One of the gang 1

Why did anyone expect James Comey to recommend the prosecution of Hillary Clinton for grave crimes that he himself enumerated?

Because “anyone” did not know or had forgotten that Comey is a member of Obama’s gang.

James Comey would not have been appointed head of the FBI had President Obama sensed the least trace in the man of that right-wing weakness called “objective judgment”.  

On June 13, 2013, when James Comey was nominated by President Obama to head the FBI, Bret Stephens wrote at the Wall Street Journal:

President Obama on Friday nominated James Comey to run the FBI, and the former prosecutor and deputy attorney general is already garnering media effusions reserved for any Republican who fell out publicly with the Bush Administration. Forgive us if we don’t join this Beltway beatification.

Any potential FBI director deserves scrutiny, since the position has so much power and is susceptible to ruinous misjudgments and abuse. That goes double with Mr. Comey, a nominee who seems to think the job of the federal bureaucracy is to oversee elected officials, not the other way around, and who had his own hand in some of the worst prosecutorial excesses of the last decade.

The list includes his overzealous pursuit, as U.S. Attorney for New York’s Southern District, of banker Frank Quattrone amid the post-Enron political frenzy of 2003. Mr. Comey never did indict Mr. Quattrone on banking-related charges, but charged him instead with obstruction of justice and witness tampering based essentially on a single ambiguous email.

Mr. Comey’s first trial against Mr. Quattrone ended in a hung jury; he won a conviction on a retrial but that conviction was overturned on appeal in 2006. …

There is also Mr. Comey’s 2004 role as deputy attorney general in the Aipac case, in which the FBI sought to use bogus “secret” information to entrap two lobbyists for the pro-Israel group and then prosecuted them under the 1917 Espionage Act. The Justice Department dropped that case in 2009 after it fell apart in court — but not before wrecking the lives of the two lobbyists, Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman.

Or the atrocious FBI investigation, harassment and trial-by-media of virologist Steven Jay Hatfill, falsely suspected of being behind the 2001 anthrax mail attacks. Mr. Comey continued to vouchsafe the strength of the case against Dr. Hatfill in internal Administration deliberations long after it had become clear that the FBI had fingered the wrong man. …

Yet the biggest of Mr. Comey’s misjudgments are the ones for which he gets the highest accolades from his media admirers. In March 2004 Mr. Comey raced to the hospital bedside of then-Attorney General John Ashcroft to stop his boss from signing off on a periodic reauthorization of the “warrantless wiretap” surveillance program authorized by President Bush shortly after 9/11. Mr. Comey’s hospital theatrics have since been spun — above all by Mr. Comey — as a case of a brave and honest civil servant standing up to an out-of-control White House seeking to take advantage of a sick man for morally dubious and even criminal ends.

Yet the reason the White House needed Mr. Ashcroft’s signature in the first place was that President Bush had subjected the surveillance program to a stringent 45-day reauthorization schedule (with the knowledge and approval of senior members of Congress), and Mr. Ashcroft had signed off on the same program multiple times before having an apparent change of heart shortly before the March incident.

None of this kept Mr. Comey from abusing his role as Acting AG implicitly to threaten the White House with the likely exposure of the classified program — all because his interpretation of the law differed from that of Mr. Gonzales and other government lawyers. …

Then there’s Mr. Comey’s role in the investigation of the leak of Valerie Plame’s identity as a CIA employee. Mr. Comey first encouraged Mr. Ashcroft to recuse himself in naming a special counsel on grounds that the AG could run into a conflict of interest if the investigation implicated Karl Rove.

Whereupon Mr. Comey gave the job to Patrick Fitzgerald, a close personal friend. Unlike independent counsels under the now defunct statute, a special counsel is supposed to be under the Justice Department’s supervision, and it would be interesting to hear Mr. Comey explain how appointing the godfather of one of his children to a high-profile job under his direction did not entail a conflict of interest.

Mr. Fitzgerald quickly found out that the leaker of Ms. Plame’s identity was Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, a fact Mr. Fitzgerald kept secret for years. Yet instead of closing the case down, Mr. Comey signed off within weeks on an expansion of Mr. Fitzgerald’s mandate. After a three-year investigation that turned up almost nothing new, the prosecutor tried to salvage his tenure with a dubious indictment of Scooter Libby for perjury.

Mr. Fitzgerald … supported by his superior Mr. Comey, also managed to land New York Times reporter Judith Miller in jail for 85 days for refusing to reveal her sources, and nearly did the same for Time magazine’s Matthew Cooper. With another FBI violation of internal Justice guidelines regarding media freedoms in the news, someone might ask Mr. Comey why he was prepared to resign on principle over surveilling terrorists, while doing nothing to stop Mr. Fitzgerald’s efforts to criminalize journalism?

None of this may stand in the way of Mr. Comey’s confirmation in a Democratic Senate. But before Senators yawn their way to rubber-stamping President Obama’s “bipartisan” pick, they should ask Mr. Comey some harder questions than the ones to which his media fan base have accustomed him.

No hard questions were asked. James Comey was appointed head of the FBI.

For about a year his investigators have been looking into whether Hillary Clinton had broken laws governing her communications as secretary of state, and they find that she had. Her aides were questioned, and it’s been found that they helped her break the laws. Finally, Comey had some of his investigators ask Hillary Clinton herself, in person, face to face, if she had intended to break the law. No, she said, she had not. (She was not under oath, so there was no risk that she might be accused of perjury. And no one will ever know what was said on either side because no record of the exchange was made.) Her denial of intent was all Comey needed. Although he is absolutely sure that she has indeed broken many laws, he has announced that “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring any charges against her.      

In an article also at the Wall Street Journal, published yesterday (July 7, 2016), Kimberley Strassel recollects the instances Bret Stephens listed at the time of Comey’s appointment, and comments:

It was no surprise that Mr. Comey this week let Mrs. Clinton off, despite the damning evidence amassed by the FBI of gross negligence in her handling of classified material. A prosecutor — for this was the position Mr. Comey essentially assumed on Tuesday — who put the law above all else would have brought charges, holding Mrs. Clinton to the same standard as other officials convicted of similarly “extremely careless” handling of classified material. 

A prosecutor who had spent a lifetime with one eye on politics and one eye on his résumé would have behaved exactly as Mr. Comey did. He must have noticed that Mrs. Clinton, leading in the polls, had recently dangled a job offer in front of his boss, Attorney General Loretta Lynch. He saw President Obama pressing not just his thumb, but his whole body, on the scales of justice. Reporters were on Mrs. Clinton’s side. Democrats were ready to be furious if he decided the wrong way.

We were among the ones who had, in foolish ignorance, supposed James Comey to be a man of integrity. As a result we were disappointed and angry at the miscarriage of justice.

Now that we know more about Mr. Comey … we are no less disappointed, and even more angry.

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The meaning of patriotism 0

It seems that many if not quite all of the Dictator’s appointees to jobs in his administration are left-radical sympathizers with America’s enemies. But few are in a position actively to aid them. The attorney general is in the best position to do so if he chooses. He could, for instance, staff the Department of Justice with lawyers who have a record of defending terrorists – and not just defending them but working hard for their acquittal even outside the limits of the law; persons who have shown themselves to be passionately on the other side.

But surely he wouldn’t do such a thing, would he?  The Attorney General of the United States cannot be against America and for its enemies, can he?  Okay, it’s true he has in fact brought such persons into his Justice Department, but they must be as patriotic as he is – wouldn’t you assume?

“Does helping jihadists lie, plot, and identify CIA agents demonstrate patriotism — or material support to terrorism?” – Andrew McCarthy asks. And he answers his own question in this illuminating article at the National Review Online which we quote in part:

Bravely entering the lion’s den — delivering a speech in praise of left-wing, “pro bono” lawyering to a group of left-wing, pro bono lawyers — Attorney General Eric Holder recently declared that “lawyers who provide counsel for the unpopular are, and should be, treated as what they are: patriots.”

Sure they are. After all, Holder explained, they “reaffirm our nation’s most essential and enduring values” — like the value we place on coming to the aid of our enemies in wartime. And let’s not forget the value we place on advocating for the release of those enemies who, as night follows day, then return to the business of killing Americans. Sure, the nation somehow missed these essential and enduring values in the two-plus centuries between the Revolutionary War and the War on Terror, but hey, who’s counting?

The attorney general’s encomium was prompted by critics who had embarrassed him, finally, into disclosing at least some of the names of former Gitmo Bar members he recruited for policymaking jobs at DOJ. They “do not deserve to have their own values questioned,” he said of these lawyers. Just like many attorneys at Covington & Burling, Holder’s former firm (which made representing enemy combatants its biggest “pro bono” project), they answered the call of “our values” because, you know, the detainees are so very “unpopular” among the American legal profession.

Truth be told, what’s most unpopular in our elite legal circles is the Bush administration. Bush’s lawyers approved, and Bush’s executive agencies carried out, aggressive counterterrorism policies on interrogation, detention, and surveillance after some of the Gitmo Bar’s clients killed nearly 3,000 Americans. What about those unpopular lawyers and agents? For some reason, Covington & Burling and the other barrister battalions did not volunteer to represent them. And Holder wasn’t content merely to question their “values”; he accused them of war crimes. …

The attorney general’s pep rally occurred just as the public was getting its first glimpse of the peculiar notions of “representation” shared by several Gitmo Bar veterans.. We now know a good deal about several of these volunteer lawyers. To take just a few examples, they provided al-Qaeda detainees with a brochure that instructed them on how to claim falsely that they had been tortured; fomented a detainee hunger strike that disrupted security and precipitated fabricated reports that prisoners had been tortured and force-fed; provided the detainees with other virulently anti-American propaganda (for example, informing them about the Abu Ghraib scandal, comparing U.S. military physicians to Josef Mengele, and labeling DOJ lawyers “desk torturers”); gave the enemy-combatant terrorists a hand-drawn map of Gitmo’s layout, including guard towers; helped the enemy combatants communicate messages to the outside world; informed the detainees of the identities of other detainees in U.S. custody; and posted photos of Guantanamo security badges on the Internet in a transparent effort to identify U.S. security personnel.

And that’s not the worst of it — [there is] the Gitmo Bar’s shocking effort to identify CIA interrogators. The lawyers — from the ACLU and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, perversely calling themselves “the John Adams Project” — actually had investigators stalk U.S. intelligence officers, surveilling them near their homes and photographing them … The photos were then smuggled into Gitmo and shown to top terrorists to determine whether they recognized which intelligence agents had questioned them.

Interestingly, the attorney general claimed that al-Qaeda’s volunteer lawyers deserve the public’s “respect” because they “accept our professional responsibility to protect the rule of law.” All of the above-described activities not only violated the law; they occurred in flagrant contravention of court-ordered conditions that were placed on the lawyers’ access to their “clients.” Evidently, violating statutes and contemptuously flouting court orders protects the rule of law in the same way that coming to the enemy’s aid exhibits patriotism. That’s “our values” for you. …

During the Valerie Plame controversy, we were treated to lectures from the American Left over the dire need to protect CIA agents. That, coupled with the fact that Patrick Fitzgerald, who ran the Plame investigation, is now leading a probe of the Gitmo lawyers, has brought renewed attention to the Covert Agent Identity Protection Act, the statute at the center of the Plame case….

Federal law prohibits providing material support to terrorists and terrorist organizations. Almost any assistance qualifies. The relevant statutes … exempt only “medicine and religious materials.” Though not stated in the statute, legitimate legal assistance must also be exempt — indicted terrorists are entitled to counsel. This was [Lynne] Stewart’s attempted [and failed] defense. [See here and here.] The jury, however, rejected the absurd contention that activities like helping the head of an international terrorist organization convey messages to his subordinates constituted “representation” by an attorney.

It would be interesting to know whether the attorney general thinks legitimate representation by counsel includes stalking the CIA, conspiring to identify covert agents and security personnel, inciting disruptions, providing terrorists with information in rampant violation of court orders, and the Gitmo Bar’s other outrages. Assuming Holder agrees that this is not the “rule of law” he had in mind, why would such activities not constitute material support to terrorists?

Moreover, the Espionage Act prohibits the obtaining of information respecting the national defense with the intent that it be used to the injury of the United States. Specifically included, among many other examples of conduct criminalized under the statute, is the taking of photographs of “anything connected with the national defense.” Doesn’t Mr. Holder think snapping photos of CIA interrogators involves photographing something connected with our national defense? Doesn’t the unauthorized display of such photos to mass murderers at war with our country bespeak an intention to harm the United States?

Certainly the CIA believes that what the Gitmo Bar pulled here was a serious threat to its agents and our country. Yet press reports indicate that the Justice Department didn’t think it was a big deal and resisted CIA demands that enforcement action be taken. Those of us who have pressed for disclosure of the identities and current responsibilities of former detainee lawyers now working at DOJ have argued that the public is entitled to know about potential conflicts of interest. This would certainly seem to be one. Have any former Gitmo lawyers been involved in the Justice Department’s consideration of misconduct by the detainees’ attorneys? …

While she was at Human Rights Watch (HRW), Jennifer Daskal brought to DOJ by Holder to work on detainee policy despite lacking any prosecutorial experience — played a central role in HRW’s investigation of the CIA. She was largely responsible for its exposure of covert CIA operations (specifically, identifying and publicizing airplanes used by the agency) and its disclosure that the CIA was secretly using prisons in Europe (and elsewhere) to hold top al-Qaeda captives. Daskal met with European Parliament officials and armed them with information that was used to pressure the Bush administration to shut down its detention and interrogation program.

Daskal, who called Bush the “torture president,” was a tireless critic of enhanced-interrogation tactics and other Bush counterterrorism policies. Moreover, in a 2006 memo, she asked the U.N. Human Rights Committee to investigate the United States for, among other things, using “the cloak of federalism” to avoid international governance [!!!-JB]; denying enemy combatants full access to the federal courts during what she described as the so-called ‘war on terror’”; purportedly violating international treaties by operating not only Gitmo but “supermax” civilian prisons; using secret prisons for War on Terror detainees; detaining terrorism suspects on material-witness warrants; employing military-commission procedures; imposing racially rigged enforcement of the death penalty; and denying illegal aliens the right to organize in labor unions.

That is to say, Daskal has been a harsh critic of the United States, a reliable advocate for terrorists, and a champion of compromising the CIA’s wartime activities. …

I’m betting most Americans would sense a chasm between their values and Ms. Daskal’s — and between their idea of patriotism and Mr. Holder’s.

You may not call it treason 0

Michelle Malkin’s book Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies (Regnery 2009) is, we’re happy to see, top of the NYT bestseller list for the fourth week running. As the leading supplier of  the most significant facts about Obama and his administration that the mass-media try to hide, she deserves the nation’s  gratitude.

This is from one of her recent Townhall columns:

Savor the silence of America’s self-serving champions of privacy. For once, the American Civil Liberties Union has nothing bad to say about the latest case of secret domestic surveillance — because it is the ACLU that committed the spying.

Last week, The Washington Post reported on a new Justice Department inquiry into photographs of undercover CIA officials and other intelligence personnel taken by ACLU-sponsored researchers assisting the defense team of Guantanamo Bay detainees. According to the report, the pictures of covert American CIA officers — “in some cases surreptitiously taken outside their homes” — were shown to jihadi suspects tied to the 9/11 attacks in order to identify the interrogators…

The ACLU’s team used lists and data from “human rights groups,” European researchers and news organizations that were involved in “(t)racking international CIA-chartered flights” and monitoring hotel phone records. Working from a witch-hunt list of 45 CIA employees, the ACLU team tailed and photographed agency employees or obtained other photos from public records.

And then they showed the images to suspected al-Qaida operatives implicated in murdering 3,000 innocent men, women and children on American soil.

Where is the concern for the safety of these American officers and their families? Where’s the outrage from all the indignant supporters of former CIA agent Valerie Plame, whose name was leaked by Bush State Department official Richard Armitage to the late Robert Novak? Lefties swung their nooses for years over the disclosure, citing federal laws prohibiting the sharing of classified information and proscribing anyone from unauthorized exposure of undercover intelligence agents.

ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero refused to comment on Project CIA Paparazzi and instead whined some more about the evil Bush/CIA interrogators. Left-wing commentators and distraction artists are dutifully up in arms about such “inhumane” tactics as blowing cigar smoke in the faces of Gitmo detainees. But it’s Romero blowing unconscionable smoke:

“We are confident that no laws or regulations have been broken as we investigated the circumstances of the torture of our clients and as we have vigorously defended our clients’ interests,” he told the Post. “Rather than investigate the CIA officials who undertook the torture, they are now investigating the military lawyers who have courageously stepped up to defend these clients in these sham proceedings.”

Courage? What tools and fools these jihadi-enablers be. Civil liberties opportunism is literally a part of the al-Qaida handbook. A terrorist manual seized in a Manchester, England, raid in 2005 advised operatives: “At the beginning of the trial … the brothers must insist on proving that torture was inflicted on them by state security before the judge. Complain of mistreatment while in prison.” Jihadi commanders rehearsed the lines with their foot soldiers “to ensure that they have assimilated it.”

Since 9/11, the selective champions of privacy have recklessly blabbed about counter-terrorism operations, endangered the lives of military and intelligence officials at Gitmo, and undermined national security through endless litigationNow, caught red-handed blowing the cover of CIA operatives, they shrug their shoulders and dismiss it as “normal” research on behalf of “our clients.”

But don’t you dare question their love of country. Spying to stop the next 9/11 is treason, you see. Spying to stop enhanced interrogation of Gitmo detainees is patriotic. And endangering America on behalf of international human rights is the ultimate form of leftist dissent.