Sunday, April 9, 2017

Susan Rice – “I know nothing about this.” 22 March 2017

“If I would know something I
 wouldn’t even tell myself.”
President Trump is standing by this “fake scandal, ginned up by right-wing media,” his “widely discredited claim” about being wiretapped.  His assertions are “unsubstantiated.”  He has made an unproven claim based on “unfounded accusations.”  The FBI’s James Comey, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former President Obama have denied that the surveillance took place.  On April 4 Rice told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell  “There was no such collection or surveillance on Trump Tower or Trump individuals, it is important to understand, directed by the White House or targeted at Trump individuals.”  This should be good enough for most reasonable people.  Unfortunately there are many unreasonable people out there.

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. 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

The Truth About the “Wiretapping” is Coming Out

The progressives’ Penny Dreadful about Donald Trump being put in the White House by Vladimir Putin is beginning to unravel.  On 2 March Evelyn Farkas, a former Deputy Secretary of Defense in the Obama administration, revealed on MSNBC that Obama officials were surveilling the Trump campaign.  Farkas resigned from her government post in September 2015 to become the senior foreign policy advisor for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.  Farkas stated:  “the Trump folks, if they found out how we knew what we knew about their, the staff, the Trump staff’s dealing with Russians, that they would try to compromise those sources and methods, meaning we would no longer have access to that intelligence. So I became very worried, because not enough was coming out into the open, and I knew that there was more…. We have very good intelligence on Russia.  So then I had talked to some of my former colleagues, and I knew that they were trying to also help get information to the Hill.”  On March 30 she appeared on MSNBC to claim that what she said was distorted and “fake news.”  “And on the dark campaign of fake news, you know, that's still ongoing. We see even someone like myself get swept up in all of this. You know, when people like me are speaking on behalf of process, people spin to it suit their needs. And I think it may be that the Russians are behind even such fake news today.”

The Russians may have attempted to interfere in our election.  They probably had no more success than the Gulf States, Mexico or the Mossad.   Powerful nations, including the U.S., frequently interfere in foreign elections.  There were contacts between Trump supporters and the Russians.  General Flynn and Senator Sessions spoke with the Russian ambassador.  What they said was probably perfectly innocent.  Flynn may have told the ambassador to be patient.  The belligerent Obama policy would end with Trump’s assumption of the Presidency.  Flynn, a retired head of the DIA, must have known that his conversation was being recorded.  His suggestion was no worse than President Obama’s remark to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he would be “more flexible” after the U.S. presidential election.

Would the Obama Administration “spy” on Americans?  Perhaps we could consult the former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan.  Brennan stated before the Council of Foreign Relations, “As far as the allegations of, you know, CIA hacking into, you know, Senate computers, nothing could be further from the truth. I mean, we wouldn’t do that. I mean, that’s, that’s just beyond the, you know, the scope of reason in terms of what we would do.”  Brennan said this in response to allegations that the CIA was hacking Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein.  Unfortunately he later had to apologize for his remarks when it was revealed that the CIA was in fact spying on the Senator.  The Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, committed perjury during congressional testimony about spying on Americans.  The President had no problem with spying on Angela Merkel.   How extensive was FBI involvement in this spying?  Is the FBI investigating itself?  Should Director Comey recuse himself?

The accusation of Russian influence is being investigated by the FBI, CIA, NSA, the Senate Intelligence Committee, the House Intelligence Committee and thousands of reporters in the establishment media.  So far they have come up with nothing.  Much of the suspicion of Russian interference is based on the “Steele” dossier.  At one point the FBI was considering paying Steele for his information.  The Steele dossier is not a government document.  However, it was compiled by someone with experience in intelligence and should conform to certain basic principles.  The “Confidential” and “Sensitive Sources” marking on the cover page do not make sense.  “Sensitive Sources” are never “Confidential.”  Senator McCain forwarded the dossier to the FBI.  It had previously been provided to Vice President Biden.  Biden claimed “It surprised me in that it made it to the point where the agency, the FBI thought they had to pursue it.”  Biden realized that it was obviously bogus.  It is hard to believe that Senator McCain is less perceptive than the Vice President.  The FBI may also be relying on information provided by the company Crowd Strike, a company with diminished credibility.

Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, stated “let's take just one moment to review what we already know. Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, ordered a deliberate campaign carefully constructed to undermine our election.  Russian operatives also hacked John Podesta.   This is not innuendo or false allegations.  This is not fake news.”  It appears Senator has come to his conclusions prior to an investigation.  There is no evidence that Putin ordered this campaign.  If there is such evidence it was obtained from someone very close to the Russian President and it was extremely irresponsible for the Senator to reveal this information.

Congressman Nunes claims that the Obama White House surveilled members of the incoming administration on subjects that had nothing to do with Russia.  The claim that this information was collected “incidentally” will not endure.  Nunes is being vilified for being an unsophisticated former dairy farmer and there are demands he recuse himself.  Sen. Charles Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has begun his own investigation.  On March 6 Grassley demanded the FBI turn over documentation and answer questions about the Washington Post’s allegation that the FBI planned to pay for Steele’s information.  Grassley sent a follow-up letter on March 28 having not received answers to his first request.

The fifth column in the intelligence community can stonewall and the establishment media can obfuscate for only so long.  Patriotic members of the rank and file within the intelligence community will speak up.  We will be treated with headlines like “Trump Russia dossier key claim 'verified'” from the BBC.  The key claim is that there was a spy in the Russian embassy.  They could have consulted Inspector Clouseau for that piece of investigative reporting.  These media reports will not survive internet exposure.