OpenCDA

August 17, 2018

Monetizing Hypocrisy

HypocrisyTwelve former senior intelligence officials have signed a statement criticizing President Trump’s decision to revoke the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan.  Their letter asserts the President’s decision was based entirely on Brennan’s criticism of the President.

It is very likely that several of these officials were in that “special” category of officials who were allowed to retain their security clearances when they left the government service.   In fact, some of them may still have clearances on file with their final employer.

But as has become typical of our national, regional, and local skews media, we’re not getting the complete picture about the signators to this letter.   Some of them appear to be capitalizing on their clearance retention to financially enhance their retirement incomes. (more…)

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…)

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 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…)

February 16, 2018

Special Counsel Issues Indictment of Russians – 2016 Election Interference

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , — Bill @ 12:10 pm

svr logo|

On Friday, February 16, 2018, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office released a federal grand jury indictment naming 13 Russians and 3 Russian companies as defendants.  The indictment alleges the defendants interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

Here is a link to the 37-page indictment issued today.

The indictment itself is a far more reliable and complete information source than the news media for the details of when, how, and by whom the offenses against the United States were allegedly committed.

 

February 13, 2018

Appoint a Presidential Commission

Warren Commission Composite NYTWith  American citizens finally becoming more aware of  the scope and gravity of the institutional corruption involved in and around the 2016 election, members of Congress are receiving increasing demands to appoint another Special Counsel.

As I opined in my OpenCdA post on January 12, 2018, entitled So It Never Happens Again …,  merely appointing yet another Special Counsel to look into the allegations of apparent criminal wrongdoing associated with the 2016 national general election would be an incomplete approach.

I don’t dispute there are grounds for such a Special Counsel.  However, I believe the job of rehabilitating corrupted and crippled agencies whose missions are critically important to the national security is too much for a Special Counsel.

Before you conclude I’m overstating the scope of work required for rehabilitation, consider this:

Credible evidence released by diligent House and Senate committees has provided solid reasons to believe that the following government bodies have some involvement either as alleged violators or as victims in the numerous and various statutory and administrative rule violations:

  • Central Intelligence Agency (alleged violator)
  • Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) (victim)
  • Department of Justice (alleged violator)
    • Federal Bureau of Investigation (alleged violator)
  • Department of State (alleged violator)
  • Federal Election Commission (victim)
  • Former President Obama and his Executive Office of the President (alleged violator)
  • Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (victim)
  • Internal Revenue Service (alleged violator)
  • National Security Agency (alleged violator)
  • US Congress (victim)

Very arguably the most important objective of  rehabilitation has to be to restore the public’s confidence in our federal agencies to perform their duties honestly and diligently.  (Lest we forget, the honest and diligent employees of all the alleged violator agencies are ‘the public,’ too.)  Thus far, the Mueller Special Counsel effort has produced  little or nothing to accomplish that objective.

There is another objective that no Special Counsel will have the courage to touch:  An open and frank discussion of the miserable failure of our First Amendment-protected news media to provide timely, accurate, and complete reporting of verified information (not opinion) to We, the People.

That discussion must include but not start with the performance of reporters or editors or news directors.  It must start with media owners’ lack of understanding the importance of timely, accurate, complete news reporting.  Then these owners must be questioned about their lack of commitment to that same reporting.

In part the failures of federal agencies have apparently been aided and abetted by the First Amendment-protected news media’s decisions to ignore or under-report those failures.   The media owe We, the People, some answers for their seemingly aiding and abetting alleged crimes that have been committed against all the people of the United States.

If the public’s confidence in the integrity of some critical agencies and their employees is to be restored, we need a Presidential Commission with far more horsepower, moral courage, and integrity than we are likely to ever see from another Special Counsel like Robert Mueller.

February 6, 2018

Update: Prior Redactions to Important Senate Judiciary Committee Memo Revealed

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , — Bill @ 8:18 pm

Senate SealOn Feburary 5, 2018, our OpenCdA post entitled Senate Judiciary Committee Memo Released relating to the Christopher Steele “dossier” contained a link to the highly-redacted Committee memo concerning the “dossier” and its importance to the FBI and DoJ in security a FISA warrant to surveil a US citizen, Carter Page.

Late today, the Department of Justice (DoJ) responded positively to a request from Senators Grassley and Graham to further declassify some of the material redacted in that material.

Here is the further redacted memo released just a few hours ago.

If factually accurate, the current memo’s representations suggest it was the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, not Donald J. Trump, who were conspiring with a foreign agent to violate several campaign finance laws to prevent the lawful election of Donald J. Trump.

The memo in conjunction with other evidence strongly suggests that some FBI and DoJ headquarters executives were severely and possibly criminally derelict in performing their official duties pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court’s authorization to surveil Carter Page, a US citizen.

Please read the further redacted memo and decide for yourselves.

To date, Fox News has been the only major news medium to doggedly resist falling in line with the journalism group think/Clinton love fest so sickeningly broadcast by the formerly important news networks NBC, CBS, ABC, and CNN, and formerly reliable and diligent newspapers including but not limited to the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Whether they knew it or not, these and other news media have promoted the effort to first defeat Donald Trump’s candidacy and then, failing to engineer his election defeat,  to use whatever means necessary to prevent him from performing his official duties and then to remove him from office.

By failing to diligently pursue the facts objectively, it appears to me the national skews media have collectively participated in deception by omission.  Sadly, both the FBI and the Department of Justice have been complicit in the effort to manage the information the public receives.

It is likely that much more information will be revealed by the Congressional investigations.

December 13, 2017

Swamp Rats (Cont.)

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , , — Bill @ 3:57 pm

Danger - Swamp RatIt is indisputable that there are people in the United States who are using an organized, very well-funded strategy as well as very aggressive tactics to remove President Donald J. Trump from office.

That by itself is not illegal.

Neither is it illegal for employees of the federal government, including employees of the US Department of Justice (DoJ) and employees of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to express their personal views about the competence and qualifications of public officials.

However, a federal employee’s expression of personal views goes beyond what is permitted or prohibited by the Hatch Act when that employee uses his or her official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election.

Hatch Act violations are serious.  However, they are not as serious as interfering in federal criminal investigations involving the alleged violation of national security laws including:

  • 2 U.S.C. § 192 (Contempt of Congress Related to National Security)
  • 18 U.S.C. § 219 et seq. (Officers and Employees of the United States Acting as Foreign Agents)
  • 18 U.S.C. § 791 et seq. (Espionage; Unauthorized Disclosure of Classified Information)
  • 18 U.S.C. § 9S1 et seq. (Neutrality  Laws)
  • 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(1) (Computer  Espionage)
  • 18 U.S.C. § 1S42 et seq. (Passport Violations Related to National Security)
  • 18 U.S.C. § 1924 (Unauthorized Removal and Retention of Classified Documents or Material)
  • 18 U.S.C. § 2381et seq. (Treason, Sedition and Subversive Activities)
  • 18 U.S.C. § 1343 (Wire Fraud, including wire fraud or hacking by or on behalf of a foreign government in which 18 U.S.C. § 1831 or 18 U.S.C.§ 1030(a)(1) are not specifically included as charges)
  • 22 U.S.C. § 611 et seq. (Foreign Agents Registration)
  • 42 U.S.C. § 2274 to 2278, 2284, and other Atomic Energy Violations that Affect National Security (Atomic Energy Act)
  • 50 U.S.C. § 3121 (Intelligence Identities Protection Act)
  • 50 U.S.C. § 782 et seq. (Communication  of Classified Information by Government Officer or Employee)
  • 50 U.S.C. § 8S1et seq. (Registration of Person Who Has Knowledge Concerning Espionage Activities)
  • 50 U.S.C. § 2401et seq. (Export Administration Act)
  • 50 U.S.C. App. § 5(b) (Trading With the Enemy Act)

These laws are not supposed to be waived simply because an alleged violator is a former President, a former Secretary of State and a now-former presidential candidate,  or a high-level employee of the DoJ or FBI.

Similarly, it seems to OpenCdA writing from Upper Trashcanistan, Idaho, that for federal employees to conspire (notice we didn’t say “collude”) to interfere with or prevent the initiation of a criminal investigation into alleged violations of any of these laws might qualify as separate violations under 18 U.S.C. § 371 (Conspiracy) and 18 U.S.C. § 1510 (Obstruction of Criminal Investigations).  (more…)

September 28, 2017

Decertified or Not?

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , — Bill @ 11:44 am

KCSO graphicThis morning’s local skews paper, the Coeur d’Alene Press, published an article entitled ‘Sheriff’s Captain Terminated.’

The article stated

“Both Wolfinger and Soumas told The Press the termination was not due to any criminal wrongdoing.”

But the article also quoted a KCSO interoffice memo which said

“Captain Dan Soumas has been terminated from employment effective immediately and is prohibited from accessing the non-public areas of the sheriff’s office without an official escort. Soumas is no longer authorized to take actions as a peace officer.” [emphasis OpenCdA’s]

The portion I’ve highlighted in this quotation strongly suggests that former Captain Soumas has been or will soon be decertified as an Idaho peace officer by the Idaho Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training.

Has former Captain Soumas been decertified as an Idaho peace officer or not?

Concerning the paragraph containing the highlighted portion and attributed to Sheriff Wolfinger, the article went on

Wolfinger said that is a standard message issued to employees when someone no longer works at the department.

The “standard message” Wolfinger issues  seems to imply that immediately upon leaving the department, regardless of the reason for leaving,  the former employee automatically loses Idaho peace officer certification and authorization which has been granted by the Idaho Peace Officer and Standards Training Commission.   While that may be what Wolfinger wants to imply to the public, that would be inconsistent with the laws and administrative procedures of Idaho.

Open CdA wishes the Coeur d’Alene Press skewspaper would develop reporters and editors with sufficient subject matter knowledge to publish articles which do not add to the public’s confusion about official actions taken by our local governments.

August 18, 2017

Now Do You Understand?

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: , — Bill @ 7:22 am

CRS copyFor all of the political hacks, skews media, and ignorant commentators who have begun demanding that President Trump resign for his initial public statement concerning Heather Heyer’s homicide in Charlottesville, VA, on Saturday, please take the time to read this Congressional Research Service legal sidebar entitled “Charlottesville Car Crash Attack:  Possibility of Federal Criminal Prosecution.”

According to the New York Times article headlined “Man Charged After White Nationalist Rally in Charlottesville Ends in Deadly Violence,” James A. Fields, a US citizen, has been charged with “… second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding and failing to stop at the scene of a crash that resulted in a death. ”   Those are criminal charges alleged by the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Within a very few hours (likely before the Commonwealth’s crime scene investigation had concluded), Attorney General Sessions had directed the Federal Bureau of Investigation to begin an investigation to determine if any federal civil rights laws had been violated.  It is entirely possible that in addition to evidence of civil rights violations, the FBI investigation may find evidence of violations prosecutable under the federal antiterrorism laws.

On more than one occasion during his terms in office, President Obama made hasty, ill-conceived, and highly prejudicial public statements that could have prejudiced successful state or federal criminal prosecutions.   President Trump’s initial statement after the Charlottesville incident was timely, appropriate, and non-prejudicial.   Perhaps the political hacks and skews media might want to remember that James A. Fields is entitled to a fair trial in a court of law.

President Trump’s statement was apparently not prejudicial or inflammatory enough for many of the Fools on the Hill and the skews media.   It is they, not he, who deserve public criticism.  James A. Fields is entitled to a fair trial in a court of law.  President Trump has said nothing to jeopardize Fields’ Constitutional rights.  Sadly, the same can’t be said for the rantings of the Fools and media.

Now do you understand?

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