An Interesting Twist

On Thursday, Substack posted the following headline:

Court orders production of Seth Rich laptop

As you remember, Seth Rich was murdered in Washington, D.C., in July 2016. He was shot twice in the back and the police declared it a botched robbery– his wallet, expensive gold, cell phone and gold necklace were not taken. There has been a theory that Seth Rich was the one leaking information about the Democrat campaign to Wikileaks.

The Substack article reports:

This case involves a multi-year fight by attorney Ty Clevenger to obtain records relating to the FBI/DOJ investigation of Seth Rich, particularly whether Rich was involved in the hack of the DNC or had communicated with Wikileaks.

This fight dates back to 2017 and includes two FOIA lawsuit. In the first lawsuit, the FBI produced no responsive documents. The parties knew the FBI had something, and so this sparked a second lawsuit – where the FBI somehow found 20,000 pages of potentially responsive documents.

…Of those 20,000 pages, the government found 1,596 pages of responsive documents, of which the government withheld 1,469 pages under various FOIA exemptions (privacy, law enforcement exemption, etc.).

The FBI also withheld the contents of Seth Rich’s personal laptop, which it possesses, in its entirety, alleging the privacy of Rich’s family in “preventing the public release of this information” outweighs the public interest in disclosure.

The court rejected that argument, stating “the FBI has not satisfied its burden of showing more than a de minimis privacy interest that would justify withholding information from Seth Rich’s laptop.”

The article concludes:

What might be more interesting is the FBI’s complete records on Seth Rich. The FBI has fought production of those records – first by failing to “find” its own documents, and now by alleging documents must be withheld due to “national security grounds” and the “basis that disclosure of the information would threaten intelligence-gathering efforts.”

The information in the FBI’s possession includes that which was “provided by foreign government agency authorities under an implied assurance of confidentiality.” It also may – or may not – include whether the FBI used a “code name” associated with Seth Rich. And, if FBI representations are to be believed, it also includes “details of intelligence activities, sources, and methods related to national security.”

Unfortunately, the court won’t require the production of this information. Some questions will remain unanswered. Read the full order here.

There are a lot of valid questions regarding Seth Rich’s death. It would be nice to see them answered.

The Story Behind The Story

On Monday, The Conservative Treehouse posted an article with a rather different viewpoint on the origins and purpose of the current war in Ukraine. It is a long, involved article, so I suggest you follow the link to read the entire article. I will try to provide some  highlights.

The article notes:

Current CIA Director William “Bill” Burns was the former ambassador to Russia and Jordan.  Bill Burns had a 33-year career at the State Department under both Republican and Democratic presidents and speaks fluent Russian. If the people in the background of Joe Biden wanted an intelligence operative to trigger a specific result from Russia, there’s no one more strategically perfect for the job than CIA Director Bill Burns.

The article by Beinart (Peter Beinart on substack {SEE HERE}) is mainly focused on pointing out the irreconcilable nature of Joe Biden implying Ukraine could join NATO, while his own CIA Director has a history of giving serious warnings emphasizing the “brightest of all red lines” about that specific point.

[…]  “Two years ago, Burns wrote a memoir entitled, The Back Channel. It directly contradicts the argument being proffered by the administration he now serves. In his book, Burns says over and over that Russians of all ideological stripes—not just Putin—loathed and feared NATO expansion. He quotes a memo he wrote while serving as counselor for political affairs at the US embassy in Moscow in 1995. ‘Hostility to early NATO expansion,” it declares, “is almost universally felt across the domestic political spectrum here.”

On the question of extending NATO membership to Ukraine, Burns’ warnings about the breadth of Russian opposition are even more emphatic. “Ukrainian entry into NATO is the brightest of all redlines for the Russian elite (not just Putin),” he wrote in a 2008 memo to then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. “In more than two and a half years of conversations with key Russian players, from knuckle-draggers in the dark recesses of the Kremlin to Putin’s sharpest liberal critics, I have yet to find anyone who views Ukraine in NATO as anything other than a direct challenge to Russian interests.” (read more)

The article reports the following:

The CIA Director is crystal clear that Russia would be seriously triggered about any prospect of Ukraine entering NATO.

Yet, in December of 2021, the exact same time when U.S. backchannel intelligence was being shared with China about Russian troop movements on the border with Ukraine, Joe Biden was telling Ukraine that membership in NATO was in their hands.

The war in Ukraine now can be conveniently blamed for economic woes, the high price of gasoline, the empty supermarket shelves, other supply chain problems, etc.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article.

The Courage To Stand Up And Be Heard

Yesterday a cousin posted on my Facebook page that he would never buy Levi’s again. I wondered what in the world he was talking about, but wasn’t concerned because I don’t wear Levi’s. When I heard his reason, I wished I wore Levi’s so that I could not wear them anymore.

Jennifer Sey is an accomplished lady. Her biography includes being a 17-year-old gymnast, the reigning national champion in 1986, and going to the Soviet Union. She was smart enough to bring 10 pairs of Levi’s 501s with her. She eventually became brand president of Levi Strauss & Co. Jennifer is a lady who speaks her mind. She recently resigned her position with Levi Strauss & Co. so that she could continue to speak her mind.

Substack posted her story on Monday.

The article reports:

In 2008, when I was a vice president of marketing, I published a memoir about my time as an elite gymnast that focused on the dark side of the sport, specifically the degradation of children. The gymnastics community threatened me with legal action and violence. Former competitors, teammates, and coaches dismissed my story as that of a bitter loser just trying to make a buck. They called me a grifter and a liar. But Levi’s stood by me. More than that: they embraced me as a hero. 

Things changed when Covid hit. Early on in the pandemic, I publicly questioned whether schools had to be shut down. This didn’t seem at all controversial to me. I felt—and still do—that the draconian policies would cause the most harm to those least at risk, and the burden would fall heaviest on disadvantaged kids in public schools, who need the safety and routine of school the most. 

I wrote op-eds, appeared on local news shows, attended meetings with the mayor’s office, organized rallies and pleaded on social media to get the schools open. I was condemned for speaking out. This time, I was called a racist—a strange accusation given that I have two black sons—a eugenicist, and a QAnon conspiracy theorist.

In the summer of 2020, I finally got the call. “You know when you speak, you speak on behalf of the company,” our head of corporate communications told me, urging me to pipe down. I responded: “My title is not in my Twitter bio. I’m speaking as a public school mom of four kids.” 

When Jennifer began speaking out against school closings due to Covid, pressure from the company became more intense.

The article reports:

Then, in October 2020, when it was clear public schools were not going to open that fall, I proposed to the company leadership that we weigh in on the topic of school closures in our city, San Francisco. We often take a stand on political issues that impact our employees; we’ve spoken out on gay rights, voting rights, gun safety, and more. 

The response this time was different. “We don’t weigh in on hyper-local issues like this,” I was told. “There’s also a lot of potential negatives if we speak up strongly, starting with the numerous execs who have kids in private schools in the city.”

I refused to stop talking. I kept calling out hypocritical and unproven policies, I met with the mayor’s office, and eventually uprooted my entire life in California—I’d lived there for over 30 years—and moved my family to Denver so that my kindergartner could finally experience real school. We were able to secure a spot for him in a dual-language immersion Spanish-English public school like the one he was supposed to be attending in San Francisco.   

National media picked up on our story, and I was asked to go on Laura Ingraham’s show on Fox News. That appearance was the last straw. The comments from Levi’s employees picked up—about me being anti-science; about me being anti-fat (I’d retweeted a study showing a correlation between obesity and poor health outcomes); about me being anti-trans (I’d tweeted that we shouldn’t ditch Mother’s Day for Birthing People’s Day because it left out adoptive and step moms); and about me being racist, because San Francisco’s public school system was filled with black and brown kids, and, apparently, I didn’t care if they died. They also castigated me for my husband’s Covid views—as if I, as his wife, were responsible for the things he said on social media.

All this drama took place at our regular town halls—a companywide meeting I had looked forward to but now dreaded. 

The article notes:

In the last month, the CEO told me that it was “untenable” for me to stay. I was offered a $1 million severance package, but I knew I’d have to sign a nondisclosure agreement about why I’d been pushed out.

The money would be very nice. But I just can’t do it. Sorry, Levi’s.

The article concludes:

I’ll always wear my old 501s. But today I’m trading in my job at Levi’s. In return, I get to keep my voice.

That’s called courage.

Following The Science?

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse posted an article about a response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request made to the Health and Human Services Department.

The article includes the response from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

So the letter states that the CDC has no information on whether people who have recovered from Covid have become infected again or have transmitted the disease to other people. It seems to me that in the world of looming vaccine mandates, that might be important information.

The article links to a substack article which states the following:

You would assume that if the CDC was going to crush the civil and individual rights of those with natural immunity by having them expelled from school, fired from their jobs, separated from the military, and worse, the CDC would have proof of at least one instance of an unvaccinated, naturally immune individual transmitting the COVID-19 virus to another individual.  If you thought this, you would be wrong.

My firm, on behalf of ICAN, asked the CDC for precisely this proof (see below).  ICAN wanted to see proof of any instance in which someone who previously had COVID-19 became reinfected with and transmitted the virus to someone else.  The CDC’s incredible response is that it does not have a single document reflecting that this has ever occurred.  Not one.  (See below.)

In contrast, there are endless documents reflecting cases of vaccinated individuals becoming infected with and transmitting the virus to others.  Such as this study.  And this study.  And this study.  And this study.  It goes on and on…

But it gets worse.  The CDC’s excuse for not having a shred of evidence of the naturally immune transmitting the virus is that “this information is not collected.”  What?!  No proof!  But yet the CDC is actively crushing the rights of millions of naturally immune individuals in this country if they do not get the vaccine on the assumption they can transmit the virus.   But despite clear proof the vaccinated spread the virus, the CDC lifts restrictions on the vaccinated?!  That is dystopian.   

At some point, Americans are going to have to realize that this is not about the vaccine or the virus and begin to reclaim their freedom.