Wednesday, April 05, 2017

What did Obama know, and when did he know it?

“What did the president know, and when did he know it?” ~ Senator Howard Baker, June 1973

In that year I interviewed Senator Baker in New Orleans, where I was a reporter for The Associated Press. I also covered Vice President Gerald Ford's visit there, three days before he became president. So, for me, all this is deja vu all over again.

Here's the bottom line on RiceGate. If Susan Rice had found, as she perused raw intelligence on the Trump campaign, that Donald Trump colluded with Russia to win the election, she or Ben Rhode would have revealed it.

Repeat after me: She had the raw intel, as did her political operative Rhodes, and she would have revealed anything damaging to Trump. So would have the FBI director , the CIA director and the Director of National Intelligence, all of whom have said they have no evidence.

If they had found evidence of collusion, it would have been leaked to someone.

Meantime, here is an observation from someone who knows how the system works, Fred Fleitz, senior vice president for policy and programs with the Center for Security Policy, a Washington, DC national security think tank. He held U.S. government national security positions for 25 years with the CIA, DIA, and the House Intelligence Committee staff.
Rice’s denials don’t add up. It is hard to fathom how the demasking of multiple Trump campaign and transition officials was not politically motivated. While it was legal for her to do this, it was highly unethical and would be a huge scandal if a Republican senior official sought the names of Democratic political opponents from U.S. intelligence reports.

My guess is that Rice’s demasking requests were on behalf of the Obama National Security Council and were part of a broad campaign that began in early 2016 to abuse U.S. intelligence to hurt the Trump candidacy and then his presidency.

It wouldn’t surprise me if former Deputy National Security Council Ben Rhodes was deeply involved in this campaign. 
Despite determined efforts by the mainstream media to stamp out this story, the smoke of this scandal continues to grow.
Here's another interesting observation from Rebecca Diserio, a conservative writer and radio show host.
On MSNBC with Andrea Mitchell, Rice turned on the former president with a cryptic confession that must have Barack Obama and Valerie Jarrett freaking out. 
The more technical she got, the closer she came to admitting who, if anyone, gave her the order to do the unmasking. There can be no doubt she meant to tie herself to her former boss, Barack Obama, but she took it even further, shocking the political world. 
"I was a National Security Adviser, my job is to protect the American people and the security of our country. That’s the same as the Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, and CIA Director; and every morning, to enable us to do that, we receive – from the intelligence community – a compilation of intelligence reports that the IC, the intelligence community, has selected for us, to give us the best information as to what’s going on around the world.” 
On a daily basis. There you have it; those four words are describing the report that goes before the president daily called the PDB or President's Daily Briefing. That statement can mean only one thing — Rice is refusing to fall on her sword.
Susan Rice is now hugging the security of the Presidency. No space. To take Rice down means to take down President Obama – safe play on her part. 
The interview goes on, but Rice already had made her play. Now, the mainstream media will protect Rice because to protect her is to protect Barack Obama. Rice becomes a cog in Obama. Someone has ordered the spying on Trump, it was Obama, and Rice is just doing what she is told, providing the unmasked names to the president. There is no other explanation.
Andrew C. McCarthy III, a former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York who led the 1995 terrorism prosecution against Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and eleven others, adds:
Understand: There would have been no intelligence need for Susan Rice to ask for identities to be unmasked. If there had been a real need to reveal the identities — an intelligence need based on American interests — the unmasking would have been done by the investigating agencies. The national-security adviser is not an investigator. She is a White House staffer. The president’s staff is a consumer of intelligence, not a generator or collector of it. If Susan Rice was unmasking Americans, it was not to fulfill an intelligence need based on American interests; it was to fulfill a political desire based on Democratic-party interests.
To summarize: At a high level, officials like Susan Rice had names unmasked that would not ordinarily be unmasked. That information was then being pushed widely throughout the intelligence community in unmasked form . . . particularly after Obama, toward the end of his presidency, suddenly — and seemingly apropos of nothing — changed the rules so that all of the intelligence agencies (not just the collecting agencies) could have access to raw intelligence information.
This will not go away, but you won't learn about it in the legacy media.

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