Obama Deputy Security Advisor Ben Rhodes thought he could violate the law and run roughshod over the civil liberties of Donald Trump and his aides with impunity. He thought he could abuse the power of the state and use its authority to spy on the Republican candidate for President. He thought he wouldn't get caught because Hillary would win and nothing he did would come to light. In the event that anything went wrong Ben's brother David Rhodes was the powerful President of CBS News and surely he could cover it up. Ben Rhodes was wrong and now he must go to prison.
Called by some "the boy wonder of the Obama White House", Ben Rhodes was the deputy national security advisor for strategic communications during Obama's tenure in the White House. Some have referred to him as the single most influential voice shaping American foreign policy aside from the president himself. Those are quite the descriptions for someone with zero foreign policy understanding or intellect. Rhodes once said this about himself "I don't know anymore where I begin and Obama ends" Rhodes has a giant ego and inflated self esteem/ narcissistic issues. He is in fact, a pompous asshole.
Let's open up this scab and take a look. This fact should tell you something; he was a staff member on the 9/11 Commission. It tells me he's very comfortable with bull shit and not particularly concerned with the truth. He was official note taker for the Iraq Study Group and it's been said that he knew more about the Iraq war than Obama himself. I suppose he didn't know more than the men and women actually fighting and dying in the war. He wasn't there but he was taking notes, hella notes. Obama's UN Ambassador and Rhodes co-conspirator in illegality, Samantha Powers said this about Ben "He hates the idea of being phony." I imagine he likes walks on the beach and sunsets too.
A more recent evaluation of Rhodes comes from Foreign Policy writer Thomas E Ricks who says "Rhodes comes off like a real asshole." and "an overweening little schmuck." The real Rhodes can be seen by his conspiring to undermine president Trump by spying on Americans – myself included- and leaking information to the public through a practice called unmasking. The current investigation into Obama administration unmasking practices has focused on Ben Rhodes.
It's illegal for American intelligence agencies to spy on fellow Americans unless they communicate with foreigners whose conversations are being recorded. By law, the identity of the American is to be kept secret, but can be revealed to other intelligence agencies by special request. The agency receiving the identity must still keep it a secret. The process to unmask an American is laborious and requires dozens of pages of paperwork to justify an unmasking. Those laws are in place to prevent random abuse by the agencies or personnel within. The leaking of information gleaned though unmasking is illegal, and using it for partisan political purposes is unethical. Leaking it to the media is most definitely illegal.
During the last months of Obama's presidency requests for unmasking increased by 27 percent. Many of the unmasking requests were aimed at members of Trump's transition team in an effort to undermine his credibility. Key members of the House Judiciary Committee are pressuring Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.) to investigate former senior Obama officials responsible for the leaks.