How the Obama administration's covert operations against a political foe worked

Mollie Hemingway:
Since Donald Trump won the election for president in November, U.S. media outlets have received and eagerly published selective, damaging leaks about him from anonymous intelligence officials. The general effort, which appeared highly coordinated, was to delegitimize Trump’s election and paint him as a stooge of Russia or otherwise unfit for office.

The media outlets claimed their information came from very highly placed officials in the Obama administration. Even if they hadn’t claimed their anonymous sources were Obama officials, the information they were leaking, such as the name of a U.S. citizen caught up in surveillance by the Obama administration, would have been known only by highly placed intelligence officials.

As the publishers of the information that was illegally disclosed, many media outlets weren’t keen to make a story, much less a big story, about the leak campaign by Obama officials. This despite the fact that the same Obama officials who had run the infamous Iran Echo Chamber operation, in which reporters were duped into reporting the Obama administration’s spin on the Iran deal, had bragged that they’d continue a highly developed communications operation in the Trump era.
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It should go without saying that the country’s powerful surveillance capabilities are not to be used against American citizens so that such unmasking should be exceedingly rare, be done for only the strongest reasons, and make pains to avoid the appearance of politicization. Nunes said the incidental collection might be legal but the unmasked dissemination of information about political opponents was disconcerting.

Despite the bombshell allegations, many in the media responded by downplaying or denigrating his news, distracting with process complaints, or quickly thrown-together stories from anonymous sources with no evidence claiming more breathless wrongdoing with Russia.

On Monday, Eli Lake of Bloomberg Views reported that sources said “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, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter.” Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the National Security Council’s senior director for intelligence, was conducting a review of unmasking procedures when he “discovered Rice’s multiple requests to unmask U.S. persons in intelligence reports that related to Trump transition activities.”
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There is much more.

 I think the reason for the media's downplaying of these bombshells is tied to the fact that they are co-conspirators with Rice and the Obama administration when it comes to trying to sabotage the Trump administration.   They are active participants in pushing the Democrats agenda of trying to delegitimize the Trump administration.

And it is not the first time the Obama administration pulled this ploy.  Tablet Magazine points out that the same scam was used against those who opposed the terrible Iran deal.
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In a December 29, 2015 article, The Wall Street Journal described how the Obama administration had conducted surveillance on Israeli officials to understand how Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials, like Ambassador Ron Dermer, intended to fight the Iran Deal. The Journal reported that the targeting “also swept up the contents of some of their private conversations with U.S. lawmakers and American-Jewish groups.”
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“At some point, the administration weaponized the NSA’s legitimate monitoring of communications of foreign officials to stay one step ahead of domestic political opponents,” says a pro-Israel political operative who was deeply involved in the day-to-day fight over the Iran Deal. “The NSA’s collections of foreigners became a means of gathering real-time intelligence on Americans engaged in perfectly legitimate political activism—activism, due to the nature of the issue, that naturally involved conversations with foreigners. We began to notice the White House was responding immediately, sometimes within 24 hours, to specific conversations we were having. At first, we thought it was a coincidence being amplified by our own paranoia. After a while, it simply became our working assumption that we were being spied on.”
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I do not think those who think they were being spied upon by the Obama administration are paranoid.  I think the evidence supports the conclusion that the Obama team and its "echo chamber" supporters in the media were using foreign intelligence to spy on political opponents.  This scandal has the potential to be bigger than Watergate.

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