The major story of the morning is that Susan Rice, Obama’s former national security adviser was behind the “unmasking”, or revealing the identities of Trump associates who were identified in incidental intelligence gathering operations.

What’s important to note is that Rice didn’t break the law unless she also leaked any information.  That hasn’t been shown and likely won’t be.  What is more significant is that this offers further insight into the Obama Administration performing surveillance of the Trump campaign and transition team.

Now you may suggest, as many on the Left already are, that the fact that the Obama Administration felt compelled to investigate Trump’s Russia ties was because it learned of possible illegal activity in the course of analyzing foreign intercepts.  “Ha, ha,” they say.  “This proves that something is there!”

Well, what exactly?  If Adam Housely is correct, the surveillance started before Trump was even the GOP nominee.  This means that it started well before the DNC or Podesta hacks and subsequent Wikileaks releases.  What were the intelligence agencies looking at?  It had nothing to do with colluding with Russia to plant #fakenews stories or hack machines or release Podesta’s thoughts on space aliens to the world, did it?

The Russiagate narrative has been crumbling since Trump’s tweet in which he accused Obama of wiretapping him.  Even though I don’t believe Obama ordered it, it is becoming more and more obvious that one or more senior officials within his White House were absolutely digging for intelligence against Team Trump, making identities discovered within incidental collection widely available within the intelligence community, and then waiting for the information to be leaked in hopes that it would damage the incoming Trump Administration.

Here’s the biggest problem the Russiagate proponents have: Obama’s people in his former staff and within the intelligence community have had months to gather, share, and leak any information they have that proves collusion.  They’ve turned up nothing.  The best they have gotten for all of it is Flynn’s resignation, but it still isn’t clear that he committed any sort of crime.

Sure, you have Rachel Maddow showing you all the dots and frantically trying to connect them each night, but remember that every week that goes by that Democrats fail to provide any proof of collusion with Russia or a crime on Trump’s part is just another nail in the coffin for the story.

On the other hand, Obamagate is much easier.  Crimes have been committed.  The leaks are the crime.  The fact that specific intelligence information was made available and used criminally, apparently with the political motive of damaging an incoming administration, guarantees that the scandal will to continue gaining strength as Russiagate crumbles for lack of proof.  With Russiagate, you need to work pretty hard to demonstrate what wrongdoing was in place.  Obamagate is much more straightforward.

Please, by all means, let’s continue investigating Trump’s connections to Russia.  I maintain that if anything was there, it would have turned up by now.  In the meantime, let’s also get Rice and some more officials up to testify and explain why they were unmasking political opponents and allowing that information to be leaked.

I’d love for this information to come out during the investigation.  Let’s find out once and for all what the Obama Administration was looking for, why it was looking for it, and what it found.  It won’t be good for Democrats.

32 comments

  1. About the only thing for certain seems to be that Mike Flynn got improper payments from Russia. Also that Hillary had access to classified info long after she left the State Department.

    This is the problem with the Left’s Russian obsession-an investigation can cut both ways.

  2. The great irony is that if Putin had worked to get Trump elected so he could get sanctions eased, it didn’t work. Impossible to see how Trump could do it now without political fallout.

  3. Of course its a false flag, everything is a false flag. There isnt no Islamic terrorism, the Russians did it…
    btw, they missed their target of that class of Young Pioneers.

  4. See, if I had a couple of Susan Rice’s working for me, I’d rule the world. Imagine having someone who will lie convincingly and totally destroy her own credibility for you at every turn.

  5. Just so you know Ezra Cohen-Watnick is a name that’s come up on the left a couple of times before this as being a little dodgy. Not making a point here, more a bit of context to how this story might play out on the left….

  6. The Left is just going to keep running in circles, looking for anything and everything on everyone. Now “Carter Page” is trending on Twitter. I can’t even keep up.

    Definitely not writing a post on that too.

  7. Carter Page is old news, circa Manafort. Did you miss Boris Epshteyn’s abrupt job change last week?
    If Obama had half this much smoke, the GOP would have already started impeachment proceedings.

  8. Another week with nothing on a Benghazi investigation didn’t bring with it any nails. Don’t you just end it and start another when it gets a little stale?

  9. Actually, I think the Benghazi story lost its potency as a scandal pretty early. It was when Candy Crowley corrected Mitt Romney during the presidential debate and he let it go unanswered. There was never enough broad public interest in the scandal after that to give it the legs to turn into much more.

    It kept up until the end of Obama’s presidency, but he was never in any danger of impeachment. Personally, I think Republicans focused on the wrong areas but none of it mattered once the broader, non-Obama hating public decided it didn’t care.

    Russiagate will certainly haunt the Trump Administration to the end as well, but it’s already dead in the water as far as a scandal goes.

    What is different about it is simultaneous existence of the Obamagate scandal. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it before where each side has a conspiracy theory to bludgeon the other with. That’s new.

  10. Like I said, I’m not going to keep chasing your leads around. You mentioned Erik Prince, I looked at Erik Prince and put up a whole post about it. Total waste of time.

    It’s just more of the “connect the dots!” circle jerking that 9/11 Truthers used to do. Going forward, I’m not messing with anything that seriously entertains Russiagate unless it has something to do with Trump directly colluding with Russia to hack the DNC or Podesta. Anything less than that is pure wank.

  11. Sure, but Susan Rice doing her actual job and unmasking names of Trump employees talking to the Russian ambassadors (before taking office) and promising to let them keep Crimea, lift sanctions and resume the Rosneft deal, that’s a real smoking gun!
    Your bias is showing again.

  12. I’m not yet convinced Rice was doing her job in the course of this unmasking or her documentation of what she learned. I’d like her to explain under oath why it was necessary to unmask those identities, which were subsequently illegally leaked. At that point, I’ll be willing to consider whether or not she was just doing her job.

    For the record, it’s hilarious that in one month, you’ve gone from “Nobody was wiretapping Trump!” to “Oh, sure, using wiretap data gathered against American citizens who happen to be political opponents so it can be illegally leaked is just part of the job!”

    Jesus Christ, mashav. There’s nothing normal about it. Shame on you for excusing it.

    The fact that the intelligence apparatus may have been used for political reasons is every bit as significant as whether or not Russia interfered in the election. As I said in another thread: Holy Crap, either way.

    If you had any integrity or a fair mind, I think you’d agree. You’d definitely be all over this if Trump did it.

  13. And why on earth did she blatantly lie about it in an interview a month before this all hit the fan? All part of the job after the Benghazi lies that went on for weeks?

  14. Exactly. She was bluntly asked by Judy Woodruff about whether Trump and his associates were swept up in any incidental intelligence collection and her response basically was, “Golly, I don’t know anything about that!”

    That was a lie.

    Rice not only knew about it, she personally requested that the names be unmasked. The only question now is whether or not she committed a felony by leaking what she knew about Flynn.

    By all means, keep defending Rice, mashav. She’s a demonstrable liar.

  15. Ok, first of all, I am still on ‘Nobody was wiretapping Trump!’ Because that’s a true statement.
    They were wiretapping Russians, which is not new news. The names of some of the Americans who spoke to these Russians were unmasked. Which is legal. They were later leaked. Which is illegal. That does not mean that the person who unmasked them did the leaking.
    Btw, the difference between Rice saying that she doesn’t know what exactly Nunes was talking about in a TV interview and Flynn and Sessions lying on official forms and under oath is stark. Rice is choosing not to comment on classified information on a TV show. Had she answered the question, you would be all over her for ‘smearing’ Flynn, Sessions, Kushner, and whoever else is swept up in this.
    When Sessions used pretty much the same words under oath, you guys were tripping over each other proving that he didn’t mean what he said and that we could never prove intent and you are totally fine with him serving as our Attorney General.
    I am not defending Rice, I am just pointing out how you apply a different standard to the two sides.
    As I’ve said, your bias is showing.

  16. Btw, the difference between Rice saying that she doesn’t know what exactly Nunes was talking about in a TV interview and Flynn and Sessions lying on official forms and under oath is stark. Rice is choosing not to comment on classified information on a TV show. Had she answered the question, you would be all over her for ‘smearing’ Flynn, Sessions, Kushner, and whoever else is swept up in this.

    That’s flat out bullshit, there mashav, no other word for it. There is a massive difference between “I know nothing about this” referring to the unmasking of Americans which is directly what she was asked, and “I have no comment”. One is a demonstrable lie similar to her comments about a Youtube video and Benghazi. She was willfully trying to hide her complicity in what happened. You have condemned Trump and his administration over much less on this blog.

    your bias is showing.

    Ditto.

  17. I am not going to go down the rabbit hole of discussing Benghazi with you, so you might as well stop it.
    Rice saying ‘no comment’ is the same as admitting the story is true. Comey explained that over and over again during the hearings.
    She was on a TV show, not testifying under oath.
    I would love for you to explain why she is a lying liar and Sessions saying ‘did not have communications with the Russians” is totally ok.

  18. I would love for you to explain why she is a lying liar and Sessions saying ‘did not have communications with the Russians” is totally ok.

    You want me to defend something I’ve never said I think “is totally ok”? Rice is a lying liar, and you denying or obfuscating that is more partisan showing than anything Thrill has said. Continuing to deny or ignore that is ignorance at best.

  19. The denial statements from Clapper and others back when Trump first tweeted were obfuscations. They all said, “There were no wiretaps” but they knew full well that there was incidental intelligence collection.

    I didn’t believe Trump’s claim at the time and still don’t believe that Obama personally ordered anything against him (that we could prove), but I did note that Clapper and Comey stopped short of saying there were no wiretaps at all. Now we know that there were wiretaps and that Trump’s people (if not Trump himself) were subject to it.

    That does not mean that the person who unmasked them did the leaking.

    True. However, the leaker needs to be identified and prosecuted. The best place to start that investigation is with the person who first unmasked the information: Susan Rice.

    Rice is choosing not to comment on classified information on a TV show.

    How about, “I can’t comment on classified information, Judy”? That’s what Comey did when he testified about it. Rice lies so easily and readily that she does it when she doesn’t have to.

    I just think it’s blatantly dishonest of you to keep throwing out all these wanktastic articles filled with tales about who supposedly met which Russian according to totally anonymous sources and then we see that none of them help establish any sort of collusion to “hack the election”.

    You do that, and then you’re immediately dismissive of this case in which it’s 100% clear that somebody committed a felony, possibly in an attempt to abuse the authority of the intelligence agencies to subvert the election result. Rice is simply a link in the chain. I acknowledged in the post that I don’t think she committed a crime through the unmasking unless she’s also the leaker. That needs to be proven.

    But you accusing me of bias here is just too much. I’m probably the single least biased person most people here have read on this topic.

    I’m open-minded about both Russiagate and Obamagate. It’s just that the former is a complete wank-a-thon that hasn’t managed to prove any collusion between the Trump Administration and Russia to cost Clinton the election or even any other crimes and never will. That’s because such evidence doesn’t exist. Every Democratic Senator and congressman would already have it if it did.

    On Obamagate, I’m perfectly willing to say that Obama had nothing to do with it (not that we could prove it otherwise) and I’ll even say that I don’t think Rice is the leaker. Still, I think it’s as equally deserving of investigation as the Democrats’ wankstigation is. Sure, let’s find out what Russia did to help your shitty candidate lose. I’m okay with it.

    However, YOU need to come to terms with the fact that somebody who was opposed to Trump leaked this information for political purposes and did so knowing full well that it was a serious crime.

    Somebody with access in the Obama Administration weaponized the intelligence community against the opposition party because that person was unhappy with the election result. This is undeniable.

    It’s amazing that you can look at an abuse of power like that and just say, “Hey, I know nothing about what Rice saw or why she unmasked it so it could be leaked but she was just doing her job!”

    You’re blissfully incurious and indifferent about this problem because you’re afraid that it’s going to make Obama look bad or something.

    You have a lot of nerve lecturing me about bias on this topic. If you can overlook the White House allowing highly sensitive information to be released for the purpose of damaging a political opponent, then it’s obvious to me that you probably don’t really care about the integrity of our elections, the rule of law, or anything else except damaging Trump. That’s just deranged.

    For my part, I’m not defending or attacking Trump. I’m just calling out the wankromancy where I see it.

  20. There was a fairly popular novel, written in the early 80’s, wherein the plot’The Soviet leadership conducted a false flag attack on a Moscow building, where Young Pioneers were killed in the blast. in a effort to give them a excuse to wage war against Germany, Маскировка, obscuring, inthe literal sense.

    Calling every attack a false flag has become very fashionable amount thetruther, leftist crowd.

  21. Ah, see, before you get accused of bias I need to step in here and say that the Left does not have a monopoly on “false flag” lunacy. The Sandy Hook truthers are very much a product of the Right.

  22. First of all, I posted one article. I am not sure what you mean when you say I keep doing it.

    I believe that there is a difference between ‘Trump was wiretapped’ and ‘Trump people were heard on or discussed in our wiretaps of Russian agents.’ Those are not the same thing and you are smart enough to know that.

    You say that I know nothing about what Rice saw. Meanwhile, the original article which started this little tantrum says ”One US 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.” So, Rice, sitting there doing her job reads that either Trump official are talking to the Russians about their plans or there is a leak and the Russians are discussing the Trump plans among themselves (“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.”) Either way, it’s her job to figure out how foreign nationals are getting information about the US government. Your assertion that “she unmasked it so it could be leaked” is exactly what I mean by bias.

    I think the leaker(s) should get the exact same punishment as Richard Armitage did for his leak of Valerie Plame’s name. After all, leaking the name of an official concealing meetings with Russian spy-runners can’t be any worse than leaking the name of an active CIA agent, right?

    “If you can overlook the White House allowing highly sensitive information to be released for the purpose of damaging a political opponent” How did we get from a ‘leaker’ to ‘the White House allowed this” This happened after Obama left office. Are you suggesting he is running a shadow White house? And I am deranged?
    The only “White House that allowed sensitive information to be released” is the Trump White House that furnished classified reports to Devin Nunes, who then proceeded to share them with the press, rather than with his committee, for the purpose of damaging a past political opponent. Maybe that’s what you meant?

    The difference between us is that you consider the leaking to be the bigger story here. I consider collusion with Russian agents to be the bigger crime. I grant you the point that the leaking is a fact and the collusion is not yet proven. However, my original question when the Flynn and Sessions meetings first came to light was ‘if there is nothing untoward in the meetings, why do they all keep lying about it?’
    By all means, let’s investigate both. But lets’ not pretend that leaking is somehow unprecedented or of greater moral weight than secret agreements with a totalitarian dictator who literally kills journalists and the opposition.

    “The house is on fire, Trump is running around with a box of matches, and the GOP demands to know who called the fire department.” – Garry Kasparov

  23. Was this a Russian novel or an American one? I have literally never heard of it.
    What I have heard of is an actual apartment building bombing which was a false flag blamed on the Chechens in very similar politics circumstances- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1999_Russian_apartment_bombings
    More here -http://web.archive.org/web/20080413195430/http://www.sais-jhu.edu/programs/res/papers/Satter_edited_final.pdf

  24. You post the articles, you drop names like “Boris Epshteyn”, and all that wankcraft. The trouble is that whenever I follow-up on any of it, it turns out to be absolutely nothing. It’s frustrating to me that I seriously looked into the Erik Prince thing, because you brought it up, I found out that it was wanketry, I asked what the hell it was supposed to mean, and then you just moved on.

    Honestly, this is how 9/11 Truthers argued. They’d learn all of the minutiae such as what the temperature is to melt aluminum, drop names of people who stood to profit from WTC 7 being destroyed, and point to every development as “proof” of something or other.

    The only thing one could ever do against it was to say, “Okay, but how does this any of this prove that the Bush Administration/Israel/Whoever destroyed the World Trade Center?”

    “You have to connect the dots!”

    One could go on for hours knocking down any piece of evidence they’d present, but they’d just move on to another one and none of it would ever support any sort of coherent theory to prove what they were trying to argue.

    You’re doing the same thing where you have this huge database of all of the unconnected and circumstantial details, but you don’t seem to recognize that the grand scheme isn’t going to materialize. But, like Mulder, you want to believe.

    Next, NO, it was NOT Rice’s job to investigate anything. The intelligence community doesn’t have jurisdiction over US citizens. If she had evidence that crimes were being committed, she should have handed the evidence directly to the FBI. Did she? I don’t know, you tell me.

    It wasn’t even her job to be poring over these intercepts, which is why the names were masked from her to begin with. She wasn’t an analyst. Valerie Plame was an analyst. Susan Rice was a political appointee and exactly the type of person who should NOT have been undertaking any sort of investigation into potential wrongdoing by the opposition political party.

    Since you brought up another scandal which was a complete waste of time and in which there wasn’t even a crime committed until the investigation created a situation in which someone perjured himself; Armitage wasn’t punished because he didn’t break any law.

    Really. It is illegal to disclose the identity of a COVERT agent’s name. Plame was not on covert status. Everyone had this figured out early on, but Democrats just had to have the fake scandal and collect a scalp from a guy who didn’t even do the thing the whole investigation was ostensibly for. How do you still not know this?

    If you want to know why I think this Russiagate investigation is advanced wankography, the Plame case is probably the first thing I would point to as an example of why.

    How did we get from a ‘leaker’ to ‘the White House allowed this” This happened after Obama left office. Are you suggesting he is running a shadow White house? And I am deranged?

    Yes, you’re deranged. The sources who provided the information to Nunes weren’t leaking. They were following the protocols to receive whistleblower protections. The reason why they showed the documents to Nunes at the White House is because they could ONLY do it there or at their agency. Doing the latter would’ve outed them so they did it at the White House.

    Nunes is driving you nuts because everything he has said has panned out. Unlike the nuts pushing the “RUSSIA STUFF WILL BRING TRUMP DOWN” wankisms that have you and millions of other people getting their hopes up for no good reason.

    As I’ve said, I think Flynn lied about it because he over-promised the Russians on some things he couldn’t deliver. Trump fired him. What more do you want?

    I don’t think Sessions lied and the circumstances are too muddy to pursue it. Trump chose to believe him and there’s obviously nothing damning in the wiretaps about it.

    The difference between us is that you consider the leaking to be the bigger story here. I

    No, they’re both big stories. It’s just that Russiagate is a wank of time, just like Plamegate was. We’ll spend years watching this be investigated despite the complete lack of any crime, it will turn up nothing, and after it’s all over you still won’t understand what it’s all about. Just like Plamegate.

  25. Sigh. I posted one article, one, with the disclaimer that the news on the left did not look like the news on the right. You looked it up, chose to write a post about it, dismissed it as a waste of time. If you asked me what it was supposed to mean, it was not in this thread.
    You keep saying that no new names have been added to the scandal since Flynn. I pointed out that new names are added all the time.
    I’ve agreed over and over again that nothing has been proven, all I want is a proper investigation. As I’ve said, if there was half this much smoke around Obama every Congressional Committee would be on it.
    I’ve never once told you to connect the fucking dots.
    If you feel that Armitage did nothing wrong in disclosing the name of a non-covert CIA agent, what, pray tell did “the leaker’ do wrong here in disclosing the fact that Flynn met with Kislyak? Is Flynn now a covert agent?
    The people who gave Nunes the information did so at the White house because they do not work for any agency. They work for the White House and have less call to be viewing this surveillance than Rice ever did. I am referring, to be clear, to Ezra Cohen at the National Security Council, and Michael Ellis in the Office of White House Counsel. How the fuck you can call these guys whistleblowers when the first person Nunes went to with their information is Trump is beyond me.
    NB, Nunes has his own secure location on Capitol Hill to view classified documents.
    You can use the word wank in as many creative combinations as you like, but the only one driven nuts here is you.
    I am not holding my breath that this stuff will bring Trump down. I am watching a bad Pink Panther movie with bumbling, incompetent leading players on both sides.
    There are real stories out there, like the unrest in Russia and the crap in Syria, Trump’s budget cuts to science, etc. This is your blog. You are choosing this topic to focus on.

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