trump white house probably needs leverage in the CIA to avail itself of obama’s expanded unmasking order

Lindsey Graham Asks Very Simple Question About ‘Unmasking’; Massive Evasion Effort Ensues
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, Jun 27 2017

For months now, Senator Lindsey Graham has been trying to get an answer to a very simple question, namely ‘if his conversations are ‘incidentally’ captured while he’s overseas talking with a foreign leader who’s being surveilled and his name is subsequently unmasked, is he, as a Pindostani citizen and/or as a Pindostani Senator, legally entitled to know that he’s been unmasked?’ And while the entire world is being distracted by the “Russian meddling” narrative, Graham’s question highlights the single most important issue that should be “top-of-mind” for Pindostanis as it gets to the heart of whether the various intelligence agencies in this country can be transformed into political weapons of mass destruction. As we pointed out a couple of months ago, the timing of Susan Rice’s requests to unmask conversations conducted by Trump officials that were ‘incidentally collected’ and the subsequent leaking of that information to the press would seem to highlight the urgent need for clarity on this topic. Meanwhile, a recently revealed FISA court order should also raise some serious concerns as it found that, under the Obama administration, NSA analysts had been conducting illegal queries targeting Pindo citizens “with much greater frequency than had previously been disclosed to the Court,” which the court described as a “very serious Fourth Amendment issue.”

2017.05.24 - FISA 2_0
 
Therefore, given the gravity of the question and the implications behind it, one would think that the nation’s top intelligence community lawyer, Bradley Brooker, would have been more prepared to answer Senator Graham’s question earlier today when he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Instead, Graham got nothing more than a couple of smirks from behind a massive stone wall. The line of questioning started off simply enough…

Graham: Lets get back to 702. I’m overseas talking to a foreign leader, which I do a lot. If they’re collecting on that foreign leader, I want to know, is it possible for somebody in the administration to get ahold of the conversation and unmask me? Is that possible?

The answer to that question was a very simple “Yes.” So far so good. But then apparently things got much more complicated. Graham asked whether it was possible for him to know whether that unmasking occurred:

Graham: Is it possible for me to know if that happened? Can I find that out? I want to know. Do I have the legal right as a Pindostani Senator to find out if my government is monitoring conversations between me and a foreign leader?

After a few attempts at stonewalling, Graham once again tried to rephrase his question:

Graham: So what’s the answer here? Am I ever going to get to know the basic facts? Because if I’m going to be monitored overseas, maybe there’s a good reason to monitor the person I’m talking to. I just want to know what consequence as a Senator flows my way. If somebody in my own administration doesn’t like me, if another administration outside my party doesn’t like me, should I be worried about that conversation falling into the hands of political people that may be one day used against me? I don’t mind if you’re listening. I do mind if someone can take that information and use it politically.

Alas, no answer ever came, which, we suspect is an answer all by itself, albeit not the one that most of us would like.

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