friday rice omnibus

Chris Matthews And Don Lemon Melt Down Over Rice And Farkas
ZeroPointNow, Zero Hedge, Apr 5 2017

If the truth can be judged by the reaction of establishment propagandists, it looks like we’ve hit paydirt. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and Mother Jones’ DC bureau chief David Corn engaged in a lively round of mental gymnastics over the Susan Rice ‘unmasking’ controversy, claiming it’s nothing more than a racist and sexist ploy by the President to “distract attention from the investigation.” While groping through his addled mind for reasons for why poor Susan Rice is getting hounded by the media after it was revealed she was behind unmasking the Trump team, Matthews started bloviating like a turtle-necked coffee-shop beatnik:

Notice it’s always a female? Just a thought…

Doubling down on the identity politics, Matthews throws race into it!

So they are making her, you know, basically they’re defaming her without any reason to do so because she’s a woman. Maybe because she’s a black woman?

Unbelievable! Meanwhile, CNN’s resident party enthusiast Don Lemon was sure to caution the network’s tiny audience that the Rice and Farkas news, plus anything Devin Nunes said, is all pure FAKE NEWS! Don’s such a tool! Look at that bowtie!

Consider the following from National Review:

People are going to jail, and it’s becoming more and more evident that the entire Russian hacking narrative may be nothing more than a giant smokescreen to justify egregious misuse of intelligence assets on political opposition. Hillary, after all, was supposed to have won, in which case none of the Trump surveillance would have ever come to light. Also consider that the ‘deep state’ probably knew in early 2016 how deeply in trouble Hillay Clinton was, thanks to their ability to tap into Google searches, emails, tweets, and Facebook posts. The government’s ability to gauge national sentiment in real time is undoubtedly far beyond what most people realize, and as soon as Trump became a threat, the “Fake News” and “Russian” narratives were hatched. That Chris Steele 35-page dossier was ordered and paid for, the CrowdStrike report was cobbled together, and a barrage of allegations related to Russia were queued up & readied to discredit Donald Trump. And it’s all unraveling in spectacular fashion!

Rand Paul Destroys Morning Joe Panel
The_Real_Fly, Apr 4 2017

Amidst a cacophony of smug laughter and abject ridicule on the MSNBC Morning Joe panel, Sen Rand Paul managed to weave his way into the discussion and utterly destroy their narrative. Paul’s claim was that the collection of data by means of ‘backdoor searches’ encroaches on the civil liberties of all Pindosis, and that ‘secret warrants by secret courts’ should be eschewed and replaced by standard old-fashioned search warrants. When Paul asserted that the White House had used the collection of surveillance for political purposes and that Rice should be subpoenaed and questioned under oath, the panel led by Mika Brzezinski and Bill Press jeered him. Press said:

They were not spying on these Pindosis!

His argument was that foreign agents were being spied on, and that Trump and his team just happened to come up in ‘incidental’ intelligence-gathering. Paul ripped Bill Press’s spine out, saying:

I think it’s a mistake to downgrade this and say: “Oh, it was just incidental and not a big deal.” It’s a huge deal that we are collecting millions of Pindosis’ phone calls, and that someone can go to a keyboard and search for it without a warrant. This is an illegal, warrantless search.

In response to Mika’s opposition, Rand ended the conversation, saying:

I believe Susan Rice abused this system, and she did it for political purposes and needs to be brought in and questioned under oath. This was a witch hunt that began with the Obama administration, sour grapes out the door, and used the intelligence apparatus to attack Trump, and I think they did.

WSJ reports that Susan Rice Was Not Alone In “Unmasking” Team Trump
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, Apr 5 2017

As part of its daily wrap of the Susan Rice newsflow, which focused on her first media appearance since she was “outed” as the person responsible for “unmasking” members of team Trump, the WSJ provides two new pieces of incremental information. In addition to Michael Flynn, at least one more member of the Trump transition team was “unmasked” in intelligence reports due to multiple foreign conversations that weren’t related to Russia. And Rice wasn’t the administration official who instigated Flynn’s unmasking. This means there is at least one more high-level official giving “unmasking” orders. Today, Susan Rice came out to defend herself and told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell:

The allegation is that somehow, Obama administration officials utilized intelligence for political purposes. That’s absolutely false. The notion which some people are trying to suggest, that by asking for the identity of the Pindosi person is the same is leaking it, that’s completely false. There is no equivalence between so-called unmasking and leaking.

And yet that is precisely what many Rethugs are suggesting, because otherwise there is no explanation for how the WaPo and NYT received stories about Mike Flynn’s communications with intel-level detail on a virtual silver platter. Perhaps Rice is simply lying as she lied on Mar 22 when in a PBS interview she said “I know nothing” about unmasking Trump officials. Less than two weeks later, we learn that she did. But perhaps there is more to the story than what we know so far. And this is where the WSJ comes in, with the new info that according to a Rethug official on the House Intelligence Committee, the names of two Pindosi citizens who were part of Trump’s transition team have been unmasked in intelligence reports. One is Flynn and the other hasn’t been identified. The report involving Flynn documented phone conversations he had in late December with Ambassador Kislyak. The WSJ then reports that Rice requested the unmasking of at least one transition official, not Flynn, who was part of multiple foreign conversations that weren’t related to Russia. And the punchline:

The Rethug official and others said Rice wasn’t the administration official who instigated Flynn’s unmasking.

In other words, the story that Susan Rice is the unmasker is incomplete, as there is at least one more person exposing the identities of people in Trump’s circle, and that the NSA and other intel agencies have been surveiling, accidentally or otherwise,  at least one so-far unnamed individual from Trump’s circle. It may well be someone that the WaPo and NYT have already published about, or it may be someone who has yet to hit the newswire, delivering the latest twist of the ongoing intelligence-fed news cycle. For now the answer is unknown, although when Rice testifies under oath before the House Intel Committee, we hope that all outstanding questions will finally get answers.

One Comment

  1. Wrong Tree
    Posted April 5, 2017 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    “If there had been a real need to reveal the identities – an intelligence need based on American interests – ”

    So the people who decide our Real needs and American Interest are – the spooks? That’s the sickest and most slavish thing I ever heard. Par for the course for National Review’s heel-clickers. But here?

    The problem is not misuse of intelligence ‘assets.’ The problem is arbitrary state surveillance. And twisting this into a political spat is an ingenious propaganda trick. Trump simply exposed one lever of CIA control over elective officials of both parties. They eavesdropped on lazy-ass goldbrick State Senator Barack Obama too. He wasn’t calling up Russians, he was playing Max Białystock with Penny Pritzker.

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