|“If I would know something I|
wouldn’t even tell myself.”
One such unreasonable person is Mike Cernovich. Cernovich is a right-wing author who promoted the "Pizzagate" conspiracy theory. Therefore anything he says must be viewed with a large amount of skepticism. Cernovich claims that Susan Rice, while still serving in the Obama administration, requested the "unmasking" of incoming Trump officials in intelligence reports. This is problematic. If there was no surveillance, how could people be “unmasked?” The reason is that this information was “incidentally collected.” In the normal course of spying on foreigners, Americans were inadvertently recorded. Simple. It was all very innocent. The Hill reporter has explained, “Former intelligence officials have described unmasking as a routine part of the intelligence process, and no reports so far have shown that Rice's request bypassed proper channels.”
The problem with The Hill’s narrative is that Cernovich’s claim about “unmasking” was “later echoed by Bloomberg columnist Eli Lake.” The Hill makes no mention of any bizarre ideas Lake may hold. The Hill article concludes with, “there is still no evidence that surveillance of Trump occurred.” In March Rice was asked by Judy Woodruff, “We’ve been following a disclosure by … Devin Nunes that in essence, during the final days of the Obama administration, during the transition after President Trump had been elected, he and the people around him may have been caught up in surveillance of foreign individuals and that their identities may have been disclosed. Do you know anything about this?” Rice responded, “I know nothing about this.” In a Washington Post op-ed that is a classic example of chutzpa Rice stated, “False statements from the White House are part of a disturbing pattern of behavior that poses real and potentially profound dangers to U.S. national security.” She continued with her criticism of the White House’s “vacation from veracity” and “compulsive mendacity,” claiming, “The United States’ words matter. Critical calculations are based on our perceived credibility.”
Rice’s defense will rely heavily on the contention that information on the Trump campaign was collected “incidentally.” Americans who have been
incidentally spied upon include Congressman Dennis Kucinich, Senators Harry Reid and Dianne Feinstein and Congresswoman Jane Harman. Through some error on the part of the intelligence community their surveillance of these prominent Americans was exposed. How many other cases have been successfully concealed? The J. Edgar Hoover surveillance of Martin Luther King Jr. suggests that such behavior has a long history.
Rice may have a serious problem with the inconsistencies in her public statements. In her March 22 interview with Judy Woodruff, Woodruff asked, “We’ve been following a disclosure by … Devin Nunes that in essence, during the final days of the Obama administration, during the transition after President Trump had been elected, he and the people around him may have been caught up in surveillance of foreign individuals and that their identities may have been disclosed. Do you know anything about this?” Rice responded, “I know nothing about this.”
Who unmasked the names on the transcripts of wiretaps that don’t exits? “NBC has learned that Rice didn't — and couldn't — ‘order’ the unmasking.” They explain the procedure for unmasking which can only be done by the agencies that gathered the surveillance. However, in the same article Rice explained, "There were occasions when I would receive a report in which a U.S. person was referred to, name not provided, just a U.S. person, and sometimes in that context in order to understand the importance of that report, and assess its significance, it was necessary to find out or request the information as to who that U.S. official was." Rice concluded, “"I leaked nothing to nobody and never have and never would." To recap: Donald Trump and his staff were not wiretapped. The names of the people in those transcripts were not “unmasked” by Susan Rice because she did not have the authority to do so. And although he did request the names of Americans in the nonexistent transcripts, she did not leak them to the press.
Democrats are clinging to their fake scandal ginned up by left-wing media about the Trump campaign’s collusion with the Russians. This widely discredited claim is unsubstantiated and based on unfounded accusations. There are literally tens of thousands of sleuths hoping to make a name for themselves by bringing down a president. The Obama appointed heads of immense intelligence agencies have been unsuccessful. So far they have uncovered one ludicrous dossier that even Vice President Biden did not find credible.
In order to maintain a bogus story all of the participants must be singing from the same sheet of music. This requires that cooperation based on either fear or affection. Apparently Susan Rice does not inspire affection. Former National Security Agency analyst and counterintelligence Officer, John R. Schindler, described Rice as, “a deeply unpopular figure with our Intelligence Community. Her abrasive personality and overall incompetence grated on the IC. Her habitually coarse language was inflicted on senior intelligence officials more than once, while nobody outside Obama’s inner circle considered Rice even marginally competent at her job.” Schindler add, “Rice didn’t like to play by the rules, including the top-secret ones. On multiple occasions, she asked the NSA to do things they regarded as unethical and perhaps illegal.”
Susan Rice’s Sergeant Schultz defense (“I know nothing about this.”) will not be effective.