Whom or what is he for and against?
Whom, in his own mind, does he serve? To what end?
Bizpac Review reports:
Rep. Trey Gowdy [R-SC] questioned FBI Director James Comey Monday [March 20, 2017] during a House Intelligence Committee hearing about leaks of classified information to the media.
In reference to the taped call between Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn and the Russian ambassador, the South Carolina lawmaker grilled Comey about who can “unmask” a U.S. citizen when collecting intelligence.
Gowdy would later point out that making a person’s identity publicly known when protected by law is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. He asked how many people are able to unmask a person and what other agencies have the authority to do so — besides the FBI, Comey named the NSA, CIA and the Justice Department.
He also said the White House can request the agency collecting the intelligence to unmask a person, but said they can’t do it on their own.
Gowdy named a number of people from the Obama administration, to include former national security adviser Susan Rice, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and then-acting Attorney General Sally Yates, all of whom Comey confirmed would likely have had access to the name of an unmasked U.S. citizen.
He asked Comey if he briefed former President Barack Obama on any calls involving Flynn, but the director would not comment on his conversations with Obama.
Gowdy proceeded with the precision of a surgeon in discussing “nefarious motives” for leaking Flynn’s name, none of which reflected well on the last administration.
Regardless, Comey would not confirm whether an investigation into who unmasked Flynn is underway, although he confirmed earlier the bureau is investigating Trump campaign ties to Russia.
So he was happy to confirm that the FBI is investigating “Trump campaign ties to Russia” – which have not been found, though the investigation has been going on since July 2016. By doing so he is thickening the cloud of suspicion that the Democratic Party has created in its efforts to destroy the Trump presidency.
But he would not say whether an investigation is underway into the only known felony that has certainly been committed in connection with this evil Leftist conspiracy – the betrayal of the American citizen Michael Flynn to the Democratic Party’s toady press; the “betrayal” being a report of a perfectly legitimate conversation between Flynn as a member of the Trump campaign when Donald Trump was president-in-waiting and a diplomat with whom he had official business. The crime was the leaking of the intercepted conversation to the New York Times and the Washington Post. It needs to be investigated, the leaker needs to be arrested and tried – but that is something that the head of the FBI does not feel he can talk about to the people’s representatives in a Congressional hearing.
So there is a long ongoing investigation into alleged nefarious activity where not a trace of evidence for any wrong-doing has been found in eight months, and the head of the FBI can announce that fact to all the world. But he cannot say whether or not his bureau of investigation is looking into a serious crime, known to have taken place, that affects the democratic processes on which the government of the country depends?
Why? Why is the great detective openly chasing after a shadow while apparently ignoring a crime?
And why has President Trump kept this man Comey in his job?
President Trump has beautifully, elegantly, brilliantly finessed his enemies.
By taking the New York Times at its word that his communications were intercepted last year, Trump has forced the NYT either to take responsibility for exposing Obama’s scandalous activity, or to say that it was lying.
According to Andrew McCarthy (see our post immediately below, Now, President Trump, hit back), the Obama administration sought and eventually obtained FISA (the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) authorization to conduct the wire-tapping.
For what purposes can such FISA authorization be obtained? And by whom?
The President may authorize, through the Attorney General, electronic surveillance without a court order for the period of one year, provided that it is only to acquire foreign intelligence information, that it is solely directed at communications or property controlled exclusively by foreign powers, that there is no substantial likelihood that it will acquire the contents of any communication to which a United States person is a party, and that it be conducted only in accordance with defined minimization procedures.
The code defines “foreign intelligence information” to mean information necessary to protect the United States against actual or potential grave attack, sabotage or international terrorism.
“Foreign powers” means a foreign government, any faction of a foreign nation not substantially composed of U.S. persons, and any entity directed or controlled by a foreign government. The definition also includes groups engaged in international terrorism and foreign political organizations. The sections of FISA authorizing electronic surveillance and physical searches without a court order specifically exclude their application to groups engaged in international terrorism.
A “U.S. person” includes citizens, lawfully admitted permanent resident aliens, and corporations incorporated in the United States.
“Minimization procedures” is defined to mean procedures that minimize the acquisition of information concerning United States persons, allow the retention of information that is evidence of a crime, and require a court order be obtained in order to retain communication involving a United States person for longer than 72 hours.
The Attorney General is required to make a certification of these conditions under seal to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, and report on their compliance to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
Under the FISA act, anyone who engages in electronic surveillance except as authorized by statute is subject to both criminal penalties and civil liabilities.
So if the New York Times was correct, President Obama’s Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, authorized electronic surveillance of communication devices in Donald Trump’s offices, on the grounds that her Department of Justice had provable grounds for suspicion that Donald Trump, the Republican candidate for the presidency, was one side of a conspiracy to mount “grave attack, sabotage, or international terrorism” against the United States – even though there was “substantial likelihood” that by doing so she would “acquire the contents of … communication(s) to which a United States person” – Donald Trump personally or an associate of his – was a party”.
If that’s what she did, she broke the law.
If she gathered any information from FISA-authorized wire-tapping, and retained it for more than an allowed 72 hours, or disseminated it to persons who illegally leaked it to the media, she broke the law.
If any of this happened, then there was a deep-laid plot by the Obama administration to destroy Donald Trump’s reputation and wreck his presidency should he be elected.
But then again, maybe the wire-tapping never happened, in which case the New York Times was lying – not at all an implausible probability.
Matthew Vadum writes at Front Page:
President Donald Trump caused a media firestorm by claiming over the weekend that then-President Obama wire-tapped telephones at Trump Tower in Manhattan during the final leg of last year’s election campaign.
Seeing the writing on the wall, tainted FBI Director James Comey promptly and publicly urged the Department of Justice to reject Trump’s claims. Although it is an attempt at a cover-up, it is an admirably transparent one.
Now the outlines of a Watergate-like conspiracy are emerging in which a sitting Democrat president apparently used the apparatus of the state to spy on a Republican presidential candidate. Watergate differed in that President Nixon didn’t get involved in the plot against the Democratic National Committee until later as an accomplice after the fact. Here Obama likely masterminded, or oversaw someone like the diabolical Benghazi cover-up artist Ben Rhodes, masterminding the whole thing.
Throughout his agonizingly long presidency, Obama serially abused his powers as the nation’s Chief Executive to undermine his political opponents. It might be said that every day of his presidency he committed at least one impeachable offense.
Obama used the IRS to target conservative and Tea Party nonprofits, along with Catholic, Jewish, and pro-Israel organizations. He brazenly lied about it, too. His Justice Department surreptitiously obtained telephone records for more than 100 reporters. … Books have been written about his corruption and many more such volumes will follow. …
A spokesman for Obama, who now lives in former Bill Clinton press secretary Joe Lockhart’s walled mansion with Valerie Jarrett on Washington’s Embassy Row so he can pursue his unprecedented, taxpayer-subsidized post-presidential war against Trump, denied Obama ordered that Trump Tower be wiretapped.
“A cardinal rule of the Obama administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice,” according to a carefully-worded statement. “As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.”
Of course, as others quickly pointed out, the denial is misdirection.
Former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy wrote yesterday that the denial “seems disingenuous on several levels”. When a warrant is obtained under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), “it is technically the FISA court that ‘orders’ surveillance”. Moreover, under the law, “it is the Justice Department, not the White House, that represents the government in proceedings before the FISA court”.
McCarthy wrote presciently on Jan. 11: “The idea that FISA could be used against political enemies always seemed far-fetched. Now it might not be.”
Besides, Obama and his gang have generally been smart enough to hide their tracks when carrying out political dirty tricks. The Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, FBI, CIA, and NSA, aren’t headquartered in the White House. Obama could wage war against Trump by creating multiple layers of plausible deniability. That’s what a community organizer from Chicago does.
Predictably, former Obama speechwriter [Ben] Rhodes went on Twitter to lie. Replying to a Trump tweet, the Iranian mullahs’ best friend wrote, cheekily, that, “No President can order a wiretap. Those restrictions were put in place to protect citizens from people like you.” …
Most mainstream journalists were loath over the past eight years to call the exhaustively documented and at times bald-faced lies and misdeeds of President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, National Security Advisor Susan Rice, Attorneys General Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, and HHS Secretary Sebelius. It would seem uncovering government corruption is only a journalist’s duty when a Republican resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. …
Let’s recount what former British Member of Parliament Louise Mensch reported at Heat Street on Nov. 7, the day before the U.S. election.
Two separate sources with links to the counter-intelligence community have confirmed to Heat Street that the FBI sought, and was granted, a FISA court warrant in October, giving counter-intelligence permission to examine the activities of ‘U.S. persons’ in Donald Trump’s campaign with ties to Russia.
Contrary to earlier reporting in the New York Times, which cited FBI sources as saying that the agency did not believe that the private server in Donald Trump’s Trump Tower which was connected to a Russian bank had any nefarious purpose, the FBI’s counter-intelligence arm, sources say, re-drew an earlier FISA court request around possible financial and banking offenses related to the server. The first request, which, sources say, named Trump, was denied back in June, but the second was drawn more narrowly and was granted in October after evidence was presented of a server, possibly related to the Trump campaign, and its alleged links to two banks; SVB Bank and Russia’s Alfa Bank. While the Times story speaks of metadata, sources suggest that a FISA warrant was granted to look at the full content of emails and other related documents that may concern US persons.
The FBI agents who talked to the New York Times, and rubbished the ground-breaking stories of Slate (Franklin Foer) and Mother Jones (David Corn) may not have known about the FISA warrant, sources say, because the counter-intelligence and criminal sides of the FBI often work independently of each other employing the principle of ‘compartmentalization’.
… We already knew that days before Trump’s inauguration, it was reported that Obama green-lighted a disturbing relaxation of the rules regulating the National Security Agency’s ability to circulate globally intercepted personal communications among the other 16 intelligence agencies, some of which are more politicized than the NSA, before applying important longstanding privacy-protection protocols. Before the policy was altered, the NSA [had] screened out the identities of innocent people and irrelevant personal information before passing intercepted communications along to other agencies like the CIA or the FBI’s intelligence units.
Put another way, 17 days before President Trump was sworn in, NSA was unleashed against his embryonic administration, newly empowered to share raw intelligence gathered from telephone calls and emails that go through network switches outside the country, as well as messages between people outside the U.S. that go through domestic network switches.
WikiLeaks offered a refresher course in Obama’s treachery on Twitter Sunday, noting that “Obama has a history of tapping & hacking his friends and rivals”, and providing plenty of examples. …
And despite the growing mass media hysteria, there is still no publicly available evidence the Trump campaign somehow colluded with the Russian government last year. Sources in newspaper articles are never identified.
There is not a scintilla of proof of improper conduct.
All we have is the alleged say-so of faceless CIA spooks whose motives are questionable, to put it charitably.
Tom Shattuck writes at the Boston Herald:
In what has already been a historically bad year for Democrats, it just may be that they’re about to lose again to Donald Trump, this time in a high-stakes game of Russian roulette.
The Dems’ Putin smear was supposed to paint President Trump as a friend of the tyrant and beneficiary of Russian meddling in the election. Instead, it is the standard-bearer of the Democratic Party, former President Barack Obama, who may take the fall.
Snooping on a presidential candidate is serious business.
The Democrats want you to think this is a crazy conspiracy theory for an unhinged tweeting president.
But Obama has a rich legacy of using the federal government as a political weapon and it would be foolish to think he suddenly started restraining himself, when he was never held to account by either the media or Democrats in power.
Remember, Obama’s Justice Department secretly subpoenaed the private phone records of Associated Press editors and reporters. It was pure spying.
Fox News reporter James Rosen and his family were wiretapped.
Former CBS news reporter Sharyl Attkisson’s computer was hacked by the government.
Add to these incidents the harassment of conservative organizations by Obama’s IRS, and the mercenary nature of the Obama administration reveals itself.
We’re told Obama administration officials went to the FISA Court twice last year for warrants to conduct electronic surveillance on candidate Trump. Why?
The DNC leaks show that DNC staffers were formulating “Russia” attacks on Trump as far back as last April, with one email between two committee members reading “the pro-Russia stuff ties in pretty well to idea that Trump is too friendly with Putin/weak on Russia”.
Then there is the infamous “dossier” — anonymous reports that Trump campaign members were speaking to Russian officials with some frequency last year and the existence of wiretapped audio. …
The left wants to play the Russia game and President Trump should oblige.
There should be an immediate investigation, and we’ll see where the espionage trail leads.
President Trump has requested the congressional intelligence committees “to determine whether executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016”.
Barack Obama and Loretta Lynch would be foolish not to be afraid.
The Left was able to make its “long march through the institutions” and finally achieve supreme power as the bureaucratic dictatorship of the European Union and the administration of Barack Obama in the United States, because the conservative Right let it.
The Left fights low and dirty. Conservative politicians, almost without exception, will not “descend to their level”. Conservatives and Republicans fight like gentlemen (and that includes the women except for Margaret the Great of England); which means to fight cleanly, respectfully, obeying the rules – of etiquette! The result was, the thugs on the Left won power.
Then Donald Trump barged on to the political stage.
Donald Trump wants to win, win he does, and win he shall.
But even now, one of his own chosen team, newly-appointed Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has let him down with etiquette! So of course President Trump is furious with Sessions for surrendering to the enemy, who is fighting lower and dirtier than ever.
Andrew McCarthy explains, writing at the National Review:
So, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself. Great! Just one question: From what? Yes, yes, Sessions is a good and decent man. He is a scrupulous lawyer who cares about his reputation. Thus, in stark contrast to Obama administration attorneys general, he strictly applied — I’d say he hyper-applied — the ethical standard that calls on a lawyer to recuse himself from a matter in which his participation as counsel would create the mere appearance of impropriety.
The standard is eminently sensible because the legitimacy of our judicial system depends not only on its actually being on the up and up but on its being perceived as such. If it looks like you’re conflicted, you step aside, period. Simple, right? Well . . . Much as I admire our AG’s virtue (and you know I do), let’s pause the preen parade for just a moment. There’s a tiny word in that just-described ethical standard that we need to take note of: matter. A lawyer doesn’t just recuse himself. He recuses himself from a legal matter — from participation in a case. When we are talking about the criminal law, that means recusal from a prospective prosecution. You need a crime for that. Prosecutors do not recuse themselves from fishing expeditions or partisan narratives. So . . . what is the crime?
We need to ask this question because, rest assured, this does not end with Jeff Sessions. No more than it ended with Mike Flynn. No more than it would end if the media-Democrat complex were to obtain the much coveted scalp of Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, Seb Gorka, or one of the other Beltway gate-crashers we’ve come to know over the last six improbable months. The objective is President Trump: preferably, his impeachment and removal; but second prize, his mortal political wounding by a thousand cuts just in time for 2018 and 2020, would surely do. …
Impeachment cases do not just spontaneously appear. They have to be built over time, and with vigor, because most Americans — even those who oppose a president politically — do not want the wrenching divisiveness and national instability that impeachment unavoidably entails. The reluctant public must be convinced that there is urgency, that the [targeted] president’s demonstrated unfitness has created a crisis that must be dealt with. …
In the matter of Barack Obama, the GOP had an actual case based on systematic executive overreach and the empowering of America’s enemies, the kind of threat to the constitutional framework that induced Madison to regard the impeachment remedy as “indispensable”. Yet agitating for upheaval is against the Republican character (a generally good trait, though paralyzing in an actual crisis). …
Republicans had no stomach for mentioning impeachment, much less building a case. Democrats, by contrast, have an iron-cast stomach and an unseemly zeal for upheaval. They’re ready to build. All they lack is a case. No problem: They have made one up, and they are confident not only that they will build it into a national crisis of confidence in the presidency but that the Republicans will help them.
And lo and behold, Republicans are helping them. Unwittingly perhaps, but helping all the same.
Let’s try to keep our eye on the ball here. The “Russia hacked the election” narrative is laughably false. Russian intelligence, at most, hacked e-mail accounts of prominent Democrats during the campaign. That is not hacking the election, which would require manipulating the voting process. And it almost certainly had zero impact on the outcome of the election. Remember, these are the same Democrats who spent nearly two years telling you that Hillary Clinton’s own scandalous e-mails made no difference — she was going to glide to victory. Do they really expect you to believe she lost because of John Podesta’s comparatively benign e-mails? (Thought experiment: Outside us political wonks, what percentage of the American electorate actually knows who the hell John Podesta is?)
Let’s look hard at the farcical “Russia hacked the election” narrative and ask: Have any crimes been committed, and by whom? Yes, we know that crimes of hacking were committed. Again, this was not hacking of the election; it was hacking of Democrats, during the campaign, months before the election. Not only do we know there were hacking crimes; government investigators tell us they know exactly who did it: Russian intelligence services. That was what the FBI pronounced in the largely content-free report it released jointly with the CIA and NSA. Thus, the only apparent crimes have already been solved.
Not so fast,” you’re thinking, “what about collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians?” And why wouldn’t you ask that? After all, the media and Democrats have been hammering “Russia hacked the election” non-stop for three months; Mike Flynn has been ousted from his perch as national security adviser after meeting with a Russian ambassador; and now we have Jeff Sessions, after meeting with the very same Russian ambassador, recusing himself from . . . er . . . well . . . um . . . something, I guess. But what something? Is there any fire under all that smoke?
Start with this: There is no evidence — none, not a speck, not even a little one — that Donald Trump or anyone associated with him had anything whatsoever to do with the hacking of Democratic accounts. Remember, that’s the only crime here. And the Trump campaign had utterly nothing to do with it. We know this for two reasons.
First, in its ballyhooed report, the FBI told us not only that the Russians are the culprits but also that the Democrats were not the only targets. Putin’s regime, we are told, targeted both major parties. This was a Russian-government effort to compromise the American government, no matter which candidate ended up running it. It should come as no surprise, then, that the FBI made no allegation that Trump and his associates were complicit.
Second, it’s not like the FBI and the Obama Justice Department didn’t try to make a case against Trump. In fact, they scorched the earth. Besides the illegal leaks of classified information that have fueled the “Russia hacked the election” scam, this is the most outrageous and studiously unmentioned scandal of the election. While the commentariat was rending its garments over the mere prospect that Trump might have his political adversary, Hillary Clinton, investigated if he won the election, Obama was actually having Trump investigated.
To rehearse briefly, in the weeks prior to June 2016, the FBI did a preliminary investigation, apparently based on concerns about a server at Trump Tower that allegedly had some connection to Russian financial institutions. Even if there were such a connection, it is not a crime to do business with Russian banks — lots of Americans do. It should come as no surprise, then, that the FBI found no impropriety and did not proceed with a criminal investigation.
What is surprising, though, is that the case was not closed down. Instead, the Obama Justice Department decided to pursue the matter as a national-security investigation under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
In June, it sought the FISA court’s permission to conduct surveillance on a number of Trump associates — and perhaps even Trump himself. It has been reported that Trump was “named” in the application, but it is not publicly known whether he (a) was named as a proposed wiretap target, or (b) was just mentioned in passing in the application. Understand the significance of this: Only the Justice Department litigates before the FISA court; this was not some rogue investigators; this was a high level of Obama’s Justice Department — the same institution that, at that very moment, was whitewashing the Clinton e-mail scandal. And when Justice seeks FISA surveillance authority, it is essentially telling that court that there is probable cause to believe that the targets have acted as agents of a foreign power — that’s the only basis for getting a FISA warrant. In this instance, the FISA court apparently found the Obama Justice Department’s presentation to be so weak that it refused to authorize the surveillance. That is telling, because the FISA court is generally very accommodating of government surveillance requests.
Unwilling to take no for an answer, the Obama Justice Department came back to the FISA court in October — i.e., in the stretch run of the presidential campaign. According to various reports (and mind you, FISA applications are classified, so the leaks are illegal), the October application was much narrower than the earlier one and did not mention Donald Trump. The FISA Court granted this application, and for all we know the investigation is continuing. There are two significant takeaways from this.
First, a FISA national-security investigation is not a criminal investigation. It is not a probe to uncover criminal activity; it is a classified effort to discover what a potentially hostile foreign government may be up to on American soil. It does not get an assigned prosecutor because the purpose is not to prove anything publicly in court — indeed, it is a major no-no for the Justice Department to use its FISA authority pretextually, for the real purpose of trying to build a criminal investigation.
Second, remember when the New York Times gleefully reported in mid January that three Trump associates — Paul Manafort (who was ousted as campaign manager in August), Manafort’s associate Roger Stone, and Trump’s investor friend Carter Page — were being investigated over alleged ties to Russia? Well, deep into the report, after all the heavy breathing about potential Trump–Russia ties, the Times report conceded that this investigation may very well have nothing to do with Trump, the presidential campaign, or Russian hacking. …
Bottom line: The Obama Justice Department and the FBI spent at least eight months searching for Trump–Russia ties. They found nothing criminal, and clearly nothing connecting Trump to Russian hacking. …
Where’s the crime?
And what else is propping up the “Russia hacked the election” narrative? First there is General Flynn. He had a conversation with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, during which Kislyak raised the subject of sanctions imposed earlier that day by Obama. But there was nothing illegal or improper about this conversation: Flynn was part of the Trump transition and about to become national security adviser, so he was supposed to be reaching out to foreign governments. And, as the New York Times acknowledged, though the FBI has a recording of the conversation (because the Russian ambassador was under surveillance), and though the Bureau, the Obama Justice Department, and what the Times gingerly called Obama’s “advisers” carefully combed over every word of it, Flynn made no commitments to address the Russian concerns — the Times: “Obama officials asked the FBI if a quid pro quo had been discussed on the call, and the answer came back no.” That is the main point. Flynn was not fired for speaking with the Russian ambassador. He was fired for failing to provide a competent summary of their conversation to senior Trump officials. Again: no crime, nothing to do with hacking, and nothing to do with the election.
And now, finally, we have Jeff Sessions. He, too, met with the Russian ambassador. But so, it appears, has most of Washington — including Democratic Washington and, in particular, the Obama White House, which Ambassador Sergey Kislyak evidently visited at least 22 times. Ironically, the overblown controversy surrounding Sessions this week was caused primarily by his haste to deny, forcefully, that he had any participation, as a Trump campaign surrogate, in communications with the Russian government regarding the 2016 election. This was the upshot of his response to a loaded question from Democratic senator Al Franken, who was relying on salacious allegations in a goofy and discredited dossier compiled for Trump opponents. Several media outlets had had access to the dossier for months but had not published it, despite their loathing of Trump, because its outlandish claims could not be substantiated.
In any event, Sessions, like Flynn, made the error of mis-describing his contacts with the Russian ambassador. That is unfortunate, but there was nothing remotely criminal or inappropriate about the contacts themselves.
To summarize, there is no crime here except the ones committed by Russian intelligence. There is no evidence that Trump or his associates had any complicity in those hacking crimes.
When all of the smoke is cleared away, the Democrats’ beef is that Trump may have benefited from Russia’s crimes. In reality, it is highly unlikely that the Russian hacking of Democratic e-mails had any effect on the outcome of the election. Even if we indulge the fantasy that it did, however, here’s the sad news the media won’t tell you: It is not a crime to benefit from other people’s crimes. No one should know this better than Democrats. They could not have been more thrilled when, during the late stages of the campaign, someone — perhaps not the Russians — illegally leaked some of Trump’s tax-return information. Had Mrs. Clinton won, no one would have said Trump was denied because of Clinton-campaign ties to tax outlaws. Nor would Trump have been heard to complain about Clinton-campaign ties to NBC, which leaked the infamous Trump–Billy Bush tape. Washington would have yawned, and then snickered that Republicans lost because they nominated a lousy candidate. Instead, Democrats lost because they nominated a lousy candidate. To end where we started, what is the crime? What is the crime Sessions must be recused from investigating?
What is the crime that a special counsel must be appointed to probe? There isn’t one. There’s nothing. But as the Democrats are showing, when your opposition is running scared, you can go a long way on nothing.
But President Trump is not “running scared”.
Remember this part of Andrew McCarthy’s article?:
The Obama Justice Department decided to pursue the matter as a national-security investigation under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). In June, it sought the FISA court’s permission to conduct surveillance on a number of Trump associates — and perhaps even Trump himself. … Understand the significance of this: Only the Justice Department litigates before the FISA court; this was not some rogue investigators; this was a high level of Obama’s Justice Department … When Justice seeks FISA surveillance authority, it is essentially telling that court that there is probable cause to believe that the targets have acted as agents of a foreign power — that’s the only basis for getting a FISA warrant. In this instance, the FISA court apparently found the Obama Justice Department’s presentation to be so weak that it refused to authorize the surveillance. … Unwilling to take no for an answer, the Obama Justice Department came back to the FISA court in October — i.e., in the stretch run of the presidential campaign. According to various reports (and mind you, FISA applications are classified, so the leaks are illegal), the October application was much narrower than the earlier one and did not mention Donald Trump. The FISA Court granted this application.
It gives President Trump mighty cause for complaint. And complaining he is.
Fox News reports:
President Trump tweeted:
How low has President Obama gone to tap my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergage. Bad (or sick) guy!
The White House has called for the US Congress to investigate President Donald Trump’s claim Barack Obama ordered Trump Tower to be “wiretapped” during the US election.
Former President Obama on Saturday denied President Trump’s accusation that Obama had Trump Tower phones tapped in the weeks before the November 2016 election.
No surprise there. Of course Obama denies it. But this time, at last, he may be caught out in a lie that even his toady media will not be able to cover up.
“Neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false,” said Kevin Lewis, a spokesman for the former president … A cardinal rule of the Obama administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice.”
Oh, a “cardinal rule”! Really? And what is any sort of rule to the Left? A thing to be broken.
And the wire-tapping is a scandal that is not merely to be complained about.
These quotations come from various articles at PowerLine:
This is the most explosive political allegation in many years, far more explosive than Watergate.
If the Obama administration abused the FISA process to wiretap a political opponent, it is a scandal of the first order – the worst political scandal of my lifetime, easily. And the press has known about it and covered it up? Unbelievable.
All too believable, we would say – though we agree it is a scandal of the first order.
There is no doubt that Obama’s Justice Department – the most corrupt and politicized Department of Justice in modern American history – obtained a FISA warrant to conduct surveillance on Trump associates, and possibly Trump himself, in the heat of the presidential campaign.
It is too late to impeach Obama, but the FISA application should be carefully reviewed, and if appropriate, the judges who issued the warrant should be investigated. If it was issued on partisan grounds, it is not too late to impeach the judges who authorized the improper wiretap.
This scandal cries out for aggressive investigation. Let’s see the initial FISA application, and the court order denying it. Then let’s see the second application, and the order that approved it. Let’s put the Obama administration officials who signed the applications under oath, and find out who put them up to it. Let’s find out what judges denied the first application, and what judges granted the second one. Let’s get the details on the Obama administration’s spying. Did they tap the Trump campaign’s telephones? If so, which lines? Did they hack into the Trump campaign’s servers? If so, which ones?
Obviously, as President Trump said, the Obama administration learned nothing of significance from its spying on the Trump campaign. But it now appears that the election of 2016 may have been hacked after all, in a far more meaningful way than an intrusion into [DNC chair] Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s email account. It may have been hacked by the Obama administration. We need to find out what happened. Congress should give top priority to this investigation.
TRUMP NEEDS TO APPOINT A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR TO INVESTIGATE. THIS IS A VERY SERIOUS CHARGE. [Capitals in the original]
The opportunity has come for Donald Trump to hit back at the slime-besmirched Obama gang.
Let him hit hard!
Maybe four of the 17 [US Intelligence agencies] could have or should have had an opinion on the Russian hacking. The rest having an opinion is either because of coercion or it is simply false that they had any direct knowledge of the hacking of the DNC by anyone.
From Townhall, by Bruce Bialosky:
The Russians are coming. The Russians are coming. This all started when Hillary Clinton reversed what Barack Obama had started four years earlier in a debate with Mitt Romney who actually stated the Russians were a problem. The only thing is that she stated that all 17 intelligence agencies agreed that the Russians had hacked the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Though technically correct there are “17” intelligence agencies, Ms. Clinton knows that these agencies “agreeing” is a hoax.
My initial reaction to the statement was a logical and rational one. I stated Mr. Trump should have replied to her: “Why do we have 17 intelligence agencies and why can they not stop the Russians from hacking?” I thought this issue would go away after Hillary was sent into retirement, but the sore loser Democrats keep making a big deal about this.
We only reluctantly mention, or quote someone else’s mention of Hillary Clinton. We want the Clintons to fade out of memory – unless either of them is brought to public attention again by being indicted, tried, and sentenced to a long period in jail. But to deal with the present subject – the failures of US Intelligence over the last two decades – we cannot avoid mentioning her, the Liar of Benghazigate, the Taker of Bribes, the Seller of Her Country.
There are actually 17 government entities considered part of our “Intelligence Community”. That is if you consider the Office of the Director of National Intelligence one of them. That position goes back to 1955 when our sprawling intelligence community was determined to be too big and too diverse so they needed another person (and all their staff) to oversee all the operating entities. Ten of the 17 agencies were formed after the director position was established. The coordination did not seem to work because Attorney General John Ashcroft stated his biggest challenge after 9/11 was synchronizing efforts between the various intelligence agencies.
The 17 agencies are broken into three groups. The first are ones within the different arms of the military. There is the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and that could be considered warranted, but why do we need separate departments within every branch and why would they not just be considered part of the DIA? The Marines, Navy, Army, Air Force and Coast Guard do not need separate intelligence departments. No wonder we can’t get anything right when just our Defense Department has eight separate intelligence agencies.
If we go back to the claim that all 17 agencies agreed it was the Russians who were hacking, please explain to me what information the Coast Guard had on that. Or, for that matter, any of the other four wings of our armed forces. Why would they be following domestic matters like this? That would seem improper or illegal to me.
Then there are the agencies that are part of cabinet departments. Energy, State, Treasury, Homeland Security and Justice all have intelligence agencies. Why do any of these departments except for maybe Homeland Security need their own agency? The Justice Department, which has the FBI (an important domestic intelligence agency), has another agency (Office of National Security Intelligence) that was created in 2006 under the DEA. What a waste.
All these departments should have their efforts coordinated through one entity – the FBI. If the FBI needs people assigned to these departments they should do so, but everything should run through one central point. Back to the Clinton claim, why would the agency under the DEA have any knowledge about Russian hacking of the DNC? Or the agency in the Energy Department? Again, obviously a ridiculous claim.
Then there are the Big Five of the intelligence community. They are the CIA, DIA, National Security Agency (NSA), National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (GEOINT). We all know what the CIA does (as much as we are allowed to know). But why is there the DIA and NSA? They are both part of the Defense Department. The NSA was formed in 1952, and the DIA in 1961 and I cannot tell why it exists. It seems we allow our government to create overlapping entities so they can all miss out on accomplishing their mission.
The ones that baffle me totally are the NRO and the GEOINT. GEOINT states “Geospatial intelligence, or GEOINT, is the exploitation and analysis of imagery and geospatial information to describe, assess and visually depict physical features and geographically-referenced activities on the Earth. GEOINT consists of imagery, imagery intelligence and geospatial information.” What exactly is that? Maybe this should be a separate agency feeding the others, but they should be under either the CIA or NSA and not another separate operation.
When you look at the description of what the NRO does it certainly seems like it is splitting hairs between what it does and GEOINT. Both are part of the Defense Department and provide services to other intelligence agencies. These are certainly two entities that by definition should have no clue whether the Russians hacked the DNC nor an opinion.
In conclusion, there maybe should be three or four separate intelligence agencies: CIA, FBI, NSA and maybe the director of national intelligence. The other agencies should be folded into these. One would be independent (CIA), one part of Justice (FBI) and one part of Defense (NSA). All the confusing overlap and inefficiency will be eliminated. …
Now that President Trump has appointed Mike Pompeo to replace John Brennan as head of the CIA, will something of that sort happen?
From Front Page by Lloyd Billingsley:
John Brennan … should not have had that job or any intelligence post, not even to make coffee.
In 1976, year of the American Bicentennial, the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) ticket of Gus Hall and Jarvis Tyner got 58,992 votes. One of them came from college student John Brennan and that requires some context. The CPUSA has always been a wholly owned subsidiary of the Soviet Union, and in 1976 that was evident to all but the willfully blind. …
Gus Hall [was] a slobbering Stalinist who defended the USSR during the worst of its atrocities and remained faithful to the end. So it took a special kind of person to vote for Gus Hall and the Communist Party USA in 1976, but John Brennan was up to the task.
Brennan said he voted Communist because he was unhappy “with the system” and saw “the need for change”. … The CPUSA at that time was dedicated to gaining support for Soviet foreign policy, with the intent of defeating the United States in the Cold War. …
Yet Brennan “got the job [of CIA director], which makes sense, given the person who chose him”.
Namely, President Obama. He put the US agency whose duty it was to keep Americans safe from its enemies, under the directorship of a man who had voted for the victory of the USSR over the US, and was an admirer of Islam even after 19 Muslim terrorists had killed close on 3,000 people in New York and Washington, D.C., on 9/11/2001.
The signs of where Brennan’s sympathies lay were not hard to read – and they were not the United States:
In 2012, Brennan played a role in fabricating the false narrative that Benghazi was a spontaneous protest of a video.
After Brennan became CIA boss in 2013, he transformed the agency into a partisan propaganda service for [Obama] and his designated successor Hillary Clinton. She was the Secretary of State who dismissed the four American dead in Benghazi with: “What difference, at this point, does it make?”
Mike Pompeo, by all indications a capable man, understands that the Central Intelligence Agency is the eyes and ears of the United States against all enemies, radical Islamic terrorists prominent among them. The CIA does not exist to function as a private Comintern for any politician.
Stalinist-voting John Brennan, who believes Islam is a “faith of peace and tolerance,” is out but questions remain.
Brennan’s moles remain in place. As with corrupt Justice Department and IRS officials, they need to be exposed, fired, and prosecuted.
Director Pompeo should also take a hard look at anyone hired on the watch of John Brennan and [Obama]. Neither [of them] was properly vetted, so check out whom they let slip in. …
In the war for the nation’s future, this will be a crucial battle. … The Trump administration … might consider scrapping the CIA and starting afresh with a new agency. As President Trump says, the nation has deep needs in infrastructure.
Brilliant as always, Trey Gowdy on (some of) Hillary Clinton’s lies – to the discomfort of a State Department official:
Although it would be good never again to see or hear anything of the Clintons, we hope that Mrs. Clinton will yet be brought to justice.
Here is the list of 15 felonies for which she ought to be indicted drawn up by Rudy Giuliani in November 2015:
- 18USC§201 Bribery
- 18USC§208 Acts Effecting A Personal Financial Interest (Includes Recommendations)
- 18USC§371 Conspiracy
- 18USC§1001 False Statements
- 18USC§1341 Frauds And Swindles (Mail Fraud)
- 18USC§1343 Fraud By Wire
- 18USC§1349 Attempt And Conspiracy (To Commit Fraud)
- 18USC§1505 Obstruction Of Justice
- 18USC§1519 Destruction (Alteration Or Falsification) Of Records In Federal Investigation
- 18USC§1621 Perjury (Including Documents Signed Under Penalties Of Perjury)
- 18USC§1905 Disclosure Of Confidential Information
- 18USC§1924 Unauthorized Removal And Retention Of Classified Documents Or Material
- 18USC§2071 Concealment (Removal Or Mutilation) Of Government Records
- 18USC§7201 Attempt To Evade Or Defeat A Tax (Use Of Clinton Foundation Funds For Personal Or Political Purposes)
- 18USC§7212 Attempts To Interfere With Administration Of Internal Revenue Laws (Call To IRS On Behalf Of UBS Not Turning Over Accounts To IRS)
The first charge in the list, Bribery, presumably refers to the scam she and her husband ran under the name of a charitable foundation, when they took large sums of money from governments and individuals in exchange for favors from the United States government that were not in the interests of the United States. These immense bribes were given on the mistaken understanding by the “donors” that Mrs. Clinton would soon be president of the country she was willing to betray in exchange for money. Of course such donations stopped when she lost the presidential election on November 8, 2016. But the offenders will not be punished by poverty. There’s plenty in the kitty to pay their “executive expenses” to the end of their lives and for generations to come.
The magnanimous President-elect, Donald Trump, has said that he “does not want to hurt” the Clintons. But as President he should have nothing directly to do with it. The FBI, under a new head appointed by him, needs to recommend the prosecution of Mrs. Clinton – the family member who actually sold the favors which as Secretary of State she was in a position to sell – to the Department of Justice which will also be under a new head appointed by him.
Among our many political wishes for the New Year, most of them looking forward to the implementation of new policies by the new government, is this wish left over from the past: in the case of Mrs. Clinton, may these auld offenses be brought to mind, prosecuted, and never forgot.
The year 2017 approaches, and with it the centennial of the Russian revolution that first brought Marxists to totalitarian power.
For the last hundred years Marxism has been destroying human life, liberty and happiness on a vast scale. Far from ushering in paradise on earth as the Marxists proclaimed they would do, they used power wherever they acquired it to create earthly hells.
By reasonable reckoning, 23 Communist regimes had killed (at least) 149,469,610 people by 2006. R. J. Rummel, who was professor of Political Science at the University of Hawaii, is the authority most cited for the statistics of deaths caused by Communist governments by means of executions, deliberate mass starvation, and forced labor. For mass slaughter of this sort, he invented the word “democide“.
In one of his papers titled How Many Did Communist Regimes Murder?, Professor Rummel wrote:
How can we understand all this killing by communists? It is the marriage of an absolutist ideology with absolute power. Communists believed that they knew the truth, absolutely. They believed that they knew through Marxism what would bring about the greatest human welfare and happiness. And they believed that power, the dictatorship of the proletariat, must be used to tear down the old feudal or capitalist order and rebuild society and culture to realize this utopia. Nothing must stand in the way of its achievement. Government – the Communist Party – was thus above any law. All institutions, cultural norms, traditions, and sentiments were expendable. And the people were as though lumber and bricks, to be used in building the new world.
To many communists, the cause of a communist utopia was such as to justify all the deaths. The irony of this is that communism in practice, even after decades of total control, did not improve the lot of the average person, but usually made their living conditions worse than before the revolution. It is not by chance that the greatest famines have occurred within the Soviet Union (about 5,000,000 dead during 1921-23 and 7,000,000 from 1932-3) and communist China (about 27,000,000 dead from 1959-61). In total almost 55,000,000 people died in various communist famines and associated diseases, a little over 10,000,000 of them from democidal famine. This is as though the total population of Turkey, Iran, or Thailand had been completely wiped out. And that something like 35,000,000 people fled communist countries as refugees, as though the countries of Argentina or Columbia had been totally emptied of all their people, was an unparalleled vote against the utopian pretensions of Marxism-Leninism. …
But communists could not be wrong. After all, their knowledge was scientific, based on historical materialism, an understanding of the dialectical process in nature and human society, and a materialist (and thus realistic) view of nature. Marx has shown empirically where society has been and why, and he and his interpreters proved that it was destined for a communist end. No one could prevent this, but only stand in the way and delay it at the cost of more human misery. Those who disagreed with this world view and even with some of the proper interpretations of Marx and Lenin were, without a scintilla of doubt, wrong. After all, did not Marx or Lenin or Stalin or Mao say that. . . . In other words, communism was like a fanatical religion. It had its revealed text and chief interpreters. It had its priests and their ritualistic prose with all the answers. It had a heaven, and the proper behavior to reach it. It had its appeal to faith. And it had its crusade against nonbelievers. …
[A]t the extreme of totalitarian power we have the greatest extreme of democide. Communist governments have almost without exception wielded the most absolute power and their greatest killing (such as during Stalin’s reign or the height of Mao’s power) has taken place when they have been in their own history most totalitarian. As most communist governments underwent increasing liberalization and a loosening of centralized power in the 1960s through the 1980s, the pace of killing dropped off sharply.
Communism has been the greatest social engineering experiment we have ever seen. It failed utterly and in doing so it killed over 100,000,000 men, women, and children, not to mention the near 30,000,000 of its subjects that died in its often aggressive wars and the rebellions it provoked. But there is a larger lesson to be learned from this horrendous sacrifice to one ideology. That is that no one can be trusted with power. The more power the center has to impose the beliefs of an ideological or religious elite or impose the whims of a dictator, the more likely human lives are to be sacrificed.
We contend that the recent death of Fidel Castro, the Communist dictator of Cuba, marks the end of the terrible Marxist era. Cuba will continue for a while yet to be under the cruel Communist regime he established. And North Korea is still under Communist dictatorship. But no new such regimes are arising. Democracy is replacing dictatorships in South America. And with the defeat in 2016 of a second* Alinskyite presidential candidate nominated by the Democratic Party of the United States, the grip of Marxist ideology through government is loosening everywhere and – we contend – unlikely to strengthen again.
It is still, however, dominant in the academies of the Western World. What can be done about that rottenness in higher education?
With this question, Robert Conquest, one of the greatest historians of Communist Russia, was concerned. In a review of his book Reflections on a Ravaged Century in the American Spectator Online, Josh London wrote:
The clearest picture to emerge from these pages is that the history of Communism is, at its simplest, little more than the history of an all-out assault on society by a series of conspiratorial cliques. These groups have, invariably, been led by excruciatingly cruel dictators who were revoltingly drunk on their own foolish ideology and power. …
Nobel Laureate F.A. Hayek pointed out over fifty years ago that “Socialism has never and nowhere been at first a working-class movement. It is by no means an obvious remedy for an obvious evil which the interests of that class will necessarily demand. It is a construction of theorists, deriving from certain tendencies of abstract thought with which for a long time only the intellectuals were familiar; and it required long efforts by the intellectuals before the working classes could be persuaded to adopt it as their programme.” Though unquoted by Conquest, Hayek’s insight is exactly what worries him most about the 20th century and the prospects of life in the 21st century. Conquest’s work in this section constitutes an inquiry into the intellectual’s temperament and, in particular, the intellectual ingenuity required to go on believing when all is lost.
There follows an excellent and absorbing chapter on what is happening in education: A great many just swipes are taken at the academic intelligentsia who subvert it. Conquest reviews the rise of pseudo-science, and the application of quantitative methods and measurements in social science. Conquest also laments the influence of half-baked, trashy European ideas in Western, specifically American, academic thought: “At a recent seminar on the much resented influx of certain American movies in France, my old friend Alain Besancon remarked that a hundred soft-porn products of Hollywood did less harm in his country than a single French philosopher had done in the United States.” …
[Robert Conquest] laments the academic unwillingness to be seen to criticize colleagues or step outside of the many and varied leftist solidarities rampant throughout academia. …
As Conquest’s essays demonstrate, we, the victors of the Cold War, have thrown away a great part of what should have been a victory for Western values. The Cold War has been won, but the ideas that produced Communism still go marching on in their well-organized, corrupting way, even though the people advocating them are a minority.
The Historian Edward Gibbon once wrote that “There exists in human nature a strong propensity to depreciate the advantages, and to magnify the evils, of the present times.” Yet, standing from his vantage point at the end of the 20th century, surveying the history of the last 100 years, Conquest is probably right to end his book, as he soberly does, with a warning. Although we are now living through an exceptionally optimistic historical moment, he reminds us that the “past is full of eras of progress that ended in darkness.” We should not fool ourselves: “The power of fanaticism and of misunderstanding is by no means extinct.”
Nor will it ever be as long as humanity exists. Chriss W. Street, writing at Breitbart, warns that the Marxist aim of imposing Communism on the whole world is still being pursued with fanatical resolve:
Donald Trump winning the presidency based on his promise to torpedo globalism came exactly 27 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and represents the second leg down for “World Socialism”.
Although U.S. history books declare capitalist United States the victor in World War II, it was World Socialism that ended up dominating most of the globe. [The] Soviet Union and China carved out massive communist states, India adopted extreme socialism, and communist insurgencies were ascendant in Southeast Asia, Africa and South America.
Socialist governments controlled Western Europe and the idea that the state should play some kind of role in economic life was not seen as strange or unusual. Socialists differed on just how extensive the role of the state should be, but all agreed that “natural monopolies” like the railroad, phone service, health and electricity should be nationalized.
Paul Samuelson’s Economics was the top selling U.S. economics textbook from the 1960s through the 1980s. It proclaimed world socialism’s more efficient use of resources would allow the Soviet Union’s Gross National Product to pass the U.S. economy by 1984.
But mainstream economists failed to recognize that President Ronald Reagan’s policies of doubling down on capitalism through tax cuts and strangling the regulatory state in the 1980s would end the West’s inflationary spiral that had allowed communist resource-based economies to flourish. After the Berlin Wall fell on November 9, 1989, Russia was forced into a U.S. bailout and China adopted “Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics”.
But rather than accept a permanent home in the “dustbin of history”, socialists in Western Europe passed the Maastricht Treaty, which formed the 27 nation European Union. Meanwhile, Democrat President Bill Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement and gave Most Favored Nation status to China.
Robert Wolfe, in the book SocialistGlobalization, calls this “internationalist movement”, a system of planning and production that transcends the boundaries of the individual nation-states:
The goal of socialist globalization should be the treatment of the entire world as a single economic unit within which the provision of necessary goods and services would be maximized and the [alleged man-made] damage to the environment minimized.
Leftist economist Joseph Stiglitz in January 2015 announced that “The American Century” had ended and “The Chinese Century” had begun, following the ‘World Bank’s International Comparison Program’ declaring China’s gross national product surpassed the U.S in 2014.
Stiglitz stated that the “rise of China also shines a harsh spotlight on the American model, due to capitalist economic and political “systemic deficiencies — that are corrupt”. He demanded that America must “pivot” to accept that the economic interests of China and the U.S. are now “intricately intertwined” in the new global order.
China would boast that it played a “crucial role” in formulating a new global development pact called “Agenda 2030,” which was signed by 193 members of the United Nations on September 28, 2015. The world socialist and corporatist pact aimed at re-engineering civilization through that imposition of 17 “Sustainable Development Goals” and setting 169 accompanying targets in what was referred to as a “Great Leap Forward”.
China said that to “combat inequality domestically is simply not enough — international socialism is needed to battle inequality even among countries”.
But, like us, the writer thinks that the election of Donald Trump to the US presidency marks a turning-point; that the zealots for international socialism are aware that their path to world domination, for so long all too smooth, could now be made impassable.
The election of Donald Trump now represents an existential threat to World Socialism across the planet.
Socialists know that when President Reagan went rogue with his muscular capitalist policies, communism quickly imploded. Trump has already torn up the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would have internationalized the law covering $28 trillion in trade and investment, about 40 percent of global GDP.
Trump seems determined to destroy “Socialist Globalization” with the same capitalist tax cuts and regulatory relief that President Reagan used to destroy communism.
Though not yet dead, Marxism/Communism/International Socialism has had its day. Its era is over. It will not go quietly. It will howl, it will grumble, it will whimper – but it will go. Perhaps as a minority secular religion it will linger, but as a power in the world it is done.
The Marxist professoriate remains to be muzzled. Agenda 2030 must not only be stopped, but the damage it has already done (under the name originally given to it by its parent the UN, “Agenda 21”) needs to be reversed. The prophets of doom by human beings overheating the planet need to be discouraged to the point of despair, because they are using “climate change” as a pretext for imposing world socialist government. But the Age of Marx is over.
That does not mean that “the power of fanaticism” – to use Robert Conquest’s words – is “extinct”. As we have said, it never will be.
We face another enemy of mankind. Islam.
As Marxism was to the last century, Islam will be to this century. Islam is an equally crippling totalitarian ideology, another mass killer and bringer of darkness.
Will a new era of American greatness save the world from it?
Footnote: * Barack Obama was the first Alinskyite to stand – in his case successfully! – for election to the US presidency.
It’s not easy to find obituaries of Fidel Castro that do not include some praise of the monster. Such is the parlous condition of the Fourth Estate. He deserves only excoriating condemnation.
We did, however, find this just assessment at Investor’s Business Daily:
With Fidel Castro’s death at 90, the encomiums are rolling in, especially from what remains of the American Big Media. But in fact, Castro during his 58 years of dictatorship was an evil man, a communist who tortured, killed and imprisoned with no remorse, a tyrant who tore a once-beautiful country apart and sent its finest citizens into exile.
Yet, the media might as well have been going around with black arm bands following Castro’s death.
He was the “George Washington of his country,” said Jim Avila of ABC’s “Nightline”. He “will be revered” for bringing education, social services and health care to Cubans, gushed MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell. CNN’s Martin Savidge hailed Castro for “racial integration”.
Elsewhere, in print, The New York Times recounted how he “dominated his country with strength and symbolism” — another way of saying he ruled through oppression and relentless propaganda.
Of course, all of these things are the kinds of lies and euphemisms used by left-leaning journalists to cover up for Castro’s many crimes against humanity. And it’s not limited to these few recent examples.
ABC’s talk-queen Barbara Walters had what amounted to a middle-aged school-girl crush on Fidel. Film maker Oliver Stone … revered Fidel’s macho swagger and made a much-derided documentary about him, Comandante. And Michael Moore, in his film Sicko, swallowed Cuba’s propaganda about its health care system hook, line and sinker.
We could go on. The list is long.
What you won’t hear from any of these media mavens is that, at his death, Fidel Castro leaves a Cuba far worse off in almost [?] every way than the one he took over in 1958. His brother, Raul, who is 85, has been the actual power in the country since Castro fell seriously ill in 2006. Cuba has improved under him, but not much.
After taking power in 1958, the then-youthful revolutionary Fidel vowed that no Cuban mother would “shed a tear” over violence from then on. But once he consolidated power after defeating Cuba’s then-leader Fulgencio Batista, Fidel Castro set out on a course of extraordinary revolutionary violence.
He murdered thousands upon thousands. The late R.J. Rummel, a University of Hawaii professor who tracked mass-killings by governments around the world, estimated as many as 141,000 people were murdered by the Castro regime. And that was just through 1987. Since then, of course, thousands more have been killed.
Genocide Watch says it “holds the Castro regime responsible for the death of thousands of people (executed and died trying to flee the regime).” Both Belgium and Castro’s homeland, Spain, have leveled genocide charges against the Jefe Maximo.
Sadly, Castro’s Cuba isn’t at all unusual for Communist regimes, as noted by Rummel. “Clearly, of all regimes, communist ones have been by far the greatest killer,” he said.
What’s especially galling is the suggestion — present in almost every story on Castro’s demise — that he took an impoverished, oppressed nation and turned it into a kind of socialist paradise, with education, social services and health care for all.
This is an utter and complete lie. …
Cuba has the worst economy in Latin America, outside Haiti and Nicaragua. …
[It depended on] massive subsidies from the former Soviet Union, which traded badly needed oil to Cuba for sugar at highly favorable exchange rates. …
Before the revolution, Cuba had the 13th-lowest infant mortality rate in the world. It was lower than France, Belgium and West Germany. Today, it ranks about 40th. That still looks respectable, until you consider how it was accomplished: Cuba has one of the highest abortion rates in the world. At the first sign of any trouble when a woman is carrying a baby, it is aborted – regardless of the parents’ wishes.
That’s why their infant mortality rate isn’t even worse.
But surely health care for all is a major accomplishment, right?
No. As has been noted in many other places, Cuba has three separate health care systems. One for paying customers from places like the U.S., who go to Cuba for discount treatments of cosmetic surgery and the like.
There’s another for Cuba’s ruling Communist elite, also a good system. This is the health care system visiting journalists are taken to see, and that they later glowingly report on.
But there’s still another system for the rest — the average Cubans. It is abysmal, and even that might understate how bad it is.
“Cubans are not even allowed to visit those (elite) facilities,” according to the Web site The Real Cuba. “Cubans who require medical attention must go to other hospitals, that lack the most minimum requirements needed to take care of their patients.”
It goes on: “In addition, most of these facilities are filthy and patients have to bring their own towels, bed sheets, pillows, or they would have to lay down on dirty bare mattresses stained with blood and other body fluids.”
As for doctors, well, they make an average of about $25 to $35 a month. Many have to work second jobs to make ends meet, using substandard equipment. Drug shortages are rife. As a result, one of Cuba’s ongoing problems is that doctors leave as soon as they can for other countries, where they can make a decent living.
The country has over 30,000 doctors working overseas officially. Why? Out of kindness? No. The Castro regime earns an estimated $2.5 billion a year in hard currency from doctors working elsewhere, which means Cuba’s poor must go without decent care or access to doctors.
As for “universal literacy,” please. Primary and secondary schools are little more than Marxist indoctrination centers, where students are taught only what the state wants them to know. That’s how they keep people quiet.
As for Cuba’s higher education, “universities are training centers for bureaucrats, totally disconnected from the needs of today’s world. To enter the best careers and the best universities, people must be related to the bureaucratic elites, and also demonstrate a deep ideological conviction,” notes Colombian journalist Vanesa Vallejo, of the PanAm Post, a Latin American news site.
Nor is it “free.” In fact, those who graduate from college must work for a number of years for the government at a substandard wage of $9 a month. They are in effect slave labor. As with most “free” things the socialists offer, the price is very high and nonnegotiable.
In sum, Castro took a healthy country and made it sick. Those who glorify him deserve the scorn they get for propagating such a longstanding lie.
“A less megalomaniacal ruler would have considered (Cuba’s pre-revolution economy) a golden goose landing in his lap,” wrote Humberto Fontova, a Cuban exile and author of Fidel: Hollywood’s Favorite Tyrant. “But Castro wrung its neck. He deliberately and methodically wrecked Latin America’s premier economy.”
How about race relations? By Cuba’s own estimates, roughly 36% of the country is black or “mixed.” Other estimates put it much higher, as high as 50%.
Nonetheless, a study five years ago by the online journal Socialism and Democracy found “black and mixed populations, on average, are concentrated in the worst housing conditions” and tend to work in lower-paying, manual-labor jobs.
We’ll save for a later date Castro’s many crimes and 58 years of silent war against the U.S., his allowing Soviet nuclear missiles on his soil in order to threaten the U.S., his repeated intervention in other countries, his assassinations, and his obscene theft of hundreds of millions of dollars of Cubans’ wealth to line his own pockets.
Suffice it to say, as Castro departs the scene for the last time, he leaves a Cuba far worse off in almost every way than the one he took over in 1958.
Donald Trump, with his impeccable anti-PC skills, summed it up about right, calling Castro a “brutal dictator”.
“Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights,” Trump said in the statement. Exactly right.
Fidel’s brother, Raul, who is 85, has been the actual power in the country since Castro fell seriously ill in 2006. He’s done little better.
So, for now, though Fidel is dead, there is little hope of change.
Obama over. Hillary out. Merkel, Juncker, Hollande soon to go. Maduro done for. FIDEL CASTRO DEAD.
It’s over. The terrible century of Socialist idealism in practice, whether just depressingly as in the United States under Obama, or with totalitarian horror elsewhere under Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, is coming to its end.
There are still a few Socialists in power – to mourn the death of the Monster of Cuba. Instead of abominating him as he deserves and condemning his cruel tyranny, they will heap praise on him.
As does the prime minister of Canada:
Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on the death of former Cuban President Fidel Castro:
November 26, 2016
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on the death of former Cuban President Fidel Castro:
“It is with deep sorrow that I learned today of the death of Cuba’s longest serving President.
“Fidel Castro was a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century. A legendary revolutionary and orator, Mr. Castro made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation.
“While a controversial figure, both Mr. Castro’s supporters and detractors recognized his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people who had a deep and lasting affection for “el Comandante”.
“I know my father was very proud to call him a friend and I had the opportunity to meet Fidel when my father passed away. It was also a real honour to meet his three sons and his brother President Raúl Castro during my recent visit to Cuba.
“On behalf of all Canadians, Sophie and I offer our deepest condolences to the family, friends and many, many supporters of Mr. Castro. We join the people of Cuba today in mourning the loss of this remarkable leader.”
This punchinello must fall – and will of course.
The Left has nowhere to go but into oblivion. It has proved its own ideas to be disastrously wrong over and over again. It is utterly discredited.
Hundreds of cheers for the death of Fidel Castro!
Fabiola Santiago writes at the Miami Herald:
During the six decades of the Castro brothers totalitarian rule, more than two million Cubans fled their beloved island …
One of Castro’s most heinous crimes was the massacre of 41 men, women and children attempting to flee Cuba on a tugboat on July 13, 1994. Cuban authorities sprayed the vessel with water hoses, rammed and sank it. This is not something I read. I interviewed survivors at the Guantanamo Cuban refugee camps months later. The Cuban Coast Guard refused to rescue the drowning, they told me.
There were so many other crimes and human rights abuses, largely ignored or benignly viewed by a world that gave Castro the benefit of the doubt, and only slapped him on the wrist occasionally at some forums like the United Nations.
Fidel Castro, myth and legend to the international left, has died without being brought to justice for his crimes against his people — the passing of the torch and title of president to his brother in 2006 challenged only by brave dissidents who are beaten and detained daily. The Castros have installed their children and grandchildren in government roles, an indication they plan to sustain the family dynasty beyond Raúl’s promised retirement in 2018.
There’s joy, excitement — and hope — at the news of Fidel Castro’s death at 90. I’m skeptical. Castro didn’t govern alone. He had accomplices. …
Still, it won’t be the same without the patriarch. With his death, it feels as if an evil curse — the heaviest of weights — has been lifted on a nation whose children are scattered all over the world. The bogeyman is gone.
At the break of morning, the streets of Havana were deserted. People were told to stay inside, refrain from playing music, close their doors.
Miami never went to sleep, some of the arteries that run through its Cuban heart closed so that people could express the accumulation of 58 years of loss and separation, of disillusionment and never-ending hope.
Cuba sí, Castro no more.
There will be no farewell comandante from us, only a good riddance.
CELEBRATING THE DEATH OF FIDEL CASTRO IN MIAMI
Here is President-elect Trump’s official statement on the death of Fidel Castro. It deserves applause:
“Today, the world marks the passing of a brutal dictator who oppressed his own people for nearly six decades. Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights. While Cuba remains a totalitarian island, it is my hope that today marks a move away from the horrors endured for too long, and toward a future in which the wonderful Cuban people finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve. Though the tragedies, deaths and pain caused by Fidel Castro cannot be erased, our administration will do all it can to ensure the Cuban people can finally begin their journey toward prosperity and liberty. I join the many Cuban Americans who supported me so greatly in the presidential campaign, including the Brigade 2506 Veterans Association that endorsed me, with the hope of one day soon seeing a free Cuba.”
Hillary Clinton is blaming other people – never herself! – for losing the presidential election; chiefly James Comey for informing Congress that certain of her emails were still under investigation, and Barack Obama for not stopping Comey from doing it.
Sure. Had that letter to Congress not been issued, Hillary Clinton, corrupt as she is, traitorous as she is, lying as she does, proposing policies guaranteed to harm America and make all Americans poorer, would have been elected by a landslide. Definitely. No doubt about it.
See the smile gone from poor Hillary’s face. She is crying. Aaah! – you gotta feel sorry for her, right?
One person she cannot blame is George Soros. He spent hundreds of millions on dirty tricks he was certain would get her elected.
J. Christian Adams writes at PJMedia:
Leaked funding documents reveal an effort by George Soros and his foundations to manipulate election laws and process rules ahead of the federal election far more expansively than has been previously reported.
The billionaire and convicted felon moved hundreds of millions of dollars into often-secret efforts to change election laws, fuel litigation to attack election integrity measures, push public narratives about voter fraud, and to integrate the political ground game of the left with efforts to scare racial minority groups about voting rights threats.
These Soros-funded efforts moved through dozens of charities and involved the active compliance with civil rights groups, government officials, and purportedly non-partisan groups like the League of Women Voters.
The leaked documents also reveal deliberate and successful efforts to manipulate media coverage of election issues in mainstream media outlets like the The New York Times. Conservatives and Republicans have no opposing effort or source of funds that represents even a small fraction in opposition to level of the Soros-led manipulation contained in the leaked documents.
The documents reveal that the Soros campaign fueled litigation attacking election integrity measures, such as citizenship verification and voter ID. It funded long-term efforts to fundamentally transform election administration … It propped up left-leaning media to attack reports of voter fraud, and conducted racially and ideologically targeted voter registration drives.
The racially targeted voter registration drives were executed at the same time Soros dollars were funding other public relations efforts to polarize racial minority groups by scaring them about the loss of voting rights and the dangers of police officers.
The Soros documents reveal hundreds of millions of dollars being poured into the effort to transform the legal and media environment touching on elections. One document … states: “George Soros has authorized U.S. Programs to propose a budget of $320 million over two years … ”
… Soros documents show that it funded efforts to attack the efforts of Tea Party organizations such as True the Vote to promote election integrity …
The funding documents name groups which received in excess of $500,000 each year from Soros. … Three of the largest recipients are engaged in litigation and strategic communications denying voter fraud and seeking to transform the rules of elections.
Soros money is moving away from pressing for “campaign finance reform” and speech regulations, and instead into election process areas. …
Soros money fought voter ID everywhere. The leaked documents state: “… Not only was this field successful at blocking restrictive laws from being implemented in Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, Texas, Wisconsin and South Carolina, but a strong coalition in Minnesota came from behind to achieve the first victory against photo ID on the ballot.”
Soros money was directed at the Advancement Project and Brennan Center to influence media coverage on election integrity issues and provide voter fraud denial propaganda. Leaked funding documents state: “In a specific grant update, the U.S. Programs board-funded communications and messaging project was successfully led by the Brennan Center and the Advancement Project, and played an important role in the spike in media attention on voting rights this year. The groups developed affirmative voting rights messages and shared them widely in and beyond the field. The messages were used verbatim hundreds of times in sources ranging from The New York Times to the Philadelphia Inquirer, quickly and fully working their way into the media, national and local, and across social networking sites.” Verbatim. …
Soros money is funding some of the loudest voices who deny that voter fraud is a serious problem. These voices have produced poorly researched studies that are routinely cited by mainstream media to argue that voter fraud is a myth. Among the groups are the Brennan Center for Justice and the Advancement Project, two organizations that have opposed election integrity laws and have sought to stop the efforts of states to ensure that only citizens are voting. Soros grants also went to “New America Media,” which describes itself as “a nationwide association of 3,000 ethnic media organizations representing the development of a more inclusive journalism.” This mix of funding for media efforts with non-profit organizations that oppose election integrity was branded as “Broad and Equitable Access to the Ballot” in Soros funding documents. …
Soros-funded groups even swoop in after ligation to push narratives to voters about the results of Soros-funded litigation. One leaked document shows $158,000 was spent on this activity in Texas alone …
Soros money specifically targeted voter mobilization efforts of racial minority groups that exhibit racially polarized voting patterns and can be counted on to support Democrats. For example, the “Democracy and Power Fund” was established to “inspire the participation of people of color, immigrants, young people, and low income people . . . . The fund invests in multi-issue advocacy, organizing and voter participation organizations that work at the federal, state and local level to expand access to democracy and build power for lasting social justice and systemic change.” This distinct effort from all of the other Soros activities involved over $15,000,000 in just the three-year period from 2010-2012. …
Other documents reveal extensive funding streams to tilt process rules involving elections. … The “Democracy and Power Fund” funded efforts to “increase participation in the 2010 U.S. Census, a key effort to ensure that OSI communities of interest – immigrants, incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people, low-income people, and people of color – will not be undercounted. … ” The project’s messaging worked its way into national and local media. A complementary $200,000 grant to New America Media, a multi-media content producer and aggregator for ethnic media, extended this work to thousands of local ethnic media outlets. “The public opinion and communications efforts influenced registration and get out the vote efforts, ballot initiative outcomes, and this fall’s string of court victories for voting rights.” …
Prior to the 2012 election, Soros organizations also planned to move millions to a swarm of downstream groups to fund organizing and political activities. …
Soros money is also behind the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Education Fund. $300,000 in Soros money went to “mobilizing the Latino community to engage in civic life, and promoting policies that advance Latino civic engagement”; $500,000 went to the National Council of La Raza and Democracia USA to conduct “nonpartisan voter registration and voter education in latino communities”; $200,000 went to the Center for Civic Policy to engage “ordinary people in the policy debates that affect their daily lives through increasing voter turnout; educating and mobilizing the public on issues; and training new leaders for civic life.” …
Soros money is fueling the effort to reassert federal control over state elections by passing amendments to the Voting Rights Act. …
We have omitted much of the very long article. Read it all here, see how much this man spent on his personal plot to wreck the American democratic process and get the corrupt and criminal Hillary Clinton into the presidency.
All wasted, George. Aw, shucks!
Anyway. He hasn’t been deterred by his failure to get his pick into the presidency. He’s not giving up. Not he! He’s now paying thousands of thugs to march through cities all across America, assaulting Trump voters and police, throwing Molotov cocktails, starting fires, to protest the election of Donald Trump. Does he really believe that the protests will reverse the result?
As soon as there are new heads of the FBI and the Department of Justice appointed by President Trump to replace the present corrupt Obama appointees, George Soros will – surely? – be arrested and sent to prison for inciting riot and whatever else he deserves to be charged with.
Then we can feel ever so sorry for him too.