Failure of the rule of law? 1

Is it not obvious that crimes have been committed by former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former FBI Director James Comey, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton?

And that they are getting away with them?

Deroy Murdock writes at Townhall:

James Comey, Loretta Lynch, and the Clintons should do time for their crimes. So should the unnamed leakers who give away state secrets as if they were handing out leaflets at a busy street corner.

While the relentless Russiagate probe continues its futile search for lawbreaking among Team Trump, actual crimes already have occurred at the highest levels of the Deep State and among former Democratic officials. These perpetrators should be prosecuted. 

Someone violated federal law by unmasking former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s name from National Security Agency transcripts or other surveillance records of his conversations with Russian ambassador to Washington Sergey Kislyak. As part of the presidential transition, it was perfectly normal for Flynn to speak with Kislyak and other foreign emissaries. It also is no surprise that the NSA and other American intelligence agencies cup their ears when Kislyak speaks.

However, the identities of Americans in such conversations are supposed to remain confidential. Whoever unmasked Flynn in such documents violated the federal Espionage Act of 1917, 18 U.S. Code § 793. It prohibits the improper handling and transmission of “information respecting the national defense”.

The anti-Flynn leaks also appear to breach 18 U.S. Code § 798, which forbids disclosure of classified data “concerning the communication intelligence activities of the United States or any foreign government.”  …

Leaking seems to be Washingtonians’ favorite indoor activity. And Comey got in on the fun, too. Referring to his memo-to-file about a private Oval Office meeting with Trump, Comey said, “I need to get that out into the public square,” as if that were his job.

… and as if there was something so incriminating in what the president said that it simply had to be broadcast to the nation.

But surely if there had been something of that sort, it would have been the right procedure for the FBI to bring to the attention of the Justice Department?

It is not normal FBI procedure to leak details of an investigation to the press rather than use it to build a criminal case.

A president cannot be charged with a criminal offense, but if there is proof that he has committed crimes, or has said something that could be interpreted as criminal, he could be impeached. But only by Congress, not by the readers of a  Communist Youth organ such as the New York Times.

Yet the Dirctor of the FBI wanted it to reach the NYT at all costs. So he leaked it through the conduit of a leftist academic.

Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8: “I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter.” This “close friend who is a professor at Columbia law school,” is named Daniel C. Richman. …

“I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel,” Comey explained.

Shazzam!

Comey’s leaked memo hit the front pages, and Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein named a special counsel: Comey’s mentor and one-time boss, former FBI chief Robert Mueller.

Comey and Mueller’s toasty relationship raises legitimate worries about Mueller’s capacity for disinterest in a case that involves the dismissal and public ostracism of his protégé of at least 14 years. …

How can Mueller be objective about his bosom buddy, who now is at the epicenter of this entire probe?

Also troublesome: Mueller’s team includes attorneys who maxed out in donations to Hillary and Obama, defended Hillary against Freedom of Information Act requests, and even represented a Clinton staffer at the heart of E-mailgate. …

According to Political Insider, “In total, Mueller’s team has made $52,650 in political donations since 1997, 95 percent of which ($49,900) went to Democrats.”

Among some 100,000 attorneys in the Washington, D.C. Bar, was Mueller really unable to employ lawyers who neither have worked for the Clintons nor underwritten their campaigns? Could he not have hired professionals unconnected to either the Clintons or the Trumps? Was that really so hard?

Or maybe Mueller deliberately assembled a kennel full of Hillary-loving legal Rottweilers.

Whatever Mueller’s objectives, he has crafted at a minimum — a major appearance of impropriety. If Team Mueller fairly, honestly, and properly discovers wrongdoing among Team Trump, Republicans may dismiss his findings as the crooked output of a rigged system. But if Mueller correctly exonerates Trump & Co., Democrats may scream that the special counsel chickened out, to avoid being accused of running a politically tainted probe. Either way, such second-guessing would erode confidence in American justice.

For his part, Comey’s leak to Professor Richman looks like a violation of, at least, 18 U.S. Code § 641, which bars the unauthorized conveyance of “any record” belonging to the U.S. government. Comey should be brought back before Congress and forced to spell out any and every such leak he ever made, describe the documents he spilled, the dates he did so, etc. Each one of those instances should constitute an individual count in an indictment for breaking the Espionage Act.

According to Comey, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch instructed him to refer benignly to E-mailgate as a “matter” rather than an “investigation”. While that latter word was more politically volatile, it also was accurate. After all, Comey ran the Federal Bureau of Investigation, not the Federal Bureau of Matter.

According to Circa.com’s John Solomon and Sara A. Carter, Comey told senators behind closed doors about “a communication between two political figures that suggested Lynch had agreed to put the kibosh on any prosecution of Clinton”, never mind evidence of Hillary’s crimes.

Comey reportedly showed Lynch that do-not-prosecute record. As one source familiar with Comey’s comments told Solomon and Carter, “the attorney general looked at the document then looked up with a steely silence that lasted for some time, then asked him if he had any other business with her and if not that he should leave her office”. …

Coupled with Lynch’s notorious “golf clubs and grandkids” pow-wow with Bill Clinton on her official plane at Phoenix Airport last June 27, just five days before the FBI questioned Hillary (inexplicably, not under oath), Lynch’s behavior reeks of obstruction of justice.

Comey stated last July 5 that “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring charges against Hillary Clinton in E-mailgate. This claim instantly was refuted by reasonable former federal prosecutors including Sidney Powell, Andrew McCarthy, Rudolph W. Giuliani, and Michael Mukasey. They all stated why Hillary deserved indictment.

Comey said that Hillary should have stayed free because she had no criminal intent to violate the Espionage Act. However, to be convicted under this statute, one need not possess criminal intent. …

Hillary could be convicted merely for handling classified documents in a “grossly negligent” fashion. She certainly did this. …

Beyond E-mailgate, the Clinton Foundation’s bribes-for-favors scandal has gone entirely unpunished. Hillary approved the Kremlin’s purchase of 20 percent of U.S. uranium supplies. She permitted Russia’s Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation to acquire Uranium One Inc. This is the sort of cloak-and-dagger Russian collusion about which Democratic mouths have foamed since last fall. The $145 million that Uranium One’s investors pumped into the Clinton Foundation before, during, and after this grotesque deal epitomizes the pay-to-play bonanza for which Hillary should be tossed in the clink. Ditto the $500,000 fee that Kremlin-controlled Renaissance Capital handed Bill Clinton for a one-hour speech while Hillary decided to green-light this transaction. Remember: the Clintons literally gave Vladimir Putin access to the active ingredient in hydrogen bombs — extracted from American soil. …

And “giving aid and comfort” to the enemy is treason according to the Constitution.

The House Government Oversight Committee should hold public hearings and subpoena Comey, Lynch, and the Clintons and make them testify publicly about these crimes, under penalty of perjury.

After that, President Trump should keep a promise that he made in the October 9 debate against Hillary: “If I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation.”

Prosecuting Comey for leaking government papers, Lynch for sandbagging the E-mailgate probe, and the Clintons and Clintonites for running their bribes-for-favors scams would not signal American devolution into a banana republic. Rather, this would reinvigorate a core principle of American constitutional republicanism: Equal Justice Under Law.

On all that is wrong with James Comey’s buddy Robert Mueller being appointed to sniff out an unknown crime in the Trump administration, Andrew McCarthy writes:

So I’ve been wondering: Why on earth does a prosecutor, brought in to investigate a case in which there is no apparent crime, need a staff of 14 lawyers?

Or, I should say, “14 lawyers and counting.” According to the press spokesman for special counsel Robert Mueller — yeah, he’s got a press spokesman, too — there are “several more in the pipeline.”

Concededly, none of Mueller’s recruits requires Senate confirmation, as do Justice Department officials — notwithstanding that the former may end up playing a far more consequential role in the fate of the Trump administration. But does it seem strange to anyone else that, by comparison, the president of the United States has managed to get — count ’em — three appointees confirmed to Justice Department positions in five months?

A special counsel, the need for whom is far from obvious, has in just a few days staffed up with four times the number of lawyers. And all for a single investigation that the FBI has described as a counterintelligence probe — i.e., not a criminal investigation, the kind for which you actually need lawyers.  

Oh, and about those three Justice Department appointees: One of them, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has already recused himself from the investigation in question — the department’s most high profile undertaking. Another, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, is reportedly weighing whether he, too, should bow out. Perhaps he figures he has already done quite enough, having sicced a special-counsel investigation on the Trump Administration by flouting both the regulation that requires a basis for a criminal investigation before a special counsel is appointed, and the regulation that requires limiting the special counsel’s jurisdiction to the specific factual matter that triggers this criminal investigation.

The way this is supposed to work is: the Justice Department first identifies a likely crime, and then assigns a prosecutor to investigate it. Here, by contrast, there are no parameters imposed on the special counsel’s jurisdiction. Mueller is loosed—with 14 lawyers and more coming—to conduct what I’ve called a “fishing expedition”.

But it is actually worse than that … Mueller’s probe is the functional equivalent of a general warrant: a boundless writ to search for incriminating evidence. It is the very evil the Fourth Amendment was adopted to forbid: a scorch-the-earth investigation in the absence of probable cause that a crime has been committed.

For now, Mueller appears utterly without limits, in his writ and in his resources. As the ease with which he has staffed up shows, it is not hard to recruit lawyers. All you need is money. Mueller has a bottomless budget, thanks to a bit of Treasury Department chicanery known as “permanent, indefinite appropriations”. 

Under the Constitution’s Appropriations Clause, no funding is supposed to be paid out of the treasury unless Congress has approved it in advance. Under the Framers’ design, with an eye toward limited, accountable government, every spending initiative must compete with every other one when Congress enacts a budget. Lawmakers must decide what we can and can’t afford when they draw on what is supposed to be the finite pot of money confiscated from taxpayers. We are supposed to know what we are underwriting and what it will cost.

The Swamp, ever resistant to such restraints, has developed a scheme known as “indefinite appropriations”. These are slush funds for future contingencies. A good example is the “Judgment Fund” which President Obama raided to underwrite nearly $2 billion in ransom payments demanded by Iran, the sweetener he needed to close the infamous nuclear deal.

And that sounds like treason too.

It is an Orwellian game. What makes an appropriation an appropriation is that Congress provides a definite amount of funding suitable to the task it has approved. If it turns out more is needed, the executive branch is supposed to come back to Congress — ask for it and justify why it should be prioritized over other needs.

Mueller’s special counsel investigation is somehow under no such restrictions, according to the Justice Department. He unilaterally decides how much staffing he needs. And unlike a normal prosecutor’s office, the special counsel does not have to apportion his resources over hundreds of cases. He can direct all of them at one investigative target.

In this instance, the target is Trump, and the resources — apart from what will be scores of FBI agents — include 14 lawyers (going on 15 … going on 16…).

These lawyers, overwhelmingly, are Democrats. … Mueller’s staffers contribute to Trump’s political opponents, some heavily. The latest Democratic talking-point about this unseemly appearance is that hiring regulations forbid an inquiry into an applicant’s political affiliation. That’s laughable. These are lawyers Mueller has recruited. They are not “applicants”. We’re talking about top-shelf legal talent, accomplished professionals who have jumped at the chance of a gig they do not need but, clearly, want. …

Notice that, consistent with the familiar ethical canon that lawyers must avoid even the appearance of impropriety, the standard here is based not on the lawyer’s personal rectitude or his subjective belief that he can administer the law impartially. The issue is: What would this look like to fair-minded observers?

Consequently, if this boundless investigation careens into a criminal prosecution, Mueller could have some major soul-searching to do. I thus confess to being taken aback that he has exacerbated the problem, rather than trying to mitigate it, with his staffing decisions. Into an investigation that was already fraught with political tension, the special counsel has recruited partisans — to politicians who describe themselves not as a loyal opposition but as the Trump “Resistance”. What are fair-minded people to make of that?

Not just one or two recruits, but 14 lawyers, with more to come. …

Why does special counsel Mueller need 14 lawyers (and more coming) for a counterintelligence investigation, as to which the intelligence professionals — agents, not lawyers — have found no “collusion with Russia” evidence after over a year of hard work? What will those lawyers be doing with no limits on their jurisdiction, with nothing but all the time and funding they need to examine one target, Donald Trump?

The Mueller investigation itself has the smell of corruption about it.

The law is the house in which we live. If its timbers are rotten, what will become of us? 

Robert Mueller: the fix is in 4

Mueller and Comey: Two Denizens of the Swamp

The very fact that many voices were raised on the Left and among “NeverTrumpers” in praise of Robert Mueller should have been a warning sign to Republicans that he is not the right person to appoint as “special counsellor” to investigate allegations against President Trump. The allegations themselves are little more than slanderous rumors (summed up in the article quoted below as “Russia-gate”). Congressional committees are looking into them. No “special counsellor” was needed. But if there was going to be one, whose job must necessarily involve investigating the decisions and actions of the recently fired FBI chief  James Comey, why choose a former director of the FBI itself and a buddy of Comey?

Cliff Kincaid writes at Canada Free Press:

The Washington Post, a mouthpiece for Obama holdovers in the CIA and other agencies, reports that “sources” say a current White House official is under investigation as “a significant person of interest” in Russia-gate, but that the sources “would not further identify the official”.

This is a case of anonymous officials talking about an anonymous official.

Interestingly, the term “person of interest” was used by the FBI against scientist Steven Hatfill in the post-9/11 anthrax letters case. He was totally innocent and the Department of Justice paid him $5.8 million in damages.

After dismissing Hatfill and several others as suspects, the FBI blamed a dead U.S. Army scientist, Bruce Ivins. However, evidence indicates that the more likely culprits were al-Qaeda operatives who got the anthrax from a U.S. lab. The truth was too embarrassing for the FBI to reveal.

Read more details about the anthrax case in the full article here.

The new Russia-gate special counsel, former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, presided over this fiasco. What’s more, Mueller was sued for malfeasance in the case by FBI agent Richard Lambert who was put in charge of the anthrax investigation.

Yet, here is what we read about Mueller, who was FBI director under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama:

  • “Widely respected by members of both parties” and “an unflinching advocate for facts,” claims The New York Times.
  • “Skilled and upright,” writes Kimberley A. Strassel of The Wall Street Journal.
  • “Widely respected” and “highly regarded by both parties,” writes Andrew McCarthy of National Review.
  • “Uniquely suited to the task,” says The Washington Post.

These comments reflect the consensus of what President Trump would call the “swamp.”

A New York Times editorial was titled “Robert Mueller: The Special Counsel America Needs”. Making no mention of the anthrax debacle, it called Mueller “one of the few people with the experience, stature and reputation to see the job through”.

The New York Times trusts him. To do what? What else but to find something damaging against President Trump? If it didn’t trust him to do that, it wouldn’t praise him.

A far different opinion is offered by Carl M. Cannon, executive editor and Washington Bureau chief of RealClearPolitics, who noted that the FBI director fired by Trump, James Comey, and Mueller “have a long history as professional allies. For Mueller to be brought in to investigate the behavior of the guy who sacked Comey seems a conflict of interest.”

Cannon pointed to their work on the anthrax case, saying, “Comey and Mueller badly bungled the biggest case they ever handled. They botched the investigation of the 2001 anthrax letter attacks that took five lives and infected 17 other people…”

Like Mueller, Comey, who was deputy attorney general, declared Hatfill guilty.

President Trump has called James Comey a nut-job. We think that is a fair description, considering his extremely odd behavior. Reviewing it, we too have concluded that James Comey is deranged.

Leaving aside Comey’s mishandling of another major investigation, the Hillary emails, consider his conduct and behavior.

While President Trump has been attacked for calling Comey a “nut job” and “crazy,” Comey friend Benjamin Wittes says the former FBI director tried to hide in the curtains during a White House visit for a ceremony honoring law enforcement officials who provided security at the inauguration.

Weird! But he did not even try to hide behind curtains, which may have actually hidden him. He apparently tried to hide in front of them because he was wearing dark blue and the curtains are dark blue, and he so he imagined himself to be camouflaged. Even weirder!  

 

The New York Times reported, “Mr. Comey — who is 6 feet 8 inches tall and was wearing a dark blue suit that day — told Mr. Wittes that he tried to blend in with the blue curtains in the back of the room, in the hopes that Mr. Trump would not spot him and call him out.”

Was the 6 foot 8 inch Comey so crazy that he went to a White House event with Trump but tried to hide from him in the drapes?

Wittes, in his own words, says that Comey: “Felt that he could not refuse a presidential invitation, particularly not one that went to a broad array of law enforcement leadership. So he went. But as he told me the story, he tried hard to blend into the background and avoid any one-on-one interaction. He was wearing a blue blazer and noticed that the drapes were blue. So he stood in the back, right in front of the drapes, hoping Trump wouldn’t notice him camouflaged against the wall. If you look at the video, Comey is standing about as far from Trump as it is physically possible to be in that room.”

However, Comey was wearing a red tie that stood out like a sore thumb. His suit was darker than the drapes. Plus, Comey is so tall that he is hard to ignore, even with drapes behind him. Frankly this is nothing more than a diversion from the real issue—FBI corruption.

Reporters would rather write about the drapes than investigate the corruption under Comey and his predecessor, Mueller.

“Corruption under Comey and his predecssor, Mueller.”  Now Mueller is to investigate corruption under Comey? And that guarantees a totally unprejudiced finding?

Who is Benjamin Wittes? He is the co-author of The Future of Violence: Robots and Germs, Hackers and Drones — Confronting A New Age of Threat. He discusses the anthrax attacks in the book.

Five years after the FBI “closed” the case, Wittes doesn’t seem to accept the verdict that Bruce Ivins was the villain. He refers to Ivins as the FBI’s “suspect,” quickly adding, “or whoever else may have been responsible for the attacks”.

So why didn’t Comey reopen the case? One possible explanation is that he didn’t want to upset Mueller and the FBI officials who engaged in the cover-up. He had approved their targeting of, and conclusions about, Hatfill.

In return, Mueller, as special counsel in Russia-gate, can be expected to do Comey a big favor. He will not probe Comey’s malfeasance in using the phony “Trump Dossier” to investigate President Trump and his team. That is the real story — how Hillary donors financed by pro-Russian interests hired a former British agent to concoct an assortment of charges against Trump.

One has only to read the dossier (here) to see what a load of nonsense the concocted assortment of charges really is.

Mueller is a company man; he will protect the FBI and its former director and friend. The fix is in.

This is a far more important story than Comey hiding in the drapes. Writing about drapes may sound silly, but it is yet another way for the media to suggest that Comey was afraid of Trump trying to influence his inquiry into Russia-gate.

The story is not how Trump influenced the investigation, but rather how Comey used the phony “Trump Dossier” to go down dead-end roads and produce no results. It’s the anthrax investigation all over again.

Mueller’s job is to pump life into Comey’s fiasco, and turn the tables on Trump for firing Comey.

Meanwhile, corruption in the FBI goes unreported, and Congress fails to do adequate oversight of the intelligence community, which is supposed to keep us safe.

Mueller has fooled a lot of people. His appointment is good news for the Swamp but bad news for Trump.

Carl M. Cannon seems to think the outcome is preordained, noting the attitude of “official Washington” and what the “insiders” want to see happen — impeachment leading to Trump’s ouster. 

*

Update:

Headline:

Comey will speak to special counsel Mueller before testifying publicly, Chaffetz says

Read the story – manifesting not the least trace of suspicionhere.

Now, President Trump, hit back! 5

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!

The man with the golden mane 6

The Democratic Party had gone wholly over to the dark side and had to be toppled from power.

But its only possible replacement, the GOP, had become so boring! Feeble, flaccid, sotto voce, forever falling as if by uncontrollable reflex into the posture of the pre-emptive cringe.

Until suddenly the busy, brash, boisterous, boastful Donald Trump arose in it and above it, roaring out terse insults and extravagant insincere praises.

Arose like a lion, like a leader. 

The man with the golden mane.

Whatever conservatives might hold against him is beside the point. He fights to win. And that is so new, so surprising, so revolutionary to Republican politicians that they can’t bring themselves to stand behind him even now that he’s their front runner.

But for as long as he is their front runner – perhaps all the way to the White House – they need to urge him on with thunderous (even if feigned!) enthusiasm.

David Solway writes at the New English Review:

The GOP failed to use its congressional majority to assert its foundational doctrines on the misguided assumption that it could woo Democrat voters away from their traditional loyalties or perceived entitlement advantages by presenting itself as the lite version of the opposition. …

But why would left-leaning voters go for Leftism Lite when the real thing is available to them?

Stark examples of Republican surrender abound.  Most recently, a Republican Congress signing on to Obama’s omnibus funding bill has brought itself into tawdry disrepute.  Another instance involves the infamous Corker Bill, which could just as easily have been engineered by Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi.  Senate Republicans refused to deal effectively with the deficiencies of the Corker Bill – a bill, as Andrew McCarthy explains, that was totally inadequate from the beginning to counter the Iranian nuclear threat.  The affair smacks of RINO business as usual.

As Andrew Bostom writes in a critical blog entry for April 15, 2015, Senate Republicans “have cravenly acquiesced to cynical, perverse Obama Administration bullying so as not to be labeled ‘warmongers’.”  Once again, we observe the standard right-wing capitulation from what should have been a position of strength.

One recalls, too, the shameful spectacle of John McCain, a Republican presidential candidate, and the bloviating Lindsay Graham doing Obama’s bidding in Egypt in defense of the Muslim Brotherhood, or of McCain coming to the aid of Hillary Clinton’s Brotherhood-tainted adjunct, Huma Abedin, when she was challenged by Michele Bachmann.  Such complicity – voting with or parroting the enemy – is a surefire recipe for yet another Republican electoral defeat … 

In an interesting article for American Thinker, James Arlandson comes to the defense of the GOP establishment, which knows that society “moves by degrees”, that “incrementalism is the only way to retransform America”,  and that the party must appeal to a majority of undecided voters.  It is not an entirely convincing article.  Such temperateness as Arlandson recommends sabotaged Mitt Romney’s campaign and did not prevent the installation of the most radical president in American history, whose skin color did not overlay his bred-in-the-bone Marxism.  And we recall that Ronald Reagan, arguably the best president of the 20th century, was anything but temperate.

It comes down to this: Republicans need to change their game plan and go on the attack, abide by their core tenets, use their congressional majority to stymie a rogue president on every front without fear of electoral blowback, take on a corrupt and partisan media (as Donald Trump is doing, and as Romney did not when he failed to rein in CNN’s Candy Crowley’s illegitimate intervention during the second presidential debate between Romney and Obama), and stop being polite to their political enemies.  They must rally behind their nominated candidate, whoever that turns out to be, turn a deaf ear to the “strategies” of political advisers and so-called experts (who are habitually wrong about everything), counter the debilitating sickness of political correctness, tackle issues like Muslim immigration and cross-border infiltrations on a consensus basis, and, generally speaking, appeal to principle rather than to the opposition.

A tall order, but RINOs [Republicans In Name Only] will not win the 2016 election. Blue Republicans will not convince a partisan, cynical, wavering, or undecided electorate. Canada’s Conservatives lost the [recent] election in part because they shrank from being truly conservative.  Similarly, should the Republicans lose in November 2016, it will be because they failed to be truly republican.

Or perhaps because they’ll fail to follow a new leader who is only just republican enough, only just conservative enough, but is above all a mover and shaker, who could lead them to victory.

Will he? Or will the sober and serious Marco Rubio do it? Or the strong steady Ted Cruz? One of them must.

Must beat the Democratic nominee, whether the crook or the commie.

In any case, the unfolding drama is exciting.

An exciting GOP at last!

 

(Hat-tip for the Solway link to our commenter cogito)

The shaming of America 1

Obama has brought America to abject defeat.

He is entreating a vicious Muslim cleric, acclaimed as a spokesman for Islam, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, to negotiate with the Taliban for the United States’ terms of surrender.  

In choosing such an envoy, he is begging the savage Taliban to let the United States of America save face in a pretense of mutually desired peace-making.  

Andrew McCarthy writes at the National Review Online:

Al-Qaradawi is the most influential Sunni Islamist in the world, thanks to such ventures as his al-Jazeera TV program (Sharia and Life) …

In 2003, he issued a fatwa calling for the killing of American troops in Iraq. …[He champions] Hamas, mass-murder attacks, and suicide bombings… [urges]  the destruction of Israel, rebuking clerics who dare counsel against killing civilians. …

After thousands of young Americans have laid down their lives to protect the United States from jihadist terror, President Obama apparently seeks to end the war by asking Qaradawi, a jihad-stoking enemy of the United States, to help him strike a deal that will install our Taliban enemies as part of the sharia state we have been building in Afghanistan. …

The price tag will include the release of Taliban prisoners from Gitmo

The administration will also agree to the lifting of U.N. sanctions against the Taliban, and recognition of the Taliban as a legitimate political party (yes, just like the Muslim Brotherhood!).

In return, the Taliban will pretend to forswear violence, to sever ties with al-Qaeda, and to cooperate with the rival Karzai regime.

It would mark one of the most shameful chapters in American history.

Correction: What the President of the United States has done and is doing to advance the Islamic jihad is the most shameful chapter in American history.

Daniel Greenfield writes at Canada Free Press:

The news that the Obama Administration has brought in genocidal Muslim Brotherhood honcho Yusuf Al-Qaradawi to discuss terms of surrender for the transfer of Afghanistan to the Taliban caps a year in which the Brotherhood and the Salafists are looking up carve up Egypt, the Islamists won Tunisia’s elections, Turkey’s Islamist AKP Party purged the last bastions of the secular opposition and Libya’s future as an Islamist state was secured by American, British and French jets and special forces. …

In 2010, the Taliban were still hiding in caves. In 2012 they are set to be in power from Tunisia to Afghanistan and from Egypt to Yemen. …

2011 will be remembered [as] a pivotal year in the rise of the next Caliphate. …

If [Obama] really had no interest in winning Afghanistan … why did we stay for so long and lose so many lives fighting a war that the White House had no intention of winning? The ugly conclusion that must be drawn from the timing of the Iraq and Afghanistan withdrawals is that the wars were being played out to draw down around the time of the next election.

We don’t believe that any sort of victory is now possible in Afghanistan. We argue that the US should have pulled out of Afghanistan after it whacked the Taliban out of power. Staying “to build democracy” was a stupid mistake. Withdrawal now should be carried out with serious warnings that if the Taliban come back to power they will be whacked again. But we agree with the writer’s point about the timing of withdrawal.

What that means is Obama sacrificed the thousands of Americans killed and wounded in the conflict as an election strategy. The idea that American soldiers were fighting and dying for no reason until the time when maximum political advantage could be gained from pulling them out is horrifying, it’s a crime beyond redemption, an act worse than treason — and yet there is no other rational conclusion to be drawn from the timetable.

Isn’t it treason itself? And what could be worse than that the leader of the United States should commit treason against his country?

If the Taliban were not our enemy …

– as unintelligent and ill-informed Vice-President Joe Biden recently said was the case –

… then the war should have ended shortly after the election. Instead Obama threw more soldiers into the mix while tying their hands with Rules of Engagement that prevented them from defending themselves or aggressively going after the Taliban. Casualties among US soldiers and Afghan civilians increased. … Now … we are negotiating a withdrawal.

There are only two possible explanations. Either we lost the war or Obama never intended to win it and was allowing the Taliban to murder American soldiers until the next election. If so we’re not just looking at a bad man at the teleprompter, we are looking into the face of an evil so amoral [immoral, we’d say – JBthat it defies description. …

But wait, there is more.

Iraq will likely fall to Iran in a bloody civil war, whether it will be parts of the country or the whole country depend on how much support we provide to the Kurds. Under the Obama Administration the level of support is likely to be none.

Once the Islamists firmly take power across North Africa they will begin squeezing the last states that have still not fallen. Last month the leader of the murderous Enhada Islamists who have taken power in Tunisia stopped by Algeria. Morocco has not yet come down, but at this rate it’s only a matter of time.

Syria remains an open question. The Muslim Brotherhood is in a successor position there and would welcome our intervention against the Assad regime. The Assads are no prize and they’re Iranian puppets, but shoving them out would give the Brotherhood yet another country and its sizable collection of weaponry.

All that is bound to make 2012 an ugly year in its own right, especially if the Obama Administration continues allowing the Muslim Brotherhood to control its foreign policy. … The region has become an indisputably worse place this year with the majority of moderate governments overthrown and replaced, or in the process of being replaced by Islamist thugs. 

Yemen too may be taken over by jihadists according to the Washington Post:

With pro-democracy demonstrators now in the 11th month of a populist uprising that has forced President Ali Abdullah Saleh to agree to step down, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and its sympathizers have taken full advantage of the turbulence.

In May, they overran large swaths of Abyan province, including this regional capital. Today, they rule over significant territory in this strategic region, near important oil shipping lanes.

[Their] stated goal is to create an Islamic emirate in Yemen, which American officials fear could be used as a base to plan more attacks against the United States.

The Iranian regime closed the Straits of Hormuz for five hours yesterday to demonstrate how easily they could do it. Obama shows no inclination to force that bellicose Islamic state to stop building a nuclear arsenal.

While in Europe Islam is steadily achieving power by demanding  and being granted the establishment of sharia law, inside the United States it has advanced its influence by leaps and bounds under the protection and with the active encouragement of the Obama administration.

Worse than that. There is plainly a fixed intention by Obama personally to give victory to Islam. His support of the Muslim Brotherhood is an indication of it. His surrender to the Taliban is proof of it. 

Them and us 5

The US was right to invade Iraq and topple Saddam Hussein, and right to invade Afghanistan where the 9/11 attack on America was plotted. In both cases war was the answer.

In both cases it was wrong to stay on to attempt “nation-building”.

But once that sentimental policy was decided on, the essential thing for the US to achieve in each case was a constitution of liberty.

Both Iraq and Afghanistan got new constitutions, but neither enshrines liberty. They enshrine sharia law, and where sharia prevails, liberty is shut out.

Andrew McCarthy writes trenchantly about the tragic failure of America’s vision and the ultimate futility of its struggles in Afghanistan and Iraq:

In 2006, a Christian convert named Abdul Rahman was tried for apostasy [in Afghanistan]. The episode prompted a groundswell of international criticism. In the end, Abdul Rahman was whisked out of the country before his execution could be carried out. A fig leaf was placed over the mess: The prospect of execution had been rendered unjust by the (perfectly sane) defendant’s purported mental illness — after all, who in his right mind would convert from Islam? His life was spared, but the Afghans never backed down from their insistence that a Muslim’s renunciation of Islam is a capital offense and that death is the mandated sentence.

Mainstream Islamic scholarship holds that apostasy, certainly once it is publicly revealed, warrants the death penalty.

Having hailed the Afghan constitution as the start of a democratic tsunami, the startled Bush administration made all the predictable arguments against Abdul Rahman’s apostasy prosecution. Diplomats and nation-building enthusiasts pointed in panic at the vague, lofty language injected into the Afghan constitution to obscure Islamic law’s harsh reality — spoons full of sugar that had helped the sharia go down. The constitution assures religious freedom, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice maintained. …

Read the fine print. It actually qualifies that all purported guarantees of personal and religious liberty are subject to Islamic law and Afghanistan’s commitment to being an Islamic state. We were supposed to celebrate this, just as the State Department did, because Islam is the “religion of peace” whose principles are just like ours — that’s why it was so ready for democracy.

It wasn’t so. Sharia is very different from Western law, and it couldn’t care less what the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has to say on the matter of apostasy. …

The constitution that the State Department bragged about helping the new Afghan “democracy” draft established Islam as the state religion and installed sharia as a principal source of law. That constitution therefore fully supports the state killing of apostates. Case closed.

The purpose of real democracy, meaning Western republican democracy, is to promote individual liberty, the engine of human prosperity. No nation that establishes a state religion, installs its totalitarian legal code, and hence denies its citizens freedom of conscience, can ever be a democracy — no matter how many “free” elections it holds. Afghanistan is not a democracy. It is an Islamic sharia state.

To grasp this, one need only read the first three articles of its constitution:

1. Afghanistan is an Islamic Republic, independent, unitary, and indivisible state.

2. The religion of the state of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is the sacred religion of Islam. …

3. In Afghanistan, no law can be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam. …

Was that what you figured we were doing when you heard we were “promoting democracy”? Is that a mission you would have agreed to commit our armed forces to accomplish? Yet, that’s what we’re fighting for. The War On Terror hasn’t been about 9/11 for a very long time. You may think our troops are in Afghanistan to defeat al-Qaeda and the Taliban — that’s what you’re told every time somebody has the temerity to suggest that we should leave. Our commanders, however, have acknowledged that destroying the enemy is not our objective. In fact, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the former top U.S. commander, said what is happening in Afghanistan is not even our war. …

It’s not our war, nor is it something those running it contemplate winning. … Indeed, the administration had concluded … that the war could not be won “militarily.”

Afghanistan is not an American war anymore. It’s a political experiment: Can we lay the foundation for Islamic social justice, hang a “democracy” label on it, and convince Americans that we’ve won, that all the blood and treasure have been worth it? The same thing, by the way, has been done in Iraq.

The affront here is our own betrayal of our own principles. The Islamic democracy project is not democratizing the Muslim world. It is degrading individual liberty by masquerading sharia, in its most draconian form, as democracy. The only worthy reason for dispatching our young men and women in uniform to Islamic countries is to destroy America’s enemies. Our armed forces are not agents of Islamic social justice, and stabilizing a sharia state so its children can learn to hate the West as much as their parents do is not a mission the American people would ever have endorsed. It is past time to end this failed experiment.

Yes, it is way past time. Leave them now to do it their way.

And it is past time to dispel the sweet illusion of good-hearted Americans that all Others are the same as Us in their values, wants, and desires. They are not.

The odd couple 0

Obama and his National Security appointees, Janet Napolitano and John Brennan, deny that Islam is waging jihad on America and the whole of the non-Muslim world. But – block their ears and sing out “la-la-la” as they might – they cannot alter the truth that the jihad is being waged, or fail to hear authoritative voices saying that it is. Obama may want to deny it because he has deep sympathy with Islam, and because he‘s a Left radical by upbringing, training, and conviction. Islam and the Left are allies against the Western ideal of individual freedom. They resemble each other in that they’re both collectivist ideologies. This means they can strive together to destroy freedom, but the one is egalitarian, the other non-egalitarian; the one fosters diversity, the other demands uniformity; the one preaches tolerance, the other is harshly intolerant. Eventually, if they were to win their war against freedom, they would surely turn on each other with intense hatred and fury. If Obama experienced such a conflict within himself, it’s hard to imagine how he’d resolve it.

The alliance between Islam and the Left is the theme of a new book, The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America, by Andrew McCarthy, the former Assistant United States Attorney who successfully prosecuted Omar Abdel Rahman for the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993. He writes about it at PowerLine. Here’s part of what he says:

What is surprising, and dismaying, is that the book’s message should come as news to anyone, as if there were [any] real question about whether such a grand jihad exists. Though our opinion elites and their media allies remain desperate to suppress the story, the proof of an Islamist conspiracy to destroy the West is stark and undeniable, and the instances of Islamists being aided and abetted by Leftists are too numerous for serious people to deny the alliance – not merger but alliance – between the two.

As demonstrated at the Holy Land Foundation terrorist financing trials in Texas, internal Muslim Brotherhood memoranda are unabashed in describing Islamists as engaged in a “civilizational” war against the West. In America, the Brothers attest that theirs is a “grand jihad” to destroy the United States – mainly from within, mainly by “sabotage.”

We don’t like the terms “civilizational war” and “Islamists”. The first because we think the war is not between two civilizations but between their barbarism and our civilization; and the second for reasons that McCarthy himself is well aware of:

I use the term Islamist advisedly. In the book’s second chapter, I’ve tried to take on the excruciating question of whether the existential challenge we face is Islam itself. …

The problem is that those who say Islam is the problem have the better case. I was first struck by this sad fact during our terrorism trial in 1995, when I had to get ready to cross-examine the “Blind Sheikh,” Omar Abdel Rahman. … I thought that if what we were saying as a government were true – if these terrorists were lying about Islam and perverting its doctrine in order to justify mass-murder attacks – then surely I should be able to locate three or four places where the Blind Sheikh had misstated the Koran and the other species of Muslim scripture. I searched high and low, but there were none.

The point is that where the Blind Sheikh cited scripture, he did it quite accurately. … He is a renowned doctor of Islamic jurisprudence graduated from al-Azhar University in Egypt – the seat of Sunni learning and one of the oldest and most respected academic institutions in the world. His construction of Islam, however frightening, was literal and cogent.

Islam is not a religion of peace and Islamic doctrine is not moderate. …

It is supremacist, totalitarian, and violentdrawn faithfully and logically from scripture – which is why it is endorsed by so many influential clerics and shariah authorities who have spent their lives in Islamic study. …

The thrust of my book is that we need to come to terms with this in order to defend ourselves. There is a vibrant debate in the Muslim world about terrorism. We need to understand, though, that it is a debate about methodology. Islamist terrorists and other Islamists are in harmony about the endgame: they would like to see shariah installed and the West Islamicized. That a person is not willing to mass-murder non-Muslims in order to accelerate that process does not make him a moderate.

Since the book was published last week, I’ve been asked questions like: “So, are you saying that President Obama wants to implement sharia?” and ” Isn’t it true that if Islamists came to power, the Left would have a lot to fear?” Again, the alliance between Islamists and Leftists … is an alliance, not a merger. Leftists and Islamists have worked together numerous times in history … That they work together is not a hypothesis on my part; this partnership exists, period. And why it exists is simply explained, if we are willing to look at the facts.

While they differ on a number of significant issues, Islamists and Leftists are in harmony on many parts of the big picture. Islamism and today’s Leftism (which, as I note in the book, David Horowitz aptly calls “neocommunism”) are both authoritarian ideologies: they favor a muscular central government, virulently reject capitalism, and are totalitarian in the sense that they want to dictate all aspects human life. They both see the individual as existing to serve the greater community (the state or the umma). Saliently, they have a common enemy: Western culture, American constitutional republicanism, and their foundation, individual liberty.

When I argue that Islamists and Leftists are working together to sabotage America, this is what I am talking about. Historically, when Islamists and Leftists collaborate against a common enemy (e.g., the Shah in Iran, the monarchy in Egypt), these marriages of convenience break apart when the common enemy has been eliminated. We are a long way from that point in America – and, hopefully, we never reach it. We must expect, though, that Islamists and Leftists will continue their alliance as long as the Western way of life remains an obstacle to their respective utopias.

The defining debate of our lifetime 0

The great political divide is between those on one side who want a system of government that preserves individual freedom – broadly speaking they may be called political libertarians and philosophical individualists – and those on the other side, the collectivists, who may variously define themselves as socialists, or communists, or progressives (if they are egalitarians), or Nazis, or fascists, or Muslims (if they are non-egalitarians).

Libertarians believe that the government should be our servant. Collectivists believe it should be our master.

Andrew McCarthy, the lead prosecutor of the bombers convicted of bombing the World Trade Center on 1993, says this about Islam, Islamism, the lawyers who defend jihadists free of charge, and the great political divide:

I don’t think there is much difference, if any, between Islam and Islamism. In that assessment, I’m not much different from Turkey’s Islamist prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who claims it is “very ugly” for Westerners to draw these distinctions between Muslims as “moderate” or “Islamist” — “It is offensive and an insult to our religion,” he says, because “there is no moderate or immoderate Islam. Islam is Islam, and that’s it.”

That doesn’t make any lawyer unfit to serve. It does, however, show us the fault line in the defining debate of our lifetime, the debate about what type of society we shall have. And that political context makes everyone’s record fair game. If lawyers choose to volunteer their services to the enemy in wartime, they are on the wrong side of that fault line, and no one should feel reluctant to say so.

Islamists are Muslims who would like to see sharia (Islamic law) installed. That is the necessary precondition to Islamicizing a society. It is the purpose of jihad. The terrorists are willing to force sharia’s installation by violent jihad; other Islamists have varying views about the usefulness of violence, but they also want sharia, and their jihadist methods include tactics other than violence. I reluctantly use the term “Islamist” rather than “Islam” because I believe there are hundreds of millions of Muslims (somewhere between a third to a half of the world’s 1.4 billion Muslims) who do not want to live under sharia, and who want religion to be a private matter, separated from public life. It is baffling to me why these people are Muslims since, as I understand Islam, (a) sharia is a basic element, and (b) Islam rejects the separation of mosque and state. But I’m not a Muslim, so that is not for me to say. I think we have to encourage the non-sharia Muslims and give them space to try to reform their religion, so I believe it’s worth labeling the sharia seekers “Islamists” in order to sort them out. But I admit being very conflicted about it because I also concede that the Islamists have the more coherent (and scary) construction of Islam. We wouldn’t be encouraging reform if we really thought Islam was fine as is.

In any event, Islamist ideology is multi-faceted. You can be pro-Islamist, and even pro-Qaeda, without signing on to the savage Qaeda methods. And the relevant question with respect to progressive lawyers [in particular the ones who provide free defense of terrorists] is not so much whether they are pro-Qaeda as it is whether, as between Islamists and the U.S. as it exists, they have more sympathy for the Islamists. That’s a fair question, but a very uncomfortable one to ask…

Much of the commentary on this point, including from some people who usually know better, has been specious. …

Jihadists believe it is proper to massacre innocent people in order to compel the installation of sharia as a pathway to Islamicizing society. No one for a moment believes, or has suggested, that al-Qaeda’s American lawyers share that view. But jihadist terrorists, and Islamist ideology in general, also hold that the United States is the root of all evil in the world, that it is the beating heart of capitalist exploitation of society’s have-nots, and that it needs fundamental, transformative change.

This … is why Islam and the Left collaborate so seamlessly. They don’t agree on all the ends and means. In fact, Islamists don’t agree among themselves about means. But before they can impose their utopias, Islamists and the Left have a common enemy they need to take down: the American constitutional tradition of a society based on individual liberty, in which government is our servant, not our master. It is perfectly obvious that many progressive lawyers are drawn to the jihadist cause because of common views about the need to condemn American policies and radically alter the United States.

Kill the bill 0

If enough Democratic votes are found to pass the monstrous health care legislation that will condemn America to the terminal illness of socialism, it will mean that many Democrats have decided to support their party rather than listen to their constituents, and so risk not being re-elected in November.

Why aren’t they troubled by this prospect? Mark Steyn and Andrew McCarthy have an explanation. Mark Steyn writes:

A big-time GOP consultant was on TV crowing that Republicans wanted the Dems to pass ObamaCare because it’s so unpopular it will guarantee a GOP sweep in November.

Okay, then what? You’ll roll it back — like you’ve rolled back all those other unsustainable entitlements premised on cobwebbed actuarial tables from 80 years ago?

Like you’ve undone the Department of Education and of Energy and all the other nickel ‘n’ dime novelties of even a universally reviled one-term loser like Jimmy Carter?

Andrew McCarthy concluded a shrewd analysis of the political realities thus:

“Health care is a loser for the Left only if the Right has the steel to undo it. The Left is banking on an absence of steel. Why is that a bad bet?”

Indeed.

Look at it from the Dems’ point of view. You pass ObamaCare. You lose the 2010 election, which gives the GOP co-ownership of an awkward couple of years.

And you come back in 2012 to find your health care apparatus is still in place, a fetid behemoth of toxic pustules oozing all over the basement, and, simply through the natural processes of government, already bigger and more expensive and more bureaucratic than it was when you passed it two years earlier.

If they are right – and we think they are – then there is only one sure way of killing off this “fetid behemoth” right now.

The Republicans must firmly decide and declare that they will repeal the legislation when they are returned to power. They must say it and mean it – and of course, if the Democrats think it’s only a bluff and go ahead anyway, then, when the time comes, they must do it.