20 thoughts on “News/Politics 2-6-18

  1. We shall see……


    “Anyone who signed off on warrants from FISA under false pretenses had better find him or herself a lawyer.

    On Friday the FBI lost the first big battle in its war to conceal its actions during the 2016 presidential campaign when the White House declassified and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (“HPSCI”) released its four-page memorandum detailing a pattern of abuse of power by the FBI and senior Department of Justice officials.

    The FBI has said the Memo is inaccurate because it doesn’t state all of the relevant facts. Fine. If there is more to see, it should be declassified and disclosed. The Democrats are utterly panicked by the Memo because it clearly undercuts the justification for special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged collusion between Russia and Mr. Trump’s campaign.”

    “A couple of analogies come to mind. What if a neighbor you’re feuding with about a fence line wrote a letter to the local police chief accusing you of peddling drugs, and the police chief used that accusation to get a search warrant of your house?

    Or what if you’re a politician and your opponent in the next election accuses you of embezzlement, a hostile reporter writes a story about the accusation, and the FBI got a search warrant to wiretap your telephones, intercept your emails, and search for your bank accounts on the basis of the accusation and the news story?

    Those examples are no different from what the FBI did in the Page FISA warrant applications. Using uninvestigated, unverified information as a basis to violate your Fourth Amendment rights would be, as it was in the case of Page, an abuse of law enforcement powers.

    The FISC almost never denies FBI requests for warrants. As it should it routinely grants surveillance warrants on suspects who have connections to terrorist groups and hostile foreign governments. But the court’s experience here will — and should — make its judges wary of granting warrants on the basis of what the FBI puts before the court. That could endanger American lives and national security.

    The abuse of power by law enforcement and intelligence agencies is one of the greatest dangers to democracy in America. It’s also nothing new. The FBI’s first director, J. Edgar Hoover, built private files on prominent American citizens, reportedly to use them for political blackmail.

    Presidents can abuse power by using those forces against political opponents. Richard Nixon came very close using the IRS for that purpose but was apparently talked out of it by his advisers. The Watergate break-in and cover-up were Nixon’s downfall.

    What the Memo recounts was worse, a far greater abuse of power that was aimed to threaten our system of government.”


  2. Scrub it down good…..


    “House Speaker Paul Ryan called Tuesday to “cleanse” the FBI as he openly backed the release of a controversial memo that purportedly details alleged surveillance abuses by the U.S. government.

    “Let it all out, get it all out there. Cleanse the organization,” Ryan, R-Wis., said.

    He added: “I think we should disclose all this stuff. It’s the best disinfectant. Accountability, transparency — for the sake of the reputation of our institutions.”

    The striking remarks came at a breakfast with anchors and reporters ahead of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address; much of the session was off the record.

    Ryan spoke on the record to address the controversy over the House Intelligence Committee voting late Monday to make public the surveillance memo.

    Ryan said “we should disclose,” and “disclosure is the way to go.”

    He said problems at the FBI and the Justice Department should be cleaned out, while “covering up mischief would be worse.””


  3. Did the FBI violate Woods Procedures, which ironically, were written by Mueller?

    Sure looks like it, and said violations appear to implicate quite a few big names.


    “Woods Procedures

    Woods Procedures were named for Michael Woods, the FBI official who drafted the rules as head of the Office of General Counsel’s National Security Law Unit. They were instituted in April 2001 to “ensure accuracy with regard to … the facts supporting probable cause” after recurring instances, presumably inadvertent, in which the FBI had presented inaccurate information to the FISA court.

    Prior to Woods Procedures, “[i]ncorrect information was repeated in subsequent and related FISA packages,” the FBI told Congress in August 2003. “By signing and swearing to the declaration, the headquarters agent is attesting to knowledge of what is contained in the declaration.”

    It’s incredible to think of how many FBI and Justice Department officials would have touched the multiple applications to wiretap Trump campaign adviser Carter Page — allegedly granted, at least in part, on the basis of unverified and thus prohibited information — if normal procedures were followed.

    The FBI’s complex, multi-layered review is designed for the very purpose of preventing unverified information from ever reaching the court. It starts with the FBI field offices.

    According to former FBI agent Asha Rangappa, who wrote of the process last year in JustSecurity.org, the completed FISA application requires approval through the FBI chain of command “including a Supervisor, the Chief Division Counsel (the highest lawyer within that FBI field office), and finally, the Special Agent in Charge of the field office, before making its way to FBI Headquarters to get approval by (at least) the Unit-level Supervisor there.”

    At FBI headquarters, an “action memorandum” is prepared with additional facts culled by analytical personnel assigned to espionage allegations involving certain foreign powers.

    Next, it goes to the Justice Department “where attorneys from the National Security Division comb through the application to verify all the assertions made in it,” wrote Rangappa. “DOJ verifies the accuracy of every fact stated in the application. If anything looks unsubstantiated, the application is sent back to the FBI to provide additional evidentiary support – this game of bureaucratic chutes and ladders continues until DOJ is satisfied that the facts in the FISA application can both be corroborated and meet the legal standards for the court. After getting sign-off from a senior DOJ official (finally!).”

    There’s more

    But there are even more reviews and processes regarding government applications for wiretaps designed to make sure inaccurate or unverified information isn’t used.

    In November 2002, the FBI implemented a special FISA Unit with a unit chief and six staffers, and installed an automated tracking system that connects field offices, headquarters, the National Security Law Branch and the Office of Intelligence, allowing participants to track the process during each stage.

    Starting March 1, 2003, the FBI required field offices to confirm they’ve verified the accuracy of facts presented to the court through the case agent, the field office’s Chief Division Counsel and the Special Agent in Charge.

    All of this information was provided to Congress in 2003. The FBI director at the time also ordered that any issue as to whether a FISA application was factually sufficient was to be brought to his attention. Personally.

    Who was the director of the FBI when all of this careful work was done?

    Robert Mueller.”


  4. What the clip doesn’t show is the audience cracking up at this comment.
    Just kidding! They’re Canadians; they lap this stuff up!!!

    Dreamy AND enlightened? Yes, he is both! Oh and he loves abortion. Like reeealllly loves it.


  5. Interesting inter-generational discussion the other day in the newsroom about the meaning of cisgender — the young ones roll their eyes at some of their older colleagues’ sad un-coolness. 🙂


  6. If it’s uncool not to know the terminology of their delusional, made-up names and sexes for each other, then that’s cool, I won’t be.

    I refuse to play along with such nonsense.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I remember when it occurred to me that using the term “heterosexual” was going along with the lie that “There are two types* of people.” Using the term “heterosexual” was validating homosexuality. How? We don’t speak of “thieves” and “non-takers” as two separate types of people, we use the word “thief” to mean someone who has stolen and broken from correct actions. When we speak of fornication or adultery or homosexuality as different ways one can sin sexually, that’s a whole different matter from asking “Are you heterosexual or homosexual, or bisexual, or . . . ?” That question suggests they are all valid choices/identities. “Cisgender” does the same thing. But unfortunately we already fell into that trap by accepting “heterosexual” as a legitimate word.

    * Now we’re up to about 52, I think.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Hmmmm….


    “Via WaPo:

    “Having reviewed hundreds and hundreds of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant applications as the final stop between the FBI and the desks of Attorneys General William French Smith and Edwin Meese III, I read the Nunes memo as revealing one major fact that stands out above all other revelations: The FISA warrant for surveillance on Carter Page (and the three subsequent renewals of the warrant) omitted a material fact. While the FBI admitted that the information came from a politically motivated source, the bureau did not disclose that the source had been financed by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. That is a damning omission.

    My job reviewing those warrants existed because prior to the establishment of a National Security Division at the Justice Department, a special assistant to the attorney general with the appropriate clearances had the job of making sure the attorney general did not sign off on a warrant application that got bounced back from the FISA court. Such a rejection had never happened before I got there, didn’t happen while it was my job and has happened only a handful of times since. That record is in large part because of trust developed between the FISA courts and the FBI and Justice Department over decades, especially the respect accorded the counterintelligence professionals at the bureau. That trust has now been injured.

    Upon publication of the Nunes memo, a retired federal judge emailed me: “There is not an officer of the court in the land who in the context of this particular application to the FISA court should not have identified the source of the information as having been the [Democratic National Committee] and the Clinton Campaign. If I had granted the application and then subsequently learned that the information was sourced to the DNC and the Campaign, I would have rescinded the authorization and issued a show-cause order to the Government to explain who and why this sourcing was not made known to the court. The fact (if it be that) that the Government told the court that it was a political source, but did not identify who, in this particular instance, is highly probative that the Government purposely misled the court.””


  9. It all comes back to the top. Clinton and Obama. And I warned everyone when Obama changed these laws that it was for nefarious purposes, the only reason anyone would have to do so.


    “In this context, one of the final executive orders of the Obama administration takes on new significance. Shortly before leaving office, Obama abruptly issued yet another expansion of the Reagan-era Executive Order 12333, dramatically enlarging some 17 government agencies’ legal authority to surveille U.S. citizens — an order that had followed even earlier expansions of the number of officials privy to surveilled information. Why such a radical move in the last days in office?

    The practical intent of that order might have been inadvertently contextualized by Evelyn Farkas, a former assistant deputy secretary of defense. On MSNBC’s Morning Joe show, she blurted out:

    I was urging my former colleagues and — and frankly speaking, the people on the Hill, it was more actually aimed — aimed at telling the Hill people, “Get as much information as you can, get as much intelligence as you can before President Obama leaves the administration.” Because, I had a fear that somehow that information would disappear with the senior people who left. So it would be hidden away in the bureaucracy that the Trump folks, the Trump folks, if they found out how we knew what we knew about their, the staff, the Trump staff’s dealing with Russians, that they would try to compromise those sources and methods, meaning we would no longer have access to that intelligence. So I became very worried, because not enough was coming out into the open, and I knew that there was more. We have very good intelligence on Russia. So then I had talked to some of my former colleagues, and I knew that they were trying to also help get information to the Hill.

    What exactly did she mean by “how we knew what we knew about their, the staff, the Trump staff’s dealing with Russians”? Was the DOD also privy to FISA-ordered surveillances, or did DOD staffers simply read the passed-around Steele dossier and other memos?

    What Farkas was probably outlining was an eleventh-hour attempt to leak, perhaps improperly and illegally, surveillance and classified gossip to as many government agencies as possible as well as sympathetic congressional leaders, in hopes that the information would flood out (as it did) before the incoming Trump administration could stop such illicit dissemination of improper government surveillance.

    At some distant point, investigators and the media will conclude that the nexus of wrongdoing was likely Barack Obama himself. Aside from the massaged investigations of Hillary Clinton’s wrongdoing, during the election of 2016 and the Trump transition of November 2016 to January 2017, Obama allowed his DOJ and the FBI to manipulate the FISA courts to surveille an American citizen and indirectly target others. He then made sure such data were disseminated among as many administration hands as possible. And he further allowed his subordinates to unmask surveilled citizens, whose identities and (in some cases conversations) were ultimately leaked to news organizations.

    That was a process of leaking and sensationalism that sought first to damage the Trump campaign. Ultimately, it succeeded in creating overwhelming public and official Washington pressure to justify James Comey’s later efforts to angle for the appointment of a special counsel.

    The House Intelligence Committee’s “phase one” memo, as Nunes has described it, limits itself to the likely wrongdoing of DOJ and FBI officials.

    One would expect that phase two and beyond would examine the nature of the surveillance itself, the number of Obama intelligence and political officials who had access to such information, the exact requests of named officials to unmask Trump associates, and the correlations of such unmasking with the roughly simultaneous appearance of such names in the media.”


  10. Adam Schiff has been punked. 🙂

    And he’s always claiming it’s was collusion when Russians offered the Trump campaign dirt on Hillary, so why isn’t it when Adam did it? Perhaps Mueller needs to expand his target list.


    “EXCLUSIVE: Adam Schiff sent his staff to try and collect ‘classified materials for the FBI’ after Russian pranksters told him Putin has NAKED blackmail pictures of Trump

    Adam Schiff, the ranking Democratic member of the House Intel Committee was recorded speaking to Russian pranksters who spun elaborate ‘kompromat’ tale

    He told Vocan and Lexus, two radio pranksters who have also hit Nikki Haley, that he would pass their claims to the FBI in a call made last year

    The duo posed as a fake Ukrainian politician to say Trump had sex with Russian glamour model Olga Buzova after a Miss Universe pageant in 2013

    In the call they said Putin had been passed naked pictures of Trump and now-president had used secret codes for talks with Russians

    Duo gave emails to DailyMail.com which showed Schiff’s staff trying to arrange to collect ‘classified’ documents from Ukraine’s embassy in D.C.

    Schiff’s office claimed he was not fooled by the call and reported it to ‘authorities’ but did not explain why his staff kept up correspondence

    Call posted in April 2017 surfaced as Schiff waits to see if Trump will declassify his Democratic version of the Devin Nunes memo which shamed the FBI”

    Now who was colluding….. 🙂


  11. It proves what I already knew. Schiff is a tool.

    Read the transcript of the calls, if you have any doubt. Some super secret stuff here, code words and everything. 🙂


  12. Another narrative fail for Schiff and Democrats, as well as the media.


    “Department of Justice court records from 2015 have provided details about how Carter Page cooperated with FBI agents in exposing Russian spies working inside the United States.

    The court records in question come from a sealed complaint deposed by Special Agent Gregory Monaghan. In the complaint, Monaghan attested to how Page was the target of efforts by Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) agents Igor Sporyshev and Victor Podobnyy to recruit sources in New York City.”

    “Monaghan followed this up by detailing how Page cooperated with FBI officials in telling them about his contact with Podobnyy:

    On or about June 13, 2013, Agent-2 and I interviewed Male-1. Male-1 stated that he first met VICTOR PODOBNYY, the defendant, in January 2013 at an energy symposium in New York City. During this initial meeting, PODOBNYY gave Male-1 PODOBNYY’s business card and two email addresses. Over the following months, Male-1 and PODOBNYY exchanged emails about the energy business and met in person on occasion, with Male-1 providing PODOBNYY with Male-1’s outlook on the current and future of the energy industry. Male-1 also provided documents to PODOBNYY about the energy business.

    The information above formed a part of the DOJ and FBI’s basis for charging Sporyshev and Podobnyy with conspiracy to violate the Foreign Agents Registration Act, as the rest of Monaghan’s sealed complaint goes on to detail.

    So, if Carter Page was acting as a foreign intelligence agent for Russia as far back as 2013, as has been repeatedly implied by mainstream reports, why did FBI agents at the time not see him as such? Based on the information provided above, it seems perfectly plausible that Page thought he was developing a relationship with someone who was a legitimate business contact. If Page had illegally or unethically shared sensitive information with Podobnyy, why would Monaghan have omitted this given that such an action by Page would have strengthened the FBI’s case against Sporyshev and Podobnyy?

    Another question raised by these documents concerns why Comey’s FBI would have considered Page to unquestionably be a Russian agent: If Page cooperated with the FBI in 2013 and provided them information that ultimately aided the DOJ’s successful prosecution of a third Russian spy who had worked with Sporyshev and Podobnyy (Evgeny Buryakov), why would Russian intelligence have trusted Page enough to hire him as an asset in a major intel operation directed against the U.S. government and one of its major political parties? Wouldn’t Russian intelligence have put out a notice to avoid Page as an unreliable and potentially dangerous contact?

    In order to answer these questions, the public needs to see more of the classified materials that first sparked the Trump-Russia collusion investigation. If there is concrete evidence that Page was in the employ of the Kremlin while he was an advisor to the Trump campaign in 2016, the American people deserve to know. If not, then that spells a great deal more trouble for anyone who authorized the FISA warrants against Page.”

    So once again their justification for the FISA warrants appear less than truthful.


  13. Solar
    Most people on both the right and left in Canada tend to view Trudeau as a shallow feel good entitled trust fund baby. But the vast majority in the middle vote for him because he makes them feel good without any radical change.

    As for abortion; its been about 35 years and several prime ministers both Liberal and Conservative since Canada has had an abortion law. Trudeau has nothing to do with it….his posturing is for votes only. There’s no effort to change things. Most people realize you can’t enforce a morality through state violence. In any event, Canadian abortion rate is similar to the US and like the US is in decline. Laws make little difference in terms of abortion rate.


  14. There are no abortion laws in Canada. Trudeau likes to play the fear card ie the Conservatives will somehow change it even though under 8 years of PM Harper nothing changed. If he succeeds in casting the Conservatives as reactionaries bent on taking away rights, he will continue to win the vast majority of centrists votes. Also he is a pretentious rich man child and this rhetoric makes him feel good.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. “Trey Gowdy suggests Clinton operative Sidney Blumenthal fed info to Steele weeks before election

    Russia collusion smear campaign looking more and more like a Clinton operation.”


    “Trey Gowdy was interviewed on Fox News tonight by Martha MacCallum:

    During an interview on Fox News, Gowdy was asked by Fox News’ Martha MacCallum about whether “weeks before the election, somebody in the Obama State Department was feeding information from a foreign source to Christopher Steele.” MacCallum had previously asked a question on whether Gowdy knew anything about “a source who gave an unnamed associate of Hillary and Bill Clinton who then gave information to an unnamed official in the Obama state department who then gave the information to Steele.”

    “When you hear who the source, one of the sources of that information is, you’re going to think, oh, my gosh, I’ve heard that name somewhere before. Where could it possibly have been,” Gowdy replied.

    When asked whether it was a foreign source, the South Carolina Republican said it was domestic.

    “I’m trying to think of how Secretary Clinton defined him. I think she said he was an old friend who emailed her from time to time,” Gowdy said.

    The last sentence in the segment makes it pretty clear that Gowdy is acknowledging Blumenthal’s involvement:

    Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., strongly implied to Fox News Tuesday night that Clinton family confidant Sidney Blumenthal was a key link in a chain of information that helped create the controversial Trump-Russia dossier.

    Gowdy told Fox News’ “The Story” that “when you hear who … one of the sources of that information is, you’re going to think, ‘Oh my gosh, I’ve heard that name somewhere before.’”

    When host Martha MacCallum asked if he was referring to Blumenthal, Gowdy answered, “That’d be really warm. You’re warm, yeah.””


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