Saturday, June 03, 2017

Finally got to the bottom of who was "unmasking" all of those names in the intelligence about the Russian meddling. It was the Republican led House.

Courtesy of WaPo: 

The Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee asked U.S. spy agencies late last year to reveal the names of U.S. individuals or organizations contained in classified intelligence on Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election, engaging in the same practice that President Trump has accused the Obama administration of abusing, current and former officials said. 

The chairman of the committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), has since cast the practice of “unmasking” of U.S. individuals and organizations mentioned in classified reports as an abuse of surveillance powers by the outgoing Obama administration. 

Trump has argued that investigators should focus their attention on former officials leaking names from intelligence reports, rather than whether the Kremlin coordinated its activities with the Trump campaign, an allegation he has denied. “The big story is the ‘unmasking and surveillance’ of people that took place during the Obama administration,” Trump tweeted Thursday. 

According to a tally by U.S. spy agencies, the House Intelligence Committee requested five to six unmaskings of U.S. organizations or individuals related to Trump or Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton between June 2016 and January 2017. Officials familiar with the matter said that the committee’s requests focused on the identities of U.S. organizations that had been hacked by the Russians in 2016. Officials declined to say how many of the requests came from Democrats vs. Republicans.

Interesting, and here I thought, according to the Republicans, it was just those nasty ole Obama officials carelessly unmasking the names of American citizens swept up in those Russian surveillance recordings.

And yet none of the Republicans on the Intelligence Committee even mentioned that they themselves were also involved with "unmasking."

In fact Nunes is making unmasking the target of this newest political witch hunt.  

Nunes served subpoenas this week to the CIA, the NSA and the FBI asking for information about unmaskings requested by three former officials: national security adviser Susan E. Rice, CIA director John Brennan and U.N. ambassador Samantha Power. 

On Thursday, Nunes tweeted, “Seeing a lot of fake news from media elites and others who have no interest in violations of Americans’ civil liberties via unmaskings.”

Intelligence officials continue to say that unmasking is a necessary and routine part of the job, so this is of course much ado about nothing.

Well it's not about nothing, it's about deflecting attention away from the legitimate and ever growing investigation into the Trump campaign's ties, and possible collusion, with the Russians.

And toward that end Nunes, who you may remember recused himself from leading the Russia investigation, is now reinserting himself and insisting that he must "sign off" on all subpoenas having to do with that investigation.

Can you say "obstruction?" I knew that you could.



    "A major government agency refused to answer a Democratic legislator’s routine inquiry unless she got a Republican to co-sign her request, the congresswoman told HuffPost.

    Rep. Kathleen Rice (N.Y.) said she faced an unprecedented barrier when she asked the Office of Personnel Management about its training process and suggested changes that would help the agency recruit more cybersecurity workers. Janel Fitzhugh, OPM’s legislative director, told Rice’s legislative aide that she needed a Republican committee chairman to co-sign the letter in order to get a response."

    1. Anonymous3:36 AM

      Just imagine if that scenario had occurred when a Democratic president was sitting in the White House.

  2. I highly recommend following George Lakoff's blog.

    "Donald Trump knows the power of branding and actually makes huge profits by selling the use of his name. But the power of naming and branding can be a double-edged sword: when a president creates and perpetuates real human disasters, we can truthfully attach his name to them and allow well-earned disaster branding to spread naturally.

    Mr. Trump uses the word “disaster” metaphorically for policies and practices he doesn’t like. But there are real, literal disasters in the world: huge fires, devastating, floods, deadly storms, major droughts — disasters caused systemically by the heating of the earth’s atmosphere and its effects in the global weather system."

    "When sea level rise floods Florida, or when atmospheric heating produces massive evaporation over the Pacific that blows north and east resulting in huge floods throughout the Midwest, name them Trump flood disasters. When continued atmospheric heating systemically leads to massive fires in Texas, name them Trump fire disasters.

    When the heating of the Gulf of Mexico above historic norms leads to extra strong hurricanes, name them Trump hurricanes and name their effects Trump devastation. When the systemic effects of unusual atmospheric heating lead to a drought, with water shortages and agricultural loss, name it a Trump drought."

    "All that is necessary is speech — free speech guaranteed by the Constitution. We don’t have to march in protest, or engage in civil disobedience, or do anything the least bit violent. You just have to say the words. There is power in naming."

    I really, REALLY love this idea. It's free. It's easy. Those on social media can do it in less than a few seconds. I really hope it catches on with the media.

    Trump wants to take credit for all the stuff he creates. Well, that swings both ways.

    Can we name every Hurricane this year "Donald"?

    1. Anonymous4:55 PM

      How about a hurricane for each Trump child, then we can move on to his cabinet.

  3. Anonymous1:31 PM

    So... Nunes thinks being able to remain anonymous in the face of a federal investigation is a "civil liberty"? I guess that's no different than a bank robber claiming security cams, fingerprint evidence and eyewitness testimony is an infringement of HIS "civil liberties".

    1. Anonymous3:33 AM

      He probably also thinks that testifying under oath is not a requirement to tell the truth because any "version" of the truth is all that matters.

  4. Anonymous3:38 PM

    What is the problem with a government official (Congressmen, Executive branch, judicial staff) with clearance to read reports and briefing papers wanting to know the names of the people they are reading about. If your sworn to secrecy that includes knowing who did what doesn't it?


Don't feed the trolls!
It just goes directly to their thighs.