“The point, of course, was to paint me as a disloyal American; a Russian operative; a stooge of the Kremlin; a traitor doing the bidding of a foreign adversary.”
Last week, Tucker Carlson claimed that his emails were being monitored by the NSA and were being leaked to journalists. It was a stunning accusation that was met with skepticism by the liberal media.
Now he has confirmed this happened, and other media reports corroborate his claims.
Jonathan Swan reports at Axios:
Scoop: Tucker Carlson sought Putin interview at time of spying claim
Tucker Carlson was talking to U.S.-based Kremlin intermediaries about setting up an interview with Vladimir Putin shortly before the Fox News host accused the National Security Agency of spying on him, sources familiar with the conversations tell Axios.
Why it matters: Those sources said U.S. government officials learned about Carlson’s efforts to secure the Putin interview. Carlson learned that the government was aware of his outreach — and that’s the basis of his extraordinary accusation, followed by a rare public denial by the NSA that he had been targeted.
– Axios has not confirmed whether any communications from Carlson have been intercepted, and if so, why.
The big picture: Carlson’s charges instantly became a cause célèbre on the right, which feasted on the allegation that one of America’s most prominent conservatives might have been monitored by the U.S. intelligence community.
The unmasking aspect of the story is particularly noteworthy, as Ace of Spades points out:
The emails might have been surveilled “incidentally,” because Tucker was reaching out to US-based Russia representatives to get an interview with Putin.
You know — what journalists used to do.
But there is no innocent explanation for why Tucker Carlson’s name is included in the emails. Remember, in cases of so-called “incidental” collection of US citizens’ data, you’re supposed to “minimize” exposure of the person who was spied on by redacting him name and calling him something like US CITIZEN NO. 1.
This is also called “masking.”
Here, though, Tucker Carlson’s name is de-anonymized — “unmasked,” as Obama officials preferred it — and left right on the supposedly “incidentally” collected emails.
No effort is made to keep his identity anonymous. Quite the opposite.
Remember, even when someone’s emails are “incidentally” collected, their privacy has still been breached, and their constitutional rights have still been violated.
“Minimization”/anonymization/masking is supposed to be a compromise that mitigates the effects of that breach of constitutional rights.
Tucker addressed the issue on his show last night. Haley Strack of The Federalist provides a partial transcript:
“The NSA planned to link the contents of those emails to media outlets. Why would they do that?” Carlson asked rhetorically. “The point, of course, was to paint me as a disloyal American; a Russian operative; a stooge of the Kremlin; a traitor doing the bidding of a foreign adversary.”
To do so, according to Carlson, President Joe Biden’s NSA illegally unmasked the host and was planning to give the information to news organizations.
“By law, the NSA is required to keep secret the identities of American citizens who have been caught up in its vast domestic spying operations. So, by law, I should have been identified internally merely as a U.S. journalist, or American journalist. That’s the law,” Carlson said. “But that’s not how I was identified, I was identified by name. I was unmasked.”
The people in charge now accused Trump of being a fascist. They were projecting.
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