Flashback: Team Obama’s influence operations started with Benghazi

by WorldTribune Staff, April 4, 2017

Fresh evidence of the Obama administration’s political influence operations emerged on April 3 with the news that then-national security adviser Susan Rice was behind the unmasking of Trump associates.

“Rice certainly wasn’t politically naive about the political uses of intelligence information,” the New York Post noted in an editorial.

On Sept. 16, 2012 Susan Rice went on five national news shows and said the Benghazi terror attack was a “spontaneous reaction to an offensive video.”

“She was, after all, the Obama official who famously made the rounds spouting the false ‘our intel says it was about the video’ line on the Benghazi attack back during the 2012 campaign.”

The tactic was arguably successful as Obama won re-election.

While U.S. intelligence agencies intercept foreign officials’ calls, intel reports “don’t disclose the names of U.S. citizens on the other end. To get that info, a high official must (but rarely does) push to ‘unmask’ the Americans’ names,” the Post said, adding that reports April 3 revealed that “Rice started doing just that last year.”

“That was perfectly legal. But we also know that the Obama administration later changed the classification of the ‘unmasked’ transcripts, and other similar material, in order to spread the information as widely as possible within the government.

“The motive for that was (supposedly) to prevent Team Trump from burying it all once it took over. But the result was that it made it relatively safe for someone (or someones) to leak the info to the press.”

The Obama administration’s last-second changes also make it very likely somebody would leak, “so Team Obama’s ‘spread the info’ initiative certainly broke the spirit of the laws,” the Post said.

“Those leaks have produced a nagging political sore for the new administration — leading to the ouster of national security adviser Michael Flynn, helping to drive down President Trump’s approval ratings and making it harder for him to push his program through.

“All of which is a reminder that two issues are in play here: Russian meddling in the election, about which the nation already knows plenty — and the Obama team’s efforts to sabotage Team Trump.”

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