Susan Rice Is a Horrible Liar, 'Incidentally' Speaking

Susan Rice is not known for her attention to poetry, but I suspect she is familiar with Walter Scott's famous lines (from the poem Marmion):

Oh, what a tangled web we weave

When first we practice to deceive.

I wonder if she also knows J. R. Pope's sly addition:

But when we've practiced for a while

How vastly we improve our style.

Pope's amusing title for that opus is "A Word of Encouragement."

To be perfectly frank, I believe that Ms. Rice, Barack Obama's former national security advisor, needs more practice.

Since Monday, when Eli Lake broke the story at Bloomberg News, the nation has been riveted by the report that Rice asked that the identities of various U.S. citizens,  "incidentally" swept up by one or more of America's alphabet soup of intelligence services, be "unmasked."

"Incidentally," eh?  That is, the spooks were looking for something else and the names of people associated with Donald Trump's campaign or transition just happened to be mentioned along the way, en passant. "White House lawyers," Lake wrote, "last month learned that the former national security adviser Susan Rice requested the identities of U.S. persons in raw intelligence reports on dozens of occasions that connect to the Donald Trump transition and campaign."

Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal expanded on this:

We’re told by a source who has seen the unmasked documents that they included political information about the Trump transition team’s meetings and policy intentions. We are also told that none of these documents had anything to do with Russia or the FBI investigation into ties between Russia and the Trump campaign. While we don't know if Ms. Rice requested these dozens of reports, we are told that they were only distributed to a select group of recipients—conveniently including Ms. Rice.

A couple of weeks ago, when asked about the "incidental" intelligence sweep on PBS NewsHour, she said, “I know nothing about this. I was surprised to see reports from Chairman Nunes on that count today.”

Rice is not, not yet, speaking under oath, so perhaps it doesn't really matter what she says.  Everyone knows by now that she has a habit of economy when it comes to the truth. After the Benghazi massacre, which left four Americans, including a U.S. ambassador, dead, Rice was paraded around the TV shows. With a straight face, she explained that the murderous attack by Islamic radicals was in fact a spontaneous uprising in response to a sophomoric Internet video about Mohammed. She knew that was a lie, but it was the story that the Obama administration wanted peddled, so she peddled it.

After the revelations these last couple of days about the "incidental" unmaskings, Rice made another television appearance, this time in an interview with Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC. Asked about allegations that she had been been involved in disseminating the names of people swept up by the intelligence investigations, she insisted that they were "absolutely false."