Samantha Power was unmasking United States citizens at an astonishing rate in the final months of the Obama administration, Fox News reported Wednesday evening.
The former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations unmasked at such a rapid pace that she ended up “averaging more than one request for every working day in 2016,” multiple sources said to Fox. And she continued to seek identifying information about Americans caught up in incidental surveillance right up to President Trump’s inauguration:
Two sources, who were not authorized to speak on the record, said the requests to identify Americans whose names surfaced in foreign intelligence reporting, known as unmasking, exceeded 260 last year. One source indicated this occurred in the final days of the Obama White House.
The details emerged ahead of an expected appearance by Power next month on Capitol Hill. She is one of several Obama administration officials facing congressional scrutiny for their role in seeking the identities of Trump associates in intelligence reports – but the interest in her actions is particularly high.
In a July 27 letter to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said the committee had learned “that one official, whose position had no apparent intelligence-related function, made hundreds of unmasking requests during the final year of the Obama Administration.”
That one official is widely believed to be Power.
Her lawyer, David Pressman, had no comment on this story, but in a previous statement said:
While serving as our Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Power was also a member of the National Security Council responsible for advising the President on the full-range of threats confronting the United States. Any insinuation that Ambassador Power was involved in leaking classified information is absolutely false.
But nobody accused her of leaking classified information. (Not that there aren’t suspicions.) All she’s being accused of doing is seeking a freakishly large number of unmaskings for someone in her position.
It is not unprecedented for a UN ambassador to make an unmasking request, but according to Fox’s sources, the number is normally in the low double digits. Power allegedly requested over 260 unmaskings in Obama’s last year.
During congressional testimony since the unmasking controversy began, National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers has explained that unmasking is handled by the intelligence community in an independent review.
“We [the NSA] apply two criteria in response to their request: number one, you must make the request in writing. Number two, the request must be made on the basis of your official duties, not the fact that you just find this report really interesting and you’re just curious,” he said in June. “It has to tie to your job and finally, I said two but there’s a third criteria, and is the basis of the request must be that you need this identity to understand the intelligence you’re reading.”
Senators Rand Paul and Lindsey Graham have publicly complained that they think they were surveilled.
Months ago both senators formally requested information on whether they were ever under surveillance by the Obama administration or the intelligence community. They have been stonewalled by the intelligence community.
Daniel Greenfield of FrontPage Magazine theorizes that the Democrat-media complex has been pushing the RussiaGate narrative all this time in an effort to hide the high crimes and misdemeanors of Obama’s espionage regime.
Desperate Obama cronies had figured out that they could bypass many of the limitations on the conventional investigations of their political opponents by ‘laundering’ them through national security.
If any of Trump’s people were talking to non-Americans, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) could be used to spy on them. And then the redacted names of the Americans could be unmasked by Susan Rice, Samantha Power and other Obama allies. It was a technically legal Watergate.
Greenfield is by no means alone in his suspicions. The Obama administration was the most corrupt administration the nation has ever seen. Between the IRS scandal, Fast and Furious, Benghazi, EmailGate, the political espionage, and more, there is much to hide.
Once Obama and his allies launched their domestic surveillance operation, they crossed the Rubicon. And there was no way back. They had to destroy President Trump or risk going to jail.
The more crimes they committed by spying on the opposition, the more urgently they needed to bring down Trump. The consequences of each crime that they had committed spurred them on to commit worse crimes to save themselves from going to jail. It’s the same old story when it comes to criminals.
Each act of illegal surveillance became more blatant. And when illegal surveillance couldn’t stop Trump’s victory, they had to double down on the illegal surveillance for a coup.
The more Obama spied on Trump, the more he had to keep doing it. This time it was bound to pay off.
Obama and his allies had violated the norms so often for their policy goals that they couldn’t afford to be replaced by anyone but one of their own. The more Obama relied on the imperial presidency of executive orders, the less he could afford to be replaced by anyone who would undo them. The more his staffers lied and broke the law on everything from the government shutdown to the Iran nuke sellout, the more desperately they needed to pull out all the stops to keep Trump out of office. And the more they did it, the more they couldn’t afford not to do it. Abuse of power locks you into the loop familiar to all dictators. You can’t stop riding the tiger. Once you start, you can’t afford to stop.
If the Obama regime’s political espionage was able to find enough juicy, blackmailable material on enough weak links in the Republican Party, we may never know the truth.
Power is expected to meet with the House Intelligence Committee as part of the Russia probe in a private classified session in October.