Now that we know what the declassified House memo says about government misconduct, we also know what it means: The Washington swamp — the deep state — is bigger, more vicious and more dangerous to American liberty than even a cynic could have imagined.
Because of the memo and previous revelations, we know that swamp creatures are embedded in the top of the FBI and the Department of Justice. Some used their power to try to tip a presidential campaign based on their personal politics.
They conducted a sham investigation of the Democratic candidate and misled federal judges to spy on at least one associate of her Republican challenger.
To block exposure of their misdeeds, these officials falsely claimed that national security would be damaged. Add that despicable lie — issued in the name of the FBI itself — to their shameful records.
Thanks to the battle over the memo, we also know with 100 percent certainty that the mainstream media is part of the swamp. The efforts by The New York Times and The Washington Post, among others, to keep the memo from ever seeing sunshine were appalling.
Before it saw the memo, the Times’ editorial page called it proof of “The Republican Plot Against the FBI.” A Washington Post columnist warned President Trump he would be making a historic mistake in releasing it.
To the Trump haters, these facts don’t matter. He is, in their minds, unfit to be president, so nothing short of assassination is out of bounds.
“Presidents don’t win fights with the FBI,” Eugene Robinson wrote, seemingly endorsing the blackmailing habits of the disgraced J. Edgar Hoover.
Oddly, the campaign by those papers coincided with the celebration of their roles in releasing the Pentagon Papers nearly 50 years ago, as heroically depicted in the movie “The Post.”
Then, those papers took great risks in standing up for the First Amendment in the face of government threats and financial pressures. Now, those same papers take the side of butt-covering secrecy and demonize those who demand transparency.
Those organizations are betraying their legacies and their duties as journalists. They share with corrupt officials a hatred of Donald Trump and believe that ending his presidency justifies any and all means.
Their motives are as partisan as that of the Democrats who fought tooth and nail to scuttle the memo.
Talk about being on the wrong side of history.
The details of the memo make a strong case that current and former officials committed crimes by misleading FISA court judges in seeking four surveillance warrants against Carter Page, a bit player in the Trump campaign orbit.
Those details seal the sordid legacy of former FBI Director James Comey. He signed off on three warrant requests, reportedly without informing the judges that the essential piece of evidence against Page was the infamous Russian dossier paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
Months later, Comey himself told Congress the dossier was “salacious and unverified,” yet was secretly willing to use it in court against Page.
Its author, Christopher Steele, a former British spy, never went to Russia to interview his paid sources, some of whom were Kremlin officials. Did the judges know any of that before letting the FBI read Page’s emails and listen to his phone calls?
Steele was hired by the FBI, then fired when he shared his dossier with the press and lied about it. He also confided to an agent that he loathed Trump and “was passionate about him not being president.”
Did the agent, Bruce Ohr, whose wife worked for the same firm as Steele, Fusion GPS, tell the judges that? Did Comey? The memo says no.
Without knowing that partisan link, the court was deprived of evidence that would have called into question the surveillance request. Indeed, the memo claims that Andrew McCabe, the former deputy FBI director removed for his conduct during the separate Clinton investigation, testified that no warrant would have been sought “without the Steele dossier information.”
Not incidentally, current FBI Director Christopher Wray and his team read the memo before it was released, and did not dispute McCabe’s claim.
To the Trump haters, these facts don’t matter. He is, in their minds, unfit to be president, so nothing short of assassination is out of bounds.
Yet it is a mistake to view the memo’s revelations through the lens of whether you like Trump, or what you think of Carter Page. The ultimate issues are no more limited to them than were other landmark moments in American history limited by the personal interests of the parties involved.
The case in which Nazis were permitted to march in the Jewish neighborhood of Skokie, Ill., was not an approval of Nazis. The issue was whether repugnant speech has the same rights as popular speech.
The Supreme Court effectively said it did in a 1977 ruling that strengthened First Amendment rights for all Americans.
Similarly, the “Miranda warning” that allows a suspect in police custody to remain silent to avoid self-incrimination stems from a case involving a hideously violent criminal. Ernesto Miranda ultimately was convicted of kidnapping and rape, yet all suspects, innocent and guilty, benefit from the 1966 Supreme Court ruling in his favor.
Rulings like those weave the Founders’ ideals of equality into the fabric of contemporary life and make America the beacon of hope to the world.
Something even larger is now at stake. Trump is the great disrupter who has overthrown the established political order like no one in modern history, and many opponents have lost their bearings in resisting his presidency.
In their rage and bigotry, they are willing to abandon fundamental principles. We only know this because he won the election; none of this shocking misconduct would have been revealed under a Hillary Clinton presidency.
The claims in the memo that FBI and Justice officials acted corruptly should concern all fair-minded Americans, regardless of political preference. Those claims force us to ask whether we are a nation of laws that apply equally to all.
If not, we are no longer America. We are a banana republic where it’s acceptable for the government to use its police powers against political opponents.
The choice we face is especially stark given that the case at hand potentially implicates other top aides to former President Barack Obama. Recall that Page and others linked to Trump were accused of having ties to Russia, then their names were leaked to the media in a bid to sway the election and then to topple the president. There may be other flimsy FISA applications covering other Trump associates we don’t yet know about.
The memo is a giant step in uncovering what appears to be an unprecedented conspiracy, but it is not the endgame. More documents, congressional hearings, investigations and criminal prosecutions are unavoidable.
Hysterical Trump haters greeted the memo’s release by declaring that we face a constitutional crisis. They are right — and they are creating it.
by: Jayson Veley
Iran’s Attorney General is accusing a US-Israeli-Saudi think thank of masterminding the Iran protests:
“TEHRAN, Jan. 04 (MNA) – Attorney General Montazeri on Thu. revealed that the mastermind behind the eruption of protests in the country was a US-Israeli-Saudi think tank that had been plotting for the rallies since four years ago.
Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, Iran’s Attorney General, revealed the details about a think tank responsible for the week-long protests in several cities across the country, saying “the mastermind of the project was an American named Michael D’Andrea, former Chief of the CIA’s Counter Terrorism Center [current head of the Agency’s Iran Mission Center], and an operations room composed of three sides, namely the United States, Zionist regime and Al Saud, was formed for leading the unrest. The project was funded by Saudi Arabia and mainly planned by D’Andrea and an intelligence officer affiliated with [Israel’s intelligence agency] Mossad.”
He went on to add that the think tank conducted years of research and finally decided on launching campaigns inside Iran under the titles, ‘no to price hikes’, ‘no to paying bills’, and the campaign of the retired and those who lost their money in bankrupt financial institutes.
The think tank finally decided on executing the Libyan plan, i.e. moving from the margins toward the center, he added. …”
Last June, The New York Times ran an article about Michael D’Andrea called “C.I.A. Names the ‘Dark Prince’ to Run Iran Operations, Signaling a Tougher Stance”:
“WASHINGTON — He is known as the Dark Prince or Ayatollah Mike, nicknames he earned as the Central Intelligence Agency officer who oversaw the hunt for Osama bin Laden and the American drone strike campaign that killed thousands of Islamist militants and hundreds of civilians.
Now the official, Michael D’Andrea, has a new job. He is running the C.I.A.’s Iran operations, according to current and former intelligence officials, an appointment that is the first major sign that the Trump administration is invoking the hard line the president took against Iran during his campaign.
Mr. D’Andrea’s new role is one of a number of moves inside the spy agency that signal a more muscular approach to covert operations under the leadership of Mike Pompeo, the conservative Republican and former congressman, the officials said. The agency also recently named a new chief of counterterrorism, who has begun pushing for greater latitude to strike militants. …
But he has invoked his hard line on Iran in other ways. Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson has described the deal as a failure, and Mr. Trump has appointed to the National Security Council hawks eager to contain Iran and push regime change, the groundwork for which would most likely be laid through C.I.A. covert action.”
Asked whether Mr. D’Andrea’s appointment was a sign that the C.I.A. planned to take up a more aggressive line toward Iran, Mr. Eatinger said, “I don’t think it’s the wrong read.”
What do you think?
Is this Ayatollah Mike behind the Iran protests? I would say there is a pretty damn high chance given the timing and the 24/7 shilling for regime change by American politicians.
Note: Can you tell the difference between Donald Trump and Marco Rubio’s foreign policy?
According to reports circulating widely in Israeli media today, the United States has quietly given Israel the green light to assassinate Iran’s top military officer, Iranian Revolutionary Guards al-Quds Force commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani. The leader of Iran’s most elite force also coordinates military activity between the Islamic Republic and Syria, Iraq, Hezbollah, and Hamas – a position he’s filled since 1998 – and as Quds Force commander reports directly to the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, and oversees Iran’s covert operations in foreign countries.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have vowed to crack harshly down on protests currently gripping multiple major cities across the country, now in their fifth day, and after a particularly bloody night which saw 12 demonstrators killed – some of them reportedly shot by security forces.
The report, though unconfirmed, originated in a Kuwaiti newspaper and is now going viral through a Times of Israel story. The Times of Israel summarizes the context as follows:
Thursday’s report by al-Jarida, which has been known to publish improbable-sounding stories about Israel, was widely picked up by Israeli media. There was no immediate reaction to the report from Jerusalem or Washington.
Three years ago, Israel came close to assassinating Soleimani near Damascus, al-Jarida quoted unnamed source as saying, but the Americans tipped off the Iranians against the background of intense disagreement between Washington and Jerusalem.
That was during the Obama administration, which, according to reports at the time, was so focused on securing the 2015 Iran nuclear accord that it chose to overlook and even obstruct efforts to clamp down on Iranian-backed terror organizations. It’s not clear if the reported tip-off was related to efforts to secure the Iran deal.
And concerning the current go-ahead for new assassination plans reportedly given by US intelligence to the Israelis:
The source was quoted by the paper as saying that Soleimani’s assassination would serve both countries’ interests and that US authorities have given Israel the go-ahead to carry it out.
Israel has been known to conduct high-risk secretive assassinations in foreign countries over the past years and decades. One notable headline grabbing operation, reportedly by Mossad agents, occurred in 2010 and resulted in the assassination of a top Hamas commander who had checked into a high end Dubai hotel after flying in from Syria.
An eleven man Israeli hit squad had entered the hotel while dressed in tennis gear and carrying tennis rackets, and were later reported to be traveling on fake Irish and French passports. After conducting surveillance the Mossad agents got Hamas’ Mahmoud al-Mabhouh to open his hotel room door and quickly suffocated him without arousing suspicion from other hotel guests. By the time the body was discovered, the assassins had flown out of Dubai to various locations around the world and were never seen again.
And in 2015 a secret document revealed by The Intercept as part of the Edward Snowden leaked NSA archives confirmed that Israeli agents had assassinated a top Syrian general and personal aide to President Assad in 2008 while the general dined at his family home near Tartus, along the Syrian coast. The daring operation involved Israeli naval commandos and snipers targeting Gen. Muhammad Suleiman’s house from the waters of the Mediterranean and shooting him in the head and neck. Israel considered him responsible for coordinating weapons and supplies between Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah, as well as overseeing an alleged nascent nuclear development program at Syria’s Al Kibar facility which had previously been bombed by Israeli jets.
Six months prior to Syrian General Suleiman’s murder, a top Hezbollah officer was killed by a joint CIA-Mossad operation in the heart of Damascus. According to former intelligence officials who confirmed the assassination plot to the Washington Post, a car bomb planted near a Damascus downtown restaurant instantly killed Imad Mughniyah – Hezbollah’s international operations chief who was believed to have masterminded several terror attacks targeting Americans.
So concerning these latest reports unconfirmed reports that Iran’s Qassem Soleimani might be in Mossad’s crosshairs, while such a high risk operation against a top Iranian official would be unlikely to succeed, it is certainly not without precedent.
December 16, 2017
At last, the moment we’ve all been waiting for is quickly approaching: the death of John McCain.
We celebrated when he was diagnosed with the inoperable tumor, but we had hoped he would die quickly. Instead, he has lived on to harm America further.
President Trump on Friday called the wife of Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican who was hospitalized this week as he battles brain cancer, the White House said.
An official said Trump spoke by phone with Cindy McCain on Friday afternoon to “check in on Sen. McCain’s condition.”
“Is the evil America-hating sonovabitch dead yet?”
McCain, 81, was diagnosed with brain cancer in July. On Wednesday, his office said he had been admitted to the hospital.
“Senator McCain is currently receiving treatment at Walter Reed Medical Center for normal side effects of his ongoing cancer therapy,” his office said. “As ever, he remains grateful to his physicians for their excellent care, and his friends and supporters for their encouragement and good wishes. Senator McCain looks forward to returning to work as soon as possible.”
Despite his hospitalization, McCain’s Republican colleagues expressed optimism he will be able to make the expected votes on the tax overhaul next week. Senators must be physically present on the Senate floor to cast votes.
“Of course we all wish for Sen. McCain to have a great health for as long as possible,” Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said Friday on Fox News. “My sense is that everybody’s made a commitment to be there next week. And we will certainly be able to have the vote. Our prayers go to him and his family.”
John McCain is an inoperable tumor on this country.
We’ll be having a celebratory podcast marathon when he finally dies once and for all.