I am at work, so I haven't had time to do a thorough job of tracking this down.  I'm asking if anyone knows more about this than me:  Before about three days ago, I had never ever heard of the term "unmasking" used to describe what is now apparently an abominable crime on the part of Obama era boogie-woman Susan Rice.  Has anyone else ever heard of such a thing before?  Or is this just one more example of Republicans and the mainstream press joining hands to demand a stake burning for something so nonexistent that it didn't even exist before their outrage machine was switched on?  Like Benghazi, the Swift Boat affair, Hillary's e-mails, and even the prototype concoctions of Whitewater, the Vince Foster death and on and on, did this even exist before they needed a distraction from their own obviously criminal, treacherous behavior?


Sam240 said…
The AP had an explanation of unmasking two weeks ago.


When a U.S. intelligence agency, such as the National Security Agency, conducts surveillance of a foreigner inside the U.S., sometimes that surveillance will include the name of an American that the foreigner is speaking to or about. When this happens, intelligence analysts are obliged to hide or "minimize" the name of the American, unless knowing the American's name is necessary to understanding the foreign intelligence described in the report.
Unmasking refers to an intelligence agency revealing the name of the American on the documents or surveillance to those working the case. It is not to go any further than those with security clearance regarding the activity.

*Unmasking is completely legal, since the information (a) remains inside the intelligence community, and (b) stays classified. It has been a standard practice for decades.

*Leaking an unmasked name is illegal, as is any other leaking of classified information. Rice denies leaking the name, and Republicans haven't accused her of leaking it, anyway.

*If Mike Flynn was never in touch with the Kremlin, then no unmasking or leaking could have taken place. If the White House is admitting that Flynn's name was unmasked, then it is claiming that the contact took place. [This is proof that the Administration has no idea what unmasking means, since it is unwittingly confessing to treacherous behavior by making the accusation.]

*As far as I can tell, the Republicans are demanding a stake burning for something that (a) is completely legal, and (b) they themselves have done before. It's their regular gross hypocrisy in action.
Green Eagle said…
Thanks for that, Sam. On the one hand, we have dozens of known suspect contacts between Trump people and the Russians, massive flows of money into Trump's pockets from Russians, numerous acts by Trump to favor Putin and alienate our allies, and endless public comments supporting Putin from the Trump people. We are not allowed to conclude a thing from all of this. On the other side, we have an essentially nonexistent crime, and a Democrat who didn't even do what she is accused of. Remind you of Benghazi? Or the e-mails? Or Whitewater, or Vince Foster or inventing the internet or Swift Boating, or Kenya or travelgate or Christmas card-gate, or the Clinton murder list, or the Obama murder list or...

The truth is that this sort of institutionalized smearing is the only way Republicans can win. They are such loathsome traitors to everything this country is supposed to be about that they have to systematically destroy everyone who stands up to them, even in the most minor way. It's all they've got, so they have gotten really good at it. It's destroying the lower 99.99% of the American people and making a mockery of any claim to decency our country ever had, but what do they care, as long as the money keeps rolling in to that remaining .01%?
ez said…
A good companion piece to read with the ' known suspect contacts between Trump people and the Russians' and other such patterns written, by Jim Wright.


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