Swamp Report: CIA Running Scared

New today, at The American Spectator, from Jed Babbin is this:

[L]ast Wednesday the intelligence community launched its first attack on Attorney General William Barr’s investigation into its illegal acts and abuses of power during the 2016 election. In a New York Times article entitled “Justice Department Seeks to Question CIA in its Own Russia Investigation,” the IC makes clear its fear of the results of Barr’s investigation of their spy operation on candidate Trump in 2016 that continued through his early presidency.

The article, obviously written at the behest of its intelligence community sources — “current and former American officials” — is the first of many concerted attacks on Attorney General William Barr’s investigation of the joint CIA/FBI spy operation. Many other articles, based on carefully crafted leaks to the media and Congress, are sure to follow because current and former high-ranking officials of those agencies (and probably the NSA as well) have a lot to lose.

John Durham, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut, is running the investigation under Barr’s direction. From the Times report, we can easily deduce the fact that those who ran the spy op — including CIA Director Gina Haspel — are running scared from the Durham investigation.

Start with the sourcing: “current and former American officials.” That includes all of the people who were in the Obama White House, Comey’s FBI, Brennan’s CIA, and everyone else who’s ever held a government job in, for example, the Obama White House.

The third paragraph says, in part:

While the Justice Department review is not a criminal inquiry, it has provoked anxiety in the ranks of the C.I.A., according to former officials. Senior agency officials have questioned why the C.I.A.’s analytical work should be subjected to a federal prosecutor’s scrutiny.

Two points are made there and both are clearly wrong.

It damned well is an investigation not a “review.” James Comey — probably at the behest of then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch — only referred to the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s felonious use of a private, unsecured email system as a “matter.” By doing so he tried to exclude the possibility that it was a criminal investigation despite the fact that it very much was one. So is the Barr/Durham investigation. It’s not a “review.” By definition, such an investigation is an investigation into possible criminal actions.

The reason the CIA’s “analytical work” is being subjected to a federal prosecutor’s scrutiny is that there is a lot of evidence of criminal conduct by the CIA and FBI. That’s one of the fundamental differences between the Barr/Durham investigation and the Mueller investigation into the imaginary conspiracy between candidate Trump and his campaign and the Russians.

Keep reading, link above.

It’s damned well time, I think. The so-called intelligence community has been an insular walled-off community of its own far too long. In that time not only has it conspired against the American people, and their elected officials, often to our detriment, They have gotten damned near every important call, since before the fall of the Soviet Empire, including the fall of the Shah.

Maybe if they did reasonable work, I’d be a bit more tolerant, although I doubt it, but since I think Harvey Lunchbucket in Hoboken is about as qualified as anybody in the puzzle palace, I don’t see any upside in tolerating their arrogance built on friendship made in some of the most expensive and least educational universities in the world. Nurtured in a hothouse where nobody was responsible for anything, and the people came way back in last place.

It’s time to try something else. But first, its time to see these failed arrogant tools in the dock, instead of living the high life on our dime.

America is a tolerant country, but karma remains our girlfriend, but she’s a cold bitch to her enemies.

Neocon to NeverTrump

From left: Bill Kristol, Max Boot, David Frum, Elliot A. Cohen.

Julie Kelly has an article up at American Greatness. Let’s take a look.

For more than two years they misled us.

Exploiting fear and confusion after a shocking event, they warned that our country was in imminent danger at the hands of a mad man. They insisted that legitimate intelligence, including a CIA report issued a month before a national election and a dossier producedby reliable sources in the United Kingdom, proved the threat was real. The subject monopolized discussions on Capitol Hill, in the White House, and in the press.

They argued that the situation was so dire that it was straining our relationship with strategic allies. Any evidence to the contrary was readily dismissed. And anyone who questioned their agenda was ridiculed as a coward, a dupe, or a conspiracy theorist. The news media dedicated endless air time and column inches to anyone who wanted to repeat the falsehood.

But an investigative report released two years after the propaganda campaign began found no evidence to support their central claim. The CIA report was highly flawed. The official dossier, some concluded, was deceptive and “sexed-up.”

Sounds really, really familiar these days doesn’t it? It should, we have a current example to look at, but this is not a description of the mess we have seen in Washington the last couple of years, it’s a good description of how we got into the war in Iraq. And most amazingly it was brought to you by the same ‘players’. Ms. Kelly continues:

So, these discredited outcasts thought they found in the Trump-Russia collusion farce a way to redeem themselves in the news media and recover their lost prestige, power, and paychecks. After all, it cannot be a mere coincidence that a group of influencers on the Right who convinced Americans 16 years ago that we must invade Iraq based on false pretenses are nearly the identical group of people who tried to convince Americans that Donald Trump conspired with the Russians to rig the 2016 election, an allegation also based on hearsay and specious evidence.

It cannot be an innocent mistake. It cannot be explained away as an example of ignorance in the defense of national security or democracy or human decency. It cannot be justified as a mere miscalculation based on the “best available information at the time” nor should we buy any of the numerous excuses that they offered up to rationalize the war.

In fact, one can draw a straight line between the approach of neoconservative propagandists from the Iraq War travesty and the Trump-Russia collusion hoax. The certainty with which they pronounced their dubious claims, their hyperbolic warnings about pending doom—all eerily similar:

Bill Kristol in 2003: “We look forward to the liberation of our own country and others from the threat of Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction, and to the liberation of the Iraqi people from a brutal and sadistic tyrant.”

Bill Kristol in 2018: “It seems to me likely Mueller will find there was collusion between Trump associates and Putin operatives; that Trump knew about it; and that Trump sought to cover it up and obstruct its investigation. What then? Good question.”

John McCain in 2003: “I believe that, obviously, we will remove a threat to America’s national security because we will find there are still massive amounts of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.”

John McCain in 2017: “There’s a lot of aspects with this whole relationship with Russia and Vladimir Putin that requires further scrutiny. In fact, I think there’s a lot of shoes to drop from this centipede. This whole issue of the relationship with the Russians and who communicated with them and under what circumstances clearly cries out for an investigation.”

David Frum in 2002 (writing for President George W. Bush): “States like these and their terrorist allies constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world.“

David Frum in 2016: “I never envisioned an Axis of Evil of which one of the members was the US National Security Adviser.”

Max Boot in 2003: “I hate to disappoint all the conspiracy-mongers out there, but I think we are going into Iraq for precisely the reasons stated by President Bush: to destroy weapons of mass destruction, to bring down an evil dictator with links to terrorism, and to enforce international law.”

Max Boot in 2019: “If this is what it appears to be, it is the biggest scandal in American history—an assault on the very foundations of our democracy in which the president’s own campaign is deeply complicit. There is no longer any question whether collusion occurred. The only questions that remain are: What did the president know? And when did he know it?”

Those are just a handful of examples from a deep trove of comparisons. Other accomplices on the Right involved in both scandals include former NSA Director Michael Hayden; former Weekly Standard editor Stephen Hayes; MSNBC host and former U.S. Representative Joe Scarborough; neoconservative think tankers Robert Kagan and Eliot Cohen; and former Bush aides Michael Gerson and Peter Wehner.

Even George W. Bush questioned aloud last year whether alleged Russian meddling “affected the outcome of the election.”

And let’s not forget who was in charge of the FBI before, during, and after the Iraq War: Robert Mueller, the Special Counsel hired in May 2017 to find evidence of Russian collusion. In his February 2003 Senate testimony, Mueller confirmed reports that Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and expressed concern that Hussein “may supply terrorists with biological, chemical or radiological material.” James Comey, Mueller’s close friend and successor at the FBI, served as George W. Bush’s deputy attorney general from 2003 to 2005. Comey, of course, is the man who opened an investigation into the Trump campaign in July 2016 and signed the FISA application in October 2016 to spy on Trump campaign aide, Carter Page. Both, we’ve been assured repeatedly, were Republicans.

This is from an article by Julie Kelly on American Greatness which when you go read it all (Do it now!) will tell you just how despicable this bunch of charlatans are. Just about every American casualty in the middle east since 2003, over a hundred thousand dead Iraqis, a bunch of Libyans and Syrians, not too mention the invasion of Europe by pseudo refugees can be laid at these clowns doorsteps. All to keep their influence and their paychecks, not to mention the cocktail parties and cruises.

In 1961, as he left the Presidency, Eisenhower told us some base truths, here is a bit of it, the rest is here.

Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded. Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientifictechnological elite.

I can’t speak for you, but in 2003 I bought their snake oil, but like so many of you, in 2016, I knew better.

Screw me once, shame on you,

Screw me twice, shame on me.

Our experience with these neocons tells us we have failed in that mission, that Ike outlined, and rather badly. But you know, we are a sensible people, and in electing Trump, we may have found the cure or at least a palliative.

One hopes so.

A Big Steaming Pile of Covfefe?

Brian C. Joondeph writes at American Thinker about a theory of his that has to do with the Mueller investigation/witch hunt. I have no clue if this theory is right, and he claims he doesn’t know either. That said, it covers what we know about the players pretty well. If he’s right – Oh my, what a reminder to be careful what you wish for. Let him tell it.

In their [Democrats and the media, BIRM] minds, the 400-page report contains all manner of evidence of collusion and obstruction, despite the summary written by Barr and Rosenstein that says otherwise. Note that Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein was easily confirmed by the Senate and has been defended by Democrats since he appointed Robert Mueller to be special counsel, and yet now they apparently believe he is lying.

If Rosenstein and Barr were misrepresenting the report in their summary letter, one would think Mueller and his partisan team of attorneys would be outraged and speaking out to correct the record. Yet they are silent. This is the same gang that had no problem evidently leaking advance notice of Roger Stone’s commando-style arrest to CNN so they could be on site filming everything. If Barr and Rosenstein weren’t truthful in their summary, why isn’t CNN reporting on “unnamed officials” who dispute the summary?

Perhaps all is not what it seems. There is much debate over who is wearing a black hat, or a white hat, meaning bad guy versus good guy, from the President Trump perspective. Is Mueller a white hat or a black hat? Despite much speculation, no one knows for sure, other than Mueller himself, Rosenstein, and Barr and a small circle around them.

Suppose he is a gray hat, somewhere in between, and is laying a grand trap for the Democrats to waltz into, a big steaming pile of MAGA?

What a concept that is. Is it even plausible? Maybe. Remember this.

Donald Trump may have been an FBI informant in the early 1980s when the Feds went after the Five Families. US Attorney Rudy Giuliani led the charge, followed by Robert Mueller and Rod Rosenstein, under then AG William Barr. What a coincidence! Perhaps these men all know each other from decades ago and they believe Trump is a patriot. Despite all of Trump’s supposed ties to the mob, he was never indicted, which would make sense if he had been working with the FBI.

If one assumes Mueller is a patriot too, as befitting a former Marine, would he not be disgusted with the coup attempt he found himself in the middle of? How can he save face with his deep state pals with whom he socializes and attends church, while still doing what a patriot must do? By not totally exonerating Trump in his report, he can save some face, while baiting the corrupt Democrats, who might disgust him at this point, those who initiated the coup attempt. Mueller could have it both ways according to my gray hat theory.

What about those FISA warrants? Those can work both ways. The first was issued against Carter Page in October 2016, allowing two-hop spying, meaning surveillance against Page, anyone he communicated with and anyone they communicated with, two hops beyond the original target. This would cover most of Washington, DC considering Page likely communicated with Jeff Sessions, making the entire US Congress the second hop. Or if he communicated with Mike Flynn, making most of the intel community the second hop.

The FISA warrant was renewed on January 19, 2017, the last day of the Obama presidency. But then again, in April and July 2017, when Trump was president. Rosenstein was already nominated by Trump for deputy AG and confirmed when the last two FISA warrants were renewed.

Remember FISA goes both ways. Two hops from Carter Page covered most of the deep state, and media they might have been leaking to. Suppose the Trump FBI were now using FISA surveillance against the deep state tricksters and their media comrades?

Plausible? I just don’t know enough to say and doubt that anybody but the players do, and that means the people at the table, not the hacks working for Mueller or anybody else. Nothing much has leaked, and the guys he’s talking about do know how to keep a secret.

But the thing is, it is possible. Mueller had/has a good rep as an FBI guy and as a Marine. He may have been personally as frustrated at the politicization of DOJ as anyone else. Or not. We’ll just have to see.

But there is this. Trump for all his Tweeting about the witch hunt, never took any steps to impede or curtail it, which he could have done, and the base would have supported him doing so. He has said nice things about Rosenstein, which from what has been published are far from warranted.

And there is this, Trump has barely put a foot wrong since he came down the escalator to run for and win the presidency. Since his inauguration, this has looked to be the main thrust against him, and he has mostly ignored it, other than some verbal sniping, which kept the Democrats fired up.

True or not, this theory proves we live in interesting times.

Sunday Funnies; of Memes and Men

So the Mueller report dropped, the Foxx is guarding the Hoaxhouse (thanks Steve Hayward), the green nude eel slips away again, and Parliament stole control of Brexit from the PM, and then promptly lost it, somewhere. Just another week of the new normal.

But CNN’s chyron writer has a new trowel

 

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Break time: Have you noticed Spring has sprung?

 

And finally, and yes, this is exactly who you think it is. 🙂

From the usual suspects, and some others.

Manic Monday

Well, Monday was quite the day, wasn’t it?

The Creepy Porn Lawer (CPL AKA Michael Avenatti) got himself indicted by the Southern District of New York for attempting to extort millions from Nike, on video no less. And he was indicted in Los Angeles a few minutes later for essentially stealing a client’s settlement. The IRS would also like to have a word with him. This is serious stuff. The Victory Girls have more.

Also, The Right Scoop adds that Mark Geragos, a long time CNN legal contributor, now fired, has been named a co-conspirator with CPL in the Nike case. Some of his other clients included Jussie Smollett, Colin Kaepernick, Michael Jackson, and Chris Brown. They make a good pair, I think.

CNN had a doubleplusungood day yesterday with this coming on top of being rendered totally not credible, maybe incredible is the word, by the report of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller.

But they are hardly alone in that, as The Federalist tells us.

After spending two years perpetuating allegations that President Trump colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election, news anchors were visibly shaken by the findings of Robert Mueller’s investigation.

From the time news broke on Friday that there would be no more forthcoming indictments from Mueller, to the revealing of Attorney General William Barr’s letter on Sunday exonerating Trump of collusion, cable news outlets were reckoning with their crumbling conspiracy theories in real time.

On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Friday morning, host Mika Brzezinski became visibly confused as she read the breaking news off her teleprompter.

Couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch of scumbags, in my opinion. Overdue, in fact.

The Federalist, who has done a lot of extremely good work on the whole Russia, Russia, Russia thing, especially Mollie Hemingway, also reminds us that the country itself has been damaged.

If our country is ever to recover from this mess, we can’t forget how we got here. Russians were attempting to hack both the Democratic National Committee and Republican National Committee in late 2015. Whether the DNC was ultimately hacked or suffered an internal leak, the truth remains that the DNC documents and emails obtained by WikiLeaks showed the entire country that Hillary Clinton, and those around her, were corrupt and would bend the rules (or worse) for power. There was never a real and fair contest between her and Bernie Sanders.

As soon as the Clinton campaign realized its misdeeds toward Bernie had been made public, they blamed Russia. They immediately began putting out a narrative that attempted to say Russia had acted to favor Trump, which included paying Fusion GPS—a notorious propaganda outfit with ties to loads of so-called journalists—to create ties between Trump and Russia.

Fusion GPS then hired a former British spy, Chris Steele, to boost their credibility. He used a different British guy with ties to the Kremlin, Edward Baumgartner, who employed unknown Russians to write a series of Word documents that alleged Trump-Russia collusion.

Meanwhile, Clinton stooge Cody Shearer wrote other documents that alleged Trump-Russia collusion, and Clinton stooge Sidney Blumenthal disseminated those documents into the Obama State Department with the help of would-be Clinton administration secretary of state Victoria Nuland. The State Department people then gave those documents to the FBI.

It turned out to be an excellent way to make people even more distrustful of a government grown over-large, and far too arrogant. It will echo for decades, at least. And it should.

Alan Dershowitz makes the point that Mueller’s report reads like a law school exam, telling us all sides, but never taking one. He’s supposed to be a prosecutor, not a law student. And that leaves it open to partisan wrangling and spinning from now to doomsday. I think he has a point.

Meanwhile, as the clock runs down on Brexit, my read is that the law says they leave at 11 pm this Friday unless a law changes that. But everybody in the UK seems to read it differently, and also differently than they do in Brussels. The more I read, the more confused I get, which of course, is the EU way. Good luck mates.

Of Presidents, Knaves, and Memes

So the President talked officially to us the other night, about illegal immigration, the wall, and Democratic obstruction of the government’s mission to defend the people of the United States. He is right on all counts. And he hit the nail squarely on the head.

Schumer and Pelosi gave the Democrat’s response, and while it was a self-seeking partisan one, surprising no one, their delivery was incredibly bad. In fact, their appearance became an instant meme, which is never a good thing for your cause. Dov Fischer says this:

[I]n their every press conference and interview rejecting President Trump’s call for a wall along our southern border to help prevent and protect against human trafficking of women and children, the unbridled import of opioids, and the entry of criminals and terrorists into our country, the Democrats maintain that they oppose only the Wall but otherwise strongly support border security. Thus, they state that they prefer drones and hi-tech equipment instead of a wall because, they say, those more modern approaches will do an even better job than will an old-fashioned wall at guarding the border. In other words, they claim to be as concerned as is the President over the chaos transpiring along our porous southern border.

There are two ways to demonstrate they are lying. One way is by sitting and arguing back-and-forth with the other side endlessly, as in a cable news panel discussion. I have come to hate wasting my time watching those. When I have a few moments each day to grab some news on Fox, the only value-added from Marie Harf, Chris Hahn, and Jessica Tarlov is that, while muting them, they offer a few moments for me to check the channel guide or pay a bill or two. But there is a much quicker alternative way to cut through the muck and prove Pelosi, Schumer, and their gang a bunch of liars on border security: […]

So it all is a game. A joke, a lie. When they say they are for border security in every which way — everything, everything except for a wall — there is the truth, the proof. No need for a cable television-news panel debate. This does not take rocket science. If you install a home protection system, but then a crook evades the front-door camera or the home alarm or just defiantly smashes your front window and breaks into your home anyway, do you take the position that you will not shoot the invader or call the police — or first call the police and then shoot the invader — because, well, they got past the alarm, so…SANCTUARY! If you employ an insect exterminator — and, no, we are not comparing illegal immigrants other than MS-13 and opioid smugglers and human traffickers to insects — and if that exterminator does a great job, but you later see an ant or spider or silverfish that got past him, would you not squish it? Or do you look at that centipede and proclaim liberty throughout the land: SANCTUARY!

He’s right, the Democrats don’t give a damn about you, your personal security, that of your family, or anything else. The only thing they care about is their power. That is the ONLY thing that matters to them. That is why their response looked like a drug-induced meme.

“O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive!”.

And, no doubt, the constant lying to us, and who knows, perhaps themselves, is how they have turned themselves into a joke, an automatic meme generator, of no real account, in governing the country.

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