The line on Fox News at 5:00 is that the documents seized from Mara-la-go were photographs and unimportant documents. They are laughing and making jokes about the documents.
(Note: “The Five” includes five of the most obnoxious people in the world.)
Trump world has evidently released some document which includes the names of the FBI agents who participated in the raid. This was released to Brietbart and they published it.
The Cincinnati shooter’s postings changed from generalized violence to “we have to shoot FBI agents on sight,” after the search at Mara-lago.
After the Ohio attack, FOX news personality, Kilmeade, released a doctored photograph of Jeffrey Epstein having his feet massaged by that woman (whose name I cannot remember and try not to think about), with the face of the judge who signed off on the search warrant superimposed on Epstein’s body.
Neal Kaytal pointed out that as important as what was found at Mara-la-go is what was not found and was presumably destroyed.
The Espionage Act is cited in the warrant.
The warrant was very broad in terms of what could be searched on the premises.
They had to show fresh probable cause of concealment or destruction.
(Note: Who is the person who helped Trump bring these documents out of the White House? Trump is not smart enough to have selected these documents. In addition, he does not have the mentality capacity to read through documents and understand their import.)
There are documents he could not have declassified without Congress. Declassification is a request.
Somebody went through and hand-picked these documents. (Clint Watts and Harry Litman.)
Clint Watts talked about “nuclear positioning.” This is, where nuclear weapons are positioned. This has been a highly contested issue with Putin.
Heilemann (who is filling in for Nicolle Wallace on MSNBC) is calling Garland “meticulous” AGAIN. Jesus, there is no limit to this faux hero adulation. It reminds me of the Mueller nonsense.
Stories that are not receiving the coverage they deserve: 1) the attack on the FBI office in Cincinnati, 2) the attack on Salman Rushdie. Can they seriously not cover more than one story at the time?
John Heilemann, in for Nicolle Wallace, desperately needs a verbal editor. My God, he asks a question, and it takes 5 minutes. Listening to him, my mind is filled with red pen marks through phrases and sentences. Ari Melber is the same way. He has guests on and talks endlessly so that they don’t have a chance to say anything.
Snyder: If Putin wins this second part of the war, in the Donbas he will keep going. Russia must be defeated on the battlefield. It’s the only way to win this war. You want that victory to be as quick as possible.
We need a paradigm shift away from talking about stagnation in terms of winning the war. The Russian offense will probably start within 48 hours. Putin is determined to win by May 9. There is a critical month ahead of us. We should be sending arms as quickly as we can.
Nobody in Russia cares about the Donbas. They just think they have to have some kind of victory. The only way this ends is for them not to win a victory.
Hayes: Mentions Bloodlands, a book written by Snyder about WWII.
The Russians seem to have forgotten that when they won the second world war, the Ukrainians were on their side. Calling them Nazis while committing the same kinds of atrocities that the Nazis committed during WWII, is not only perverse, it’s like a second version of the crime itself. Ukraine was colonized by the Russians and the Germans. Ukrainians have won the battle of Kyiv.
Hayes: There is a kind of discomfort with this conflict being determined by who wins on the battlefield.
Snyder: The American left specializes in being right in losing. We are not used to being right and winning. If the Ukrainians lose, democracy will be “rocking on its heels.” “It’s not just about Ukraine and Russia. It’s also about the rest of us.”
(Note: I just keep thinking about how the Americans were encouraging Zelensky to leave Ukraine. With Friends like these.)
The US government discovered that companies had not removed malware put there by Russians. The US government was tracking Russian hacking groups. They went in and removed the malware.
If this had been successful, the GRU would have access to corporate computers. They could have stolen data from the companies. Court orders allowed them to go into the computers of companies and remove the malware for them.
The FBI had done this before, in 2018.
Some of the fears of hacking in Ukraine have not occurred (such as taking down the central power), but there were attacks. (Note: Why did we not hear more about them?)
Eric Boehlert: Fox News is a closed society. They know they can lie to their viewers. Their viewers expect them to lie to them. “This is a rush to the gutter from the right.” Boehlert has died.
MANHATTAN DA AND TRUMP
(Note: If you are interested in the Manhattan DA’s office and the Pomerantz resignation, listen to the podcast “Gaslit Nation” for a valuable take. The corporate press has largely taken Pomerantz’s resignation at face value. Sarah Kenzior does not. She argues that the Manhattan DA’s office functions to protect elite criminals.)
Today, Bragg (the new head) maintained that the investigation of Trump was still going on.
Rebecca Roiphe, a former Manhattan Assistant DA interviewed on Chris Hayes said, that what is strange is that after this well-known prosecutor (Pomerantz) said he had a case, that there would be more evidence as maintained by Bragg. “It feels like clean up.” “It was a public relations disaster.” (When it was announced they would not be pursuing the cae). This is a way of making it look like they are turning over “every stone.”
Hayes: There seem to be two different views of what’s going on here. First, the DA’s office is scared of Trump, afraid they might lose the case. After all, the scrutiny of the world would be on you. Second, Pomerantz had come out of retirement to do the case, so of course he would want to indict. There is no case there.
Roiphe: I’m sure that both Pomerantz and Bragg are trying to treat every case brought before them equally. (Note: This is bullshit).
Hayes: Hayes is questioning his own desire to see Trump held accountable. Then, he is saying that Trump has committed lawless behavior. (Note: So why is he apologizing for his own desire for accountability?) Hayes then says that Trump is clearly committing lawless behavior all over the place and his not being held accountable doing “flagrantly lawless things” and getting away with them completely born of the fact that he is powerful and wealthy. This makes it look like he’s escaping the law because of his wealth and privilege.
Roiphe: “It really does look that way.” (NO IT DOESN’T LOOK THAT WAY, IT IS THAT WAY.) “It’s really hard to prove these criminal cases.” It’s not that he’s getting special treatment. There are tons of people who get away this kind of thing. (Note: That raises a gigantic problem in and of itself).
Hayes: These cases are difficult to prosecute. (Note: Hayes does not bring up the fact that the laws are written so that they will be difficult to prosecute. Because they are crimes of the elite.
Roiphe: “You really want to be sure you are prosecuting people who have crossed that line.” (Note: Bullshit).
(Note: These laws are written to make them difficult to prosecute because they are the crimes of the powerful. The crimes of the powerless are not so difficult to prosecute.
Please, please listen to Gaslit Nation. This interview was just bullshit.
MSNBC: Ali Velshi
Kuleba asks for “weapons, weapons, weapons.” “Either you help us now, and I’m talking days not weeks, or your help will come too late.”
Russian radio traffic intercepted, talking about killing civilians.
Mass graves in Bucha. Many were shot in the head.
Russians are going house to house and stealing from the residents.
Ukraine says Russian planes will be downed if they try to enter the airspace of Transnistria.
The BBC is reporting that women staging a protest in Afghanistan were met with pepper spray by the authorities. They were demanding the right to work. Taliban leaders have said that women will not be given senior roles in the new government (BBC 9/4/1).
Fighting is still going on in the Panjshir Valley (BBC, 9/4/21).
The new caretaker government has been announced in Afghanistan including a new Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior (wanted by the FBI). There were no women or outsiders appointed (BBC, 9/8/21).
Protests of Pakistan’s support of the Taliban. Taliban fired in the air in response to the protests (BBC, 9/8/21).
The UN says that basic services are collapsing in Afghanistan (CNN, Podcast, 9/8/21)
9/11 planner, Shalid Sheikh Mohammed, is still awaiting trial. Lawyers for Mohammed are still awaiting documents. They argue that the government is trying to hide evidence of torture before Mohammed was moved to Guantanamo. Had he been tried in a normal court; this would have been over a decade ago. It is possible that there will never be a trial (Apple News, 9/8/21).
For reasons inexplicable to me, the corporate media has always tried to make a hero out of Christopher Wray. Most of the Democratic establishment has refused to criticize him and Biden has decided to allow him to remain as FBI Director.
But, in a giant departure from the way Wray is talked about by the corporate news media and the Democratic party, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse from Rhode Island, last night on MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, told the truth. It was a breath of fresh air. Democrats ought to try it more often.
Whitehouse told Hayes that in Wray’s testimony before the Senate, he was “less clear” than Merrick Garland that the Justice Department would follow the investigation of the January 6, insurrection wherever it may lead.
Whitehouse was particularly concerned that the investigation would be dumped on the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. Were this to happen, Whitehouse argued, there would be real questions of whether the investigation would go further than low level participants to “upstream investigations” of people who were actually driving the crime. Whitehouse seemed to feel confident that Garland would pursue these “upstream” investigations.
When asked directly by Hayes if he thought Wray was a “straight shooter,” Whitehouse issued a scoffing laugh. “If so, that would be a new phenomenon.”
“I’ve spent three years trying to get him to answer questions and he has hidden behind every conceivable dodge” continued Whitehouse. “We have unanswered questions from 2017.”
According to Whitehouse, in hearing after hearing during the Trump administration, Wray failed to answer questions not only submitted by Democrats, but those submitted by Republicans. In seven of nine hearings Wray participated in, the committee got no answers.
“He (Wray) participated in or ran a massive traffic jam that stopped answers to huge numbers of QFRs (questions for the record)…and to all of our letters. At the same time, he set up this side road where they could run” lots of documents into the Republicans to do the Cross Fire Hurricane investigation.
Whitehouse said he still wanted to know why questions got “jammed into the traffic jam” while “Trump friendly” questions got high speed treatment. He wanted to know “why were we stonewalled all those years…what was the method, on whose instruction was that done, what was the scheme, what was the plan, why did it happen, all that.”
And Whitehouse, quite rightly, pointed out that the FBI under Wray engaged in an absurd exercise characterized as an “investigation” of the charges against Brett Kavanaugh.
Whitehouse said it was necessary to go back to “the FBI investigation of Bret Kavanaugh and whether that was real or fake and what happened with that so called tip line FBI ran, because as best as I can tell…all the information (from the tip line)…got dumped straight into the bin.” None of it got reviewed “pursuant to standard FBI procedures for reviewing the information that comes in through a tip line. It was more a tip dump than a tip line. And understanding if that happened, why that happened on whose direction, presumably from the White House.”
Whitehouse concluded: “If this guy (Wray) presided over a fake FBI investigation, we need to know that.”
I would like to point out that Sen. Chris Coons, Democrat, helped set up that FBI investigation. He and Christopher Wray need to be held to account.
Joe Scarborough, both-sideser in chief and head MSNBC misogynist is at it again this morning joined by his usual kiss ass crew. He got in a little trouble yesterday by repeatedly asking guests whether it was necessary to impeach Trump. The dreadful Mika told him to stop and he responded like the petulant bully he is, by berating her and trying to embarrass her on national television.
This morning, he and Peter Baker are trying to figure out how “we” can work with the Republicans like James Langford, who have suddenly had an attack of conscience over trying to overthrow an election.
But, for Scarborough and Baker, that’s just a minor blip. Sedition? Just apologize and Scarborough will find a way to launder your reputation (if you are a Repubican).
Baker’s contribution to this was to lament the fact that, in his words, both sides have decided to go back into their partisan corners. Equal corners, right? One side is providing the rationale for sedition and the other is trying to restore democracy, but they are both equally to blame.
On to other matters.
On Ari Melber’s MSNBC show last night, Eugene Robinson (Mr. Mild Manners himself) said that the Republicans created this division and now they are buying body armor.
AOC was evidently so afraid when the attack was going on, she was fearful of going into a safe room with Republicans. She thought they might lead the attackers to her. It was not an unreasonable suspicion since one of the members of the House was texting out the location of Nancy Pelosi.
Lindsey Graham characterized the impeachment proceedings as “sheer hatred.” I can’t wait to find out why Graham did a 180 turn to support Trump. Maybe if Trump gets more and more frustrated, he will start to spill the dirt.
Rep Madeleine Dean, who will be one of the impeachment managers said “Lindsay Graham knows better.” “You too” she said referring to Graham, “are complicit…”
Trump evidently brought Bannon back into the sedition circle. Roger Stone was the one who came up with the “Stop the Steal” rallying cry.
Tony Schwartz is saying that Trump is now moving “between rage and delusion.” And that Trump has unleashed forces that we may well see become more powerful in the future.
Peter Strzok, former FBI, expressed “frustration and anger” at the lack of preparedness at the Capitol. If you look at other events, Strzok argued: “The government can secure the capitol when it wants to and that didn’t happen here.” Strzok said that the tour groups that evidently went through the Capitol the day before the assault needed to be “looked into.”
Elizabeth Newmann, former Assistant Secretary for Threat Presentation and Security Policy at DHS, explained that the Terrorist Watch List is a separate list from the No Fly List and is broader, larger. She says it includes “suspected white supremacists.” But, she also said, this list functions more as an alert system than a surveillance system. If, for example, someone got arrested, law enforcement could run the name and the person would show up as on this Terrorist Watch List. But, there is no ongoing surveillance on these people. So, they could all decide to go to Washington at the same time and go and there would be no automatic alert because of this list.
Last night, Rachael Maddow was commenting on the absurdity of having people on this list, but not knowing that they were all converging on the same problematic location. The only way law enforcement could know this is if these people were under constant surveillance and I’m not sure that’s what we want.
A number of people are already pointing out on Twitter and in articles that this siege of the Capitol may well end up working to the disadvantage of legitimate protest. As always, it’s easy to argue for more surveillance of individuals when they are opposed to you politically. But, these same surveillance measures can be turned quickly against legitimate protest.
I heard no discussion yesterday of the way in which a person might be put on this Terrorist Watch List. Once on this list, are you ever taken off? What surveillance measures can the government take after you are put on this list? These are questions we need to answer.
Newman, after explaining the list, went on to say that there was “no excuse for the lack of preparation” at the capitol. She pointed out that that the Executive Branch, while reluctant to tell another branch of government what to do, has a “duty to warn” of dangerous situations. They, for example, should have issued a “Joint Intelligence Bulletin.” They did not. “They knew that violence was planned” Newman continued. “You always assume the worst, prepare for the worst…”
Petef Strzok expressed disappointment that we had not heard from Director Wray. He wondered whether the FBI attempted to warn other agencies but was prevented from doing so. Strzok didn’t say by whom.
Anna Palmer noted that since the COVID outbreak, the Capitol had been like a “ghosttown.” She noted the extensive security measures for even going into the Capitol as a reporter. “It’s been months since people were even around” she noted. These tours were highly unusual.
Biden has named Jamaal Bowman head of the DNC. It has not escaped notice that Bowman is against Medicare For All.
And, lastly, in Georgia…
I had an interesting exchange with a friend on Facebook. He commented that when the FBI asked all these low-level attackers who are being arrested if they had any coordination or contact with Congressmen or Trump, they would flip and implicate them.
I responded: True, if the FBI agents ask them.
Now, as usual, he took exception to this. Most people, especially those who have worked around law enforcement accept a law enforcement ethos. They resist any aspersions on the integrity of the force, even confronted with daily evidence to the contrary.
He responded in a curious way. First he said that I shouldn’t paint all agents with a “broad brush.” Seemed to me that he was painting them with a broad brush, just assuming that the FBI would be trying to turn offenders on higher ups. Why this assumption is made, I don’t know.
We have just witnessed years of the most curious behavior on the part of the FBI and the Justice Department in recent memory. Why did James Comey make public the absurd reopening of the investigation of Hillary Clinton right before the 2016 election? Why did he within the past few days argue publicly that Biden should pardon Trump? What was going on in the New York City office of the FBI in 2016 that almost lead to a work stoppage? These are just a few threads that need to be followed up here. In addition, why was the Justice Department so easily compromised by Jeff Sessions and then Bill Barr? Why was the Mueller investigation so limited as to make it meaningless?
I’m sorry, but I just don’t think we can assume that all those FBI agents out there are crusaders for justice especially when it comes to investigating people at the top of the food chain. (See Jesse Eisinger’s “The Chickenshit Club.)
Then, my friend said that the last time he talked to me I was (overly) concerned “dismayed” with voter suppression in Georgia, and Georgia had become the beacon of election security. Georgia, he said had become the “honest election state that is saving democracy. What truly happened?”
Now, I have no idea what this last paragraph has to do with FBI agents working overtime to get dirt on powerful Congressmen, but there you are.
I find the statement amazing. I fully realize that the media, prone as they are to simplistic narratives, is trying to make heroes out of Raffensperger, Sterling and Kemp, but anybody who reads should know that Georgia is far from a beacon of hope.
Brian Kemp’s government spent a fortune on a fancy new voting machine system. And they conducted a propaganda operation by replacing all the “I voted” material with “I secured my Vote.” It was all a propaganda operation. I did poll worker training in Georgia before the general and I left at lunch and didn’t go back. It was obvious to me then that the new system was unwieldy and full of holes. The measures taken to “secure the vote” were geared toward security threats in the 19th century. Nobody could answer questions about hacking into the system.
Even though the media has touted “paper ballots” as an indication of transparency, in Georgia, they are not really “paper ballots.”
The ballots are marked by a machine. Then, the voter gets a sheet of paper which has his choices printed on it. The voter is supposed to check these choices to make sure they are right. But, the scanners that count the votes do not even register the words printed on the ballot. They count a bar code at the bottom of the ballot. The voter cannot read the bar code. The poll workers cannot read the bar code. I don’t think anybody outside of the Voting Machine company can read the bar codes. It’s protected by law. What kind of state of affairs is that?
Before the general election, Brian Kemp’s government made a decision that any recount in Georgia would be done by simply feeding the same ballots (with the same bar codes) through the scanners again.
In short, Georgia spent a fortune on a voting system that is impenetrable. They regularly send out “experts” who claim that the system cannot be hacked. But, Jennifer Cohn, Jonathan Simon and the Coalition for Good Governance have repeatedly offered evidence that at best, we don’t know this.
In addition, Kemp is the king of voter suppression. That’s how he won a race against Stacey Abrams for governor. Raffensperger and Sterling were in the voter suppression game up to their eye balls. Kemp, Raffensperger and Sterling are like the guys who are willing to drive the getaway car, but not willing to go into the liquor store with the gun.
Just in case you hadn’t heard…Kyle Rittenhouse is out on bail and sitting in a bar drinking and yucking it up with the Proud Boys. Reality Winner has COVID and in still in jail. I know she’s not receiving her mail because I have a box of returned letters.
“…the facts make you wish they were fiction, but that is all the more reason we need to hear them.”
Greitens, governor of Missouri
“Whereas once mere publicity about his scandals would have prompted resignation, Greitens proved that hanging on to executive power to dodge or manipulate prosecution remains a viable option in an era of unfettered corruption—a lesson the Trump administration knows well. One of the most awful things about the Greitens case is that Missourians felt lucky he left, like peasants relieved at the passing of an evil king. There was never accountability, there was never transparency—there was just luck, otherwise known as dead expectations.
“When asked to vote on a specific issue, Missourians chose the most progressive options. But when asked to vote for a politician, over half of Missourians chose Republicans who sought to strike down the very ballot initiatives for which they had voted.”
The 1980s: Roy Cohn’s Orwellian America
“In 1984, one year after the tower’s completion, Soviet army veteran David Bogatin purchased five luxury condos for six million dollars—a purchase so substantial that Trump made sure to personally oversee the closing.”
“In 1987, Bogatin admitted he had purchased the Trump Tower condos “to launder money, to shelter and hide assets…”
“…a Senate investigation revealed him to be a leading figure in the Russian mafia. The Russian mafia had been growing in New York City due to a wave of Soviet émigrés and a crackdown on the Italian mob…”
“…Comey, who replaced Mueller as FBI head in 2013, the FBI removed Mogilevich—the dangerous Russian mafia head who had been ancillary to Trump since the 1980s—from the Ten Most Wanted list in December 2015 and replaced him with a bank robber. “
“When the press works against its own financial interest—as it did by rejecting the harrowing truth of Trump—there is a deeper problem.”
“…documents to claim that, beginning in 1977, Trump would remain “completely tax-exempt for the next 30 years” thanks to a mysterious arrangement between his company and the American government; that he was contractually bound to have three children with Ivana (which he did); and that he was being groomed to run for president in 1988 (which he nearly did).”:
“February 20, 2017, one month after Trump’s inauguration, Churkin died suddenly at the age of sixty-four….Churkin had been the fifth Russian diplomat to die unexpectedly and in an unexplained fashion since Trump won the election.”
“…1987, he (Trump) told journalist Ron Rosenbaum that he sought to partner with Russia on nuclear weapons with the aim of threatening other countries into compliance.”
“Stone was involved in every Trump presidential run thereafter as well as in Trump’s near-run for New York governor in 2014.
“Trump had one condition for entering a race: his win needed to be preordained.”
“…crime committed brazenly is over time redefined as something other than crime. It is entertainment, and then it is autocracy, and then it is too late.”
“That a significant number of today’s high-profile journalists did know the Trump family personally is cause for concern.”
“These powerful sectors of society have been overtaken by connections rather than merit, and dynasties rather than unbiased workforces.”
“The deep secret of all Trump coverage is that it is cost-effective news—”
“David Cay Johnston, author of multiple bestsellers about Trump, noted that in addition to refusing to cover the rape of Ivana, the 2016 press would not report on Trump’s documented ties to organized crime.”
“..confessed drug trafficker. [The trafficker is Joseph Weichselbaum,”
“This is called “normalcy bias”: the idea that if a situation is truly dangerous, if massive crimes are being committed in plain sight, someone will intervene and stop them.”
“Who controls the past, controls the future: who controls the present, controls the past,” Orwell wrote in 1984. “Past events, it is argued, have no objective existence, but survive only in written records and in human memories. The past is whatever the records and the memories agree upon. And since the Party is in full control of all records, and in equally full control of the minds of its members, it follows that the past is whatever the Party chooses to make it.”