• More Troubling Information: Secrets of the ‘Unmasking Scandal’ Increasingly Unmasked

    Surge Summary: Revelations of the “unmasking” scandal which destroyed the career of former Trump National Security Advisor Lt. General Michael Flynn are continuing to surface. A startling number of former Obama officials reportedly asked to expose Gen. Flynn. Someone – at this point it is unclear who – leaked his name to the press. There are indicators some of the Obama hands were less than forthcoming when questioned about this and other legally dodgy surveillance activities.

    by Gary Bauer

    You wouldn’t know it from watching the mainstream media, but there is a major unmasking scandal unfolding right now.  And, no, it has nothing to do with the coronavirus and which administration official isn’t wearing a mask.

    I am referring to the declassified list of 39 high-ranking Obama officials who made 49 requests after the 2016 election to reveal or unmask Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn’s name in classified intercepts.

    As you would expect, U.S. intelligence agencies are constantly surveilling foreign individuals. Occasionally, those conversations include American citizens.  Privacy laws require that the names of American citizens be “masked” or hidden in transcripts of intercepted calls.

    Asking to see the identity of the American citizen is not illegal, and they can be “unmasked” or revealed if there is a valid national security reason to do so.  What is illegal is giving that classified information to someone who does not have a security clearance, like a reporter.

    That is precisely what happened in the case of Gen. Flynn when the Washington Post ran a story in December 2016 about his contacts with the Russian ambassador.

    The disclosure that multiple Obama officials asked to unmask Gen. Flynn in the closing weeks of the administration raises many disturbing questions, most obviously “Why?”

    Most of these officials were leaving their government posts.  What was the urgent national security need for them to unmask Flynn?

    He was a top adviser to candidate Trump during the campaign, and he was the incoming National Security Adviser to President-Elect Trump.  Of course, Flynn was having conservations with his foreign counterparts.

    The suspicion is that the Obama team exposed Flynn’s contacts in order to set up the Russian collusion narrative, which tied the Trump Administration in knots for three years.

    Former Vice President Joe Biden’s unmasking request is particularly bizarre because it came eight days before Trump took the oath of office.  What was the urgent counterintelligence need for Biden to know Flynn’s name?

    Leakers & Liars

    We know someone leaked Flynn’s name to the media, and that was a crime.  It also seems that a number of former Obama officials may have lied to Congress about their unmasking efforts, and that’s also a crime.

    Former Rep. Trey Gowdy asked former CIA Director John Brennan if he recalled any U.S. ambassadors making unmasking requests.  Brennan said it was “ringing a vague bell,” but he couldn’t recall any specific examples.

    Well, former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power was an unmasking machine who reportedly made “hundreds of unmasking requests” in 2016.  How is it possible that this would not stick in Brennan’s mind?

    When Power was asked about her many requests, she denied it, suggesting that someone else used her name without her knowledge.

    Hopefully, Attorney General William Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham are quickly getting to the bottom, or perhaps more appropriately the top, of this scandal.

    There Was More

    I have suggested multiple times that the surveillance of political opponents by the Obama Administration was far more widespread than the Flynn scandal.

    You may recall that the administration secretly seized the phone records of the Associated Press.

    John Brennan once ordered the CIA to spy on the Senate Intelligence Committee.  When confronted about the spying, he indignantly denied it, saying, “That’s just beyond the scope of reason.”  He was later forced to apologize for the outrageous breach.

    James Clapper lied to Congress about the NSA’s spying on American citizens.

    Decades ago, J. Edgar Hoover authorized wiretaps of Martin Luther King, Jr.  When the Bureau’s tactics were exposed, many Americans were outraged, and rightly so.

    But today it seems that the entire progressive movement thinks it is okay to deploy the vast tools of our national intelligence agencies against conservatives.

    The views here are those of the author and not necessarily Daily Surge.

    Originally posted here.

    Image: Adapted from:  LBJ Library – CIA President’s Daily Brief Release Event, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51499757

    Gary Lee Bauer is an American politician and activist, who served in the Reagan administration. He later became president of the Family Research Council and a senior vice president of Focus on the Family. In 2000, he participated in the Republican presidential contest.

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