McGentrix
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 5 Apr, 2017 06:39 am
If you only read one thing and actually care about what is going on and don't want to get sucked into cheese eating socialistic propaganda, read this whole article...

Susan Rice’s White House Unmasking: A Watergate-style Scandal

Quote:
Her interest was not in national security but to advance the political interests of the Democratic party.

The thing to bear in mind is that the White House does not do investigations. Not criminal investigations, not intelligence investigations.

Remember that.

Why is that so important in the context of explosive revelations that Susan Rice, President Obama’s national-security adviser, confidant, and chief dissembler, called for the “unmasking” of Trump campaign and transition officials whose identities and communications were captured in the collection of U.S. intelligence on foreign targets?

Because we’ve been told for weeks that any unmasking of people in Trump’s circle that may have occurred had two innocent explanations: (1) the FBI’s investigation of Russian meddling in the election and (2) the need to know, for purposes of understanding the communications of foreign intelligence targets, the identities of Americans incidentally intercepted or mentioned. The unmasking, Obama apologists insist, had nothing to do with targeting Trump or his people.


The rest can be found at the link above.
layman
 
  0  
Reply Wed 5 Apr, 2017 06:51 am
I think it's important to understand what a national security advisor does, and does not, do, eh?

First of all, they do NOT investigate crimes or engage in criminal investigation in any way. They play no part in law enforcement. The FBI does that, primarily.

They are partisan white house staffers who "advise" the president, that's all. About what? Matters involving "national security," that's all (in theory, at least).

What is "national security?" Well, for a partisan hack, it may well be a core belief that "national security" would be best served if Clinton, not Trump, were elected as the next president, know what I'm sayin?

0 Replies
 
layman
 
  0  
Reply Wed 5 Apr, 2017 06:52 am
@McGentrix,
Shitty minds think alike, eh, Gent? While you were composing this post, I was composing one that made the same point.
McGentrix
 
  0  
Reply Wed 5 Apr, 2017 07:00 am
@layman,
You should check your spell check, you have "shitty" replacing "great" there...

Laughing
0 Replies
 
layman
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 5 Apr, 2017 07:06 am
@McGentrix,
Here's another insightful observation lifted from the cite you gave, eh, Gent?

Quote:
While not a pillar of rectitude, Ms. Rice is not an idiot. Besides being shrewd, she was a highly involved, highly informed consumer of intelligence, and a key Obama political collaborator. Unlike the casual reader, she would have known who the Trump-team players were without needing to have their identities unmasked. Do you really think her purpose in demanding that names be revealed was to enhance her understanding of intelligence about the activities and intentions of foreign targets? Seriously?

0 Replies
 
layman
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 5 Apr, 2017 07:18 am
I saw a humorous treat from good ole Annie Coulter about Rice.

She said it was unusual for Rice to lie like she did on PBS because she generally saves her lying for sunday mornings.
0 Replies
 
revelette1
 
  3  
Reply Wed 5 Apr, 2017 08:45 am
Quote:
If you’re an ally (let alone an employee) of Donald Trump, the ever-widening Russia scandal has to have been disheartening. Nearly everyone agrees that the Russian government actively attempted to aid Trump’s presidential campaign, which might be possible to explain away as not Donald Trump’s fault, were it not for the fact that so many of his aides and associates have ties of one form or another to Russia, as does the president himself. So with each new revelation or phase of the investigation, the questions get more and more uncomfortable.

Which is why conservatives have been waiting so desperately for something, anything they can use to turn the story around to their advantage, no matter how ludicrous the arguments they make might be. And now they’ve found it.

And boy, are those arguments ever ludicrous. At this moment, the right wing media is going bonkers over reports that Susan Rice, who was national security adviser at the time, in 2016 requested the “unmasking” of certain U.S. persons who had been picked up in surveillance of foreign intelligence targets. Because those persons turned out to be associates of Donald Trump, conservatives have managed to twist this into the allegation that the Obama administration was “spying” on Trump and his campaign. Over at foxnews.com I count 11 separate articles about Rice on the home page. You can find similar screaming headlines at Breitbart, the Daily Caller, and all the other conservative sites — and don’t ask what’s happening on Twitter (if you want to get a taste of the lunacy, search #SusanRice).

Why the gleeful eruption of accusations? Certain conservative media already had their basic storyline, which is that the problem isn’t Russian meddling in our election, the problem is that somebody revealed Russian meddling in our election. That’s why, along with President Trump, they’re so outraged (or are at least pretending to be outraged) about leaks of the various investigations. But what they lacked was a single villain, and now they have one, someone they hated already and on whom they can focus all their considerable venom.

This afternoon on MSNBC, Rice responded to the allegations. She said, “The allegation that somehow Obama administration officials utilized intelligence for political purposes, that’s absolutely false,” adding that “I leaked nothing to nobody, and never have and never would.”

While Rice answered most of Mitchell’s questions in general terms, we need to go over this as carefully as we can, to make clear a simple point. Based on what we know so far, Susan Rice not only didn’t do anything wrong, she did exactly what we would expect of a national security adviser. Indeed, it would have been alarming if she didn’t do what we’re hearing she did.

We start with a report yesterday from Bloomberg’s Eli Lake, who was told by sources in the Trump administration that “former national security adviser Susan Rice requested the identities of U.S. persons in raw intelligence reports on dozens of occasions that connect to the Donald Trump transition and campaign.” This is referred to as “unmasking,” since ordinarily, when a U.S. person is picked up in surveillance of a foreign intelligence target, their identity is masked out of privacy concerns. For instance, the NSA might be recording the phone calls of the Russian ambassador, and if he calls an American friend and has an innocuous conversation, the identity of the American will be masked.

It’s important to understand that “unmasking” doesn’t mean making the name public, or even making the name widely available to officials inside the government. It means that the official who made the request gets to see the name. High-ranking American officials can and do request the unmasking of U.S. persons in these reports if it’s relevant to national security. As Lake himself wrote: “The standard for senior officials to learn the names of U.S. persons incidentally collected is that it must have some foreign intelligence value, a standard that can apply to almost anything. This suggests Rice’s unmasking requests were likely within the law.”

But it goes even farther than that. If Rice saw a report on conversations with foreign intelligence targets (whom we’re assuming are Russians, though we don’t yet know for sure) with the identities of the U.S. persons redacted, the content of those conversations had to have given her some reason for concern, something that suggested it would be important to know who those U.S. persons were. It wasn’t a random fishing expedition that just happened to land on associates of Donald Trump. If Rice saw a report saying that a Russian intelligence target “Placed call to U.S PERSON 1 and inquired as to when his dry cleaning would be ready,” she wouldn’t have cared who that person was, and she wouldn’t have requested the unmasking to find out.

Yet conservatives are trying to convince people that the Obama administration set out to spy on the Trump team , an allegation for which there is zero evidence. Senator Rand Paul tweeted , “Smoking gun found! Obama pal and noted dissembler Susan Rice said to have been spying on Trump campaign.” Fox’s Tucker Carlson said to his audience, “What exactly were the Obama people doing spying on the Trump people?”, adding that “Our laws currently provide no serious protection to U.S. citizens from being spied upon for political reasons by their own government, and worse, it actually happens. In fact, it just happened, and that is the scandal here.”

We can have a debate about the scope of the NSA’s surveillance authority, but we have to be clear about this: Susan Rice couldn’t have known that the foreign intelligence targets were speaking to Trump associates when she made the unmasking request, because their identities were masked. Unmasking enabled her to find out who they were. I suppose it’s possible that the content of the conversations made it obvious that the foreign intelligence target was speaking with a Trump associate, but at a time when the government was investigating Russian efforts to subvert our election, that would have made it even more urgent to know which Americans they were talking to.

It isn’t just that Rice’s effort to fully understand what was passing back and forth between foreign intelligence targets and Trump associates was legal, though it was, or that it was appropriate, though it was. It was more than that: it was absolutely critical. Indeed, it would have been a shocking dereliction of duty if she hadn’t.

What conservatives are really saying is that the national security adviser, knowing that Russia was undertaking what amounts to an assault on the American political system, shouldn’t have tried to learn all she can about what it involves. If she got a report about foreign intelligence targets talking to Americans, and the content of those conversations was enough to raise alarms, she should have just put it in a drawer and not asked any questions.

When you see conservatives screaming about Susan Rice and accusing her of all manner of nefarious deeds, keep in mind what their goal is: to distract from the inquiry into whether Trump and his associates may have cooperated with Russia in their meddling in our election. That’s what they’re after.


WP
layman
 
  -2  
Reply Wed 5 Apr, 2017 08:58 am
@revelette1,
Quote:
“I leaked nothing to nobody”


Which means, when properly understood, "I leaked something to everybody."
0 Replies
 
layman
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 5 Apr, 2017 09:05 am
@revelette1,
An entirely expected and predictable partisan apology for lyin Susie from Wapo.

Anything new, today?

Quote:
“The standard for senior officials to learn the names of U.S. persons incidentally collected is that it must have some foreign intelligence value, a standard that can apply to almost anything. This suggests Rice’s unmasking requests were likely within the law.”


As I have pointed out elsewhere, that aint the standard for unmasking (Bob Woodward had it right, more or less) and, even if it was, "foreign intelligence value" does NOT include "almost everything."
hightor
 
  4  
Reply Wed 5 Apr, 2017 09:10 am
"Bigger than Watergate"? No, I don't think so. Nixon was elected in a real landslide so his loss of popularity and power was quite dramatic. Trump has never been more than marginally popular and he has no political experience so I don't think many will be surprised if he gets the axe.

Saw this exchange on another forum earlier:

Quote:
A: Trump got caught having an affair but is screaming at his girlfriend for looking at his phone he left unlocked sitting on the couch.

B: More like the girlfriend knew Trump's passcode, but under normal circumstances, she doesn't unlock it out of respect. She found a pair of panties she doesn't recognize in the bedroom and decided to say **** the norm.
0 Replies
 
revelette1
 
  3  
Reply Wed 5 Apr, 2017 09:17 am
@layman,
What would be new is if you actually debunked the facts stated in the article with facts of your own and links to back it up rather than dismissing it out of hand because you do not like the messenger. The article was not a screed like most of the conservative and some liberal sources, it was a logical piece with factual statements about what constituted unmasking and the role of a national security advisor and the lack of evidence currently making the right wing rounds in their efforts to distract from the Russian/Trump investigations.
layman
 
  0  
Reply Wed 5 Apr, 2017 09:32 am
@revelette1,
I don't want to reproduce all the posts that I, and others, have made with respect to the law and standards in other threads here, Rev. Go there for more. But, even in this thread, I have posted an especially important provision of 50 U.S. Code § 1801--scroll up, for that, if you want.

You can always read a thread BEFORE you decide to post in it, ya know?
layman
 
  0  
Reply Wed 5 Apr, 2017 09:38 am
@revelette1,
Quote:
it was a logical piece with factual statements about what constituted unmasking and the role of a national security advisor


If you ever want some facts other than the ones carefully selected for you (while omitting other crucial facts) by left-wing rags, Rev, again, scroll up. Your cheese-eating propagandist doesn't represent the universe of facts or reasonable opinion about such matters, I'm afraid.
0 Replies
 
revelette1
 
  3  
Reply Wed 5 Apr, 2017 10:05 am
@layman,
You left no link, it was just a quote out of context and not really even pertaining to the subject at hand. Unmasking does not mean, passing the information around or keeping it illegally. It simply means unmasking for the authorized person's information which she was allowed to do as even the Bloomberg article makes clear.

Quote:
The standard for senior officials to learn the names of U.S. persons incidentally collected is that it must have some foreign intelligence value, a standard that can apply to almost anything. This suggests Rice's unmasking requests were likely within the law.


Bloomberg

Personally I can understand her interest. Who was the target of the surveillance and who was incidentally monitored as a result? Why were they communicating with someone worthy to be targeted and why would they discuss their future foreign policies with someone who was targeted by intelligence to be monitored as mentioned in the Bloomberg article above?

Quote:
The intelligence reports were summaries of monitored conversations -- primarily between foreign officials discussing the Trump transition, but also in some cases direct contact between members of the Trump team and monitored foreign officials. One U.S. official familiar with the reports said they contained valuable political information on the Trump transition such as whom the Trump team was meeting, the views of Trump associates on foreign policy matters and plans for the incoming administration.
layman
 
  0  
Reply Wed 5 Apr, 2017 10:24 am
@revelette1,
I'll concede that's it's impossible to judge whether the "unmasking," in itself, was improper without the full context of the convo's where Rice demanded to know the identity of the redacted parties.

But, even if it was proper, did she "use, disseminate, disclose, or retain" that info without a court order? Chances seem very high that she did.

What is a known and indisputable fact is that Flynn's name, and the substance of his recorded conversations, ended up in the newspaper. This proves that "someone" committed a felony considered serious enough to warrant 10 years in prison. Who was that "someone?" We know Rice had the info, because she specifically requested it, reportedly on "dozens of occasions."

Attention to the procedure helps here. The FBI and the NSA are the primary "producers" of intelligence. They redact citizens names unless the identity is necessary to understand the significance of the convo. Rice is a mere "consumer" of intelligence info.

Rice would not have to "request" unmasking of any name unless the FBI had already decided, prima facie, that the name was irrelevant. Otherwise they would have included it in the report to begin with, rather than redacting it.

Again, Rice is just a partisan white house staffer, not an investigative agency. She does no investigation, she just consumes. The FBI and/or the NSA, who ARE responsible for investigating crime, collecting foreign intelligence, etc. did not think the names were significant.

So what reason(s), apart from political, would she have for demanding the unmasking of the identity? If the FBI thought it was significant, for reasons of either foreign intelligence or domestic crime, they would pursue it. They didn't.

FISA is STRICTLY for accumulating information about FOREIGN agents. It issues warrants in secret and those warrants are themselves classified info. Hence the strict provisions designed to protect FISA warrants from being used for domestic surveillance, and the extensive procedures adopted to protect the identities of U.S. citizens.

If a U.S. citizen is suspected of a crime, the FBI has to get a warrant from a regular criminal court, NOT from FISA, which targets the suspected criminal.. Any attempt to pervert FISA warrants into a substitutes for a regular warrants is prohibited.
layman
 
  0  
Reply Wed 5 Apr, 2017 11:00 am
@layman,
Quote:
If a U.S. citizen is suspected of a crime, the FBI has to get a warrant from a regular criminal court, NOT from FISA, which targets the suspected criminal.. Any attempt to pervert FISA warrants into a substitutes for a regular warrants is prohibited.


I'll attempt to elaborate on this a little.

Lets suppose that, via a FISA warrant targeting the russian ambassador, the FBI overhears Flynn offering to sell U.S. secrets to the russian government. Can the FBI then continue to use the FISA warrant to attempt to collect additional evidence against Flynn? NO!

At that point, Flynn himself is a criminal suspect. The FBI now has to go to a regular court and show probable cause (which can include the contents of the "incidentally" recorded conversation) that a CRIME has been committed, and get a new warrant authorizing the secret electronic surveillance of Flynn.

They can continue to monitor the russian ambassador, of course, but NOT for the purpose of collecting evidence against Flynn. At that point any "additional" evidence collected against Flynn via the FISA warrant, without a separate warrant against him personally, would have to be excluded as violative of the 4th amendment.
layman
 
  0  
Reply Wed 5 Apr, 2017 11:25 am
@layman,
And, by the way, exclusion from evidence in court is not the ONLY possible consequence of a willful violation of a citizen's civil rights by a government official.

Criminal and civil (often yielding huge awards--remember the Ruby Ridge victims?) penalties can also be imposed on the violator. That is it's own separate crime, apart from impermissible disclosure in violation of FISA rules.

Lyin Susie and her accomplices (including perhaps Obama himself) have a lot to be concerned about, eh?
0 Replies
 
revelette1
 
  3  
Reply Wed 5 Apr, 2017 11:32 am
@layman,
She requested the information because it was of value, she did nothing improper as every single legitimate new source has admitted. Unless there is evidence to turn up that she did something improper such as what you are suggesting, which so far, there is not, there really isn't a story here, much less of Watergate proportions. The real story remains Trump and Russian's connections.
layman
 
  0  
Reply Wed 5 Apr, 2017 11:37 am
@revelette1,
There is definitely a "story" here. Someone, who may or may not be Susie Rice, has committed a felony punishable by 10 years in the pen. That's a story, whether you want to deny it or not.

This is just the kind of thing that many congressmen and U.S. citizens were deathly afraid would happen when this FISA legislation was passed. It only passed because everyone was assured that, due to the VERY STRICT standards of protection for U.S. citizens, and the stiff criminal penalties for violation thereof, there would be no violations.
McGentrix
 
  0  
Reply Wed 5 Apr, 2017 11:45 am
@layman,
I can't believe that these corrupt people thought they were going to get away with this kind of behaviors. Rice had better seek immunity now before something more damning pops up.
 

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