As competent investigative reporters are apt to do, Sharyl Attkisson’s latest effort is sure to make a few people in the DC power structure a little nervous.
Titled “Whatever happened to the ‘unmaskings’ probe?,” the piece published in The Hill, Attkisson cited Russian interference in our election process and the subsequent unmasking of Americans “a can of worms squirmier than many other issues.”
“One of the deepest, darkest, most important issues in the whole mess has to do with the massive number of ‘unmaskings’ of U.S. citizens,” she wrote.
Atkisson details how the whole process was corrupted by the “reverse engineering of intel.”
An official who is a bad actor may want to monitor a U.S. citizen — say, a political enemy or a journalist — but knows he could never get wiretap approval from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). So he develops a pretext to wiretap a foreigner or a target in contact with that citizen. He then “incidentally” captures the citizen’s information, too. Later, he builds a case for “unmasking” the U.S. citizen’s name, supposedly for national security or other crucial reasons.
Here’s the best part — for the bad actors. The U.S. citizens are usually none the wiser. The surveillance isn’t intended to build a criminal case; it’s to collect dirt or political intel or blackmail material. So the corrupt process is never scrutinized in a U.S. court.
She also reminds us that those involved in the relevant unmaskings, the “spying on U.S. citizens,” is a literal who’s who of the Obama administration.
Citing her own case, Attkisson asked if abuse might explain why “government spy software was found on my work and personal devices?”
“Hypothetically, if bad actors abused their authority, might they be so anti-Trump partly because a wildcard Trump administration could be expected to unearth what they’d been doing all these years?” the reporter asked.
Noting that former United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power reportedly told congressional investigators that many of the hundreds of “unmasking” requests in her name in 2016 were not made by her, Attkisson pointed out the obvious: “If true, it implies something equally problematic, or worse: Someone else in the government used her name to unmask Americans.”
She notes that those involved in unmaskings insist they did nothing improper, that they were motivated by protecting the nation.
“They say they did not act for political reasons, or to spy,” she concluded. “If they did, people could go to prison. Theoretically.”
Bold reporting from a brave journalist on what may be “the real story,” according to social media users.
Of course, if there’s accountability for alleged rampant abuse, resulting in unmasking the criminals in government, it may result in the Senate being reduced by half and the House by three quarter or better, according to the perspective of one social media user.
We are truly at a cross roads. It is no longer unmasking of operatives, but we need to unmask the criminals in government. If we do that, we may be down to 50 Senators, and 100 Representatives.
— Dave Logan (@deejsr) July 30, 2018
A perusal of other responses to Atkisson’s editorial and tweet offers a case study of how some Americans see their government today, particularly when in the hands of progressive ideologues:
To many guilty parties in the top brass to dig into those crimes
— Shannon K (@shannyk36) July 30, 2018
Swept under the rug like the rest of them, naturally. Same w/IRS, Lois Learner, Fast and Furious, Iran Cash, Bergdahl trade, Manning, Benghazi etc etc. #BuildTheWall #LockThemUp #DrainTheDeepState & #MAGA
— Gene Hilbert ❌ (@genehilbert) July 30, 2018
Love your question.
There is so much evidence of so much corruption and wrongdoing, I just want to know when people are going to be held accountable
— Vinnie (@vje57) July 30, 2018
No one will go to jail over this. It just won’t happen. Too big to fail. Too big to admit wrong doing. Can’t (further) erode the American people’s trust now can we?
— Blue Fox (@Blue_Fox_9) July 30, 2018
The people who weaponized the ‘unmasking’ requests and all the alphabet agencies need to be exposed for who and what they are, and those who were targeted should at least be made aware of their being victimized at taxpayers’ expense. Here’s to National #Whistleblowers Day.
— charlino (@charlino) July 30, 2018
It is a concerted effort to forget. A total lack of focus not to mention a spineless leadership in the GOP.
— Steve Kitcoff (@SoloVoc) July 30, 2018
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