Imagine If You Will…

“Imagine if you will…” was the opening line of a television series “The Twilight Zone” which ran from 1959 to 1964. Rod Sterling was the host, narrator, and producer.

On January 20th, Victor Davis Hanson posted an article at American Greatness titled, “Should the FBI Run the Country?” The article reminded me of the opening to “The Twilight Zone” in that is imagines the scenario of the FBI running the country. I strongly suggest that you follow the link to read the entire article, but I will provide a few highlights here.

The article states:

During the campaign (2008), unfounded rumors had swirled about the rookie Obama that he might ease sanctions on Iran, distance the United States from Israel, and alienate the moderate Arab regimes, such as the Gulf monarchies and Egypt.

Stories also abounded that the Los Angeles Times had suppressed the release of a supposedly explosive “Khalidi tape,” in which Obama purportedly thanked the radical Rashid Khalidi for schooling him on the Middle East and correcting his earlier biases and blind spots, while praising the Palestinian activist for his support for armed resistance against Israel.

Even more gossip circulated that photos existed of a smiling Barack Obama with Louis Farrakhan, the Black Muslim extremist and radical pro-Gaddafi patron, who in the past had praised Adolf Hitler and reminded the Jews again about the finality of being sent to the ovens. (A photo of a smiling Obama and Farrakhan did emerge, but mysteriously only after President Obama left office).

Imagine that all these tales in 2008 might have supposedly “worried” Bush lame-duck and pro-McCain U.S. intelligence officials, who informally met to discuss possible ways of gleaning more information about this still mostly unknown but scary Obama candidacy.

The article continues:

But most importantly, imagine that McCain’s opposition researchers had apprised the FBI of accusations (unproven, of course) that Obama had improperly set up a private back-channel envoy to Iran in 2008. Supposedly, Obama was trying secretly to reassure the theocracy (then the object of Bush Administration and allied efforts to ratchet up pressures to prevent its acquisition of nuclear weapons) of better treatment to come. The conspiratorial accusation would imply that if Iran held off Bush Administration pressures, Tehran might soon find a more conducive atmosphere from an incoming Obama Administration.

Additional rumors of similar Logan Act “violations” would also swirl about Obama campaign efforts to convince the Iraqis not to seal a forces agreement with the departing Bush Administration.

Further, conceive that at least one top Bush Justice Department deputy had a spouse working on the McCain opposition dossier on Obama, and that the same official had helped to circulate its scandalous anti-Obama contents around government circles.

In this scenario, also picture that the anti-Obama FBI soon might have claimed that the Obama Iran mission story might have been not only an apparent violation of the Logan Act but also part of possible larger “conspiratorial” efforts to undermine current Bush Administration policies. And given Obama’s campaign rhetoric of downplaying the threats posed by Iran to the United States, and the likelihood he would reverse long-standing U.S. opposition to the theocracy, the FBI decided on its own in July 2008 that Obama himself posed a grave threat to national security.

More importantly, the FBI, by its director’s own later admission, would have conjectured that McCain was the likelier stronger candidate and thus would win the election, given his far greater experience than that of the novice Obama. And therefore, the FBI director further assumed he could conduct investigations against a presidential candidate on the theory that a defeated Obama would have no knowledge of its wayward investigatory surveillance, and that a soon-to-be President McCain would have no desire to air such skullduggery.

I am sure you can see where this is going.

The article concludes:

Obama, in our thought experiment, would have charged that the role of the Bush-era FBI, CIA, DOJ, and special counsel’s team had become part of a “resistance” to delegitimize his presidency. Indeed, Obama charged that conservative interests had long wanted to abort his presidency by fueling past efforts to subvert the Electoral College in 2008, to invoke the Logan Act, the 25th Amendment, and the Emoluments Clause (based on rumors of negotiating lucrative post-presidential book and media contracts by leveraging his presidential tenure), as well as introducing articles of impeachment.

Celebrity talk of injuring Obama and his family would be daily events. Actor Robert De Niro talked of smashing Obama’s face, while Peter Fonda dreamed of caging his children. Johnny Depp alluded to assassination. It soon became a sick celebrity game to discover whether the president should be blown up, whipped, shot, burned, punched, or hanged.

Imagine that if all that had happened. Would the FBI, CIA, or FISA courts still exist in their current form? Would the media have any credibility? Would celebrities still be celebrities? Would there ever again be a special counsel? Would we still have a country?

Hopefully by now many Americans have awakened to the government abuses involved in surveillance of the Trump campaign, appointment of the Special Counsel, arrests of people associated with President Trump for things not related to any of what the Special Counsel is supposed to be investigating, and inappropriate use of force to arrest a 60-something-year-old man with a deaf wife. No wonder the FBI and DOJ are fighting so hard to prevent the truth of their abuses of power during the Obama administration from being revealed.

Inappropriate Behavior

While the media is focusing on whether or not President Trump’s tweets are appropriate, they are ignoring some extremely inappropriate behavior by former President Obama.

The Federalist Papers posted an article today about the recent violation of the Logan Act by former President Obama.

The article reports:

President Moon Jae-in renewed his resolve to pursue sanctions and dialogue to tackle North Korea’s nuclear program during a meeting with former US President Barack Obama on Monday, saying now is the “last chance” for the regime to return to the negotiating table.

During the 40-minute talk, Moon shared the results of his recent summit with his incumbent US counterpart Donald Trump, asking for Obama’s advice on ways to advance the relationship.

The article then explains the problem:

This could be construed as a violation of the Logan Act as defined by Cornell Law School:

Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

However, the article includes a quote from The New York Times:

The Logan Act appears to be a so-called dead letter, meaning a law that remains technically on the books but is essentially defunct or toothless.

A study by the Congressional Research Service in 2015 said nobody has ever been prosecuted under the statute and identified only one instance of an indictment under the law: in 1803, the United States attorney in Kentucky obtained from a grand jury an indictment of a Kentucky farmer who had written an article in support of creating a separate nation in the territory west of the fledgling United States that would be an ally to France. But the prosecutor dropped the case. A recent draft scholarly paper posted online by a Federal Appeals Court law clerk identified a second apparent such indictment, involving the reported arrest in 1852 of a man who wrote a letter to the president of Mexico.

What President Obama did in meeting with the South Korean President was tacky, inconsiderate, breaking with tradition, and a further attempt by a now irrelevant politician to regain the spotlight.

Meanwhile the media is focused on Donald Trump’s tweets. Really?