Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

The Millstones of the Gods Grind Late, but They Grind Fine . . .

The Corner: The one and only.

By Victor Davis Hanson// National Review

The latest disclosures that former Obama national-security adviser Susan Rice may have requested that intelligence agencies reveal or “unmask” those from the Trump team who were surveilled in purportedly normal intelligence gathering — and that such requests may have extended over an apparently considerable period of time — remind us that at some point there is always an accounting.

Rice’s past serial and shameless untruths about the tragic deaths at Benghazi (a 2012 Obama re-election “al-Qaeda on the run” narrative, with a supposedly spontaneous riot over a YouTube video as the cause of the attack) were contextualized by the media and eventually vaporized. Her sad “honor and distinction” narrative about the Bowe Bergdahl betrayal of his comrades — the infamous purported “prisoner of war” “captured on the battlefield” fabrication — was intended to mask what was otherwise a dishonest and terrible hostage swap for someone who had endangered the lives of his fellow soldiers. Recently, she has denied all knowledge of what House Intelligence chairman Devin Nunes had been fighting to uncover, and has even tweeted periodically to criticize the purported ethical lapses and unprofessionalism of the Trump administration.

All that is a lot for even the gods to grind. If, as likely, she had access to, or requested, such raw data, and sent it, with names illegally unmasked, to primary players of the Obama administration (e.g., Clapper, Brennan, Rhodes, etc.), that fact would blow up some heretofore denials of any knowledge of such skullduggery and perhaps become the greatest presidential scandal of the last half century.

The Rice revelation might also put into the proper landscape the following: a) the astounding self-confessionals of Hillary adviser Evelyn Farkas about her frantic efforts to convince Obama operatives to increase intelligence gathering and to leak the information to the press (what gave a former mid-level Department of Defense employee the presumption that she could influence the intelligence operations of the U.S. government?), b) the unprecedented eleventh-hour Obama effort to broaden access to classified data to spread and leak such unmasked individuals, c) the political and media landmines that Representative Nunes (facing “kill the messenger” efforts to kill the message) had to navigate around and the character assassination to which he has been subjected, d) why the Russian-collusion narrative, denied by intelligence chiefs, has become the necessary distraction — first, to steer attention away from the improper leaking and surveillance, and, second, to be used to offer pseudo-moral equivalence to stop further investigation: as if Russian collusion is the bookend to unmasking Trump; as if Nunes is the mirror-image of Representative Adam Schiff, to achieve an impasse of “so let’s just call it even and quit the entire mess and ‘move on.’” e) the relative silence of former president and “constitutional law professor” Barack Obama.

What will be most interesting will be two corollary inquiries: 1) We need to know when, why, and how the White House put such unmasked data illegally into the hands of the New York Times, Washington Post, BBC, etc. perhaps initially to smear the Trump campaign (will the same reporters who ran with the “Trump frolicking in Moscow” collusion narratives now reboot and run with the true story?), and later the Trump transition and presidency; and 2) were these unmasked individuals really incidentally picked up data from surveilled foreigners — or, in fact, were they the primary targets of monitoring all along, with supposedly preplanned surveillance of foreign operators acting as cover?

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/446417/susan-rice-unmasking-trump-associates-allegations

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About victorhanson

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. He is also the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History, Hillsdale College, where he teaches each fall semester courses in military history and classical culture. He recently published an historical novel The End of Sparta (2012), a realistic retelling of Epaminondas invasion and liberation of Spartan-control Messenia. In The Father of Us All (2011), he collected earlier essays on warfare ancient and modern. His upcoming history The Savior Generals(2013) analyzes how five generals in the history of the West changed the course of battles against all odds. He was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 and the Bradley Prize in 2008. Hanson, who was the fifth successive generation to live in the same house on his family’s farm, was a full-time orchard and vineyard grower from 1980-1984, before joining the nearby CSU Fresno campus in 1984 to initiate a classical languages program. In 1991, he was awarded an American Philological Association Excellence in Teaching Award, which is given yearly to the country’s top undergraduate teachers of Greek and Latin. Hanson has been a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, California (1992-93), a visiting professor of classics at Stanford University (1991-92), a recipient of the Eric Breindel Award for opinion journalism (2002), an Alexander Onassis Fellow (2001), and was named alumnus of the year of the University of California, Santa Cruz (2002). He was also the visiting Shifrin Professor of Military History at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland (2002-3). He received the Manhattan Institute’s Wriston Lectureship in 2004, and the 2006 Nimitz Lectureship in Military History at UC Berkeley in 2006. Hanson is the author of hundreds of articles, book reviews, scholarly papers, and newspaper editorials on matters ranging from ancient Greek, agrarian and military history to foreign affairs, domestic politics, and contemporary culture. He has written or edited 17 books, including Warfare and Agriculture in Classical Greece (1983; paperback ed. University of California Press, 1998); The Western Way of War (Alfred Knopf, 1989; 2d paperback ed. University of California Press, 2000); Hoplites: The Ancient Greek Battle Experience (Routledge, 1991; paperback., 1992); The Other Greeks: The Family Farm and the Agrarian Roots of Western Civilization(Free Press, 1995; 2nd paperback ed., University of California Press, 2000);Fields without Dreams: Defending the Agrarian Idea (Free Press, 1996; paperback, Touchstone, 1997; The Bay Area Book reviewers Non-fiction winner for 1996); The Land Was Everything: Letters from an American Farmer (Free Press, 2000; a Los Angeles Times Notable book of the year); The Wars of the Ancient Greeks (Cassell, 1999; paperback, 2001); The Soul of Battle (Free Press, 1999, paperback, Anchor/Vintage, 2000); Carnage and Culture (Doubleday, 2001; Anchor/Vintage, 2002; a New York Times bestseller); An Autumn of War (Anchor/Vintage, 2002); Mexifornia: A State of Becoming (Encounter, 2003),Ripples of Battle (Doubleday, 2003), and Between War and Peace (Random House, 2004). A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War, was published by Random House in October 2005. It was named one of the New York Times Notable 100 Books of 2006. Hanson coauthored, with John Heath, Who Killed Homer? The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom (Free Press, 1998; paperback, Encounter Press, 2000); with Bruce Thornton and John Heath, Bonfire of the Humanities (ISI Books, 2001); and with Heather MacDonald, and Steven Malanga, The Immigration Solution: A Better Plan Than Today’s (Ivan Dee 2007). He edited a collection of essays on ancient warfare, Makers of Ancient Strategy (Princeton University Press, 2010). Hanson has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, International Herald Tribune, New York Post, National Review, Washington Times, Commentary, The Washington Post, Claremont Review of Books, American Heritage, New Criterion, Policy Review, Wilson Quarterly, Weekly Standard, Daily Telegraph, and has been interviewed often on National Public Radio, PBS Newshour, Fox News, CNN, and C-Span’s Book TV and In-Depth. He serves on the editorial board of the Military History Quarterly, and City Journal. Since 2001, Hanson has written a weekly column for National Review Online, and in 2004, began his weekly syndicated column for Tribune Media Services. In 2006, he also began thrice-weekly blog for Pajamas Media, Works and Days. Hanson was educated at the University of California, Santa Cruz (BA, Classics, 1975, ‘highest honors’ Classics, ‘college honors’, Cowell College), the American School of Classical Studies, Athens (regular member, 1978-79) and received his Ph.D. in Classics from Stanford University in 1980. He divides his time between his forty-acre tree and vine farm near Selma, California, where he was born in 1953, and the Stanford campus.

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