Former President Obama’s National Security Advisor Susan Rice asked for the names of Trump transition officials to be unmasked and made public in raw intelligence files, according to media reports, a move apparently carried out to harm the incoming Trump administration.
As recently as March 22, Rice denied knowing anything about the intelligence reports. In an appearance on “PBS Newshour,” she said pretty definitely, “I know nothing about this.” The new news reports paint Rice as a liar.
The evidence we know about in the Trump-Russia saga so far seems to be pointing at Obama.
Adam Housley of Fox News reports:
The unmasked names, of people associated with Donald Trump, were then sent to all those at the National Security Council, some at the Defense Department, then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and then-CIA Director John Brennan – essentially, the officials at the top, including former Rice deputy Ben Rhodes.
The names were part of incidental electronic surveillance of candidate and President-elect Trump and people close to him, including family members, for up to a year before he took office.
The spreading of the unmasked names was carried out for “political purposes that have nothing to do with national security” or foreign intelligence, Housley said. "It had everything to do with hurting and embarrassing Trump and his team," he said, citing his sources.
What is incidental collection, by the way?
Incidental collection “happens when an individual is in contact with the target of surveillance,” or is communicating “about” the target, according to Robyn Greene. “So if Bob were being targeted for surveillance and Alice called or emailed Bob, Alice’s communications with him would be collected incidentally.”
In this example, “if Bob is targeted for surveillance and Alice contacts him during that surveillance, resulting in the incidental collection of her communications with him, her name should be redacted or ‘masked’ unless leaving it unredacted provides foreign intelligence value.” Masking is done to protect U.S. persons (i.e. U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, etc.) who get inadvertently caught up in the electronic dragnet from being falsely accused of crimes or otherwise improper behavior.
If a National Security Agency analyst “believes Alice’s communications may contain evidence of any crime, the NSA can share those communications with law enforcement or other relevant agencies … even if the crimes are completely unrelated to the purpose for surveilling Bob’s communications, or to foreign intelligence or national security investigations.”
According to former Obama State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf, “if the intelligence community professionals decide that there’s some value, national security, foreign policy or otherwise in unmasking someone, they will grant those requests,”
Assuming these news reports about data that supposedly was incidentally collected are accurate, they raise a multitude of new questions about the ongoing scandal concerning alleged collaboration between the Trump team and Russia.
We still don’t know who asked then-National Security Advisor Susan Rice to unmask those names – or if she acted on her own initiative. But the most likely culprit has to be President Obama himself, along with those in his inner circle such as his Islamist CIA director John Brennan and his slimy national-security aide Ben Rhodes.
But whoever did the deed, it appears someone used America’s taxpayer-funded national security apparatus to engage in likely unlawful espionage against an opposition presidential campaign, an incoming administration, and that administration’s transition team. It’s the stuff of banana republics, which makes sense, because Obama spent eight long, lawless years trying to turn the United States into precisely that.
Those persons may have participated in a virtual fishing expedition to dig up dirt on Team Trump and cripple his administration with scandals like the still-unproven collusion between Trump’s people and Russia and the seemingly wild claim that Russia somehow “hacked” the November election.
Susan Rice has no shortage of chutzpah.
In a Washington Post op-ed two weeks ago, she scolded President Trump over supposedly making false statements:
The foundation of the United States’ unrivaled global leadership rests only in part on our military might, the strength of our economy and the power of our ideals. It is also grounded in the perception that the United States is steady, rational and fact-based. To lead effectively, the United States must maintain respect and trust. So, when a White House deliberately dissembles and serially contorts the facts, its actions pose a serious risk to America’s global leadership, among friends and adversaries alike.
In her defense, Rice knows a lot about dissembling and contorting facts, things that are her stock-in-trade. Her statements are difficult to take seriously because she is a prolific liar.
Rice’s serial dishonesty and astonishingly bad judgment calls are well-documented.
Rice embraced the 2014 deal wherein President Obama freed five senior Taliban commanders and high-value terrorists from Guantanamo Bay, in exchange for U.S. Army soldier Bowe Bergdahl who deserted in 2009 and collaborated with the Taliban for the next five years. Eight U.S. soldiers were killed in the effort to find and recover Bergdahl who emailed his father just before deserting, claiming he was “ashamed” to be American. In June 2014 Rice went on ABC TV to justify the prisoner swap, falsely stating that Bergdahl “served the United States with honor and distinction.” The next year the Army charged Bergdahl with desertion.
Rice mischaracterized the deadly terrorist assault on the U.S. facility in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012, as a “spontaneous reaction” to “a hateful and offensive video that was widely disseminated throughout the Arab and Muslim world.” Five days later she went on five separate Sunday TV news programs and falsely claimed the Benghazi attack was a “spontaneous reaction” to “a hateful and offensive video that was widely disseminated throughout the Arab and Muslim world.”
Rice has long believed the leftist myth that poverty creates Muslim terrorists. She inspired the Obama administration’s “de-emphasizing [of] military action against terrorists, while looking for ways to address the ‘root causes’ of the violence.” She co-wrote a 2005 academic article that claimed terrorism was “a threat borne of both oppression and deprivation." Of course, Rice endorsed President Obama’s illegal war in Libya which was justified on bogus humanitarian concerns.
After deadly Muslim terrorist-orchestrated bombings in 1998, President Clinton wheeled Rice out to lie to television viewers about inadequate security provided at U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Then-U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Prudence Bushnell had begged then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright for extra security to guard against terrorist threats, including her own possible assassination. After the bombings Rice showed up on PBS to speak for the Clinton administration. She claimed the administration had "maintain[ed] a high degree of security at all of our embassies at all times" and that there was "no telephone warning or call of any sort like that, that might have alerted either embassy just prior to the blast."
In 1996 Rice helped to persuade President Clinton to reject Sudan’s offer to deliver Osama bin Laden to the U.S.
During the 1994 Rwandan genocide that claimed the lives of 800,000 people in a 100-day period, Rice worked in Bill Clinton’s White House. She “was a key player in the Clinton administration's decision not to intervene in a peacekeeping role, so as to avoid becoming embroiled in a politically risky endeavor where no strategic U.S. interests were in play.” The Clinton people lied afterward, claiming they didn’t know the extent of the carnage in Rwanda. Rice played a role in the cover-up, convincing the administration to strike terms such as “genocide” and “ethnic cleansing” from CIA and State Department memos related to Rwanda. “If we use the word 'genocide' and are seen as doing nothing, what will be the effect on the November [congressional] election?" Rice said, according to Obama’s UN Ambassador Samantha Power.
Like many inept, intellectually-deficient left-wingers, Rice was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship. She earned a doctoral degree from Oxford University in 1990. In her dissertation she hailed the genocidal Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe as a “pragmatic, intelligent, sensible, gentle, balanced man” in possession of much “patience and restraint.”
Among other famous Rhodes Scholars, who tend to be highly influential in their professional lives, are MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, former President Bill Clinton, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), feminist Naomi Wolf, Wesley Clark, former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.), and New York Times columnist Nick Kristof.
Which may help to explain why America is in such rough shape today.