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Late Wednesday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson stunningly divulged what was inside the emails that he’s been claiming NSA officials had snooped on and leaked to the media.
But what made his reveal stunning wasn’t what he said. It was the fact that what he said perfectly matched what the media had already reported hours earlier. How could that be?
“Late this spring, I contacted a couple of people I thought could help get us an interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin. I told nobody I was doing this other than my executive producer, Justin Wells. I wasn’t embarrassed about trying to interview Putin. He’s obviously newsworthy. I’m an American citizen; I can interview anyone I want — and I plan to,” Carlson said.
“But still, in this case, I decided to keep it quiet. I figured that any kind of publicity would rattle the Russians and make the interview less likely to happen. But the Biden administration found out anyway by reading my emails. I learned from a whistleblower the NSA planned to leak the contents of those emails to media outlets,” he added.
(Video: Fox News)
The evidence suggests this is exactly how events have played out. The evidence is namely that about two hours before Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” even aired, Axios preempted Carlson’s reveal with its own matching reveal.
“Tucker Carlson was talking to U.S.-based Kremlin intermediaries about setting up an interview with Vladimir Putin shortly before the Fox News host accused the National Security Agency of spying on him. … [S]ources said U.S. government officials learned about Carlson’s efforts to secure the Putin interview,” the outlet reported.
Keep in mind this was reported before Carlson had even divulged the contents of his emails. Yet Axios already knew the content. How? Because, Carlson claimed, it was all part of the NSA’s plan to discredit him.
“Vladimir Putin’s an evil doer, they tell us. … So no decent American would interview Vladimir Putin. At least no reporter from Fox News. That was the point they wanted to make. That’s why they planned to leak the contents of my emails to news organizations, and yesterday, as noted, we learned they actually did it,” he said.
“By law, I should have been identified internally merely as a U.S. journalist or American journalist. That’s the law. But that’s not how I was identified. I was identified by name. I was unmasked. People in the building learned who I was, and then my name and the contents of my emails left that building at the NSA and wound up with a news organization in Washington. That is illegal,” he added.
True, though those who committed the unmasking will likely face “zero consequences.”
The Tucker story really is bonkers, especially the unmasking and media leak. It’s just so clearly illegal, and yet the people who did it will face zero consequences. https://t.co/IitnyCWcx6
— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) July 8, 2021
Carlson continued by demanding that NSA Director Paul Nakasone and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, both of whom he alleged had to approve his unmasking, explain themselves immediately.
“[They] should be forced to release that information. We don’t have a lot of power, but we’re going to keep pushing for that because it matters. Not just to us, but to the entire country. You can’t have a democracy in a place where unaccountable spy agencies keep people in line by leaking the contents of their emails [and] discrediting them with their own emails which they thought were private. You can’t,” he said.
“We suspect congressional Republicans will also demand an answer. Many have finally awakened to the fact that the intelligence agencies which they have blindly supported for so long are not, in fact, their friends. They’re not the friends of anyone in this country. They’re dangerous, that’s obvious,” he added.
Indeed, prior to the intelligence community’s full-on assault against then-President Donald Trump, conservatives had revered the security state. But that love evaporated faster than boiling water once it became clear how low America’s security apparatus were willing to stoop to force the country to abide by their will.
Conversely, prior to Trump’s presidency, liberals had loathed the security state. But that revulsion transformed into adoring love once the security state decided to make the Democrat Party’s arch-nemesis their own enemy.
One very rare liberal who’s remained consistent from day one is Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald.
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) July 8, 2021
Speaking with Carlson, Greenwald argued that the only ones who can truly hold the security state accountable are members of Congress.
“It’s Congress’ responsibility to exercise oversight on how the executive branch spies on people, and for so long Congress has been either afraid of the NSA and the CIA or worse, subservient to them,” he said.
“[Congress] has long venerated these agencies, and only under Trump did they start to realize actually [that] these agencies interfere in our politics and threaten our democracy in really pernicious ways, and that they need to take that knowledge that they learned over the last five years and use it to get to the bottom of what happened here,” he added.
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