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Intel Wars
Beyond the “Flynn Probe”
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  • Arkeygeezer

    Washington Post: “FBI reviewed Flynn’s calls with Russian ambassador but found nothing illicit“

    I believe that it was WAPO that put out the story in the first place. Maybe Pres. Trump’s blame on the media is valid,.

    • It was the WSJ, I believe.

      • Matt_Thullen

        One interesting note (pointed out at the Ace of Spades blog)–usually anonymous government sources are identified as such (e.g., “an intelligence community official”) in the story. The WSJ story, which was published on Saturday when John Brennan and other high-ranking officials were no longer part of the “intelligence community”, identifies its sources as “people”.

        I guess we know where the leak came from.

    • Anthony

      President Trump’s “blame” on the media is both misleading and strategic. Delegitimizing the media is important to Trump because delegitimizing certain facts is important to President Trump – Steve Bannon and Peter Thiel are well acquainted with massaging (alternative truth) populist trends via media technologies.

      • CapitalHawk

        The media beclowned itself long ago. Trump is just capitalizing on it.

        • Anthony

          That’s how you choose to interpret it; the media is broad and those you label fit all political categories (TownHall to New York Times). Trump has capitalized on media from his arrival into Manhattan. Now, he uses P.T. Barnum methods to expand the circus.

          • CapitalHawk

            Creative destruction.

          • Anthony

            That’s a claim about capitalism’s progress and I guess conveniently used when it suits a purpose (interest). Breitbart becoming the new MSM model could be interpreted by some as “creative destruction” at work; we’ll see how it unfolds going forward.

      • Tom Scharf

        Trust in the media has been steadily declining since the 1970’s, well before Trump ever ran for office. Trump was politically wise to disrespect what the people already disrespected, an overtly biased media. Nobody made the media embarrass themselves this election cycle with a “save the republic” agenda.

        If there is probably one thing we can agree on it is that the media no longer has any gate keeping authority, the reasons for this are debatable. You can count me in on wanting a media we can trust, but they need to do their part to engender trust. Politically diversity in the newsroom is a good start.

        • Anthony

          I don’t know if Trump was politically wise or not; for over 30 years a large segment of right-wing America has attacked our fourth estate (perhaps in some cases justifiably). Nevertheless, the idea that media credibility or lack thereof subjectively explains the invalidating of facts highlights damage crafted polarization inflicts on 320 million plus American deserving factual public knowledge. Wanting a media we can trust includes WND, Breitbart, Daily Caller, Power Line, Hot air, Red State, et al as well as the many you would counterpoise to consider the “mission” – yes, newsroom diversity but whose and by what measure. It may start with you.

  • Tom Scharf

    If I had to choose sharing intelligence with a wacky President or having the intelligence agencies go rogue with their own agenda, I will choose the wacky president every time. The intelligence agencies are not an independent entity that is part of the balance of power, and they shouldn’t pretend they are. They need to keep their eyes open, but also clearly understand who they are working for.

    • FriendlyGoat

      They are “working for” your spouse, siblings, parents, children and friends—–and mine. They ARE NOT “working for” Clinton or Bush or Obama or Trump. The idea that they should be instantly swayed into allegiance to a particular president’s preferences or personality is completely unacceptable to anyone who ever heard the words “monarch”, “dictator”, or “corruption”.

      • Kev

        Actually, intelligence agencies don’t work for any of those people, as none of them have the requisite security clearance to know this nation’s secrets. Their job is to collect intelligence for the president, nothing more.

        They aren’t supposed to have an independent political agenda, especially if it involves plotting against the president.

        • FriendlyGoat

          Collecting intelligence on behalf of the people and presenting it to the president so our president will not be in the dark as to pertinent factual (factual) information is not the same thing as “working for” the president.

          • nervous122

            The people don’t get a say on the targets on what intelligence is even gathered.

            They don’t determine the inputs nor see the outputs. They are not elected, nor do citizens have access to directly question them.

            Your argument is ridiculous.

          • FriendlyGoat

            No, my argument is, whenever a man shows up in the supervision of public-sector activities and says “You work for me!”, then the people are being mis-served. We HAVE A SAY by putting these things in a proper perspective and talking about them. We have many kinds of civil servants who are to work for all of OUR best interests, not to be minions for a president to manipulate. So, they are not to gather only those facts that a president wants gathered. They are to gather all perspectives of what is factual and unload all of it upon him. Trump needs his loyal opposition to keep him and us out of the ditch.

          • CapitalHawk

            They do “work for” the president in the same sense that a line employee at a GM plant “works for” the CEO of GM. They are part of the Executive Branch of the government of the USA, and the head of that branch is the President. Now, the output of the line employee at GM (I.e., a car) may matter more to the ultimate purchaser and driver of the car, but that employee absolutely “works for” the CEO and not the purchaser or driver of the car.

          • FriendlyGoat

            And our government is not GM. The government belongs to us, not to private interests and not to a dictator. There are reams and reams of field manuals which spell out what the orders are—-not merely the whims of certain men in certain offices.

          • CapitalHawk

            Our government has a formation document (the Constitution), just like GM (its articles of incorporation).

            Our government has additional rules and regulations (laws passed by Congress and regulations issued by government departments as permitted by laws passed by Congress), just like GM (bylaws and internal procedures).

            Our government is ultimately controlled by representatives (Congress and the President) who are elected by the ultimate stakeholders (the people), just like GM is controlled by representatives (Board of Directors and officers hired by the Board of Directors) who are elected by the ultimate stakeholders (stockholders).

            Our government is made up of and functions through the actions of men and women and they act under rules and guidelines put in place by those representatives, just like GM.

            You may not recognize it, but they are remarkably similar.

          • FriendlyGoat

            And you don’t recognize that GM answers to the market, government regulations, quality-standard procedures such as ISO certifications, trial lawyers and juries. There are a lot of forces in place in both businesses and government. We do not have to be so stupid as to agree that whatever a CEO says is okey-dokey and to be followed by everyone on scene no matter what. Even in the military—-the ultimate command chain—-there are exceptions for illegal orders.

          • CapitalHawk

            Yes, GM has forces outside of it that act on it and may cause it to change its actions. I never said that wasn’t the case. The US government is, again, the same here. It has outside forces that act on it and may cause it to change its actions (lobbying, foreign governments and bodies, dissention in the ranks, etc.) All you have done is yet again show that they are similar.

          • FriendlyGoat

            We either have a contingent of “loyal opposition” (actually loyal to truth, to virtue, to fellow man) within the herd of government employees taken as a whole, or we will be descending to very low places as a result of the words from the top of this particular command chain. The top is now a certifiable crock. The middle and the bottom are all we have to rely on.

        • Jim__L

          Your boss must be having a blast right now, watching dissension and mistrust flourish here.

          I’m pretty sure things will calm down before too long, as opposed to the sort of problems Russia would be having if things got like this between Putin and the intelligence services. Impeachment would be the least of Vlad’s problems.

          Are you sure he wouldn’t prefer a more Western approach to things? Retirement is such a nice way of ending an eventful and productive career.

          • Kev

            The only way things can “calm down” in the US is if Trump surrenders to the Establishment. I’ll be disappointed if he does. His inauguration speech suggests otherwise.

          • Jim__L

            I suspect he’ll win a few before they all arrive at a modus vivendi.

            Should be interesting to watch, always is. =)

      • nervous122

        Try giving them an order. Let me know if they follow it.

        • FriendlyGoat

          We really should try giving them an order. Here it is. Do right or expect to be hacked, outed, vilified, maybe prosecuted, maybe worse. The age of secrecy is eroding. The age of leaking is now.

          • Jim__L

            The erosion of secrecy gave us 9/11, and all the follow-ons to that: the Patriot Act, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc.

            Leaking is evil and must be stopped.

            Hillary belongs in prison, along with Assange and the rest.

          • FriendlyGoat

            You liked Assange fine last fall.

          • f1b0nacc1

            I don’t want to speak for Jim (who I am sure can make his own point here), but I didn’t like Assange then, and I don’t like him now. I won’t dispute that I was pleased to see the leaks of DNC emails, but that doesn’t change the fact that (whether I liked the results or not) obtaining them the way they did was criminal and that the individuals who did that belonged in jail. There is no ‘well, it was in a good cause’ exemption to laws against theft.

          • FriendlyGoat

            All whistle-blower protections of any kind are exemptions for theft and disclosure of information from those who would prefer secrecy to hide malfeasance. Most people are in favor of “well, it was a good cause” when it really is a good cause.

          • f1b0nacc1

            Whistleblower protections are enshrined in the law, and represent a clear and well-defined description of behavior. While I am somewhat concerned about them in some cases, I freely concede that this is a well-known and well-understood exception. Lets be clear though, Assange was NOT described as a whistleblower….he was working with materials that are not subject to such protections in the first place. Unless the DNC was breaking the law (they weren’t, they were merely being jerks, and if that was the basis for whistleblowing, they would have been in prison long, long ago…), one cannot argue with any integrity that Assange and Wikileaks were acting within the law.

            Regarding ‘well, it was in a good cause’, it is entirely irrelevant to me whether or not most people are in favor of it or not. Most people are in favor of a lot of things that I don’t agree with, and in any event, the law is not determined post-hoc by a majority vote. I don’t like the DNC, think that their behavior was contemptible (more contemptible than usual, and that is saying something), but that doesn’t mean that people who steal it get a ‘Get out of jail free’ card. If we caught them, they should be punished, even if I personally enjoyed the results.

          • FriendlyGoat

            I doubt if you will put too many Russians in jail over this. Sooner or later, though, there is going to be more about the connections between the American political conservatives and Russia or maybe some hackers who weren’t exactly Russian. How do we know this? Because nothing else makes any sense, really.

            As for Assange, we all know that conservatives hated him for releasing disclosures from Manning. But they loved him for betraying the DNC with stolen information.

          • f1b0nacc1

            You make a lot of assumptions, few of which you offer even the slightest proof for. Care to offer anything other than empty assertions?

            As for Assange, you will note that I didn’t defend him then, and didn’t defend him now, and I am hardly the only one saying so. Certainly others may feel differently (I note you aren’t excoriating the Lefties who defending Assange over Manning but condemned him over the DNC, but perhaps that is because you don’t assume that the Left should be held to any real standard of integrity in the first place), but that is there affair, and not mine. I don’t defend the ethics of information thieves, and my position (and I am hardly alone in this) is hardly unique.

            You claim to be a Christian…in the even that this is true (and I find it extraordinarily unlikely), perhaps you should remember the biblical reference of Matthew 7:1-5.

          • FriendlyGoat

            I am not “asserting” that Trump suffers from adequate information floating around that could damage him (and maybe the whole party) badly if released. I am “opining” that he most probably does, that it probably can be found by someone, and that we all deserve that result based on GOP behavior both pre-election and post-election. Both the lies and the arrogant over-reach are begging for it.

            Methinks we have a much better chance of proving Republican collusion with the Assange leaks than you ever had of proving Obama born in Kenya. But that’s speculation (aka what we do in comment sections).

          • f1b0nacc1

            I never suggested that Obama was born in Kenya, we are perfectly capable of producing idiots on our own. There are always some clowns who latch on to fringey issues (you are living proof of that), and it was to trump’s eternal discredit that he involved himself in that silliness in the past.

            Regarding ‘GOP overreach’, coming from someone who supported a president famous for his ‘pen and phone’ and ‘I won’, etc that is more than a bit rich. The Dems began this weaponization of the government, and they are simply unhappy that the GOP isn’t willing to lay down and pay nice with them again. Unlike Obama, Trump seems (and it is very, very early yet, so we could easily see it change) to be interested in establishing a firm foundation for his initiatives (both good and bad), so they are likely to be more lasting.

            So enjoy the ride, and whine all you want. I suppose you don’t have much more than the Russians to amuse you, so by all means….enjoy….

          • FriendlyGoat

            1) It’s certainly possible that we would not have today’s political environment without the constant questions about Obama’s birthplace and religion. Those “questions” which were floated without end had an effect. There are going to be some questions about Trump.

            2) The “over-reach” is enabled by the alignment with this Congress, not so much by the pen. People are going to get a lot of things that many of the Trump voters did not know they were voting for. It’s Brownback and Kansas on a larger scale.

          • f1b0nacc1

            The number of voters who bought on to a Birther analysis was never very high, inside the GOP or out of it. No sane person is defending it, but to suggest that the current political environment owes its genesis to Birthers is simply silly, even by your own low standards. Bush was subjected to levels of abuse that Obama never had to confront, and the GOP was far, far more deferential to Obama than the Dems were to Bush. The truth of the matter is that the current toxicity has deep roots with both sides. There will be questions about Trump, and they are likely to have as little impact as the Birther movement did on Obama. But by all means, waste your resources pursuing them…

            The use of the pen and the phone from Obama came after he lost his Congressional majorities (which were larger in 2009 than Trump’s are today) I find it amusing that you, who warned us that “Trump was going to con us” by not delivering on his promised initiatives, now believes that Trump is doomed because he will. Do get you stories straight!

            I am content to wait and see what happens, thus far I have been very pleasantly surprised. Trump will get to replace a great many of Obama’s worst appointments in the bureaucracy, appoint a great many jduges at all levels, and should have sufficient leverage to get a decent amount of leverage passed. Either way, the schadenfreude you are providing me with your tears more than satisfies me!

          • FriendlyGoat

            Slow day?

      • TGates

        You mean when the CIA were working for our Families when they totally and consistently misread the economic prospects of communist regimes such as the USSR and the GDR in the 1970’s and 1980s convincing us and the politicians that the Capitalists were losing and fostering a need for a more in depth entitlement state? You mean when they accepted the word of an Iraqai mole in the hands of the Germans about WMDs in the hands of Saddam Hussein? When they threw their own people under the bus for interrogation techniques such as waterboarding or renditions in Italy? Trust is a two-way street.

        • FriendlyGoat

          I mean that taxpayers are somewhat interested in paying public servants for truth and help while very little interested in paying minions for a dictator—–whether Trump or anyone else.

        • FriendlyGoat

          You are making it sound as though certain intelligence can be wrong whether the president is Jimmy Carter or Ronald Reagan. And, yes, that is possibly true.

          • TGates

            yes, but we “trust” them to get things right, not so totally wrong that resulted in many deaths and expenditures of literally trillions that could have been used for better used. Trust= Accountability.

      • Boritz

        They have the same boss as the guy who carries the briefcase with the launch codes.

        • FriendlyGoat

          You philosophy worked so well for Hitler and Stalin. We are supposed to be smarter. I’m going to be, even if you are not. There were few people who wanted an unfettered, unchallenged, unquestioned Obama and there are few who are willing to give that kind of allegiance to Trump.

      • Tom Scharf

        Last time I checked I don’t get to tell the CIA and NSA what to do, perhaps you can point me towards where that line of authority exists. If so, I want them to look at ISIS, AQ and any other international threats to the US. Basically doing exactly what they have been doing the last 8 years with some success.

        The election may not have ended the way you wish, but that doesn’t mean we obscenely redirect the intelligence agencies to try to take down the sitting and duly elected President. THE ELECTION IS OVER. Time to move on.

        This doesn’t mean to look away when they find information that may compromise the US, what it does mean is that investigating a domestic politician to settle petty grievances is out of line, especially their boss.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Intelligence_Agency

        “…the CIA reports to the Director of National Intelligence and is primarily focused on providing intelligence for the President and Cabinet.”

        • FriendlyGoat

          I don’t believe I asked for the intelligence agencies to be re-directed from what, as you say in your first paragraph, they have been doing for the last eight years with some success. The danger is that our would-be dictator, Trump, has other ideas about his peculiar authority over their activities. Those people in reality work for us—–not him. Now would be a good time for us all to say so.

          As for the election being over, it is as over as “Obama is a Muslim and probably a Kenyan” was soon over.

          • Anthony

            Something for you (not about this topic): thefederalist.com/2017/01/24/dr-russell-moore-trump-scotus-future-american-churches/

    • Jim__L

      I’m reminded of a wall in the foyer of a defense contractor’s plant, showing a panorama of American soldiers, with the caption “We always remember who we work for.” There’s some idealism still in this world, and I’m happy about that.

      On another note, I’m a little surprised no one here has quoted “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” here yet. It’s certainly relevant.

  • Kev

    I knew US-Russia relations were bad. I didn’t realise they were this bad, when a casual conversation with ambassador can prompt official FBI investigation.

  • Disappeared4x

    So confusing. Does the “prevailing narrative” dictate the conclusion of a “deeply dysfunctional relationship”, based on bread crumbs from Ynetnews, Politico, and TimesofLondon (none of which are widely regarded as unbiased sources).?. Are we in the Age of Unattributed Contagious Hyperbole, but only because…Russia?

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