April 5, 2017

"Trump Says Susan Rice May Have Committed a Crime."

The NYT reports.
“I think it’s going to be the biggest story,” Mr. Trump said in an interview in the Oval Office, declining repeated requests for evidence for his allegations or the names of other Obama administration officials. “It’s such an important story for our country and the world. It is one of the big stories of our time.”

He declined to say if he had personally reviewed new intelligence to bolster his claim but pledged to explain himself “at the right time.”

When asked if Ms. Rice, who has denied leaking the names of Trump associates under surveillance by United States intelligence agencies, had committed a crime, the president said, “Do I think? Yes, I think.”

248 comments:

1 – 200 of 248   Newer›   Newest»
Jack Wayne said...

Trump's comments will be the story, not Rice or Obama.

AprilApple said...

Rice is a proven liar, so - what are the odds?

AlbertAnonymous said...

and every news organization will include the phrase ", without any evidence, " when reporting on Trump's comment:

"Donald Trump accused Susan Rice, without any evidence, of a crime..."

over and over and over...

They report all kinds of things on anonymous sourcing themselves but everything the President says now is "without any evidence"....

J. Farmer said...

Has anyone asked Susan Rice how it feels to cheerlead a war that got thousands of people killed, turned Libya into an anarchic terrorist breeding ground, helped to destabilize Mali, and created a huge refugee crisis in the Mediterranean?

AprilApple said...

Obama jailed an innocent filmmaker over their "It was a youtube video" lie.
"A shadowy character" was jailed and his life ruined - as cover. Kim Jong-Un stands in awe.

The left will do anything for the big lie, and the dutiful hack press will cover it up.

YoungHegelian said...

When asked if Ms. Rice, who has denied leaking the names of Trump associates under surveillance by United States intelligence agencies, had committed a crime, the president said, “Do I think? Yes, I think.”

Of course she did! Everyone who doesn't work for MSNBC or CNN is figuring that one out.

Trump is right: this scandal is going to be Yuuuuuuuuuuuuuge! I'm glad to see that Trump is using his bully-tweeting-pulpit to keep it in the public eye, because we can't let the use of the national security apparatus for naked partisan purposes continue. If the Democrats had any sense they'd lend a hand or two to throw the Obamaites involved under the bus, too. Otherwise, guess whose presidential candidate is getting "wiretapped" in 3 & 1/2 years?

traditionalguy said...

`The cliches just make themselves. Dirty Rice, Fried Rice, Boiled Rice. But better to avoid Beef Tip-offs and Rice.

The interesting part now is waiting for the role of Rice's boss, ValJar in this Secret Police headquarters. It will turn out she ordered it done, to avoid a linkage to the Lightbringer, himself.

David Begley said...

Susan Rice deserves the full Scooter Libby treatment.

The Syria disaster is entirely on her and Barack. Red line? Kids gassed again.

traditionalguy said...

What are the odds that Valerie Jarett and Obama will seek asylum in Iran.

Curious George said...

Donald Trump did not say "Susan Rice May Have Committed a Crime"

Curious George said...

"traditionalguy said...
What are the odds that Valerie Jarett and Obama will seek asylum in Iran."

You decide. I'll give you them. And then bet against you.

J. Farmer said...

@AprilApple:

Obama jailed an innocent filmmaker over their "It was a youtube video" lie.

Innocence of Muslims was falsely blamed for the terror attack in Benghazi, but Nakoula was hardly an "innocent filmmaker." He was on probation for bank fraud after opening accounts with fake names and stolen social security numbers and subsequently violated the terms of his probation.

J. Farmer said...

@traditionalguy:

What are the odds that Valerie Jarett and Obama will seek asylum in Iran.

Hmm....I'd guess about 1,000,000,000,000 to 1.

Martin said...

Trump should STFU before it can credibly be claimed that he tainted the entire national jury pool.

Mike Sylwester said...

In a thread yesterday, I wrote a series of comments about a Slate article, published on October 30, about Trump's server and a Russian bank.

Please disregard all of that. Our President Trump never had anything to do with any computer communications between that server and that bank.

Hagar said...

None of which explains - or justifiees - the official hoopla surrounding his arrest and prosecution.

TosaGuy said...

Rice didn't have to "leak" the names that she unmasked. Someone else took over that task.

"Here are some names I will put right here...by the phone....along with phone numbers to my favorite reporters....I think I will step out while some other staffers come in and gather by my phone."

That is how plausible deniability works in Washington.

Rob said...

Asking that the names be unmasked was almost certainly not a crime, though depending on her intent in doing so (which is probably unknowable), it may have been wildly inappropriate. What could be a crime is disclosing those names to people unauthorized to receive that information. So the question becomes whether Rice was the leaker and if not, who she told the names to (or who learned them independently of Rice), and who of them was the leaker.

Pookie Number 2 said...

Innocence of Muslims was falsely blamed for the terror attack in Benghazi, but Nakoula was hardly an "innocent filmmaker." He was on probation for bank fraud after opening accounts with fake names and stolen social security numbers and subsequently violated the terms of his probation.

All true. Was he treated the same as other parole violators? My (admittedly uncertain) belief is that he was not.

David Baker said...

"The Syria disaster is entirely on her and Barack. Red line? Kids gassed again."

Blaming his predecessor is the same game Obama played.

But now is now.

Why is Bashar Assad still alive, Mr. President?

traditionalguy said...

OK, I have my dollar. It's a bet. Hussain Obama misses Shia authority and he misses his Daily Call to Prayer from the minarets all over town.

TosaGuy said...

Rice didn't have to "leak" the names that she unmasked. Someone else took over that task.

"Here are some names I will put right here...by the phone....along with phone numbers to my favorite reporters....I think I will step out while some other staffers come in and gather by my phone for no reason."

That is how plausible deniability works in Washington.

mccullough said...

Rather injudicious statement by Trump. He said similar stuff against Hillary when running for president. But people wlike Rice and Hillary who abuse their power deserve to be subject to that treatment. An eye for an eye.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

Lock her up!

Mike Sylwester said...

Yesterday The Conservative Treehouse published an informative article that, among other ideas, explained why Russia might have targeted John Podesta's e-mails.

The initial reasons why Russia might have done so were:

1) Podesta was a member of the White House Senior Advisory staff during 2013-2015 and was on the distribution list for the President's Daily Intelligence Briefings

2) Podesta exercised poor computer security.

Then, after Podesta left the White House staff and joined the DNC staff, Russia simply continued to read stuff on his computer.

In other words, Russia never was interested primarily in Podesta's DNC communications. Rather, Russia always was interested primarily in Podesta's access to the President's Daily Intelligence Briefings.

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2017/04/04/in-less-than-2-minutes-on-msnbc-susan-rice-exposed-the-entire-obama-russian-motive/

Greg said...

Someone finally has produced evidence that Russians had some influence on the election - http://observer.com/2017/03/princess-of-ukok-siberian-mummy-curse-hillary-clinton/

Will said...

The problem with claiming there is not a smidgen of corruption and lying about the IRS and Benghazi and "Keep your Doctor" and dozens of other things is that people now expect the worst of Obama and Rice..

Susan Rice is a Fixer. Ron Klain is a Fixer. Cheryl Mills is a Fixer.

Only liars and incompetents need Fixers

Kevin said...

Susan Rice becomes a story.

NYT buries story on A16.

Trump invites NYT reporter for an Oval Office interview.

Trump says something "over the top" about Rice.

NYT forced to write attention-grabbing story on what Trump said about Susan Rice.

AJ Lynch said...

Susan Rice was a political appointee right? Even though she was Nat Sec Advisor, her primary job seemed to be political. And as NSA, she was on the Nat Security Council right? Now, we all agree Bannon is a political appointee, yet Trump was criticized for appointing him to NatSec Council because Bannon is political. What a crock of shit - Susan Rice had no real experice to qualify her to be the NSA IMO. Ritmo will, of course, disagree.

Nonapod said...

The MSM (especially CNN) have been trying desperately to make this story disappear. But now Trump has commented on in in his usually Trumpian way. Since Trump has commented on it, loads of regular people are now going to feel compelled to actually find out about all this and form an opinion. People are now going to discuss it and debate it ad nauseum.

In the Trump era, the partisan media can no longer easily bury stories because they're inconvenient for their chosen side. With his brashness, for better or worse, Trump unearths and holds up these ugly objects for the masses to gawk at.

Chuck said...

Martin said...
Trump should STFU before it can credibly be claimed that he tainted the entire national jury pool.


It isn't simply a matter of tainting a jury pool. The nation's chief law enforcement officer should not be talking shit about possible DoJ investigative targets. Like Assistant U.S. Attorneys would not; since they are professional prosecutors and know their jobs, unlike Trump.

There was a case in the late 1960's, I vaguely recall, wherein President Richard Nixon carelessly made a comment about a high-profile federal criminal case. And there was concern about how it might actually hurt the prosecution. I'll need help, recalling that one accurately.

Many people, myself very much included, criticized Obama's meddling public comments in high-profile criminal cases. Obama did it, in a way that seems downright careful and modest compared to Trump.

I presume that virtually all of the many Trump supporters here would like to see a successful prosecution of Susan Rice. Trump is actively hurting that cause with comments like these.

grackle said...

I fast-forwarded thru Morning Joe & Fox's early AM stuff today. I stopped anytime Rice’s image appeared. I caught one mention of Rice but no coverage on Morning Joe. Fox ran the story with the emphasis it deserves. This latest Trump tweet will FORCE Morning Joe to devote at least some coverage to the Rice Revelations.

The desperate attempt initially to suppress this news story by not covering it instead of spinning it as per the MSM’s usual treatment suggests to me that it has legs. I think it may be difficult to spin the Rice Revelations because of the obvious implications the facts inevitably pose.

I believe Rice is going to have to testify at least before Congress, possibly in other legal venues – and that will have to be covered. Other events will occur which will force coverage. The MSM and cables will attempt of course to spin their coverage but I think there's more hard facts and obvious implications attached to the Rice Revelations than with the Russian Collusion fantasy - which so far has yielded not one iota of fact-based evidence yet from the THREE ongoing investigations into the matter. In this leak-prone atmosphere I assume that if anything had been found to be have been damaging to Trump we would have read about it in the NYT weeks ago.

Trump should STFU

The NeverTrumper battle cry! Is there such a thing as a battle whine? Yep.

Kevin said...

As to "without evidence", don't these people even stop to consider that Trump may know a lot more about this than they do or that he has let on?

The use of "without evidence" is to denote he didn't provide any, not that it doesn't exist. Since he can pretty much ask any question he wants and get an answer - he likely possesses the best search capability on the planet - that his statement alone should be taken with some measure of caution?

He clearly likes to toy with the media, and by withholding information until the right time, he keeps them running around in circles.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

So, you cons don't even for a millisecond think that maybe the manipulating the media isn't the only (or main) reason DJT does this stuff?

Who else could he be manipulating?



I dunno, either.

Carry on.

Mike Sylwester said...

In regard to Susan Rice, people should remember also her claim that Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl had served "with honor and distinction".

Yancey Ward said...

The next shoe to drop is how extensive the monitoring of Trump and his staff was, and how all the intelligence ended up with one member or another of the White House staff. It will be the volume found at that level that undoes Rice and her colleagues.

Owen said...

Pookie Number 2: nice response to J. Farmer on Nakoulay and how criminal he might have been.

I know nothing about him but let's stipulate that he had done something on the fraud side, maybe deserved to lose probation.

Simple PR 101 tells you NOT to touch him. Because you are creating a martyr. To gain what, exactly?

The fact that the President of the United States brought the full fury of the criminal justice system down on the suffering neck of some fringe player in the Internet video world, tells you a lot. The optics are just TERRIBLE.

Why would a super-sophisticated team in Obama's White House ever do such a thing?

Desperation? Arrogance?

The blowback from Benghazi was never a huge eruption. But IMHO the disgust has been widespread and long-lasting, and it may very well have cost HRC her chance.

David Begley said...

Serious question. Why hasn't Trump vaporize Assad? Surely we can do it.

Matthew Sablan said...

It was dumb when Obama commented on investigations, it is dumb for Trump to do it.

Still, if what is reported is true, then yeah. Obviously she did something illegal.

readering said...

althouse clickbait.

AJ Lynch said...

Trump is cleverly forcing the MSM to take down their enmbargo of the Susan Rice story by announcing he thinks she committed a crime.

Now the MSM is compelled to put this story on its front page when, in many cases, they have not printed a word about the story for three days now.

Kevin said...

"In regard to Susan Rice, people should remember also her claim that Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl had served "with honor and distinction"."

She was referring to when he was on the other side.

David said...

Donald, just shut up.

n.n said...

It comes down to cause and effect, and whether she acted within the legal boundaries.

grackle said...

It isn't simply a matter of tainting a jury pool.

I doubt that Rice will ever be before a jury in a courtroom. She used a legal loophole to spy on Trump. She’s probably in no danger of legal action. Some of her underlings may not be.

The important thing is to make sure the public knows that she did the spying, not to put her in jail – which I suspect may not be possible.

AlbertAnonymous said...

Yancey:

It might be the volume, it might also be the percentage of her unmasking requests that unmasked Trump people vs the percentage of her unmasking requests that unmasked non-Trump people. My guess is that her unmasking requests almost always unmasked Trump people. It would be uncanny...

Matthew Sablan said...

"Simple PR 101 tells you NOT to touch him. Because you are creating a martyr. To gain what, exactly?"

-- Well, people believed that this guy angered a crowd that got people killed, as opposed to the more complex and nuanced reality, for long enough that Obama politically didn't suffer much. It wasn't to create a martyr; it was to create a scapegoat.

Kevin said...

"I doubt that Rice will ever be before a jury in a courtroom. She used a legal loophole to spy on Trump. She’s probably in no danger of legal action. Some of her underlings may not be."

The real target is Obama and his legacy. Trump knows what he did and he's not going to let him get away with it.

Yancey Ward said...

As for Trump's comment- Rice will never be in a court of law facing charges- some of the reasoning Comey likely used in regards to Clinton last Summer apply here- you don't bring a case to court when you already know the jury pool makes it impossible to win the case. So, Trump isn't poisoning the jury pool since the prosecution wouldn't get to move the venue from D.C. anyway.

It is all but certain that Trump made the comment to force the media into covering the story. Remember, Cernovich got his scoop not from sources in the government- he got the story from his sources in the NYTimes and Bloomberg which had tried to completely bury it. That resistance continued until now.

Skippy Tisdale said...

"Ms. Rice, who has denied leaking the names of Trump associates under surveillance by United States intelligence agencies"

I believe her. She did NOT leak the names. She told an underling to do it. I learned DC speak from the Clintons.

Qwinn said...

If it's a choice between tainting the national jury pool, and allowing the media to bury the story as they have been doing, it's a no brainer, taint the frikkin jury pool.

YoungHegelian said...

To those who think that Trump's mouthings may be affecting any future prosecutions:

There aren't going to be any major prosecutions. It'll turn out that well, there was this, there was that, & while it may have been naughty to spy on your political opponents, it won't turn out to be illegal in a way that'll send anyone to prison. C'mon, after every single fucking person involved with HRC's email server gets to skate, you think that these people will come to justice in a court of law?

No, the damage that will get done to them will be political, just like the damage done to HRC by her server was political. The investigation will produce yet one more small box of penny nails for the coffins of the media & the present configuration of the Democratic Party.

J. Farmer said...

@Pookie Number 2:

All true. Was he treated the same as other parole violators? My (admittedly uncertain) belief is that he was not.

People violate the terms of their probation every day and go back to prison for it. Nakoula violated the terms of his probation and went to jail for it. He could have produced the film without violating the terms but knowing did. So I don't have much sympathy for his jail sentence (as I don't for most probation violators), and my response was to another commenter who referred to him as an "innocent filmmaker." He wasn't innocent; he committed the violations he was accused of and pled guilty to them.

Owen said...

Matthew Sablan: "...create a scapegoat." You are right. My analysis was hasty. Yes, he became a martyr (but only to those who paid attention; who had principles). The more important role he played was, indeed, scapegoat.

That is how the President of the United States conducted policy: "Look! A squirrel!"

TosaGuy said...

Regarding Trump's comments "tainting the investigation," that would presume that people like Rice would actually be brought to trial 4 years from now. It doesn't work that way when such political players are involved.

Obama, for his personal political gain, commented and potentially impacted the judicial affairs of regular people and regular cases.

Trump is playing the political game against Washington political people who are essentially insulated from judicial proceedings and are bent on destroying him.

There is a big difference between the two and my preference is on presidents doing the latter and leave regular people's judicial cases alone. With regard to Trump, we shall see how it turns out.

I am still not and will probably never be a Trump fan, but he does have the enemies that make me inclined to side with him more than not.

Pookie Number 2 said...

People violate the terms of their probation every day and go back to prison for it. Nakoula violated the terms of his probation and went to jail for it. He could have produced the film without violating the terms but knowing did. So I don't have much sympathy for his jail sentence (as I don't for most probation violators), and my response was to another commenter who referred to him as an "innocent filmmaker." He wasn't innocent; he committed the violations he was accused of and pled guilty to them.

I don't have a problem with him going to jail for violating parole. I do have a problem with senior government officials working to have individual parole violators imprisoned for political reasons. (I'm not certain that that's what happened here.)

grackle said...

She will formally be called to testify before a Congressional investigation committee..

Of course. But that’s not a jury and not a courtroom. She’ll take some PR heat and I think be proven in the public’s consciousness to have been spying on Trump but I doubt she’ll be indicted for it – it seems the unmasking was legal spying – at least her part in the matter seems to be.

St. George said...

This was only a small part of a much bigger operation. Obama was using intelligence against many different opponents.

Consider this from Tablet by Lee Smith on how pro-Israel lobbyists when they were lobbying against the Iran deal...

"I believe that my conclusion in that piece was wrong. I believe the spying was real and that it was done not in an effort to keep the country safe from threats—but in order to help the White House fight their domestic political opponents.

“At some point, the administration weaponized the NSA’s legitimate monitoring of communications of foreign officials to stay one step ahead of domestic political opponents,” says a pro-Israel political operative who was deeply involved in the day-to-day fight over the Iran Deal. “The NSA’s collections of foreigners became a means of gathering real-time intelligence on Americans engaged in perfectly legitimate political activism—activism, due to the nature of the issue, that naturally involved conversations with foreigners. We began to notice the White House was responding immediately, sometimes within 24 hours, to specific conversations we were having. At first, we thought it was a coincidence being amplified by our own paranoia. After a while, it simply became our working assumption that we were being spied on.”

This is what systematic abuse of foreign-intelligence collection for domestic political purposes looks like: Intelligence collected on Americans, lawmakers, and figures in the pro-Israel community was fed back to the Obama White House as part of its political operations. The administration got the drop on its opponents by using classified information, which it then used to draw up its own game plan to block and freeze those on the other side. And—with the help of certain journalists whose stories (and thus careers) depend on high-level access—terrorize them."

http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/229062/did-the-obama-administrations-abuse-of-foreign-intelligence-collection-start-before-trump

And wouldn't it be something if Obama was also spying on Jeb Bush, Bernie Sanders, and other political candidates, too...

Martha said...

What Susan Rice did was a monumental abuse of power......and perhaps a crime.

And yes, the Obama White House had employed similar tactics before.

hombre said...

Chuck: "I presume that virtually all of the many Trump supporters here would like to see a successful prosecution of Susan Rice. Trump is actively hurting that cause with comments like these."

Trump voters here do not believe that Rice will be successfully prosecuted any more than Hillary was successfully prosecuted. We do hope that despite opposition from the leftmedia and some "lifelong Republicans," Trump's comments will open people's minds to the likelihood of widespread, egregious Democrat corruption.

This is a political battle, not a legal one.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Trump voters here do not believe that Rice will be successfully prosecuted any more than Hillary was successfully prosecuted."

-- I don't expect anyone to face any consequences for this, if true. Holder lied to Congress about multiple issues; the previous administration spied on Congress and journalists and nothing happened.

Laws are, sadly, for the little people, or right-leaning politicians. You know, like how the law worked for Ted Stevens.

hombre said...

David wrote: "Serious question. Why hasn't Trump vaporize Assad? Surely we can do it."

Well, Hussein, Mubarak and Ghaddafi all got "vaporized," sort of. How did that work out?

AReasonableMan said...

Sometimes it the people on your side that should cause you to question your own beliefs.

Chuck said...

grackle said...
It isn't simply a matter of tainting a jury pool.

I doubt that Rice will ever be before a jury in a courtroom. She used a legal loophole to spy on Trump. She’s probably in no danger of legal action. Some of her underlings may not be.

The important thing is to make sure the public knows that she did the spying, not to put her in jail – which I suspect may not be possible.

Fine. So it's all about the politics and the messaging, and not about criminal justice. Or, you've given up on criminal justice in this instance.

You are entitled to you own view of it.

And perhaps, Trump could go on like this, and never actually cause a prosecution to fail. But he risks it, for no good reason other than his own pattern and practice of political trashtalk.

N.B. - Hey all, this is weird; when I read the Times story a few minutes ago, there was a paragraph that highlighted the point I was making here. And now, that paragraph seems to be gone from the story. Maybe, the Times is expanding the story, along the lines I am suggesting here. I just don't know...

Larry J said...

I'm seeing calls for congressional investigations into Rice. That's a bad idea. This is a legal matter that has political ramifications. All congressional hearings will do is have Democrats and Republicans grandstanding for the cameras while nothing gets accomplished. Instead, this should be turned over to a grand jury or special prosecutor. There's no way to keep politics out of anything Congress does. Treat it as a legal matter.

Nonapod said...

Yeah, this could all just be a tiny tip of an extremely big iceberg, namely Obama's politicizing and weaponizing of our nations various intelligence agencies. If Trump keeps poking at this wound (which he doubtless will) who knows where we end up? This could become bigger than most people imagine.

I mean... we all assume that people like Rice are untouchable, they're protected and shielded through their such close associations with the powerful. But what if that's no longer the case? I mean, Trump is the paradigm destroyer, right? A guy like that was never supposed to become president. He bucks every convention. We're through the looking glass here. Why would you assume that what has held true for decades and decades in US politics, will continue to hold true in this new Trump era?

grackle said...

Or, you've given up on criminal justice in this instance.

No, Chuck. If Rice has committed a crime I want her indicted. But it looks to me that the unmasking, which is all we know she did at this point, was not against the law. That’s all I’m saying.

Chuck said...

So if all the Trumpkins think that there will never be any prosecution of Susan Rice, does that mean you won't spend the next umpteen months and years bitching about how she wasn't brought to justice?

Because I get the impression that some of you aren't really interested in any prosecution. Or at least you're a lot more interested in Trump's legal trashtalk.

BDNYC said...

"Do I think? Yes I think." Trump has only affirmed that he thinks. Don't we all?

Michael K said...

Trump is cleverly forcing the MSM to take down their enmbargo of the Susan Rice story by announcing he thinks she committed a crime.

I agree. I doubt she will ever go to prison unless they get her on a secondary charge like perjury or tax evasion, like Capone.

No, Trump is playing the political game quite well.

I think he is a quick study and having been fooled by Ryan, will not be fooled again.

Rand Paul would be a very good architect of a health care reform having seen it from the inside, as I have.

Remember Paul was "looking for the bill" before the flop, suggesting he knew there was no bill all along.

Chuck said...

grackle said...
...
No, Chuck. If Rice has committed a crime I want her indicted.

Okay, then; I'll give you and Trump some free legal advice. Donald Trump should shut. The. Fuck. Up.

You, however, are unlikely to ever be a witness or a juror in the Federal District for the District of Columbia, and you can go on saying and writing whatever you'd like. So, have a nice day.

Oso Negro said...

Wouldn't it be something if it turns out that Obama was spying on everyone, all along. Could sensitive information influence the decision of a Supreme Court Justice? Who can say.

Brando said...

Sounds like all the more reason for an investigation, if our current POTUS truly believes that our last NS Adviser committed a crime (and abused her position).

J. Farmer said...

David Begley

Serious question. Why hasn't Trump vaporize Assad? Surely we can do it.

Because that would be a phenomenally stupid thing to do. A sane US policy towards Syria, if we're damn determined to inject ourselves into that godforsaken conflict, would be to assist Assad in maintaining power. Preferably, I think we should have nothing to do with it.

But it really does boggle my mind that given the last decade and a half, there are still people who think we should be destroying regimes in far away countries whose dynamics we have a tenuous grasp of.

Also, it's frightening how quickly the American people seem to accept that any US president can pretty much wage global war by fiat in perpetuity.

Skippy Tisdale said...

"In regard to Susan Rice, people should remember also her claim that Army deserter Bowe Bergdahl had served "with honor and distinction"."

Again, DC-speak. Bergdahl DID serve with honor and distinction. Up until he deserted.

Brando said...

"Wouldn't it be something if it turns out that Obama was spying on everyone, all along."

We know that his NSA has been doing so for years. Sadly much of the GOP (with honorable exceptions of the Rand Paul variety) were fine with that so long as it was for "national security".

Maybe one thing that can come out of all this is a serious look at what sort of powers we've been giving our government over the years in the name of "keeping us safe". Keeping us safe is important, of course, but unchecked executive power is bound to lead to abuses. Even with presidents we love!

grackle said...

Because I get the impression that some of you aren't really interested in any prosecution. Or at least you're a lot more interested in Trump's legal trashtalk.

By the same standard it may seem to some that you, Chuck, are more interested in finding fault with everything Trump says than in anything else. And perhaps you should also be gently reminded that the subject of this post is Trump’s “trashtalk,” therefore most initial comments will have something to do with Trump’s “trashtalk” before you get too steamed up.

Drago said...

"lifelong republican" Chuck: "I presume that virtually all of the many Trump supporters here would like to see a successful prosecution of Susan Rice. Trump is actively hurting that cause with comments like these."

All of your premises are wrong. Thus all your conclusions are wrong. Yet oddly always perfectly aligned with the Lefts talking points of the day.

Seeing Red said...

Way to go, Farmer, now most of us are not innocent.

He was innocent of that charge.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"Because I get the impression that some of you aren't really interested in any prosecution. Or at least you're a lot more interested in Trump's legal trashtalk."

There'd be at least a little suspense re this question, except that the campaign's popular "lock her up" refrain was instantaneously flushed down the memory whole as soon as DJT said "JK."

This stuff is bait for the rubes. DJT says jump, they (as you can see in this and other threads) say how high.

Silly.

Brando said...

"But it really does boggle my mind that given the last decade and a half, there are still people who think we should be destroying regimes in far away countries whose dynamics we have a tenuous grasp of. "

It's emotion over reason. All of us (ok, most of us) feel rage when seeing a foreign thug gas his own people, bomb hospitals, that sort of thing, and it's a natural instinct to want to destroy them with righteous fury. But rationally speaking any intervention by us is far likelier to make the problem worse and undermine our own interests and the stability of the region at the same time. Staying out of it may feel unsatisfying but it's often the wiser option.

thedevilcorp said...

For your consideration.

Yancey Ward said...

Chuck,

I'll answer your question- I want the truth to be made public. What you see far too often in D.C. is along these lines- "We can't comment on ongoing investigations." And then the investigation goes on for years with the public left in the dark.

Andrew McCarthy has written two fantastic essays the last two days about this matter, and here is the second of them: Link

The proper forums for this investigation are open Congressional hearings with subpoenaed and sworn testimony, backed up with appropriately declassified intelligence. When I hear people calling for special prosecutors, my first instinct is that that someone is looking to bury something, not reveal it.

David Begley said...

The way the Left and MSM has reacted to this Susan Rice story tells me she is the Rosetta Stone. She must get the full treatment. Congressional investigation, FBI and then indictment in federal court.

MikeR said...

Uh-oh. Now he may need to recuse himself from twittering during her trial.

Original Mike said...

grackle said..."The important thing is to make sure the public knows that she did the spying, not to put her in jail – which I suspect may not be possible."

Yeah. I started out this thread thinking Trump should STFU, but I agree with those who say Rice will skate. Shine sunlight on Obama's nefarious behavior and seek solace in what it does to his legacy.

That's the best we'll ever get.

Obama = Nixon

Yancey Ward said...

And to make my point clearer- if there are ever criminal charges brought, they will be charges of perjury since I am quite certain that most if not all the spying was technically legal. This is why the hearings should be comprehensive and public.

David Begley said...

Farmer:

Disagree. Just vaporizing Assad sends a message that future rulers can't use chemical weapons. His second in command can stay in charge, but he has to be killed. They can keep killing themselves, but no more chemical weapons.

Jack Wayne said...

Rice is likely going to be exposed. It's pretty clear from what Nunes has said that they way this information came to someone's attention is that someone was looking at the logs of data retrievals. This is what people like Rice don't know: in a security environment like this, every retrieval of data from the database will be logged into a table in the database. It's automatic. Sensitive data, company or government, is always tracked. It is a fundamental audit point.

J. Farmer said...

@Seeing Red:

Way to go, Farmer, now most of us are not innocent.

No. And that doesn't even make sense.

He was innocent of that charge.

What I said two hours ago: "Innocence of Muslims was falsely blamed for the terror attack in Benghazi, but Nakoula was hardly an 'innocent filmmaker.'" He went to jail for violating the terms of his probation after committing banking fraud. He was not jailed for producing a video, and he could have easily produced the film without violating his probation.


David Begley said...

Farmer

It would be a surgical strike. Find out where he is staying and vaporize him. Susan Rice probably knows his address.

Brando said...

"The proper forums for this investigation are open Congressional hearings with subpoenaed and sworn testimony, backed up with appropriately declassified intelligence. When I hear people calling for special prosecutors, my first instinct is that that someone is looking to bury something, not reveal it."

I agree, but think actual congressmen and Senators ought to leave the work (particularly at hearings) to trained lawyers and investigators. The Benghazi hearings were mostly pols trying to get soundbites and rambling into nothing, rather than skilled lawyers honing in on the info they need. I also think this rule would be preferable for congressional hearings in general.

dreams said...

The corrupt liberal media will protect her. Chris Matthews has already pointed out that the only reason they're going after her is because she's a black woman.

harrogate said...

Such an important story to the world!

Yes, the world hangs with bated breath.

Does he know to speak without using superlatives?

Drago said...

3rdgrader: "This stuff is bait for the rubes."

"Black Lives Matter!"

"Hope and Change!"

"Hands Up Don't Shoot!"

"Think Globally! Act Locally!"

"Better Red Than Dead!"

Rubes indeed.

Francisco D said...

Chuck,

Once again you are acting out your Trump Derangement Syndrome. Trump is playing political chess while you play legalistic checkers.

Despite your legal education, Trump is a lot smarter than you are. He learns quickly. You, not much at all.

You also seem willfully ignorant - such as never finding voter fraud in Detroit. ROTFLMAO!

Yancey Ward said...

Brando, it can and will be both. Congressmen and Senators aren't particularly bright in my opinion, but they do employ people who are.

Drago said...

MikeR: "Uh-oh. Now he may need to recuse himself from twittering during her trial."

Maybe Trump should have said Rice "acted stupidly". That one comes pre-Lefty/"lifelong republican" approved.

Chuck said...

"...you, Chuck, are more interested in finding fault with everything Trump says than in anything else..."

There's some truth in that!

I am not more interested in finding fault with Trump, than anything else, BUT:

~It is only because I am more interested in a Republican legislative agenda first and foremost. Real stuff; and real management of the safety, security and prosperity of the nation. I believe in Republican principles, on which it is mostly a kind of a coin toss, to see if Trump is enthusiastic or even on board.

~I am indeed secondarily interested in finding fault with Trump. And it's all personal. Since this incident is one of those myriad tiny ways in which Trump displays his ignorance and legal recklessness, yeah; this is the part of the story I like. There are several dozen others her who will happily make a case for the investigation, prosecution, conviction and execution of Susan Rice. I won't need to do that at all. I was just pointing out how Trump's remarks hurt their own cause.

~And as always, it doesn't take much effort to "find" personal fault with Trump. He's a daily, sometimes hourly, one-man supply of material on which to find fault. I may have to start turning on my computer at 6 am on Saturday mornings for the weekly Twitter outburst.

J. Farmer said...

David Begley

Farmer:

Disagree. Just vaporizing Assad sends a message that future rulers can't use chemical weapons. His second in command can stay in charge, but he has to be killed.


First, it wouldn't send that message. Chemical weapons have been used by both sides in the civil war. Also, what do you think will happen to the Syrian military's arsenal once the government falls completely? They will fall into the hands of warring factions who will likely not show much compunction in using them. The most probably outcome of vaporizing Assad would be to perpetuate the conflict in Syria and get even more people killed.

Drago said...

Harrogate: "Does he know to speak without using superlatives?"

Harrogate, asking the questions no one else cares about.

Well played lefty. Well played.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Practically speaking, it would be a waste of time and effort to prosecute Rice, just like it would have been to prosecute Hillary for the email issue. Too many potential holes for them to squirm out of. And there are too many other, higher priority, things that need time and effort. That's unfortunate, but "That's the way it is."

At this point, best thing we can reasonably hope for is that Obama's shenanigans, which were likely technically legal, yet considerably unethical, will be brought to light, and that that will result in steps being taken to minimize the potential of it happening again.

Todd said...

Chuck said...

Many people, myself very much included, criticized Obama's meddling public comments in high-profile criminal cases. Obama did it, in a way that seems downright careful and modest compared to Trump.

4/5/17, 12:27 PM


LOL!

"careful and modest", the police acted stupidly.

"careful and modest", If I had a son he would look like T.M.

Yep, Obama was a real island of sanity in a sea of crazy, bless his heart...

exiledonmainstreet said...

harrogate said...
Such an important story to the world!

Noted that Harrogate thinks that using the federal government to spy on political opponents is no big whoop.

Or, in other words:

"It's OK when we do it!"

Original Mike said...

"By the same standard it may seem to some that you, Chuck, are more interested in finding fault with everything Trump says than in anything else."

Some??? Anyone with two brain cells to rub together knows what motivates Chuck.

Chuck said...

Francisco D said...
Chuck,
...
You also seem willfully ignorant - such as never finding voter fraud in Detroit.

You need to shut the fuck up, even more than Trump does. I already took the time once to shove this idiotic allegation of yours down your cyber-throat.

You worthless fucking moron. We have a Republican Secretary of State; a Republican Attorney General who loves high profile cases and who is running for governor in 2018, and who would have loved to prosecute a vote fraud case in the city of Detroit (where all Republicans get around 1.5% of the vote), which would have given him major cred in the upcoming (and highly-contested) Republican primary.

I explained to you the details of the lack of any large scale vote-fraud case in Detroit, and linked you to a plain English explanation from the Detroit News of how the Jill Stein/Green Party recount in Michigan revealed irregularities in Detroit voting (as in several Republican parts of the state) that were NOT fraud.

You really are undeserving of my time on this silly obsession of yours. I regard the matter as closed. You, can go fuck yourself.

Original Mike said...

Blogger Yancey Ward said..."And to make my point clearer- if there are ever criminal charges brought, they will be charges of perjury since I am quite certain that most if not all the spying was technically legal. This is why the hearings should be comprehensive and public."

Shouldn't her first interview be in private with the FBI?

Chuck said...

Todd: You're right, about the impropriety of Obama's comments.

Now, how much worse would it have been, if Obama had been asked, "Mr. President, do you think the Cambridge police officer committed a crime?" And the answer had been, "Yes, I think."

Drago said...

"lifelong republican" Chuck: "You need to shut the fuck up, even more than Trump does."

LOL

Again, how is this guy not running and winning campaigns in MI?

Amazing.

Drago said...

"lifelong republican" Chuck: "Todd: You're right, about the impropriety of Obama's comments."

LOL

Chuck is "johnny on the spot" with a small criticism of obama.......years after it matters...and when it will have no impact on any current events.

Unexpectedly.

Drago said...

OM: "Shouldn't her first interview be in private with the FBI?"

Not if the lefty's/"lifelong republicans" Favorite FBI #2 McCabe is still in place. Not. A. Chance.

Leave it to Nunes to determine the value of a closed door Q&A vs open hearing.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Laslo's Chuck parody really was perfect, wasn't it?

Drago said...

exiledonmainstreet: "Laslo's Chuck parody really was perfect, wasn't it?"

Indeed. It's like Laslo conjured him up out of central casting.

I may have to adjust the label to "Archetype and "lifelong republican"" Chuck.

Rae said...

I think it's going to come out over the next several months that the Obama administration regularly spied on political opponents, long before the campaign began. It's "legal" in the sense they gave themselves cover by reverse intercepting their conversations with foreign nationals. But the actual targets were domestic.

Michael K said...

Chuck is busy showing us the class of the GOPe over and over again.

"This stuff is bait for the rubes. DJT says jump, they (as you can see in this and other threads) say how high."

The "Rubes" I see are the ones who bought the "Most experienced candidate in history" fable about a woman who married up and thinks she hit a triple because she is on second base. (Yes, I know that doesn't make sense but neither does Hillary)

The only task she was ever given to do something constructive she fucked up by the numbers. Hillarycare.

David Begley said...

J. Farmer wrote, "...would be to assist Assad in maintaining power...."

And I'm the stupid one?

Drago said...

Michael K: "Chuck is busy showing us the class of the GOPe over and over again."

The GOPe was given the responsibility for delivering a deal on Healthcare (after 6+ years of voting for repeal) just as the Chucks of the world demanded from Trump.

They failed.

Just like the GOPe failed to defeat Trump.

Failure Theatre is quite the "in thing" for the GOPe.

Drago said...

Here we are in the midst of a year-long Civil War with the dems/MSM/left/"lifelong republicans" pulling out all stops to actually unseat a duly elected President and the "lifelong republicans" amongst us continue to demand that Trump stop fighting back.

It's really quite amusing to watch as Trump basically tells them to lump it as he fights back with every available barrel.

Remember, the GOPe can never be "right" if Trump remains in office. That is their motivation: the recovery of the GOPe credibility after getting everything wrong.

In that way, they are just as desperate as the dems with whom they always find common cause.

Todd said...

Chuck said...
Todd: You're right, about the impropriety of Obama's comments.

Now, how much worse would it have been, if Obama had been asked, "Mr. President, do you think the Cambridge police officer committed a crime?" And the answer had been, "Yes, I think."
4/5/17, 1:43 PM


Difference is Obama was much, much more wrong than right on just about everything and Trump has show he is far more right than wrong.

Also, as others have pointed out Obama constantly bunched down, way down to the "little" people. Trump is simply going after those that have gone after him. Yes, as President, to a degree he is also punching down but he at least is going after those with power and influence that are arrayed against him. Not average folks, like plumbers, or cops, or innocent neighborhood watch people.

See any difference yet?

I think he should keep running his mouth. Why not? He doesn't have the bulk of the MSM on their knees giving him quickies all day, every day. Still he is playing them like third-rate call girls after a fix. Destroys days of media cover up and false narrative with one tweet or one comment. You see crass buffoon, I see genius.

Drago said...

Todd: "You see crass buffoon, I see genius."

I see a degree of political and social effectiveness in Trump's actions. The fact that Trumps actions continue to act as major disrupters means that the Trump OODA Loop is still outpacing the left/"lifelong republicans".

HoodlumDoodlum said...

J Farmer said...Innocence of Muslims was falsely blamed for the terror attack in Benghazi, but Nakoula was hardly an "innocent filmmaker." He was on probation for bank fraud after opening accounts with fake names and stolen social security numbers and subsequently violated the terms of his probation.

Nakoula is innocent of the crime of causing the Benghazi attacks, and for people who believe in strong 1st Amend. he's innocent of the "crime" of causing damage done by any protests that actually were about his film.
Let's not drift over into "it's ok to railroad this guy and fuck him over since he's a bad dude" territory.
When the Left talks about how shocking it is that Donald Trump in his capacity of President sometimes goes after individual American citizens, by name, I remember back to Reid constantly smearing the Koch brothers and Obama & Co. actually using the power of the State against Nakoula. Nobody was shocked back then, as I recall.

Chuck said...

Michael K said...
Chuck is busy showing us the class of the GOPe over and over again.

"This stuff is bait for the rubes. DJT says jump, they (as you can see in this and other threads) say how high."
...


Not my quote! Somebody else wrote that. Not me.

I'll accept your apology in your next post.

J. Farmer said...

@David David Begley:

J. Farmer wrote, "...would be to assist Assad in maintaining power...."

And I'm the stupid one?


I said the idea of taking Assad out was phenomenally stupid; I said nothing about you personally.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

If this kind of surveillance is legal, the Trump administration should adopt the same tactics. The resulting MSM hysterics would incredibly entertaining.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Shame on me, but here I go:

Chuck didn't you say (a little while back) that you "could forgive" Obama if Obama did turn out to have put Trump under surveillance, 'cause Trump is "such a prick?"
Gotta say, that assertion colors my view of all of your subsequent comments on this whole matter.

J. Farmer said...

@HoodlumDoodlum:

Nakoula is innocent of the crime of causing the Benghazi attacks, and for people who believe in strong 1st Amend. he's innocent of the "crime" of causing damage done by any protests that actually were about his film.

First, even if Nakoula's film had inspired the Benghazi attack, he would still not be guilty of a crime. That's not why he went to jail. The fallout from his film might have brought attention on him, but that'd be even more reason not to flagrantly violate the terms of his probation.

exiledonmainstreet said...


"I think he should keep running his mouth. Why not? He doesn't have the bulk of the MSM on their knees giving him quickies all day, every day. Still he is playing them like third-rate call girls after a fix. Destroys days of media cover up and false narrative with one tweet or one comment. You see crass buffoon, I see genius"

People like Chuck just refuse to grasp this. The media simply wants to dismiss the Rice story - just like they ignored "Fast and Furious," Benghazi, Solyndra, and every other scandal connected with Obama. They succeeded because - well, Obama certainly wasn't going to point out the failures of his administration, was he? But Trump will point out those failures - and they'll have to cover what he says because he's the President.

Drago said...

HD: "Chuck didn't you say (a little while back) that you "could forgive" Obama if Obama did turn out to have put Trump under surveillance, 'cause Trump is "such a prick?"

Yes he did.

But then he didn't have to write it for us to know it. Everyone on the left is ok with that.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...
If this kind of surveillance is legal, the Trump administration should adopt the same tactics. The resulting MSM hysterics would incredibly entertaining.

4/5/17, 2:07 PM

Oh, in that case, it would be a sign of Trump's impending dictatorship.

It floored me that various leftist groups held a worldwide screening of "1984" yesterday at various venues and it was meant as a reference to Trump. I assume some leftists took a break from their Two Minute Hate (in their case more like 24/7 Hate) to attend.

Nonapod said...

exhelodrvr1 said...Practically speaking, it would be a waste of time and effort to prosecute Rice... there are too many other, higher priority, things that need time and effort.

Personally I don't look at such of situations as a mutually exclusive, the fact that efforts are made to prosecute Rice shouldn't preclude efforts at other "higher priority, things that need time and effort". Nor would I look at such an effort as necessarily futile and doomed to failure (but I'm probably being naive). I think throwing up our hands and resigning ourselves to the reality that there's always corruption and rule of law is meaningless is a dangerous path to go down. Corruption begets corruption, specifically when people know that there's been corruption and nothing can be done about it, they're more likely to 1) Excuse future corruption 2) Commit corrupt acts themselves. It's the same problem you see in many 3rd world governments, and autocracies: everyone knows there's corruption.

If Obama did indeed weaponize the intelligence agencies against his political opposition, then it absolutely needs to be exposed, even if it never leads to his prosecution and imprisonment or whatever.

John said...

Chuck Said

There was a case in the late 1960's, I vaguely recall, wherein President Richard Nixon carelessly made a comment about a high-profile federal criminal case. And there was concern about how it might actually hurt the prosecution. I'll need help, recalling that one accurately.

I believe that you are speaking of the Manson case. Nixon said something that caused the newspapers to headline "Nixon says Manson Guilty!!!" or the like. Chuck Manson brought the paper to the court and displayed it to the jury pool. Minor kefuffle but nothing serious happened.

They empaneled a jury and found him guilty. Chuck, not Nixon.

John Henry

Drago said...

Nonapod: "If Obama did indeed weaponize the intelligence agencies against his political opposition, then it absolutely needs to be exposed, even if it never leads to his prosecution and imprisonment or whatever."

Thats where most of the country will be excluding the non-Civil-Liberties left and "lifelong republicans".

Brando said...

"Brando, it can and will be both. Congressmen and Senators aren't particularly bright in my opinion, but they do employ people who are."

Well, I hope it's more "lawyer/investigator" focused than pol-focused. It seems in a lot of these hearings the focus is more on "what can I say to please my base or get a viral clip on Youtube?" and less "what will carefully elicit useful information?"

I like the "do it in the open" concept but of course there may have to be some "in camera" procedure when sifting through information that affects national security.

"Practically speaking, it would be a waste of time and effort to prosecute Rice, just like it would have been to prosecute Hillary for the email issue."

I disagree, certainly if Rice committed a crime--if she actually did (and I realize we don't know that just yet) then this is exactly the sort of thing we don't want to ever see repeat itself.

It's possible she did everything lawfully, and possible she grossly abused her position. I'd prefer to know either way, rather than what we have now--half the country seemingly certain of one and half seemingly certain of the other.

Fernandinande said...

traditionalguy said...
What are the odds that Valerie Jarett and Obama will seek asylum in Iran.


Rice will hide in China.

Original Mike said...

Blogger AlbertAnonymous said..."and every news organization will include the phrase "without any evidence, " when reporting on Trump's comment:

Shepard Smith just now "The President now tells the NYT, without any evidence to back it up ... that Susan Rice may have committed a crime."

Can't some other news organization poach this guy?



John said...

Yes, Nakkoula was a criminal, yes, he probably violated his parole and should have gone back to the slam.

But should it have taken place in the middle of the night? Was he going to flee? Did they need a dozen brownshirts (yes, brownshirts) and press? Did they need to make it into a circus?

Is that normal when picking up parole violators?

Or was it to distract our attention to the lie about the movie.

Nakkoula did not get picked up for making a movie but that is sure the appearance his arrest gave.

John Henry

David Begley said...

J. Farmer:

The United States can't in any way be perceived as assisting Assad and keeping him in power.

Now that we have our own oil and gas I'd be happy if we could disassociate ourselves from the Middle East. Let the Sunni and Shia cut each other's heads off. Both sides should lose.

Original Mike said...

Blogger Bushman of the Kohlrabi said..."If this kind of surveillance is legal, the Trump administration should adopt the same tactics. The resulting MSM hysterics would incredibly entertaining."

He needs to state loudly and publicly that he intends to do so.

John said...

Re Benghazi: I am still inclined to the idea that it was a kidnapping gone bad. The ambassador was supposed to be kidnapped by some of our gang pretending to be bad guys.

President Obama would act tough and do the American Held Hostage bit for month or so then our guys would capitulate and "release" the ambassador. President Obama would take a victory lap about how he had gotten him freed and so on then win the election.

I have no agenda here.

John Henry

Chuck said...

Hoodlum and Drago:

You two are such disgraceful weasels.

I never suggested that Obama had any right to put Trump under surveillance. You are quoting from a thread in which comments were made about Donald Trump's demands for Obama's birth certificate and his college records.

I said then, as I do now, that Trump was a prick, for doing that. You want more? Trump was a hateful prick for doing it. And now, with his own college records and even his tax returns held in secret, I'd say that Trump is a hateful two-faced prick.

I'd personally forgive Obama, if somehow Obama went after Trump in revenge. But I would not and could not excuse it. And as a judge, I'd never excuse it. If Trump and or his campaign staff were surveilled for political reasons, I'd want the most aggressive and professional prosecutions of the wrongdoers. All of them. Without exception.

Thanks, for inviting this clarification. It always feels great to say, "Again, I was right on the law, and I am always happy to bash Trump on personal matters."

buwaya said...

"half the country seemingly certain of one and half seemingly certain of the other."

Because half of the US hates the other half so bitterly, and vice versa, the truth is merely a weapon, just as the stream of lies are meant to be. The side on the wrong side of the truth of a given matter cannot acknowledge it because otherwise it would cause a wound. When at war everything from the other side is a missile meant to harm.

There is a genuine conflict over incompatible interests, manifesting in all sorts of indirect ways.

John said...

Blogger Original Mike said...

Blogger AlbertAnonymous said..."and every news organization will include the phrase "without any evidence, " when reporting on Trump's comment:

Shepard Smith just now "The President now tells the NYT, without any evidence to back it up ... that Susan Rice may have committed a crime."

Can't some other news organization poach this guy?


Seems to me that the correct way to state this, if the news organizations cared about being right would be to say "...Trump did not share any evidence..." rather than that he was speaking "without evidence". I am sure he has some evidence. It may be good it may be poor but I am sure he has something.

Just like the "wiretapping" that he didn't have any evidence for. Until it turned out that he does have considerable evidence. He just chooses to share it on his schedule, not Fox and CNN's.

And Shep Smith? He is supposedly moving to CNN before the end of the year.

John Henry

J. Farmer said...

@David Begley:

The United States can't in any way be perceived as assisting Assad and keeping him in power.

Why not? What did assisting Hussein with launching chemical weapons attacks against the Iranians cost the United States?

I am not saying we should do any of that. My preferred policy is we stay out of that mess completely. But if the US was determined to intervene, the most strategically wise decision would be to keep Assad in power. That's what our entire arrangement in the middle east is about, keeping authoritarian strongmen in power who will keep a lid on any pesky democratic will of the people that may interfere with the US desire to maintain a hegemonic position in the region. I think hegemony is a stupid, wreck less, self-defeating goal, but that's where we're at.

Now that we have our own oil and gas I'd be happy if we could disassociate ourselves from the Middle East. Let the Sunni and Shia cut each other's heads off. Both sides should lose.

There aren't "both sides" in Syria. There are numerous factions all with their own factional interest. Sectarian wars have followed every regime change policy we've pursued since Afghanistan.

Achilles said...

Drago said...

I may have to adjust the label to "Archetype and "lifelong republican"" Chuck.

Chuck is a cliche, not an archetype.

J. Farmer said...

@John:

Did they need a dozen brownshirts (yes, brownshirts) and press?

So, the LA Sheriff's office should have changed uniforms before arresting him?

David Begley said...

Farmer

I think we agree we should stay out of the ME. We don't need their oil now. We have plenty at $60 bbl. We protect Israel. Wipe out ISIS in Iraq. Let them kill each other. Oh, and fix the treasonous Iran deal.

Susan Rice, Val, Ben and Barack did a bang up job in the ME. Work worthy of a Nobel.

Bruce Hayden said...

Here is the thing. FISA requires minimization of the identities of US Persons whose conversations were incidentally intercepted pursuant to. FISA warrants targeting others (typically, non US Persons). The Obama Administration issued regulations weakening the minimization requirements, and adding the NSA to the list of those authorized to unmask identities of those incidentally intercepted. So, pursuant to Obama Administration regulations and interpretations of FISA, Rice may not have violated the law. BUT, the reality apparently is that she apparently did violate the letter of the FISA law. As a woman of color serving in St Obama's White House, there may be no chance of convicting her with a D.C. jury. But that doesn't mean that she didn't probably violate the law, which is what Trump was saying. And, a zeleous prosecutor could probably, even with what we now know try her in most other districts, arguing that the letter of the law, and not the self-serving, politicized, rules controlled.

Another angle - those spreadsheets of hers are strong indicated of targeting. Indirect targeting, yes. But targeting none the less, and targeting without FISA warrants. As more and more of our digital communications are routinely intercepted and stored by our federal govt, the more critical this becomes. Requesting that the investigatory agencies be on the lookout for communications of certain US Persons "incidentally intercepted" is little different, in reality, from those people being individually targeted.

Also, remember, Rice was not in a position to create intelligence. The White House, where she worked, is a consumer of intelligence, not a creator of such. That is reserved for investigatory agencies like the FBI, CIA, NSA, etc, whose heads are subject to Senate confirmation, and, ultimately, can be removed by such, if necessary. The NSA is an unconfirmed, political, position, who serves in the White House at the President's discretion. They have no business unmasking identies protected by FISA, nor of tasking anyone else to do so. Or, of requesting communications from investigatory agencies about specific, named, US Persons.

Michael K said...

And now, with his own college records and even his tax returns held in secret, I'd say that Trump is a hateful two-faced prick.

Straw man, chuck. We did not know Obama and we still don't. The birth certificate is not the original and there are still questions about why. I don't think he was born in Kenya but there was something peculiar about most of his life.

He has no record of college and how did he get into Harvard LS? I think we know it was affirmative action but maybe he claimed to be a foreign student, sort of like Elizabeth Warren and her "Indian heritage."

There is a lot of low level corruption around these days and a lot of us think Obama was involved. Why is the LA Times still hiding the Khalidi tape ?

I think we know why Disney is still hiding "The Path to 9/11." Maybe someday it will be shown again or available on DVD. Probably after Hillary announces she will not run for anything again.

Trump, everybody has known about for 40 years. The tax return is another straw man. The media wants to be able to wave big numbers at the rubes.

Original Mike said...

"And Shep Smith? He is supposedly moving to CNN before the end of the year. "

YES!!!

buwaya said...

"What did assisting Hussein with launching chemical weapons attacks against the Iranians cost the United States?"

Did the US do that? Or was it "fake news" avant la lettre?
There is a very great deal of that, including the oft-repeated assertion that the US armed Saddam Hussein, which it demonstrably did not. The US actually did, surreptitiously, arm Iran, in part via Israel.

Michael K said...

A good summary of the Rice story and why Trump was correct to blow the whistle to end the coverup.

Michael K said...

What the US did with Iraq, contrary to the mythology of the left, was to share intelligence about Iran with Hussein.

Iran was our enemy since 1979. Hussein was not until he invaded Kuwait.

J. Farmer said...

@David Begley:

I think we agree we should stay out of the ME.

If that's your position, then yes we do agree. I don't know how vaporizing Assad fits in with that policy, though.


Susan Rice, Val, Ben and Barack did a bang up job in the ME.

You won't read a positive comment from me about the last president's foreign policy in the middle east, or the president before him. They both led godawful foreign policy's whose mistakes lives with us today.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Rob said...Asking that the names be unmasked was almost certainly not a crime, though depending on her intent in doing so (which is probably unknowable), it may have been wildly inappropriate. What could be a crime is disclosing those names to people unauthorized to receive that information. So the question becomes whether Rice was the leaker and if not, who she told the names to (or who learned them independently of Rice), and who of them was the leaker.

Why would the President's National Security Advisor ask for the unmasking, though? Wouldn't that normally be requested by some member of the actual IC? The IC's delivering the data to the political people in the Admin, and from what I've read the few people with the power to unmask (people within the IC) are supposed to do so only when that unmasking is necessary from an intelligence standpoint.
If I understand correctly, then, the IC delivered intel reports from SIGINT to the Admin with names masked, then someone within the Admin (Rice, I guess) requested that the names be unmasked, then someone within the IC approved the unmasking, then SOMEHOW the details of that intel--with unmasked names--gets leaked and spread around widely. By sheer coincidence Obama, while on his way out the door, altered the rules so intel could be easily spread between different agencies.
So: why did the IC people who prepared the reports originally believe that unmasking was unnecessary (from an intelligence POV) and why did a political Admin person disagree and "overrule" that determination?
Without the unmasking the spreading around (of the unmasked secret info) and leaking (of same) would not have really been possible. One therefore can't divorce those actions--one made the other possible, and presumably both must have been carried out by political people within the Admin (admittedly with "help" from the IC in the form of someone with the power to do so agreeing to the unmasking request).

Who requested the unmasking, and why?
Who agreed to the unmasking, and why? How frequently was that kind of request made by non-IC people (in the Obama admin) and how frequently was it granted? When, if ever, was it not granted?
Who had access to the post-unmasking intel, how widely was it spread, and why? Who, if anyone, changed the rules to make sharing/spreading intel of this kind more broadly within the government possible? What is the justification for that/those changes--if such a thing were necessary why was that change not made until very late in the Obama administration?

When does "wildly inappropriate" cross over into a crime, Rob? If her intent was to get juicy info she could make sure was leaked, and leaking is a crime, then the request to unmask (with the intent to use the product of the unmasking for a criminal purpose) is an element of the crime, isn't it? PROVING that intent would/will be very difficult, I grant, but by a "reasonable person" standard not impossible.

Let's get going.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

J. Farmer said...First, even if Nakoula's film had inspired the Benghazi attack, he would still not be guilty of a crime. That's not why he went to jail. The fallout from his film might have brought attention on him, but that'd be even more reason not to flagrantly violate the terms of his probation.

We agree; that's what I meant by "...for people who believe in strong 1st Amend. he's innocent of the "crime" of causing damage done by any protests that actually were about his film."

J. Farmer said...

@Buwaya:

Did the US do that?

Yes.

There is a very great deal of that, including the oft-repeated assertion that the US armed Saddam Hussein, which it demonstrably did not.

No, what the US intelligence community did was assist with the procurement of weapons from Eastern Bloc countries and from France. And the US did directly provide some arms but only a small minority of Iraq's total weapons.

@Michael K:

What the US did with Iraq, contrary to the mythology of the left, was to share intelligence about Iran with Hussein.

And what was the purpose of such intelligence? To assist Iraq with targeting Iranians, and the program continued after the gas attacks in Halabja in '88.

Achilles said...

buwaya said...
"half the country seemingly certain of one and half seemingly certain of the other."

Because half of the US hates the other half so bitterly, and vice versa, the truth is merely a weapon, just as the stream of lies are meant to be. The side on the wrong side of the truth of a given matter cannot acknowledge it because otherwise it would cause a wound. When at war everything from the other side is a missile meant to harm.

There is a genuine conflict over incompatible interests, manifesting in all sorts of indirect ways.


This may have been true of the left. They have been at war with the fabric of the country for a long time.

But the war is new to the right. It started softly in 2010 with the TEA party demonstrations which were peaceful and left the places cleaner than when they got there. But as they learned the GOP was not really on their side it was pushed into a corner. Now we have Trump.

This spying scandal is going to highlight the break. No decent person would countenance a sitting president spying on political opposition. People could ignore Hillary the Crook and Bill the Rapist and Obama the liar. But everyone senses this is something far worse than what Nixon did. This is going to highlight the anti-american nature of the Obama administration and both sides will know there is no common ground because the nature of the left will be undeniable.

buwaya said...

"No, what the US intelligence community did was assist with the procurement of weapons from Eastern Bloc countries"

No, this was entirely unnecessary, as the majority of Iraq's arms came directly from the USSR, and its allies could not have exported anything outside of Soviet policy. Anything that asserts otherwise is fake news, really, and probably came from the USSR.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SIPRI_Arms_Transfers_Database,_Iraq_1973%E2%80%931990

This is based on various NGO briefing papers being released at the time.

Note that in the 1980's many countries, including notably France and Brazil, had military sales reps in Baghdad, paying off Iraqi functionaries. Nobody needed US intelligence intermediaries, there were so many eager to sell. Other countries like the Philippines had labor agency reps there too (such as the Philippines, and this I know from the horses mouth) backfilling civilian manpower.

If you dig into the activities of the Soviet Union as revealed post-1991, such as Mitrokhin, the scope and penetration of the disinformation system will be clear. There are numerous other examples.

Brando said...

"Because half of the US hates the other half so bitterly, and vice versa, the truth is merely a weapon, just as the stream of lies are meant to be. The side on the wrong side of the truth of a given matter cannot acknowledge it because otherwise it would cause a wound. When at war everything from the other side is a missile meant to harm."

That's where we're headed, if we're not already there yet. Truth is not an objective thing, only "your truth" and "our truth".

If you want something we used to call "THE truth"? Out of luck, pal!

buwaya said...

"That's where we're headed, if we're not already there yet."

You have been there for years. Its taking some time to accept it.

J. Farmer said...

@Buwaya:

Read this and then tell me where the author got it wrong.

J. Farmer said...

And this is from the Wikipedia page you linked:

The United States did not supply any arms to Iraq until 1982, when Iran's growing military success alarmed American policymakers. It then did so every year until 1988. These sales amounted to less than 1% of the total arms sold to Iraq in the relevant period. Although most other countries never hesitated to sell military hardware directly to Saddam Hussein's regime, the U.S., equally keen to protect its interests in the region, opted for and developed an indirect approach. The CIA began covertly directing non-U.S. origin hardware to Hussein's armed forces, "to ensure that Iraq had sufficient military weapons, ammunition and vehicles to avoid losing the Iran-Iraq war."[2] The full extent of these transfers is not yet known, and details do not appear in the SIPRI Arms Transfers Database, which relies entirely on open sources.[1]

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Chuck said...You two are such disgraceful weasels.

I never suggested that Obama had any right to put Trump under surveillance. You are quoting from a thread in which comments were made about Donald Trump's demands for Obama's birth certificate and his college records.


The weasel is a naturally graceful animal, Chuck, besides which beasts of the field (lacking the spark of the Divine given to Man) are all innocent in the eyes of the Lord. You owe the noble Mustela an apology. Don't you dare go after stoats, either.

Now: I accurately paraphrased what you said. What you said goes to your state of mind and/or beliefs, and those beliefs are at least a bit relevant when judging your current arguments. As all of us on this blog know, Chuck, people's emotions are important--possibly more important than their arguments/reason.

You've made your distaste for Trump pretty clear. I remembered your comment re: forgiving Obama because that seemed, even for you, to be quiet an admission. You now want us to believe that your feeling that Obama would be justified in using the State against Trump (since Trump is such a prick) is wholly separate from your independent judgement regarding whether any such crime may have taken place, given the evidence we currently have.

Well. I'll let everyone else come to their own conclusions, but for me it doesn't seem too far fetched to say that it appears your intense dislike for Trump may be influencing your reason on this topic. It would be a bit presumptuous of me to say you ought to "think deeply" about why you've decided things, or even to suggest, Yoda-like, that you "search your feelings," but I will say that it's entirely possible for a person to sincerely believe they're being 100% objective when really they're letting their feelings influence their reason. That's a tough problem for for those of us who believe in reason (over emotion, as the way to run things), as the Professor enjoys pointing out.

You say that if you were a judge you'd put your belief about Trump's badness aside and find based on the law. Ok. What if you were a juror? If you were being voir dire-d by the Trump attorney as a potential juror for a criminal trial for Obama (say) and you were asked "do you think, given what a prick Trump had been to Obama, that Obama would have been in any way justified in putting Trump under surveillance?" You'd have to say "Yes," wouldn't you, Chuck? That's what your comment says--not that you think it was legal, but that Obama personally would have been justified. Ok. Given that, the judge would dismiss you from the jury pool, right? She'd have to--she'd have to conclude that your strong beliefs meant you couldn't give the case a fair hearing and that your bias would unduly influence your judgement. They wouldn't need to burn a preemptory challenge on you, Chuck--you'd get kicked for cause.

It's not weasely to say that reading your statement (that you think Obama would have been justified in taking an illegal action against Trump just 'cause Trump is such a prick) has caused me to believe that your judgement about this topic is largely influenced by your feelings about Trump and on that basis to discount your arguments and assertions accordingly. You were open and (presumably) honest in your comment, and it's only fitting to incorporate that information into my judgement.

buwaya said...

"Read this and then tell me where the author got it wrong."

A great deal of this is "fake news". Like I said, you need paranoia.
All of this is assertions about who said what to who for what purpose.

To the contrary, read this -

Iran-Iraq War in the Air 1980-1988 (Schiffer Military History Book)
by Tom Cooper, Farzad Bishop - this is a rather rare book now.

Which details US/Israeli military assistance to IRAN, by various routes, specifying individual weapons systems and spare parts, to keep Iranian air defenses functional. This does not square with allegations elsewhere.

J. Farmer said...

@buwaya:

A great deal of this is "fake news".

Including the wikipedia page you linked to as your source? Which says exactly the same thing I said about the CIA's role. And it's completely conceivable that the US would support both sides of a war in which they weren't too enthused about either side winning.

Here is part of an affidavit by Howard Teacher, a member of the National Security Council:

8. I personally attended meetings in which CIA Director Casey or
CIA Deputy Director Gates noted the need for Iraq to have certain weapons
such as cluster bombs and anti-armor penetrators in order to stave off the
Iranian attacks. When I joined the NSC staff in early 1982, CIA Director
Casey was adamant that cluster bombs were a perfect "force multiplier"
that would allow the Iraqis to defend against the "human waves" of Iranian
attackers. I recorded those comments in the minutes of National Security
Planning Group ("NSPG") meetings in which Casey or Gates participated.

9. The CIA, including both CIA Director Casey and Deputy Director
Gates, knew of, approved of, and assisted in the sale of non-U.S. origin
military weapons, ammunition and vehicles to Iraq. My notes, memoranda
and other documents in my NSC files show or tend to show that the CIA knew
of, approved of, and assisted in the sale of non-U.S. origin military
weapons, munitions and vehicles to Iraq.


More fake news? Is he just making this up?

Michael K said...

"And what was the purpose of such intelligence? To assist Iraq with targeting Iranians, "

Who were our enemies, by their own choice.

The gas attack had nothing to do with us.

J. Farmer said...

Howard Teicher* typo

Michael K said...

Farmer, I Googled "Howard Teacher, a member of the National Security Council:"

You know what came up ?

Nothing.

J. Farmer said...

@Michael K:

The gas attack had nothing to do with us.

Except to the degree that the satellite intelligence we provided Iraq to better target their weapons against Iranians. And we continued to assist Iraq after the attack on Halabja.

J. Farmer said...

@Michael K:

Farmer, I Googled "Howard Teacher, a member of the National Security Council:"

You know what came up ?

Nothing.


Yes, it was a typo, probably caused by autocorrect. I included a hyperlink to his full testimony.

George said...

And The New Yorker continues its stream of anti-Trump nonsense https://goo.gl/M3mhTp

A once great journal has turned into a rag.

Owen said...

Bruce Hayden: "... As more and more of our digital communications are routinely intercepted and stored by our federal govt, the more critical this becomes. Requesting that the investigatory agencies be on the lookout for communications of certain US Persons "incidentally intercepted" is little different, in reality, from those people being individually targeted."

Word. What difference is there between hunting a specific animal; and corralling all the animals before selecting the one of interest?

Bob Loblaw said...

"Here are some names I will put right here...by the phone....along with phone numbers to my favorite reporters....I think I will step out while some other staffers come in and gather by my phone for no reason."

That is how plausible deniability works in Washington.


It's a bit more subtle than that. What she did was authorize the unmasking and at the same time disseminated the data to the largest number of people she could possibly justify under the guise of inter-agency information sharing for national security. If you make sure 500 government employees (who skew heavily Democrat) have information that might be embarrassing to a Republican candidate, you can be absolutely sure that information will make its way into the press. Furthermore, the potential leakers know there are so many people with the relevant information the FBI will be unable to track down the leakers.

Unless she wrote something down I don't see how they can prosecute, but it's difficult to see another explanation for her conduct. The Obama administration was corrupt through and through, but you have to admit it was something they were good at.

Chuck said...

Hoodlum:

Twice now, you have mischaracterized me. I didn't say -- NEVER said -- that Obama would have been "justified" in surveilling Trump. I said, in the midst of another discussion, that "I might forgive him."

Shit; you animals are so eager to put the best imaginable spin (and it's sometimes an unimaginable spin) on Trump's sloppy language.

I am actually describing a meaningful difference in clear language and you won't gt it.

And assuredly, if I were a venireman in Trump's future trial(s), upon being asked if there was anything that would prevent me from being fair to defendant Trump, I'd respond this way: "Well, I think that your son of a bitch client is the worst liar in modern American public life. I don't think that's a problem for me, and I'm happy to be on this jury. But maybe it's a problem for you, counsel. I dunno."

Lewis Wetzel said...

This is Trump the provocateur at his best. He'll say anything to get the attention where he wants it to be, and the press plays along because they can't not cover what he says.

Michael K said...

"And we continued to assist Iraq after the attack on Halabja."

I assume you know that the gas attack was on Kurds, not Iranians. We had nothing to do with it.

Francisco D said...

Chuck said: "You worthless fucking moron...."

Your lack of emotional control is far worse than Trump's mouthiness. You constantly beclown yourself, but seem to have zero awareness. Your are far worse than Trump. Far worse.

You need some time spent in introspection, if not psychotherapy. Your responses are unacceptably vulgar and ad hominem.

Achilles said...

Bob Loblaw said...

Unless she wrote something down I don't see how they can prosecute, but it's difficult to see another explanation for her conduct. The Obama administration was corrupt through and through, but you have to admit it was something they were good at.

This is not the standard with TS/SCI materials. She handled the information improperly in a way that led to it's dissemination. She was read on to the material. If she wasn't read on then it was illegal for her to have access to it. After she was read on she became responsible for it.

You check the materials out. You return the materials when you are done. It is classified. You are RESPONSIBLE for those materials when you have them. At the end of the day there is accountability i.e. they make sure all of the hard drives are in the safe etc.

There is no plausible deniability. There is no intent involved. This is different. I didn't know and I don't remember don't cut it here. If you were responsible for X and X ended up on the front page of the NYT's everyone with access to X is getting the treatment.

J. Farmer said...

I assume you know that the gas attack was on Kurds, not Iranians.

I didn't say that it was. Halabja also happened in 1988, as the war was winding down. Iraq had launched chemical weapons attacks against Iranians since 1983. That's my point.

J. Farmer said...

And again, you seem to be missing the entire context of me bringing up Iraq's use of chemical weapons, which was in response to another commenter who claimed that we "can't in any way be perceived as assisting Assad and keeping him in power." My point was simply not only did we block efforts to sanction Iraq at the UN over his use of chemical weapons, we continued to assist him with intelligence, money, and arms.

Achilles said...

There are literally dozens of people in Leavenworth that said "I didn't know I couldn't take a picture with XXXX behind me." Another one is "I didn't know I couldn't tell my GF about that." "I didn't specifically mention XXXX."

Most people who go afoul and end up in jail had no intent to distribute.

buwaya said...

"the CIA knew of, approved of, and assisted in the sale"

Is not "supplied", and "assisted in the sale of" is exceedingly non-specific. The whole thing is trivial words about words, and especially as it is about discussions within the US government that cannot be seen to have gone anywhere. To put it in context, the anti-US propaganda campaign, by the Soviet Union, in the third world 1990-91, the last gasp of the old disinformation system, was that the US was supplying Saddam Hussein, or had been the major prop behind him.

I.e. the message was that Saddam Hussein, in the main a Soviet satellite, was a rogue creature of the US. That is disinformation. That is the "big lie" technique. This was a USSR attempt to derail US efforts against Iraq in 1990-91.

This while nearly all his weapons seen on the battlefield were sourced from known vendors, especially the fellows running the disinformation campaign. Those T-72's did not come from any US ally. Armor piercing ammo? Not 125mm, as that was all from the USSR. Also all those MIGs, and their parts and weapons, and the anti-tank/anti-aircraft missiles. Those cheap Chinese tanks either. And France had been selling him Mirage F1's and their weapons (including cluster bombs) from the Carter administration on. And on and on. There is no piece, part, or munition of any significance that can be sourced to the US or any of its allies.

And so the disinformation has persisted like a zombie, long after it lost its value, long after the demise of its architects.

Another example of Soviet "big lies", disinformation, or "fake news" that persisted beyond the immediate needs of the initiating regime can be found on Michael Oren's book on the Six Day War ("Six Days of War"). It seems that the Soviets proclaimed around the Middle East that the Egyptian Air Force had been attacked by the US, explaining the defeat. This was taken up by Nasser, desperate to excuse his failures. This became conventional wisdom in the ME, a secret, duplicitous attack by the US.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Bob Loblaw said...It's a bit more subtle than that. What she did was authorize the unmasking and at the same time disseminated the data to the largest number of people she could possibly justify under the guise of inter-agency information sharing for national security.

I could be wrong on this, Bob, but I think that's not 100% accurate--I think Rice herself is not capable of authorizing the unmasking. I think she requested it, and then someone else (one of the "20 or so" people Comey indicated had the authority to do so) actually authorized it.
Honestly that may be what saves her, in the eyes of the Media anyway--even if it was a clearly-bogus request and even though it was pretty clearly requested for an inappropriate purpose, if someone else--someone nominally not a political Dem/Obama Admin member--actually signed the document (or whatever) authorizing the release, even at Rice's request, then that'll be enough to fully exonerate Rice.
It won't explain how Rice said just a few weeks ago that she didn't know anything about unmasking and didn't have anything to do with it...but what're a few more lies on the ol' pile, anyway?

Bob Loblaw said...

This is not the standard with TS/SCI materials. She handled the information improperly in a way that led to it's dissemination.

If that's true I haven't seen any evidence. From what I can see she made it happen by authorizing dissemination of the material as widely as possible, something she could legally do in her position.

J. Farmer said...

@buwaya:

More from the affidavit of Mr. Teich, which you seem adamant not to read:

10. The United States was anxious to have other countries supply
assistance to Iraq. For example, in 1984, the Israelis concluded that
Iran was more dangerous than Iraq to Israel's existence due to the growing
Iranian influence and presence in Lebanon. The Israelis approached the
United States in a meeting in Jerusalem that I attended with Donald
Rumsfeld. Israeli Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir asked Rumsfeld if the
United States would deliver a secret offer of Israeli assistance to Iraq.
The United States agreed. I travelled wtih Rumsfeld to Baghdad and was
present at the meeting in which Rumsfeld told Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq
Aziz about Israel's offer of assistance. Aziz refused even to accept the
Israelis' letter to Hussein offering assistance, because Aziz told us that
he would be executed on the spot by Hussein if he did so.

11. One of the reasons that the United States refused to license
or sell U.S. origin weapons to Iraq was that the supply of non-U.S. origin
weapons to Iraq was sufficient to meet Iraq's needs. Under CIA DIrector
Casey and Deputy Director Gates, the CIA made sure that non-U.S.
manufacturers manufactured and sold to Iraq the weapons needed by Iraq.
In certain instances where a key component in a weapon was not readily
available, the highest levels of the United States government decided to
make the component available, directly or indirectly, to Iraq. I
specifically recall that the provision of anti-armor penetrators to Iraq
was a case in point. The United States made a policy decision to supply
penetrators to Iraq. My notes, memoranda and other documents in my NSC
files will contain references to the Iraqis' need for anti-armor
penetrators and the decision to provide penetrators to Iraq.

Achilles said...

Bob Loblaw said...

If that's true I haven't seen any evidence. From what I can see she made it happen by authorizing dissemination of the material as widely as possible, something she could legally do in her position.

There is no legal about it. They can and will make arguments about what they did being legal as you say. But it wasn't legal. There are many service people in jail for far far less than what these people did.

Also try to think what kind of jury gets to sit on a case where someone goes to trial for mishandling TS/SCI material.

Unknown said...

Here's Chuck:

"Trump just accused Obama of Treason! How dare he! He needs to resign or be impeached! He cannot make those kinds of statements!" Two days later, proof of Obama committing treason is produced. Chuck: "How dare Trump accuse Obama of Treason! It's not right! It hurts the country! It hurts the sane Republican party!" When Obama's treason is pointed out and that Trump was, in fact, correct: "How dare Trump make these kind of statements about Obama, who is a great person! Trump must be punished and be impeached!" When directly challenged to opine on Obama's treason: "Yes, Obama may have done a bad thing. But Can you believe Trump and how evil he is? No one should ever, ever believe Trump at all! Ever! Regardless of whether Trump was right, he needs to shut up and never say another word ever!"

And about Obama's treason? "If necessary, I suppose that we should put together a commission of saintly people, namely McCain and Schumer and Pelosi and Hillary and Michelle Obama, in secret and under oath to never say a word until the complete investigation is done, and to investigate thoroughly, for at least the next 20 years, and then release the report (written in Faroese) on Christmas morning at 2 AM on a server in Tuvalu that only has one monitor access, with no network connection. Now get off my back, I'm calling for an investigation, what more do you want? Now Trump should be executed!"

--Vance

Chuck said...

All those fucking fake quotes; not one of them actually from me.

Vance, you should pull that post, and rewrite it however you want; just don't make up false quotes and falsely attribute them to me.

Do it now.

Rabel said...

Pardon me. Please excuse my impolite interruption of today's pissing contest but I have a question related to the post and I thought one of the astute Althouse commenters here might be able step away from his or her urethra long enough to help me find an answer.

My question is - What was the question?

I see an answer or at least a partial answer in quotes from President Trump but I only see a paraphrase of the question to which he was responding. The two don't seen to match up. Of course, it's a Trump quote so that mismatch in not unusual but I've heard that talented writers such as Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman at the Times can use this sort of misdirection to lead their readers around by the nose.

That's probably not the case here but it would be good to know exactly what was asked and answered. Thanks in advance for your help.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Chuck said...Shit; you animals are so eager to put the best imaginable spin (and it's sometimes an unimaginable spin) on Trump's sloppy language.

Goodness! It's difficult to have a civil discussion with someone so keen on personal insults--using (literally) dehumanizing language no less--but I'll press on.

Twice now, you have mischaracterized me. I didn't say -- NEVER said -- that Obama would have been "justified" in surveilling Trump. I said, in the midst of another discussion, that "I might forgive him."

So you "might forgive" someone for something you don't think is justified? I'll grant that I'm not a lawyer so maybe my language-parsing skills aren't up to this...but when I hear someone use the word "justified" I take it to mean "done for a valid reason." Now, it wouldn't make much sense to say "I forgive Obama for that action, even though I don't think the action was taken for a valid reason."

I agree you could say, and apparently are saying, "I think Obama had a valid personal reason to take action against Trump, even though doing so is illegal and should be punished." People can take illegal actions that are justified--legally wrong but morally or situationally correct (especially within a deontological framework).

Here, try it this way:
"Obama had no reason to take that illegal action, it was not justified, so I can't forgive it." Ok.
"Obama had good reasons to take that illegal action, it was justified, so even though he should be prosecuted for breaking the law I can forgive it." Ok.
"Obama had good reason to take that illegal action, it WAS NOT justified, so even though he should be prosecuted for breaking the law I can forgive it." Weird.

See how that last one makes a lot less sense than the first two, Chuck? You're accusing me of bad faith (and being an animal, etc) for thinking the second is makes more sense than the third.

You don't like the word "justified," then ok. I can type "think you could forgive him (Obama) for doing it" every time if it makes you feel better. It still doesn't make much sense to say you "can forgive" someone for actions you don't think were in any way justified (outside of the religious context for forgiveness, which you were not invoking), but you seem pretty adamant on that point and it's not too clunky to type out I guess.

Big Mike said...

Trump said “Do I think? Yes, I think.” I think that he thinks, and I think that I think. J. Farmer not so much.

J. Farmer said...

@Big Mike:

J. Farmer not so much.

Tell me where I'm wrong, and we'll go from there, big boy.

buwaya said...

J Farmer,
I read his statement.
Note re 10 - nothing came of it. The Iraqis did not feel the need to make nice with Israel. Why? Consider the possibility that they didn't need such assistance, being well supplied anyway. And they were.
Re 11 - No idea. This seems like a stretch to reverse-engineer Soviet ammo to suit Western components. This is the sort of story one would need actual details for, such as battlefield accounts. The Soviets were the main source of ammunition to Iraq, and AFAIK the Iraqis were never short of AP ammo. The Iranian armored force was not generally in working order, was outnumbered by the Iraqis, and used in small numbers. There was no danger of an Iranian blitzkrieg.

readering said...

Is this about Trump or Rice or Chuck? I get confused reading the comments.

Birkel said...

@ Chuck, so called fopdoodle

When you demand a retraction do you stamp your feet and hold your breath?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Rabel said...My question is - What was the question?

I see an answer or at least a partial answer in quotes from President Trump but I only see a paraphrase of the question to which he was responding. The two don't seen to match up.


Solid question, Rabel. There seem to be two statements under discussion: one to the NYTimes in an interview and one to Fox News in response to a question just after the press conference w/the Jordanian king today. Like you I can't find the full text of the question that prompted either response, but here's what I could find:

NYTimes: When asked if Ms. Rice, who has denied leaking the names of Trump associates under surveillance by United States intelligence agencies, had committed a crime, the president said, “Do I think? Yes, I think.

Fox News: Asked directly by Fox News if Rice may have broken a law, Trump did not mince words.

''It certainly looks like she may have," Trump said, shortly after his joint press conference with Jordan's King Abdullah II at the White House.


It's amusing to me that FoxNews says "did not mince words" and then directly quotes Trump saying "[it] looks like she may have." I'm not sure how that's less minced than saying "Yes, she did," but I'm not a reporter.

The response to the NYTimes prompting likewise is asserting an opinion or belief and not a fact--the question must have been something like "do you think Rice broke the law" or similar. The Times headlines the exchange as Trump, Citing No Evidence Suggests Susan Rice Committed A Crime--but just from that quote the headline's not technically accurate; Trump stated that he believes she did, and didn't make a claim about the objective reality of the situation. That sounds silly, but there's a difference between saying "I believe in the Easter Bunny" and saying "the Easter Bunny is real."

(Did I type that last paragraph just to tweak Chuck, who recently accused "us animals" of being eager to put an unimaginable spin on Trump's sloppy language? Maybe. Remember that the Media is eager to accept "it depends on what the meaning of is is" though, and realize that by that standard all sorts of silly spin is allowed.)

Anyway congratulations on asking an important question, Rabel--by giving us only a small part of an answer and not the actual question or context of an answer the Media gets to distort responses at will while still claiming that they're technically just accurately quoting what someone said. It's a transparent game, but they play it so much it probably works.

Drago said...

readering: "Is this about Trump or Rice or Chuck?"

Sounds a bit like a cooking channel blog question, doesn't it?

DanTheMan said...

Trump should announce that if Rice walks, he will be doing the same sort of monitoring of his political opponents in 2019.

Since it's not illegal. Or even wrong, apparently.

J. Farmer said...

@buwaya:

Let's just recap. Here's my original statement you took issue with:

No, what the US intelligence community did was assist with the procurement of weapons from Eastern Bloc countries and from France. And the US did directly provide some arms but only a small minority of Iraq's total weapons.

I have since pointed you towards a book-length treatment of the issue, and I've quoted directly from a member of the National Security Council at the time who was responsible for political-military affairs in the middle east who admitted under oath that the US did exactly what I said it did.

What exactly have I said that you find to be incorrect, and what's your evidence?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Sorry, I left the links off my last post.

Fox News: Trump Says Rice May Have Committed Crime With Unmasking Requests

NYT: Trump, Citing No Evidence, Suggests Susan Rice Committed Crime

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