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Category Archives: Crime

Sessions vs. Trump . . . vs. Us, by Eric Peters

Sessions and Trump are engaged in a doobieous, disjointed, battle. Sessions keeps reefering to a 2014 law he doesn’t like, and has asked Congress to rescind it. From Eric Peters at theburningplatform.com:

Without consent, what have you got?

Just force.

The Constitution articulates the principle of consent – that “the people” agree to its terms and conditions – to be governed by it – and that without their consent, the government has no legitimate claim to govern them.

This is the principle at the bottom of the debate over medical marijuana – as well as the debate over recreational marijuana. If the people of a state consent to it, by what right does the federal government oppose it?

And it’s actually just one Fed – the attorney general of the United States, Jeff Sessions. He has personally decided to hurl thunderbolts and lightening at any state which dares to abide by the will of its people by decriminalizing the possession, sale and use of marijuana – whether for medical or recreational purposes. He has decreed that he – personally – will send federal hellhounds to prosecute those who legally – insofar as the laws of their state are concerned – defy his personal anti-pot animus.

But, he needs the funds to do so.

Mao was wrong. Power does not flow from the barrel of a gun. It emanates from the pockets of those with the money to buy the guns.

Take away the money and – effectively – you take away the guns.

That’s what Libertarian leaning Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California did back in 2014, when he put a rider in a funding bill that prohibits the DOJ’s inspector Javerts from going after marijuana users and sellers in states that have legalized the same – by denying them the funds to jihad.

Cue the angry ululations from Sessions. He is stomping his feet, demanding that the funding restriction be rescinded. He believes in the consent of the governed as much as another Republican – Abe Lincoln did.

And like Abe, he is determined to use force to impose his will upon those who do not consent.

But what gives the attorney general – or any other person – the moral right to deny consenting adults access to marijuana for medical or any other reason?

To continue reading: Sessions vs. Trump . . . vs. Us

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Does Mueller Indictment Mean Clinton Campaign Can Be Indicted for Chris Steele? by Robert Barnes

This article is repetitive, perhaps annoyingly so, but the author makes a very good point. From Robert Barnes at lawandcrime.com:

Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted foreign citizens for trying to influence the American public about an election because those citizens did not register as a foreign agent nor record their financial expenditures to the Federal Elections Commission. By that theory, when will Mueller indict Christopher Steele, FusionGPS, PerkinsCoie, the DNC and the Clinton Campaign? Mueller’s indictment against 13 Russian trolls claimed their social media political activity was criminal because: they were foreign citizens; they tried to influence an election; and they neither registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act nor reported their funding to the Federal Elections Commission.

First, if Mueller’s theory is correct, three things make Steele a criminal: first, he is a foreign citizen; second, he tried to influence an election, which he received payments to do (including from the FBI itself); and third, he neither registered as a foreign agent nor listed his receipts and expenditures to the Federal Election Commission. Also, according to the FBI, along the way, Steele lied…a lot, while the dossier he disseminated contained its own lies based on bought-and-paid for smears from foreign sources reliant on rumors and innuendo.

Second, if Mueller’s theory is correct, three things make FusionGPS a criminal co-conspirator: it knew Steele was a foreign citizen; it knew, and paid, Steele to influence an election; and it knew, and facilitated, Steele neither registering as a foreign agent nor reporting his funding from the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign to the Federal Election Commission.

Third, if Mueller’s theory is correct, then three things make PerkinsCoie a potential target: it knew Steele was a foreign citizen; it knew, and paid, Steele to influence an election; and it knew, and facilitated, Steele neither registering as a foreign agent nor reporting his funding from the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign to the Federal Election Commission, by disguising its receipt of payments from the Clinton campaign as a “legal expense.”

To continue reading: Does Mueller Indictment Mean Clinton Campaign Can Be Indicted for Chris Steele?

Brazilian Army Ordered To “Restore Order” In Rio De Janeiro, by Tyler Durden

Things have been dicey in Brazil for quite some time, and they may be getting dicier. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

With public spending on police and social services collapsing amid Brazil’s worsening economic crisis, violent crime has crept back up in Rio de Janeiro, a city widely recognized for its favelas – urban hillside slums teeming with violence, drugs and prostitution, according to Bloomberg.

And ahead of an October election where President Michel Temer will try to win his first full term in office, the president is trying to send in the army to seize control of the city’s streets and restore order to an increasingly lawless town.

President Michel Temer issued a decree on Friday putting an Army general in charge of Rio’s security forces, including the state’s civilian police. The intervention, which requires congressional approval, will last until the end of the year, according to the decree.

“Our prisons will no longer be offices for thieves, our public squares party halls for organized crime,” Temer said after signing the decree.

“I know it’s an extreme measure but many times Brazil requires extreme measures to put things in order.”

But as is often the case with Brazilian politics, Temer has a plausible ulterior motive: By sending in the army, he might create enough of a distraction to avoid voting on an unpopular pension bill because Brazilian law conveniently prohibits making constitutional changes during times of military crisis.

Temer told Reuters that the intervention wouldn’t halt negotiations over pension reform or stop a vote on the plan, which is deeply unpopular with the country’s retirees, who stand to see their benefits cut.

Meanwhile, crime in the city has erased nearly a decade of progress, climbing back to its highest level since 2009. Temer’s decision is the first time the military has intervened in public affairs since the former military dictatorship ended in the mid-1980s and the country returned to democracy.

To continue reading: Brazilian Army Ordered To “Restore Order” In Rio De Janeiro

Agitprop Is Not News, by James Howard Kunstler

For the dwindling few who still believe some version of the Russiagate story, what they believe just gets weirder and weirder. From James Howard Kuntler at kunstler.com:

Forget about sharks. In their Valentine’s Day editorial: Why Does Trump Ignore Top Officials’ Warnings on Russia?, The New York Times jumped several blue whales (all the ones left on earth), a cruise ship, a subtropical archipelago, a giant vortex of plastic bottles, and the Sports Illustratedswimsuit shoot. The lede said:

The phalanx of intelligence chiefs who testified on Capitol Hill delivered a chilling message: Not only did Russia interfere in the 2016 election, it is already meddling in the 2018 election by using a digital strategy to exacerbate the country’s political and social divisions.

Hmmm…. After almost two years of relentless public paranoia about Russia and US elections, don’t you suppose these Ruskie gremlins would find some other way to make mischief in our world — maybe meddle in the NHL playoffs, or hack WalMart’s bookkeeping department, or covertly switch out the real Dwayne Johnson with a robot? I kind of completely and absolutely doubt that they’ll bother with our elections.

Let’s face it, the United States is doing a stellar job of destroying itself with bad ideas, foolish ideologies, and pervasive self-deceit. If I was running the Russian intel services, I’d just pay to send a few Nebraska county commissioners to Disneyland — that would keep our seventeen US intel agencies busy until kingdom come trying to figure out the angle. And it would cheaper than spending a hundred grand to fuck with Facebook.

Actually the Times’s editorial seems to have CIA / NSA fingerprints all over it, or at least Deep State paw prints. By stating that the Russians are already “meddling” in 2018 elections that haven’t happened yet, aren’t our own security agencies setting up the public to lose faith in the electoral process and fight over election results? Oh, by the way, the Times presented no evidence whatsoever that this alleged “meddling” is taking place. They just assert it, as if it were already adjudicated.

But then they take it another step, making the case that because Mr. Trump does not go along with the Russian Meddling story, he is obstructing efforts to prevent Russian interference in the elections that haven’t happened yet, and is therefore by implication guilty of treason. A fine piece of casuistry.

To continue reading: Agitprop Is Not News

Mueller’s Investigation A Farce: Files Joke Indictment Against Russian Trolls, by Elizabeth Vos

More proof that Robert Mueller’s got nothing on President Trump’s alleged collusion with the Russians. He is scraping the bottom of the barrel, a pathetic new low. From Elizabeth Vos at disobedientmedia.com:

If one needed proof that Mueller’s investigation was an utter farce, they were in for a treat this morning when the Deputy Attorney General announced the indictment of indicted 13 “Russian trolls,” for allegedly interfering in the 2016 Presidential election by posting on social media accounts.

Laying Mueller’s disregard of the First Amendment aside, the indictment is blatantly hypocritical in light of active social media intervention by pro-Clinton David Brock and his multi-million dollar efforts to ‘Correct The Record.’

Julian Assange@Julian Assange

Mueller “troll farm” indictment today
– explicitly states no collusion
– does not mention WikiLeaks
– states trolls intent to support Trump & Sanders, oppose Clinton, Cruz
– states trolls intent on anti-Trump AND pro-Trump rallies post electionhttps://twitter.com/wikileaks/status/964563703302623232 

The indictment alleges that: “Beginning in or around June 2014, the ORGANIZATION obscured its conduct by operating through a number of Russian entities, including Internet Research LLC, MediaSintez LLC, GlavSet LLC, MixInfo LLC, Azimut LLC, and NovInfo LLC.”

The indictment further alleges that: “The ORGANIZATION sought, in part, to conduct what it called information warfare against the United States of America through fictitious U.S. personas on social media platforms and other Internet-based media.”

According to the indictment, the co-conspirators “engaged in operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump.”

The indictment represents the latest mutation of Russian interference allegations that have dragged on for over a year. As this author previously noted, the definition of Russian interference has mutated from unsubstantiated claims of Russian hacking, to Russian collusion, and finally to Russian social media trolling.

To continue reading: Mueller’s Investigation A Farce: Files Joke Indictment Against Russian Trolls

Why are the Comey memos secret? by Byron York

There is no real good answer for the title question. From Byron York at washingtonexaminer.com:

If there is an obstruction of justice case to be made against the president in the Trump-Russia affair, James Comey is in the middle of it. President Trump’s decision to fire the FBI director is often cited as Exhibit A for obstruction, and the foundation for that case is a set of seven memos Comey wrote describing conversations he had with the president between Jan. 6 and April 11, 2017.

The memos are critically important. Portions of them have been leaked to the press, given to a Comey friend, discussed in congressional testimony, and read by a few Capitol Hill lawmakers and staff. Sometimes it seems the only people who have never had a chance to see the Comey memos are the millions of Americans who are trying to make sense of the daily firehose of Trump-Russia news.

They’re not likely to see the memos anytime soon. The FBI and the office of Trump-Russia special counsel Robert Mueller have imposed tight restrictions on access to the memos, holding them even more closely than some documents that are classified at a far higher level. Now, with speculation about obstruction ever present in the media, some lawmakers are calling for the memos to be released. It’s time for Americans to know what’s going on, they say.

The public part of the memo story began on May 16, 2017, when the New York Times published a story headlined, “Comey Memo Says Trump Asked Him to End Flynn Investigation.” The paper reported that a Comey-penned memo detailing a Trump-Comey conversation the day after the firing of national security adviser Michael Flynn was “part of a paper trail Mr. Comey created documenting what he perceived as the president’s improper efforts to influence a continuing investigation.”

“An FBI agent’s contemporaneous notes are widely held up in court as credible evidence of conversations,” the Times added.

To continue reading: Why are the Comey memos secret?

 

Christopher Steele: The Real Foreign Influence in the 2016 Election?, by Peter Van Buren

How an intelligence disinformation campaign works. From Peter Van Buren at theamericanconservative.com:

His dossier was more than opposition research, it was part of a full-spectrum information operation.

Christopher Steele (Screen grab/CBSN)

Leaving aside the validity of what has become known as the “Steele dossier,” it’s important to look at how Christopher Steele was able to guarantee that the information in it would play a significant and ongoing role in American politics.

Steele, who is British, did far more than simply provide opposition research to the Democratic National Committee. He was able to make sure it reached the most influential people possible in politics, media and government to shape and influence the growing narrative of the 2016 presidential election. In other words, as a skilled professional intelligence officer, Steele ran a full-spectrum information operation against the United States. One could even call it information warfare.

This is what separates his work creating the dossier  (which a decent journalist with friends in Russia could have done) from his work insinuating the dossier into the highest reaches of American government and political society. For that, you need a real pro, an intelligence officer with decades of experience running just that kind of operation. Looking for foreign interference in the 2016 election? Let’s take a closer look at Christopher Steele.

Steele’s skill is revealed by the now familiar Nunes and Grassley memos, which show he used the same set of information in the dossier to create a collaboration loop, every intelligence officer’s dream, which is his own planted information used to surreptitiously confirm itself, right up to the point where the target country’s own intelligence service re-purposed it as evidence in the FISA (Foreign Intelligence  Surveillance Act) court.

Steele admits he briefed journalists off-the-record starting in summer and autumn 2016. His most significant hit came when in September 2016, journalist Michael Isikoff broke the story of Trump associate Carter Page’s alleged connections to Russia. Isikoff did not cite the dossier or Steele as sources, and in fact denied they were when questioned.

 

To continue reading: Christopher Steele: The Real Foreign Influence in the 2016 Election?

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