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Susan Rice’s consciousness of guilt

Susan Rice’s consciousness of guilt

People who actually played “by the book” don’t need to write last-day-on-the-job memos to self about how they played “by the book”

On Obama’s last day in office, January 20, 2017, National Security Advisor Susan Rice wrote an email memo to herself (pdf.) regarding the investigation into Michael Flynn and a January 5, 2017, meeting attended by Obama, Biden, Rice, Sally Yates, and James Comey. The email was mostly public previously, though supposedly classified portions were redacted.

Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell just declassified most of the rest of the memo.

That declassified portion provided, as to the January 5 meeting:

Director Corney affirmed that he is proceeding “by the book” as it relates to law enforcement. From a national security perspective, Camey said he does have some concerns that incoming NSA Flynn is speaking frequently with Russian Ambassador Kislyak. Camey said that could be an issue as it relates to sharing sensitive information. President Obama asked if Comey was saying that the NSC should not pass sensitive information related to Russia to Flynn. Comey replied ”potentially.” He added that he has no indication thus far that Flynn has passed classified information to Kislyak, but he noted that “the level of communication is unusual.”

The President asked Corney to in.form him if anything changes in the next few weeks that should affect how we share classified information with the incoming team. Corney said he would.

The significance of that portion is that it shows Flynn was doing nothing wrong. His conversations, as incoming National Security Advisor, were not illegal.

It also shows how granular Obama’s involvement was. Remember, Sally Yates said she was shocked to find out from Obama about the surveillance of Flynn:

“Yates had no idea what the president was talking about, but figured it out based on the conversation. Yates recalled Comey mentioning the Logan Act, but can’t recall if he specified there was an ‘investigation.’ Comey did not talk about prosecution in the meeting.”

It was not clear to Yates from where the President first received the information. Yates did not recall Comey’s response to the President’s question about how to treat Flynn. She was so surprised by the information she was hearing that she was having a hard time processing it and listening to the conversation at the same time.”

But what’s most important to me is what we’ve known for a while from the previously disclosed portions. Rice felt the need on her last day on the job to write a CYA memo that three times used the term “by the book.”

“President Obama began the conversation by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the Intelligence and law enforcement communities “by the book”. The President stressed that he is not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective. He reiterated that our law enforcement team needs to proceed as it normally would by the book.”

“Director Corney affirmed that he is proceeding “by the book” as it relates to law enforcement.”

Who writes such a memo (Rice) and who speaks those words (Obama, Comey)? If you are actually playing by the book, you don’t need to say you are playing by the book.

It’s a consciousness of guilt of people who may not have expected the Barr Inquisition (no one does), but who knew they were doing something untoward.

Maybe illegal, maybe not, but something on which the light of day would not reflect kindly. Hence, the memo to throw some shade.

[Featured Image: Then Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice describing the role of a video in the Benghazi attack, September 2012]


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notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | May 19, 2020 at 9:05 pm

CYA was never as obvious as with Dem-Witted Rice.

This isn’t just “cover your ass.” It’s also “cover your boss.”

Is there a valid reason as to why the newly revealed section of the letter should’ve been redacted in the first place?

    fast182 in reply to Tiki. | May 19, 2020 at 9:37 pm

    Not in my amateur opinion. There’s no ‘sources and methods”. It shows that the coup is still active, and Bill Barr is not the ally that he appears to be.

    Petrushka in reply to Tiki. | May 19, 2020 at 9:54 pm

    Maybe it’s being released to demonstrate that the redactions were all bs.

    David Lentz in reply to Tiki. | May 20, 2020 at 8:36 am

    As I recall Top Secret information is defined as information if released would cause exceptionally grave damage to the United States, or words to that effect. The only party that seems damaged by the Rice Memo was then FBI Director James Comey. So why was this paragraph hidden for over three years by the administration of Donald J. Trump?

    pwaldoch in reply to Tiki. | May 20, 2020 at 11:36 am

    Barr’s current ongoing investigations. The leakers don’t know how much he knows. He’s now ready to start going after the swamp and he can now have some of these documents unredacted at least partially.

If you are sitting in your living room watching TV and your kid wanders in and suddenly without any prompting announces “I didn’t eat any cookies!” – what are the chances that kid has a belly full of cookies?

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to cgg. | May 20, 2020 at 1:25 am

    ……with half the chocolate cake still on their face also…..

    B Buchanan in reply to cgg. | May 20, 2020 at 8:28 pm

    Hahaha!! Did something similar once. I was six. Got a well-deserved spanking. Never did that again.

Comanche Voter | May 19, 2020 at 9:37 pm

You write a CYA memo when you know you’ve got something to cover up. And there was a whole lot to cover here.

    CommoChief in reply to Comanche Voter. | May 19, 2020 at 10:03 pm


    Alternatively, I have written lots of cya memoranda, I hadn’t done anything wrong, simply wanted to make sure the facts about the actors were clear when and if the actions were questioned. I have also written them and sent them to the actors before they acted in the hope of discouraging them from taking a particular action.

    Rice could have been doing that or maybe she left it there as a trail to follow to the real truth of what went on.

      CKYoung in reply to CommoChief. | May 19, 2020 at 10:48 pm

      You’re CYA memos had a different purpose Commochief. If rice were doing what you had done, I suspect her words would be more along the lines of: “I don’t know what obama and the rest of the gang were doing, but it seemed shady and I didn’t have anything to do with those aspects of the administration.” Except her electronic communications trail and fingerprints were everywhere, so I believe she felt her only other option was the “by the book” email. As others commented, she’s likely trying to preserve obama’s legacy while true believers like her take one for their golden calf.

    Correction: You write a CYA memo about a meeting and direct it to the people involved to eliminate any doubt about what happened and who was there because you are working above-board, and want any investigation to show how squeaky-clean your activities are.

    You write a CYA memo and address it only to *yourself* when you want to lie about what happened in order to absolve yourself of any of the crap that is going to get splattered around when it hits the fan. “Look, I am innocent, and as proof, I offer this letter that I wrote to myself saying so, and that was stored in the official papers of my office and archived out of my reach.”

      CorkyAgain in reply to georgfelis. | May 20, 2020 at 11:49 pm

      Who is the Curtis Ried that she cc’ed it to, and does the remaining blackout mean there were other recipient on the To: or Cc: lines?

      The answers could go a long way toward explaining the intent of the memo.

What a piece of trash. But then, who from obama on down isn’t?

It’s a bad joke, at this point. Almost as bad as the Bezos Post stacy adams lunar eclipse photo.

Another bad joke is AG Barr-Boehner, announcing he’s letting them off the hook.

The tell-tale hearts beat ever louder.

Well keep her name out there because she is going to be Biden’s runningmate. When he has a brain fart, she will be front and center.

I thought only Yates and Comey were in the too with Obama when what to do about Flynn was discussed in some detail. Is Rice claiming she was there, too?

All of them need to testify under oath in the Senate.

Unredacted emails and documents coming out. joe biden Ukraine quid pro quo tape released. The General Flynn case coming to an end… all this and more is preparing the battlefield. Softening up the targets. The trickle is going to become a flood and then the MOABS will start to drop. PDJT is not going to stand in front of the rabid msm and casually name names and utter words like “Treason” for no reason. The obama administration is in big, and I mean huge trouble. It doesn’t matter if obama and/or biden are never indicted or even questioned about any of this. When his cronies start getting rolled up, he’ll stand back like the coward he is and let the bus run them all down.

texansamurai | May 19, 2020 at 11:14 pm

perhaps barr is playing a bit sleight of hand–imagine an indictment of obama or biden occurring prior to the re-election of PDJT–talk about swinging the focus of the entire country–let’s get PDJT safely re-elected, keep the senate and take back the house–THEN indict obama, biden, et al and put them away at our leisure

Listening to many of the blowhard talking heads on tv, many still don’t understand the concept of leaking classified information is an actual crime, and yes leaking it to the media counts as well.

    stevewhitemd in reply to buck61. | May 20, 2020 at 10:15 am

    Oh, they understand it alright. They’ve just never been held accountable for being the beneficiaries of all those leaked classified documents. Their smug chatter indicates that they don’t anticipate being held accountable any time in the foreseeable future…

      Milhouse in reply to stevewhitemd. | May 20, 2020 at 10:34 am

      They can’t be held accountable, because it is not a crime to be the recipient of a leak. Only the leaker is a criminal, the leakee is not.

      Where they get in trouble is when they refuse to name the criminal, and most of the time they get away with it because the DOJ policy is not to ask them unless there is no alternative. And in many states the legislature and/or the courts have foolishly given them a “privilege”. The few times they are subpoenaed they refuse, and once in a while go to jail; but when they do their fellow-frauds celebrate them as heroes, just like the ten communists whom Hollywood turned into national heroes. They come out of jail and dine off the experience for years. That’s not being held accountable.

George_Kaplan | May 20, 2020 at 12:15 am

Question is which book were Obama, Comey etc referring to? There’s follow the ordinary rules and spirit of the law, and then there’s do what the Democrats want but maybe try to keep it within what the law permits.

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | May 20, 2020 at 1:13 am

“People who actually played “by the book” don’t need to write last-day-on-the-job memos to self about how they played “by the book”

That’s like the Great Margaret Thatcher quote.

“Being powerful is like being a Lady.
If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.”

ahad haamoratsim | May 20, 2020 at 2:48 am

NO ONE expects the Barr inquisition!

I bet the full sentence was “Do things by the book, from now on” and then told to make the stuff related to Christopher Steele disappear.

By the book is a form of equivocation. It means you found a way to follow the form of the law while evading its intent.

    CorkyAgain in reply to Petrushka. | May 21, 2020 at 12:00 am

    It usually means not doing anything that will get the evidence you collect excluded in trial.

    But it’s clear that, whatever else they did, they didn’t conduct this Flynn affair “by the book”. There’s more than enough reason to dismiss the whole case.

Sounds like Susan Rice would make a perfect running mate for Joe Biden

2smartforlibs | May 20, 2020 at 9:01 am

Suzy It was just a video. Remember?

Grrr8 American | May 20, 2020 at 9:03 am

The catalyst for her writing that email was a YouTube video, I tell ya!

MoeHowardwasright | May 20, 2020 at 9:10 am

Un-indicted co-conspirators would be the proper way to go. You avoid courtroom drama, yet lay it all at the feet of Obama and Biden. It’s how they forced Ford to pardon Nixon. President Trump can then be magnanimous by pardoning both. Fact is, he should just go ahead an pardon Obama. Can’t claim the 5th in deposition or testimony if your off the hook. One can only hope? Right?

Rice wrote the memo to provide a contemporaneous note anticipating she’d be called upon to testify at some time in the future. When that testimony is demanded, she will be able to rely on the note and answer, “Everything was by the book,” instead of, “I don’t recall.”

How is this conversation, in a just world, even possibly?

Jan 4th ’17, the FBI writes a memo to close the Flynn investigation after finding nothing.

Jan 5th ’17, the WH meeting occurs and per Rice we have an outline of the conversation. But do we? In Yates testimony she makes it seem as if only she and Comey were with the POTUS. Was she lying or is Rice? From the Rice email, I’m concerned that Comey, admitting he has no evidence and one would hope knowing the Flynn investigation is to be closed, believes he should “possibly” withhold information! Who elected him to anything?

Jan 7th ’17, who came up with the “Logan Act” as a means to keep the Flynn investigation open as Strozk requested via text? Oh and can we now point back to the Page text in Sept ’16 saying POTUS wanted to be kept in the loop?

Jan 24th ’17, so Mr. “by the book” Comey sends two agents to interview Flynn in the WH. We now know he never informed the DOJ, didn’t follow normal protocol and has since joked about it!

Outside of the leaking of classified information I don’t know if what this cabal did was criminal but I know it was ridiculously unethical. I truly hope the American people start paying attention.

    CorkyAgain in reply to WillS68. | May 21, 2020 at 12:09 am

    I’m concerned that Comey, admitting he has no evidence and one would hope knowing the Flynn investigation is to be closed, believes he should “possibly” withhold information! Who elected him to anything?

    Perhaps he was angling for a directive from the President, so he could say he wasn’t responsible for the decision to withhold information?

    Like it or not, Obama *had* been elected to take that kind of responsibility. (Granted, there is only one correct decision which, given the Comey’s admission that there was no evidence of wrongdoing, is *not* to withhold any information from the incoming NSA — who as far as I know, already had the necessary security clearance level.)

BierceAmbrose | May 20, 2020 at 1:26 pm

I understand that we classifying stuff to protect US “national security” particularly by preventing potential BGs from dinging our stuff n operations, by keeping them from targeting either.

Roughly, like the Kung-Flu virus’ family, they can’t target an ACE2 receptor if they don’t know it’s there.(*)

We secure physical facts so the opposition-flu can’t target those facts, like the Kung-Flu targets the ACE2 receptor. Hard to target what you don’t know is there.

We secure operational facst so the opposition-flu can’t target those operations, like the Kung-Flu targets RNA replication and protein assembly. Hard to disrupt or hijack what you don’t know is there.

So, unless there’s design info in one of these memos to self, they ought to default be declassified as soon as the operation expires. I suppose the Rice memo shouldn’t have been declassified even yet, as operation Strike The God-Emperor is ongoing.

(*) Viruses actually use a different strategy to find new exploits. They cheaply *try everything* then replicate what works. Security makes sense when experiments are expensive: human security ops are expensive, so aim where there’s a target makes sense.

I suspect that Graham will talk about doing something, Gowdy will pontificate about what should be done, and Barr will do nothing.

Don’t forget the reason Flynn was having conversations with Ruskie Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the first place: at nearly the end of his administration, President Obama Issues sanctions and kicks out 35 embassy workers (spies) in order to create the maximum amount of Russian-American tension just before Trump’s inauguration. And don’t forget how petty and vengeful Obama has been to those he felt had crossed him, such as Flynn.

She just plain looks stupid. How’d she ever get hooked up with barry? Hillary? Of course barry was plenty stupid himself. But between rice and jerret rice just looks stupid all the time. But of course this does not imply jarret wasn’t stupid too but only that she doesn’t go around all the time looking stupid.

Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals is a book. She didn’t say by WHICH book.

Oakey Dokey.

Checklist for last day on the job.

1. Pay bar tab.
2. Settle up with hooker
3. Account for and turn in all classified materials.
4. Write memo to self telling me everything I did on the job was in accordance with all local, state, and federal statutes and didn’t violate any Naval regulations.

Yup. Totally normal.