Are American politicians and news outlets intentionally steering our attention away from political crimes in favor of fake news (i.e. lies)? It would definitely seem that way. Case in point, New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen took to the Senate floor to attack RT, comparing the Russian sponsored news agency to the Nazi propaganda machine during WWII.
Shaheen argued that RT, otherwise known as Russia Today, was involved in undermining the 2016 Presidential election process. Her evidence included a chart with a handful of articles she suggested demonstrated proof that RT was guilty. Another piece of “evidence” was a close up picture of RT’s editor in chief, Margarita Simonyan, standing next to Russian President Vladimir Putin. In the picture Margarita can be seen pointing to something outside of the photograph. Meanwhile, Putin’s facial expressions appear somewhat interested in whatever the subject matter may have been.
Of the handful of Shaheen’s damning articles, one was from another news agency and another article concerned the Trump Wiretap claim. However, RT’s wiretap article was very that RT was merely reporting on a story originating from ABC News. Oddly enough, ABC News has yet to be caught in Shaheen’s crosshairs. The photograph of Putin and RT’s editor in chief does show the two together, obviously discussing something, but I personally remain skeptical that this picture displays anything of actual substance.
While all of this crap is piling up, actual newsworthy information is being glossed over, or otherwise ignored, by many mainstream news outlets. Susan Rice is at the center of the scandal involving the leaking of highly classified information to the public! That is a huge story with potentially ground shaking ramifications.
Susan Rice was President Obama’s National Security Advisor during his second term in office. New revelations have shed light suggesting that Susan Rice ordered the unmasking of several surveillance documents, which included Trump transition team members. Mind you, these transition team members are American citizens.
Of those reporting this story, most mainstream media outlets have treated this matter as a nuisance. They have suggested that as National Security Advisor, Susan Rice had every right to order the unmasking of names included in national security related surveillance. But this argument ignores the crime. While it may be legal for the National Security Advisor to order unmasking, it is a completely different ball game once the names of American citizens are released to the public. Remember these are highly classified surveillance documents.
The typical process while gathering intel on foreign persons of interest who do come in contact with American citizens during this surveillance is to mask the Americans names and conceal their identity in these reports. The reason behind this is simple. We are American citizens and our government must respect us and our anonymity much more than some person of interest from a foreign country. Remember this is surveillance being conducted by the NSA, not your local police department with a normal warrant. The NSA is not legally allowed to spy on Americans, thus the reason for masking.
Susan Rice’s actions may have opened a whole new can of worms in the intelligence community, and our government at large. While serious attention should be given to investigating Rice’s specific role in this illegal leak of highly classified information, we also need to realize the ramifications of similar behavior by anyone in our government. The thought that people in the United States government, elected or appointed, have the power to use classified information to wage a smear campaign on American citizens is a devastating blow to our democratic system. This needs to be addressed completely, aggressively seeking out all sources of such abuses of power, and bringing each and every one of them to justice.