Unmasked

 

World-renowned liar Susan Rice made multiple requests for the identities of Americans who appeared on electronic surveillance of foreign officials.

As reported in his column in Bloomberg View, journalist Eli Lake says that Obama’s National Security Advisor

 requested the identities of U.S. persons in raw intelligence reports on dozens of occasions that connect to the Donald Trump transition and campaign, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

The pattern of Rice’s requests was discovered in a National Security Council review of the government’s policy on “unmasking” the identities of individuals in the U.S. who are not targets of electronic eavesdropping, but whose communications are collected incidentally. Normally those names are redacted from summaries of monitored conversations and appear in reports as something like “U.S. Person One.”

The Intelligence committees of both the House and Senate are investigating allegations of Russian interference in the US election. Rep. Devin Nunes, Chair of the House Intelligence committee, is also investigating Obama administration electronic surveillance of the Trump transition team.

Rice’s requests for the identities of American citizens incidentally surveilled may reveal more than the Obama administration intended about its actual motives in requesting a  FISA warrant.

In Eli Lake’s view

[t]he 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.

Former senior counselor to the CIA director and former general counsel at the NSA Robert Dietz holds that

“Any senior official who receives the underlying intelligence may request these identities,” . . . noting that while “the bar for obtaining the identity is not particularly high, it must come from a senior official, and the reason cannot simply be raw curiosity.”

It is unclear whether a desire to slander and sabotage an incoming administration meets the standard.

 

 

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