Monday, September 30, 2019

UPDATED: Our Globe Trotting AG Bill Barr

The "big news" this afternoon is that Bill Barr, in company with USA John Durham, has been flying to foreign lands--places like the UK and Italy--to solicit cooperation in his Russia Hoax investigation. 

Disgraced former DoJ National Security official David Laufman says that it's “fairly unorthodox for the attorney general personally to be flying around the world as a point person to further evidence-gathering for a specific Justice Department investigation.” I wouldn't personally know whether or not that's true, but it certainly does confirm the high priority that Barr places on this investigation. That's so obvious that sundance didn't even bother to paste his derisive Barr-on-the-bagpipes photo at the end of his post. Instead, he writes:

Deep State Impeachment Team Racing Against Time, Durham and Barr – NY Times Aids With Australian Narrative 
by sundance 
It is becoming clear the principals connected to the 2016 weaponization of the intelligence apparatus, DOJ and FBI are increasingly concerned about U.S. Attorney John Durham and Attorney General Bill Barr looking at the origins of “Spygate” and the Trump-Russia narrative.  Lawfare and their media outlets are leading their defensive-based offensive.

It appears that the narrative that the Deep State is trying to push out is that it's somehow improper for Barr to be investigating the Russia Hoax, since Robert "Bob" Mueller already did that. Thus, Barr's investigation must be a personal thing, for the benefit of Trump's 2020 campaign. And Barr should "at a minimum" recuse himself from doing that sort of thing. Preferably he'd resign or go into retirement in Siberia. Thus, the NYT writes in its sub-header:

Trump Pressed Australian Leader to Help Barr Investigate Mueller Inquiry’s Origins
The discussion was another instance of the president using American diplomacy for potential personal gain.

However, if you read the article you'll find zero actual evidence for the claim that Barr is somehow working for Trump's personal political benefit. Instead, you'll find the bare assertion followed by the admission that Barr and DoJ are engaged in an actual official investigation, just like they've said. But the NYT doesn't seem to want to acknowledge that the POTUS is also the chief law enforcement official of the United States, and the logical person to break logjams in foreign legal cooperation:

Dirty Pictures

No, not here--in fact, they never really existed. Dirty pictures of Trump is what Adam Schiff famously sought from the Ukrainians--before the current Ukraine Hoax. Rowan Scarborough reminds us today. It seems that the two Russian comedians knew something about Shifty Adam and the Ukrainians:

Naked photos: Two Russian comedians, one of whom posing as Andriy Parubiy, chairman of the Ukrainian parliament, recorded Mr. Schiff in a prank phone call. During the eight-minute call, the imposter said he could obtain from naked photographs of Mr. Trump in Moscow from Russian sources. 
Mr. Schiff was fully onboard, telling the caller his staff would be in contact, which they were. 
“Obviously we would welcome the chance to get copies,” he told the supposed Ukrainian. 
The prankster/comedians provided emails to The Daily Mail to show that Mr. Schiff took the call seriously and wanted the photos. 
The emails showed that Rheanne Wirkkala, now the House Intelligence Committee’s deputy director of investigations and then a professional staff member, contacted the real Mr. Parubiy, after the prank call. She asked when he planned to deliver “some materials” to the embassy in Washington. 
“I understand Mr. Schiff had a productive call with Mr. Parubiy, and that Mr. Parubiy would like to make some materials available to Mr. Schiff through your embassy,” Ms. Wirkkala wrote in April 2017. “Please let me know how best to arrange pick-up of those materials from your embassy here in Washington D.C.”

Meanwhile In The Middle East ...

No, I'm not about to turn this into a foreign policy blog. However, I will state that Trump needs to seriously take control of Middle East policy and to seriously rethink it. The policy of supporting al Qaeda and ISIL is morally and strategically bankrupt--as is the policy of  offering seemingly unquestioning protection to the financier of these groups, Saudi Arabia.

Consider the latest Houthi/Yemeni victory over the Saudis. It was an extremely impressive victory and the Saudis appear to be agreeing to a ceasefire--they can hardly do otherwise. The US used to support the Houthis against al Qaeda, until some genius (in fairness, during the Obama admin) decided supporting al Qaeda and the Saudis was a good idea. Two blogs. I can't vouch for the accuracy of either, except that it now appears to be well established that the Saudis have suffered a crushing defeat (as I have long predicted would happen):

Civil War 2.0?

During the past week I've discussed several articles that, from various perspectives focus on the totalitarian animating spirit behind liberalism. Daniel Greenfield, for example, in The Disturbing Reason Why the Dems Really Want to Impeach Trump, sees the goal of liberals now as delegitimating not only Trump but anyone who would support him. That, mutatis mutandi, will lead to the legitimation of crushing all opposition to whatever the liberal agenda happens to be at any given moment. A one party state. When we see the repeated enactments of speech codes and even thought codes, the transformation of educational institutions into little more than indoctrination camps, the use of big tech to censor dissenting views--who can doubt the ultimate goal? And like any totalitarianism, this "diversity" inspired totalitarianism will allow for no dissent--not in speech, not in lifestyle. They will find ways to come and find you and force your conformity--like forcing Catholic hospitals to perform abortions. We've had previews of the liberal future. This is what inspires the hatred for Trump and for his supporters. Liberals thought they were on the verge of total victory. And so this inspires the impeachment mania.  Here's a nice video featuring Lou Dobbs and Stuart Varney that hits on the same themes, although in less dire form:

Via Zerohedge, Jim Kunstler offers a provocative view: Civil War On. I skip over the first half to get to what I view as the heart of his argument, which is that the Ukraine Hoax amounts to a full scale coup attempt by the Deep State. Before you say never, consider--isn't this, in effect what Greenfield, Gary Morson in Leninthink, and as sober a voice as Lou Dobbs are suggesting? The overthrow of a duly elected administration by subversion, through the fraud and deceit of our intelligence agencies?

I'll be out this morning

I'll enable comments when I return.

I called in and cancelled my subscription to the WSJ this morning. End of an era. I just couldn't see spending so much to support so much that was offensive.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

UPDATED: Barr Angry With Trump?

Commenter Joe brought to my attention the fact that there are news accounts suggesting that AG Barr is angry with President Trump over the Ukraine Hoax telephone call. For example, the Washington Examiner reports: Barr ‘surprised and angry’ about Trump phone call with Ukraine. When you get into the story the actual reason for Barr's displeasure--which I assume is real--becomes apparent:

Attorney General William Barr was dismayed to discover President Trump had grouped him in with his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, in a call with Ukraine’s leader in July. 
When Barr learned of the call, he was “surprised and angry” that Trump lumped him in with Giuliani, a person familiar with the attorney general’s thinking told the Associated Press. Giuliani represents Trump’s personal interests and is not employed by the U.S. government.

I saw this issue when I wrote about the call transcript originally--Woops! Dems Score Own Goal. At the time I maintained that Trump attempted to maintain the distinction between his personal attorney's (Giuliani's) interest and the Attorney General's official interest. I still do maintain that Trump didn't "lump" Barr "in with Giuliani" and intended to maintain the distinction between his personal lawyer and the Attorney General of the United States. Zelenskyy introduces the idea of speaking to Giuliani. Trump appears to me to deflect that to indicate that he wants Barr involved because what's under discussion is an official DoJ investigation:

Shifty Adam's Ukraine Connection

Earlier today I posed the question, in connection with the Ukraine Hoax,

doesn't the American public deserve to know who these faceless bureaucrats are, who think they should pass judgment on foreign policy that the American public voted for? What policies do they favor, and do they represent interests beyond their own intellectual preferences? Non-IC actors in politics and business?

The whole Russia hysteria seems inexplicable in realistic terms--there doesn't seem to be a convincing reason for the outlandish fear mongering with regard to Russia. Now we may have a partial answer.

You may have seen some of the stories that have been starting to circulate about Adam Schiff's connection to Ukrainian arms dealer Igor Pasternak. It seems that Pasternak has hosted campaign fundraisers for Schiff, as GP graphically documents:

And anywhere there's a connection between Ukraine and left wing politics, George Soros can't be far away:

Stop me if this sounds too conspiratorial, but ...

Ukraine is in conflict with Russia, so they want US help. US help can be obtained--for a price! That price can be paid in the form of campaign contributions to US politicians, but it has to be done creatively. Say, in the form of hosted fundraisers by Ukrainian Americans. Alexandra Chalupa is ready to help! The industrious Yakov Apelbaum is happy to document that for you (How to Finance Your Congressional Campaign with Arms Sales).

So the deal is something like this. US politicians drum up anti-Russia hysteria. Ukrainian money men route filthy luchre to the campaigns of US politicians. That's called a quid pro quo, and it seems to be what makes US politics "work". That's what you get with Empire. America gonif!

Now you're probably thinking, Wow! What a great scam for Shifty Adam! He needs to keep working that one close to the vest. If that's what you're thinking you'd be sadly mistaken. US politicians are on to scams like that like flies on ... well, you know what. Yakov Apelbaum explains:

Image 1: Igor Pasternak’s luxury home in DC where in 2013 Adam Schiff and Nancy Pelosi used  Igor Pasternak to host and fundraise for Schiff’s congressional election 
And the best part is that you never have to worry about paying him back for any of these favors, because it’s all absolutely free, no strings attached. After all, everyone knows that Ukrainian arms dealers float the election campaign of congressional candidates like Adam Schiff, Nancy Pelosi, and Loretta Sanchez, because they are just so cuddly and lovable.

And, to be totally honest, I'm guessing that lots more US politicians--including Republicans--participated in this entertaining and profitable wheeze. We'll probably find out about that, although they're being coy about it so far.

And then came Trump, with all that blather about "draining The Swamp." And, whoa! it turns out he actually meant it, and was actually contemplating withholding the aid money to Ukraine that the politicians had promised Igor Pasternak (and many more Ukrainians like him) was in the pipeline. The sky was falling--impeach the SOB! And do something about his AG who's independently wealthy and doesn't need no stinking campaign contributions!

Won't it be interesting to see how all this works out?

In the meantime, The Duran offers this nice summary--Adam Schiff’s collusion with oligarch, Ukrainian arms dealer, exposed:

What drives Adam Schiff’s never ending Russia hysteria? 
When in doubt follow the money. Congressman Schiff’s well documented Putin obsession may have something to do with his billionaire, military complex, oligarch patron from Ukraine. 
In a Zerohedge post yesterday, chronicling the latest Adam Schiff idiocy, where the Democrat Congressman spoke to a crowd at the University of Pennsylvania, declaring Russian ads promoted the Second Amendment during the 2016 election “so we will kill each other” commenter AlaricBalth linked some interesting information on Schiff’s underlying motivation behind his Russia hysteria… 
Adam Schiff is an owned hatchet man of Ukrainian arms dealer Igor Pasternak. Schiff’s anti-Russian narrative is carefully orchestrated by his Ukrainian handlers
Pasternak, who was raised and educated in Ukraine before immigrating to the United States, is a passionate promoter of Ukrainian culture and business. He has been active in both Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. to support increased bilateral ties between the two countries and has been especially active building awareness of Ukraine’s strategic economic importance among Members of Congress. Since political protests broke out across Ukraine in late 2013, Pasternak has worked to personally inform and educate Members of Congress about the geostrategic importance of Ukraine to European and US security.
Jack Posobiec tweeted in March 2017 on Schiff’s connection to Pasternak and George Soros…

I can't resist this graphic from Yakov Apelbaum's site:

About The WH Sensitive Information Server

J. E. Dyer has a--to me--fascinating analysis of what she believes was really bugging the RumorBlower behind the Ukraine Hoax. In ‘Whistleblower’ complaint paints picture of frustrated Trump policy opponents in intel community Dyer focuses on the the frustration of those who would thwart Trump foreign policy with Trump's concern for security. What do you think might have led Trump to develop that concern? The Flynn case? All the leaked phone calls, early on in his administration? Yeah, maybe.

So, Dyer's arguement runs like this.

1) The RumorBlower and his sources are frustrated because Trump's concerns for security--like, putting call transcripts on a separate, limited access server--have frustrated those who wish to leak inside information to frustrate Trump's policies. They haven't been able to go trolling through sensitive materials to leak, because those materials are kept off the general access server. Orange Man bad! Must be impeached!

2) That this is the case is easily seen by the wide discrepancies between the RumorBlower version of the Trump call and the actual transcript. They had to make up a version of the call because they had no access to the actual transcript. There's also this:

Another feature of the “whistleblower” complaint bolsters this analysis, and that’s the heavy reliance on media reporting to adduce facts in it.  Examined closely, the complaint offers more points of “fact” drawn from media or other published reporting than from alleged inside information.

3) Trump's choice of security methods also tells us about the reasons for his concerns:

Briefly Noted: Whither The Hillary Email Investigation?

You didn't know there was such an investigation? Yes, well, the wheels of the State Departments internal security process and the ICIG grind slowly but exceedingly fine. It seems the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security has finally finished reviewing three million emails that were found on Hillary's "basement server." They've determined which ones should have been classified and, therefore, not sent to non-secure addresses. Per Zerodedge, Clinton Emailers Rattled After State Department Fires Off 'Culpability Letters' For Homebrew Server Messages:

The State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security has finally finished sifting through millions of emails from Hillary Clinton's controversial 'basement server' - many of which were classified, and/or blind-copied to a Gmail address bearing the name of a Chinese company according to intelligence community inspector general (ICIG) Frank Rucker.

While State Department investigators began contacting former officials around 18 months ago, the probe actually began under President Obama. In recent weeks, the State Department has contacted approximately 130 officials whose emails which went through Clinton's special server have been retroactively classified and may now pose potential security violations, according to the Washington Post.
The flood of letters which began in August read "You have been identified as possibly bearing some culpability" regarding "security incidents," according to the report.

I imagine that's a nasty surprise for those 130 "folks." Indeed, Zerohedge reports that the hearts of "former Obama administration officials" bleed for them:

"It is such an obscene abuse of power and time involving so many people for so many years," said one former US official of the inquiry, adding "This has just sucked up people’s lives for years and years."

Carter Page, George Papadopoulos, Michael Flynn, and Paul Manafort were, apparently, unavailable for comment.

Zerohedge quotes a WaPo report that claims to have reviewed at least some of the materials in question--which seems somewhat remarkable.

"[T]he incidents appear to center on the sending of information attributed to foreign officials, including summaries of phone conversations with foreign diplomats — a routine occurrence among State Department employees." 
And while The Post may have no indication that any of the emails contained sensitive information about classified US initiatives or programs, they don't disclose how many of the underlying emails they reviewed, or who they came from.  
According to the report, many of those contacted in the probe have been found "not culpable" - with many letters reading that investigators "determined that the [security] incident is valid," but that the person did not "bear any individual culpability." 

Briefly Noted: DiGenova And Toensing Worked With Giuliani On Ukraine

So that must mean we should pay attention when they talk about Ukraine, since they likely know a lot about it all. And probably not just what was going on within Ukraine but also Ukraine connected activities within the US. As reported by Chris Wallace:

Rudy Giuliani was not the only attorney trying to get damaging information on Joe Biden from Ukrainian officials, and President Trump’s decision to withhold aid from Ukraine this summer was made in spite of several federal agencies supporting the aid, Fox News’ Chris Wallace revealed on “Fox News Sunday.”
In addition to Giuliani, Washington, D.C., lawyers Joe DiGenova and his wife Victoria Toensing worked alongside the former New York City mayor. According to a top U.S. official, the three attorneys were working "off the books" -- not within the Trump administration -- and only the president knows the details of their work.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

UPDATED: Bernstein: Barr's Case Theory Focuses On Deep State Conspiracy

Pretty much a no brainer, right? We've been on to that here for quite a while. However, it's nice to get confirmation, and to get it from a liberal source who is likely to know what he's talking about. This is certainly part of what the rush to impeach is about--Dems are afraid. Not just generally, although that makes sense--after all, there's no lack of evidence. No, they've taken the measure of Barr, and the man has them scared witless. The Washington Examiner has the story: Carl Bernstein: Sources say William Barr preparing to deliver 'evidence' of a 'deep state conspiracy'.

Veteran investigative journalist Carl Bernstein said his sources are telling him that Attorney General William Barr is preparing to push a "deep state" conspiracy ... 
Bernstein said Barr is trying to "bring about proof that there is a deep state conspiracy that led to" special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation and suggested that this is a story other journalists are chasing. "Barr is trying to deliver — and I have this, as do other reporters from other sources — to deliver evidence that perhaps this has all been a deep state conspiracy just like Donald Trump alleges," he said.

Bernstein appeared to be referencing the Justice Department's review of the origins of the Russia investigation being led by U.S. Attorney John Durham, examining whether there was any misconduct by Justice Department and FBI officials. 
Barr said in May that Mueller did not assess the early stages of the Trump-Russia investigation, which is what he is doing now. "We should be worried about whether government officials abused their power and put their thumb on the scale," he told Fox News. 
Democrats have expressed alarm with the DOJ inquiry, particularly after Trump granted Barr broad authority to declassify information related to the federal investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. For instance, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler called the move part of a "plot to dirty up the intelligence community, to pretend that there's something wrong with the beginning of the Mueller investigation and to persecute and bring into line the intelligence agencies."

I have to wonder whether a major reason that Dems are so scared of Barr is that they suspect he may be the one guy who won't be stopped from following the investigation wherever it goes. Including into the legislative branch.

UPDATE: As if on cue--Pelosi speaking to Mika and Joe-boy: Pelosi Attacks AG Bill Barr – Accuses Him of ‘Going Rogue’ and Committing ‘Cover Up’ For Trump:



Speaker Pelosi says on AG Barr: "He's gone rogue ... I think where they are going is the cover up of the cover up, and that's very really sad for them. To have a Justice Department go so rogue ... now it just makes matters worse."
4:50 AM - 27 Sep 2019

And Nadler:

(((Rep. Nadler)))


The President dragged the Attorney General into this mess.  At a minimum, AG Barr must recuse himself until we get to the bottom of this matter. 
7:39 AM - 25 Sep 2019

Barr scares them witless.

I should probably add here that I won't speculate regarding the reports that AG Barr has spent several days in Italy on official business. It could be this, it could be that, I could have hopes that it has to do with the Russia Hoax, but I haven't seen anything beyond speculation so far.

UPDATED: Leninthink And Impeachment

The other day I did a brief post excerpted from Daniel Greenfield's fine article:

The Disturbing Reason Why the Dems Really Want to Impeach Trump

In the article Greenfield seeks to capture what we could call the animating spirit behind the Leftist drive for impeachment. He finds that spirit in the Left's Will to Power, to dominate, humiliate, and destroy all opposition to their power. Greenfield poses the question, what does the Left really want:

Post-gender bathrooms, banning cows, and paying reparations to drug dealers are just random policies. They’re not the endgame.

His answer (extensively edited) captures that spirit perfectly:

Impeachment is not just meant to be a trial of President Trump, but of the voters who chose him.  
But the real appeal of impeachment is more emotional than strategic.  
"Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship," O'Brien tells the hapless Winston Smith in the novel 1984. "The object of power is power." 
Marxist regimes love show trials because they allow them to destroy and humiliate their enemies. 
"How does one man assert his power over another, Winston?" O'Brien asks.
"By making him suffer," Winston replies. 
The Mueller investigation enraptured lefties with its spectacle of police state tactics, night raids, prolonged interrogations, eavesdropping, and then finally trials that bankrupted their opponents. 
Nothing else, not even winning in 2020, excites the Left as much as the prospect of more show trials. 
Impeaching Trump isn’t about him. It’s a Rorschach test that reveals the ugly inkblot of the leftist soul. Its real purpose is for an ugly totalitarian movement to live out its fantasy of casting aside the vestiges of democracy, divesting itself of the illusions of representative government and holding a show trial. 
Their vision of utopia isn’t equality or progress, it’s trial after trial, an endless series of proceedings against Trump and you and me. The nightmares of the French Revolution, the Soviet Union, Communist China and Pol Pot’s Cambodia weren’t accidental misfires: they’re the essential truth of what the Left is.
Terror is in the political DNA of every radical movement. And the arc of the Left is always radical. 
“Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face--for ever,” 1984’s O’Brien rhapsodizes. 
Impeachment is a feverish effort by the Left to live out this evil fantasy. It’s one of a million show trials that the radicals who are taking over the Democrats envision, not just for Trump, but for America.

But now I urge you to consider that in the context of Leninthink. This is an article that was sent to me by an emailer. The author, Gary Saul Morson, is a professor at Northwestern University, a self confessed "pink diaper baby" and recovering Marxist-Leninist. Morson finds in Lenin the roots of the modern Left's Will to Power--whether they've ever read Lenin (doubtful) or not. I ask you to compare Greenfield's description of the spirit that animates the Left and consider--Is there truly any difference between the Left in America and Leninthink. Consider the events of the past decade, the domination of public life by division and hatred, all ginned up by the Left in order to gain ... Justice? No, Power. Just like man and woman, words for the Left mean only what they want them to mean. And that changes depending on the needs of Power.

It's a long article, but I found it an absorbing read. Here's the concluding paragraph:

When I detect Leninist ways of thinking today, people respond: surely you don’t think all those social justice warriors are Leninists! Of course not. The whole point of Leninism is that only a few people must understand what is going on. That was the key insight of his tract What Is to Be Done? When Leninism is significant, there will always be a spectrum going from those who really understand, to those who just practice the appropriate responses, to those who are entirely innocent. The real questions are: Is there such a spectrum now, and how do we locate people on it? And if there is such a spectrum, what do we do about it?

And with that context in mind there's Angelo Codevilla's sobering article: Igniting Civil War. Never?

UPDATE: The article I'm about to link is quite lengthy and somewhat diffuse. The author is obviously suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome, however his concerns are very much on point with Greenfield:

Meme Wars: How campus Title IX courts’ guilty-until-proven-innocent subversion of due process is a harbinger of a dangerous wider shift in liberalism 
By Wesley Yang
September 24, 2019

Here are two concluding paragraphs:

How the Harvard Law School faculty came to be seen as out on a perilous limb for defending “the most basic principles we teach” is a much larger part of the submerged history of our time than is generally understood. It is a story with which the rise of Donald Trump is fatally intertwined, but it is in fact a story that takes precedence—both temporal and logical—over the anarchic and pathological rise of the demagogue occupying the White House. 
The story, I will argue in this and subsequent columns, is about the rise and bid for hegemony of a new ideology. This ideology is a successor to liberalism. It brandishes terms that superficially resemble normative liberalism—terms like diversity and inclusion—but in fact seeks to supplant it. This new regime, in which administrative power has been fashioned into a blunt instrument of deterrence, marks off a crucial distinction—between the liberal rule of law, and the punitive system of surveillance rooted in identity politics known as “social justice.”

He wants us to believe that the rise of this "new" ideology is not to be blamed on liberalism. Nothing could be further from the truth. The new ideology is simply following out the principles that are inherent in liberalism.

Friday, September 27, 2019

NEWLY UPDATED: About The IC Whistleblower Form

UPDATE: Well, I thought this was simple, but it's not exactly. The ICWPA is actually rather sketchy and, I suspect, is controlled at least in part by the WPA--but I haven't checked that out. Still, I can't believe there are no standards. Obviously changing those standards can't be done overnight without telling anybody. So, we'll have to wait for a bit more clarity.

A Youtube interview of Fred Fleitz is now at the end of the post. Makes all his good points, although I will say up front that I disagree with Fleitz re the whistleblower form itself. He says he approves the new version, but as I make clear, there was a good reason for the exclusion of second hand complaints from whistleblower status.

This is simple, but it's probably a good thing to set some basic concepts out clearly.

Q. Why would the Intel Community form for complainants seeking "whistleblower" status contain verbiage like,

“The Intelligence Community Inspector General [ICIG] cannot transmit information via the ICPWA based on an employee’s second-hand knowledge of wrongdoing ... This includes information received from another person, such as when an employee informs you that he/she witnessed some type of wrongdoing.”  
“If you think that wrongdoing took place, but can provide nothing more than second-hand or unsubstantiated assertions, [the ICIG] will not be able to process the complaint or information for submission as an ICWPA.”

A. Because the form simply reflects--and is specifically designed to reflect--the provisions of the Intel Community Whistleblower Protection Act (ICWPA). From a more substance oriented perspective, the reason for those provisions is obvious: to prevent time wasting gossip and morale sapping witchhunts and personal vendettas.

Q. Well, but, can't you just change the provisions of the ICWPA--so that gossipers are protected, and so the the ICIG can investigate non-IC people, like the POTUS--by changing the form?

A. Are you kidding?

Q. Don't forms get regularly revised?

A. Generally only on a "need to" basis. The substance--the portions that reflect the legal requirements--doesn't change.

Q. But that means that, if the form that the GossipBlower submitted reflects totally different legal provisions from the ICWPA--provisions that are inconsistent with the ICWPA as enacted by Congress, then something went very, very wrong with that revision.

A. Right. Either there was a totally mind boggling screwup  with the revision or, as is more likely, there never was a revision and the form the GossipBlower submitted is, essentially, a forgery.

Q. Wouldn't that mean that the GossipBlower could be in very big trouble for doing that?

A. I think so. I also think that anyone who handled that form--like the ICIG who used to be high up in DoJ's NSD when the NSD was doing things like rubberstamping the Carter Page FISA--should also be in very big trouble.

Q. What should be done?

A. For starters, the GossipBlower and the ICIG need to be sworn in before a Grand Jury--ASAP.

Q. But maybe Congress revised the ICWPA?

A. Don't hold your breath on that one.

UPDATE: Fred Fleitz speaks:

Counterpoint (h/t Monsieur America)--Harmeet Dhillon explains, as I do above, why Fleitz is wrong about grounds for obtaining whistleblower status:

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Oh My! Intel Community Whistleblower Hanky Panky?

The IMPORTANT UPDATE is down the page. Please continue that far. This appears to be a fast developing story.

This looks really suspicious. Sean Davis at The Federalist has a very detailed article just out that explains that the previous requirement that an Intel Community complainant who is seeking "whistleblower" status under the IC Whistleblower Protection Act (ICWPA) needs first hand knowledge was stripped out--to allow for hearsay, gossip, scuttlebut, whatever. That means that anyone IC employee can run to to their favorite Congress critter with gossip--or made up stories--and demand whistleblower status with all the attendant legal protections. What kind of a way is that to run and Intel organization? It's custom made for--framing a President?

The article is Intel Community Secretly Gutted Requirement Of First-Hand Whistleblower Knowledge--Federal records show that the intelligence community secretly revised the formal whistleblower complaint form in August 2019 to eliminate the requirement of direct, first-hand knowledge of wrongdoing. It's detailed, but here are some highlights. Note the timing:

Between May 2018 and August 2019, the intelligence community secretly eliminated a requirement that whistleblowers provide direct, first-hand knowledge of alleged wrongdoings. This raises questions about the intelligence community’s behavior regarding the August submission of a whistleblower complaint against President Donald Trump. The new complaint document no longer requires potential whistleblowers who wish to have their concerns expedited to Congress to have direct, first-hand knowledge of the alleged wrongdoing that they are reporting. 
The brand new version of the whistleblower complaint form, which was not made public until after the transcript of Trump’s July 25 phone call with the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and the complaint addressed to Congress were made public, eliminates the first-hand knowledge requirement and allows employees to file whistleblower complaints even if they have zero direct knowledge of underlying evidence and only “heard about [wrongdoing] from others.”

Here's how the previous form used to read:

McConnell: Senate Trial Would "Immediately" Follow Impeachment

The AP reports:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said months ago that if the House goes ahead and impeaches President Donald Trump, the Senate “has no choice” but to conduct a trial to determine whether the president is removed from office.
The Kentucky Republican told NPR that “if the House were to act, the Senate immediately goes into a trial.” McConnell made the comments long before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the House would begin an impeachment inquiry into the president.

That sounds to me rather like a warning. Mollie Hemingway comments:

"Please, we beg of you, please don't throw us into that Briar Patch," the Republican leader added with a strange smirk. 
12:14 PM - 27 Sep 2019

ADDENDUM: Yesterday I published a Twitter thread by Fred Fleitz taking down the whole "whistleblower" narrative:  "A Grevious Violation Of Trust". Today Fleitz has worked the basic ideas in that Twitter thread into an article in the New York Post  that emailer Jim brought to my attention: Former CIA official on whistleblower: ‘How could this be an intelligence matter?’ Although it's largely an expansion of the basic ideas in the Twitter thread it's worth excerpting it in its new form, especially since Fleitz would be particularly knowledgeable about such matters:

the declassified whistleblowing complaint ... appears to be written by a law professor and includes legal references and detailed footnotes. It also has an unusual legalistic reference on how this complaint should be classified. 
From my experience, such an extremely polished whistleblowing complaint is unheard of. This document looks as if this leaker had outside help, possibly from congressional members or staff. 
Moreover, it looks like more than a coincidence that this complaint surfaced and was directed to the House Intelligence Committee just after Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), an outspoken opponent of President Trump, expressed numerous complaints in August 2019 accusing President Trump of abusing aid to Ukraine to hurt Joe Biden. This includes an August 28 tweet that closely resembled the whistleblowing complaint. 
House Republicans need to ask the whistleblower under oath whether he spoke to the press or Congress about his complaint. 
Also very concerning to me is how the complaint indicates intelligence officers and possibly other federal employees are violating the rules governing presidential phone calls with foreign leaders. 
The content and transcripts of these calls are highly restricted. The whistleblower makes clear in his complaint that he did not listen to a call in question, nor did he read the transcript — he was told about the call by others. If true, intelligence officers have grossly violated the rules as well as the trust placed on them to protect this sensitive information. 
I refuse to believe that the leaking, timing and presentation of this complaint is coincidence. I don’t think the American people will buy this either. 
I’m more worried, however, that this latest instance of blatant politicization of intelligence by Trump haters will do long term damage to the relationship between the intelligence community and US presidents for many years to come.


Stephen Hicks - Postmodern Resentment:

I'm not fully on board with Hicks--I'm no admirer of the Enlightenment, which is the wellspring of Liberalism--but he makes some good points.

The CIA Is Nonpolitical

How do I know this? The NYT tells us so:

Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The New York Times, said The Times was right to publish information about the whistle-blower. “The president and some of his supporters have attacked the credibility of the whistle-blower, who has presented information that has touched off a landmark impeachment proceeding,” Mr. Baquet said. “The president himself has called the whistle-blower’s account a ‘political hack job.’” 
Mr. Baquet added, “We decided to publish limited information about the whistle-blower — including the fact that he works for a nonpolitical agency and that his complaint is based on an intimate knowledge and understanding of the White House — because we wanted to provide information to readers that allows them to make their own judgments about whether or not he is credible. We also understand that the White House already knew he was a C.I.A. officer.”

Rest easy!

An Actual Whistleblower Speaks

Actually he writes: RUMORBLOWER NOT WHISTLEBLOWER. The author is Larry C. Johnson, a former CIA analyst who has collaborated with Bill Binney (NSA whistleblower) in exposing the Crowdstrike fraud regarding the DNC server--which, Donna Brazile has reminded us, was being run basically as a Hillary server. Johnson's blog is somewhat lengthy, but he makes good sense. Here are a few that I want to especially draw attention to. Note that Johnson hits on a point we've been discussing here--the probability that Trump took the Dems totally by surprise by quickly releasing the call transcript and other documentation, preempting what they had hoped would be a long, drawn out public foofaraw. I would also maintain that Trump did this with the full approval of AG Bill Barr, whom the Dems probably fully expected would block such a release, citing executive privilege (my instinctive response). Trump, and Barr, are proving themselves highly skilled at these games and just may have turned the tables decisively. One further comment. Johnson points out the ICIG's utter incompetence. I agree with CTH's assessment that the ICIG was acting maliciously. For details re Michael K. Atkinson, current ICIG, cf. It’s Deja-Vu All Over Again – The Ukraine Effort is Simply “Obstruction 2.0″, which details Atkinson's past in the DoJ National Security Division that approved the fraudulent Page FISA. With that intro, Johnson:

Now that we have seen the whistleblower complaint filed by a CIA officer against President Trump, there should be little doubt that it is a fraud and represents an abuse of the whistleblower process. I know genuine whistleblowers (e.g., Bill Binney, Kirk Wiebe, Ed Loomis, Thomas Drake, John Kiriakou, etc.) and have been one myself. I am familiar with the kind of information one must possess (or should possess) in order to initiate a complaint. This complaint does not even meet the stupid standard. It is a trumped up complaint. 
The whistleblower is supposedly an analyst. Pray to God he is not. If this is an example of this clown's analytical chops then we now know why the CIA has been on the downward slide. Rather than focus on evidence and facts, this guy relied on rumor. 
The egregious conduct of the whistleblower is exceeded by the incompetence of the Intelligence Community Inspector General. When the complaint was filed a competent professional IG would have dismissed it immediately because it was based on hearsay. If we follow his logic, every single Presidential conversation with a foreign leader that involves discussion of a policy or issue an analyst does not support could/should become an IG investigation. That is not an intelligence function no matter how sincerely or fiercely the complainant believes their beef merits attention. 
It would appear that the Democrats who plotted with this CIA officer were counting on Donald Trump to claim executive privilege on his conversation with Ukrainian President Zelensky and, based on the same privilege, withhold the whistleblower complaint. 
Whoops!! Trump did not play ball. He preempted the Democrat Kabuki theater by releasing the relevant documents and transcripts.  President Trump pre-empted the ability of the Democrats to accuse him of illegal acts by citing his refusal to turnover documents. 

Obama's Role And Motive

Don Surber has a new blog up that's fascinating: Obama is behind impeachment. As it happens, just yesterday I was asking myself, as Joe Biden might say, Son of a gun! Where's Obama these days? Surber explains. In Surber's blog, as you'll see, he also quotes Rush Limbaugh at some length--and the focus is on Crowdstrike. Rush sums that angle up admirably. 

Normally I'd summarize a lot of this, but it's an excellent read, so I'm quoting it at length. The explanation for Dem hatred for Giuliani is worth it, alone. But read it all:

Leon Wagener reported in the Daily Mail on March 1, 2017, "Barack Obama is turning his new home in the posh Kalorama section of the nation's capital - just two miles away from the White House -- into the nerve center of the mounting insurgency against his successor, President Donald J. Trump. 
"Obama's goal, according to a close family friend, is to oust Trump from the presidency either by forcing his resignation or through his impeachment. 
"And Obama is being aided in his political crusade by his longtime consigliere, Valerie Jarrett, who has moved into the 8,200-square-foot, $5.3-million Kaloroma mansion with  the former president and Michelle Obama, long time best friends.
"Jarrett played a vital -- if at times low-key -- role in the Obama presidency. She lived in the White House, dined with the Obamas, and help shape his domestic and foreign policies." 
Under Obama, the Democrat Party has become a Racketeer Influence Corrupt Organization. Maybe it always was. 
President Trump may be their Rudy Giuliani, the man who brought down both Marc Rich (a major Democrat donor who sold Iranian oil despite an embargo) and the Genovese and Colombo crime families. Never forget that Rich (pardoned by Clinton for a million bucks) and defeating the Mob are the reasons Democrats hate him. 
Rush Limbaugh said, "Oh! By the way, if I’ve had one, I have had five emails, 'Hey, Rush, hey, Rush, I see people talking about CrowdStrike all over the media now. Congratulations. Thank you.' I was happy to see that myself because Trump mentioning CrowdStrike in that phone call with the Ukrainian president, let me tell you something. You don’t know this. You’re not gonna see this represented, you’re not gonna see the media, the Democrats, react to it. They’re gonna ignore it. 
"But Trump mentioning CrowdStrike, that’s the firm that examined the DNC server after it was hacked in 2015, everybody thinking that the Russians did it. The FBI never examined it. We don’t know who hacked the server. We don’t know that there was a hack. We don’t know that it wasn’t an inside job to release some of the data on that Democrat National Committee server, whoever tried to hack the RNC computers. But they never got into theirs, but the DNC was hacked."
CrowdStrike is owned by Google, which is evil. 
Limbaugh said, "When Trump mentioned CrowdStrike to the Ukrainian president — do not doubt me — what he was really asking, because he specified the business of Biden and his son, he’s really asking the president of Ukraine to help Barr in the investigation of when the Trump-Russia collusion investigation actually began. That’s what Trump wants to know. That’s what Barr is trying to find out." 

UPDATED: Does Hillary Want In?

That's what Thomas Lifson at AmThinker argues: As Biden falters, Hillary attacks Trump and positions herself to enter presidential race. It seems crazy but, crazy is as crazy does (I think I have that right?). Lifson makes an interesting case and concludes with a strong point:

Hillary is betting that Biden’s scalp will suffice to wrap up the Ukraine narrative, and his withdrawal will open the door for her to enter the race as a “moderate” Democrat who can keep the money spigot from Wall Street and the American oligarchs flowing into Democrat coffers.

As we've remarked before, Wall St. is scared witless of Warren. Once you drive donors away from your party, it's not so easy to get them back. If Warren and the rest of the radical Left became the face of the Dem brand, watch out: Wall Street Democratic donors warn the party: We’ll sit out, or back Trump, if you nominate Elizabeth Warren. As Don Surber also remarks this morning, "The dirty little secret is most billionaires are Democrats."

In a related AmThinker piece, Who is responsible for the impeachment circus? Peter Skurkiss argues that Ryan set the stage for these impeachment follies. It's well worth the read, if you want to see the Deep State at work. You might think this is academic at this point, but Skurkiss concludes:

Ryan may not be through, however. According to Vanity Fair, he will be joining the seven member board of the Fox Corporation. which will be run by Rupert Murdoch's eldest son, Lachlan. In this position, Ryan will have a role in, among other things, overseeing Fox News. ... With his position on the board of Fox Corporation, Ryan will now, to some degree, be one of those puppet masters in shadows. Now that's a sobering thought.

And Lifson adds in an update by quoting Vanity Fair:

Among the powerful voices advising Lachlan [Murdoch] that Fox should decisively break with the president is former House speaker Paul Ryan, who joined the Fox board in March. “Paul is embarrassed about Trump and now he has the power to do something about it,” an executive who’s spoken with Ryan told me. (Ryan did not return a call seeking comment.) But a person more sympathetic to Trump has told Lachlan that Fox should remain loyal to Trump’s supporters, even if the network has to break from the man. “We need to represent our viewers,” the source said. “Fox is about defending our viewers from the people who hate them. That’s where our power comes from. It’s not about Trump.”

UPDATE: Oh No… Is She Running Again? Hillary Clinton Has a Full Slate of Media Appearances Next Week

Speculation is starting to grow that the repeatedly failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton may try to run for office once again as she has a full slate of media appearances scheduled next week. 
In the interview with CBS Sunday Morning that is airing this weekend, Clinton said that things happened during 2016 campaign that will not happen again, implying that she may be planning to try again.

Read it all at the link--if you can bear to.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

UPDATED: Just A Reminder: Yes, The Ukraine Hoax Is A Soros Op

Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing were on Hannity tonight, and they offered the useful reminder--this is very much about George Soros and his Open Society Foundation. If you do some searching you'll quickly learn that Soros' involvement in Ukraine runs very deep. Here's an article from two years ago that will give you a flavor for that: Soros-Funded Groups Undercutting Ukraine, Helping Russia. There's lots more out there--it's a big topic.

I got this Joe and Vicky and Sean video from GP. Here's the video and a fuller transcript (I omit Hannity's minimal portion). Toensing's portion is very condensed. What she's saying is that Soros funds a variety of NGOs that are supposed to be corruption watchdogs in Ukraine, but what they really do is smear Soros' competitors.

Joe diGenova: Here's the deal, Sean. Joe Biden shook down the Ukrainian government. It’s very simple. It's not complicated. And they lied about Victor Shokin being corrupt. And Joe Biden's lawyers come in, after Mr. Shokin is fired, and apologize--from records obtained from that law firm--to Mr. Shokin and his representatives for having lied about him. This was a setup and what we’re now seeing is the Democratic party trying to cover that up and therefore you have the whistleblower in the White House come forward--who actually knows nothing--and has created a document with the help of lawyers from other people. This whistleblower needs to go to prison. He doesn’t need to be feted. He needs to go to prison. 
Victoria Toensing: Sean I want to jump in here too. On these false statements how did that work? US and other people made false statements about him. Yeah, that was George Soros funded NGOs who were also in bed with the State Department. They were in bed with each other at the time, in the name of "anti-corruption"--and it [i.e., anti-corruption] really means that Soros goes after his competitors. Now let me bring this full circle. This is my last point here. The whistleblower sprinkles throughout his document footnotes referring to a publication with the initials OCCRP. One guess, Sean, who funds OCCRP. George Soros.
Joe diGenova: Soros’s dirty money is all over this story.

OCCRP stands for Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project and  is funded by the Soros Open Society Foundations.

UPDATE: Here's a link to a Breitbart article that gives quite a rundown on the Soros connection, to Ukraine generally and to the current Ukraine Hoax specifically:

Dossier 2.0: ‘Whistleblower’ Complaint Relies on Soros-Funded ‘Investigative Reporting’ Group that Partnered with BuzzFeed

UPDATED: Impeachment? Be Careful What You Wish For!

I just came across a nice comment (#16) to this post at Free Republic: Democrats eye quick impeachment probe of Trump (Articles vote around Thanksgiving). I didn't bother trying to look the guy up, but it's a useful reminder of what happens after impeachment--and why some Republicans are hoping for it. No doubt the Dems would like to impeach Trump and then go home. But impeachment triggers huge problems for them--problems they will bring on themselves and that they can't avoid. Like these:

1. The House can pass articles of impeachment over the objections of the Republicans, and refer to the Senate for trial. 
2. The Senate will conduct a trial. There will be a vote, and the Republicans will vote unanimously, along with a small number of Democrats, to not convict the President. Legally, it will all be over at that point. 

That's the key. If the House impeaches THERE WILL BE A TRIAL. And it won't be pretty. The Republicans will be totally empowered to cut through the BS we've had to endure up to this point. The Republicans will have every incentive in the world to keep it going as long as possible.

How Corrupt Is The Intelligence Community?

Here's Tony Shaffer speaking to Lou Dobbs two years ago. He says, well, it's only two minutes:

ABC News Forced to Correct ‘Bombshell’ About Trump’s Ukraine Call

The title is Breitbart's: ABC News Forced to Correct ‘Bombshell’ About Trump’s Ukraine Call. It was brought to my attention by an emailer who I assume wants to be anonymous for personal reasons. In fact, I had seen the story but blocked it out as soon as I came to a key name.

Just follow the link for the details. The bottom line is this. ABC had to walk it all back because:

1) Their source wasn't who they said he was, and

2) Their source retracted the main point of the story, reducing it to--ready?--mere gossip.

Really. I'm not kidding.

As John Nolte says:

The central premise of the story has been wiped out by the facts. But, as we all know, ABC News is not a legitimate news organization ...

What Comes Next?

With the tentative identification of the "gossipblower," what should come next is disciplinary action. The Dems will undoubtedly cry "retaliation!" Now, retaliation against whistleblowers is illegal--supposedly--but the "gossipblower" has been determined not to be a whistleblower for purposes of the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act (ICWPA). That won't stop the Dems from raising whatever sort of ruckus they possibly can to obfuscate the true issues and attempt to confuse the public. This seems to me to be a decision that really can't be ducked.

What's going here? My theory is that the NYT's leaking of enough information--at least apparently, at this point--to identify the "gossipblower" is designed precisely to trigger such a kerfuffle. To keep this thing going. But more than that.

Any administration can function effectively only when the president can trust his subordinates. I strongly suspect that the goal is to break that trust and, to the extent possible, disrupt the functioning of the Trump administration. If communications within the administration should be disrupted because of an inability for officials to trust one another, that goal could be accomplished.

The remedy could be--could be--to fight fake news with true news, via Declassification. It will need to be done carefully so as not to prejudice ongoing investigations. However, declassification is not the same as leaks. Official declassification should not be regarded as prejudicial in most circumstances. Determining the specifics will test AG Barr, but this may be one remedy. I offer this as a tentative suggestion.

UPDATED: NYTimes 'Outs' Ukraine-Call "Whistleblower" As CIA Officer

Per Zerohedge:

And sure enough, if The New York Times is to be believed, the complainant is a C.I.A. officer who was detailed to work at the White House at one point, according to three people familiar with his identity. 
The man has since returned to the C.I.A., the people said. 
The NYTimes, of course, puts its spin on the news, claiming that the whistle-blower's expertise will likely add to lawmakers' confidence about the merits of his complaint. However, given the current state of affairs, we suspect it will simply remind a deeply divided nation of the bias and prejudice that exists behind the President's back. 

So the identity is known, at least to three people who leaked to the NYT.

Gina Haspel, watch your back.

UPDATE: CTH believes the CIA officer in question is one Michael Barry

The outlined profile, in combination with the political motive, have led many people to begin searching through: (1) current CIA operatives; (2) who come from the era of Brennan; and (3) were previously assigned to the White House (NSC); and (4) then removed; and (5) then returned to the CIA.  That profile has led to suspicions of identity.

A strong possibility for the identity, a person who checks all the boxes of known attributes, follows a trail to Michael Barry.

Follow the link for more. 

UPDATED: Mitt Romney adviser sits on Burisma board of directors

Payback time?


Failed Presidential candidate Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) has been talking a massive amount of trash about President Trump's phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky - in which Trump urged his foreign counterpart to investigate claims that former Vice President Joe Biden abused his office to help his son, Hunter Biden. 

From American Thinker:
Mitt Romney adviser sits on Burisma board of directors 
By Thomas Lifson 
Well, this is certainly an odd coincidence! In fact, when you dig in, you find an amazing series of coincidences. If you believe in coincidences when the CIA is involved, that is. 
Mitt Romney’s national security advisor in his 2012 campaign -- a career CIA spook who rose to its top levels -- sits on the board of directors of Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company that formerly paid Hunter Biden $50k a month despite his complete lack of credentials or qualifications. 
And it also an odd coincidence that Mitt has as CNN puts it “been a lone Republican voice expressing concern about President Donald Trump's July phone call with Volodymyr Zelensky in which Trump asked Ukraine's President to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his family.” 
Still more oddly coincidental is the background of Mitt’s adviser deep in the CIA, part of the intelligence community that has “six ways from Sunday” in foiling a mere president who might oppose them, according to Chuck Schumer.

There's lots more. Read it all.

UPDATE: Per The Federalist, the CIA guy joined the Burisma board in February 2017 and is still on the board. That means he and Hunter were on the board together for over two years. This guy is Joseph Cofer Black, who prefers to go by the handle Cofer Black. Which alone tells you something, I guess:

According to web archives, top Mitt Romney adviser Joseph Cofer Black, who publicly goes by “Cofer Black,” joined Burisma’s board of directors while Hunter Biden was also serving on the board.
According to The New Yorker, Hunter joined Burisma’s board in April of 2014 and remained on it until he declined to renew his position this past May. Meanwhile, according to Burisma’s website, Black was appointed in February of 2017 and continues to serve on its board. The timelines would indicate that Black and Biden worked together at Burisma, and indeed, web archives from late 2017 show Black and Biden listed simultaneously on the board.

"A Grevious Violation Of Trust"

That's what Fred Fleitz calls the Dem "gossipblower" hoax. And of course he's right. Here's his twitter thread on the subject, nicely unrolled. It repays a close reading:

Fred Fleitz

1/ As a former CIA analyst and former NSC official who edited transcripts of POTUS phone calls with foreign leaders, here are my thoughts on the whistleblower complaint which was just released. . .

2/ This is not an intelligence matter. It is a policy matter and a complaint about differences over policy. Presidential phone calls are not an intelligence concern. The fact that IC officers transcribe these calls does not give the IC IG jusrisdiction over these calls.

3/ It appears that rules restricting access and knowledge of these sensitive calls was breached. This official was not on this call, not on the approved dissem list and should not have been briefed on the call.

.3/ The way this complaint was written suggested the author had a lot of help. I know from my work on the House Intel Commitee staff that many whistleblowers go directly to the intel oversight committees. Did this whistleblower first meet with House Intel committee members?

.4/ It is therefore important that Congress find out where this complaint came from. What did House and Senate intel committee dem members and staff know about it and when? Did they help orchestrate this complaint?

5/ My view is that this whistleblower complaint is too convenient and too perfect to come from a typical whistleblower. Were other IC officers involved? Where outside groups opposed to the president involved?

6/ This complaint will further damage IC relations with the White House for many years to come because IC officers appear to be politicizing presidential phone calls with foreign officials and their access to the president and his activities in the White House.

7/ Worst of all, this IC officer -- and probably others -- have blatantly crossed the line into policy. This violates a core responsibility of IC officers is to inform, but not make policy.

8/ This is such a grevious violation of trust between the IC and the White House that it would not surprise me if IC officers are barred from all access to POTUS phone calls with foreign officials.

YUGE Big Picture Stuff

I just finished reading Conrad Black's excellent article today at American Greatness: Only the People Can Decide. That may not sound like anything out of the ordinary run of current commentary on impeachment, but it it's far more than that.

Then I turned to Don Surber, who quotes portions of Black's article in a must read blog: Deflecting Trump's Iranian success. Again, the title doesn't do credit to the content.

Surber argues that Trump is on the brink. On the brink of pulling of a real deal with Iran. I ask you: If Trump can do that, after all his other successes, what is there to hold him back from accomplishing the objectives that Conrad Black discusses? How will the American electorate treat a party and a media that is consumed with hatred for such a president?

Surber begins his discussion with Trump's mastery of the "illusion of chaos." Using Bolton's presence as misdirection, to keep the mullah's guessing.

Of course the Dems, as always, misunderestimated Trump:

Briefly Noted: Of Fiction And Journalism

For lovers of Victorian literature, Roger Kimball has a delightful article today. I'll provide the full title and subtitle to give you the flavor. The Dems take a swig from The Pickwick Papers: Compare the anodyne narrative of the transcript to the mad impeachment hysteria that has addled the brains of the anti-Trump sorority in the Democratic party. What Kimball does is compare the famous case of Wardell v. Pickwick to the ongoing manifestations of Trump Derangement Syndrome. Here's the jist of it:

The widow Bardell, ‘fat, fair, and forty’, is Mr Pickwick’s landlady. She willfully misconstrues some innocuous comments he makes. Item: ‘Dear Mrs. B., Chops and tomato sauce. Yours, Pickwick.’ Out of such gossamer musing she constructs a proposal of marriage and, when no proposal is forthcoming sues Pickwick for breach of promise. Much hilarity, and not inconsiderable inconvenience, ensues, but it all comes right in the end, at least for Mr Pickwick. 
It’s not so great for Mrs Bardell, but what happens to her is nothing like what is about to happen to the Democrats. Yesterday, Nancy Pelosi announced that the House was opening a ‘formal’ impeachment inquiry. Why? Because the president had a conversation with the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky in July. President Trump congratulated Zelensky on his recent victory and expressed the wish that the US and Ukraine would work together in a spirit of friendship. He noted that the US had an ongoing inquiry into Ukrainian-based efforts to influence the 2016 US presidential election and he asked Zelensky to talk to Attorney General Barr. ‘There are a lot of things that went on,’ Trump said, and ‘I would like you to get to the bottom of it.’ For his part, Zelensky expressed the hope that Rudy Giuliani would be available to help them with the inquiry. Trump is enthusiastic about that idea and notes that ‘there’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great.’

The Democrats, worried like Mrs Bardell about being disappointed, are pretending to see all manner of nefarious things in that innocuous comment. Read the transcript of the call. It’s all chops and tomato sauce.

Read it all, but here's the punch line to this farce:

UPDATED: Tony Shaffer: What The Left Is Most Worried About

In the wake of yesterday's events I may be updating this post multiple times. We'll see. It appears to me that we'll be getting bits and pieces of insight rather than major revelations at this point. Here, Tony Shaffer--a knowledgeable guy--hits the nail on the head:

Tony Shaffer

Verified account

Based on the panicked calls I got from a @washingtonpost reporter yesterday - every 30 minutes - who wanting me to discuss the #Crowdstrike issue, this is what the left is most worried about - Catherine Herridge does a great job here with @LouDobbs breaking down why...Tony Shaffer added,

The “Dirty” Truth

Catherine Herridge talks about crowd strike and the server. 
5:10 AM - 26 Sep 2019

Of course the Left is freaking over the revelation that Barr/Durham are hot on the trail of the Crowdstrike coverup and the truth about the DNC server and "Russian hack." That whole narrative is at the heart of the CIA/FBI con of Intel Assessment--Barr knows this and has taken aim at that heart.

Meanwhile the idiot editorialists at the WSJ think that because "Bill Barr" didn't contact Zelenskyy that somehow means nothing came of the phone call. Durham's team is hard at work--they're the ones doing the nitty gritty investigation. We know that because DoJ confirmed that yesterday at the same time DoJ said Barr never talked to Zelenskyy. Barr is far too smart to go stepping on SoS Pompeo's toes by communicating directly with heads of state. However, Trump's constant references to Barr in the transcript--only Zelenskyy brings up Giuliani--is a strong indication of how highly Trump values Barr. And it was an indication to Zelenskyy and "his people" that Barr and "his people", i.e., Team Durham, have Trump's full backing.

Commenter Titan 28, importantly, points out that the absurd attempt to smear AG Barr as Trump's "personal" lackey--the "whistleblower" says Trump names "Giuliani and Barr" as his "personal representatives"--may well be one of the main points in the entire "whistleblower" narrative. The point reinforces that the Left viscerally fears Barr and knows how important he is to Trump.

Here's how I addressed that in a comment earlier (edited):

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

"Crooked As Hell"? You Be The Judge

Earlier today President Trump told an assemblage of journalists that they were "as crooked as hell." Harsh? Maybe not.

Consider this tweet regarding the call transcript of the conversation between President Trump and President Zelenskyy of Ukraine. Focus on the ellipsis in the third paragraph that's highlighted in blue. That ellipsis represents a gap of 526 words.

Now, I didn't take Alex Griswold's word for it. I followed the link to the article. The passage is slightly different--now. It could have been edited. I didn't bother checking because the effect is the same. Here is the passage as it now appears:

Trump Replaced By Sea Lions

True! 24 hours ago the big story on our local CBS news station was that Trump was virtually impeached and gone. Now that big story has been replaced by the story about the new sea lions at our local zoo. What does Trump have to do to stay in the news? What do Dems have to do to stay in the news?

Stock Market Way Up!

As of this writing. Traders are said to be more interested in trade deals with China than "anything else going on in Washington."

I think that's called "discounting."

Recommended Reading Re Flynn

As if there weren't enough to keep us glued to the internet today, Margot Cleveland has two articles regarding the Flynn case. They're interesting, but I simply have no time to comment. Therefore I've pasted in the full headings, which will give a good idea of the substance.

Virginia Judge Acquits Michael Flynn Business Partner, With Implications For Flynn’s Case
‘This was another case without a crime—brought by prosecutors who were willing to criminalize innocent behavior in furtherance of their own agenda,’ says Sidney Powell.

What’s Inside The Latest Documents From Michael Flynn’s Court Case
We now know more of the strands of SpyGate that Sidney Powell has weaved together since taking over as Michael Flynn’s defense attorney a few short months ago.

OK, in this second article Cleveland believes Sidney Powell thinks she can identify the person who leaked the Flynn phone call with the Russian Ambassador: Comey's friend and top FBI lawyer James Baker.

MULTIPLE UPDATES: Woops! Dems Score Own Goal

And they can't say Trump didn't warn them.

But pardon me while I take another victory lap. Back in Does Paul Mirengoff Have Things Backwards Re Ukraine? I predicted what we would learn, and it's all been confirmed by the call transcript between President Trump and President Zelenskyy of Ukraine. At that time I predicted that what we would ultimately learn is that President Trump was not asking Ukraine to initiate an investigation of Biden, but that he was asking Ukraine to cooperate with the official investigation of the entire Russia Hoax that is being conducted by Attorney General Bill Barr and USA John Durham. And that's exactly what the call transcript confirms.

That would be bad enough for the Dems, but it goes even further. As we'll see in the transcript (below), Trump specifically asks Zelenskyy for Ukraine's help in locating the missing DNC server--the original server, the one that Crowdstrike looked at but that the FBI didn't bother with. [But please refer to Update 3 below!] That is confirmation of what the focus of the investigation is--not specifically Biden but specifically the entire Russia Hoax. This confirms Rudy Giuliani's explanation of what the Biden angle was really about (Giuliani Tells Us What It's All About). Who thinks the Dems really wanted to bring that up again, about the DNC server and Seth Rich? And that the server may be concealed in Ukraine! What's more, this should confirm for all the Barr detractors out there (I'm lookin' at you, sundance!) that Barr and Durham are really determined to get to the bottom of the Russia Hoax--in detail. This could not be worse news for the Dems--except that they probably are already well aware of where Barr's investigation is heading and how thorough it is (as commenter Unknown has been emphasizing lately).

So, I'll paste in the relevant parts of the call transcript. In addition to Trump confirming that there's a US investigation going on and the specific mention of Crowdstrike and the server, please note that it's President Zelenskyy who asks Giuliani to get in touch with him--it appears to be Zelenskyy's attempt at ingratiating himself with Trump, by seeking out Trump's personal attorney. Trump's response is very, very telling. At every mention of Giuliani, Trump is careful to include AG Barr, to keep it on an official footing, not personal. That's all the confirmation you need to know that the investigation under discussion is being led by the US Department of Justice and that Trump is totally aware of the distinction between his private attorney and the DoJ. Trump is supporting his Attorney General and the Department of Justice, but at the same time he's entitled to his private legal team to protect him--both going back and going forward--against the lawfare assaults, both legal and illegal, that have been ongoing since long before his election.

At the beginning of this relevant portion, Trump introduces the topic of Ukraine doing the US "a favor." That favor doesn't involve Biden--it has to do with the DNC server, which Bill Barr is seeking. Note that there's no mention by Trump of Giuliani, but instead "the Attorney General" is brought in as the person who needs to be in touch with the Ukrainian authorities ("you or your people"). Trump is respectful throughout and is placing no pressure on Zelenskyy, except to remind him that the US has been very supportive of Ukraine--in contrast to countries like Germany and France. This is standard diplomatic speak. Again, the focus is very clearly on the big picture of the Russia Hoax.

Giuliani Tells Us What It's All About

Last night, in a long interview with Laura Ingraham, Rudy Giuliani confirmed what I've been maintaining all along (especially in Does Paul Mirengoff Have Things Backwards Re Ukraine?): The Ukraine investigation the US has been pursuing has been pursued for official purposes and is tied directly into the Russia Hoax. It is exposing deep corruption at the FBI and DoJ, led by the highest levels of the Obama administration. The Biden corruption angle is, in itself, a side show except to the degree that it too ties in to the Russia Hoax. This is what Dems are desperate to distract from, to the point of embarking on a virtual suicide mission.

You have to listen closely, but Giuliani explains the connection succinctly, beginning shortly after the 6:30 mark:

Giuliani traces this back to 2016 when, he states, Obama told the Ukrainians to gather dirt on Trump. Biden was Obama's "tsar" for Ukraine. Biden got the Ukrainian prosecutor fired who was investigating his son's corrupt connections--the prosecutor wouldn't play ball. He wanted to attack corruption on behalf of a sovereign Ukraine. Biden then appointed a prosecutor for Ukraine--there's no other way to put it. That prosecutor was one who would play ball with the Obama administration. The prosecutor then went to work doing the work of the Obama administration. That work was to arrange a successor administration to Obama's, headed by Hillary Clinton. To that end the prosecutor started by dismissing a case against an organization (funded by George Soros) that was manufacturing "information" about Trump and Paul Manafort and feeding it to the DNC, through the instrumentality of an FBI agent who now works for Soros.

Laura challenged Giuliani: Why are you doing this investigating instead of the FBI and DoJ? Rudy's response is telling. He directly attacks the FBI but stays away from DoJ and Barr:

Rudy: "We've lost the FBI and who knows what else." 
Laura: "We can't lose the FBI. We have Bill Barr over at Justice. No way we're losing the FBI under Barr."
Rudy: "Their inability to investigate this is astounding. You know how this first came to me? It came to me from this very prominent investigator telling me, for one year they were trying to get this information [Ukraine collusion]. You ask me why I'm doing this? Because the FBI didn't do their job! ... I will show you the statements of five Ukrainians who will tell you, We desperately tried to get the information to the FBI and we were blocked by the [US] ambassador [to Ukraine] who eventually got fired."

This confirms to me that the Barr/Durham investigation is involved in this investigation in a major way, as commenter Unknown has also been maintaining.