FARRELL: Samantha Power’s Massive Unmasking Effort
From Chris Farell’ Op-Ed for The Daily Caller:
This week Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the State Department seeking information on former UN Ambassador Samantha Power’s potential abuse of her authority to unmask the identities of U.S. citizens whose names appear in intelligence reports.
Power was the most active of the serial unmaskers in the Obama administration. She – or someone acting in her name – made over 260 such requests in her last year as ambassador and was actively unmasking people right up to Donald Trump’s January 2017 inauguration. Note that Power testified in 2017 before the House Intelligence Committee that she did not personally make the requests, but if that is true it is still unclear who did.
The State Department has rebuffed previous attempts to reveal the full extent of the Power unmasking effort, but there is new interest since the May 13 release of a declassified memorandum from the Director of National Intelligence identifying officials who requested unmasking the identity of former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn in National Security Agency (NSA) foreign intelligence reports. Power submitted seven such anti-Flynn requests, which were granted.
This unmasking effort began well before – and continued well after – Flynn’s legitimate contact with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and involved 39 people, including Power, various other ambassadors, intelligence officials, and outgoing Vice President Joe Biden. The list of requests ends on January 12, 2017, which may be related to the Justice Department Inspector General announcing a review of unauthorized releases of confidential information that same day.
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