OpenCDA

August 7, 2018

My First Thought Was …

Filed under: Cartoons,Probable Cause — Bill @ 7:34 am

Branco - Jeong 08-07-2018 copy

I am a fan of A.F. Branco’s political cartoons.

When I saw his cartoon this morning at LegalInsurrection.com, my first thought was, “Shouldn’t there be a Starbucks coffee cup near her left hand?”

At least one Starbucks store in the greater metropolitan Athol suburb of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho,  peddles the New York Times.

Starbucks proclaims itself to be a champion of diversity, so I’m sure Seattle’s own Kevin and Howard Show would be eager to have its coffee products prominently represented by the ever-diverse Sarah Jeong, the newest member of the New York Times Editorial Board.

August 6, 2018

Almost Three Years Late …

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , — Bill @ 7:34 am

2015WindstormHead1

Remember Windstorm 2015 that hit our area on November 17, 2015?

Apparently the Coeur d’Alene Press finally got around to giving it some thought for its August 5, 2018, relevant but long overdue editorial entitled Fires Ignite One Thumbs-Up — And One Down.

In my OpenCdA post entitled Our Grade?  Needs Improvement on December 7, 2015, I tried to be restrained in my criticism of the Kootenai County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and its Director, Sandy von Behren, Kootenai County Sheriff Ben Wolfinger, and the Kootenai County Board of Commissioners.  ‘Unprepared’ and ‘indecisive’ would have been the kindest terms I could have used for their collective professional failures in performing their official duties regarding informing the public.

Sunday’s skewspaper editorial finally acknowledged one of Windstorm 2015’s lessons that should have been learned long ago:  Kootenai County does not have a coordinated method of disseminating timely, accurate, and complete information to all the residents of Kootenai County.

The County thinks it does and tells the public it does on its website.  It doesn’t.

But what about Alert!Kootenai, the Kootenai County Emergency Alert Program?   How many of you who signed up for this received any message about the fires near Dirtstrip International Airport that were the basis for Sunday’s Press editorial?  I didn’t.

Sunday’s Press editorial included this statement:

This complaint isn’t just from a newspaper charged with keeping citizens informed; media throughout the region are poised to get important information to the public promptly and accurately.

The last portion of that statement, “…; media throughout the region are poised to get important information to the public promptly and accurately,” needs further discussion. (more…)

July 7, 2018

They’re Off to See the Prison …

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 6:45 am

DBSIBack in 2014 OpenCdA ran a series of posts about the DBSI financial scandal headquartered in Meridian, Idaho.

The DBSI fraud had at least ten victims in northern Idaho.  It had victims in 34 states and millions of dollars in losses to victims.  Yet neither of our area skews papers (Coeur d’Alene Press or The Spokesman-Review) followed and reported on this very significant financial crime operating out of Idaho and financially damaging residents in our area.

The Idaho Statesman reported on Friday that former DBSI executives Douglas Swenson, Mark Ellison, Jeremy Swenson and David Swenson will appear before US Magistrate Candy Dale in Boise on Monday.

Their appeals have been rejected by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the US Supreme Court, so Magistrate Dale can either order them taken immediately into custody to begin serving their sentences or she can allow them to remain free on bail until their prison assignments have been finalized.

June 14, 2018

DoJ OIG Final Report – FBI & DoJ Interference in 2016 Election

06-14-2018 OIG Report CoverThe long-awaited US Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General’s report concerning the FBI’s and DoJ’s interference in the 2016 election was released Jkune 14, 2018.  Here is a link to the 568-page (some pages blank) report.

I’m sure some readers will disagree with my characterization “the FBI’s and DoJ’s interference.”  Read the report and come to your own conclusions.  My opinion, a conclusion, is that they interfered, and that inteference seems to be continuing even now by the FBI’s and DoJ’s unlawfully withholding information Congress needs to perform its Constitutionally-required oversight.

Spontaneous statements can be valid indicators of state of mind.

The text messages between two high-up FBI employees, Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, were spontaneous, not scripted.  One (see page 402 headed August 8, 2016) that was particularly chilling.  It read:

“In a text message on August 7, 2016, Page stated, “[Trump’s not ever going to become president, right?  Right?!”  Strzok responded, “No.  No he’s not.  We’ll stop it.” [emphasis mine]

Keep in mind that Peter Strzok was not some hump brick agent — he is an FBI Deputy Assistant Director.  Lisa Page was the Special Counsel to FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.   It’s fair to wonder just how far they would be willing to go to stop Donald J. Trump from being elected President.

And yet in a press conference Thursday, FBI Director Christopher Wray reiterated what was asserted in the report:  There was nothing in the FBI’s conduct of the investigation that indicated political bias.   (more…)

May 25, 2018

House Conservatives Call for Another Special Counsel

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , — Bill @ 3:10 pm

House of Reps logoSeveral members of the US House of Representatives introduced a House Resolution today calling for the appointment of a second Special Counsel to look into alleged wrongdoing by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and its parent department, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Specifically, the resolution calls on the Attorney General of the United States to, “…appoint a Special Counsel to investigate misconduct at the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation, including an investigation of abuse of the FISA warrant process, how and why the Hillary Clinton probe ended, and how and why the Donald Trump-Russia probe began.”

Today’s House Resolution, even if passed, will have no effect in law but is only an expression of opinion or intention.  Its 57 recitals form a useful synopsis of the reasons offered by the Resolution’s signers to support the appointment of another Special Counsel.

(ADDENDUM/UPDATE:  The original post on 05-21-2018 included the unsigned draft of the resolution.  Today’s update replaces that draft with the resolution formally introduced and referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary  today including the names of all sponsors.)

May 24, 2018

She’s Baaaack!

Filed under: Probable Cause — Bill @ 7:20 pm

Rachel DolezalRecognize her in this 2009 photo when she was the head of Coeur d’Alene’s Human Rights Education Institute?

That’s right!  It’s Rachel Dolezal.  Only now she prefers to be known by her legal “transracial” name, Nkechi Amare Diallo.

She’ll soon have an updated photo, a jail booking photo.

It seems that the darling of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations and the Spokane NAACP Chapter is now going to be appearing in a courtroom near you to respond to allegations of welfare fraud.

No, not in Kootenai County.   In Spokane County.

Welcome back, Nkechi!  I guess your dreams weren’t your ticket out.

 

May 22, 2018

What Happened and In What Order?

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 4:12 pm

Sequence of EventsKeeping the sequence of events in order in the Trump-Russia “collusion” investigation can be very tricky.

If you have been trying to follow the Trump-Russia collusion investigation sequence of events from day to day — well, good luck with that one.

To try and help you put some of the collusion confusion into order, here are links to three timelines.

Washington Post’s Trump-Russia Timeline

Committee to Investigate Russia’s Trump-Russia Timeline

Sharyl Attkisson’s Collusion Against Trump Timeline

 

May 20, 2018

‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it’

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , , — Bill @ 11:39 am

COSI-TopSecret-Today’s Washington Times online is running an article headlined  Top Democrat deems claims Trump campaign was spied on ‘nonsense’.

Sadly, even with mounting evidence to the contrary, there are people who refuse to believe that employees of the FBI and DoJ, acting under color of law, would spy illegally on political organizations.  History proves their disbelief to be misplaced.

Google COINTELPRO

Even the FBI’s own website acknowledges that COINTELPRO “…was later rightfully criticized by Congress and the American people for abridging first amendment rights and for other reasons.”

The aphorism in the title of my post is most often attributed to George Santayana.

May 18, 2018

‘Crossfire Hurricane’

Left J Warren-Commission-Composite-NYTWhen I read The Sulzberger Slimes online article headlined Code Name Crossfire Hurricane:  The Secret Origins of the Trump Investigation on Wednesday, my first reaction to this 3800+ word piece was:   Somebody at Main Justice got a preview of the Department of Justice Inspector General’s long-overdue report regarding the FBI and DOJ’s investigation and handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe, called up their favorite Slimes stenographer, and planted a pre-emptive fluff story out ahead of an expected ‘Bad Moon Rising’.

Later in the same day I learned that the Department of Justice Inspector General had finished his long-awaited report of the FBI and DOJ’s investigation and handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe.  The draft report has not yet been released publicly, but it has been (or will be by COB Friday) made available to multiple subjects of the report for their review.

Judging from the nervous tics suddenly afflicting the Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac swamp rats in the respective Mahogany Rows at Main Justice and the FBI, John Fogerty* may have been foretelling some more career ending moves when he wrote:

Hope you got your things together
Hope you are quite prepared to die
Looks like we’re in for nasty weather
One eye is taken for an eye

Two other writers have prepared read-worthy articles for their respective online publications.  These two articles are decent counterpoints to the Slimes’ effort to soften the blows expected to be inflicted by the DoJ IG’s report.

Mollie Hemingway has written 10 Key Takeaways from The New York Times’ Error-Ridden Defense of FBI Spying on Trump Campaign.  It was published online in The Federalist on May 17, 2018.

Andrew McCarthy has written Spinning a Crossfire Hurricane:  The Times on the FBI’s Trump Investigation.  His article was published online in National Review on May 17, 2018.   (more…)

May 11, 2018

Just Who Is Our Enemy Here?

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , , — Bill @ 12:05 pm

COSI-TopSecret-If you haven’t yet read Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel’s column posted on May 10, 2018, please take the time to read it.  It was entitled About That FBI ‘Source’.

Strassel asserts that Rosenstein and the US Department of Justice are stonewalling the House Intelligence Committee’s most recent subpoena because, “… the FBI secretly had a person on the payroll who used his or her non-FBI credentials to interact in some capacity with the Trump campaign.”

Strassel’s column implies that the FBI inserted  a highly-placed human intelligence source or recruited one already inside the Trump campaign before the 2016 election.  She also says, “… we know Mr. Nunes’s request deals with a ‘top secret intelligence source’ of the FBI and CIA, who is a U.S. citizen and who was involved in the Russia collusion probe.” [emphasis mine]  In other words, she suggests the FBI was running an intelligence collection operation inside the Trump campaign.

Assuming Strassel and her competitors at the Washington Post have the straight scoop, it raises a few  questions.

  • Was the Trump Campaign the only presidential campaign targeted or were other presidential candidate campaigns targeted as well?  If so, which ones?
  • Who made the final decision to allow the FBI to run a collection operation inside the Trump campaign?  Who had the authority to okay ‘a top secret intelligence source of the FBI and CIA’ to collect information about or exert influence on a candidate or nominee for President of the United States?
  • Was the ‘top secret intelligence source’ a human being or technical device(s) or combination of both?
  • Who or what was the actual target of the collection operation?  If it was only for collection, what were the essential elements of information sought?
  • Was the ‘top secret intelligence source’ of the FBI and CIA an information collector or was s/he an agent of influence (or both)?
  • Who was the human source’s handler/case officer?  To whom did the ‘top secret intelligence source’ report?
  • When?
    • When was this operation first proposed and by whom?
    • When was the operation finally approved?
    • When did the operation launch?
    • When will Congress subpoena the Case Officer’s contact reports and source?
    • If the operation began and continued after Trump had officially become the Republican nominee and was therefore receiving national security briefings, when was the Secret Service notified of this operation as it should have been?
    • When did this operation end (assuming it has!)?
    • When was candidate/nominee/President Trump first notified of this operation and by whom?
  • Was the collection operation limited to personal observations and recollections of the ‘top secret intelligence source’ or was the ‘top secret intelligence source’ allowed or directed to spot, assess, and recruit other human sources within the Trump campaign?

The actions of Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein to resist the HPSCI’s subpoenas only adds to the plausibility of the Washington Post’s and Wall Street Journal’s articles.  President Trump can if he chooses declassify everything DoJ and the CIA have on this matter.  Whether he should or not must be based on legitimate national security considerations, not political expedience or advantage.

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