September 14, 2017

"[I]t sure looks like members of an incoming Republican administration were spied on by a Democratic political operative who happened to find a meeting suspicious."

"Some of us troglodytes might view this kind of thing as an abuse of power. So it’ll be interesting to hear Gowdy and others explain why it wasn’t."

Writes David Harsanyi in "Reminder: Susan Rice Lied About Her Role In The Obama Admin Unmasking Scandal."

57 comments:

Michael K said...

I agree with Harsnyi.

Rice is what you find when you turn over a rock in DC.

Big Mike said...

A filthy maggot just looks like a grain of rice.

tim in vermont said...

The IRS scandal proved what Obama was, which is far worse than Nixon. Nixon could only have dreamed of the abuses of power that Obama committed in front of an incurious press.

Jack Wayne said...

Gowdy and the others are part of the GOPe. All Rynos will find nothing wrong.

Mountain Maven said...

What exactly is AG Sessions doing?

Nonapod said...

Then again, there has been a constant conflating of illegality and abuse by those covering this story. Unmasking is a legitimate power. Few argue it should be illegal. The question is, was it abused for political purposes. When it was convenient, Bernie Sanders, Al Franken, the American Civil Liberties Union, and numerous others on the Left warned that Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance could be legally weaponized for political gain. There is no genuine oversight. We are asked to have faith in those in power.

FISA has always been a bit of a Faustian pact. Where there's power, it's more or less a given that sooner or later it's going to be abused. And it's also a certainty that it will be abused in the future. That's the price for that level of security. Is the trade off worth it?

Oversight only works if the people performing it are actual outsiders rather than just other creatures of the Deep State. You can see that a lot of GOP Establishment people are apparently content with letting Rice and the rest of these characters get away with these abuses.

Original Mike said...

Wasn't this what Hillary was talking about? We need to trust that our leaders spying on their opponents is for our benefit.

rehajm said...

What exactly is AG Sessions doing?

Wallowing in no reasonable prosecutor doctrine.

gbarto said...

If there's an abuse and they don't object, they're taking notes for when it's their turn.

Big Mike said...

@Mountain Maven, IMHO Jeff Sessions has hit the pinnacle of his political career, and he has retired on the job.

iowan2 said...

I saw Gowdy on TV being interviewed. He says all is cool. He works way to hard at appearing to be neutral. I dont think he wants the rock the boat. I don't know what his end game is. I would love to know if anyone asked Rice exactly how knowing the names of those Americans involved was used to protect the Nation? (that is the requirement for unmasking, correct?)
This is all a ruse to be able to spy on political opponents. I would say fine, except Conservatives still operate under a moral code and would never return the favor. (that and the deep state would blow the whistle before the next sunrise, if such a request were ever made.)

Matthew Sablan said...

Unmasking for political purposes should be illegal, if it somehow already isn't.

Also, I don't find it hard to believe the Obama administration would spy on people they didn't like. They bugged Congress and journalists, after all.

Joe said...

Seems some people are confused by what is illegal versus what is unseemly or immoral.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Hillary and her corrupt media lie about Russia and Trump all while democrats ACTUALLY USE ILLEGAL means to spy on political opponents.

MSM not interested.

Unknown said...

all above the board until trump does the same thing, which he will because he seems to have an admin populated by idiots or saboteurs. then all hell breaks loose. guaranteed.

Birkel said...

UnknownInga51 moves the ball forward with the Leftist version of "whataboutism" or something.

The whole affair is about the Will to Power.

rcocean said...

"I don't know what his end game is."

His end game is get rich in Washington and please his millionaire donors. Unfortunately, the Democrats "end game" is push their left-wing agenda, and having lackluster clowns like Gowdy in the opposition means they'll succeed.

rcocean said...

GOPe doesn't care about anything except helping their big donors and tax cuts for the rich. Gowdy didn't want to investigate Hillary's email scandal either.

buwaya said...

Your surveillance agencies are much bigger threats to their own country than any foreign enemy.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Remember, though: The Obama Administration Was Scandal-Free.

There weren't any scandals; it was a clean Administration, top to bottom.

Just ask the Media!

If a scandal falls in the forest and no one's around to over it....
I guess it'd be more accurate to say "if a Democrat does bad things but the Media doesn't cover it, is there really a scandal?" So much of the Left's reasoning is fundamentally tautological.

Michael K said...

"Seems some people are confused by what is illegal versus what is unseemly or immoral."

My understanding is that warrants are needed for the FISA court to approve surveillance. MY FBI agent/lawyer daughter was once tasked with writing up the requests for these warrants.

I would think the unmasking of US citizens without national security reasons would violate the warrant and be illegal.

Daniel Jackson said...

@Big Mike: You mean the Peter Principle.

But in truth, he is a career government functionary, which is defined as a bureaucrat with one thumb in his mouth, the other in his ass waiting for someone to tell him to switch thumbs.

Mike said...

File this under "things in which the MSM-DNC media complex will have no interest" and you'll have a new tag that gets a good workout over the next few years. Just currently there is the criminal conduct of Comey, the Awan family, Debbie Blabbermouth Schultz's extremely skeezy IT situation, Seth Rich, new revelations from Torres contractors regarding Benghazi, the violent rise of the far ctrl-left, etc.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

What can be called lying in the age of Donald Trump, nothing or everything?

Thinking back to James Clapper and his famous mega data collection lie to Rand Paul, or further back to Colonel Oliver North, it would seem that our deep state national security officials take the view that if they are surprised by a gotcha question, they may say the most expedient thing to get out of the situation, even if under oath.

Is that subject to abuse? Absolutely. But to err on the side of keeping the secret isn't a bad policy from the point of view of keeping national secrets, particularly if the truth will eventually come out if it needs to.

But don't make the Edward Snowden error of thinking there isn't bipartisan knowledge and approval of what is going on outside of the public eye. There very much is. That's the line that North crossed, but that Clapper and, at least on this occasion, Rice have not.

YoungHegelian said...

No one will punished for the abuses that occurred under the Obama administration. No one. For the Trump administration to do so would, in the minds of DC denizens, set a precedent that a succeeding administration puts the previous one on trial, & nobody wants that.

Except, of course, for a sizable chunk of the electorate, who see the people who are sworn to uphold the laws actively subvert them without penalty. The continuance of this lawbreaking then emboldens the succeeding bureaucrats to even further abuse, & the electorate becomes even more cynical.

This isn't only how you get Trump, & maybe more Trump. It's also how you get, from either side, something far worse.

traditionalguy said...

This exposed the Deep State for its constant use of Blackmail Secrets to control anyone that tells the truth. And the minute a CIA enemy became our President, all hell broke loose lead by an elite of Occult Practitioners. Trump has kicked their hornets nest big time. And the Media are 100% into damage control messaging on orders from their Deep State owners.

The question is how long Trump lives.

Night Owl said...

So much for draining the swamp. It seems that the swamp will always protect its own -- meaning that powerful DC bureaucrats will never be punished for abuses of office that would put the average person in jail. Just more confirmation that we need to make sure Democrats are not in control at the executive level. Republicans are much more likely to be held accountable for their abuses-- for example if Trump tries to pull the stuff that the Obama administration did the leaks will sink him-- but a Democrat could get away with murder. Dems can't be trusted with power, because no one-- not the GOP in congress, nor the media, nor the courts-- seem willing to check them. We were incredibly fortunate that Hillary lost.

Molly said...

I'm pretty sure that Trump's claim that the Obama administration bugged the Trump team has been thoroughly fact checked and found to be totally false. Is it possible that the fact checkers missed something here? Or perhaps the fact checkers have issued a retraction and apology.

LakeLevel said...

What exactly is AG Sessions doing?

One would hope that they are just waiting for the next election cycle to begin, then start with the indictments. Waiting for the media to do its job is a fools hope.

Matthew Sablan said...

"I'm pretty sure that Trump's claim that the Obama administration bugged the Trump team has been thoroughly fact checked and found to be totally false."

-- Obama may not have personally planted a bug in Trump tower, but given that people had recorded conversations of members of Trump's campaign team that were unethically revealed and leaked to the press, it is not inaccurate to say that Obama's administration used force of government unethically as a campaign weapon against Trump.

The focus on whether Obama did or did not wiretap a specific phoneline, etc., etc., is just another example of Trump colossally screwing up messaging. Now, when he made the claim, I thought it was possible, since again, Obama DID wiretap journalists for the crime of writing mean stories about him AND bugged Congress. So, it isn't a ridiculous accusation, given the history.

Original Mike said...

"is just another example of Trump colossally screwing up messaging."

Given our press, I'm not sure it matters how the messaging is packaged

Michael K said...

I'm pretty sure that Trump's claim that the Obama administration bugged the Trump team has been thoroughly fact checked and found to be totally false

The blank profiles are out. The seminar must be over.

Matthew Sablan said...

True, but continuing the claim about wire tapping gives people the fig leaf to hide behind. "There was no wire tapping," does not mean "Obama did not use the executive branch to unethically spy on his political opponents," but fact checkers and Democrats will use the first argument to stand in for the second.

EDH said...

"[I]t sure looks like members of an incoming Republican administration were spied on by a Democratic political operative who happened to find a meeting suspicious... Some of us troglodytes might view this kind of thing as an abuse of power. So it’ll be interesting to hear Gowdy and others explain why it wasn’t."

Reminds me of that Cheech & Chong routine, where they see, feel, smell and taste dog shit before declaring "Good thing we no step in it."

#1: Unh, what's that?
#2: Unh, dunno. Look like dog shit.
#1: Enh? Feel.
#2: Unh, feel like dog shit.
#1: Smell.
#2: HUH?
#1: SMELL!
#2: Unh, smell like dog shit.
#1: Taste.
#2: Taste???
#1: Taste!

(tasting sounds)

#2: Unh, taste like dog shit.
#1: Must be dog shit. Good thing we no step in it

Night Owl said...

The more you think about it the more it makes sense that the person at the executive level should always be someone who is not well-liked by the legislature or the media, because they are less likely to get away with abusing the power of their office. The normal checks and balances don't work anymore, not when we have a ruling class that has decided that laws only apply to the politically unconnected. We, the politically-unconnected people, need to put our own check in place: More Trumps!

buwaya said...

" is just another example of Trump colossally screwing up messaging."

What they actually did, given that everything from everyone is "tapped" these days, is the modern equivalent of the shaved-wires and alligator clips procedure of old. The objections re "messaging" are ridiculously petty.

Its like defending against an accusation of pickpocketing by saying that the criminal actually took the cash from the victims fanny pack and not his pocket. This makes it all OK you see, and no longer a crime.

Jim at said...

"Not a smidgen." - Barack H. Obama

Nonapod said...

@Night Owl: Exactly. You need accountability in order to maintain long term stability and minimize corruption. Traditionally accountability is the main reasons I will tend to vote for an (R) over a (D) even without knowing anything about the candidates or any specific policies. Republicans are simply held to a much higher standard than Democrats. That certainly doesn't mean that Republican politicians are beyond reproach, just that they are far less likely to get away with any shenanigans.

I also think that the long term imbalance in accountability has actually hurt the Democrat party far more than many of them realize. Why did Dems think it was ever a good idea to nominate Hillary? What cataclysmic idiocy possessed Debbie Wasserman-Schultz regarding the IT scandle? Benghazi? Fast and Furious? IRS scandal? The Dems are mired in corruption and they lost a lot of the confidence of the American voter.

Yancey Ward said...

Matthew,

If Trump had claimed that he was secretly recorded on someone's i-Phone and it was later shown that he was actually recorded on a Galaxy, Trump's claim would be judged "Untrue" by WaPo's fact-checkers.

Yancey Ward said...

And if the CNN story is, in fact, true, then Rice publicly lied while telling Congress a different story in non-public testimony. It just goes to remind you of all the former Obama Administration officials who refused to testify publicly before Congress- that is why.

Matthew Sablan said...

"And if the CNN story is, in fact, true, then Rice publicly lied while telling Congress a different story in non-public testimony."

-- That's part of why she got her job, right? Her ability to do just that?

bagoh20 said...

It sure looks like Susan Rice's main qualification for her job was her willingness to lie no matter how outrageous or obvious. That can really be useful to someone in power. Obama seemed especially fond of such people.

Ray said...

I think your right, unfortunately. And from a PR prospective Obama is untouchable. If you go after him, it will backfire. Hillary lost the election and is digging her hole deeper, so no need to do anything. The use of the IRS is terrifying and it seems to be swept under the rug - I don't understand why. Congress does not want to rock the boat.

>set a precedent that a succeeding administration puts the previous one on trial, & nobody wants that.

Mac McConnell said...

Why are all these Obama criminals still freely walking the streets.

tim in vermont said...

There are two ways that the NSA gets phone data: taps and span ports. A span port is a tap built into a switch. Fact checkers are not interested, of course.

tim in vermont said...

The reason they are called taps is that it clearly conveys their function. Obtuseness is a pre-requisite for partisan fact checking.

tim in vermont said...

It's like someone insisting you meant wagon wheel because you said wheel.

jameswhy said...

I still have questions for Ms. Rice. So she's concerned because this emir/crown prince comes to call on the new President elect, but doesn't first check in with the Obamans. She could pick up the phone, call Mike Flynn, and say "hey, wassup with the emir? Anything the USA needs to know?"


But no, she instead unmasks all their secret shit...which was what, exactly? Tapes of the meeting? Phone calls? Emails? Photo survails?

Nope...we're not being told the truth.

Ray said...

It's more of the truth, and I am surprised this much has come out via Congress.

>Nope...we're not being told the truth.

Comanche Voter said...

So Susan Rice lied. Based on her track record, all one can say is different day, same old liar.

Rick said...

Molly said...
I'm pretty sure that Trump's claim that the Obama administration bugged the Trump team has been thoroughly fact checked and found to be totally false. Is it possible that the fact checkers missed something here? Or perhaps the fact checkers have issued a retraction and apology.


Susan Rice and her cohorts are listening to his people's meetings but "it's totally false they were bugged"? Such statements require a rigidity of definition no one not solely interested in defending Obama Dems cares about.

How could Obama bug Trump Tower? He was in DC that night!

Kevin said...

Here is where I think we land:

The entire Trump/Russia collusion evidence - whatever thin gruel there is - is on those recordings. Obama and his team leaked the Russia meme when Trump won to prevent him from hanging them for the recordings and unmasking, which went far afoul of the normal process. Trump would rather be exonerated and have the ability to record and unmask people than to bring Obama and Rice down. Mueller will find whatever evidence is on the recordings "inadmissible" and wrap up the investigation.

As usual, everyone except the American people "wins".

Citations:
1. Pelosi and Schumer suddenly find Trump a perfectly normal person to work with.
2. Trey Gowdy has no inclination to dig deeper into Obama/Rice shenanigans.

Bruce Hayden said...

"There are two ways that the NSA gets phone data: taps and span ports. A span port is a tap built into a switch. Fact checkers are not interested, of course."

Don't really think that there is that much actual tapping going on anymore. Maybe some, with things like the FBI's Stingray, that apparently intercepts and passes on cell phone calls. And, sure, the landlines going to/from the Russian embassy have very likely been tapped since at least JFK. But mostly we use cell phones for everything, and they are best intercepted at the switches. A lot of the international stuff is intercepted on the other side of the ocean, when getting ready to come here, since it is easier to do that way under FISA, esp when one of our close allies is doing the interceptions (and, yes, international calls are apparently steered by AT&T through these friendly countries).

tim in vermont said...

Modern taps

Since most of the switches use Voice over IP nowadays, it is very simple to intercept calls at the switch, and the way they would do it would be with one of the taps above. Once the data has been tapped, it can be processed in any number of ways, including the interception of voice communications. Stingrays are just a way to get around having to go to the phone company, but there are not stingrays providing cell service to all of America. Telcos are known as "license operators" and one of the conditions of their license is to cater to the government that granted the license.

Routing the calls overseas is certainly one of the ways this could be done, but really, doing that is nothing more than "tapping" the call. There are. taps involved, just not bare wire and alligator clips.

tim in vermont said...

Probes process the data provided to them by span ports(virtual taps) or actual taps.

tim in vermont said...

BTW, every country that Clinton ever visited with her famous BlackBerry recorded probably just about ever bit of data that went in and out of that phone. They also, as a government had the power to "tap," that's what they would call it, the key channels so that they could easily unencrypt it. I suppose that it is possible that she had a further level of encryption in her phone and on her home brew sever, but encryption algorithms get hacked all the time, and constantly have to be replaced.

Narayanan Subramanian said...

I fail to understand the complacency about fifth amendment protection for government functionaries.