Reality vs Practicality

Yesterday Andrew McCarthy posted an article at National Review about birthright citizenship. President Trump is considering ending birthright citizenship by executive order. Actually, it’s not so much a question of ending birthright citizenship as it is reviewing exactly what the 14th Amendment actually says.

The article explains:

My friend John Eastman explained why the 14th Amendment does not mandate birthright citizenship in this 2015 New York Times op-ed. In a nutshell, the Amendment states: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” The highlighted term, “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” was understood at the time of adoption to mean not owing allegiance to any other sovereign. To take the obvious example, if a child is born in France to a married couple who are both American citizens, the child is an American citizen.

If I am living in Britain on a work visa and have a child, that child is not automatically a British citizen. Why should America do things differently?

The article concludes:

Moreover, it seems to me that, because Congress has weighed in on citizenship by codifying the 14th Amendment, the courts will swat down any executive order on the ground that it exceeds the president’s authority. That is, the courts will not even have to reach the merits of what jurisdiction means for purposes of the 14th Amendment and Section 1401.

We have seen something like this in an area of more certain executive power. President Bush attempted unilaterally to set up military commissions in wartime under his commander-in-chief authority. Even though there was plenty of precedent supporting this, the Supreme Court invalidated the commissions and told the president he needed Congress’s statutory blessing. (Congress later enacted the Military Commissions Act.)

Consequently, if the president actually issues an executive order changing the birthright-citizenship policy, I doubt the sun will set before an injunction is issued. I am in favor of changing the current understanding of birthright citizenship, but I believe such a change must be done by statute to have any hope of surviving court-scrutiny . . . and even then, I give it less than a 50-50 chance.

Stay tuned.

The Real Question

Legend has it that Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi would begin every spring practice with the words, “Gentlemen, this is a football.” Those words were said to newcomers who had never played pro football and seasoned veterans, but they were uttered every year. He always took the time to remind his players of the basics of the game.

There is an article posted at The National Review today written by Andrew McCarthy that also seeks to remind us of some basic principles of law. The title of the article is “Mr. Rosenstein, What Is the Crime?” That is the question.

The article reports:

For precisely what federal crimes is the president of the United States under investigation by a special counsel appointed by the Justice Department?

It is intolerable that, after more than two years of digging — the 16-month Mueller probe having been preceded by the blatantly suspect labors of the Obama Justice Department and FBI — we still do not have an answer to that simple question.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein owes us an answer.

To my mind, he has owed us an answer from the beginning, meaning when he appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller on May 17, 2017. The regulations under which he made the appointment require (a) a factual basis for believing that a federal crime worthy of investigation or prosecution has been committed; (b) a conflict of interest so significant that the Justice Department is unable to investigate this suspected crime in the normal course; and (c) an articulation of the factual basis for the criminal investigation — i.e., the investigation of specified federal crimes — which shapes the boundaries of the special counsel’s jurisdiction.

This last provision is designed to prevent a special counsel’s investigation from becoming a fishing expedition — or what President Trump calls a “witch hunt,” what DAG Rosenstein more diplomatically disclaims as an “unguided missile,” and what Harvard’s Alan Dershowitz, invoking Lavrentiy Beria, Stalin’s secret-police chief, pans as the warped dictum, “Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime.” In our country, the crime triggers the assignment of a prosecutor, not the other way around.

I would strongly suggest that you follow the link to read the entire article. Andrew McCarthy presents a very strong legal argument as to why the Mueller investigation is not in compliance with the statute for a special prosecutor. Unfortunately the Mueller investigation has become a vehicle to ruin anyone financially that might have had even a tangential relationship with either the Trump campaign or the Trump presidency. Notice that nothing anyone has been charged with has any relationship with a conspiracy with Russia or election tampering. The only things that have been uncovered show the use of government agencies to spy on a political opponent in order to sway an election, and those things have been ignored by Mueller.

The article concludes:

So what are the suspected crimes committed by Donald Trump that Mueller has been authorized to investigate, and what was the factual basis for Rosenstein’s authorization of this investigation?

We still haven’t been told.

The anti-Trump Left decries all criticism as an effort to “delegitimize” and “obstruct” the Mueller investigation. But no one is questioning the investigation of Russia’s interference in the election. We are questioning why a special counsel was appointed to investigate the president of the United States. It is the Justice Department’s obligation to establish the legitimacy of the appointment by explaining the factual basis for believing a crime was committed. If there is no such basis, then it is Mueller’s investigation that is delegitimizing the presidency and obstructing its ability to carry out its constitutional mission — a mission that is far more significant than any prosecutor’s case.

We’re not asking for much. After 16 months, we are just asking why there is a criminal investigation of the president. If Rod Rosenstein would just explain what the regs call for him to explain — namely, the basis to believe that Donald Trump conspired with the Kremlin to violate a specific federal criminal law, or is somehow criminally complicit in the Kremlin’s election sabotage — then we can all get behind Robert Mueller’s investigation.

But what is the explanation? And why isn’t the Republican-controlled Congress demanding it?

The Mueller investigation is an example of the deep state trying to protect itself. That is what Bob Woodward’s book is about and that is what The New York Times editorial is about. Unfortunately there are both Republicans and Democrats in the deep state. Until we elect people who love America more than they love money and prestige, the deep state will remain.

The Plot May Be Beginning To Unravel

One of the problems with trying to maintain a conspiracy is that as it begins to unravel, people begin to say things to distance themselves from responsibility for any wrongdoing that has occurred. I believe that is what is happening regarding the wiretapping of the Trump campaign and possibly regarding the Mueller investigation.

The Gateway Pundit quoted President Obama’s Former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, today. James Clapper made the following statement on CNN yesterday:

If it weren’t for President Obama we might not have done the intelligence community assessment that we did that set up a whole sequence of events which are still unfolding today including Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation. President Obama is responsible for that. It was he who tasked us to do that intelligence community assessment in the first place.

We need to put this into perspective in terms of what was going on during the final days of the Obama administration. During the final year of the Obama administration, Susan Rice, Ambassador to the United Nations. made an unprecedented number of requests for unmasking Americans whose conversations were inadvertently captured in wiretapped conversations. (article here) Americans were routinely being spied on by their government at this time.

Most Americans, particularly those familiar with procedures in the intelligence community were reluctant to believe what was reportedly going on with domestic spying. However, the truth has become obvious in recent days.

The following is an interview with Andrew McCarthy, who was initially skeptical that the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court was being used for political purposes. The interview is posted at YouTube:

I believe that the Mueller investigation is the ‘insurance policy’ discussed in Andrew McCabe’s office. We know that Lisa Page and Peter Strzok were involved in that discussion. We don’t know if anyone else was. The investigation was supposed either to create enough turmoil to remove President Trump from office (before he could cut taxes, appoint judges, or actually accomplish anything) or to cripple his presidency to the point where he accomplished nothing. Obviously the plan has created a lot of turmoil, but not a lot of the results the plotters were aiming for.

Ideally we will see this entire charade resolved within the next year. I am hopeful, but not necessarily optimistic.

The Timing Is The Key

The video below was posted yesterday at National Review in an article by Andrew McCarthy. It illustrates the timeline (and the linkage) of the exoneration of Hillary Clinton for breaking the laws regarding the handling of classified information and the attack on Donald Trump as colluding with the Russians. The article illustrates that in the minds of the highly-politicized FBI, Hillary needed to be exonerated early in the campaign and Donald Trump needed to be painted as working for the Russians in order to insure a Clinton victory. Hopefully the dishonest actions of those at the top of the FBI and DOJ will be dealt with in the near future.

Slowly But Surely The Truth Quietly Comes Out

The Friday-night news dump is a tradition of politicians and Washington types who are forced to release information they don’t want to release and are hoping no one will actually notice it. The latest Friday-night news dump has to do with redactions made on the FBI Russia report that have more to do with protecting the mistakes of the FBI than protecting national security (as claimed by those doing the redacting).

Andrew McCarthy posted an article at The National Review today citing some of the redactions and why the reasons for them are invalid.

The article cites a number of examples:

When the House first issued its report on the Russia investigation, a heavily redacted portion (pp. 53–54) related that Trump’s original national-security adviser, Michael Flynn, had pled guilty to a false-statements charge based on misleading statements to FBI agents about his December 2016 conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

…But there was one intriguing disclosure in the redacted report: Flynn pled guilty “even though the [FBI] agents did not detect any deception during Flynn’s interview.” There was no elaboration on this point — no discussion of why Flynn was interrogated by FBI agents in the first place; no insight on deliberations within the FBI and Justice Department about whether Flynn had deceptive intent; no explanation of how he came to be charged months later by Mueller’s prosecutors even though the trained investigators who observed Flynn’s demeanor during the interview did not believe he’d lied.

This is what the unredacted Russian report reveals:

  • Elaborate on why the FBI did not believe Flynn had lied, including quotations from Comey’s testimony.
  • Reveal that for some period of time during 2016, the FBI conducted a counterintelligence (CI) investigation of Flynn.
  • Note that top Obama Justice Department and FBI officials provided the committee with “conflicting testimony” about why the FBI interviewed Flynn as if he were a criminal suspect.
  • Illustrate that the FBI and Justice Department originally insisted on concealment of facts helpful to Flynn that are already public.

Meanwhile Flynn’s reputation has been ruined, his finances wrecked, and his life turned upside down. I recently posted an article about the Special Prosecutor‘s dealings with Michael Caputo, a campaign worker for President Trump. He has also had his life ruined and his financial stability destroyed by the Mueller investigation. The Mueller investigation has now reached the point where its goal is intimidating and ruining the lives of people who hold political views different from those on the investigating team. It is long past time for this charade of an investigation to stop.

Please follow the link above to the article at The National Review to see what else the FBI really didn’t want the American public to know.

The Circus Continues

The National Review posted an article today by Andrew McCarthy on the subject of the questions Robert Mueller would like to ask President Trump. The article is written on the assumption that the list of leaked questions is relatively accurate.

Andrew McCarthy makes some very good points as to why the Justice Department should block any interview of President Trump by the Special Prosecutor.

Andrew McCarthy points out that there is no evidence of a crime:

A president should not be subjected to prosecutorial scrutiny over poor judgment, venality, bad taste, or policy disputes. Absent concrete evidence that the president has committed a serious crime, the checks on the president should be Congress and the ballot box — and the civil courts, to the extent that individuals are harmed by abusive executive action. Otherwise, a special-counsel investigation — especially one staffed by the president’s political opponents — is apt to become a thinly veiled political scheme, enabling the losers to relitigate the election and obstruct the president from pursuing the agenda on which he ran.

That is what we are now witnessing.

Pretextual appointment of the special counsel
Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel for two reasons: (1) ostensibly to take over a counterintelligence probe; (2) in reality, as a cave-in to (mostly) Democratic caviling over Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey — which was lawful but incompetently executed. Democrats contended that Comey’s dismissal, in conjunction with Comey’s leak of Trump’s alleged pressure to drop the FBI’s investigation of Michael Flynn, warranted a criminal-obstruction probe. That is, the pretext of obstruction was added to “Russia-gate,” the already-existing pretext for carping about the purported need for a special counsel.

Neither of these reasons was a valid basis for a special-counsel investigation.

Andrew McCarthy also explains that the whole premise of the investigation is flawed:

As we have repeatedly noted, a counterintelligence investigation is not a criminal investigation. To the extent it has a “subject,” it is a foreign power that threatens the United States, not an American believed to have violated the law. A counterintelligence investigation aims to gather information about America’s adversaries, not build a courtroom prosecution. For these (and other reasons), such investigations are classified and the Justice Department does not assign prosecutors to them, as it does to criminal cases. Counterintelligence is not lawyer work; it is the work of trained intelligence officers and analysts. It is not enough to say that Justice Department regulations do not authorize the appointment of a special counsel for a counterintelligence probe. The point is that counterintelligence is not prosecution and is therefore not a mission for a prosecutor.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It is extremely informative. What we have going on right now is a very expensive attempt to prove that the 2016 election victory was stolen from Hillary Clinton. It wasn’t. Get over it. She was a very flawed candidate that somehow committed numerous crimes that the Justice Department chose to ignore. The innate sense of fairness of the American voter and the American voters’ belief in equal justice under the law probably had something to do with Hillary Clinton’s defeat in 2016. The Special Prosecutor needs to stop spending money looking for a crime and deal with the crimes that were actually committed–mishandling of classified material, pay-for-play as illustrated by Uranium One, fixing the Democratic primary, etc.

Annoying Things Done By Politicians

Representative Adam Schiff released the Democratic memo about FISA surveillance on Saturday (when he assumed no one would be paying attention). The memo is an effort to deflect charges that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) were weaponized for political purposes during and after the 2016 presidential campaign. The memo itself was a purely political move, and the release of the memo on a Saturday night was also a political move. The release of the memo is interesting bercause the memo does not help the Democrats’ case.

Yesterday Andrew McCarthy posted an article at National Review explaining that the memo does more damage to the Democrats’ arguments than helps them. Because of his extensive legal background, Andrew McCarthy is the perfect person to dissect this memo.

The article is detailed, and I suggest that you follow the link to read the entire article, but I will try to summarize it.

The article reports:

The memo concedes that the FISA-warrant application relied on allegations by Steele’s anonymous Russian hearsay sources that:

Page met separately while in Russia with Igor Sechin, a close associate of Vladimir Putin and executive chairman of Roseneft, Russia’s state-owned oil company, and Igor Divyekin, a senior Kremlin official. Sechin allegedly discussed the prospect of future U.S.-Russia energy cooperation and “an associated move to lift Ukraine-related western sanctions against Russia.” Divyekin allegedly disclosed to Page that the Kremlin possessed compromising information on Clinton (“kompromat”) and noted the possibility of its being released to Candidate #1’s [i.e., Donald Trump’s] campaign. . . . This closely tracks what other Russian contacts were informing another Trump foreign policy adviser, George Papadopoulos.

1) This was obviously the most critical allegation against Page. The Democrats attempt to make much of Page’s trip to Moscow in July 2016, but the uncorroborated Sechin and Divyekin meetings, which Page credibly denies, are the aspect of the Moscow trip that suggested a nefarious Trump–Russia conspiracy. That’s what the investigation was about. Far from clandestine, the rest of Page’s trip was well publicized and apparently anodyne.

2) Democrats implausibly insist that what “launched” the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation was not Steele’s allegations but intelligence from Australia about George Papadopoulos’s contact with what Democrats elusively describe as “individuals linked to Russia.”

…Even if we assume for argument’s sake that these characters had solid regime connections — rather than that they were boasting to impress the credulous young Papadopoulos — they were patently not in the same league as Sechin, a Putin crony, and Divyekin, a highly placed regime official. And that, manifestly, is how the FBI and the DOJ saw the matter: They sought a FISA warrant on Page, not Papadopoulos. And, as the above-excerpted passage shows, they highlighted the Steele dossier’s sensational allegations about Page and then feebly tried to corroborate those allegations with some Papadopoulos information, not the other way around. (More on that when we get to Schiff’s notion of “corroboration.”)

The article also notes:

…because Page was an American citizen, FISA law required that the FBI and the DOJ show not only that he was acting as an agent of a foreign power (Russia), but also that his “clandestine” activities on behalf of Russia were a likely violation of federal criminal law. (See FISA, Section 1801(b)(2)(A) through (E), Title 50, U.S. Code.) It is the Steele dossier that alleges Page was engaged in arguably criminal activity. The Democrats point to nothing else that does.

Because of the way this whole story has been reported, I am not sure many Americans realize that the constitutional rights of one of their fellow citizens were violated by the FISA Court. All of us need to remember that this could happen to any one of us. We also need to note that if the use of the FBI and DOJ for political purposes is not dealt with and the guilty parties punished, we will see more of this behavior in the future.

The article continues:

How’s this for transparency? The FISA warrant application says that Steele, referred to as “Source #1,” was “approached by” Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson, referred to as “an identified U.S. person,” who

indicated to Source #1 that a U.S.-based law firm had hired the identified U.S. Person to conduct research regarding Candidate #1’s [i.e., Trump’s] ties to Russia. (The identified U.S. Person and Source #1 have a longstanding business relationship.) The identified U.S. Person hired Source #1 to conduct this research. The identified U.S. Person never advised Source #1 as to the motivation behind the research into Candidate #1’s ties to Russia. The FBI speculates that the identified U.S. Person was likely looking for information that could be used to discredit Candidate #1’s campaign. [Emphasis in Schiff memo, p. 5]

The first thing to notice here is the epistemological contortions by which the DOJ rationalized concealing that the Clinton campaign and the DNC paid for Steele’s reporting. They ooze consciousness of guilt. If you have to go through these kinds of mental gymnastics to avoid disclosing something, it’s because you know that being “transparent” demands disclosing it.

As I stated, it is a very long and detailed article. Please follow the link above to see the other problems with the Schiff memo.

 

The Collusion Without A Crime

Sometimes it is very easy to overlook the obvious when you in the middle of dealing with an intense situation. The Mueller investigation might be considered an intense situation, and there is something obvious being overlooked. Andrew McCarthy pointed it out in an article at National Review today.

Mr. McCarthy points out that after a year of investigation, there is no evidence of Russian cyberespionage. If there is no evidence of cyberespionage, how can there be collusion with cyberespionage? Remember, the FBI was never allowed to examine the Democratic National Committee (DNC) servers–the examination was done by a group hired by the DNC. If I were guilty of a crime and the FBI wanted to search my house, would they let me hire a friend to do the searching? Somehow I don’t think so.

The article states:

We have paid too much attention to the so-called collusion component of the probe — speculation about Trump-campaign coordination in Russia’s perfidy. There appears to be no proof of that sort of collusion. Because it has been our focus, though, Mueller has gotten a free pass on a defect that would be fatal to any related prosecution theory: He cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Russia is guilty of hacking the Democratic National Committee and prominent Democrats.

This doesn’t mean it didn’t happen — like the U.S. intelligence agencies, I’m assuming it did, and that Russia should continue to be the subject of intense government counterintelligence efforts. The point is that Mueller can’t prove it in court, which is the only thing for which a prosecutor is needed. If he can’t establish to the required standard of proof that Russia conducted an espionage attack on the election, it is impossible to prove that anyone conspired with Russia to do so. There is no criminal case.

It is important to remember that when Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed a special counsel, he did not specify a crime. That alone should have shut down the investigation immediately–what are you investigating? Are you simply on a fishing expedition hoping you can find someone who is guilty of something?

The article concludes:

That is another good reason to deduce that Mueller’s team is playing a long game — impeachment, not prosecution. As a practical matter, there is no prospect of articles of impeachment unless Democrats win the 2018 midterms. So, if you thought or hoped Mueller’s investigation would be winding down anytime soon, disabuse yourself.

Still, after 18 months of investigating, it would be worth putting two simple questions to Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, who — at least nominally — supervises Special Counsel Mueller: 1) Does the Justice Department believe, contrary to the apparent concessions in the intelligence agencies’ Russia report, that the government can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Russia is guilty cyberespionage against the 2016 election; and 2) if not, what is the point of Mueller’s investigation?

The Republican party almost destroyed itself when they tried to impeach President Clinton because the public liked him (and the media was on his side). The Democrats need to learn from that–the public trusts President Trump more than Congress or the media. If the Democrats attempt to impeach him, they will lose seats in 2020 and their presidential candidate will not have a chance.

 

Perspective From Someone Familiar With The Law

Andrew McCarthy posted an article today at The National Review regarding the investigating tactics of special prosecutor Robert Mueller. The title of the article is “Mueller Scorches the Earth.”

The article reports:

It was not enough to get a search warrant to ransack the Virginia home of Paul Manafort, even as the former Trump campaign chairman was cooperating with congressional investigators. Mueller’s bad-asses persuaded a judge to give them permission to pick the door lock. That way, they could break into the premises in the wee hours, while Manafort and his wife were in bed sleeping. They proceeded to secure the premises — of a man they are reportedly investigating for tax and financial crimes, not gang murders and Mafia hits — by drawing their guns on the stunned couple, apparently to check their pajamas for weapons.

To say that this was unnecessary is an understatement.

The article continues:

Law enforcement is hard and sometimes dangerous work. Thus, there is leeway for officials to make errors in judgment. Without that leeway, they would be too paralyzed to do their jobs, and there would be no rule of law. But when prosecutors and investigators go way overboard just because they can, it is not law enforcement. It is abuse of law-enforcement power in order to intimidate.

There is no other way to interpret the brass-knuckles treatment of Manafort, a subject in a non-violent-crime investigation who is represented by counsel and was cooperating with Congress at the time Mueller’s Gang of 17 chose to break into his home. Did they really think they couldn’t have gotten the stuff they carted out of Manafort’s residence by calling up his well-regarded lawyers and asking for it? After he had already surrendered 300 pages of documents to investigative committees?

The article concludes:

If there is strong suspicion that Manafort has committed fraud crimes unrelated to the 2016 campaign, then fine, investigate him. But investigate him as you would any other white-collar fraudster who (a) has counsel willing to honor your lawful demands to produce evidence and (b) has, at least ostensibly, been cooperative. Paul Manafort is not Osama bin Laden, so there’s no reason for Bob Mueller to make like the commander of Seal Team Six.

Why is this worth pointing out? Because someday, maybe, we’ll get around to asking: What would have happened if Hillary Clinton’s very real email scandal — with its mountainous evidence of felony mishandling of classified information and destruction of government records — had been investigated with the no-holds-barred vigor Mueller and his band of Hillary donors are applying to the surmise of Trump collusion in Russian espionage?

This investigation has all the makings of a political hit-job. It is really sad that it is being allowed to continue. Where is Congress or the Attorney General? What has happened to our legal system? On one hand we have a presidential candidate with a mountain of evidence showing that she did break the law and no investigation. On the other hand we have a rumor with no evidence that has been investigated for a year without any verification. It seems to me that our resources are being focused in the wrong direction.

 

 

This Just Gets Uglier

Some serious and relevant information has come out in the past few days regarding the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server and the documents that were not turned over to the people investigating the server. On Friday, I posted an article dealing with the information that the decision to exonerate Hillary Clinton of any wrongdoing was made before the investigation was complete. That is true, but I missed to root of the problem.

The following video was posted at YouTube on Thursday. It further explains what has recently been revealed:

Yesterday Andrew McCarty posted an article at National Review that pointed out some things that I had overlooked.

The article at National Review states:

The thing to understand, what has always been the most important thing to understand, is that Jim Comey was out in front, but he was not calling the shots.

On the right, the commentariat is in full-throttle outrage over the revelation that former FBI Director Comey began drafting his statement exonerating Hillary Clinton in April 2016 – more than two months before he delivered the statement at his now famous July 5 press conference.

The news appears in a letter written to new FBI Director Christopher Wray by two senior Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans, Chairman Chuck Grassley and Senator Lindsey Graham. Pundits and the Trump administration are shrieking because this indicates the decision to give the Democrats’ nominee a pass was clearly made long before the investigation was over, and even long before key witnesses, including Clinton herself, were interviewed.

Andrew McCarthy reminds us of one of his previous statements:

On April 10, 2016, President Obama publicly stated that Hillary Clinton had shown “carelessness” in using a private e-mail server to handle classified information, but he insisted that she had not intended to endanger national security (which is not an element of the [criminal statutes relevant to her e-mail scandal]). The president acknowledged that classified information had been transmitted via Secretary Clinton’s server, but he suggested that, in the greater scheme of things, its importance had been vastly overstated.

This is the statement we need to be looking at. This was President Obama telling the FBI to ‘stand down’ on the investigation. It was later revealed that President Obama had communicated with Mrs. Clinton on her private email server. It is quite possible that these communications included classified information. Therefore, if Hillary Clinton was guilty of mishandling classified information, so was President Obama. Therefore, the FBI had to find a way not to charge Mrs. Clinton with a crime (regardless of the fact that she had obviously committed one). The moral of the story is, “If you are going to do something illegal, make sure a very powerful person does it with you.”

Andrew McCarthy concludes:

Bottom line: In April, President Obama and his Justice Department adopted a Hillary Clinton defense strategy of concocting a crime no one was claiming Clinton had committed: to wit, transmitting classified information with an intent to harm the United States. With media-Democrat complex help, they peddled the narrative that she could not be convicted absent this “malicious intent,” in a desperate effort to make the publicly known evidence seem weak. Meanwhile, they quietly hamstrung FBI case investigators in order to frustrate the evidence-gathering process. When damning proof nevertheless mounted, the Obama administration dismissed the whole debacle by rewriting the statute (to impose an imaginary intent standard) and by offering absurd rationalizations for not applying the statute as written.

That plan was in place and already being implemented when Director Comey began drafting the “findings” he would announce months later. But it was not Comey’s plan. It was Obama’s plan.

And that is the reason we will probably never see Mrs. Clinton held accountable for her mishandling of classified information.

 

A Question That Needs To Be Asked

You can’t put toothpaste back in the tube, but you can ask questions about how it got out of the tube in the first place. Andrew McCarthy posted an article at National Review today that asks a very obvious, but overlooked in the media, question about what happened to General Flynn.

Andrew McCarthy is a lawyer experienced in dealing the terrorism and other national security matters. In the article at National Review, he asks, “Why Was the FBI Investigating General Flynn?”

The contact between General Flynn and Russian ambassador Kislyak was appropriate–General Flynn was slated to be National Security Advisor under President Trump. He was making contacts in preparation for taking that job. It is also understandable that the conversation would have been recorded–the article states, “We are told that the FBI was monitoring the phone calls of Russian ambassador Kislyak under FISA. Makes sense — he’s an overt foreign agent from a hostile government.”

However, there is more to the story.

The article reports:

The call to Kislyak, of course, was intercepted. No doubt the calls of other American officials who have perfectly valid reasons to call Russian diplomats have been intercepted. It is the FBI’s scrupulous practice to keep the identities of such interceptees confidential. So why single Flynn out for identification, and for investigation? FBI agents did not need to “grill” Flynn in order to learn about the call — they had a recording of the call. They also knew there was nothing untoward about the call. We know that from the Times report — a report that suggests an unseemly conjoining of investigative power to partisan politics.

The article also notes the timing of these events. The information about the phone call was released at a point where it was designed to do the most damage. We had the FBI and the press working together to undermine the new President.
The article concludes:
And the FBI has no business probing the veracity of public statements made by presidential administrations for political purposes — something it certainly resisted doing during the Obama administration.
There appears to have been no foreign-intelligence or criminal-investigative purpose served by the FBI’s interrogation of General Flynn. It is easy to see why Democrats would want to portray Flynn’s contact with the Russian ambassador as worthy of an FBI investigation. But why did the FBI and the Justice Department investigate Flynn — and why did “officials” make sure the press found out about it?

Please follow the link to read the entire article. It is rather lengthy but explains the matter much more clearly and fully than I did. It is time for all of us to become our own news reporters and investigate everything the major media tells us. Otherwise we will tend to believe the lies the press is promoting.

Why This Story Keeps Coming Back

Even during a political campaign, most stories have a limited life-span. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case with Hillary Clinton’s emails and private server. Clinton supporters see this as just another unwarranted attack on this innocent person, but unfortunately the facts that are slowly leaking out tell a very different story.

Townhall posted a story tonight stating that the FBI made a side deal with some of the witnesses in the email investigation to destroy their laptop computers. That seems odd to say the least. Usually evidence in an investigation is not destroyed very quickly.

The article at Townhall points out some irregularities in the investigation:

This was just your average FBI investigation, you see, in which the same woman was: (1) a subject of the probe, (2) a key witness in the probe, (3) a dubious immunity recipient, and (4) a lawyer to the primary subject — who was allowed to sit in on her quasi-client’s interview with investigators. And if that wasn’t enough, the FBI reportedly agreed to permanently destroy two pieces of evidence after reviewing them. I’ll defer to law enforcement experts as to whether or not this sort of thing is remotely standard practice, but to a layperson, it seems like yet another peculiarity surrounding this case.

On Saturday, Andrew McCarthy posted an article at National Review with his comments on the investigation. Please follow the link above to read the entire article–it details some of the technicalities in the investigation that were obviously mishandled.

The article points out:

Second, though Comey says the FBI is in no position to enforce attorney ethical rules that barred Mills from representing Clinton at the interview, this was not just an FBI interview. According to the director, several Justice Department lawyers also participated. Those lawyers, too, are bound by the ethical rules. They had an obligation to object to this unseemly arrangement and to do what was in their considerable power to prevent it.
Finally, as Shannen Coffin has pointed out, Mills was not just violating an ethical rule. Her representation of Clinton runs afoul of federal law. Section 207 of the penal code makes it a crime for a former government official to attempt to influence the government on behalf of another person in a matter in which the former official was heavily involved while working for the government. It was against the law for Mills, as an attorney, to attempt to influence the Justice Department’s consideration of the case against Clinton.
The reason this scandal will not go away is that the investigation has been compromised at every turn. We don’t have a “Watergate” media that is willing to report on the obstructionism and lying that has been going on both by Hillary Clinton and the Obama Administration. There are still a few Americans left who believe in the integrity of the FBI and want to know why that integrity was seemingly compromised.

 

Now I Get It

I will admit that sometimes I just don’t understand why things happen the way they do. When James Comey listed the laws Hillary Clinton broke and then said there was no reason to pursue the case, I was very confused. That made no sense to me. If she broke the law, why was the case dropped? Well, now I know.

Andrew McCarthy posted an article at National Review today that explains why Hillary was not prosecuted and also explains Huma Abedin’s response when shown a copy of an email from President Obama to Hillary Clinton’s private server. I strongly suggest that you follow the link above to read the entire article. It explains a lot.

The article notes:

The FBI had just shown her (Huma Abedin) an old e-mail exchange, over Clinton’s private account, between the then-secretary of state and a second person, whose name Abedin did not recognize. The FBI then did what the FBI is never supposed to do: The agents informed their interviewee (Abedin) of the identity of the second person. It was the president of the United States, Barack Obama, using a pseudonym to conduct communications over a non-secure e-mail system — something anyone with a high-level security clearance, such as Huma Abedin, would instantly realize was a major breach.

Abedin was sufficiently stunned that, for just a moment, the bottomless capacity of Clinton insiders to keep cool in a scandal was overcome. “How is this not classified?”

She recovered quickly enough, though. The FBI records that the next thing Abedin did, after “express[ing] her amazement at the president’s use of a pseudonym,” was to “ask if she could have a copy of the email.”

Why would she want a copy of the email? Because if she were ever charged with anything, she would have proof that President Obama was also guilty. If President Obama knows she has a copy of that email, what are the chances of her being charged with anything? It’s called insurance.

Andrew McCarthy sums up the situation very well:

To summarize, we have a situation in which (a) Obama knowingly communicated with Clinton over a non-government, non-secure e-mail system; (b) Obama and Clinton almost certainly discussed matters that are automatically deemed classified under the president’s own guidelines; and (c) at least one high-ranking government official (Petraeus) has been prosecuted because he failed to maintain the security of highly sensitive intelligence that included policy-related conversations with Obama. From these facts and circumstances, we must deduce that it is possible, if not highly likely, that President Obama himself has been grossly negligent in handling classified information.

A thorough investigation into the email scandal would reveal the fact that President Obama was also negligent–therefore the Obama Administration cannot afford a thorough investigation into the email scandal. That explains the stonewalling of Congressional committees investigating the scandal and why the Justice Department and the State Department have been so uncooperative. This is a serious problem for our republic. When the corruption goes all the way to the top, who is going to hold our leaders accountable? When did we reach the point where the rule of law only applied to the ‘little people’?’

If Hillary Clinton is elected President, we will have the potential of the most corrupt administration in American history. We will, in fact, have become a banana republic–where the rules only apply to some of us. Mrs. Clinton is a danger to both our country and our Constitution.

Misquoting The Constitution For Your Own Gain

It’s amazing to me how some politicians ignore the U.S. Constitution until they want to make some sort of attack on their opponents. Then they freely misquote it. We have seen a lot of recent examples of this, but there is one that really bothers me.

Andrew McCarthy posted an article at National Review today illustrating how Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton either misunderstands or chooses to misuse the U.S. Constitution.

The article reports:

Of all the ignorant pronouncements in the 2016 presidential campaign, the dumbest may be that the Constitution forbids a “religious test” in the vetting of immigrants. Monotonously repeated in political speeches and talking-head blather, this claim is heedless of the Islamic doctrinal roots on which foreign-born Islamists and the jihadists they breed base their anti-Americanism. It is also dead wrong.
The clause said to be the source of this drivel is found in Article VI. As you’ll no doubt be shocked to learn, it has utterly nothing to do with immigration. The clause states, “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States” (emphasis added). On its face, the provision is not only inapplicable to immigrants at large, let alone aliens who would like to be immigrants; it does not even apply to the general public. It is strictly limited to public officials — specifically to their fitness to serve in government positions.

Just a few personal observations…If your religion requires that your religious rules supersede the U.S. Constitution, maybe you should find another place to live. If your religion has its own set of strict rules that condone honor killing, female genital mutilation, stoning of rape victims, marriage of women under the age of thirteen, and killing of homosexuals (all against American laws), maybe you should not come to America and expect to follow your religious rules. The obvious question here is, “What is the difference between a religion and a political movement?” Which is Islam?
The article concludes:
Promotion of assimilation and fidelity to the Constitution have been historical bedrocks of immigration policy. Indeed, before immigrants are naturalized as citizens, they must swear what is pointedly called an “oath of allegiance.” It calls on them to renounce any foreign sovereigns by whom they have been ruled, and to honor our Constitution — principles that are inimical to sharia supremacism. We should resist a categorical ban on Muslim immigration; but nothing in the Constitution prohibits the commonsense vetting of immigrants for beliefs that are antithetical to our principles, regardless of whether the immigrant perceives such beliefs as religious or political in nature.
We should welcome immigrants who embrace our principles, seek to assimilate into our society, and are value-added for — rather than a strain on — our economy. But if, in an era of jihadist violence, we cannot seriously vet immigrants to determine whether they fit this bill, it would be better to have a categorical ban. And if, based on an illiterate construction of the Constitution, the political class insists that its fictional “no religious test” rule forbids not only a categorical ban but the heightened scrutiny of Muslim aliens, it would be better to prohibit immigration across the board.
The United States government’s first obligation is to shield the American people from foreign threats, not to shield foreign threats and render the American people defenseless.

We should welcome refugees who want to come here and become Americans. We should encourage those who want to bring their culture with them and not assimilate to immigrate to a country with a culture similar to the one they left.

Something We Need To Remember

Andrew McCarthy posted an article at the National Review today that should cause us all to stop and think for a moment. In America, we hear a lot of things from the media, and as Americans we tend to accept what we have been told. However, some of what we have been told is patently ridiculous.

Mr. McCarthy poses the question, “Supposing that you are a moderate Muslim, is there any insulting thing I could say, no matter how provocative, or any demeaning video I could show you, no matter how lurid, that could convince you to join ISIS?”

He reminds us that he was the prosecutor of the“Blind Sheikh,” Omar Abdel Rahman after the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993.

After asking the question above, Mr. McCarthy points out that when the American media and American presidents refer to Islam as ‘a religion of peace,’ they are overlooking some very obvious points.

The article at National Review concludes with this comment on the trial of the World Trade Center bombers:

At trial, the jihadists tried to tell the jury they were just moderate, peace-loving Muslims who had been provoked by American foreign policy, a perception of anti-Muslim bias, and videos of Muslims being persecuted in Bosnia. The Blind Sheikh insisted his incitements to jihad were simply a case of faithfully applying sharia principles, which, according to his lawyers, the First Amendment gave him the right to do.

So I asked the jury a simple question: Is there any obnoxious, insulting, infuriating thing I could say to you, or show to you, that would convince you to join up with mass-murdering terrorists? To become a terrorist yourself? Of course, a dozen commonsense New Yorkers did not need to be asked such a question. They laughed the defense out of the courtroom.
Alas, in the 20 years since, the defense they laughed out of the courtroom has become the bipartisan government policy of the United States.

We have forgotten the lessons of history.

Lied To Again

I am running out of patience with supposed leaders who lie. It seems that in both local and national politics Americans have lost respect for each other. Our leaders don’t respect us and we don’t respect our leaders. This is understandable, however, when you consider that our leaders have not always been truthful with us.

Yesterday Andrew McCarthy posted an article at PJ Media about recent claims by members of the Obama Administration that Ayatollah Khamenei of Iran had issued a fatwa against Iran having nuclear weapons.

The facts, as reported in the story, are somewhat different:

Indeed, as MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute) elaborates, Khamenei was directly asked about the purported fatwa in a 2012 Facebook exchange:

[I]s it also forbidden to obtain nuclear weapons, as per your ruling that their use is prohibited?

He refused to answer the question:

Your question has no jurisprudential aspect. When it has a jurisprudent [sic] position, then it will be possible to answer it.

The notion that Khamenei actually believes nuclear weapons violate Islamic law and would issue a credible fatwa to that effect should be seen as absurd on its face. Put aside that Pakistan, which incorporates sharia in its law, has long had nuclear weapons. For over two decades, al-Qaeda has been trying to acquire nuclear weapons and has enjoyed essential support from the regime in Tehran.

The article concludes:

But even if you were inclined to such self-delusion, the fact is: Khamenei has not forbidden nuclear weapons.

As Breitbart’s Joel Pollak has observed, Kenneth Pollack, a serious national security expert who is particularly influential among Democrats, discussed the purported Khamenei fatwa in his book Unthinkable: Iran, the Bomb, and American Strategy. Pollack notes not only that the fatwa has never been formally issued but also that Iran disregards fatwas when they prove inconvenient to perceived national interests. Thus did the founder of the Iranian jihadist state, Ayatollah Khomeini, ignore his own fatwa against weapons of mass destruction during the long war with Iraq in the 1980s.

It would be lunacy, in a matter crucial to American national security, to rely on a fatwa from the head of a jihadist-terror state even if such a fatwa actually existed. But it doesn’t.

Lied to again.

An Example Of What Happens When A Terrorist Is Tried In A Civilian Court

On Tuesday, Andrew McCarthy posted an article at National Review Online about the release of Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri from an American prison. Al-Marri was in a federal prison after being convicted of terrorism.

The article reports:

Al-Marri is an al-Qaeda operative who was planted as a “sleeper” in the United States by Khalid Sheikh Mohamed to await instructions on carrying out a second wave of attacks after the 9/11 atrocities – against water reservoirs, the New York Stock Exchange, U.S. military academies, and other targets. The Justice Department quietly sprung him on Friday so he could return to his native Qatar, a country the administration regards as a crucial counterterrorism ally . . . and a country that is notorious for providing material support to jihadists.

Al-Marri served six years for plotting terror attacks against Americans. I am sure America soldiers (or American civilians if he crosses our southern border illegally) will meet al-Marri again. Our Justice Department is not protecting us from a convicted terrorist.

The article explains how this all happened:

Prior Justice Department practice required prosecutors to charge the most severe, readily provable offense. And in 1996, to ensure that this practice would result in sentences of death or life imprisonment for terrorists, Congress — with significant encouragement from the Clinton Justice Department (in its pre-Holder days) — overhauled federal counterterrorism law.

…In stark departure from prior Justice Department practice, Holder permitted al-Marri to plead guilty to providing material support for terrorism. The material-support offense is generally reserved for non-terrorist sympathizers who facilitate the jihad but are unlikely to carry out atrocities themselves. It is a significantly less serious charge than the crimes — the acts of war — that Marri had actually committed, such as full-fledged membership in the al-Qaeda conspiracy to kill Americans, as well as conspiracies to use weapons of mass destruction.

Because of Holder’s abandonment of past DOJ practice, al-Marri was looking at a maximum sentence of 15 years. Had the Justice Department filed appropriate charges and taken the case to trial, the 43-year-old al-Marri would have been looking at a life sentence.

At the time of his conviction, al-Marri admitted that he was doing research into cyanide compounds as part of his terrorist training. He also admitted that an almanac recovered in his residence was bookmarked at pages showing dams, waterways, and tunnels in the United States, consistent with al-Qaeda planning for the use of cyanide gases. This man was not simply providing material support for terrorists–he was planning on being one.

The article concludes:

Reading the Obama Justice Department’s signals, Judge Michael M. Mihm sentenced al-Marri to a mere eight years’ imprisonment. I thus predicted that he would be released “in six years or so.” That’s what happened. He’s back in Qatar, with plenty of jihad left in him.

Please follow the link to the article to read the entire story. Now that he is free, this man could do some serious damage to American soldiers and American civilians.

The Creeping Bureaucracy Of Washington

Andrew McCarthy posted an article today at National Review Online about the recent events involving police that have gotten so much publicity. Mr. McCarthy’s theory is that Eric Holder has inserted himself into these events not because they are civil rights issues, but because he can use these events to exert federal power over local law enforcement.

The article reports:

Civil-rights investigations in Ferguson and Staten Island? No, what denizens of St. Louis and New York City ought to be worried about right now is . . . the crime wave overtaking Seattle.

If you don’t understand why, then you probably thought Obamacare was about covering the uninsured. Like its health-care “reform” campaign, the Obama Left’s civil-rights crusade is about control — central control of state law enforcement by Washington.

The deaths of Michael Brown in Missouri and Eric Garner in New York are each tragic in their own way. But in neither is there a federal civil-rights case to be had. To think otherwise, you have to be getting your advice from Al Sharpton — the huckster confidant of President Obama and Attorney General Holder.

So what has happened in Seattle that should have us all concerned?

The article reports:

Seattle is another of the big cities that has been targeted by the DOJ. It has been under a consent decree since the Justice Department targeted it in 2012 for a “pattern or practice” of violations, allegedly including “subjecting individuals to excessive force” — in particular, “using excessive force against persons of color,” and “escalating situations and using excessive force when arresting individuals for minor offenses.”

…Meanwhile, Seattle has been making announcements, too. It seems crime in the Emerald City has been skyrocketing since the Justice Department came in to, er, help. Homicides up 21 percent, car theft up 44 percent, aggravated assaults up 14 percent, and so on.

Welcome to Change: produced and directed by the Obama Justice Department and coming soon to a town near you.

Although I agree with Andrew McCarthy that what is happening in Ferguson and Staten Island is about control, I also think there is another purpose. One of the characteristics of the Obama Administration has been to create division between different groups of people. The ‘war on women’ was an attempt to create division among the sexes, the so-called ‘problem of income inequality’ was to create class warfare, and the focus on the two unfortunate deaths in law-enforcement situations undermines the authority of the police and can also be used to create racial division and tension. Unless Americans wake up and realize that they are being manipulated by a Chicago thug, we are in for a really ugly next two years.

The Twisted Logic Of American Foreign Policy

Twisted logic in American foreign policy is nothing new. It has been going on for at least the last half century. However, every now and again it just seems to become even less logical than normal. Andrew McCarthy posted an article at National Review Online today about America’s alliance with the ‘moderate’ Muslims of Saudi Arabia. Admittedly, the Saudis have been important allies on numerous occasions–they have supported the use of the American dollar as the preferred currency in trading oil, they have been a strong enough member of OPEC to keep America from being totally raked over the coals in the oil price negotiations of that organization, and generally they have supported America when it suited their interests. However, there is another side of the story.

The article explains:

And let’s not kid ourselves: We know there will be more beheadings in the coming weeks, and on into the future. Apostates from Islam, homosexuals, and perceived blasphemers will face brutal persecution and death. Women will be treated as chattel and face institutionalized abuse. Islamic-supremacist ideology, with its incitements to jihad and conquest, with its virulent hostility toward the West, will spew from the mosques onto the streets. We will continue to be confronted by a country-sized breeding ground for anti-American terrorists.

The Islamic State? Sorry, no. I was talking about . . .  our “moderate Islamist” ally, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

But the confusion is understandable.

Islamic State terrorists have infamously decapitated three of their prisoners in recent weeks. That is five fewer than the Saudi government decapitated in August alone. Indeed, it is three fewer beheadings than were carried out in September by the Free Syrian Army — the “moderate Islamists” that congressional Republicans have now joined Obama Democrats in supporting with arms and training underwritten by American taxpayer dollars.

Are we really sure that we want to continue our support Saudi Arabia? They are the main supporters of Wahabi Islam. Saudi Arabia supports schools in America that use textbooks whose map of the Middle East does not include the country of Israel. One of the things that puts America in the position of almost having to support Saudi Arabia is the current government energy policies. Energy independence would allow America to make decisions in the international realm based on reality–not energy dependence.

The article reminds of the history of Saudi Arabia:

Saudi Arabia is the cradle of Islam: the birthplace of Mohammed, the site of the Hijra by which Islam marks time — the migration from Mecca to Medina under siege by Mohammed and his followers. The Saudi king is formally known as the “Keeper of the Two Holy Mosques” (in Mecca and Medina); he is the guardian host of the Haj pilgrimage that Islam makes mandatory for able-bodied believers. The despotic Saudi kingdom is governed by Islamic law — sharia. No other law is deemed necessary and no contrary law is permissible.

It is thus under the authority of sharia that the Saudis routinely behead prisoners.

I happen to own the edition of the Koran “with English Translation of ‘The Meanings and Commentary,’” published at the “King Fahd Holy Qur-an Printing Complex” — Fahd was Abdullah’s brother and predecessor. As the introductory pages explain, this version is produced under the auspices of the regime’s “Ministry of Hajj and Endowments.” In its sura (or chapter) 47, Allah commands Muslims, “Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks.”

Andrew McCarthy concludes:

And now Republicans in Congress have joined Democrats to support President Obama’s hare-brained scheme to train 5,000 “moderate” Syrian rebels. As every sentient person knows, a force of that size will have no chance of defeating the Islamic State or al-Qaeda — even if we charitably assume that many in its ranks do not defect to those organizations, as they have been wont to do. The rebels will similarly have no chance against the Iran-backed Assad regime. In sum, our government, nearly $18 trillion in debt, will expend another $500 million to school 5,000 “moderate Islamists” in military tactics that cannot win the war in Syria but could eventually be used in the jihad against the United States. Welcome to Libya . . . the Sequel.

Oh, and did I mention that the training of these “moderate” rebels will take place in “moderate” Saudi Arabia?

American foreign policy has stopped supporting the interests of America.

Politicizing Justice In The War On Terror

In case you haven’t noticed, we are still fighting a war on terror. Young girls are being kidnapped, terrorists in the Middle East are killing Christians, and Islamist terrorists seem generally to be running amok. In the midst of this, we are getting ready to try one of the suspects in the attack on the American outpost in Benghazi.

Andrew McCarthy posted an article at National Review today about the indictment of Ahmed Abu Khatallah, the suspect arrested in connection with the attack in Benghazi. It seems that the indictment the Justice Department has created does not make sense when viewed in the context of who Ahmed Abu Khatallah is and what he did.

The article reports:

In big criminal cases — and there are none bigger than those involving terrorist attacks — indictments tend toward book length, written in a narrative style designed to cut through the legalese and explain what happened. See, if the prosecutor is ethically convinced that there is sufficient evidence to convict an accused terrorist, his duty is to plead the case as expansively as necessary to get that evidence admitted.

In terrorism cases, that has always meant fully describing the nature of the terrorist enterprise. Look at the Justice Department’s jihadist cases from the Nineties (see e.g., here). They explain the history of the international jihadist network; the different terrorist organizations and state sponsors it encompasses; the identity, status, and roles of the players; plus all of the different plots and attacks that knit the network together.

The idea is to frame the case in a way that completely and coherently relates it — making it easier for judges to admit controversial evidence and jurors to grasp the willfulness of the accused. That is why the most critical decision made by the prosecutor drafting a terrorism indictment is Count One — i.e., the first statutory offense alleged.

…It seems, however, that the Khatallah prosecution is following a different strategy.

Khatallah has been identified by the State Department as a “senior leader” of Ansar al-Sharia, one of the al-Qaeda-tied franchises in Libya. Yet there is no mention of Ansar al-Sharia in the indictment, much less of al-Qaeda or the Islamic-supremacist ideology that ties jihadist affiliates together. In fact, the indictment does not even accuse Khatallah of being a terrorist.

…In other words, the Justice Department is not alleging that Khatallah himself was a terrorist. It is saying that there were some elusive “terrorists” hanging around Benghazi, and Khatallah conspired to help the “terrorists” by contributing personnel — mainly, himself — to their machinations, knowing that these just might include preparation for a lethal attack on a U.S. facility.

Oh, and the duration of this conspiracy? It is alleged to have lasted about one day — i.e., from approximately sometime on September 11, 2012, to sometime after midnight September 12.

One day. In fact, maybe it was just a few hours.

…Instead, the indictment is written to portray a sudden, spontaneous eruption of violence, without much planning or warning, in which Khatallah — who knows . . . perhaps inspired by a video — abruptly joined a disgruntled group of protesters that turned out to include some shady terrorists motivated by . . . well, who can really say? All we know is the violence started without warning and, before you could scramble a fighter-jet or fuel up Air Force One for a Vegas campaign junket, it was all over.

There are a lot of downsides to giving enemy-combatant terrorists all the majesty of American due process. But at least it used to mean that, by the end, you’d have the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Now, it’s starting to look like what you get on the Sunday shows.

It’s time for Eric Holder to go back to Chicago.

This Was A Really Bad Trade

Yesterday the Weekly Standard reported that President Obama made a trade with the Taliban to allow Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl to return to America. The deal was to return Sgt. Bergdahl in exchange for five members of the Taliban held at Guantanamo. There is a whole lot more to this story than meets the eye.

The Washington Post posted a story yesterday that included the following paragraph:

Top Republicans on the Senate and House armed services committees went so far as to accuse President Obama of having broken the law, which requires the administration to notify Congress before any transfers from Guantanamo are carried out.

Today Andrew McCarthy posted the following at National Review Online:

In return, thanks to the president’s negotiations with the terrorists, we receive U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl—who, according to several of his fellow soldiers, walked off his post in 2009 before being captured by the Taliban. (For more on this, see Greg Pollowitz’ spost at The Feed.) This was shortly after Sgt. Bergdah lreportedly emailed his parents that “The US army is the biggest joke the world has to laugh at”; that he was “ashamed to even be an American”; and that “The horror that is America is disgusting.”

Sgt. Bergdahl’s father, Robert, was by Mr. Obama’s side during Saturday’s Rose Garden press conference, at which the president announced Sgt. Bergdahl’s return but carefully avoiding mention of the jihadi-windfall the Taliban received in exchange. Mr. Bergdahl is an antiwar activist campaigning for the release of all jihadists detained at Guantanamo Bay. His Twitter account, @bobbergdahl, has apparently now deleted a tweet from four days ago, in which he said, in echoes of Islamic supremacist rhetoric, “@ABalkhi I am still working to free all Guantanamo prisoners. God will repay for the death of every Afghan child, ameen!”

Andrew McCarthy at the National Review describes the Taliban prisoners released:

At the Weekly Standard, Tom Joscelyn profiles the five Taliban commanders Obama has released. They include Mullah Mohammed Fazi, perhaps the Taliban’s senior warrior (its “army chief of staff”) and longtime al Qaeda ally; Mullah Norullah Noori, a senior military commander who fought side-by-side with al Qaeda; Abdul Haq Wasiq, a senior Taliban intelligence official who helped train al Qaeda and fought with it against U.S. forces after 9/11; Khairullah Khairkhwa, a Taliban governor and al Qaeda trainer who brokered an alliance with Iran to collaborate against American-led forces; and Mohammed Nabi, who worked with the Haqqani network and al Qaeda to coordinate attacks against American and Coalition forces.

The title of Andrew McCarthy’s article at the National Review Online is “Obama Replenishes the Taliban … Or ‘How Wars End in the 21st Century’”

Another title would be “How An American President Shows Total Disregard For The Lives Of American Soldiers.” I really don’t want to see the country go through an impeachment trial, but this is an impeachable offense.

 

 

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Now That We Have A Committee…

This post is based on two articles–one by the Editors at National Review and one by Andrew McCarthy at National Review. The article by the Editors explains why Benghazi matters, and the article by Andrew McCarthy has some good advice for the Benghazi Select Committee.

The article by the Editors sums up the reasons Benghazi matters:

But the question here is not whether the administration’s misleading statements in the wake of the attacks on U.S. installations in Egypt and Libya are a political scandal in the style of President Nixon’s infamous burglary; they aren’t. But that the administration’s misdeeds here seem to fall short of felony burglary hardly makes the matter a less serious one: The White House misled the American public about a critical matter of national interest, and it continues to practice deceit as the facts of the case are sorted out. That, to answer Hillary Clinton’s callous question, is what difference it makes.

Andrew McCarthy has some advice for the committee:

I was a tough prosecutor but a fair one. If I were the special counsel, I’d do my best to let the chips fall where they may even if it ended up showing that I’d been wrong about things. But truly being fair means you never get to that point: You don’t take an assignment that might disserve the assignment; you don’t take an assignment under circumstances where fair-minded people could be persuaded to wonder whether you’re pursuing the truth or pursuing your own agenda.

The facts of Benghazi are damning for the administration. The select committee should choose one of the dozens of excellent, ethical former prosecutors who have not publicly stated conclusive views on Benghazi. That would make the facts sing for themselves rather than create a target for the partisan demagoguery that could drown them out.

Benghazi is important. The goal is to get to the bottom of what happened, why no one came to the aid of the Ambassador, how the video got blamed, and why has it been so hard to obtain government documents relating to the attack. Those are the questions America wants to have answered.

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A Terrorist Convicted In New York

Andrew McCarthy posted an article at National Review Online today about the conviction of Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, Osama bin Laden’s confidant, spokesman and son-in-law, of a terrorist conspiracy to kill Americans and providing material support to al Qaeda. It is good news that Abu Ghaith was convicted, but civilian trials for terrorists are not appropriate.

The article explains:

The principal problems are that (a) civilian due process requires revealing mounds of intelligence we have about the enemy, which is foolish to do while the war ensues and the enemy’s anti-American operations can still benefit; (b) it is perverse to reward enemy combatants with gold-plated due process once they succeed in mass-murdering Americans when other enemy combatants, who have plotted but not succeeded, are killed by military force with no due process; (c) military commissions are the proper vehicle for dealing with enemy combatants in wartime and they have been authorized by Congress—so enemy combatant terrorists, who defy international human rights norms by targeting civilians, should not be treated as if they were mere criminal defendants; and (d) the strong incentive prosecutors and courts have to withhold some discovery and procedural protections from enemy combatant terrorists—information and protections defendants would get in a normal criminal trial—can set precedents that apply to non-terrorists in ordinary cases, thus diminishing the quality of justice for Americans accused of crimes (i.e., the people for whom due process is actually intended).

Abu Ghaith used the same defense as the Blink Sheikh used when he was tried for the first bombing of the World Trade Center–that the jury should understand that his threats and incitements in al Qaeda’s cause were not as co-conspirator statements but as the preachments of a theologian performing the traditional role of an imam. The fact that threats of violence and violence are considered a routine part of an Islamic leader’s role should tell us that Islam is not a religion of peace. Keep in mind that Mohammad divided the earth into two spheres–Dar al-Islam–the land of peace and Dar al-harb–the land of war. Only those lands which are part of the world-wide caliphate under Sharia Law are considered part of Dar al-Islam. The goal is to use all means necessary to bring the entire world into that sphere. That is what we are up against.

 

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The Idea Behind The Idea

This is an article about ObamaCare. It is based on two articles–one theoretical and one practical. The theoretical article was posted today at National Review. It was written by Andrew McCarthy. The practical article was posted at Power Line on Thursday. It was written by Paul Mirengoff and illustrates how Andrew McCarthy’s theory looks in the real world.

Andrew McCarthy describes ObamaCare as follows:

It is a Fabian plan to move an unwilling nation, rooted in free enterprise, into Washington-controlled, fully socialized medicine. As its tentacles spread over time, the scheme (a) pushes all Americans into government markets (a metastasizing blend of Medicare, Medicaid, and “exchanges” run by state and federal agencies); (b) dictates the content of the “private” insurance product; (c) sets the price; (d) micromanages the patient access, business practices, and fees of doctors; and (e) rations medical care. Concurrently, the scheme purposely sows a financing crisis into the system, designed to explode after Leviathan has so enveloped health care, and so decimated the private medical sector, that a British- or Canadian-style “free” system — formerly unthinkable for the United States — becomes the inexorable solution.

Andrew McCarthy reminds us of President Obama’s statement to a 2007 SEIU health-care forum.  The President stated, “There’s going to be potentially some transition process. I can envision a decade out or 15 years or 20 years out.” The transition he is referring to is the transition out of employee-based health into a government one-payer system. It was assumed that the individual healthcare insurance market could be phased out much more quickly. We are seeing that already in the number of individual health insurance policies that are being cancelled every day due to ObamaCare. This brings me to the article showing how ObamaCare works in practical terms.

Paul Mirengoff reports:

Covered California, that state’s insurance exchange, has rejected President Obama’s request that people be allowed to remain in non-compliant health insurance plans for another year. This decision is highly significant because California has experienced by far the most insurance policy cancellations of any state, reportedly around 900,000 of them.

Eliana Johnson points out that a number of Blue States — New York, Minnesota, Washington, and Rhode Island — have previously said no to Obama’s fix. So far, less liberal states — e.g., Florida, Tennesse, Alabama, and South Carolina — seem more receptive to the president.

The irony is only superficial. Blue State leaders are saying no because, as liberals, they dislike private plans and, more importantly, want to offer no escape from Obamacare for the young and the healthy whose participation in exchanges is needed to subsidize the middle-aged and the sick.

President Obama’s healthcare fix is political theater. It provides cover for him and (in his mind) for other Democrats. ObamaCare has cost the Democrat party dearly in the polls, and there is an election next year. There is one school of thought that says that because President Obama is in his second term he is more interested in changing America than being popular, but there is a problem with that. President Obama needs a cooperative Congress to keep ObamaCare in place. If the American people decide to vote out of office those politicians who supported ObamaCare, it is very possible that the next Congress could throw the entire program out and start over (we can only hope). So there is a fine line to be walked between changing ObamaCare enough to make it palatable to the American public without sacrificing the goal of eventual reaching a single-payer system and winning the next election. Get out the popcorn–this is going to be fun to watch!

 

 

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