The Conservative Treehouse posted an article today about the vote last night to approve the release of the memo involving FISA warrants and possible corruption int he FBI and DOJ. It is a rather complex article, and I suggest that you follow the link and read the entire article. The way this memo was released to the President with the intention of its being made public is not random–there seems to be a much larger plan in place here with the ultimate goal being to drain the swamp.
Some highlights from the article:
The White House has five days to review. Any DOJ or FBI officials who have a position against public release are now responsible to make their case known to the Office of the President who is in charge of them, and the executive branch.
Specifically because the Chief Executive (President Trump) granted permission for FBI Director Christopher Wray to see the intelligence memo prior to the House Intel vote; Director Wray and Asst. AG Rosenstein had an obligation to debrief the executive on their findings. That’s why Wray and Rosenstein were at the West Wing yesterday. However, the vote last evening transferred the declassification decision to the executive.
…With the executive holding the memo, opposing political talking-points will now shift their narrative and claim the President is undermining the DOJ and FBI with a pending release. Opposition does not want the memo released. It’s just pantomime politics.
The executive branch IS the DOJ and FBI; the President cannot, therefore, undermine himself. Media opposition have worked earnestly for two years to create a false illusion of the intelligence apparatus being separate from the executive branch, they’re not. President Trump is the Chief Executive over all the agencies; just like President Obama was accountable for James Comey (FBI) and Loretta Lynch (DOJ) previously.
Then again, the prior political abuse by those agencies explains the reasoning for the media’s attempt to conflate the structure of government. By creating a false separation they are, in essence, also protecting Obama from the discovery of any prior malfeasance within the executive branch Justice Department: James Comey, Andrew McCabe (FBI), or Loretta Lynch and Sally Yates (DOJ) et al.
Traditionally, Democrats would look to dilute any pending damage from the declassification release by leaking to the media the content therein. However, in this example, until actually released by the executive, any leaks of content by the legislative branch are felony releases of classified intelligence. And, remember, there’s a leak task force looking for an opportunity to cull oppositional leakers.
…The more the opposition fights against the memo, the more momentum there is to declassify and release the underlying supportive documents. Ultimately, that’s the goal. President Trump would want to draw all fire upon him and the memo bringing increased attention to it, and simultaneously providing support to release the underlying evidence.
The FBI and DOJ, or their immediate intelligence superior, DNI Dan Coats, can declassify all the underlying documents if needed; so long as they go through the appropriate channels – which means asking the Chief Executive (President Trump) for authority to do so; and going through the process of seeking input from all parties of interest including the National Security Council. Ultimately all declassification needs executive approval. (Underlines are mine)
The article concludes:
Ultimately, not only does President Trump hold authority over public release of the Intelligence Memo, President Trump also holds the declassification authority for all underlying evidence used in creating the memo.
Now you see why the Democrats were/are so apoplectic about how brilliantly Chairman Nunes gamed out the strategy. That’s why Democrats and Media were so violently trying to besmirch Nunes personally. He strategically outmatched them – and they were counting on using the compartmented structure of internal classified intelligence to keep the most damaging information hidden away from public view.
Where things are today appears to have been well thought out since sometime around April, May or June of 2017.
Key strategists: Dan Coats (DNI), Admiral Rogers (NSA), Chairman Nunes (House Intel), Chairman Goodlatte (House Judiciary) and Chairman Grassley (Senate Judiciary); against the complimentary timeline of Inspector General Michael Horowitz and his year-long Justice Department investigation.
None of this is random. All of this is sequential.
The Democrats in Congress have again been outsmarted by someone they considered too stupid to be President.
This video was posted on YouTube today. I realize that it is long, but it is one of the best explanations of what is currently going on in Washington that I have seen:
This is going to be an interesting week.
The article reports:
Investigators in both House and Senate were stunned late Friday when, receiving a batch of newly-released texts between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, they also received notice from the bureau that the FBI “failed to preserve” Strzok-Page messages from December 14, 2016 through May 17, 2017.
…A number of critical events in the Trump-Russia affair occurred between December 2016 and May 2017, including:
- Conversations between Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
- The completion and publication of the intelligence community assessment of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
- The briefing in which FBI director James Comey told President-elect Donald Trump about the Trump dossier.
- The president’s inauguration.
- The nomination and confirmation of new Justice Department leadership.
- Flynn’s interview with the FBI (conducted by Strzok).
- Comey’s assurances to Trump that he, Trump, was not under investigation.
- A variety of revelations, mostly in the Washington Post and New York Times, about various Trump figures under investigation.
- Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal from the Russia probe.
- The firing of top Obama Justice Department holdover Sally Yates.
- Trump’s tweet alleging he was wiretapped.
- Trump’s firing of Comey.
- And, finally, on May 17, 2017 — the final day of the missing texts — the appointment of Trump-Russia special prosecutor Robert Mueller.
Strzok and Page had a lot to talk about.
Isn’t it amazing that the texts between those two people during that time period have disappeared?
Congress does not seem to be convinced that this is simply an incredible coincidence that has nothing to do with their investigation:
On Saturday, Sen. Johnson sent a letter to FBI director Christopher Wray with a series of questions about the missing texts. Does the FBI have records of any other communications between Strzok and Page? What texts has the FBI produced to the inspector general? How extensive was the alleged glitch that allegedly resulted in the lost texts?
Johnson also asked whether the FBI has “conducted searches of Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page’s non-FBI-issued communications devices or accounts to determine whether federal records exist on those nonofficial accounts.”
That is an apparent reference to instances in the texts in which Strzok and Page told each other that they were switching to iMessage for further conversation, suggesting they might have moved their discussion of sensitive topics from their government-issued Samsung devices to private Apple devices.
Underlying all the questions is a diminished level of trust between some quarters of Congress and the FBI.
“Very suspicious,” said one investigator about the news. “Hard to believe,” said another.
When asked to rate his trust of the FBI on a scale from 1 to 10, the investigator quickly answered, “Zero.”
There are already a lot of Americans who believe that Washington is totally corrupt–on both sides of the aisle. Incidents like this further that belief. If Congress, the FBI, and the DOJ have any intention of restoring their credibility with the American people, they need to find these messages, finish their investigation, and get on with the business of government.
Here are some highlights from the article:
♦It is increasingly clear the entire purpose of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe was not to investigate some nefarious and innocuous Russian election interference; but rather with a Trump victory the same people who weaponized the FBI and DOJ to conduct the “Trump Project” needed to generate a shield or firewall to protect them from sunlight. The Mueller probe is that shield.
…♦Secondly, the same FBI and DOJ officials, along with career FBI and DOJ lawyers and administrators, who are at risk from exposure within the plot, do not want to answer questions in public hearings. They are using closed sessions under the auspices of everything therein being “classified”. This venue and manner of testimony blocks congressional representatives from talking about the content publicly.
Everything is being structured to avoid public scrutiny. In essence these career co-conspirators are using the familiar DC system to protect themselves from ramifications of their plot reaching the public.
♦Having said that, it certainly appears we have one person on the side of justice who predicted this was going to happen. By all external appearances DOJ Office of Inspector General Michael Horowitz has moved proactively to set up as much transparency as possible upon his years-long investigation into the politicization of the FBI and DOJ.
The article goes on to list some of the things the Inspector General has released to the press in order to increase transparency in the FBI and DOJ:
IG Stimulated Releases of Information:
♦Release #1 was the FBI Agent Strzok and Attorney Lisa Page story; and the repercussions from discovering their politically motivated bias in the 2015/2016 Clinton email investigation and 2016/2017 Russian Election investigation.
♦Release #2 outlined the depth of FBI Agent Strzok and FBI Attorney Page’s specific history in the 2016 investigation into Hillary Clinton to include the changing of the wording [“grossly negligent” to “extremely careless”] of the probe outcome delivered by FBI Director James Comey.
♦Release #3 was the information about DOJ Deputy Bruce Ohr being in contact with Fusion GPS at the same time as the FISA application was submitted and granted by the FISA court; which authorized surveillance and wiretapping of candidate Donald Trump; that release also attached Bruce Ohr and Agent Strzok directly to the Steele Dossier.
♦Release #4 was information that Deputy Bruce Ohr’s wife, Nellie Ohr, was an actual contract employee of Fusion GPS, and was hired by F-GPS specifically to work on opposition research against candidate Donald Trump. Both Bruce Ohr and Nellie Ohr are attached to the origin of the Christopher Steele Russian Dossier.
♦Release #5 was the specific communication between FBI Agent Strzok and FBI Attorney Page. The 10,000 text messages that included evidence of them both meeting with Asst. FBI Director Andrew McCabe to discuss the “insurance policy” against candidate Donald Trump in August of 2016.
The Inspector General’s report is due out in January. If the media chooses to report on it, I suspect it will be very interesting reading for all Americans. I also expect that it may put an abrupt end to the idea that President Trump colluded with the Russians.
Yesterday The Hill posted an article detailing some of the recent research done by John Solomon and Alison Spann on the Uranium One scandal. It seems that a lot more money changed hands in the transactions surrounding Uranium One than was originally reported by the Clintons.
The article reports:
The Clinton Foundation’s donor disclosure site vastly understated support that the Clinton Global Initiative received from APCO Worldwide, a global communications firm that lobbied on behalf of Russia’s state-owned nuclear company.
The site, created to detect conflicts of interest for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton because of her family’s various charitable efforts, shows APCO gave between $25,000 and $50,000 over the last decade.
But according to interviews and internal documents reviewed by The Hill, APCO was much more generous and provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in pro-bono services and in-kind contributions to the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) between 2008 and 2016.
For instance, an internal CGI document prepared in fall 2011 lists APCO’s in-kind contribution at $275,000 for that year alone. And APCO’s annual report on its global charitable efforts boasted of a large jump in support for CGI in 2011.
“In 2011, APCO significantly increased its pro-bono support for CGI and, for the first time, our team managed the press around CGI’s America meeting, as well as its global Annual Meeting,” APCO stated in a report submitted to the United Nations Global Compact.
The increase in the contributions came as APCO was paid $3 million in 2010 and 2011 to work for Rosatom, Russia’s state-owned nuclear company. Rosatom paid APCO to lobby the State Department and other federal agencies on behalf of its Tenex subsidiary, which sought to increase its commercial uranium sales in the United States.
In 2010 and 2011, APCO made more than 50 contacts with federal and congressional figures for Tenex, including at least 10 at the State Department, its foreign agent disclosure reports show.
It seems as if there was an awful lot of money changing hands for this to be an ordinary business transaction.
Undercover FBI informant William Campbell helped uncover the transporting of some of the uranium outside of the United States. He is expected to be interviewed in the near future by multiple Congressional committees. One can only hope that he stays safe until those interviews take place.
Please follow this link to read the entire article. It is a shining example of what the Washington swamp looks like. Also, please understand that if Hillary Clinton had been elected, all of this information would have remained buried. What we are watching now–the Uranium One scandal and the fall of many prominent news anchors and other public figures is the result of the Clinton family losing power and influence. The Clintons can no longer protect their former allies. It remains to be seen if the Clintons can even protect themselves.
The Hill posted a very disturbing article today about a deal with Russia that was made during the Obama Administration. Evidently the Department of Justice slow walked an investigation that had been done by the FBI and did not brief Congress on the investigation in a timely manner.
The article reports:
Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show.
They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.
The racketeering scheme was conducted “with the consent of higher level officials” in Russia who “shared the proceeds” from the kickbacks, one agent declared in an affidavit years later.
Rather than bring immediate charges in 2010, however, the Department of Justice (DOJ) continued investigating the matter for nearly four more years, essentially leaving the American public and Congress in the dark about Russian nuclear corruption on U.S. soil during a period when the Obama administration made two major decisions benefiting Putin’s commercial nuclear ambitions.
The first decision occurred in October 2010, when the State Department and government agencies on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States unanimously approved the partial sale of Canadian mining company Uranium One to the Russian nuclear giant Rosatom, giving Moscow control of more than 20 percent of America’s uranium supply.
It pays to donate to the Clinton Foundation. Or at least it did.
It gets worse:
The Obama administration and the Clintons defended their actions at the time, insisting there was no evidence that any Russians or donors engaged in wrongdoing and there was no national security reason for any member of the committee to oppose the Uranium One deal.
But FBI, Energy Department and court documents reviewed by The Hill show the FBI in fact had gathered substantial evidence well before the committee’s decision that Vadim Mikerin — the main Russian overseeing Putin’s nuclear expansion inside the United States — was engaged in wrongdoing starting in 2009.
Then-Attorney General Eric Holder was among the Obama administration officials joining Hillary Clinton on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States at the time the Uranium One deal was approved. Multiple current and former government officials told The Hill they did not know whether the FBI or DOJ ever alerted committee members to the criminal activity they uncovered.
This is the swamp that needs to be cleaned out. Anyone involved in this investigation and the fact that it was kept secret from Congress needs to be unemployed immediately. Please follow the link to the article and read the entire story and review the documents involved. This story is an example of government corruption and that corruption needs to have consequences for those involved.
On Monday, The Daily Caller Reported that the Department of Defense has cut its ties with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Previously the SPLC was regarded as a source when identifying hate groups. Unfortunately, the SPLC has degenerated into a liberal mouthpiece citing any conservative group that supports traditional values as a hate group.
The article reports:
Brian J. Field, assistant U.S. attorney from the Civil Division, stated that the Department of Defense (DOD) Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity removed any and all references to the SPLC in training materials used by the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI), in an email obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation from the Department of Justice.
The DEOMI is a DOD school founded to fight segregation and inequality that teaches courses in racial, gender and religious equality, among other subject areas like equal opportunity and pluralism. The courses are available to DOD civilians and service members.
The article concludes:
The Pentagon’s decision to terminate its relationship with the SPLC comes at a time when the group has under major fire from conservative organizations, particularly in the form of lawsuits. D. James Kennedy Ministries, a Christian ministry from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., recently sued the SPLC after being labeled a hate group. The SPLC has also faced criticism from liberals. In late August, anti-Muslim extremism activist and feminist Ayaan Hirsi Ali argued in The New York Times that “the S.P.L.C. is an organization that has lost its way, smearing people who are fighting for liberty and turning a blind eye to an ideology and political movement that has much in common with Nazism.”
For Ali, corporations and donors in Hollywood “need to find more trustworthy and deserving partners to work with than the SPLC.”
Notably, the Pentagon is not the only federal agency to drop the SPLC.
In February, The Daily Caller News Foundation published an exclusive piece indicating that the FBI, which formerly used the SPLC as a “hate crimes resource,” has also been distancing itself from the group.
It would be nice to have an unbiased source to keep track of hate groups, but I am not convinced that is possible. We have had the obvious hate groups with us for a long time–white supremacists, black panthers, and others. It is time simply to marginalize these groups and begin to unite as a country. Hopefully this is possible.
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:
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.
The New York Post article states that the company Fusion GPS (the company that commissioned the Russian intelligence dossier on then candidate Trump) has blocked Congressional investigators from looking at its connection to the Democratic Party.
The article at The New York Post reports:
Fusion GPS was on the payroll of an unidentified Democratic ally of Clinton when it hired a long-retired British spy to dig up dirt on Trump. In 2012, Democrats hired Fusion GPS to uncover dirt on GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. And in 2015, Democrat ally Planned Parenthood retained Fusion GPS to investigate pro-life activists protesting the abortion group.
More, federal records show a key co-founder and partner in the firm was a Hillary Clinton donor and supporter of her presidential campaign.
In September 2016, while Fusion GPS was quietly shopping the dirty dossier on Trump around Washington, its co-founder and partner Peter R. Fritsch contributed at least $1,000 to the Hillary Victory Fund and the Hillary For America campaign, Federal Election Commission data show. His wife also donated money to Hillary’s campaign.
Property records show that in June 2016, as Clinton allies bankrolled Fusion GPS, Fritsch bought a six-bedroom, five-bathroom home in Bethesda, Md., for $2.3 million.
Fritsch did not respond to requests for comment. A lawyer for Fusion GPS said the firm’s work is confidential.
Sources say Fusion GPS had its own interest, beyond those of its clients, in promulgating negative gossip about Trump.
Why is this important? Because the first FISA request to tap the Trump campaign was turned down. The second was approved after this dossier was leaked.
The Power Line article explains:
I remain convinced that the FISA warrants that were twice sought to target associates of Trump (and possibly Trump himself) are the key to blowing up the Russia narrative. As Andy McCarthy regularly points out, it was all done under the cloak of a counterintelligence (CI) investigation–and FISA techniques are at the heart of any CI investigation. Any FISA application encapsulates most of the predication for the investigation itself, and without FISA techniques the investigation likely goes nowhere. In a CI investigation focused on a foreign power, that’s not a problem since FISA on the foreign power (say, Russia) is already in place–all that needs to be done is to identify a foreign national as the agent of that power (Russia) and, presto, you get FISA coverage of anything that’s not already covered.
Where it becomes an acute problem is when the CI investigation is a ruse to cover domestic spying on political opponents. In that case FISA on the foreign power is of no use–not if, as appears to be the case, there was no significant contact or collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. If, in fact, the real target was Trump himself–and we are told that Trump himself was named in the rejected July 2016 FISA application–you need to gin up a FISA on someone who really IS in contact with Trump, no matter how far-fetched the reasoning. Carter Page? He’ll do in a pinch, right?
The Power Line article concludes with an observation on the changed culture of the FBI:
With respect to possible corruption of the FBI: I regret to say that the process began in earnest under Bush, who appointed Mueller. An acquaintance recently complained that the Bureau was no longer what it used to be, or maybe never had been. I maintained that the institutional culture was changed through the Legal Counsel Division. That’s how it always work in America, isn’t it? If you want to enforce Liberal/PC norms, you change the lawyers.
Formerly, the Bureau’s legal division, and most top administrations positions, was/were staffed with Special Agents who were lawyers. Under Mueller, outsiders were increasingly brought in, including to Legal Counsel Division. For example: Andrew Weissman, who twice did stints at the FBI, and is now a top guy on Mueller’s Special Counsel team. That kind of back and forth between the FBI and private practice and/or other agencies was previously absolutely unheard of. And the choice tells you pretty much all you need to know about Mueller…
It is time to fire the special prosecutor and his staff. They truly are on a witch hunt which was planned before President Trump was elected. If they are successful, then the votes of the American people are worthless–the bureaucrats in Washington have won.
There are some interesting charges made in the article:
The newest revelations that the Obama administration wiretapped, that is “bugged” President Trump and all of his men, in the lead up to and after the November 8, 2016, elections are not surprising. In this regard, for over 2 years the highest levels of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have been secretly investigating the “harvesting” of highly confidential information including financial records of the chief justice of the Supreme Court, other justices, over 156 judges, prominent businessmen like Donald Trump, and public activists like me.
In this regard, a whistleblower named Dennis Montgomery, a former NSA/CIA contractor, came forward to FBI Director Comey with 47 hard drives and over 600 million pages of largely classified information, under grants of use and derivative use immunity, which I obtained for him with the U.S Attorney for the District of Columbia. Later, Montgomery, who suffers from a potentially fatal brain aneurism, testified under oath, for over 2-and-a-half hours before FBI Special Agents Walter Giardina and William Barnett in a secure room at the FBI’s field office in Washington, D.C. The testimony was under oath and videotaped and I have reminded the FBI recently to preserve this evidence.
…Legally speaking, my cases against the intelligence agencies also encompass the illegal surveillance of President Trump and his men, as what apparently occurred shows a pattern of unconstitutional conduct that at trial would raise a strong evidentiary inference that this illegal behavior continues to occur. Our so called government, represented by dishonest Obama-loyal attorneys in the corrupted Federal Programs Branch of the Justice Department, continues to maintain that they cannot for national security reasons confirm or deny the mass surveillance against me or anyone else.
I have asked Judge Leon to enter a permanent injunction against Obama and his political hacks at the NSA and CIA, many of whom are still there and are bent on destroying the Trump presidency and attempting to blackmail prominent Americans, like me, who might challenge the destructive socialist/pro-Muslim agenda of the Obama-Clinton-Soros left.
I am not aware of the current status of this case. If anyone can update me, I would appreciate it. However, the charge that the deep state has been collecting information on Washington leaders is not a surprise. Does anyone remember the more than 300 FBI files that were mysteriously obtained by the Clinton Administration? It is time to drain the swamp. I also think that if our leaders would simply be honest and ask for our forgiveness about past mistakes that they are covering up, we might (I said might) be able to move forward. If your actions are already out there and you have acknowledged your mistakes, you can’t be blackmailed!
I am getting tired of the Michael Flynn controversy, and I suspect you are too, but there are some aspects of this incident that need to be considered. There are two stories that I think contain important information.
The first story is from The Week, a magazine not known for its conservative leanings.
Some highlights from that story:
In a liberal democracy, how things happen is often as important as what happens. Procedures matter. So do rules and public accountability. The chaotic, dysfunctional Trump White House is placing the entire system under enormous strain. That’s bad. But the answer isn’t to counter it with equally irregular acts of sabotage — or with a disinformation campaign waged by nameless civil servants toiling away in the surveillance state.
Normally intercepts of U.S. officials and citizens are some of the most tightly held government secrets. This is for good reason. Selectively disclosing details of private conversations monitored by the FBI or NSA gives the permanent state the power to destroy reputations from the cloak of anonymity. This is what police states do. [Bloomberg]
Those cheering the deep state torpedoing of Flynn are saying, in effect, that a police state is perfectly fine so long as it helps to bring down Trump.
It is the role of Congress to investigate the president and those who work for him. If Congress resists doing its duty, out of a mixture of self-interest and cowardice, the American people have no choice but to try and hold the government’s feet to the fire, demanding action with phone calls, protests, and, ultimately, votes. That is a democratic response to the failure of democracy.
He stated the following:
This information might have come because the US intelligence community has an active interest in the Russian official to whom he talked.
Or it could have come because the FBI had been pursuing some sort of secret investigation and had received authorization to monitor and track his calls and discussions.
If this was intelligence, the revelation of the Flynn meeting just revealed something to the Russians we shouldn’t want revealed — which is that we were listening in on them and doing so effectively.
And if it was an FBI investigation, then the iron principle of law enforcement — that evidence gathered in the course of an investigation must be kept secret to protect the rights of the American being investigated — was just put through a shredder.
Keeping our intelligence-gathering assets hidden from those upon whom we are spying is a key element of our national security.
And as for playing fast and loose with confidential information on American citizens: No joke, people — if they can do it to Mike Flynn, they can do it to you.
The danger in this situation is not whatever relationship Michael Flynn has or had with Russia; the danger is the means that the opponents of Donald Trump will use to take down one of his appointments.
We know that former President Obama has organized a nonprofit group called Organizing for Action (OFA) for the purpose of ‘protecting the Obama legacy from President Trump.’ Aside from the fact that this is highly unusual, it is simply classless. This group may or may not be involved in what happened to Michael Flynn, but I suspect that they have a few contacts within government that they might have encouraged along the way. OFA also has a press secretary and the ear of the major media. OFA also has an office paid for with taxpayer dollars because Barack Obama is a former President. The taxpayers are paying to undermine their own government!
Be prepared for more media attacks on members of the Trump Administration.
As a blogger, I follow the news closely. I see a lot of things I don’t understand, but sometimes I am just amazed at how the media spins the events around us.
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are running for President., He is an extremely successful businessman, and she is a former First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State. There is no doubt that she has had more political experience than he has, but much of that political experience has involved failure rather than success.There are scandals swirling around both candidates–hers relating to pay-for-play while Secretary of State, lying to Congress, lying to the American people, defending her husband when his actions were despicable, etc. His scandals involve locker-room talk, divorces, probably more illegally recorded remarks to come.
I went looking for the turnover rate in Trump businesses, thinking that might give me some insight as to how Donald Trump runs things. I did find information about Trump Towers in New York City. One of the anonymous reviews by employees listed the following as a negative, “Longevity – it is an issue for anyone looking to advance with the company since most dept heads have been there for many years and have no intention of leaving.” Evidently (at least at Trump Towers in New York) the turnover rate is low. I think that is something that needs to be mentioned while the Clinton campaign attempts to convince the American voters that Donald Trump is a horrible monster not fit to lead a Boy Scout Troop.
I am having a hard time understanding why a private conversation (horrible as it was and probably more to come) is given the same weight as failed foreign policy, corruption, stonewalling federal investigations, intimidating women her husband has sexually assaulted, etc. It just doesn’t make sense to me. If the conversations we heard are an illustration of character, how is that character any worse than the character of his opponent. In one case we have talk, in the other case we have actions. They are not equal.
In watching this unfold, we need to look underneath what is happening at the core of the matter. Donald Trump is a serious threat to the status quo. The cozy little Washington establishment currently composed of both Democrats and Republicans is becoming unglued at the idea of someone coming in and changing the rules. Currently we don’t have a working Constitution–we have whatever President Obama says. The Justice Department was corrupted from the beginning (illustrated by the New Black Panthers case). The undermining of the Police was there from the beginning (the comment ‘police acted stupidly’ paved the way for charges of racism in later years). There are currently some serious questions about the politicization of the FBI, and we all remember the politicization of the IRS. We the little people in America know that we need to go back to equal justice under the law. We also understand that under President Hillary Clinton that will never happen. At least under President Donald Trump it might.
Regardless of how abhorrent Donald Trump’s comments were, and how abhorrent any future illegally taped comments are, they are comments–not proven actions. Meanwhile, we have a list of deplorable actions taken over the years by Hillary Clinton, along with the failure of her policies as Secretary of State. Why are we talking about illegally taped comments?
This article was originally posted on September 10, 2016. Has anything changed?
This is the fifteenth anniversary of the day before 9/11. It is the anniversary of a day when Americans were going about their business—getting children ready to start school, beginning to put away summer clothes and get out fall clothes, and doing fall housekeeping. It was not in any way a noteworthy day. However, there were Americans who understood the threat hanging over us. Unfortunately, those Americans did not have the ability to wake up either our government or the American people.
John O’Neill was one of the people who understood the threat. In 1995 John O’Neill was appointed chief of the FBI’s counterterrorism section. When he arrived at FBI headquarters initially, he stayed there for three days. O’Neill was not very diplomatic, but he got things done. He also had the ability to tie loose ends together to see what was coming. Early on in his career, O’Neill became very interested in the activities of Osama Bin Laden to the point where his colleagues began to question his judgement [The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright Page 237 (paperback)]. He retired from the FBI early in 2001 to become chief of security at the World Trade Center. I have heard stories of the evacuation drills he led at the World Trade Center that probably saved many people’s lives on 9/11. John O’Neill understood that the terrorists would try to destroy the World Trade Center again. He was right. Unfortunately, due to personalities in the FBI, he was no longer in a position to connect the dots and possibly avoid the attack on the Trade Center.
So where are we today? What have we learned and what have we done about it? One of the best sources on the failure of the Obama Administration to deal with terrorism is the book Catastrophic Failure by Stephen Coughlin. In that book, Mr. Coughlin details the Obama Administrations inability to understand the root of the threat; and therefore, its inability to counter the threat. I strongly suggest you read the book, but I will try to summarize the main points here.
In October 2011, elements of the American Muslim Brotherhood wrote the White House demanding an embargo or discontinuation of information and materials relating to Islamic-based terrorism. The letter was addressed to John Brennan, who at the time was Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. Days later John Brennan agreed to create a task force to address the problem by removing personnel and products that the Muslim Brotherhood deemed “biased, false, and highly offensive.” This move in effect allowed the Muslim Brotherhood to control the information given to the people charged with stopping the terrorism initiated by groups affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. At this point, the 9/11 reports and other actual historic documents were altered to make them compliant with the new paradigm. (I thought only the Russians rewrote history.)
Just a note—Stephen Coughlin is no longer briefing the Pentagon and our law enforcement communities. His briefings were not in compliance with the standards the Muslim Brotherhood placed on such briefings and were no longer permitted. That fact along should give all of us pause.
There are some real questions as to whom President Obama listens to on matters of terrorism. Those same questions apply to Hillary Clinton. Would you have put someone with family ties to Hitler in an advisory role to Franklin Roosevelt during World War II? I realize you can’t choose your family, but would the FBI hire a secretary whose father was a Mafia Don to work in their domestic crime bureau?
There is substantial evidence that the upper levels of our government have been compromised by the Muslim Brotherhood. One of the most reliable sources for this information is The Center for Security Policy. There are many resources available on their website.
So as we look back on this time fifteen years ago, we need to realize that we are still in danger and that the danger we face is getting more serious. The attacks in Europe (reported and unreported) should awaken us to the dangers of allowing refugees into America without proper vetting and the dangers of allowing immigrants who have no intention of assimilating into American culture to set up enclaves within our country.
Unless we want to experience a terror attack far worse than 9/11, Americans need to inform themselves about the enemy we are facing. It is obvious that the government is not going to inform us or take care of us.
Even as we focus on budget battles and the problems of the ObamaCare website, there are still other things going on in the world. One of the more disturbing stories to come out this week was about another possible dry run for a future 911-style attack.
Yesterday The Week posted an article detailing an internal memo from the U.S. Airline Pilots Association, which warns of “several cases recently…of what appear to be probes, or dry runs” of 911-style attacks.
The article reports:
It’s common practice for potential terrorists to carry out dress rehearsals of their planned attacks, and most major terror strikes of the last few decades have involved a dummy-run of some sort. Some have even accidentally involved celebrities.
Before al Qaeda terrorists hijacked four commercial planes and crashed them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in western Pennsylvania, killing almost 3,000 people, they carried out a number of dry runs — including one on a flight carrying Oscar-nominated actor James Woods. Four of the future attackers were apparently sitting in first class with Woods on the Boston to Los Angeles flight, and behaved so strangely — sitting erect in their seats and staring ahead for the whole flight — that the veteran Hollywood star called the FBI the day after 9/11 to report his unsettling experience.
As long as radical Islamists exist, we will have the threat of terrorism. The hope is that if there ever is another 911-style attack, passengers will react like those on Flight 93 (only this time successfully landing the plane).
This is very unsettling news, but hopefully we have learned from past experiences.
Fed-Ex seems to have the ability to deliver a package to anyone anywhere in the world. They are a whiz at locating people. The FBI should have contacted them to arrange an interview with one of the suspects in the Benghazi attack.
The article states:
Khattala told Damon that no one from either the Libyan or American governments has contacted him asking for his take on the events of that deadly night in 2012. “Even the investigative team did not try to contact me,” he said of the FBI team that traveled to Libya in the wake of the attack.
Damon said that Khattala told her that he would be happy to speak with American investigators about what happened on the night of the Benghazi attack. She stressed, however, that he would not voluntarily submit to interrogation.
CNN posted an article today about their success in locating a possible suspect in the Benghazi attack. The article states:
Eight GOP lawmakers are asking that incoming FBI Director James Comey brief Congress within 30 days about the investigation. They say the administration’s inquiry into the September 11, 2011, attacks in Libya has been “simply unacceptable,” according to a draft letter obtained by CNN.
“One of the pertinent questions today is why we have not captured or killed the terrorist who committed these attacks?” Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, told reporters. “News out today that CNN was able to go in and talk to one of the suspected terrorists, how come the military hasn’t been able to get after them and capture or kill the people? How come the FBI isn’t doing this and yet CNN is?”
It is really pathetic that CNN spends two hours interviewing someone who may be connected with the attack on Benghazi and the FBI doesn’t seem to be interested in talking to the person.
It has been almost a year since the attack on Benghazi. Congress is right to demand more information from the FBI regarding the investigation. Hopefully, someone at the FBI will provide that information. Unfortunately the Obama Administration has not been kind to whistleblowers when they reveal things that are unfavorable to the administration, so it is a safe bet that we will not find the people responsible for the attack on Benghazi until we have a totally different administration in Washington.
The article also reports:
American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) Executive Director Jordan Sekulow, whose organization now represents 41 tea party groups in a case against the IRS, told CNSNews.com that they, too, are waiting to hear anything pertaining to the investigation.
“To date, none of our clients or any of our attorneys has been contacted by the FBI. The Director continues to assert that this is a priority for the Bureau, but at this point, there’s little evidence to suggest that this probe is on the fast track,” Mr. Sekulow wrote. “There has been no contact with any of the 41 conservative organizations we represent – the real victims of this IRS targeting scheme. Our expanded lawsuit continues to move forward.”
I wonder how much of the taxpayers’ money the FBI is spending on this investigation. The thing to remember here is the precedent. If those working at the higher levels of our government begin to target American citizens without fear of repercussions, we will soon find ourselves in a state where freedom of speech and freedom to protest are a distant memory.
Below is the trailer from a documentary about Flight 800 that will be released next month. I am posting the video along with a few personal stories regarding Flight 800. I am not drawing a conclusion –I am just telling a few anecdotal stories that I am personally familiar with.
The following stories have been told to me directly by people I trust. All three stories deal with odd events surrounding the loss of Flight 800.
1, The night the plane went down was a beautiful night. A south shore Long Island resident was outside filming with his video camera when he noticed a streak of light climbing upward in the sky. He turned his camera on that streak and recorded a large flash of light. He later called the FBI, telling them he had the videotape and offering his services as a witness. The FBI paid him a visit, took his videotape, and never called him as a witness. The video tape was never returned.
3. Someone I know was working on a project in the old Grumman aircraft building. The building was the place where the wreckage of Flight 800 was reassembled to determine the cause of the explosion of the plane. The security was such that this person was accompanied by security during routine trips to the restroom. On one of these trips, a college classmate was encountered. Evidently the classmate was there also working on a project. After the encounter, the person I know was questioned extensively on the details of the friendship and what was discussed.
None of these stories actually prove anything. All may be easily explained–in the first story the FBI may have believed that they already had all the witnesses they needed to determine the cause of the crash and simply forgot to return the video, in the second story, the people who were first on the scene may have realized that there would be no survivors and felt there was no need for additional search and rescue workers, and in the third story, the government was simply making sure no one was tampering with the evidence in any way that would have hindered the investigation into the loss of the plane.
Again, I have ventured into an area that I know little about. I am simply sharing three stories told to me by people I know. These stories cause me to wonder what really happened the night Flight 800 went down. I have no answers, just more questions.
Yesterday the Daily Caller reported that the FBI has not contacted a single tea party group in its investigation of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice, who is handling many of the lawsuits filed against the government has stated that neither he or any of his clients have been contacted or interviewed by the FBI.
The article reports:
The revelation suggests that the FBI is in no hurry to get to the bottom of the scandal, despite the Obama administration’s promise to investigate the IRS’s multi-year abuse of conservative groups.
…“I can assure you and the American people that we will take a dispassionate view of this,” Holder told congressional investigators on May 15. “This will not be about parties, this will not be about ideological persuasions. Anybody who has broken the law will be held accountable.”
But in separate testimony before congressional investigators Thursday, FBI Director Robert Mueller seemed completely unaware of the progress of any such investigation.
Director Mueller testified that he did not know the status of the interviews being conducted by the team investigating the IRS scandal. I may be missing something here, which is not all that unusual, but it seems to me that if you are the director of an organization that is supposed to be investigating something and you know that you are going to appear before a Congressional committee, you might want to check on what is going on with the investigation before you appear before the committee.
It is becoming very clear that the people running investigations for the Justice Department are either totally incompetent, incapable of conducting an investigation, or experts at stonewalling. These people are appointed by our elected officials. Maybe it is time to change the elected officials doing the appointing.
There is an old joke about a man who was walking around under a streetlight as if he was searching for something. When asked what he was doing, he explained that he had lost his car keys on the other side of the street. When further questioned, he explained that he was looking for them under the streetlight because the light was better. That is the only way I can even begin to explain the logic behind the following story.
Yesterday Investor’s Business Daily posted a story about spying on American citizens. The government’s justification for the increased spying on Americans is that it is needed because of the terrorism threat. That almost makes sense–but there seems to be a gap between the purpose of the spying and its actual execution.
The article at Investor’s Business Daily reports:
Since October 2011, mosques have been off-limits to FBI agents. No more surveillance or undercover string operations without high-level approval from a special oversight body at the Justice Department dubbed the Sensitive Operations Review Committee.
Who makes up this body, and how do they decide requests? Nobody knows; the names of the chairman, members and staff are kept secret.
We do know the panel was set up under pressure from Islamist groups who complained about FBI stings at mosques. Just months before the panel’s formation, the Council on American-Islamic Relations teamed up with the ACLU to sue the FBI for allegedly violating the civil rights of Muslims in Los Angeles by hiring an undercover agent to infiltrate and monitor mosques there.
So it’s okay to violate the rights of average Americans, but not okay to violate the rights of Muslims? We really need to take a closer look at how this happened.
The article further reports:
One of the Muslim bombers made extremist outbursts during worship, yet because the mosque wasn’t monitored, red flags didn’t go off inside the FBI about his increasing radicalization before the attacks.
This is particularly disturbing in light of recent independent surveys of American mosques, which reveal some 80% of them preach violent jihad or distribute violent literature to worshippers.
The more I learn about the surveillance programs currently in place, the more I am convinced that these programs have more to do with politics than national security.
CBN News posted a story today with two interesting bits of information on the surviving terrorist who planted bombs at the Boston Marathon. I will refer to him as Suspect Number 2 because I don’t want to give him the recognition of referring to him by name. Suspect Number 2 is currently recovering from his injuries in a Boston hospital. Unfortunately some of the people impacted by his actions did not have the opportunity to recover–their lives ended very suddenly and very quickly.
There were two facts reported (neither is a surprise):
…Tsarnaev’s parents are not keeping quiet. They plan to fly from Russia to the U.S. today and hold a press conference. They’re seeking permission to bring the body of their son Tamerlan back to Russia for burial.
Meanwhile, new information about Tamerlan has been released. U.S. officials say his name was added to a U.S. government terrorism database 18 months before the attacks.
There is nothing I can add to this information.
The information below is taken from the FBI website detailing famous cases and criminals:
Shortly after midnight on the morning of June 13, 1942, four men landed on a beach near Amagansett, Long Island, New York from a German submarine, clad in German uniforms and bringing ashore enough explosives, primers, and incendiaries to support an expected two-year career in the sabotage of American defense-related production. On June 17, 1942, a similar group landed on Ponte Vedra Beach, near Jacksonville, Florida, equipped for a similar career in industrial disruption.
The purpose of the invasions was to strike a major blow for Germany by bringing the violence of war to our home ground through destruction of America’s ability to manufacture vital equipment and supplies and transport them to the battlegrounds of Europe; to strike fear into the American civilian population; and to diminish the resolve of the United States to overcome our enemies.
By June 27, 1942, all eight saboteurs had been arrested without having accomplished one act of destruction. Tried before a military commission, they were found guilty. One was sentenced to life imprisonment, another to 30vyears, and six received the death penalty, which was carried out within a few days.
Two of these men were American citizens–Ernest Peter Burger had become a naturalized American in 1933 and Herbert Hans Haupt had entered the United States as a child, gaining citizenship when his father was naturalized in 1930.
The FBI website reports:
All eight were found guilty and sentenced to death. Attorney General Biddle and J. Edgar Hoover appealed to President Roosevelt to commute the sentences of Dasch and Burger. Dasch then received a 30-year sentence, and Burger received a life sentence, both to be served in a federal penitentiary. The remaining six were executed at the District of Columbia Jail on August 8, 1942.
Why is the person who bombed the Boston Marathon being treated differently than these men?
My husband wrote this up for me because I have no idea exactly what it is about. I did, however, go to DCWG.org to make sure my computer was ok.
This is the story:
Over a year ago, the FBI discovered malicious software that redirected over a half-million computers through a specific DNS server. (A DNS server is used to resolve the meaning of web addresses you type into your browser.)
This malicious server captured information and began to use your computer without your knowledge. Rather than knocking many computers off the internet, the FBI substituted a “Clean” DNS server for the malicious server. Beginning Monday July 9, the FBI will shutdown the “Clean” server and anyone still infected will suddenly not be able to get to the internet.
To fix the problem the person will probably need to work with their internet provider to enter the correct DNS information.
To avoid the problem many places have be publicizing a website that will check your current DNS location.
Yesterday the New York Daily News reported on recent Congressional testimony by FBI chief Robert Mueller. Mueller told a Senate panel that he still hasn’t bothered calling NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly about the latest terror threat.
The article reports:
“As I told Ray, he’s always welcome to call,” he said, repeatedly referring to the commissioner as “Ray.”
“That’s the type of information, quite frankly, that we need, deserve,” Kelly vented.
The FBI finally got around to briefing NYPD brass Monday — but Mueller made no effort to contact Kelly.
New York City has been targeted by terrorists a number of times. Thank goodness that most of the attempts have been stopped. If we intend to prevent future attacks, we need to keep lines of communication open and information flowing freely. Since President Obama took office and instituted the killing of terrorists with drones rather than taking them to Guantanamo for imprisonment and questioning, American intelligence about terrorist activities has decreased considerably. Because of this, communication between the people who are supposed to protect us from terrorists is critical. This is not the time to play silly games with the lives of Americans.
Representative Peter King summed things up:
Rep. Pete King (R-L.I.), who heads the House Homeland Security Committee, said “the bottom line” is that Kelly should have heard directly from Mueller.
“We have to assume that sooner or later, everything targets New York.”
Anyone who is a parent has probably tried to instill in their children a sense of honesty, fairness, and some amount of trust in authority. Many of our colleges try to erase those qualities. One of my daughters took a college course where the underlying message in the course was, “If your ancestors arrived in America early, they took over the country and made all the laws to benefit themselves.” I was fortunate in that the daughter involved did not buy into that message. However, sometimes things happen which cause me to worry if that is closer to the truth today than I care to admit.
Roll Call reported yesterday that according to newly released FBI documents, Representative John Murtha was involved in funneling money to sham companies and nonprofits to benefit the lawmaker’s friends and former staffers.
The article reports:
The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a Freedom of Information Act request for Justice Department files on Murtha and other Members of Congress. Its requests have been denied for the living Members on the grounds that they have a right to privacy, CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan said last week. Murtha’s death eliminated the privacy exemption, and the Justice Department handed over a heavily redacted bunch of files to CREW on Oct. 14.
I understand the right to privacy, but where there is criminal activity involved, shouldn’t exposure of that criminal activity trump the privacy right?
The article at Roll Call lists a number of questionable transactions that Representative Murtha was involved in. The article then concludes:
The FBI investigation also suggested that a staff member in Murtha’s office may have failed to disclose thousands of dollars in income and assets on her annual financial disclosure forms; that money from Murtha’s campaign fund may have been used to buy guns for the personal use of another Murtha staffer; that Murtha may have steered contracts and earmarks to other family members; that staff members may have violated the one-year ban on lobbying Murtha’s office after leaving his employ; and that KSA may have run a fraudulent political action committee.
There is no evidence in the released documents that the FBI pursed any of these cases.
Sloan of CREW said the FBI files prove a long-sought point: “It was as bad as we said it was. It wasn’t nothing; it wasn’t OK.”
A thorough investigation of John Murtha while he was alive could have saved taxpayers some serious money. This is the kind of spending cuts we need to begin with. It is sad that the FBI allowed these activities to continue without thoroughly investigating them, and it is a shame that John Murtha had so little respect for the office of Representative and the people he was supposed to represent that he engaged in this sort of behavior.