Things went from “Tucker Carlson was not being spied on” to “Tucker Carlson was being spied on, but he deserved it” realllllllllly fast.
The history of the Obama years tells us it is wholly conceivable that intelligence and law-enforcement agencies would spy on a television personality. They spy all the time. They do it illegally. They do it for partisan reasons. They do it to lawmakers. They do it to journalists. They lie on FISA applications.
Remember when Barack Obama’s director of national intelligence, James Clapper, lied to Congress about the agency’s snooping on American citizens. “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions, or hundreds of millions of Americans?” asked Ron Wyden in 2013. “No, sir,” Clapper said under oath, “. . . Not wittingly.” Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden exposed this as a lie.
Carlson claims the NSA collected his emails and texts and leaked them to the press. The intelligence agency responded with a rare, but slippery, denial, using a term of art to maintain that Carlson was never an “intelligence target of the Agency. The NSA did not deny having spied on Carlson.
Axios reports that Carlson was communicating with U.S.-based Kremlin intermediaries about a potential interview with Vladimir Putin around the time he made the spying claims. Kind of a big leak. Crazy, the NSA has regularly overcollected domestic transmissions of American citizens. There is basically no oversight.
The NSA is lawfully permitted to intercept his contacts to foreign individuals as part of NSA surveillance of foreigners. What NSA is not allowed to do is to unmask an American and then leak contents of intercept to friends in media.
If Carlson’s texts and emails came from surveillance, his identity would have to be unmasked by a Biden administration official, which is only legal if it allows them to better understand the underlying intelligence. What intelligence value would a Tucker Carlson interview even have?
If you remember the case against General Flynn, you have to wonder how long before we learn that Biden’s NSA did more than just this?
Moving the conversation from “it never happened” to “it did happen but for good reason,” does not address the fact that Tucker Carlson knew about it because his info was spread around. “Incidental spying” is supposedly air tight. But his name was unmasked.
If this were someone from CNN or MSNBC, and this happened under Trump, you can only imaging the meltdown. However, the Left that once led the charge against domestic-spying abuses now seems pretty comfortable with the idea — if the target is someone from Fox News.