Wednesday, April 05, 2017
Well, that explains the deafening silence from President Obama.
All these months, it turns out, it was his right-hand hatchet gal and exposed serial prevaricator Susan Rice who was behind the scenes in his administration working all the levers of the most powerful espionage machine on planet Earth to spy on Mr. Obama’s political enemies.
This is jaw-dropping, bombshell information.
Not because it exposed the Obama administration as the most nakedly partisan presidency in modern history, willing to use even the most sacred powers of the federal government for political purposes. We already knew that too.
What is so astonishing about the revelation that Ms. Rice was the one unmasking Donald Trump and his campaign before, during and after he won the presidency is that it doesn’t get any closer to Barack Obama himself.
Ms. Rice was Mr. Obama’s national security adviser, one of his closest aides. They spoke all the time. She worked directly for him. Here she was spying on Mr. Obama’s political enemies while in daily contact with him at the very height of the most contentious presidential election in memory. You don’t think she and the president discussed this?
The revelation that Ms. Rice was the operator behind the spying answers just one question. But it raises a thousand more.
What conversations did she have with the president about the intel gleaned about Mr. Trump and other political enemies of Mr. Obama?
As was asked of an earlier president amid far smaller crimes: What did the president know, and when did he know it?
What other opponents running for the Republican nomination was the Obama administration spying on? Were any of those political enemies “unmasked” and disseminated across government agencies? Was any of that intelligence leaked to the press?
Did the Obama administration spy on Sen. Bernie Sanders during the long, messy Democratic primary, when the Vermont socialist refused to get out of the way for Hillary Clinton? Remember, we now know the lengths the entire Democratic National Committee went to rig that primary for Mrs. Clinton.
If there was nothing wrong with “unmasking” the identities of Mr. Obama’s political opponents and disseminating the intel, Ms. Rice, why did you flat out lie about it on national television last month?
“I know nothing about this” is not exactly a robust defense of one’s actions.
Most of the media, of course, is so desperate to destroy Mr. Trump and cover up anything that might reflect poorly on Mr. Obama that they would rather talk about phantom “Russia” connections instead.
Fine. Investigate Russia all you want. Even if that inquiry bears fruit, it will be about as scandalous as Richard Nixon going to China. But an administration actively spying on political opponents during a presidential election, unmasking U.S. citizens and then punishing them with selective leaks to the press? That is a real scandal.
And a constitution crisis that raises dire questions about whether any American citizen is safe from the espionage thuggery of the politically powerful.
• Charles Hurt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter via @charleshurt.
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