Did It Start With Israel?

On Friday, PJ Media headlined: “Report: Declassified Docs Will Show That Samantha Power’s 2016 Unmasking Efforts Were Related to Israel.”

Government documents that will soon be made public will reveal stunning information about former U.N. ambassador Samantha Power’s voluminous unmasking efforts in 2016, according to multiple sources.

On Thursday, President Trump gave Attorney General William Barr the authority to declassify documents from multiple agencies related to surveillance of the Trump campaign in 2016.
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As PJ Media reported in September of 2017, Power was unmasking people at a “freakishly rapid rate.”

The former U.S. ambassador moved at such a rapid pace that she ended up “averaging more than one request for every working day in 2016,” multiple sources told Fox News at the time. And she continued to seek identifying information about Americans caught up in incidental surveillance right up to President Trump’s inauguration.

This is really extraordinary. Power was not an intelligence official, she was the U.N. Ambassador. Why was she unmasking anyone, let alone making hundreds of such requests? And why would she keep up this feverish pace right up to the moment she departed the White House?

According to OANN’s Jack Posobiec, Power was targeting calls made about Israeli settlements.

“When she found Gen Flynn making calls she opposed, she passed information to Sally Yates who opened Logan Act investigation,” Posobiec reported on Twitter.


The context was U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334, which stated that Israel’s settlements on the West Bank are a “flagrant violation” of international law with “no legal validity.” The incoming Trump administration was urging the Obama administration to veto the resolution. In addition, at appears that members of Trump’s team were lobbying allies to defer the vote, or to vote against the resolution. It sounds as though the Obama administration was lobbying allies in the other direction, trying to undermine the policy of the new administration, although this isn’t entirely clear.

In the event, the resolution passed 14-0 on December 23, 2016, with the U.S. abstaining.

The connection between the trap that ensnared General Flynn and the U.N. resolution has been drawn before, as in the Jerusalem Post.

In the lead up to the anti-settlement resolution which angered Jerusalem, Trump’s team had urged the US to veto the resolution. On December 22nd Trump tweeted “the resolution being considered in the UN Security Council regarding Israel should be vetoed.” Egypt postponed the vote on December 22nd. However it passed on December 23rd with 14 in favor and the US abstaining. According to an article at Foreign Policy in February 2017 Michael Flynn played a key role attempting to scupper the UN vote. “Flynn…and other members of the president’s transition team launched a vigorous diplomatic bid to head off a UN Security Council vote condemning Israel’s settlements.” They reached out to the UK, Egypt, Russia, Uruguay and Malaysia according to the report.

The Post reports further that when Flynn talked with the Russian ambassador on the telephone, in the conversation that ultimately resulted in his indictment, one of the two subjects discussed, and about which Flynn allegedly lied, was the U. N. resolution.

There is much more at the PJ Media link, including this from Foreign Policy in February 2017:

Nikki Haley, the president’s pick to serve as U.N. envoy, sought frantically to reach Samantha Power, then still serving as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, calling her office and cell phone number, a U.S. official told Foreign Policy. Power’s advisors suspected Haley would try persuade Power to veto the resolution, and she did not take the call.

These reports raise several obvious questions. First, why were Obama administration officials so concerned with the U.N. vote as to unmask communications of U.S. citizens on 300 occasions? The Obama administration didn’t come out in favor of the resolution, and it abstained when the resolution came up for a vote. So why would it be so concerned about the possibility that incoming Trump officials might convince allies to defer the vote, or block it altogether?

I can’t think of any reason other than the obsessive hatred of Israel that is so common on the Left. But it is bizarre, in my view, for lame duck Obama minions to carry out a vendetta against Israel, one that apparently was given high priority, through their last days in power. Maybe I am missing something here, but I can’t think what it could be.

Second, the PJ Media report suggests that Power’s unmasking of U.S. citizens involved in conversations about Israel continued until “right up to President Trump’s inauguration.” The inauguration was almost a month after the vote on U.N. Resolution 2334. So if Power’s unmasking continued, did it still relate to conversations about Israel and the U.N. resolution, or was something else going on at that point?

Third, was the Obama administration’s reported frenzy about the U.N.’s anti-Israel vote part of the genesis of the FBI’s effort to disable the incoming Trump administration? The chief ground of the FBI’s effort was the Democratic Party “dossier” paid for by the Clinton campaign, but the Israel-related surveillance apparently comes into play with regard to General Flynn. And the PJ Media story quotes George Papadopoulos, who was “shocked that Bob Mueller told the truth about why I was illicitly targeted and it really had nothing to do with Russia. It had to do with my ties to Israel.”

I don’t begin to understand how these pieces fit together. We can only hope that as Attorney General Barr pursues his investigation, the true story will come out.

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