The thing to bear in mind is that the White House does not do investigations. Not criminal investigations, not intelligence investigations. Remember that. Why is that so important in the context of explosive revelations that Susan Rice, President Obama’s national-security adviser, confidant, and chief dissembler, called for the “unmasking” of Trump campaign and transition officials whose identities and communications were captured in the collection of U.S. intelligence on foreign targets? Because we’ve been told for weeks that any unmasking of people in Trump’s circle that may have occurred had two innocent explanations: (1) the FBI’s investigation of Russian meddling in the election and (2) the need to know, for purposes of understanding the communications of foreign intelligence targets, the identities of Americans incidentally intercepted or mentioned. The unmasking, Obama apologists insist, had nothing to do with targeting Trump or his people. That won’t wash. In general, it is the FBI that conducts investigations that bear on American citizens suspected of committing crimes or of acting as agents of foreign powers. In the matter of alleged Russian meddling, the investigative camp also includes the CIA and the NSA. All three agencies conducted a probe and issued a joint report in January. That was after Obama, despite having previously acknowledged that the Russian activity was inconsequential, suddenly made a great show of ordering an inquiry and issuing sanctions. Consequently, if unmasking was relevant to the Russia investigation, it would have been done by those three agencies. And if it had been critical to know the identities of Americans caught up in other foreign intelligence efforts, the agencies that collect the information and conduct investigations would have unmasked it. Because they are the agencies that collect and refine intelligence “products” for the rest of the “intelligence community,” they are responsible for any unmasking; and they do it under “minimization” standards that FBI Director James Comey, in recent congressional testimony, described as “obsessive” in their determination to protect the identities and privacy of Americans. 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.
Exactly!! Well said, Andrew. Attorney Andrew C. McCarthy is a former federal prosecutor who has prosecuted Islamic terrorists, and understands this process better than most. His analysis here is spot on. Having spent over 2 decades in the Intelligence Community (IC), myself, I can also attest to the veracity of what Andrew is saying here. The National Security Advisor is just that; an advisor. He/she is NOT an investigator or an intelligence agent. He/she is a consumer of intelligence; NOT a producer of it. So, the ONLY reason why Susan Rice (who has ZERO intelligence experience, or credentials) would ask to unmask the identities of Americans in these reports would be solely for political reasons. Furthermore, IF she actually did what is being alleged, she should go to federal prison for the rest of her natural existence. And, why are CNN, MSNBC, and other colluding members of the dominantly liberal mainstream media doing everything they can to NOT cover or report on this HUGE scandal?!? Why aren’t reporters all over this?!? Had this been a Trump or Bush official (maybe Dick Cheney?) who had done this, it’d be everywhere, and we all know it. The hypocrisy is simply unreal.. Typical liberal media..