Hannity: Susan Rice has a lot of explaining to do

Edit 3:30: Judge Napolitano on if Susan Rice did anything illegal. His take on what she did is it might be espionage.

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This scandal can and should be compared to Watergate, though it is vastly worse.

Watergate was a break-in of one office to get info on the campaign. This scandal is about undermining the incoming president of the USA through the use of America’s intelligence agencies.

If the unmasking of American names was done by Rice, that action is not in itself technically illegal as far as I understand. If Rice unmasked for any reason other than “national security,” it is illegal. Similarly, Obama’s lowering the secrecy status of that unmasked information so that more eyes within the intelligence community would be on it is not in itself illegal as far as I understand.

Leaking those names to the press is illegal. Since both Rice and Obama were responsible for setting up the conditions to make those leaks possible, it does seem that there is very significant moral culpability on both of their parts.

Here is a reasonable back-and-forth on this issue: Rice unmasked as Team Trump unmasker: What it really means.

An important point missed by Carlson in this discussion is: Not only is there no evidence of Russian hacking but the DNC refused multiple times to allow the FBI to examine the hacked server.

Stephen Cohen on Russia “hacking the election”

Five months of this story and still not a shred of evidence. Cohen is a Russian expert. Hear what he has to say in the video below.

In tandem with the false Russian hacking claims, is the truthful claim that people within the Obama administration illegally leaked and illegally “unmasked” illegally gathered intelligence on Trump and members his campaign.

(See this for a good wrap up on the Obama spying story: Former intel officer: Nunes WH meeting was done right)

Stephen Cohen on the false Russian hacking claims:

The following short piece is not directly related to the issues above, but will give you a whole new perspective on Russia and thus on those issues. Highly recommended: Searching for Russia.

The NSA database

I wrote the piece below on July 5, 2013. I am reposting it today because I think it is right. A major issue is who controls the database and how do we know who that is and how do we control them?

At the bottom is a video with whistleblower Bill Binney, who worked at the NSA for thirty years. He brings up these same questions. ABN

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Firstly, that database is a sociologist’s wet dream. It is without question the greatest sociological analytical tool ever to come into existence.

The NSA database—using just metadata alone—is capable of discovering and describing in near-perfect detail nearly all social networks in the world.

It is possible that some very secretive groups figured out which way the wind was blowing twenty years ago and have kept away from all electronic surveillance since then, but I doubt that even they can be certain that their membership is not known, or knowable, to the NSA.

In addition to being able to find and analyze all, or virtually all, groups and networks in the world (secret or otherwise), the NSA almost certainly has the capability to reach back years into the content of those groups’ phone calls and other forms of communication.

This makes the database even more than a sociologist’s wet dream. It is also a tool for exceptional good or evil.

First, the evil—anyone with access to the database can spy on virtually anyone anywhere and use the information gained to blackmail, steal inventions or investment ideas, bribe, intimidate, or otherwise do bad stuff behind the scenes.

For the good, the database has the power to figure out groups that are doing bad things and stop them. The database could be used as a massive national and international “lie-detector” or “shit detector.” Just about any group of people up to anything unsavory should be discoverable through the database.

So who controls it? Is there one person at the top? Or a group? Who watches the group?

I am all but certain we will never be rid of that database. If by some miracle the US destroys the NSA database, some other country will surely set one up.

So liberty and goodness now mean that we have to figure out how to make sure the people controlling the database are good people. That they will never do bad things with the information available to them.

How do we do that? Is there any conceivable politics that can bring that about? We need databases watching databases all of which are controlled by groups that are watched by other groups. If we have perfectly reliable lie-detectors, could we establish groups like that? Is there any way forward other than massive transparency of everyone’s life?

It looks to me like our traditional political system is finished. Checks and balances and individual rights are meaningless in the face of that database.