For the Record, First Draft of History: Sidebar to Adam’s Post



The Maskirovka Slips XIV: Susan Rice is Once Again Public Enemy #1

Bloomberg‘s Eli Lake, who seems to have become the Congressman Nunes whisperer, reports:

White House lawyers last month discovered that the former national security adviser 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.

The pattern of Rice’s requests was discovered in a National Security Council review of the government’s policy on “unmasking” the identities of individuals in the U.S. who are not targets of electronic eavesdropping, but whose communications are collected incidentally. Normally those names are redacted from summaries of monitored conversations and appear in reports as something like “U.S. Person One.”

The National Security Council’s senior director for intelligence, Ezra Cohen-Watnick, was conducting the review, according to two U.S. officials who spoke with Bloomberg View on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it publicly. In February Cohen-Watnick discovered Rice’s multiple requests to unmask U.S. persons in intelligence reports that related to Trump transition activities. He brought this to the attention of the White House General Counsel’s office, who reviewed more of Rice’s requests and instructed him to end his own research into the unmasking policy.

…The standard for senior officials to learn the names of U.S. persons incidentally collected is that it must have some foreign intelligence value, a standard that can apply to almost anything. This suggests Rice’s unmasking requests were likely within the law.

Here’s an important question: who ordered Cohen-Watnick, a junior DIA analyst promoted to a senior directorship on the National Security Staff by former National Security Advisor LTG Flynn way above his level of expertise and experience, to conduct this review? Was it LTG Flynn before he was fired on 13 February 2017? Was it the now reassigned KT McFarland? Was it someone above Cohen-Watnick in the Administration chain of command? This is an important question that needs to be answered! Unless Cohen-Watnick had a need to know this – as in was ordered to conduct such a review – as part of his duties as the NSC’s Senior Director for Intelligence Policy, his accessing of this material is a violation of classification and compartmentalization protocols. As is his dissemination of such information.

Bradley Moss, an attorney specializing in cases regarding security clearances and national security, has made a most prescient observation and prediction:

Noah Rothman has made an important discovery and is reporting that:

Rothman is referring to this Medium post from yesterday, 2 APR 2017, by Mike Cernovich. It now appears that Cernovich’s claims that he, at least, and other prominent members of the alt-right have ongoing contacts with senior White House/Administration officials. What Rothman is reporting, that, at least, Cernovich’s ties are accurate, this is important news. It shows that the white nationalist/white supremacist/neo-NAZI community that goes by the more respectable name the alt-right actually has a solid connection to the new Administration. This is disturbing on many levels. Not least is where the flow of information went: Cernovich, Zero Hedge, InfoWars, Gateway Pundit.

What is even more interesting is that someone seems to have fed the info to Fox and Friends, which is where the President saw it:

Back to Susan Hennessy a former attorney in the US Intelligence Community and now a Senior Fellow at Brookings:

A lot of unpleasant material is going to be thrown at a lot of walls today in very short order.

Stay frosty!



Well This is Awkward…



Life Imitates Satire: TSA Edition

This is satire:

This actually happened:

Well that’s not creepy at all…

I have said it before and I’m sure I will say it again: 9-11 caused the US to socio-culturally suffer a mental and emotional breakdown. While lots of Americans have recovered, a not insignificant number of Americans have not.



Something Strange in the Greater DC Area: There Appears to be a Cluster of Missing African American and Latina Teen Girls

There is concern that there is a cluster or, perhaps, a spike in missing persons cases in the DC area where the missing person is either an African American or Latina teen girl.

The figure is startling — more than a dozen black and Latina teens have been reported missing in D.C. since March 1.

The apparent jump in the number of missing young people in the District has raised concern in neighborhoods and on social media.

Actually, what’s happening is D.C. police are now acknowledging a continuing problem.

https://twitter.com/DCPoliceDept/status/839886925632835584?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwtop.com%2Fdc%2F2017%2F03%2Fdc-police-address-concerns-over-missing-teens%2F

As indicated by the social media response, DC authorities are taking the issue seriously.

Chanel Dickerson, who recently became commander of the D.C. police’s Youth and Family Services Division, said she was shocked by the number of missing children in the District. She said many of the cases involved runaways and she has pledged to publicize each case and provide equal service to all.

The 211 people who went missing in January did not reflect an increase in cases, Dickerson said, just better reporting by the families. While that may be true, it is far from reassuring. Few believe that the children are being snatched off the street in mass, but they do think that the children are endangered.

Sharece Crawford, a member of an Advisory Neighborhood Commission in Southeast Washington, said she believed that more black girls were getting involved with gangs and also being forced into prostitution.

“What we need is a citywide alert about the dangers out here and how parents can protect their children,” Crawford said. “Residents are very worried. They are wondering if the city is taking this seriously. They say things like, ‘If white girls were disappearing uptown, there would be a state of emergency.’ ”

The good news is that some of the missing teens are being found.

Amongst the teens missing, it’s been reported that 13-year-old Taylor Innis has been found in “good health.” Missing teen Antwan Jordan has been found safe.

Here’s the picture arrays with the pertinent information from one of the Essence authors/reporters.

As much as we are paying attention to a lot of important, fast moving things, it is equally important to pay attention to other equally important issues that impact people in different, but still important ways. It is important to remember that there are people at risk not because of anything the Federal, state, or local government may or may not be doing – though they may be at risk for things that should have long been done, but weren’t. Rather, people can be at risk just because of the reality of day to day life. It is important to keep in mind that as we focus on the big issues that we don’t lose sight of equally important things closer to home.



Why I Hate The NY Times, Part [n]*

This paragraph:

There is most likely a middle way. Republican lawmakers might be comfortable with a system that shifts more of the costs of care onto people who are sick, if it makes the average insurance plan less costly for the healthy. But making those choices would mean engaging in very real trade-offs, less simple than their talking point.

“Republican lawmakers might be comfortable…”  Think of the assuptions not in evidence required to write that phrase.  Think also of the cluelessness in what comes next:  those who buy insurance are seen here in the Republican frame, as two binary populations, the healthy and the sick.

That would be  the “virtuous”  healthy paid less than the molly-coddled, feckless sick.  That the same people might occupy both identities at different points of their lives seems not to have occured to this Times writer, Margot Sanger-Katz — whom I’ve noted before has an odd willingness to couch her Upshot explainers in weighted and coded language.

As seems to be hers and several Times-folk’s penchant, much of the story from which I extracted above is perfectly fine, an actual explainer of what Essential Health Benefits do and why they’re important. She even notes that in a system without a required benefit package–

…the meaning of “health insurance” can start to become a little murky.

Well, yeah, as it doesn’t actually insure against unanticipated risks.  I’d take issue with the meekness of her critique here, that is, but at least she suggests to the fragile sensibilities of her tender readers that perhaps a minor problem might result here.

Which makes the passage I quoted up top both weird and revealing: cheap insurance for the healthy and soak-the-sick policies for those with the misfortune to suffer the ails that impinge on just about every human being, sometime or other is a pretty damn good example of a murky notion of health insurance.

That is: the habit of mind, the reflexive and seemingly unconscious acceptance of a right wing tropes that lead both to conclusions unsupported by the evidence and an inability to grasp what one has actually just said.  This happens a lot at The New York Times. Happened a lot there too, over the crucial months of 2016.  Which goes a long way, IMHO, to accounting for the predicament we’re in now.

*Where [n] is an arbitrarily large number.x

Image:  Codex Aureus Epternacensis, Christ Cleansing Ten Lepers, c. 1035-1040.