Saturday, May 16, 2020

Matt Taibbi On The Flynn Case And The Debacle Of Progressive Fascism

Progressive Fascism? Of course! Surely you recall the New Deal love affair with Mussolini? Oh, you didn't learn about that in your government school? Well, whatever. The Left has long had a thing for authoritiarianism, whereby the better class of people--somehow always themselves--would exert expert rule over the masses. Their vision is almost like a Revolt Against The Masses.

Matt Taibbi is disillusioned with his Progressive friends and their abandonment of civil liberties:

Democrats Have Abandoned Civil Liberties
The Blue Party’s Trump-era Embrace of Authoritarianism Isn’t Just Wrong, it’s a Fatal Political Mistake

Taibbi frames this issue in the context of the Flynn case, and it makes for a read that I heartily recommend, although it's easy to tire of Lefty schadenfreude. Nevertheless, Taibbi is a good writer and gets some excellent licks in. Here are two samples to whet your appetite:

Emmet G. Sullivan, the judge in the case of former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, is refusing to let William Barr’s Justice Department drop the charge. He’s even thinking of adding more, appointing a retired judge to ask “whether the Court should issue an Order to Show Cause why Mr. Flynn should not be held in criminal contempt for perjury.” 
Pundits are cheering. A trio of former law enforcement and judicial officials saluted Sullivan in the Washington Post, chirping, “The Flynn case isn’t over until a judge says it’s over.” Yuppie icon Jeffrey Toobin of CNN and the New Yorker, one of the #Resistance crowd’s favored legal authorities, described Sullivan’s appointment of Judge John Gleeson as “brilliant.” MSNBC legal analyst Glenn Kirschner said Americans owe Sullivan a “debt of gratitude.” 
One had to search far and wide to find a non-conservative legal analyst willing to say the obvious, i.e. that Sullivan’s decision was the kind of thing one would expect from a judge in Belarus. 
The acts at issue are calls Flynn made to Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak on December 29th, 2016 in which he told the Russians not to overreact to sanctions. That’s it. The investigation was about to be dropped, but someone got the idea of using electronic surveillance of the calls to leverage a case into existence. 
In a secrets-laundering maneuver straight out of the Dick Cheney playbook, some bright person first illegally leaked classified details to David Ignatius at the Washington Post, then agents rushed to interview Flynn about the “news.”
“The record of his conversation with Ambassador Kislyak had become widely known in the press,” is how Deputy FBI chief Andrew McCabe put it, euphemistically. “We wanted to sit down with General Flynn and understand, kind of, what his thoughts on that conversation were.” 
A Laurel-and-Hardy team of agents conducted the interview, then took three weeks to write and re-write multiple versions of the interview notes used as evidence (because why record it?). They were supervised by a counterintelligence chief who then memorialized on paper his uncertainty over whether the FBI was trying to “get him to lie” or “get him fired,” worrying that they’d be accused of “playing games.” After another leak to the Washington Post in early February, 2017, Flynn actually was fired, and later pleaded guilty to lying about sanctions in the Kislyak call, the transcript of which was of course never released to either the defense or the public. 
Warrantless surveillance, multiple illegal leaks of classified information, a false statements charge constructed on the razor’s edge of Miranda, and the use of never-produced, secret counterintelligence evidence in a domestic criminal proceeding – this is the “rule of law” we’re being asked to cheer.


  1. The Central Park Five were allowed to withdraw their confessions of committing gang rape.

    1. It's not that uncommon. What Sullivan is doing is a clear abuse. That Flynn should have to wait to go through an appeals process that will take many months and cost huge amounts of money--all for political reasons--is an outrage.

      I suppose you could argue, easily enough, that there has never been equality before the law in the US (or most other places). But when outrage dies and is replaced, at least on one side, by glee ...

    2. And the gleeful side is the one that, by and large, controls most of the levers of power in our society. Their glee is a function of their desire to smack down anyone who would talk back.

  2. Why exactly are 302s unsupported by audio recordings?

    1. It started out in the old days before easy recording--or possibly any recording. At the time it was rather advanced, but it has persisted largely because prosecutors like it. It allows them to play all sorts of games in plea bargaining.

      The reality is that it doesn't make that much difference in most cases, for a variety of reasons. But when you get a huge team of prosecutors and agents with the full weight of the government behind them on a mission to get scalps ...

    2. How is it conceivable that Flynn could possibly be convicted based on a doctored revision of an interview he nor counsel were ever allowed to see? Its Kafkaesque. What country, what century is this?

  3. The prog-left starts smearing Taibbi in 3...2...1...

    1. Yeah, Forbes, but the page containing Taibbi's post has numerous helpful reader's comments (in different ways, e.g. on lockdowns as a killer issue vs. Dems):

      Sam: ... Democrats making very short-sighted political plays, without any regard for the fact that they'll be bitten in the ass, when their turn comes around.
      Some examples - burning Robert Bork's and (Miguel) Estrada's nominations; eliminating the filibuster; attempting to burn Kavanaugh's nomination; the long-term consequences of impeachment, over strictly non-criminal charges are still TBD....

      Ydxr: Thanks for finally stating the obvious. IDGAF about Flynn, but the Dem policy of *unending* lockdowns/ surveillance + sneering at/shaming everyone who protests it, has this lifelong liberal seriously losing her mind....
      Like am I supposed to vote for the party that runs concentration camps for immigrant kids, or the party that's putting me under *house arrest* until the *magic vaccine* shows up?

      Seth: FYI the migrant facilities were *built by the Obama* admin. Trump didn't create the policy, he just expanded it.

      richard40: Trump could have used the virus scare to *take over the whole country*, but other than a few misguided 6 weeks on mitigation forever, when he was listening to the deep state leftie fraud Fauci (who the lefties all wanted to be our dictator), he did not.
      But a dem prez would have use that opportunity to take over everything, and *become a new Stalin*."

    2. See Gov Newsom and Gov Whitmer.

      - TexasDude

    3. And IL's Fatass, and his ally Groot.

  4. O/T. In line with the ca 25 earthquake, my 27 year-old son told me today his hard-left buddy grudgingly admitted he's starting to agree with the Right on opening up.

    1. I'm surprised I haven't seen more commentary about ca-25.

    2. Me too, but my guess is the Dems are continuing to drink the Orange Man Bad KoolAid Echo Chamber, that assures them they will get all three branches in November, and that the only people who want to open up are deplorables, since "Scientists" assure them it's too soon to reopen till we have a vaccine.

      And that ObamaGate will be ignored before the election, just as Clinton Cash, Fash & Furious, Clinton Emails, Aswan Brothers, Benghazi, IRS Targeting, etc have been buried by the press.

      >I'm surprised I haven't seen more commentary about
      > ca-25.