The death of the First Amendment
The US Department of Justice has brought an 18-charge indictment against Julian Assange. Seventeen of the counts are for violations of the Espionage Act. To much scorn and derision Wikileaks and Assange have been warning for years that this is exactly what the US government would do. They have been vindicated. Obama Justice Department lawyers, examining the exact same evidence as the Trump Justice Department lawyers, declined to press charges against Assange because they believed it would criminalize essential elements of journalism, one of which is disclosure of secrets the government would rather not have disclosed, and obliterate the First Amendment. The Obama lawyers were right.
The Trump administration is attempting to silence a journalist and organization that have acted as a clearinghouse for whistleblowers outside and inside governments who have courageously sought to reveal their governments’ depredations and crimes. In this country, Assange and Wikileaks have embarrassed and infuriated both the left and right, Democrats and Republicans, and so they have no friends or protectors within the powers that be. An important point is that they have done their job mostly with documents and other materials produced by the perpetrators themselves. Telling the truth has indeed become a revolutionary act, which is always a hallmark of tyranny.
Once upon a time some of us hoped that voting for Donald Trump was a revolutionary act, but like most stories that begin with, “Once upon a time,” that has proven a fairy tale. Unless Trump issues a full and unconditional pardon for Assange before he has to undergo years of legal proceedings fighting extradition in Europe and Britain, and then this indictment in the US, never again will I support Donald Trump. Nor will I support any other politician who either supports the indictment or refuses to make his or her opinion known about the matter. At this time, only Tulsi Gabbard has publicly supported Julian Assange, and if she continues to do so she has my vote in 2020, regardless of my complete disagreement with many of her other positions. She would be the first Democrat for whom I’ve ever voted.
That makes me a one-issue voter. I’m a writer and speaker, often writing and speaking about government and politics. I cherish my freedom and the threat to it is the issue most important to me. To all those who regard the First Amendment as subsidiary to other issues—foreign policy, the economy, immigration, the stock market, or the other headline grabbers—or who feel that the US can still be a “great” nation without the First Amendment I say this: you are fools, you fully deserve what’s coming, and don’t you dare bewail your fate or that of your country when what remains of the greatness of America is gone and it has become the tyrannical hellhole that appears to be its destiny.
The destruction of the UK political establishment is devoutly to be desired. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com
Since Nigel Farage officially launched the ‘Brexit Party’ six weeks during a coming-out party in Coventry, Farage and his allies have ridden widespread frustration with a seemingly ineffectual British political establishment to the top of the polls, attracting waves of defectors from the Tories and Labour.
The most recent polls – taken just days before the vote, which, for the UK, will take place on Thursday – show the Brexit Party is up by double-digits over its nearest rival, the Liberal Democrats. Meanwhile, support for Labour and the Tories has dwindled to single-digit levels.
Sunlight is the best disinfectant. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
As Congressional Democrats insist on conducting post-Mueller probes into President Trump and those around him, much of the recent infighting and backpedaling we’ve seen from former Obama intel chiefs is starting to make sense.
Appearing with Fox News‘s Sean Hannity Tuesday night, The Hill‘s John Solomon revealed that according to his sources (and Hannity’s as well), President Trump will begin declassifying ‘Russiagate’ documents in the next 6-7 days.
Among those will be the so-called “Bucket Five” – documents which were originally presented to the Gang of Eight in 2016, which included everything the FBI and DOJ used against Trump campaign aide Carter Page – including the FISA surveillance application and its underlying exculpatory intelligence documents which the FISA court may have never seen.
Posted in Crime, Cronyism, Government, Intelligence, Investigations, Law, Politics
Tagged CIA, DOJ, FBI, James Clapper, James Comey, John Brennan
Joe Biden may be just the tranquilizer the fervid left needs, but he’s carrying a lot of baggage. From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:
A mental health assessment of the Democratic Party suggests that identity politics had lately turned into an identity crisis. Years of staying woke finally produced hallucinations and violent outbursts. It was time to medicate the patient. Enter, stage right, the Tranquilizer, smiling Uncle Joe Biden, the perfect agent to quell an acute case of adolescent rebellion.
Mostly, the rank-and-file don’t seem to know what to make of Uncle Joe’s arrival on the scene. It’s as if they popped .5 milligrams of Xanax a half an hour ago and all the intersectional strife that seemed so urgent last month just up and flew out of the room, like so many leaf-nosed bats from a frightful cave of winds. The chemical rush Uncle Joe provides is reflected in his impressive polling numbers, lately cresting near 40 percent against his closest pursuer, Bernie Sanders — the reincarnation of my 10th grade math teacher, and hence a figure of horror and loathing — at about 18 percent in the polls. The rest of the presidential pack just slogs down-low through the sucking muck of single digits. Many of these are women candidates in a party determined to produce the first president of the female persuasion. What’s up with that?
The salient psychodramatic feature of the Democrats’ relationship with Mr. Trump is that he represents Daddy’s in da house, a situation so alarming as to provoke a nearly three-year-long fugue of patricidal fury among his detractors. In fact, he’s an order of magnitude worse than Daddy… he’s more like Ole Massa… living in that big White House… lumbering out the south portico in that terrible capitalist business suit… the very cutting edge of oppression and misogyny. Of the Democratic women running for president, so far only Elizabeth Warren has gone after Mr. Trump with any real passion — and then, like some stereotypical housewife trying to brain him with a frying pan. It just bounces off his thick skull, and he moves on.
Here are some statistics all the open borders types hope gets overlooked. From Victor Skinner at theamericanmirror.com:
A new federal report shows non-citizens in the United States commit nearly half of all federal crimes, or more than six times their proportion to the American population.
For 2017, data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Surveyshows non-citizens comprise about 7 percent of the country’s population, but the 2018 Annual Report and Sourcebook of Federal Sentencing Statistics shows they committed more than 40 percent of all federal crimes.
The United States Sentencing Commission reviewed 321,000 sentencing documents in fiscal year 2018 and outlined several statistics in the annual report:
In fiscal year 2018, the courts reported 69,425 felony and Class A misdemeanor cases to the Commission. This represents an increase of 2,552 cases from the prior fiscal year, and the first increase since fiscal year 2011.
The race of federal offenders remained largely unchanged from prior years. In fiscal year 2018, 54.3 percent of all offenders were Hispanic, 21.2 percent were White, 20.6 percent were Black, and 3.8 percent were of another race. Non-U.S. Citizens accounted for 42.7 percent of all federal offenders.
President Trump hasn’t come within field goal range of fulfilling his most important promises. From Chuck Baldwin at chuckbaldwinlive.com:
It is undoubtedly true that the vast majority of politicians are liars. Some, however, are more prolific liars than others. And any honest, objective, even semi-intelligent person knows that Donald Trump takes the blue ribbon in the lying game. He lies so much, he can’t even play a game of golf without cheating.
In a column dated August 10, 2017, I wrote a piece entitled The Truth About Donald Trump. In the column I documented the truth about Trump’s lifetime conduct. In short:
*Donald Trump spent his entire adult life scamming people out of billions of dollars.
Trump’s seven bankruptcies (which he brags about) cost investors, employees and consumers multiplied billions of dollars. Doug Heller, the executive director of Consumer Watchdog, said Trump is the “most egregious, almost comical example” of the disparity between what the average American faces when going through bankruptcy and the “ease with which the very rich can move in and out of bankruptcy.”
*Donald Trump spent his entire adult life as a perverse philanderer and miserable misogynist.
I documented what I could on this subject in the column referenced above. The full account of Trump’s lifelong moral debauchery could not even be reported in polite company. In short, Trump is a sick moral reprobate of the lowest order.
*Donald Trump spent his entire business life consorting with international crime syndicates and the Jewish mafia.
In my column, I documented Trump’s crooked, illegal, unethical and immoral penchant for deal-making with some of the most unscrupulous, dishonest and evil mafia figures in the world (I even named a few of them). Donald Trump wouldn’t know what honesty and truth were if they came up and bit him on his dumpy derriere. (Read my column referenced above for documentation and details.)
How will Trump and pals trick the US public into supporting a war on Iran? From Ray McGovern at antiwar.com:
An Iraq-War redux is now in full play, with leading roles played by some of the same protagonists – President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, for example, who says he still thinks attacking Iraq was a good idea. Co-starring is Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
The New York Times on Tuesday played its accustomed role in stoking the fires, front-paging a report that, at Bolton’s request, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has come up with an updated plan to send as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East, should Iran attack American forces or accelerate work on nuclear weapons. The Times headline writer, at least, thought it appropriate to point to echoes from the past: “White House Reviews Military Plans Against Iran, in Echoes of Iraq War.”
By midday, Trump had denied the Times report, branding it “fake news.” Keep them guessing, seems to be the name of the game.
Following the Iraq playbook, Bolton and Pompeo are conjuring up dubious intelligence from Israel to “justify” attacking – this time – Iran. (For belligerent Bolton, this was entirely predictable.) All this is clear.
What is not clear, to Americans and foreigners alike, is why Trump would allow Bolton and Pompeo to use the same specious charges – terrorism and nuclear weapons – to provoke war with a country that poses just as much strategic threat to the U.S. as Iraq did – that is to say, none. The corporate media, with a two-decade memory-loss and a distinct pro-Israel bias, offers little help toward understanding.