Outgoing Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has urged President Donald Trump to issue pardons for Edward Snowden and Julian Assange, echoing growing calls to absolve whistleblowers who helped to “expose” the US “deep state.”
“Since you’re giving pardons to people, please consider pardoning those who, at great personal sacrifice, exposed the deception and criminality of those in the deep state,” Gabbard said in a tweet addressed to the president on Thursday, referring to Snowden and Assange.
.@realDonaldTrump Since you’re giving pardons to people, please consider pardoning those who, at great personal sacrifice, exposed the deception and criminality of those in the deep state. https://t.co/aeXklUsNSd
The request comes less than a day after Trump granted a pardon for former national security adviser Michael Flynn. His case became a central plank in the Trump-Russia “collusion” narrative after he was accused of misleading investigators about contacts with a Russian diplomat following Trump’s election win in 2016. While the Justice Department moved to have the case thrown out, citing misconduct in the FBI’s probe, a federal judge resisted that effort, prompting the president to intervene on Wednesday.
Gabbard, who’s set to leave office at the end of her congressional term, previously introduced a resolution alongside GOP lawmaker Matt Gaetz (Florida) urging the government to drop its charges against Snowden – who was indicted under the World War I-era Espionage Act for his role in leaking classified material revealing illegal mass surveillance by the National Security Agency (NSA). Though the antiquated law was originally intended to prosecute foreign spies, it has been repeatedly wielded against journalists and whistleblowers.
If this legislation was passed (it won’t be), it would be the highlight of Tulsi Gabbard’s career. From Kevin Gosztola at consoriumnews.com:
Defendants would be able to testify about their reason for engaging in the prohibited conduct, Kevin Gosztola reports.
U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard in 2019. (Gage Skidmore, Flickr)
Legislation proposed in Congress would amend the United States Espionage Act and create a public interest defense for those prosecuted under the law.
“A defendant charged with an offense under section 793 or 798 [in the U.S. legal code] shall be permitted to testify about their purpose for engaging in the prohibited conduct,” according to a draft of the bill Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard introduced.
Such a reform would make it possible for whistleblowers like Edward Snowden, Reality Winner, Terry Albury and Daniel Hale to inform the public why they disclosed information without authorization to the press.
The legislation called the Protect Brave Whistleblowers Act is supported by Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg.
“If this long-overdue revision of the 1917 Espionage Act had been law half a century ago, I myself could have had a fair trial for releasing the Pentagon Papers in 1971: justice under law unavailable to me and to every other national security whistleblower indicted and prosecuted since then,” Ellsberg declared.
Tulsi Gabbard is a Democrat, but unlike the rest of her party, she has courage and integrity and her heart is usually in the right place. From a press release at gabbard.house.news:
Washington, DC—Today, Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) and Thomas Massie (KY-04) introduced H.Res.1175, a resolution that defends the freedom of the press, noting that newsgathering activities and news organizations ability to acquire and publish information are protected under the First Amendment. The resolution calls for the United States to drop all charges and efforts to extradite Julian Assange.
“Freedom of the press is a vital function of a free democracy in which the government is accountable to the people. Julian Assange published information that exposed lies and abuses of power at the highest levels of our government. His indictment under the Espionage Act sends a chilling message to every member of the media and all Americans,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. “U.S. government prosecutors now claim that any journalist or news organization that publishes classified material is liable to prosecution under the Espionage Act — which would have led to the indictment of the Washington Post for the publication of the Pentagon Papers. The Federal government’s prosecution of Julian Assange sets a dangerous precedent. All extradition efforts and charges under the Espionage Act against Julian Assange must be dropped now.”
“At a time when government officials claim the right to perform warrantless surveillance upon all American citizens, there is an urgent need to zealously guard freedom of the press and to demand government transparency and accountability. The ongoing attempts to prosecute Julian Assange threaten our First Amendment rights, and should be opposed by all who wish to safeguard our constitutional rights now and in the years to come. I join my colleague, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, in calling for an immediate end to all charges against Mr. Assange,” said Rep. Thomas Massie.
Tulsi Gabbard stands out from the Democratic pack of jackals, and they hate her for it. From RT at rt.com:
Former Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard, branded a “Russian asset” by Hillary Clinton for her anti-war views, is again refusing to blindly follow her party’s talking points – this time over fears of election fraud.
“Whether in the midst of a pandemic, as we are now, where mail-in voting is likely to drastically increase, or even in a normal election, no one should get in between a voter and the ballot box,” the Hawaii congresswoman said Friday on Twitter.
Banning ballot harvesting is not a partisan issue. It's been used & abused in states like North Carolina and California & is ripe for fraud.
Gabbard joined Thursday with Illinois Republican Congressman Rodney Davis to introduce a bill that would block federal funding to states that allow ballot harvesting – letting paid activists canvass neighborhoods to gather mail-ballots and turn them in on behalf of voters. There have been documented abuses with ballot harvesting, including a North Carolina case that led to an election being nullified and redone.
But Gabbard is running afoul of the Democratic Party’s position on election fraud. The Democrat-controlled House has blocked all efforts to ban ballot harvesting, while party leaders and their mainstream media allies have argued repeatedly that major voter fraud is a myth and that President Donald Trump’s attacks on the susceptibility of mail-in voting to foul play are unfounded.
Gabbard directly contradicted that message in her tweet, saying ballot harvesting is “ripe for fraud and poses a serious threat to the integrity of our elections.” She added that abuse “is something we’ve actually seen happen in recent elections.”
The stakes are high since a huge increase in absentee and mail-in voting is expected to occur this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I will note this, she’s from Hawaii,” King said of Gabbard. “She’s a congresswoman from Hawaii; American Samoa votes on Super Tuesday. The rules as they now stand, if you get a delegate, you’re back in the debates. As of now. Correct?”
“Yeah, they haven’t, I mean, that’s been the rule for every single debate,” Thompson replied. “And the DNC has not released their official guidance for the March 15 debate in Phoenix, but it would be very obvious that they are trying to cancel Tulsi, who they’re scared of a third party run, if they then change the rules to prevent her to rejoin the debate stage.”
And indeed, as the smoke clears from the Super Tuesday frenzy, this is precisely what appears to have transpired.
The intelligence community is throwing the same Russia crap at Sanders that they’ve thrown at Trump for the last four years. From W.J. Astore at bracingviews.com:
Just before Tulsi Gabbard announced her candidacy for the presidency as a Democrat, NBC ran a smear piece that suggested Vladimir Putin and the Russians loved her. This smear was then repeated and amplified by Hillary Clinton, who suggested Gabbard was being groomed by the Kremlin to run as a third-party candidate, thereby ensuring Trump’s reelection in 2020. There was no evidence for any of these claims — none. Yet Gabbard was put on the defensive and her campaign (still ongoing) has been essentially redlined by the mainstream media.
Now it’s Bernie Sanders’s turn. Bernie is much better known than Tulsi with a much larger movement behind him, so the DNC and the mainstream media have a modified tactic: rather than smearing Bernie as a Putin puppet, they’re suggesting the Russians are boosting his candidacy without his knowledge — the end game, naturally, is Trump’s reelection. This was reported yesterday by the Washington Post and echoed today by the New York Times and other media outlets. Here’s how NBC News put it today:
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., excoriated Russia on Friday after being briefed that the Kremlin is attempting to help his presidential campaign as part of an effort to interfere with the Democratic primary and the 2020 election.
Tulsi Gabbard fans shouldn’t set their hopes too high, but the Afghanistan Papers do vindicate her iconoclastic foreign policy views. From Marco at idsent.wordpress.com:
Three very interesting things happened today in Tulsi Gabbard’s campaign for the Democratic nomination for the US Presidency. First, there was a huge story in The Washington Post about the so-called “Afghanistan Papers,” which reveal thousands of pages of confidential interviews with hundreds of key US government officials telling how the Bush, Obama and Trump administrations lied to the American public about the prosecution of the 18-year US war in Afghanistan—how successive US administrations manipulated data about the war to paint a much rosier picture of US and Afghan government achievements throughout the conflict.
How big is this story? Think “Pentagon Papers.” Daniel Ellsberg. Think Vietnam big.
The story should suck up a lot of oxygen over the next few weeks, and it is one that should produce some unusually positive coverage for Tulsi, given that the issue of the failures of US military interventionism overseas has been the primary focus of her campaign. The second interesting thing is the story has the potential to tie into another story involving a management consulting firm called McKinsey & Company that performed confidential contract work in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Tulsi Gabbard is the only Democratic candidate who is talking about, and criticizing US foreign and military policy. Incredibly, she’s being criticized for not talking about things that “matter.” From Doug Bandow at theamericanconservative.com:
Meanwhile, her fellow Democrats appear abysmally unconcerned about the human and financial toll.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard in August 2019. (Flickr/Creative Commons/Gage Skidmore)
The Democratic establishment is increasingly irritated. Representative Tulsi Gabbard, long-shot candidate for president, is attacking her own party for promoting the “deeply destructive” policy of “regime change wars.” Gabbard has even called Hillary Clinton “the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party.”
Senator Chris Murphy complained: “It’s a little hard to figure out what itch she’s trying to scratch in the Democratic Party right now.” Some conservatives seem equally confused. The Washington Examiner’s Eddie Scarry asked: “where is Tulsi distinguishing herself when it really matters?”
In the year prior to a presidential election, Thanksgiving is usually when primary races for party nominations begin to come into focus. Donors have had most of the year to assess the candidates and the voters are starting to pay attention. The first test is a little over two months away, so all of the candidates have their people in the field. The boots on the ground test is one of those unofficial measures that tell us something about the organic and financial support for each candidate.
According the polls, Mayor Pete Buttigieg is the favorite to win the Iowa caucus, currently polling at 25%. Warren and Sanders are tied for second at a little under 20% each, while Biden is at 12%. The Iowa caucus is not a great predictor, but it does tend to winnow the field. That means the four plausible candidates at the moment are the four at the top of the polls. The rest of the field is in low single digits. Mayor Bloomberg does not appear to be running in the state at this point.
New Hampshire has always been the bellwether and the numbers there tell us it is a four human race as well. The latest polls have Warren, Buttigieg, Sanders and Biden clustered together in the teens. Tulsi Gabbard is the only minor candidate showing any support, which bears watching. New Hampshire has a habit of elevating a minor candidate when the leaders appear weak. Gabbard is the chaos option for frustrated voters in the state. Bloomberg could also be an option.
With just a few minutes of airtime, Tulsi Gabbard and Donald Trump Jr. pulled back the curtain on The View. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:
The unbearable harpies of The View that gather every weekday on ABC to show the world what toxic femininity looks like reached their peak of relevance this week thanks to two Presidential candidates, Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Donald Trump Jr. (R-Future).
Both Gabbard and Trump Jr. sat in the middle seat and commanded it like they owned it, doing what most of America has been begging for for years, to put both the panel and their hand-picked audience in their place.
Since she entered the race for the Democratic nomination Gabbard has been under consistent attack by the establishment. They repeatedly make the arrogant mistake of trying to bully from their pulpit believing they can destroy a person of obvious character into submission who dissents from foreign policy orthodoxy, the true third-rail of American politics.
The hope is that Gabbard will make a mistake which can be then played ad nauseum, ad infinitum until she slinks off the stage in shame.
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