Right. So your defense for a judge finding sufficient cause to conduct surveillance on someone is "BUT IT WAS PROBABLY POLITICAL!!!!" despite the fact that the entire purpose of the FISA court is to ensure that surveillance only occurs when there's legitimate reason/need.
Um... Which more or less consists of some intelligence organization coming to them and telling them "this is really important". You do realize that the primary purpose of the FISA court is to have independent tracking of when our government does this kind of surveillance, right? It's not so much about determining whether said surveillance is necessary because... and this may just boggle your mind, the only people who could tell them if it is are the very people asking for the warrant.
It was created specifically to make it harder for our government to spy on domestic political enemies without any evidence of it happening (absent a leak or something). By requiring this process, it means that if they spy for political purposes, there will be political ramifications for the action itself. Or at least sufficient risk of such that it will act as at least some amount of deterrent.
The problem is that there's no way to know from the mere fact that surveillance occurred (or even that it was done legally) whether said surveillance was done for legitimate reasons or for political ones. My earlier point was that assuming that the existence of surveillance means that the person under surveillance must be a "bad person" and thus deserving of the surveillance itself is a terrible assumption to make. It can just as easily be an abuse of power. We have no idea which is which.
Multiple Congressmen from both sides of the aisle say the Rice accusations are a joke. Bush's former NSA and CIA head says it's a sack of shit
That's your own paraphrasing. I read the same article you did, and all I got from it is that he doesn't know why Rice did what she did, and that it could have been legitimate, or it could not have been. And sure, his innate assumption is that nothing untoward occurred, because he's a firm believer in the integrity of those who work in our intelligence services. So his first reaction is that no one would use this for political reasons, largely, perhaps, because he would not do so
. And while that's admirable of him, you'll have to forgive me for being less willing to give the benefit of the doubt to an administration that seemed to make a habit of using what should be non-political executive agencies for political objectives.
This entire "Russian collusion" claim is a huge house of cards built up on a lot of speculation, leading to surveillance, leading to investigation, followed by assumptions about what the mere existence of those things must mean. It's devolved into a series of "OMG! This person talked to a Russian! It proves that they were colluding...". Um. what? I mean, let's imagine that a whole lot of conversations were occurring between members of the Trump team and foreign parties. Is that unusual either? You're going to great lengths to argue that Rice's actions, and those of others in the administration were perfectly normal and even routine, but can't the same be said for Trump's people?
The only reason the fact of such conversations matters at all is because of the previous allegations. But those allegations have yet to be shown to be anything other than wild conspiratorial speculations.
I realize that this is the tiny, thin thread your side is clinging to but there's nothing to engage you about here.
I could say the exact same thing about your side and the whole collusion claim too. Except that, you know, there's actual solid evidence that the Obama administration did use our intelligence services to spy on the Trump campaign and the Trump transition team. Your side has... nothing. Well, except the evidence of the spying, which you're now claiming somehow proves that there must be something to the claim of collusion, because.. apparently, there's no possible way government power could ever be abused for political reasons.
Yeah. But that's not naive at all.