Democrats and their press allies are going all in to squelch the Susan Rice “unmasking” story, insisting that the decision by Barack Obama’s national security adviser to seek the name of at least one Trump campaign official was routine and no big deal. Tell that to former Bush Administration official John Bolton, whom Democrats pilloried for doing the same with far more justification.
Democrats argued (with no evidence) that Mr. Bolton’s requests were politically motivated and the Los Angeles Times questioned whether Mr. Bolton had requested the names to “intimidate intelligence analysts.” A Times editorial called on Mr. Bolton to “step aside,” noting Mr. Dodd was “rightly inquiring about Bolton’s unusual request to look at [NSA] intercepts and why he asked for the identities of analysts. Why indeed?”
Compare all this to the Rice episode. Ms. Rice had no direct intelligence duties in her NSC post, and no Democrat has provided a valid reason that Ms. Rice might have needed to unmask anyone associated with the Trump presidential campaign. Twelve years on, not one of the 10 individuals unmasked by Mr. Bolton has had his or her identity leaked. By contrast, the Washington Post reports that no fewer than nine Obama appointees or career officials leaked or confirmed the identity and conversations of unmasked former Trump adviser Michael Flynn.
If John Bolton’s unmasking was questionable, then Mrs. Rice’s was more so. The House and Senate Intelligence committees should investigate what she did and why.