Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Recommended Reads: Fear Of Juries And Predictions For 2020

There's a thoughtful article this morning at American Conservative--Why Americans Fear Trial by Jury. As if the testimony of NSA whistleblowers about the government's spying capabilities weren't enough to scare you out of dissent from establishment CW, this article explains why it's such a bad idea to try to explain to twelve of your peers that your innocent of ... whatever. Is this really what Magna Carta was about?

However, I recommend this article in particular because the author gets into the whole concepts of "conspiracy" and "honest services fraud"--which I have suggested as the basis for draining the Swamp that gave us the Russia Hoax and the Mueller Witchhunt. The author critiques those concepts in the context of the college admissions scandal, and the prosecution of the celebrity parents. Here's a relevant excerpt:

The federal charge was not aimed at the acts themselves but merely at a conspiracy to commit a crime—what the great American jurist Learned Hand warned against, calling such charges the “darling of the modern prosecutor’s nursery.” Conspiracy is loved by prosecutors because the defendant does not have to commit a crime, just generally plan something with someone else. In this case, it was about hiring an educational services agent whom the government charged with “honest services” fraud. 
The celebrities themselves did not commit such fraud but “conspired” with the agent “facilitator” to do so. Depriving another of his right to honest services is itself a problematic concept, since, as defense attorney Jeremy Hogan has asked, what if you tip a waiter for a corner table? You would apparently be guilty of depriving other customers of the honest services of that restaurant. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was blunter, asking how is it fair “to prosecute someone for a crime that has not been defined until the judicial decision that sends him to jail.”

Before you jump aboard the St. Antonin Scalia bandwagon, I would caution that the same sainted jurist found FISA and the criminalization of "lying to the FBI" essentially unproblematic. There's more to this whole problem than these two paragraphs suggest.

In the case of the Russia Hoax investigation, I would still maintain that "honest services fraud" is a reasonable way--and often the only way--to effectively prosecute bureaucrats who use their positions to subvert our constitutional order. In the case of the Russia Hoax the conspiracy went far, far, beyond "generally plan[ning] something" to extremely elaborate misdirection of government resources to the purpose of thwarting and subverting our constitutional order. Since the Founding Fathers saw fit to make prosecution for treason basically impossible, yet didn't regard the Constitution as a suicide pact, "conspiracy" and "honest services fraud" still seems to me to be a reasonable means for defending We The People against a runaway government trampling us and the Constitution. Misuse of these prosecutive theories happens, but not in this case. I offer no remedy here for abuses, but the crimes are far too important to allow to slip.


These aren't my predictions--they're Kurt Schlichter's. His reasoning appears in quotes. But quotes from Schlichter are truncated--his originals are much longer. Follow the link.

Here's What's Going To Happen In 2020

10. Trump Will Be Impeached…Yawn: "Sure, some of the useless GOP caucus will make noises about how this clusterfark must be taken seriously because principles and honor and stuff. Saps. They just better take seriously that we in the base will electorally eviscerate them if they vote to convict. Maybe Mitt the Gimp will vote for it because he’s weak and stupid. Maybe Senator Iglookowski (RINO-AK) will too. But in the end, Trump will triumph and yet again humiliate his opponents."

9. The Economy Will Stay Strong,

8. Virginia Will Declare War on Its Citizens: The liberals ... will make it clear to moderates that electing liberals means voting for conflict, ... Look for it to get ugly."

7. Replacing Justice Ginsburg: "... get ready for future Justice Amy Coney Barrett to have to explain that, yes, she likes beer, and no, she didn’t run a rape gang in elementary school."

6. Trans Fascism Backlash: Normal people are getting tired of being told they have to lie and say there are 631 sexes, ...”

5. Pardon This: "We will see the President pardon the victims of Deep State vendettas designed to overturn the election of 2016."

4. Durham’s Indictments: "The investigation into the soft coup is going to turn up wrongdoing that the entrenched leftist bureaucracy can’t shove under the rug anymore."

Here, sadly, Schlichter predicts that major wrongdoers--naming Hillary and Comey--will escape prosecution. He seems to see stopping with leftist foot soldiers rather than going for the generals is acceptable progress toward justice. I don't agree.

3. Foreign Policy Success: Oh boy, this is a big one, currently--a real danger area.

"Iran will continue to destabilize, but we will not go to war – we will neuter the mullahs economically and let the Persian people deal with their oppressors. China has some strengths but many weaknesses – we will exploit those and build a trade relationship based on reciprocity instead of American submission."

Schlichter has other predictions that I find unacceptable.

2. Democrats Will Lose the House:

1. Trump Will Get Reelected: "In the end, Trump will improve on his 2016 Electoral College numbers and win the popular vote too, at which point the liberals will turn against the entire concept of voting."


  1. Here is a read that I recommend:

    Guccifer 2.0: Evidence Versus GRU Attribution, published by Adam Carter on December 20, 2019

    The article argues that Guccifer 2.0 is not a creation of the GRU.

    Rather, Guccifer 2.0 is a creation of someone working inside the USA.

    1. Mike, obviously I haven't had time to read that article--but I will. Right now I want to point out that a commenter to Larry Johnson's article that I cited in Is Guccifer 2.0 A CIA Creation? wrote the following:

      "Have you seen the analysis on Adam Carters' website showing that two-thirds of the malware implanted on the DNC system was compiled AFTER Crowdstrike was brought in to fix the "hack"? This is very consistent with the thesis that Crowdstrike (or CIA working with Crowdstrike) faked the hack."

      Johnson and Carter published the same day, neither acknowledging the other. Dunno what's up with that.

    2. Carter's article provides much information that is not provided in Johnson's article.

      Most importantly, Carter points out various time stamps embedded in various documents and e-mails. Those time stamps indicate that the mischief-makers' computer clocks were set to time zones inside the USA -- not to time zones in Romania or Russia.


      Russian Intelligence does not have infinite resources. Russia has to deal with serious threats inside of Russia and from neighboring countries. Russia is engaged in combat in the Middle East.

      Russia would not waste valuable resources hacking into the DNC's computers in April 2016. Russian Intelligence could collect plenty of information about the election race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders simply by reading newspapers.

      Russian Intelligence's skilled hackers were assigned to hack into computers of Chechen terrorists, the Ukrainian military and Turkish anti-aircraft systems -- not to snoop around in John Podesta's e-mails.


      The people most motivated to snoop around in the DNC's computers were supporters of Bernie Sanders who were angry that the DNC was treating Sanders unfairly.


      Clinton's supporters at the top of the Intelligence Community feared an October Surprise, right before the USA's Presidential election. A secondary fear was a Surprise right before the Democratic Party's convention in July 2016.

      To deal with such a Surprise, preparations were made to mislead the public to believe that any revealed e-mails or documents had been altered by Russian Intelligence. As long as that false belief could be maintained for at least a week or so, the Surprise would be smothered.

      Eventually, the public would learn that no documents or e-mails actually were altered, but by that time the election (or the convention) would have already happened.

    3. In fairness to Johnson--and as I say, I have no idea whether the two authors communicate with each other--Johnson has published in the past in collaboration with Binney, who I believe is the one who did the initial research on the time zones. Binney wrote about that years ago. I'm not denigrating Carter's article. Carter--a pseudonym--was also active in investigating all this pretty much from the beginning.

    4. What's more likely:
      1) that Guccifer, which claimed credit for hacking the DNC, was ordered or allowed by Putin to do this, and then ADMIT it, or
      2) that Guccifer was controlled by someone else, who "admitted" to have done it, and arranged for Guccifer to be pinned in GRU/ Putin?

      This question should all but answer itself.

    5. Just wanted to add a few observations.

      I believe that commenter you referenced, Mark, was slightly mistaken: Crowdstrike published some malware samples from the DNC (presumably not an exhaustive set of malware samples), and of those samples they published, Stephen Mcintyre and Adam Carter discovered two thirds had compiled after Crowdstrike had installed its software. The finding is pretty damning, and in my view implies at least one of two things: (1) Crowdstrike's software is garbage, and/or (2) Crowdstrike was in some way complicit with the "Fancy Bear" hacks.

      Regarding the time zones, I don't know which researcher (Binney, Mcintyre, Forensicator, Adam Carter, or someone else) was the first to notice them, but several have made independent discoveries of US-time zone indicators since then--Mcintyre discovered a US-time zone indicator in Guccifer 2.0's emails, Forensicator discovered numerous indicators in the metadata of the Guccifer 2.0 document dumps, Adam Carter was the first to notice (I believe) that Guccifer 2.0's twitter and blogging activity reflected normal US working hours (and, simultaneously, nighttime hours in Moscow). I personally don't recall reading about Binney's work on the time zones (though of course I am aware of his work proving the DNC emails were at some point in transit to Wikileaks via a flashdrive).

      An interesting sidenote: I've done my best to reconstruct DCLeaks twitter activity (thank God for the internet archive!), and came to a similar conclusion that Adam came to regarding Guccifer 2.0--whoever was running DCLeaks was usually operating in US working hours/Russian nighttime hours.

      Finally, while I have a lot of respect for Larry Johnson, I'm not yet convinced that CIA hackers were responsible for Guccifer 2.0/DCLeaks. CIA involvement wouldn't surprise me one bit--but I find it slightly more plausible that if the CIA wsa involved, it was in a supervisory role, leaving the dirty "hacking" and "dissemination" work to Crowdstrike employees and/or Ukrainian hackers.

      Minimally, I suspect that the hacking that gained entry and the ensuing material exfiltration was the work of Ukrainian hackers--which is a theory that the Independent Article you previously commented on, Mark, suggests Bill Barr ascribes to.

      I'll grant that it is slightly more plausible that the CIA was involved in the dissemination of material through DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0, given all of the time zone discoveries (which are prima facie more consistent with a CIA officer in the states than hackers in Ukraine). The same could be said, however, for Crowdstrike employees. Hopefully Barr and Durham have already unveiled the truth behind these matters.

    6. I can't claim to be an expert on these things. My tendency is very much toward Mike Sylwester's.

      This is the first article I recall reading on this issue:

      A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year’s DNC Hack
      Former NSA experts say it wasn’t a hack at all, but a leak—an inside job by someone with access to the DNC’s system.

  2. Why should the coup folks be punished?

    It is apparent that not only Democrats think such things are fine, but so do some Republicans and the American public, in general, does not really care.

    1. I quite doubt, that more than "a handful" of Repubs do not really care about the coup perps getting theirs.

  3. Try them by tribunal like in Lincoln's killing.

    Rob S

  4. Regarding Trans Fascism Backlash, I now have a bit more hope, that a Backlash is gaining ground, not only vs. Trans Fascism, but vs. the whole Lefty tantrum vs. DJT and his backers.
    At ,
    the WaPo and NYT wheels are quoted as telling NBC that

    "we have to do a much better job, I agree with what Marty said, understanding some of the forces that drive people in parts of America.... that maybe are not as powerful in New York or Los Angeles. We have to do a better job understanding why some people support Donald Trump."

    Before this, I was betting that the Lefty elites would continue to ratchet up, the HATE of all supporters of the White Patriarchy, this personified by DJT.
    In my view, the Republic's survival hinges on moderate liberals following guys like Dersh, in his defying the drift of this Lefty hate (e.g. in the film No Safe Spaces).
    For Baron and Baquet to both imply, that they've not been
    understanding of why some people support DJT, makes me hope that powerful folks, who respect Dersh etc., have been giving these MSM elites a juicy earful.

    Happy New Year to Mark, and all who contribute here!

    1. It's hard to see how this degree of craziness can continue indefinitely.

    2. I cancelled my NYT subscription (again). They came back offering $1 a week. No go.

      At some point Sulzberger will have to say to Baquet that the present course is (business) suicide.


    3. Is it really Sulzberger who runs this, or is it Slim who really gets the real word to Baquet?

  5. Re the 'extremely elaborate misdirection of government resources...'

    Imagine how much has been spent on the totality of the Russia Hoax.

    All of the misuse of Obama Administration resources devoted to constructing, managing and covering up the Hoax (salaries of dozens of govt employees, travel, meetings, other work undone)

    Payments to CHSs (Halper, Sater, Mifsud, Downer, etc, etc)

    Misuse of donated DNC and Clinton Campaign funds for payments to Steele, Fusion GPS and Crowdstrike

    The cost of the Mueller investigation and report

    The cost of Operation Crossfire Hurricane

    The cost of misuse of Congressional resources in investigating the Hoax (Not only the cost of Nunes investigation but the cost of the numerous misdirections by Schiff, Nadler, Pelosi and the SSCI)

    The cost of the set up of the Ukraine Hoax and the fake Whistleblower complaint.

    The cost of the Horowitz investigations and reports and follow up.

    The cost of the prosecutions, defenses and appeals of Flynn, Manafort, PapaD, and Stone, as well as numerous potential prosecutions under the radar.

    The cost of the Impeachment process, including the opportunity cost of the Democratic House focusing on a fake impeachment at the expense of legitimate legislative initiatives.

    The cost to the Trump Administration of lost opportunities while defending against innumerable fake charges of collusion, etc.

    The costs of the unfolding Durham investigation and the prosecutions to come.

    Anybody want to take a guess at the total number?

    And it was all fake. All. Fake.

    (Its a good thing the Treasury has a printing press. Not.)

    1. It really must be phenomenal. All those resources devoted to bringing down Trump.

  6. "All those resources devoted to bringing down Trump."

    Yes. And devoted to what will likely turn out to be the largest coverup of government wrongdoing in the history of the nation.

    While I'm typing I'll add that my 'New Year's Resolution' (if you can call it that) is the hope that Durham's investigation will uncover conclusive evidence of the treacherous and co-ordinated conspiracy of Brennan and Comey...and Weissmann and Mueller...and Schiff and Nadler...and Obama and the Clintons.

    I have worked too damn hard for too many decades, and in good faith have paid over millions of honestly earned dollars in taxes, to see a handful of criminals burn this country down.

    Too strong? I think not.

    1. Well said. It's a legit question: No matter what comes out, how much will be covered up?