Well, it looks like former Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice had a partner concerning the unmasking of American identities from intelligence reports. Unmasking has become the topic of discussion these days, which deals with the protocols in which Americans are have been caught up in intelligence reports have their identities revealed in the interests of national security. As an example, people under surveillance authorized by the FISA court sometimes come into contact with American citizens. This is called “incidental collection.” USA Today had a nice rundown of the lexicon regarding this process. In short, unmasking only occurs if a citizen’s information is public knowledge, critical to analysis, or if the American himself (or herself) is suspected of being a foreign agent.
In March, Ms. Rice denied knowing about the unmasking of senior Trump officials. Then, she admitted in April, that she knew of this activity, which was part of her job. So, she finally admits it. Now, former UN Ambassador Samantha Power might have also unasked Americans, allegedly at a rapid pace in the final days of the Obama administration. Fox News’ Catherine Herridge and Bret Baier had details:
Samantha Power, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, was 'unmasking' at such a rapid pace in the final months of the Obama administration that she averaged more than one request for every working day in 2016 – and even sought information in the days leading up to President Trump’s inauguration, multiple sources close to the matter told Fox News.
Two sources, who were not authorized to speak on the record, said the requests to identify Americans whose names surfaced in foreign intelligence reporting, known as unmasking, exceeded 260 last year. One source indicated this occurred in the final days of the Obama White House.
The details emerged ahead of an expected appearance by Power next month on Capitol Hill. She is one of several Obama administration officials facing congressional scrutiny for their role in seeking the identities of Trump associates in intelligence reports – but the interest in her actions is particularly high.
In a July 27 letter to Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., 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."
The "official" is widely reported to be Power.
Ms. Power is expected to offer testimony into the Russian interference investigation Congress is conducting in October. Yes, this is not what unmasking was intended for, and while it’s not illegal or considered leaking—it does strike an unnerving feeling. Moreover, as Sharyl Attkisson noted, the loosening of the unmasking protocols from 2011 have led to abuse. For now, it seems that Power and Rice are quite the gruesome twosome in the unmasking effort.