WSJ editorial: Why did Samantha Power need to know the names of so many Trump officials?

by WorldTribune Staff, August 13, 2017

In her capacity as U.S. ambassador to the UN Samantha Power requested the “unmasking” of “hundreds” of Americans, including members of Donald Trump’s campaign team.

Why, the Wall Street Journal asked in an Aug. 11 editorial.

Samantha Power. / Getty Images

In May, the House Intelligence Committee subpoenaed the unmasking requests from Power, former CIA director John Brennan and former national security adviser Susan Rice.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, in a letter to the Director of National Intelligence, said the committee had learned that “one official, whose position had no apparent intelligence-related function, made hundreds of unmasking requests during the final year of the Obama administration.”

“It’s pretty obvious this was Samantha Power,” the Journal said, adding that Power “is the only one of those three whose job had no clear intelligence-related function.”

U.S. government officials “are supposed to give good and specific reason for seeking the identity of a redacted American,” the Journal said. “Yet in all but one of the requests for names from top-level Obama officials, Nunes writes, the language was ‘boilerplate’ and did not specify why the official needed to know the names.”

After he first raised the unmasking issue, Nunez “was accused of leaking classified information, and activist groups including filed complaints with the House Ethics Committee,” the Journal noted. “But rather than resolve what are plainly politically motivated complaints, it looks like Democrats on the committee are more interested in keeping a cloud hanging over Nunes as a way of keeping a cloud over the investigation.”

“If high-level members of the Obama Administration were abusing intelligence to spy on Trump people during that same campaign, the American people deserve answers on that too,” the Journal said.

“Of all the Russia storms raging around Donald Trump – the Christopher Steele dossier, the email to Don Jr. promising dirt on Hillary Clinton – there is still only one clear felony we know about: the leaking of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s name after someone had identified him from a classified intelligence report,” the Journal said. Funny how this is a scandal no one seems interested in.”

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