Obama CIA use of foreign spies against the Trump campaign should be cause for alarm, no?
What passes for the current wisdom today contains a great deal of solemn slop. Yet there are some solemnities in the current wisdom that one assumes are legitimate. For instance, it is said that today partisanship is more intense than it has been since — I suppose — the Civil War, or at least since the days of Senator Joe McCarthy. Americans on the left, the right, and those treading water in the middle cannot agree on anything. Well, I would have said this was a bit far-fetched until last week. That was when I experienced partisanship for myself.
We have been hearing for years that the existence of the CIA, the FBI, and other agencies of the intelligence community constitute a threat to our civil liberties. The alarums about tapping our telephones and otherwise snooping on us have been traditionally sounded by the left, but also — perhaps more pianissimo — by the right. Senator Rand Paul has been a peerless voice on the right sounding off for civil liberties. When he speaks out I listen.
One of the rallying points of concern in America has been the concern for civil liberties. When the American Civil Liberties Union was founded it had its champions left, right, and center.
The excesses of former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover alarmed us all, but leading the chorus were what we then called liberals and, of course, those sturdy defenders of personal liberty, the libertarians. As the years have passed they could always be relied upon to speak out in defense of freedom, sometimes neurotically, sometimes out of a sober sense of urgency.
Last week, however, I personally discovered the left’s concern for civil liberties has vanished or at least become muted by partisanship. The right’s concern for civil liberties, too, seems muted. With my colleague, George Neumayr, I reported on a vast breach of the right to privacy by fellow Americans. We reported the existence of at least one intelligence agency, and possibly others, using foreign agents to eavesdrop on Americans. They thought that by using foreigners they would not be held accountable. Then another of my colleagues, Dan Flynn, repeated the charge. The result? Silence. No one seemed to care either on the left, the right, or in the middle.
As I intimated above I assume the left’s neglect was owing to partisanship, for we were reporting on a Democratic Administration’s surveillance of the Trump campaign. When candidate Trump claimed he was being “wiretapped” it turns out he was right: the Obama administration had been intercepting communications at Trump Tower by spying on Paul Manafort and Carter Page, and during the transition after Trump won through “unmasking.” But what explains the right’s neglect? It cannot be partisanship. I presume it is but another instance of the conservatives’ life-long political problem, indifference.
What we reported is this. A source with a record of proven reliability over many years overheard FBI agents venting about John Brennan, the former head of the CIA, using British intelligence agents to spy on the Trump campaign. American contractors were also used. The British used American equipment. They had an extensive spying network here in America, using the twelfth floor of a building in Crystal City, Virginia and a building in San Antonio. Moreover, Brennan was not the only one who knew about the spying. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was another, and still more senior officials in the Obama Administration were aware of it. I am told that James B. Comey and Andrew McCabe were also aware of the surveillance of Trump.
They had tried to get FISA warrants for snooping on Trump’s associates but were turned down, though they would later get a warrant to spy on Carter Page. So Brennan turned to the British. If they wanted to keep their spying a secret they were pretty sloppy, but then they thought they could afford to be sloppy. They knew that Hillary was going to win.
As I say, spying on American citizens one would think would be opposed by all sides in America today. One would expect a consensus to exist at least on this. But it does not appear to be the case. Members of the left have uttered not a peep. Even the ACLU is quiet. Yet there is one outspoken civil libertarian left, President Trump. He can notify his Department of Justice to take action. In fact, he can even release a Tweet. It is time for all defenders of the free society to be heard. American elections are best conducted without the involvement of our intelligence agencies. Not even her majesty’s agents should be invited in.
in a sentencing memo filed late Tuesday in the case of Alex van der Zwaan, a London-based lawyer, who pleaded guilty last month to lying to investigators about his contacts with Gates and the unidentified associate.
In the memo, prosecutors said that van der Zwaan acknowledged to special counsel investigators in an interview that Gates had told him of the associate's ties to a Russian military intelligence agency, the GRU.
There was so much more than just collusion.
The punchline grows ever nearer
They'll be rollin' in the aisles ...
... of Congress.
Trump's No Testosterone Presidency
C'mon, Jeff, get off you ass -ReplyDelete
ANALYSIS: Constitution Compels Sessions Dismiss Mueller From Non-Campaign Cases
by Robert Barnes | 7:31 am, March 28th, 2018
Paul Manafort‘s legal team brought a motion to dismiss on Tuesday, noting that Rosenstein could not appoint Mueller to any investigation outside the scope of the 2016 campaign since Sessions did not recuse himself for anything outside the campaign. I agree with this take on Mueller’s authority. If we follow that argument that would mean Sessions himself has exclusive authority to appoint a special counsel for non-collusion charges, and Sessions has taken no such action. Sessions himself should make that clear to Mueller, rather than await court resolution. Doing so would remove three of the four areas of inquiry from Mueller’s requested interview with President Trump.
Sessions formally notifying Mueller that he does not have authority to act outside of campaign-related cases and cases related to obstruction of Mueller’s investigation would be doing what the Constitution compels: enforcing the Appointments Clause of the Constitution. Additionally, Sessions notifying Mueller that he does not have authority to act outside of campaign-related cases would be exercising Sessions’ court-recognized Constitutional obligation to “direct and supervise litigation” conducted by the Department of Justice. Furthermore, Sessions notifying Mueller that he does not have authority to act outside of campaign-related cases protects against the inappropriate use of the federal grand jury that defendant Manafort now rightly complains about.
Sessions limiting Mueller to the 2016 campaign would also be restoring confidence in democratic institutions, and restore public faith that democratically elected officials.
One thing to remember about Sessions’ recusal: Sessions only recused himself from “any existing or future investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for President of the United States.” This recusal letter limits the scope of Sessions’ recusal to the 2016 campaigns; it does not authorize Sessions’ recusal for anything beyond that. Constitutionally, Sessions has a “duty to direct and supervise litigation” conducted by the Department of Justice. Ethically, professionally, and legally, Sessions cannot ignore his supervisory obligations for cases that are not related to the “campaigns for President.”
Second, the Constitution’s Appointment Clause requires the....
I'm starting to think maybe only Roseanne can save Trump, and the USA.ReplyDelete
It seems Dershowitz has said he doesn't want to be formally part of Team Trump.ReplyDelete
Maybe he will change his mind.
That James Clapper is a real work of art, a real horror to even look upon.ReplyDelete
from Office of Inspector GeneralReplyDelete
Horowitz was sworn into his post in 2012 during the Obama administration, and previously served on the U.S. Sentencing Commission under Republican President George W. Bush.ReplyDelete
A still non-public report by Horowitz accusing former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe of lack of candor was used recently as the basis for Sessions to fire McCabe on March 16, less than two days before he was set to retire.
Despite Trump's prior concerns with letting Horowitz investigate the alleged surveillance abuses outlined by Republicans, the president cheered the decision to terminate McCabe, calling it on Twitter a "great day for Democracy."
Good Lord, I was just listening to what Facebook knows about us, and what it does with most of the info.
They know A LOT, and sell it to the advertisers.
It's the damned advertising men behind all this spooking around in our private affairs !
The ad men, the truly cursed of our nation.....
Since last year, Horowitz has been investigating another politically charged topic: the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, and former FBI director James B. Comey’s public statements about it. He has yet to release a public report on that review, though it already has had significant consequences.ReplyDelete
Horowitz found, for example, that Andrew McCabe, as deputy director of the FBI, had authorized two other FBI officials to disclose information to the media, and then allegedly misled investigators about it. Based on those findings, Sessions fired McCabe from his job at the FBI just 26 hours before he could retire.
Horowitz indicated in his announcement that his review of the Page warrant application will review the FBI and Justice Department’s compliance with the law and their own policies, along with their relationship with Steele. Horowitz also said he would consider examining other issues that might arise during his review.
March 29, 2018ReplyDelete
Why the Second Amendment?
By Anna L. Stark
March 29, 2018
What weather should we really worry about?
By Viv Forbes
Earth is a dangerous place. Of all the species that have ever lived, over 95% have already been extinguished by natural disasters.
Ice, not global warming, is the big killer, and this recurring calamity often strikes quickly. Thousands of mammoths and other animals were killed by ice storms, and their snap-frozen bodies are still entombed in ice around the Arctic. Just 15,000 years ago, great ice sheets smothered the northern hemisphere as far south as Chicago, Moscow, and London, and all life had migrated toward the equator. This deadly ice had gripped Earth for about 50,000 years.
Ice ages are also times of dry winds and drought, as cold oceans and cold, dry atmospheres produce little evaporation or precipitation. Great deserts like the Sahara and the Gobi expand, and wind-blown dust fills the skies and rivers.
Adding to Ice Age woes, cold oceans suck the gas of life (carbon dioxide) out of the atmosphere, thus making surviving plants less able to cope with cold and drought. One of the great serendipities of modern life is that man's use of carbon-rich fuels like oil and coal not only provides energy, but also adds carbon dioxide plant food to the severely depleted carbon stocks of the atmosphere. Satellites have detected the resultant greening of the Earth.
Earth also suffers cycles of volcanism, where much life is extinguished by ash, lava, earthquakes, and tsunamis, usually followed by more cold and starvation as dust blocks sunlight. Just one era of volcanism covered the Deccan in India with many lava flows, in places more than a mile and a half thick, and spewed hot lava into the oceans along the mid-ocean trenches. Earthquakes and resulting tsunamis swept all life from large areas of land and dumped and buried their fragmented remains in heaps of mud.
We also have evidence of massive destruction on Earth from collisions and near misses by comets and other bodies in the solar system.
Humans are not immune to the threat of extinction, but it will not come from today's warm, moist atmosphere or from the gas of life, carbon dioxide. It will probably come from the next glacial cycle in the Pleistocene Ice Age, where long, bitter glacial eras are separated by short warm periods such as the Holocene warm era in which we live.
In every short warm era like today's Holocene, the warming oceans expel enough carbon dioxide into the atmosphere to terrify today's global warming alarmists. And these times have always supported abundant plant and animal life. But never has "global warming" from this "greenhouse gas" prevented the cyclic return of the ice.
When blizzards blow and glaciers grow, the great ice sheets will spread again, and mankind will be ravaged by cold, drought, crop failures, and starvation. A lucky few living in equatorial regions or clustered in shelters and hot houses around nuclear power stations will survive. Those still able to extract coal, oil, or gas may manage to generate enough warmth and carbon dioxide plant food to offset the cold sun, the perma-frost, and the barren atmosphere. And a few with appropriate skills and tools may become hunters and gatherers again (but the Neanderthals did not make it last time).
We should celebrate, not fear, the Modern Warm Era and give thanks for the many benefits gained from recycling those marvelous batteries of stored and buried carbon resources to our still hungry biosphere.
When the ice returns, derelict and snow-bound wind turbines and solar panels will remain as stark evidence of the failed green religion of yet another endangered species.
Get your ticket to Stormy taking it all off in Nashville here:ReplyDelete
Tonight through March 31
(warm yourself up in hot stormy weather from the coming ice age)Delete
I can pole dance to but no one ever wants to pay me.Delete