individual vendors who because of the retail nature of the transaction - single to 100 units means you aren't talking to the manufacturer. Manufacturers generally use alibaba which is about orders in the hundreds or thousands of units.

I have found aliexpress to be pretty good and the platform does a reasonable job of policing the merchants but as with all these sites the best way is to check out a range of vendors look at their feedback and the length of time they have been trading.
Thus far I have found the polite emails from aliexpress merchants are less likely to be form letters big on false bonhomie and light on honesty, so I am sticking with them.

The interesting thing about dealing with relatively small scale vendors is access to open source hardware which has really taken off in China.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Mar 22 2017 7:39 utc | 34

I wonder how many people have canceled their vacation plans to the US after seeing news like this.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Mar 22 2017 7:52 utc | 35

Debsisdead 34 "open source hardware"

This is the thing about China that beats the US hands down. When they hit on a good thing, every factory produces it and it is dirt cheap. In the US "west" this product will be patented, brand named, and very expensive.

Posted by: Peter AU | Mar 22 2017 8:43 utc | 36

@Debsisdead | Mar 22, 2017 3:39:51 AM | 34

in the past bought 3 gas powered carburetors and tubings for powered lawn tools from China in Ebay, cheap compared to US ebayer. Just couldn't bring myself buying from aliexpress.

Just today looking food grade beeswax, for cutting boards which I'm making,mixing own beeswax+walnuts oil, Cheaper than Ebay. Will try aliexpress next week. Thanks.

Posted by: OJS | Mar 22 2017 8:50 utc | 37

The "Most liked" comment (80 votes) at the Washington Post on this issue:

1917Reset - 3/21/2017 1:31 PM GMT+0100

This seems to be more an attempt to do damage to middle east based airlines. All of the airports included in the new restriction are all of the airports in the Middle East where a flyer can board a non-stop flight to the USA. All of the airlines affected are all of the airlines flying non-stop between the USA and ME. A traveler can still board any number of other airlines that fly from the ME through Europe and connect to onward flights to the USA and carry their electronics on board. In many cases they will not go through additional screening again after leaving the ME on the European airlines and quiet a few of those flyers will transfer to US airlines for the European to US segment.

I travel to the ME for business monthly and always prefer to travel the non-stop routes on one of the ME airlines, usually RJ and Etihad. The pre boarding security checks are extensive. At the airport in Amman on the flights to the USA you are checked through normal x-ray entering the terminal and then for US bound flights there is a secondary check where all passengers are patted down and carry on baggage is hand searched and electronics are swabbed for trace explosives.

The legitimacy of the electronics ban is suspect when the stated reason is lack of proper security in the subject airports. And especially so in the case of Abu Dhabi where the US Customs is in control of the secondary screening for Etihad Airlines and travelers are vetted, scanned, carry on baggage x-rayed (for the second time after entering the Abu Dhabi airport), and then the travelers are admitted to the USA while in the UAE. At arrival in the USA Etihad passengers disembark at domestic gates in DFW. LAX. and ORD. I know this for a fact as I flew from AUH to DFW yesterday.

To me as an experienced traveler to the ME I have come to prefer flying on the ME airlines and I feel that this ban is an attempt to discourage travelers away from these airlines offering better routes, and premium service.

Posted by: b | Mar 22 2017 8:57 utc | 38

b 38

....Make America great again? Ban people from something better. easy peasy

Posted by: Peter AU | Mar 22 2017 9:09 utc | 39

Laptop Terror Threat

Electronic devices ban unveils the secret plan to defeat ISIS/ISIL. The Telegraph UK headlines the 69 Nation Conference today in D.C.

"World leaders gather to discuss 'secret plan' to defeat Isil after laptop terror threat prompts UK flight ban"

World leaders will gather for talks on how to defeat the Islamic State today after it emerged that an aircraft cabin ban on electronic devices was prompted by warnings of a new terrorist threat.

During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump said he had a "secret plan" to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant terror group (Isil) and pledged to "bomb the hell out of" the terror group.[.] Rex Tillerson, the US secretary of State, will today host the first full meeting of the coalition since 2014.

Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, is attending the major 69-nation Washington DC conference aimed at countering Isil.

[.] According to US media reports, American intelligence officials have been given a "credible" tip-off that Isil has been developing explosives that can been hidden in electronics.[.]

Downing Street announced that more than 2 million passengers a year flying on airlines including British Airways, Thomson, Thomas Cook and Easyjet will be prevented from taking devices larger than a mobile phone into the cabin.[.]

Insurers warned that laptops and tablets are not typically covered by policies for loss, damage or theft if they are placed in the hold.[.]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Apple, Samsung, Nokia, (Blackberry-are they still making phones?) return to the drafting board.

First, it was bottled water, seal unbroken.
Ya think next up we’ll be flying bare feet? Oh wait, shoes off please, no shoes on board...

Posted by: likklemore | Mar 22 2017 11:13 utc | 40

Daily Mail: EXCLUSIVE: Trump confidante Roger Stone doubles down on claim British spies did Obama's dirty work and says he was wiretapped too:

Roger Stone says the British government did spy on Donald Trump for Barack Obama before the November election. British intelligence said last week that Judge Andrew Napolitano's claim on Fox & Friends that GCHQ had done Obama's dirty work was 'utterly ridiculous.' A longtime friend of Trump's, Stone told that 'despite the quick denials,' he thinks 'Judge Napolitano is correct.' 'My own sources high up in the Tory government, who are quite powerful, assured me that there was surveillance by the Brits,' he stated. 'Of course they deny it. That's their job to deny it.'

Posted by: lysias | Mar 22 2017 13:57 utc | 41

@41 That pin stripe is much too loud. He looks like a bookie's runner.

Posted by: dh | Mar 22 2017 14:45 utc | 42

Hmmm... So they're clever enough to weaponize a Kindle, but somehow not smart enough for a layover in Europe? Good thing we're dealing with Wiley Coyote here :/

Absolutely this is corporate welfare a la America: if you can't compete you must impede.

As someone who lived in the Middle East for years, I would emphatically second the poster from WP that b reposted. The (un) surprising reality is that pre-flight screenings in the ME make those of the US and EU look like a sad joke. Many airports have THREE tiers of x-rays and pat-downs, with security personnel who are happy to have their jobs and do them professionally and competently. Compare that to the cadre of brain-dead slackers and high-school drop-outs employed by the TSA and equivalents in Europe.

Posted by: Don Wiscacho | Mar 22 2017 15:52 utc | 43

TURNHOS N/W : 340/17



35 10.55 N - 032 53.50 E
35 11.00 N - 032 54.50 E
35 14.50 N - 032 55.00 E
35 16.00 N - 032 54.50 E
35 12.00 N - 032 47.50 E
35 11.00 N - 032 50.50 E


Posted by: 2 steps from Hell | Mar 22 2017 17:38 utc | 44

Every week, Trump seems to want to focus our attention on a new scandal. The theory of this post makes sense, but the ban may also be a PR stunt.

Posted by: Edward | Mar 22 2017 19:56 utc | 46

Here's what Nunes said:

“So first I recently confirmed that on numerous occasions, the intelligence community incidentally collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition. Details about U.S. persons associated with the incoming administration, details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting. Third, I have confirmed that additional names of Trump transition team members were unmasked. And fourth and finally I want to be clear, none of this surveillance was related to Russia or the investigation of Russian activities or of the Trump team.”

"On numerous occasions," so not just swept up by chance during surveillance of somebody else.

And not related to Russia.

Posted by: lysias | Mar 22 2017 20:16 utc | 47

Nunes said there are "multiple FISA warrants out there" involving Trump.

Posted by: lysias | Mar 22 2017 20:34 utc | 48

FISA warrants mean, I think, that a foreign power is involved. But not Russia, according to Nunes. Israel?

Posted by: lysias | Mar 22 2017 20:37 utc | 49

@ Posted by: lysias | Mar 22, 2017 4:16:03 PM | 47

That is significant. Looks like the senior GOP members are going to 'Step-forward' re Trump-faction, after all ... escalation continues ... heads may well roll after all ... what was the trope re Watergate ? 'It's always the cover-up that's the undoing'.

DailyMail.UK did some great reporting re the Israeli espionage, compromise of the Tories and Labor in UK, the #Fake 'Dossier', and now this. No wonder Wikipedia has deemed DailyMail.UK no longer acceptable as a primary or linked 'Source'. Are they on the ProPornOT or Harvard #Fake lists yet ? :)

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 22 2017 20:39 utc | 50

From CQ:

"In Congress, Nunes said he received the information legally, but would not say when or from whom. He said it was not in response to a letter he and Schiff wrote to intelligence agencies requesting detailed information on the unmasking of Americans’ identities picked up in surveillance.

"Nunes said he has a list of question he wants answered: Who was aware of the surveillance? Why wasn’t it disclosed to Congress? Who requested and authorized the unmasking of names? Did anyone direct the U.S. intelligence community to focus on Trump associates, and were any laws or procedures violated?"

Posted by: lysias | Mar 22 2017 20:54 utc | 51

Question: Does this go beyond General Flynn type surveillance?

“Well, it definitely goes beyond what happened to General
Flynn” … “I’ll tell you NSA has been cooperative, but so far the FBI has not told us if they will respond to the March 15th request.” … “What I’ve read, seems to me to be some level of surveillance activity, perhaps legal, but I don’t know that it’s right – and I don’t know that the American people would be comfortable with what I have read.”

Question: Was the President [Trump] correct with what he tweeted?

“It is possible.”

Posted by: lysias | Mar 22 2017 21:16 utc | 52

It reminds me some personal experience with ad hoc airport security measures. At some point, cigarette lighters were banned on flights, so before flying from Germany to USA I purchased a packet of 10 boxes with matches. When I was changing planes in Heathrow airport in London, I had to cross three security checkpoints where I learned that in London, unlike in Frankfurt, matches are banned. After crossing three security checkpoints I was down to 2 boxes (ca. 60 matches). Coming next: testing passengers for fire breathing talents.

Another time I had a flight to India, and being warned about the possibility of malaria, in the last minute I have purchased mosquito spray. There was a choice of 4 ounce bottle and, quite a bit cheaper, 8 ounce bottle. In Brussels the "oversized liquid container" was discovered, and I had to beg to let me continue with my only means to avoid malaria in swampy Chennai (actually, later I had a few mosquitos in the hostel room).

Now, is it possible that passengers will prefer Etihad etc. as safer airlines, because laptops are not tolerated there? Is there anyone who believes in that crap? Why would laptops etc. be better in hiding explosives than, say, thermos bottles, metal hardware of rolling luggage etc. etc.?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 23 2017 6:37 utc | 53

Posted by: Sabine | Mar 22, 2017 12:37:37 AM | 22

Wow ... pre-emptive hatred!
Are you Masha Gessen taking a holiday from Putin bashing? You're applying exactly the same drivel to Trump that you use when you're smearing Putin.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 23 2017 13:00 utc | 54

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