Susan Rice done it. Naughty. Naughty


Former Obama national security advisor Susan Rice asked “dozens” of times to unmask anonymous Trump allies mentioned in raw intel reports, a new report says.

The National Security Council notified the White House last month after its review turned up Rice’s multiple requests to un-redact the names of then-President-elect Trump’s transition staff from synopses of incidentally collected conversations, unnamed government officials told Bloomberg View’s Eli Lake.

The exchanges in question reportedly transpired mostly between foreign officials talking about the presidential transition, but also between foreign officials and Team Trump.

Top government officials can unmask incidentally collected names if the information meets the broad requirement of having “foreign intelligence value,” Lake noted — indicating the former national security advisor likely didn’t violate the law.  NY Dailynews


Pilgrims!  Trumpistas!  Formez vos battaillons!  No, that was another movie.  Ah, yes, "Casablanca."  This looks bad for the narrative so painfully and carefully wrought by the Obamanites.  Nothing like this was supposed to turn up in the media.   Did Susan Rice break the law?  Probably not.  She was probably legally able to obtain the true identities of Americans in these intercepts (otherwise known as US Person 32, etc.).  Was that an abuse of power?  It was.  There will be more to come.  pl

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124 Responses to Susan Rice done it. Naughty. Naughty

  1. Allen Thomson says:

    Doesn’t the interpretation of this depend on why she wanted the unmasking?
    1) She saw information that, though not culpable in itself, could be used by the Dems to political advantage, that would an abuse of power. (But how, in the event, did that get used?)
    2) She saw something that indicated actual collusion in a culpable way between someone on or near the Trump campaign and the Russkies, that would be something that should be pursued and a legitimate use of power. But again, how did that get used — is it something the FBI is now looking into?

  2. Sam Peralta says:

    Col. Lang
    Is it unusual for the National Security Advisor to leak the names of US persons involved in surveillance of foreign nationals to the media?
    Susan Rice may not have broken the law in requesting the unmasking. But, did she violate the rights of those unmasked by leaking their names to the media?
    The story may take another turn as the Trump administration now have the ability to change the emphasis to the surveillance of the Trump transition team. I’m sure however the MSM will still try to keep the focus on the Russians causing Trump to win the election.

  3. Tel says:

    There’s more to discover… because the intelligence reports never stopped at Rice, they ended up leaked all through the media. There’s no way all of that leaking could be legal.

  4. Blrturner says:

    Knew you would rejoice when someone from Obama Administration named. Still does not take away from the Trump Russia questions. You never talk about those questions. You Trumpians really don’t want to believe he lies and he lied and he is unstable.
    Keep Hope Alive

  5. Emad says:

    IMHO no revelation of misdeed by team Trump or team Obama would sway either base. Trump however will learn how to turn the same gun on Democrats and parts of the Republican establishment, ruthlessly using the IC machinery against his political opponents, with the amount of firework depending on how good an understudy he really is.

  6. turcopolier says:

    It is not a crime or even improper to know Russians or Soviets in the old days.and talk to them. I have known quite a few and recruited some of them to spy for US intelligence. You putschists are making a hell of a mistake in hanging your hat on baloney like that. You are unhappy with Trump rolling back your revolution? Well, say so instead of making yourselves look lie fools. There is no way you are going to get him impeached or removed under the 25th Amendment. You should concentrate on winning back all those white people that you lost in this election. If you answer this with civility I will consider letting you comment further. Once again I am not a Trumpist. I am a supporter of the existing constitutional order which you do not seem to be. I have banned whatever you are three times. Want to go for a fourth? pl

  7. Tel,
    What reports leaked to the media? I’ve seen references of Flynn conversations with Russian officials leaked, but I haven’t seen them.

  8. Kooshy says:

    “Top government officials can unmask incidentally collected names if the information meets the broad requirement of having “foreign intelligence value,” Lake noted — indicating the former national security advisor likely didn’t violate the law.”
    Some how I was wondering if there is a back door for avoiding this law, like all laws there is one.

  9. turcopolier says:

    you don’t understand. Rice by virtue of her position could have their true names revealed to her but she could not legally have these true names inserted into widely circulated (within the government) documents. pl

  10. Kooshy says:

    Bob Hope passed away a while back god bless his sole, but the “hope” you hanged your hopes on never came to be. Ask the last voters.

  11. turcopolier says:

    Sam Peralta
    “Is it unusual for the National Security Advisor to leak the names of US persons involved in surveillance of foreign nationals to the media” I would think it is a felony. pl

  12. turcopolier says:

    Allen Thompson
    “But how, in the event, did that get used” She or someone else released it to the media. pl

  13. My guess is that the FBI, with CIA and NSA help, has been conducting intensive physical and electronic surveillance, as well as intrusive data searches on a number of USPs within the Trump team since they initiated their counterintelligence investigation a year ago. That’s what they did for Ames, Hannsen and Montes before they brought the hammer down on them. Of course this could all end up with complete exoneration of many or all USPs involved. These unmasked incidental reports at the NSC may have even triggered the CI investigation.
    I am surprised none of this came out before the election. After all, if this was all political dirty tricks by the Obama administration, wouldn’t they have used it when it could have done Clinton some good?

  14. Jackrabbit says:

    “Did Susan Rice break the law? Probably not.”
    But what about Obama’s releasing of NSA info? Was it a fishing expedition or an attempt to cover-up by masking how info was sourced?
    The order to share NSA info seems so unusual and broad that it also raises questions of official misconduct.

  15. I can’t see how the Democratic Party can win back those white voters if they continue to expect us to feel guilty about our supposed “white guilt.” Heck. there is a greater chance that Obama’s white ancestors in Kansas had slaves than that my white ancestors first in Europe and then in Russia had slaves.

  16. Keith Harbaugh says:

    And what does WaPo lead their web page with at 5 PM?
    with a screaming three-line headline and labeled as “Breaking News”.
    A search shows “Susan Rice” does not even appear on their web page.
    It sure looks like WaPo will ignore, marginalize, down-play, or dispute
    ANY facts that make Trump look good,
    while they hype anything related to Trump which can, somehow, be interpreted negatively.

  17. Did legality (or honesty) ever cross Rice’s mind before? What about her lies about the video?
    Even if she had been lied to about that, I don’t think it crossed her mind to check to be sure she was telling the truth before she went to talk with the media.

  18. Were they just believing the MSM and the pollsters who were so sure Hillary would win? It seemed so strange to me that HRC was such a lazy campaigner, especially toward the end?

  19. Old Microbiologist says:

    They didn’t use it because they were completely convinced the election was in the bag. Once that became a false belief, they then began spying in earnest and to try and generate a conspiracy. Trump should watch Homeland as it is pretty much following the script.

  20. Jack says:

    I suppose the next stage of this story will be the “unmasking” of the leaker of the unmasked names from surveillance of the Russian ambassador and other foreigners. Clearly someone who had access to the surveillance reports told WaPo and the NY Times that Flynn had conversations with the Russians.
    To my not so swift mind as to what happened is that the Dems in general and the Obama administration in particular began to gather oppo research on Trump and his team. In doing that they began surveillance of all communications. With the billion dollar campaign and the backing of the MSM, and with all the polls confirming the sure thing Hillary victory they just sat tight as there was nothing more damaging than what was already out there. They were so confident that the audio tapes and their as well as media hammering that Trump was not fit to serve as POTUS would seal the deal. Then the unthinkable happened. Voters in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin decided to pull the lever for Trump. Their outrage that the person they despised won got them to try and take him down by claiming the Russians manipulated our election and that Trump is Putin’s stooge. This was easier than accept that their sure thing candidate blew the election by her condescension and ineptitude.
    We are now in the next phase where this campaign to take out POTUS may be unraveling. It will be interesting to see what each side does next and what the forthcoming revelations do the media narrative. And of course where the FBI investigation leads. How will the IC fare in this duel where they are in the middle as both participants and observers?

  21. Eric Newhill says:

    The possibility that you seem to resist tooth and claw is that they wanted to find something to release and it turned out that Trump is much cleaner than they imagined. So they resorted to making innuendos about Russian connections and investigations under the premises that a) if you say it often enough, people will believe it b) people think where’s there’s smoke there must be fire.
    Didn’t Bernie Sanders honeymoon in the Soviet Union and praise it?

  22. Eric Newhill,
    It doesn’t require teeth or claws. Comey announced a CI investigation of Russian efforts to interfere in the election, including any cooperation between Trump’s campaign and Moscow was underway since July 2016. He said this under oath during his testimony to the House Intelligence Committee. This is well beyond innuendo.
    Trump and his associates could do themselves a real favor by leveling with the public about his business and financial dealings with Russians and cooperating fully with the FBI investigation. As long as these contacts are all above board, that part of the investigation would quickly conclude and Trump would be publicly exonerated. This denial of all contacts followed by a constant drip of revealed contacts is killing him and his associates.

  23. Keith Harbaugh,
    Neither one of these stories was on the ABC Nightly News TV broadcast tonight.

  24. steve says:

    “Once that became a false belief, they then began spying in earnest and to try and generate a conspiracy.”
    Even that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. If they create a conspiracy theory, it gets investigated. Unless there is really something behind the claims, nothing really happens, except that it makes it more difficult for the Trump administration to work for a while. Pretty much describes what the GOP did with Benghazi.

  25. eakens says:

    With all the leaks, political innuendos, and vendettas floating around Washington these days, it becomes more and more clear that the only thing that can really solve this problem is constitutional order. The long term folly of disrupting that for short term political gains will prove to be a grave mistake.
    Correcting the ship will involve the prosecution of anybody and everybody who has violated the law, from this administration or the prior one. That willingness may not exist today, but will hopefully surface sooner rather than later on this road we are travelling down.

  26. Eric Newhill says:

    Except that
    1. NSA testified that nothing tying Trump to Russians attempts to influence the election had been found. I believe that NSA said “There is no evidence” when directly asked. Do you really think that something will surface at this point?
    2. We are being told that this unmasking of so called incidental surveillance had nothing to do with the investigation into Russian election interference.
    I use the phrase “so called” because I do not believe that the surveillance was totally “incidental”. Rather, I have a hunch that surveillance was pointed at individuals know to communicate with Trump and Trump associates such that incidental surveillance wasn’t exactly so incidental and was – in fact – a bit more purposeful. That’s what I would do if I was an ethically challenged Borg assimilate and/or a believer in Obama’s great revolution.

  27. I was just reading that the WaPo, another one of those Democratic Pravdas, has just reported a Blackwater scheme providing Trump a connection to Putin in the Seychelles.
    I’m trying to did into that now, but thought others with more understanding would like to know.

  28. doug says:

    I suspect a great deal of this would have come out had the election polls been closer. Dirt seemed to come out the most during those times Trump was closing in on Clinton. I think pretty much the entire DC establishment simply didn’t believe Trump had any chance of being elected. They probably didn’t know anyone that supported Trump – or at least admitted it.
    I doubt the Russians expected Trump to win either but were looking forward to a bit of chaos given how passionate his supporters were. Rigged election and such.

  29. Keith Harbaugh says:

    A possibly better account of the Rice story is:
    That report includes the following reprise of old news:

    As the Obama administration left office, it also approved new rules that gave the NSA much broader powers by relaxing the rules about sharing intercepted personal communications and the ability to share those with 16 other intelligence agencies.

    Boy, does that raise questions (and perhaps odors).
    Just WHY was it suddenly necessary to relax those rules?
    And just WHO in the Obama administration had the power to change those rules?
    Is it not the case that such rules go out over the president’s signature,
    meaning that they cannot be changed without his explicit concurrence?
    So Obama cannot blame this on his aides.
    TTG, do you have comments on this?
    Also, has this been addressed somewhere else at SST?
    If so, where?
    Please forgive me for not knowing everything about SST.

  30. Ked says:

    “Everybody must get stoned…”
    nothing new here, or even meaningful.
    simply a matter of who’s side you are on when blood is let.
    for those who think it’s more (or less) than whose side you happen to like, get a grip.
    or not… embrace your poison, don’t argue from fact… so passe.
    oh, go ahead… rationalize it. twisted logic entertains.

  31. PeterHug says:

    I presume the next step (if something potentially illegal was uncovered by the unmasking) would be to ask for a warrant from the FISA Court.
    To be honest, if that’s what happened I would tend to say Rice probably acted appropriately.

  32. Fred says:

    Well the next obvious question is what did Obama know and when did he know it.

  33. Fred says:

    As OM suggest perhaps they thought they had the election won. Another possibility is that Obama hates the Clintons more than he hates Trump. Perhaps both.

  34. Virginia Slim says:

    The Dossier is problematic. Quite apart from the veracity (or lack thereof) of its contents, it suffers from a provenance that belies its intended purpose: to torpedo Trump, or, more plainly, to sway the election in HRC’s favor. We know this how? Because Mr. Steele’s confessor, Paul Wood of the BBC, tells us so in his article of 30 MAR. To wit:
    Several sources have told me that late last year Steele himself grew increasingly disillusioned with the FBI’s progress.
    “He really thought that what he had would sway the election,” said one.
    So in October, pages from his reports were seen by a few journalists, including me.
    Most news organisations that got this material decided it was not solid enough to publish.
    In early December, the whole thing, 35 pages, was sent to Senator John McCain, who pressed the FBI director to investigate exhaustively.
    If a CIA SSO compiled such a Dossier and planted it in the hands of the internal security service of a foreign nation with the expectation that it would impact the election, we’d call it just what it was: Political Action.

  35. Tyler says:

    I thought after Trump smashed Borg Grandma we had moved further away from a civil war with RWDS but the arrogance of the Left and their insistence on “muh right side of history” makes me think they’re going to push us right over the line into a bloodbath.

  36. kooshy says:

    Thank You colonel, yes I thought without a court order, no one including NSA can unravel or access individual US citizen names in those intelligence reports, nevertheless loosely pass them around, as allegedly Susan Rice did, IMO laws, “like contracts” come with never read paid attention to fine prints.

  37. fanto says:

    IMHO This is the beginning of a ‘Watergate in reverse” – how Pres. Trump knew (maybe from early on) that he and his people were under surveillance and kept quiet, maybe he was hoping to leave ‘golden bridges” for his adversaries, but these bridges were not used and he was forced to use what he found out.
    Now it is only a matter of time to find out who will be declared the sacrificial lamb – the Black woman, maybe? And the scandal may be removed from the front pages of our pravdas and isviestijas – for a price which the Great Negotiator will ask.
    One commenter in another thread mentioned a book by Grant about roman empire and current situation – it is frightening to see the similarities, so true.
    Judith Miller comes to mind also, from the behavior of NYT.

  38. Jack says:

    This is very interesting. Apparently the NY Times and Bloomberg knew it was Susan Rice but sat on the story to protect the Obama administration.

  39. BillWade says:

    Apparently Bloomberg didn’t want to run the story, Cernovich forced their hand:

  40. PCD,
    You don’t seem to know much about the history of the fiercely abolishionist Free State of Kansas.

  41. Cortes says:

    Perhaps the following linked piece by Paul Craig Roberts and Michael Hudson is the complementary flip side of the excellent Mercouris article ?

  42. robt willmann says:

    The other part of the equation that Susan Rice asked that the names of U.S. persons be unmasked on “dozens of occasions” is the issue of who unmasked the names in the reports before forwarding them on to Susan Rice or whomever. The cited NY Daily News and linked Bloomberg articles do not try to touch that issue with a 10 foot pole.
    I am absolutely shocked to hear that the communications of U.S. persons were “incidentally collected” (ROFL) and that intelligence reports about the communications included their names (unmasked) and the reports were circulated to unnamed parts unknown–
    I have not been in a position to follow this very much, but I think that FBI Director James Comey talked about who can do the unmasking of names during the appearance with NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers before the House Select Intelligence Committee on 20 March 2017. However, it is useful to listen carefully to what Comey says to check and see if he is doing the vocabulary game.
    Furthermore we are not just talking about “intelligence reports” with unmasked names. Early on, the New York Times and others spoke of transcripts of conversations of Michael Flynn. The NY Times used both transcript and transcripts (plural) (you have to turn on ‘cookies’ to display the Times article)–
    There were “transcripts” of Michael Flynn’s conversations floating around but only “intelligence reports” containing the names of others?

  43. Valissa says:

    Cernovich Explains How He Learned About Susan Rice
    But, as it turns out, Cernovich didn’t need a ‘deep throat’ within the NSA or CIA for his blockbuster scoop, all he needed was some well-placed sources inside of a couple of America’s corrupt mainstream media outlets. As Cernovich explains below, his sources for the Susan Rice story were actually folks working at Bloomberg and the New York Times who revealed that both Eli Lake (Bloomberg) and Maggie Haberman (NYT) were sitting on the Susan Rice story in order to protect the Obama administration.
    [Cernovich] “Maggie Haberman had it. She will not run any articles that are critical of the Obama administration.”
    “Eli Lake had it. He didn’t want to run it and Bloomberg didn’t want to run it because it vindicates Trump’s claim that he had been spied upon. And Eli Lake is a ‘never Trumper.’ Bloomberg was a ‘never Trump’ publication.”
    “I’m showing you the politics of ‘real journalism’. ‘Real journalism’ is that Bloomberg had it and the New York Times had it but they wouldn’t run it because they don’t want to run any stories that would make Obama look bad or that will vindicate Trump. They only want to run stories that make Trump look bad so that’s why they sat on it.”
    “So where did I get the story? I didn’t get it from the intelligence community. Everybody’s trying to figure out where I got it from. I got it from somebody who works in one of those media companies. I have spies in every media organization. I got people in news rooms. I got it from a source within the news room who said ‘Cernovich, they’re sitting on this story, they’re not going to run it, so you can run it’.”

  44. AK says:

    Sadly, I don’t think much will come of this unless we see someone do something that we haven’t seen in a great long while in Washington. At some point, someone is going to have go full rat and expose the higher ups in congressional testimony. I can’t recall the last time Washington had a scandal where a subordinate didn’t obfuscate or outright lie to protect the crown and/or his/her own ass. Can someone inform me of the last such occurrence in American politics, where a person who was intimately involved in the skullduggery turned coat and cooperated with an investigation which resulted in bringing full accountability to the people who crossed the lines of legality and constitutionality at the highest levels? I can’t think of one for the life of me. At what point does someone involved in this disgrace face a consequence they can’t bear and instead throw their superiors under the bus?
    Is Rice that person in this instance? If she didn’t break the law, the obvious answer is no. She will take the ethical stain of “abuse of power”, all the way to Palo Alto and the Stanford board room. In the circles in which these people run, such charges carry no weight anyway. However, if she was found to have leaked the names of USPs to the media or disseminated them throughout the government (or more likely, directed those things to occur), and such an act carries criminal charges, can Republicans in Congress compel her to testify and will she fully cooperate? Moreover, if she did leak the names or direct the leaks, how can a congressional investigation prove this without someone beneath her cooperating against the higher-ups? Again, I think it will require a canary chorus to get the truth in front of Congress and the public, but I don’t see that happening. Somehow, it appears that despite all the ass-hat shenanigans surrounding the Clintonistas and Obamanites, they show solid rank discipline in their loyalty to their overlords.

  45. Tel says:

    New York Times: Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT, MARK MAZZETTI and MATT APUZZO FEB. 14, 2017
    “WASHINGTON — Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials.
    American law enforcement and intelligence agencies intercepted the communications around the same time they were discovering evidence that Russia was trying to disrupt the presidential election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee, three of the officials said. The intelligence agencies then sought to learn whether the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians on the hacking or other efforts to influence the election.”

    So the NYT apparently believed they had access to some sort in inside information from anon sources. They could have been making it up out of whole cloth, wouldn’t be the first time, but various other new outlets were remarkably coordinated on the same points.….pdf
    “Furthermore, I am deeply concemed that these press reports may contain unauthorized disclosures of both classifled IC information and the contents of closed intelligence committee proceedings. Additionally) if true, reports of conflicting IC assessments call into question the effectiveness of the IC’s analytic coordination process regarding this crucial issue”
    Nunes also believed there were leaks.
    So does Trump himself. Clapper resigned rather than provide the details that Nunes requested.
    And this…
    And this…
    And heaps more if you do even cursory searching.

  46. MRW says:

    Just published:
    Cernovich Explains How He Learned About Susan Rice
    Ever since Mike Cernovich dropped the bombshell report over the weekend outing Obama’s National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, as the person behind the unmasking of the identity of various members of Trump’s team who were ‘incidentally’ surveilled during the 2016 campaign (see “Confirmed: Susan Rice “Unmasked” Trump Team”), a report which was subsequently confirmed by Eli Lake of Bloomberg earlier this morning, everyone has been wondering who within the Trump White House or the intelligence community supplied him with such a massive scoop.
    But, as it turns out, Cernovich didn’t need a ‘deep throat’ within the NSA or CIA for his blockbuster scoop, all he needed was some well-placed sources inside of a couple of America’s corrupt mainstream media outlets. As Cernovich explains below, his sources for the Susan Rice story were actually folks working at Bloomberg and the New York Times who revealed that both Eli Lake (Bloomberg) and Maggie Haberman (NYT) were sitting on the Susan Rice story in order to protect the Obama administration. [I didn’t include the emphasis in the report.]
    Read his account at the link. Kind of a riot. 🙂

  47. Off Topic. “Syria conflict: ‘Chemical attack’ in Idlib kills 58”
    “At least 58 people have been killed and dozens wounded in a suspected chemical attack on a rebel-held town in north-western Syria, a monitoring group says.
    The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that strikes on Khan Sheikhoun by Syrian government or Russian jets had caused many people to choke.
    Later, aircraft fired rockets at local clinics treating some of the survivors, medics and opposition activists said.”
    The “White Helmets” and the “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights” still seem to be credible sources.

  48. turcopolier says:

    English Outsider
    “The “White Helmets” and the “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights” still seem to be credible sources.” Why would you think that? the White Helmets have been thoroughly de-bunked as a propaganda group. pl

  49. steve says:

    I wish someone would commit some journalism. Is it common for members of a campaign team to start communicating with foreign governments before they are elected? Before they take office? My guess is that it would be uncommon during a campaign, but would start to occur during the transition, but kept fairly quiet as a rule so as not to create conflicts.

  50. Fred says:

    Is it illegal for Americans to talk to Russians? If so why isn’t Hilary’s husband Bill in jail for that $500,000 speech?

  51. The Beaver says:

    The “White Helmets” and the “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights” still seem to be credible sources.
    Yep , when one is run by a former MI6 agent and the other one is a 1-person outfit sitting in his basement in Coventry !
    Idlib is over-run by the AQ (under different monikers) and like in East Aleppo they have chemicals in their possession. Do a search and see what the Iraqis found in Mosul , are finding in Tal-Afar and don’t tell me that those Takfiris in Idlib didn’t get those chemicls from the same source: one of the GCC countrues 🙁

  52. johnf says:

    I think he was speaking ironically or sarcastically.
    As soon as the terrorist subway explosion happened in St Petersburg I wondered how they were going to cover it to not make Putin look good. Then this pre-cooked item suddenly pops up. A similar terrorist attack (by the same people) in The West would cause banner headlines for days.

  53. Fred,
    Both of those explanations are possible, but that assumes the Obama administration chose to see the info in the reports as a political matter rather than as a national security or criminal matter. Farkas has said they wanted to preserve info/evidence by spreading it around the government and providing serial numbered lists to Congress. They assumed the Trump administration would bury and destroy any such evidence once they were in office. Judging by the current administration’s denials, obfuscations and efforts to derail any investigations of the Russian info op, I think that was a reasonable assumption.

  54. Keith Harbaugh,
    As I told Fred, the Obama administration made a deliberate effort to do just that. Farkas has said they wanted to preserve info/evidence by spreading it around the government and providing serial numbered lists to Congress. Loosening those rules was part of that effort and I would assume Obama was at least aware of this if not directing this. They assumed the Trump administration would bury and destroy any such evidence once they were in office. Judging by the current administration’s denials, obfuscations and efforts to derail any investigations of the Russian info op, I think that was a reasonable assumption.

  55. Matthew says:

    PCD: And….the Democratic Party, whom I routinely pull the lever for, will not get us to the polls if they continue to mimic the antics of late and not-lamented Joe McCarthy.

  56. Matthew says:

    EO: Let me actually translate the story: The Jihadi offensive in Hama ended in disaster.
    Just as the Putin-haters immediately claim Vlad false flags every act of terrorism in Russia, the Jihadi Goebbels always claim a “chemical” attack when they are losing.

  57. jsn says:

    I share your concern with the Constitutional Order.
    If we don’t start to see some prosecutions for the epic of leaking since November 8th, I’m afraid we’ll be making a prophecy of Julius Neyere’s quip, “The United States is also a one-party state but, with typical American extravagance, they have two of them.”
    If Trump fails to penalize this leaking he validates lawlessness, like Obamas’ failure to act on torture and universal surveillance, and the result is normalization by both parties of clearly illegal practices. With that, what distinctions the electorate voted on for all practical purposes vanish.

  58. Eric Newhill,
    During their congressional testimony, both Comey and Rogers made a point of not commenting on the ongoing CI investigation. Here’s two instances:
    “KING: On March 15, former acting director of CIA, Mike Morell, who was the acting director under President Obama and put on the record I’ve had differences with Mike Morell in the past but he was asked about the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians and his answer was there’s smoke but there is not fire at all. There’s no little camp fire, there’s no little candle, there’s no spark.
    COMEY: I can’t comment, Mr. King.
    KING: Admiral Rogers.
    ROGERS: I’m not going to comment on an ongoing investigation.”
    “NUNES: The gentleman yields back.
    Mr. Comey, this is my final list of questions here. I just want to make sure we get this on the record. Do you have any evidence that any current Trump White House or administration official coordinated with the Russian intelligence services?
    COMEY: Not a question I can answer.”
    The December IC report did say there was no evidence of cooperation between Russian officials and Trump associates. The IC report had far different objectives than the current CI investigation. I think it will be many months before the CI investigation reaches definitive conclusions. If people like Flynn, Manafort, Page or Stone start cooperating, it may be sooner. There may be exonerations all around, but my hunch is that there will some of those folks who come out of this dirty. I seriously doubt Trump himself would ever be implicated in any willful cooperation with the Russian info op.
    Nunes characterized the reports as incidental as did Schiff. Some were transcripts of only Russians talking about the election and Trump associates. That would be an odd way of targeting Trump associates with collection. Trump is in a tough situation here. He could declassify and release a synopsis of these reports and prove his point of surveillance of Trump Tower, but that would probably reveal sources and methods. OTOH, he may not want the gist of those reports publicly revealed, so he’s relying on innuendo. I assume the FBI investigation already has access to those reports.

  59. johnf says:

    If this is true it makes Clinton’s unsafe private email system even more dangerous, and is a possible explanation as to why so many of Kerry (and Obama’s) foreign policy initiatives came to nothing:
    “Hillary Clinton aides had access to State Dept. after she left, says key lawmaker
    When Hillary Clinton resigned as Secretary of State in 2013, she negotiated continuing access to classified and top-secret documents for herself and six staffers under the designation “research assistants,” according to a powerful senator who notes that Clinton was later deemed “extremely careless” with such information.
    The staff apparently retained access even after Clinton announced her run for president in April 2015, according to Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. The access was ostensibly granted to facilitate work on Clinton’s memoir, but Grassley said he was only able to verify it after the Obama administration left the White House.The State Department has not yet responded it an inquiry from Fox News as to whether Clinton, or her staff, including then-chief of staff Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin, her traveling chief of staff and former assistant, who went on to become the vice chair of her presidential campaign, and Jake Sullivan, her senior policy advisor, still have access to the classified and top-secret archives and systems.”

  60. Jackrabbit says:

    robt willmann: “I am absolutely shocked … (ROFL)”
    You are forgetting that this was not simply “communications of US persons” but of a Presidential campaign. That’s what makes it shocking.

  61. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    More on surveillance and the exposure of related misdeeds by a left/right tag team: Headline: “The Real Russiagate: Obama’s Stasi State — Michael Hudson and Paul Craig Roberts”
    The tl/dr: The Obama administration was listening in to and leaking recordings of phone conversations of Rep. Dennis Kucinich.

  62. Sam Peralta says:

    “Is it common for members of a campaign team to start communicating with foreign governments before they are elected?”
    Obama did it during his 2008 campaign. But, that is A-OK, coz its Great Leader. Oh! Trump team spoke to the Roosians, so he is Putin’s stooge.

  63. Mikey says:

    According to a piece on CNN from last night the Intel agencies are required to keep a log of all US persons who are unmasked.
    Video and story here:

  64. Sam Peralta says:

    It seems Dear Leader used national intelligence services for partisan political purposes. If true, we’ve now joined without any doubt the ranks of banana republics.
    “What was produced by the intelligence community at the request of Ms. Rice were detailed spreadsheets of intercepted phone calls with unmasked Trump associates in perfectly legal conversations with individuals,” diGenova told The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group Monday.
    “The overheard conversations involved no illegal activity by anybody of the Trump associates, or anyone they were speaking with,” diGenova said. “In short, the only apparent illegal activity was the unmasking of the people in the calls.”

  65. Mikey says:

    Assad ‘Gasses’ Civilians Days After Tillerson Hints He Can Stay in Power.
    This is a strange coincidence. Are the Syrians unconcerned about the world’s opinion?

  66. turcopolier says:

    The Syrian rebels are masters of propaganda. In short, they lie a lot. pl

  67. LeaNder says:

    Yes, indeed “everybody must get stoned”. Among us, nitwits.
    On my way back home I read Didier Eribon’s Returning to Reims. Considering his age, close to mine, I was a bit surprised that popular music didn’t at all surface in the field of music or arts for that matter. Maybe since I was a member of a beat group at the time of interest covered in his book. In other words music more generally, wasn’t something elitist for me. There were folks and times that used it as expression. Were musicians pre French revolution worse then the ones afterd? Didn’t Mozart borrow a lot from popular music or traditionals still remembered in his time? Or didn’t the Beatles borrow a lot from English traditional folk songs?
    On the other hand, his personal experience that art was something only for the members of elite families may have kept me from ever joining whatever left wing ideologue circles. More often then not they seemed to consider art as something that had to serve “the masses” or the ones they thought should be moved into their direction. From a German perspective, or Free University Berlin at that point in time, Barricades in Wedding (Berlin district) the “non-plus-ultra”.
    In any case, his return home and his reflections on family and life post the death of his father about his earlier stern Communist working class family and their later shift to Front Nationale was interesting. Just as his book seemed to never mind national differences present US elections.
    Meaning: There are of course a lot of specifically French matters, but his book makes a lot of sense in recent US events too.

  68. Blrturner says:

    I am a Black female. You don’t know why names unmasked. You like all Trump supporters don’t want to know the truth. It matters if he owes Russians. In eight years of watching Obama there is nothing to support he would do something illegal. His administration was scandal free except for those made up by Republicans.
    I am sick of you white people whining period. You’re not entitled to a job. Look at facts people of all colores in America lost with automation and globalization. JOBS… COAL are not coming back.
    Again, white people wanted your country back. I personally hope he does keep his campaign promises: border wall.take the land (looking at you White Texans), equal pay.roll it back (looking at you White women), healthcare kill it (looking at you Kentucky 500,000 no more healthcare).
    Anything he does to hurt Blacks and Hispanics hurt way more White People, but you all voted for him. Continue Trump to MAGA!!!

  69. Colonel – my apologies. I commented that the SOHR and the White helmets still seem to be regarded as credible sources. I should have added that they still seem to be regarded as credible “by the BBC”.
    Working out what the BBC’s up to at present in its reporting of the Syrian news presents difficulties.
    A while ago I attended a lecture given by Frank Gardner, a BBC correspondent. I looked him up before the lecture. He seemed to know his stuff:- some military experience in the Territorials,
    if that’s the same Gardner, speaks Arabic and has lived and travelled in various Arab countries, probably has good sources in Intelligence – or various links on the internet hinted as much – and was clearly well-informed, as was confirmed in the lecture. I listened to his assessment of the then Western policy in Iraq – he didn’t like it and gave good reasons for his dislike. Not, therefore, just a suit.
    They’ve got the staff, is the point I’m making. People who know their way around. Even assuming that the aim is to mislead, such people should be able to do a much more convincing job than the reporting demonstrated in the BBC link in my post above.
    So that’s several difficulties. (1) How come the BBC’s now no more than a PR operation when reporting foreign news, (2) why is that PR operation such a shambles and (3) PR operation for whom?

  70. MRW says:

    What is RWDS?

  71. binky354 says:

    I don’t for one minute think Susan came up with this idea on her own. But, ho hum, like all the other investigations of scandals in the Obama Administration, this will go nowhere, just a big waste of money and our energy.

  72. John_Frank says:

    In other news:
    As to the claimed chemical weapon’s attack, in a series of tweets by Mark Knoller reporting from today’s Press Gaggle at the White House:
    WH condemns chemical attack in Syria as “reprehensible.” @PressSec says “it cannot be ignored by the civilized world.”
    Spicer says “heinous actions” by the Assad regime a consequence of weakness and lack of resolution by the Obama Admin.
    Spicer says the WH statement very clear in that the US holds the Assad regime responsible for the chemical attack.
    “The US stands with its allies to condemn this intolerable act,” says @PressSec of the Syrian chemical attack.
    Will want to read the actual transcript to see whether the Press Secretary left the President any wiggle room.
    Obviously have no idea as quality of intelligence that White House has, and hate to suggest it, but did someone set a trap for the President to lure him into changing course on Syria?
    Would it have been better if Press Secretary had said we are deeply troubled about news coming out of Syria and call for an immediate investigation by the UN mandated inspections team and urge all parties to fully co-operate?
    Meanwhile, interventionists like John McCain remain outraged that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had the absolute temerity to say it is up to the Syrians to decide whether Bashir al-Assad stays or goes.

  73. Tel,
    Thanks for that. I know Comey complained of leaks hampering his CI investigation during his testimony. The links you provided refer to more generalized information that was leaked. I was referring to leaks of call transcripts from Trump associates, most notably Flynn. I haven’t found that. And I definitely haven’t seen any leaks attributed to Rice and her unmasked reports other than the hints Nunes has been giving out or Trump has been tweeting.

  74. turcopolier says:

    It does not matter at all if his businesses have loans from Russian banks or individuals. That is how you conduct business. You said at one point that you are an accountant? In large scale business you do not create new enterprises with your own money. Local banks in the area usually are eager to lend you money, both for capitalization and for operating money. That is quite normal. I don’t understand why you hate the man so much. pl

  75. Old Microbiologist says:

    I hope not, I am married to one and still hold a TS clearance although on my last interview I was questioned about why I live in a communist country…Hungary, which is part of NATO and the EU. The was an SES who did the interview who obviously knew nothing about the world. No one was all that concerned about Russians, but that was 4 years ago, so maybe things have changed? Still, my TS info is all in my head anyway, so I don’t see how they could revoke my clearance. It does raise questions though when we stop being under the yoke of surveillance. But, then again, we are subject to recall as military retirees indefinitely.

  76. turcopolier says:

    You know how this probably worked. Rice et al had a bunch of names unmasked. Then Obama authorized authorized dissemination of these documents across the governments. After that leaks to the media were inevitable. Stick around, more revelations are on the way. pl

  77. Sam Peralta says:

    A perfect example of Trump Derangement Syndrome!
    Did you care how much Bill & Hillary “owed” the Saudis? Do you recall it was mostly Saudi citizens that attacked the USA?

  78. Colonel Lang, TTG,
    It seems reasonably clear: certainly Rice, and probably Obama, have no understanding whatsoever of the nature of constitutional government, and the long history of arguments over the preconditions for existence, and continued survival.
    But then, increasingly, I am wondering how many people, either in the United States or Britain, still have much understanding or interest in such matters.
    And, above all, how many have any understanding of what historical experience teaches about the latent fragility of constitutional systems.

  79. DC says:

    I simply cannot find any moderate-leaning news source to express concern about what Rice did, or might have done. In contrast, right-ish news sources are all over it with blaring exclamations of crimes. This contrast has become a true source of concern for me: our citizens, for the most part, are choosing to live in ideological bubbles. Even the journalists who scribe the news can’t see straight!! This contrast continues to limit the possibility of productive conversations among Americans about important issues of the day. Personally, I continue to appreciate the work of the Colonel, here, and Jonathan Turley’s blog…but the pickens are slim.

  80. Jack says:

    Trump has been a boon for the MSM. They now have 24×7 hysteria on all channels and above the fold. Any thought of real reporting has been banished.

  81. Valissa says:

    Why are you posting comments on this blog? You clearly are not on the same wavelength as people here and I’m sure you recognize that. So why do you come here and give us the ‘white people’ lecture?

  82. robt willmann says:

    With that sentence about being shocked that communications of U.S. persons were being acquired, I was being sarcastic about the collection; I should have put a note or somehow made that clearer. Maybe more a little later.

  83. wrxlly says:

    BIrturner: For the Nth time, nobody here cares that you are a black woman, its adds exactly zero to the value your arguments. Please take your identity politics somewhere else.

  84. Babak Makkinejad says:

    They hate him because he is not PC, he is blunt, he is simple, and he talks of unpalatable truths that go against the grain of established received opinion.
    I think it is the more intelligent and better educated people, unfortunately, that seem to dislike him the most.
    I am struck by the negative tones over the last few months in the international science journal Nature against him; struck me as unthinking, uncritical, and uninterested in digging deeper about the man and his policies.
    Obama whose government helped initiate the Syrian Civil War and organized and waged an Economic Siege War against the Core State of Muslim Civilization gets a pass while Trump, who is basically concentrating on domestic issues of US is getting condemned.

  85. The Beaver says:

    @ John_Frank,
    Sen McCain should communicate with his buddies in KSA and UAE as well as the ‘advisers” inside the WH.
    KSA and UAE are making googoo eyes with Assad and Abadi in Syria and Iraq and the expectations are that they drop Iran like a hot potato for the brotherhood of the Arab brothers.
    However, this is not going to happen and when the Boeing contract with the Iranian airline will need to be finalised ( yep Billions $), I would like to see how the pas de deux between the US and Iran is played.

  86. robt willmann says:

    More fun … Susan Rice appears on the friendly MSNBC television network in a 16-minute interview with Andrea Mitchell (the wife of the former Chairman of the Not-Federal Reserve Bank, Alan Greenspan). She talks and talks about the “unmasking”, etc. —
    Meanwhile, the stout Joseph diGenova, a former U.S. Attorney, says: “What was produced by the intelligence community at the request of Ms. Rice were detailed spreadsheets of intercepted phone calls with unmasked Trump associates in perfectly legal conversations with individuals ….”–
    First, Evelyn Farkas recently gets back on television to try to explain away her revealing statements of early March. Now Susan Rice goes on TV to try to explain herself.
    S. Rice may end up talking herself into being the designated patsy if this thing continues to unravel.
    Regardless, the Big Story — the structure of the domestic surveillance system and its illegal operation — remains taboo, with only very short minutes here and there slipping out on television.

  87. Kooshy says:

    You know if Assad did it, or you just believe what ever you read, see or hear on western MSM regardless of thier past or present records. This could be as credible as Saddam’ WMDs.

  88. Stephanie says:

    “Local banks in the area usually are eager to lend you money, both for capitalization and for operating money.”
    True – but not in Trump’s case. He is not well regarded in the business community and after his repeated mismanagements and bankruptcies good lenders stayed away. Only shady money or a troubled bank like Deutsche Bank would have anything to do with him. So the money trail is potentially important here, particularly in the case of a president who has ignored the ethical norms and customs related to his high office.

  89. turcopolier says:

    “True – but not in Trump’s case. He is not well regarded in the business community and after his repeated mismanagements and bankruptcies good lenders stayed away” Nonsense. The international group I worked for were no saints. Numerous defaults on agreements, Several bankruptcies and we were besieged by Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama banks with offers of loans. The same thing applied to Southern Corporation, a huge utility company who wanted to offer us concessionary rates on long term electricity contracts. And then there were the US Congressional delegations from these states as well as the state economic development commissions who just couldn’t do enough for us. You obviously have never been in major business. pl

  90. Cee says:

    Col. Lang,
    I would love for her to be held accountable. I doubt it will happen. The MSM is making excuses for her left and right and I just saw her saying who WON’T TESTIFY.
    She’s busted but so what?
    I’ve always enjoyed Lionel

  91. Babak Makkinejad says:

    The experiences of Libya, South Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Yemen I think clearly demonstrates how difficult it is to establish and maintain a state – whether constitutional or not.
    Once a state is destroyed, it seems to me, its restoration requires long-term foreign military occupation.

  92. Cee says:

    Look at facts people of all colores in America lost…COAL are not coming back.
    Bye Gurl!!
    From one sister to another.

  93. steve says:

    Depends on what they are talking about doesn’t it? A public speech? Who cares? Private conversations about money exchanging hands for some quid pro quo? Different story. However, if it is the norm that campaign officials start talking privately with other governments before taking office, then this should not raise a red flag. If it is not the norm, then it should. You obviously don’t know so you are just protecting your team.

  94. steve says:

    Really? Many POTUS candidates do the foreign tour thing. Who cares? What we are talking about is campaign staffers holding undisclosed private conversations with other governments. You, like Fred, don’t know if this is common or not so cite some non-relevant nonsense. If you don’t know, just say so.

  95. Jackrabbit says:

    I knew that you were being sarcastic.
    I felt that your sarcasm about the collection/unmasking led the reader to believe that THIS collection/unmasking was no different than any other.

  96. Tyler says:

    If you think McCain is of the “Right” because he wants to bomb the world, obviously you haven’t been around the last eight years.
    Lets stop pretending there is any daylight between the Borg and the Left.

  97. Tyler says:

    Right wing death squads.

  98. Tyler says:

    We have evidence that Cocoa Messiah’s Mystery Meat Crew illegally used the intelligence apparatus on their political enemies, but the MSM, the Democrats, and the Borg (but I repeat myself there) all are crapping the bed over Russian dressing

  99. Fred says:

    It strikes me that such a take on Farkas’ conduct is similar to Bradley Manning’s defense: I saw stuff I thought illegal or against America’s national interest so I did what I did. In his case giving all that info to wikileaks rather than other government employees. Except Farkas was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia/Ukraine/Eurasia and not an PFC. She, like Manning, apparently didn’t bother to contact any members of Congress to include both Nunes and Schiff. But spreading everything around to various staff members in government because they are apparently more loyal than her boss, the attorney general, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, its chairman and of course President Obama? That really doesn’t pass the “its not politically motivated test.”

  100. The FBI is setting up a special section based at its Washington headquarters to coordinate its investigation of Russian activities to influence the 2016 election. It’s expected to start operating next month with 20 or so CI agents. This is going to be a long, slow and methodical process so I suggest we all pace ourselves.

  101. Jack says:

    This is the same Susan Rice who claimed she knew nuttin about any unmasking couple weeks ago on the PBS NewsHour.

  102. Fred says:

    No steve, I’m just asking a question. To use your logic Hilary needs to explain why one of her major donors is helping Russian supporters of Putin get rich in America:
    Now that’s what I call innuendo. Never happen with Trump, it’s all fire and no smoke with that guy. If I try a bit harder I can even find my two senators meeting with the owner of the Detroit Red Wings who hired a number of Russians and made them rich. A few are also named in that euromaidanpress article above.

  103. Fred says:

    the hope and change utopians think all one needs do is step off the plane at JFK or Heathrow and look at all the civilization laying around. Understand it, create it? There’s no need. I think Ortega pointed out the fallacy of that idea in his book “Revolt of the Masses” in the 1930s.

  104. Eric Newhill says:

    And our own TTG is a big fan of Ovechkin. Start the investigation! Possible double agent!

  105. Babak Makkinejad says:

    While I generally agree with your comments, I must point out that JFK is in such a state of disrepair and decay that one hope that no one would take it as an exemplary instance of a great airport.

  106. Valissa says:

    I found a link to an article about this
    The new team will consist of 20 agents from around the United States and will be led by an FBI counter-intelligence officer. If the group operates in the same manner as similar units in the past daily updates will be given to James Comey, the director of the FBI, and Andrew McCabe, the deputy director, according to the Times.
    Andrew McCabe, who helped in the investigation into Clinton’s email practices, has come under fire in the past for his wife’s ties to Clinton allies.
    Jill McCabe, Andrew’s wife, unsuccessfully ran for a state senate seat in Virginia. In 2015, McCabe’s campaign received $467,500 from Common Good VA, Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s political action committee. The Virginia Democratic party provided $207,788 worth of mailers to McCabe’s campaign, the Wall Street Journal reported.
    … The Washington Examiner reported Sunday that Sen. Charles Grassley (R., Iowa), the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, recently sent a letter to FBI Director James Comey on the FBI’s previous plan to pay the author of an unsubstantiated Trump dossier. Grassley’s letter focused heavily on McCabe.
    Clinton campaign supporters had paid a former British spy, Christopher Steele, to investigate Trump, the Washington Post reported. “A few weeks before the election,” the FBI said they would pay Steele to “continue his work” on Trump. The bureau did not pay Steele.
    “The idea that the FBI and associates of the Clinton campaign would pay Mr. Steele to investigate the Republican nominee for president in the run-up to the election raises further questions about the FBI’s independence from politics, as well as the Obama administration’s use of law enforcement and intelligence agencies for political ends,” Grassley wrote in the letter.
    Given that various heads of the IC have already lied to the public, and been obviously willing to play political games throughout both the Bush (WMDs anyone?) and Obama administrations, as well as employees who are Obama supporters being willing to lie to damage Trump, please explain why you think such a report will be credible. Especially if it is full of redactions like the 9/11 report.
    The so-called reports that have already come out about so-called Russian influence to assist Trump have all been heavily criticized by most of the right (except for the neocons) and the anti-Hillary left. It has been said about those reports that they could not release info that might reveal how our intelligence agencies are able to detect Russian influence so that’s why no proof so far. That’s not encouraging for definitive proof being revealed in any future revelations.
    Also, you are saying the goal is to prove “influence”. That’s a vague word so therefore a vague goal. That word will have to be more clearly defined.
    Personally I no longer believe anything that is publicly stated by any of the intelligence agencies. That is based on my studies of history as well as current events. This does not mean I’m not willing to consider that a given report may be truthful, just that I’ve been lied to so much by my gov’t (regardless of which party is in power) that I have become very suspicious and skeptical.

  107. John_Frank says:

    On the topic of Iran:
    Boeing signs $3 billion deal to sell planes to Iran airline
    As to Egypt, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates:
    Following a press release issued on Friday, March 24 by the State Department, on Thursday, March 30, the following notice was filed with the Federal Register:
    State Department Imposes Sanctions Under Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act
    The sanctions are effective from March 21. 30 foreign entities and individuals in 10 countries were named and sanctioned.
    It is worth taking the time to read the entire notice.
    Would the list of sanctioned entities and individuals, as well as the home countries involved raise eye brows among the general public, if the information was widely disseminated by the media?
    For whatever reason, and even though the initial press release highlighted the sanctions imposed on 12 Chinese entities and individuals, and the spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry subsequently kicked up a fuss about the sanctions imposed on 7 Russian entities on Sunday, March 26, the story has received scant coverage both in the corporate and alternative media. Why?
    As to Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the notice names “Special Defense Research Center (SDRC) (Egypt) and any successor, sub-unit, or subsidiary thereof;” along with “Mabrooka Trading (United Arab Emirates) and any successor, sub-unit, or subsidiary thereof;” as well as “Madar Yara Medical Company (Saudi Arabia) and any successor, sub-unit, or subsidiary thereof.”
    Sudan is an ally of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the fight in Yemen. Two entities “Giad Heavy Industries (GHI) (Sudan) and any successor, sub-unit, or subsidiary thereof;” as well as “Military Industries Corporation (MIC) (Sudan) and any successor, sub-unit, or subsidiary thereof;” were sanctioned, along with one individual Muhammad al-Husayn Yusuf (Sudanese individual).
    In addition, the “Eritrean Navy (Eritrea) and any successor, sub-unit, or subsidiary thereof” was sanctioned, as well as “Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO) (Iran) and any successor, sub-unit, or subsidiary thereof;” along with “Saeng Pil Trading Corporation (SPTC) (North Korea) and any successor, sub-unit, or subsidiary thereof;” as well as “Ministry of Defense Directorate of Defense Industries (DDI) (Burma) and any successor, sub-unit, or subsidiary thereof.”
    Turning to Russia
    On March 31, Secretary of Defense Mattis was in London, UK. The Defense Department published a report on his remarks. Buried in the report is the following:
    The United States and Russia no longer have a cooperative engagement, but the U.S. would be interested in engaging with Russia on a political or diplomatic level, Mattis explained.
    “Right now, Russia is choosing to be a strategic competitor,” Mattis said. “We’re finding that we can only have very modest expectations at this point in areas that we can cooperate with Russia, contrary to how we were just 10 years ago [or] five years ago.”
    Mattis Discusses U.S. Concerns About North Korean, Russian Actions
    Also on March 31, and despite the anti-Russian hysteria in certain circles in Washington, D.C., re-published the following piece by Pat Buchanan:
    Is Putin the ‘Preeminent Statesman’ of Our Times?
    That article is his summary of a longer opinion piece by Christopher Caldwell of the Weekly Standard, which was published in the March issue of Imprimis:
    How to Think About Vladimir Putin
    Interesting thought piece by Mr. Caldwell which certainly runs contrary to the “wisdom” espoused by Senator John McCain.

  108. Kooshy says:

    I hope one day, preferably a black American ( or as now politicly correct a person of color) can explain to me what exactly Obama’ administration did for the blacks of this country that others before him refused to do for the blacks. I would hope it doesn’t sum up to zero.

  109. Stephanie,
    This is foreign politics for me, so I may well be misunderstanding you, but you seem to be saying that your President was dishonest in his business dealings and that for various reasons – not least that it renders him vulnerable to pressure – this incapacitates him for public office.
    I wonder, reading the statements you make about your President that you clearly believe, whether you know what you’re caught up in and whether you know where it could be heading.
    In England, few mavericks dare put their head above the parapet and run for office since they know that if they do they will be torn to pieces. There’s always something, in their private life or in their business dealings, that can be made to look dubious, whether it is or not. The code of omerta that covers “approved” politicians doesn’t cover them.
    It’s particularly a problem since in practice ethics no longer squares with the law. We can no longer say “he hasn’t been convicted” and take that as proof of innocence. Since we know or suspect that most politicians are dishonest then, whether he’s been before a court or not, we’re very ready to believe any assertion that the maverick is dishonest. They all are, so why not him?
    Deprived of that protection of omerta that, as I have said, is extended to the “approved” politician the maverick is therefore very unlikely to make headway.
    “Approved” by whom? Those already in power, of course, together with the media apparatus that supports those in power. This means that the maverick is excluded and the only politicians we’re going to get are those from the status quo. So the only policies we’re going to get are those that have already been tried and have failed.
    At a time when the status quo is unsatisfactory it’s unfortunate if the mavericks are excluded. It means that the system cannot be self-adjusting. In Trump’s case it happened that the maverick got elected unforeseen, so the process of exclusion is in full spate after the election rather than before. Comes to much the same thing. Keep out or disable the maverick and the system remains rigid and unaltered.
    What can’t bend must break. Perhaps the only rule in politics that is fixed. It’s a rule that Mrs May in my country seems to be pondering at the moment, and at the very least she has the sense to seem to bend rather than attempting to bulldoze her way through as her predecessor did. But even that minimal instinct for self-preservation seems to be lacking in the US political establishment at present. The present extraordinary political and press campaign against Trump may exclude or incapacitate him – I wouldn’t know about that. But if it does, I wouldn’t like to be around for the breaking.

  110. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Again, my question was:
    “Who, other than the president, has the power to change the rules governing dissemination of NSA-collected information”?
    Colonel Lang, do you know who authorizes those rules?
    I find it hard to believe that the national security adviser has the power to change those rules.
    Let us recall that NSA was created by a presidential order.
    I would presume that the rules governing its on-going operations are similarly grounded.
    So it seems to me that blaming the rules change on “the Obama administration” is a manifest cover-up of responsibility.

  111. Eric Newhill says:

    I’m a little more cynical. I see this your long, slow and methodical process as a political move, as opposed to a real investigation. It means that the Borg gets to hang a cloud over the Trump admin into perpetuity. That is its purpose. It’s very destructive.
    Meanwhile Rice, who denied knowing anything about requesting unmasking the other day, is now admitting she requested unmasking….but, but…IT WASN’T POLITICAL!
    Now they double down with Assad poison gas again. The IC and the Borg are disgracing themselves 24/7.
    I don’t think you should be proud or pleased with any of this this. The nation is self destructing. For real. The best thing that could happen is that the “investigation” wrap up quickly with a statement that says Russian attempts to influence the election were minimal and no impact and Trump was not involved. Put it to rest and move on to accepting Trump as POTUS and taking care of the needs of the people.

  112. turcopolier says:

    POTUS is the ultimate authority on classification, de-classification and dissemination but he routinely delegates this authority down the chain of authority. Thus a lowly, SES-4 like me ended up with a lot of power in those areas in material I controlled. pl

  113. Valissa says:

    Speaking of Turley (I also appreciate his blog)… he has a great post on this topic today!
    “I Know Nothing About This”: Rice Accused Of Ordering Unmasking Of Trump Aides and Then Lying About Her Knowledge [UPDATED]
    The story emerging suggests the White House learned last month that Rice requested the identities of U.S. persons in raw intelligence reports involving Trump staff inadvertently intercepted.  There were reportedly dozens of such requests, suggesting a comprehensive and ongoing effort to unmask aides.  That would constitute a serious privacy abuse and raise troubling questions about the use of intelligence operations for political purposes.
    The National Security Council’s senior director for intelligence, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, reportedly discovered Rice’s multiple requests to unmask U.S. persons and raised it with the White House.
    … However, just last month, Rice  was asked on the “PBS NewsHour” about reports that Trump transition officials, including Trump himself, were swept up in incidental intelligence collection, Rice said: “I know nothing about this,” adding, “I was surprised to see reports from Chairman Nunes on that account today.”
    That would seem to magnify the importance of the story. Yet, it has received relatively little attention on some networks.  It raises past concerns with media largely ignoring proven lies from Democratic officials.
    … Fox News has reported that unmasked names of Trump aides were given to officials at the National Security Council (NSC), the Department of Defense, James Clapper, President Obama’s Director of National Intelligence, and John Brennan, Obama’s CIA Director.  However, Clapper has also denied any such knowledge.
    More evidence that people in leadership or high level positions are more interested in saying words that help their team in the political battle, than in providing truthful information to citizens that might make them or their team look bad. Therefore there is no basis for the citizenry to believe their pronouncements.

  114. Eric Newhill and Fred,
    It’s not just Ovi. I’m pretty fond of Kuznetsov and Orlov as well. And to think of all those lacquer boxes from Palekh, Fedoskino, Kholui, and Mstera that I bought from the trunks of Ladas on the back streets of Berlin. God help me if they ever find out I saluted the Russian guards at the Tiergarten Soviet War Memorial.
    BTW, have you seen Ovi’s reaction to the NHL announcement that they won’t let their players play in the 2018 Olympics? He doesn’t care what those Mudaks say, he’s playing for Russia in 2018. Ted Leonsis, the Caps owner, said he’ll support Ovi. Old Ted better watch out himself.

  115. Fred says:

    I thought it was right wing derangement syndrome. Apparently there’s a cure for that, take two frog legs and go gigging for more in the morning.

  116. Fred says:

    That just proves Ortega’s point. That and the DC Metro system, which was really a shining jewel when it first opened.

  117. Eric Newhill,
    You’re absolutely right in saying this will have a corrosive effect on the Trump administration and the Republic. The investigation isn’t political, but it’s effect certainly is. It won’t look at the effect, if any, that the Russian info op had on the election. Comey made that clear during his House testimony.
    You do realize Trump has bought in to the Assad gassed his own people thing. He issued the obligatory statement of outrage against Assad and also blamed Obama for not bombing the shit out of Assad when he had the chance. Tillerson put out a statement condemning Moscow and Tehran along with Damascus. I don’t know where this all came from.

  118. Jack says:

    “Personally I no longer believe anything that is publicly stated by any of the intelligence agencies.”
    I am exactly where you are. Been lied to far too many times. And Clapper’s and,Alexander’s lie under oath on mass surveillance sealed the deal.
    You make a very important point, what is the definition of “influenced the election”? While we should definitely try to understand the methods used by the Russians, I love the holier than thou attitude as the pot calls the kettle black.

  119. Ivan says:

    If Susan Rice swings in the wind, there will be a lot of people smiling at the course of natural justice. An all round unpleasant woman.

  120. Sam Peralta says:

    Man, that’s some daft response!
    Seriously. You believe there were no private discussions prior to, during and after the community organizer was traipsing through the ME & Europe? Yeah, that was to discuss that Dear Leader had sushi for breakfast. Did you notice any meeting schedule of Dear Leader’s campaign team published on their website? And what about the meeting schedule of John Podesta & the Borg Queen? One does not need to be a brain surgeon to figure out from the leaked emails that the Borg Queen had many private meetings with Saudi & Qatari sheikhs. Oh! that was to discuss falconry!
    You guys are getting sillier by the day.

  121. TonyL says:

    News for you: the people on this forum know full well that the Borgs include both the Right and the Left.

  122. Another grasping at straws attempt, it seems. This event happened after the election and involved the brother of Betsy De Vos. (Please, everyone, don’t even think of associating me with my own brother’s beliefs. He’s a good guy generally, but has no clue about how to connect to real people.)

  123. Fred says:

    I saw that story about the NHL and the Olympics. They must be trying to ruin their image with a bunch of pc nonsense. Good for Ovi and Leonsis. BTW I hope nobody asks why there’s a photo of me standing in front of the Eiffel Tower wearing a Datsuyk jersey. Taken by a Russian tourist no less.

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