Saturday, June 15, 2024

NSA Inspector General to Investigate Unmasking of Tucker Carlson

'It is, to put it mildly, difficult to imagine him opening an investigation into frivolous allegations...'

National Security Agency Inspector General Robert P. Storch announced on Tuesday that he will investigate Fox News host Tucker Carlson‘s allegations that the spy agency illegally accessed his personal information and “unmasked” him.

The NSA’s press release did not mention Carlson by name, but “the statement leaves no doubt that the investigation pertains” to him, independent reporter Glenn Greenwald wrote on Substack.

Greenwald described Storch as a “long-time D.C. bureaucrat” with bipartisan credentials.

Both former President Barack Obama in 2016 and former President Donald Trump in 2018 nominated him to the NSA’s IG position.

Obama’s nomination failed but Trump’s was confirmed by the Senate.

Storch served as Inspector General for Obama’s Justice Department and a federal prosecutor before that.

“It is, to put it mildly, difficult to imagine him opening an investigation into frivolous allegations,” Greenwald wrote.

Carlson announced in late June that a source inside the government told him that the NSA tapped his phone because he sought an interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The source confirmed the NSA’s spying by reading Carlson’s own emails and text messages back to him.

Carlson said he suspects that someone within the intelligence agencies wants to discredit him by linking him to the Kremlin and the all-encompassing Russian collusion hoax.

The federal government’s intelligence agencies cannot legally spy on American citizens except incidentally in connection with a foreign target.

After spying on Carlson, the NSA took the unprecedented step of revealing his identity through the unmasking process, which is legal only “if the unmasking is necessary to understand the intelligence,” Axios reported.

In almost all cases, the NSA must conceal the American citizen’s identity and refer to him by a nondescript title.

The NSA’s press release calls Tucker “a member of the U.S. news media.”

“It is extremely difficult to imagine any legitimate reason the NSA or any other intelligence agency would have for seeking to ‘unmask’ the identity of a journalist who was merely seeking to interview the leader of a foreign country,” Greenwald wrote.

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