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Looks as though John Durham is going to be very busy this summer. My personal opinions about Trump aside, how Democrats both inside and outside the Obama Administration used US intelligence agencies and the FBI to smear a president elect as a foreign agent was criminal. Hopefully one day criminal behavior by high ranking government officials will be punished.
There is no reason to believe these amendments would have been ratified by 2/3s of the states if the Civil War was delayed. The Republican Party was an abolitionist party and it’s candidate had just won the presidential election. That’s why the South Carolina and the other Southern states left the Union. They could tell the days of slavery were numbered. They also most likely saw these proposed amendments to the Constitution never would be ratified by 2/3 of the states.
Take everything the WaPo claims with a grain of salt. There is no real worry over lower covid infections. What made Covid decrease was the lockdowns. Remove the lockdowns and covid infection rates will climb, as we are seeing in the already reopened states. Then when fall rolls around, and people are stuck indoors again, rates will skyrocket. There will be plenty of test subjects for a vaccine.
It is telling that the word “handcuffed” is completely absent from both this post and any comment to it. That’s really the problem here. A handcuffed man was killed by a police officer kneeling on his neck for what seems to be at least seven minutes. Because Mr. Floyd was handcuffed, there was no reason to either remove him from the vehicle or kneel on his neck for seven minutes. He was not a danger to the police officers while handcuffed in the back of the cruiser. He should not have been removed from the vehicle until after he was taken to the police station. Once he was removed from the vehicle on the street, there is no reason for any officer to kneel on the neck of a handcuffed man. I don’t care what drugs he was supposedly on. Because he was handcuffed and lying down, kneeling on his neck for seven minutes was an unnecessary use of force. These cops are in trouble mostly because Mr. Floyd was handcuffed. Police can and do bullshit juries all the time about how the amount of force they used was necessary because the suspect was on drugs, wouldn’t comply, assumed a fighting stance or seemed to be reaching for a weapon. Those excuses will fail in this case because Mr. Floyd was handcuffed.
Concerning the economy, most of the damage was caused by a significant portion of the population staying home prior to any lockdown. Ending lockdowns and telling people to be good consumers isn’t going to get enough people shopping to fix the economy. Currently, 1.5 out of every 1,000 residents of New York State has been killed by Covid. That’s not so good. The US and South Korea reported their first case of Covid on the same day. Today, the US has had more than 90,000 people killed by Covid while South Korea has less than 275. A sane country should done what South Korea did, instead of allowing tens of thousands of people to die. I get that many of the dead were older or had conditions like high blood pressure, but if I intentionally killed any of those people, I’d still be charged with murder. The economy isn’t coming back until Covid is crushed. The government telling people its OK and opening up everything isn’t going to work. No one trusts the government, especially now after it just let 90,000 Americans die.
The whole case against Flynn was a sham. Flynn told his FBI questioners that he knew from his time in intelligence that his phone call with the Russian Ambassador was recorded and the agents questioning him had most likely read the transcript. Obviously, knowing the FBI agents had a transcript of his call, Flynn had zero motivation to “lie” to them about his conversation with the Ambassador. He knew the FBI agents had indisputable evidence of what was said during that conversation. Any lie he told would be both useless, pointless and completely ineffective. No one would bother lying is such a situation. Additionally, the agents who read the transcript of his call and then questioned Flynn wrote in their report they did not believe her was lying. As Flynn had zero motivation to lie and the agents who questioned him believed he didn’t lie to them, why was he charged with the crime of lying to FBI agents? Obviously, some FBI higher ups made that decision. It was a political decision and a sham prosecution.
Showing a list of half measures the Trump Administration took which, so far, has allowed over 60,000 American deaths, really isn’t proof of anything. We could come up with a longer list of everything the captain and crew on the Titanic did the day before the Titanic struck that iceberg. Those actions are meaningless because they were not effective in preventing the known possible danger in the future from becoming immediate, deadly, and killing many people needlessly. South Korea and the US both discovered a covid-19 infected person inside their country the exact same day. South Korea took the measures necessary to stop an outbreak while the US government failed to recognize the danger and take effective action. Today, April 29, 2020, the same day the US had 60,000 deaths, South Korea has 246. You know what’s really wrong with this country? Our true currency is lies and bullshit. Sixty thousand American are now dead. Our government has done a horrible job of preventing Covid from killing tens of thousands of people. But we can’t be honest with ourselves and admit it. Instead, we traffic in lies and bullshit. The reason the USSR collapsed is that no one told the truth anymore. People would lie and say that problems didn’t exist. Of course, because these problems didn’t exist, they would never be fixed. So when they got worse, more lies were issues to cover up the worsening problems. The whole system collapsed as a result. The US is in that stage now. Nothing gets fixed because the problems are said not to exist. Obama did a horrible job responding to the Great Recession. Half the county cannot admit that simple truth. Trump did a horrible job responding to Covid-19. The other half of the country can’t admit that. If we can’t even recognize incompetence when it’s right in front of our faces, there is no hope.
The same quarantines were put in place in the US during the 1918-19 flu epidemic. Los Angeles shut down for seven weeks. School lessons were printed in the Los Angeles Times. My point is that this is nothing new. The economy bounced back in 1918-19 and it should again today. There was no depression when we did the same thing in 1918-19. I expect little different today. Sacrificing hundreds of thousands or perhaps millions of Americans by failing to initiate social distancing and other measures would lead to a true disaster. The prime duty of a government is to protect the health and safety of its citizens. A government that fails at that task will not exist for very long. Trump would lose his reelection if he didn’t try to save as many Americans as he could. Putting commerce over American lives is a poisoned cup.
The author of “The Black Swan” Nassim Nicholas Taleb has a completely different point of view, which I agree with. His paper from January 26 stated that we should already be panicking because the risk of doing nothing was too high. Here is a link to his paper. Enjoy. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5b68a4e4a2772c2a206180a1/t/5e2efaa2ff2cf27efbe8fc91/1580137123173/Systemic_Risk_of_Pandemic_via_Novel_Path.pdf
Eric, you make many assertions, but provide no facts to support them. For example, you claim Soleimani was planning attacks on both US troops and our embassy. You also claim Iran took over our embassy. However, you provide no facts supporting those assertions and I am not aware of any. So tell us, what evidence or facts do you have proving your claims? Additionally, you seem to have skipped over the part where Bush agreed all US troops would withdraw from Iraq and Obama was unwilling to agree to have US troops remain if they would be subject to the Iraqi justice system. So all of them left, only for some to be allowed back when ISIS threatened. Obviously, when all US troops left Iran did not take over Iraq. When all US troops leave again, which Trump just about insured will happen very soon, Iran will again not take over Iraq. They will remain allies, but one will not rule the other.
Err, the Iraqis made us leave once already when we had 100,000 troops there. The 5,000 there currently cannot stay without the Iraq government’s help. Please note that Russia has decimated ISIS in Syria and ISIS no longer has a safe haven there. If ISIS comes back Iraq can ask the Russians for help.
Agreed. I cannot imagine how Iraq can continue to allow the US military to remain in Iraq after the US bombs its security forces and drone strikes its military leaders, along with an ally leader, at its international airport. All the US has done is reinforce the belief that the US is an enemy of Iraq. This most likely also means the end of our Syrian adventures, The US bases in Syria are supplied via Iraq. I doubt Iraq will allow the US to move supplies over Iraq after this. Without supply lines through Iraq, these bases must be abandoned. As to what Iran does, who’s to say? Same as we wouldn’t overlook if Iran assassinated General Petraeus, I’m sure they will think of something unpleasant for us and/or our allies in the area. What I can say is that Trump’s assassinating these military commanders is about the stupidest and most counterproductive thing he could have done. His bad decision making has been evident ever since he lost the fortune his father bequeathed him. He’s way over his head.
"Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) confirmed that Qasem Soleimani, Commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force, was killed in Baghdad. Also killed was Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy commander of Hashd al-Shaabi.” Trump killing these two was about the stupidest thing he could have possibly done. It was an act of war against both Iran and Iraq. The US is going to be thrown out of Iraq very, very soon as a result. US bases in Syria will not be able to be supplied via Iraq and will also need to be abandoned. There is no telling what Iran will do. Hopefully, a full shooting war won’t break out in the Middle East. Having Trump in charge of anything important, never mind our government during an actual crisis, never mind a war, is frightening.
Most likely, if this case were being heard in a court of law, it would be thrown out as fruit of the poisoned tree doctrine. However, the problem here is there are no judges with the authority to issue a ruling ordering Congress to stop these hearings. However, it is certain that if Congress votes for impeachment, the Senate, same as the House, can also do what it wants and the GOP majority may vote to throw the case out on the grounds of fruit of the poisoned tree. However, I believe a full trial with witnesses favorable to the president testifying and focusing on Biden corruption would show the American people the impeachment process was bogus from the beginning and thus be more favorable to Trump. In any event, it is highly unlikely that the GOP majority Senate will provide the 67 votes necessary for impeachment.. So, at then end of the day, this is one big show trial where the end result will be Trump serving out his elected term or terms.
Exactly right. If I were Trump, I would have fired this guy for accepting a whistleblower complaint that was not allowed under the statute because it did not concern an intelligence activity or anything else supervised by the DNI as the statute requires. Conceptually, it is the same as the Intelligence IG accepting and investigating complaints about slow mail service, mine safety, or TSA agents stealing when they inspect luggage at the airport. His jurisdiction is limited and he grossly exceeded it.
You are referring to the change in the complaint form where the prior form required the whistleblower to have direct knowledge of the issue complained about while the latest version allows the whistleblower to blow the whistle using information obtained from someone else (hearsay). The statute itself neither allowed not disallowed hearsay information. I believe that the prior form should not have excluded hearsay. For example, if a foreign agent said “I’m a foreign agent and taking photos of this top secret information” to a DNI employee, that is a hearsay statement and could not be reported to the IG using the prior form. To me, that’s wrong.
Right. The entire purpose of the phony and improper IG complaint was to manufacture an excuse to have the matter reported to Congress where it would then be leaked to the public. It never was a proper IG complaint, but the bell cannot be unrung.
Exactly right. Here is a link to the statute, 50 USC section 3033. https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/50/3033 The statute allows for the appointment of an Inspector General who reports to and has the authority to investigate any activity that falls under the authority of the Director of National Intelligence. While I agree that Trump’s phone call does not fall under the definition of an urgent matter that can be reported to Congress, what’s worse is that because the President’s activities cannot be investigated under this statute because the President is not under the authority of nor supervised by the DNI. Thus, the intelligence Inspector General has no authority to consider the complaint against Trump. Congress created the IG statute and placed the IG under the supervision of the DNI because under the law the IG is to investigate only problems that the DNI has the ability to rectify. As the President of the United States is not supervised by the DNI, the IG has no authority under this law to investigate the President’s activities under this statute. The complaint and the involvement of the IG in this matter was illegal from the start.
FBI interviews are not recorded because if they were, then the interview subject could not be falsely charged with the felony of lying to a federal investigator.
Clapper says Obama ordered the investigation. https://mobile.twitter.com/mtaibbi/status/1187842892867538946
Since the “intelligence activity whistleblower complaint” had nothing to do with an “intelligence activity” as was legally required, the drafting and filing of this particular “intelligence activity whistleblower complaint” were political acts. They accomplished their mission in that Trump was forced to release the call and the complaint to the public, instead of him delaying and Congress leaking them. The complaint has resulted in what appears to be an attempt to impeach Trump, so politically it was very successful. If it were a legitimate complaint, the DNI could look into the problem and fix it. That’s why these types of complaints must concern activities and individuals that the DNI is responsible for, so the responsible government official, the DNI, can fix the problem. As this complaint is illegitimate, because the DNI can do nothing about the problem, no government official will investigate because none has the authority to do so. Instead, Congress will investigate with an eye towards impeaching the President. Will we discover truthful answers to your questions, either from Trump or Congress’ investigation? I have no idea. Personally, I doubt it.
Hearsay is any statement used to prove the truth of the matter asserted. It can be confusing. For example. Assume I was in an automobile accident. Moments after the accident, I said to the other driver “You ran the red light.” In court, a witness who heard my statement cannot testify about it if that testimony is being used to prove the other party ran the red light. The matter being asserted is the other driver ran the red light. The witness is testifying to prove the light was red. It is a hearsay statement. However, if I were claiming to have been knocked unconscious for a week by the accident, my “You ran the red light” statement would not be hearsay if the same witness was testifying to prove I was conscious after the accident. Here, the statement is not being used to prove the truth of the matter asserted (The other driver ran a red light) but to show I wasn’t knocked unconscious by the accident. There are many exceptions to the hearsay rule which would takes about 3-weeks of a law school evidence class to explain. I don’t have the time.. Here, the so-called whistleblower is claiming that others told him what was said during the call. That is hearsay, (a statement used to prove the truth of the matter asserted, aka-what was said is true.) If he heard to call himself, it wouldn’t be hearsay as to what he heard. If he read the transcript, then him testifying about what he read would not be hearsay either.
I have been an attorney for over 20-years. So when I first read of the alleged whistleblower complaint, I immediately looked at the statute allowing such complaints, 50 USC sec. 3033. Read it for yourself if interested. While I have no opinion on whether or not a complaint could be based on hearsay, I can say that this “intelligence activity whistleblower” complaint is completely improper and should have been rejected by the IG. Any unbiased reading of the statute shows that the whistleblowing must concern either a person or activity that is under the authority of the Director of National Intelligence. One cannot use this statute to whistleblow to the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community, a subordinate official of the DNI, on anything that the DNI has no authority over. Simply put, there is nothing in the statute that allows an “intelligence activity whistleblower” complaint to be made concerning the president or his phone calls. Such matters are not supervised by the DNI and are outside the jurisdiction of this statute. Same as a “whistleblower” complaint that the US Postal Service is slow delivering my mail or that there is no toilet tissue in the Yellowstone National Park men’s room is not an activity supervised supervised by the DNI and is not the proper subject of an “intelligence activity whistleblower” complaint, for these same reasons a complaint about the president or his phone calls is also not the proper subject of such a complaint. This complaint should have been rejected by an honest and competent IG. Taking off my lawyer hat, my personal opinion is that this improper whistleblower complaint was crafted by one or more NatSec employees, in coordination with allies in Congress, for the sole purpose of starting impeachment proceedings. I look at this as nothing less that NatSec coup attempt.
I assume Iran would act rationally if the US launched a limited bombing/missile strike on Iranian territory. The rational response to such a US strike would be the launching of a substantial percentage of Iran’s missiles against every US military base, every Saudi and other US allied Gulf States’ military bases, oil fields, oil exporting infrastructure, electric power generation, and water de-salinization plants with range of those missiles. Trying to hurt as much as possible an enemy at war with your nation is a completely rational response to an attack. Iraq after the First Gulf War is a good example of what happened to a country that allowed the US to embargo its oil sales and bomb it at will. It became weaker and weaker as time went on, only to be invaded by the US after years of suffering. Why anyone would think a rational nation like Iran would “do nothing” in the face of a US attack is a mystery. Iran would be better off trying to cripple oil exports from the Gulf, and thus weaken the entire Western World including the US, than turning the other cheek and being gradually defeated. They would behave like Japan prior to WWII, which launched a war knowing there was a good chance it could lose, rather than face the certainty that the US would slowly strangle Japan if it did nothing. Japan was “rational.” Iran’s response to a US attack would be rational too. Our problem isn’t that other countries act in an irrational manner. Our problem is that we are irrational and we have deluded ourselves into believing that the rational thinking of others is irrational.
I’m fairly certain that the Houthi can access very accurate satellite mapping data. I can see my house on Google maps for free.