Posted tagged ‘Deep state’

Devin Nunes Has Absolutely No Reason To Recuse Himself

March 28, 2017

Devin Nunes Has Absolutely No Reason To Recuse Himself, The Federalist, March 28, 2017

The day after Republican House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes held a press conference saying he’d seen reports that show the government may have collected information on Donald Trump’s transition team or family and then inappropriately shared it, journalists jumped into action. Not to dig into the accusation of NSA unmasking or a failure to minimize incidentally collected information — as they most surely would have had any Democrat been president — but to figure out where the congressman had been the past few days.

Most of the subsequent stories skipped over (or brushed past) the issue of abuse altogether to focus on the “incidental” nature of the accusation, which sounds innocent enough and is completely legal and not the issue. As Andrew McCarthy, certainly no squish when it comes to FISA, explains at the NRO:

Of course, any legitimate government power can be abused. If the government’s real objective was to intercept the communications not of the foreigners but of the Trump associates, such that the agencies’ “targeting” of the foreigners was merely a pretext (i.e., they were monitored only because they were in contact with Trump associates, who were the real targets), it could hardly be said that the associates’ communications were intercepted “incidentally.”

This seemed to escape the attention of erstwhile civil libertarians who once breathlessly warned us about the potential abuses of intelligence services, and specifically about the dangers of politicians getting entangled in the exploitation of sensitive information. They wanted to know what Nunes had for dinner last Tuesday night.

Certainly, as part of the larger story, it’s legitimate and useful to cover Nunes’ actions. When it turned out that he had been on White House grounds  — probably to use a sensitive compartmented information facility — it gave Democrats the space they needed to start demanding recusal.

“Calls Grow for Nunes to Step Aside in Inquiry on Surveillance,” says The New York Times. “The remarkable calls,” it goes on to say, “by Representatives Adam B. Schiff of California, the committee’s top Democrat,” came after revelations that Nunes had met a source at the White House. Democrats claimed that a “bipartisan investigation” could no longer be achieved.

For starters, the idea that Schiff isn’t a full-blown partisan is preposterous. He’s already made a number of wild and irresponsible claims about Russia “hacking our election.” (The California representative contends to have conclusive evidence of collusion, though he’s yet to share the specifics with the group.) There is no reason to treat him like the guardian of a chaste investigation. Others who went on the record to demand recusal were nonpartisan public servants like Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.

The Times’ headline, by the way, could just as easily have read “Calls Grow for Nunes to Stay on in Inquiry on Surveillance.” Last night, Rep. Trey Gowdy said that “Jesus would not be a satisfactory chairperson to some of my Democratic colleagues.” Rep. Peter King, just as much (or little) a partisan as Pelosi, came out in defense of Nunes. As did others. These “calls” are just as real. (It’s also important to remember that GOP hawks who have been critical of Nunes — although none have asked for recusal — are also defenders of the NSA’s wide authority under Section 702.)

Ostensibly, demanding recusal is framed as an effort to save the impartiality and integrity of the committee. In reality, it’s meant to create the impression that Nunes has done something unethical or illegal to defend Trump. It meant to proactively poison any investigation. Schiff offers two reasons for his position: 1 – Nunes shared information with the White House. 2 – Nunes got his information from someone in the White House.

Nunes has said this isn’t an inquiry into charges of Russian collusion, so why is it inappropriate for the House Intelligence Committee Chair to share intelligence about the president with the president — and then let the world know he’s done so? Furthermore, why is it wrong for the House Intelligence Committee Chair to see classified information from a source at the White House? “If that’s where the information is, and the information is relevant, and it’s authentic, and it’s reliable, wouldn’t you go where the information was?” Gowdy asked The Weekly Standard.

Even if we concede, for the sake of argument, that Nunes had been ethically compromised, does the information attained in the effort become less valid? Were the leaks that cost Mike Flynn his job any less persuasive because they were illegally obtained? Haven’t many Democrats been defending the need for whistleblowers to speak up in the name of democracy?

Schiff has no reason to give up the name of his source. If the NSA abused its power, and the evidence is legitimate, we should welcome the information. If not, Nunes’ credibility will be blown forever. Considering Nunes’ history, the media had no reason to assume the latter, which mirrors the concerns and goals of Democrats.

Of course, Nunes might have nothing. If that’s the case, he’ll no doubt pay a steep political price. We’ll know soon enough.

Obama Did Wiretap Trump: It’s Like Putting Together a Russian Nesting Doll

March 26, 2017

Obama Did Wiretap Trump: It’s Like Putting Together a Russian Nesting Doll, American ThinkerClarice Feldman, March 26, 2017

(Please see also, We Need an Independent Investigation of the Trump Leaks Mystery Now. — DM)

No matter how many dolls are hidden in the nest — Comey, Clapper, Brennan, Lynch — it is undeniable that they all fit under the big one — Obama. It was he who authorized the surveillance and multiagency distribution of intelligence — in Bob Woodward’s reading, “highly classified gossip” — about political opponent Trump and his team — invading their privacy in violation of the law. If you were inclined to want Americans to lose faith in their intelligence community and media you couldn’t have done a better job than they did themselves. The Russians didn’t have to do a thing.

***************************

Matryoshkas are Russian nesting dolls. Inside each doll are several others, smaller but identically shaped characters, until you get to the smallest one inside. Studying what we have learned of the timeline — and we still don’t have the entire story — we see Wikileaks, the smallest, at the core, and Obama as the largest piece in what is the most historically outrageous misuse of the people and institutions of government for partisan advantage.

Wikileaks

During the campaign, Wikileaks posted a number of email messages from the DNC — largely Podesta, but Hillary as well. The communications (not well reported, but, in any event, more embarrassing tittle tattle) had been on unsecured accounts, poorly guarded and easily accessed because of carelessness on the part of the Hillary team. Assange, who published them, denied the source of this information was Russian hackers. This now has been confirmed by the heads of our intelligence community, but the Clinton camp claim that the Russians did it set the stage for the notion that her opponent was the favored candidate of the Russians.

Apart from the fact that our intelligence services have denied the claim, there are a number of reasons to believe that the Russians would have preferred Hillary to Trump. For one thing, Russia is in terrible financial shape and relies on its sales of oil and gas to Europe to stay afloat. Is it sensible to believe that the Russians would prefer Trump, who made clear he wanted to vastly increase U.S. oil and gas production, over Hillary, who gave every indication of keeping it down and the worldwide price of oil and gas higher? (I can’t imagine — for the same reason — that Iran and OPEC wouldn’t prefer her as well.) Why you do suppose the Russians have been funding “green” groups in Europe — and possibly here — who oppose fracking?

Secondly, for eight years Russian businesses and businessmen closely aligned with Putin pumped millions into the Clinton Foundation slush fund, paid her husband a half-million dollars for a single speech, and got in return a substantial portion of our uranium assets when, as Secretary of State, Hillary okayed their purchase. Finally, John Podesta, chair of Hillary’s presidential campaign wasclosely aligned with Russian interests. His brother was hired by the Russians to lobby for the uranium sale. He was on the board of a company closely aligned with Putin.

As the crack investigative reporter Richard Pollock notes:

John Podesta, national chairman of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, may have opened himself up to a Russian “influence campaign” designed to temper his views of the Kremlin, The Daily Caller News Foundation (TheDCNF) Investigative Group has learned.

Influence campaigns are conducted by many governments — including the United States — with the aim of influencing decision makers in other countries to realign their geopolitical worldviews more closely to the influencing country.

Some national security experts interviewed by The DCNF wonder if Podesta may still be a target of Russian influence. They trace the campaign back to his company board membership, in which one-third of the board were top Russian businessmen with direct ties to the Kremlin.

The last time Podesta talked negatively about Russia was Dec. 18, 2016, when he charged in an NBC “Meet the Press” interview the 2016 election was “distorted by the Russian intervention.”

The former Clinton national campaign chairman has since been silent, even as other former top Clinton aides, such as Robby Mook, Brian Fallon and Jim Margolis have repeatedly aimed high-decibel rhetoric at President Donald Trump about Russian “meddling” in the 2016 presidential race.

[snip]

Podesta’s silence is particularly striking, according to retired Air Force Col. James Waurishuk.

“We haven’t heard very much from Podesta lately, particularly on the subject of Russia’s interference in the elections,” Waurishuk told the DCNF. He served on the National Security Council and worked on “information operations” for military intelligence.

The suggestion is that he’s staying out of it because the Russians want this chatter about their influence silenced.

In any event, Russia has now been cleared of the claim, yet in the recesses of the dimmer voters’ minds the charge remains a cogent explanation of why their candidate lost the election.

The National Security Agency and the FISA

The NSA engages in global monitoring for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence. It does by passive means (signals Intelligence) and active means like physically bugging systems and through subversive software. It assists and coordinates SIGINT elements at other government organization like the DIA.

Domestic communications can be intercepted under two circumstances: in the first instance to protect us against sabotage or international terrorism or sabotage. In such a case, when authorized by the president through the attorney general, it can be done without a court order provided that it is for only one year and only to acquire foreign intelligence information and there is real likelihood that a U.S. person is a party to the communication. Even then it must be done in such a way to minimize the impact on the U.S. person. The attorney general must report such surveillance under seal to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and report their compliance to both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.

Surveillance can also be done on a court order from FISA when the attorney general persuades the court that there is probable cause (i.e. a reasonable suspicion) that the target is a “foreign power” or an “agent of a foreign power” and the minimization requirements for information pertaining to U.S. persons will be followed. Such orders may be approved for 90 days,120 days, or a year.

FISA court authorization is almost always granted. Reliable reports indicate that the Obama administration sought authorization in July of last year when Trump appeared a likely opponent (the application is still secret) and it was denied. These reports also state that a pared-down application was sought in October and granted by the court. We have no idea on what basis the Department of Justice sought these warrants nor who the purported target was.

From the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, we learned this week that Trump team’s conversations were caught in the surveillance, that for over nine months this was never reported to his committee. Moreover, it is public knowledge that three days before the inauguration in January, for no legitimate purpose, President Obama authorized wide distribution of the surveillance reports to 16 other agencies, the names of U.S. persons involved in the conversations were not redacted, the contents were of no intelligence value and they were widely leaked — a perfectly predictable consequence of spreading the raw data so widely in contrast to normal redaction and dissemination patterns. Suspicious minds like mine think may well be to further hamper the incoming administration by leaks designed to embarrass members of his team. Nunes also reported the post-election spying “had nothing to do with Russia.”  By January 20, for example, the New York Times reported that Trump had been wiretapped.

We learned this week from Nunes’ work that the investigation is continuing.

On his own Mike Rogers, head of NSA, met privately with Trump shortly after the inauguration. We have no details of their discussion, but my guess is he told him what had happened and how. At the moment, Rogers appears to be the sole white hat in our intelligence network. But he may not be the only one, which, I think, would mean a number of former Obama officials have to be looking for lawyers.

Tom Lipscomb, a former reporter and online friend, thinks the white hats in the intelligence community fed the truth about the wiretapping directly to Trump so he could weed out from their ranks the Obama confederates. Like him, I think the Trump tweet that he was wiretapped was smart. He’s giving “fair warning to what is coming,” and the claims that Trump was engaged in some “crazy conspiracy” are evaporating just as had the earlier nonsense that he and the Russians were conspiring via Wikileaks.

Christopher Steele and John McCain

Christopher Steele is a former British intelligence agent of dubious character and credibility. He had been hired early by the Clinton camp to dig up dirt on Trump. When Hillary ended that agreement, unnamed Republicans engaged him to continue, and when they stopped paying him, the FBI — for as yet unexplained reasons — took him up. His “dossier” is preposterous, based on accounts to his aides from unnamed and thus unverifiable sources. In the rare instance when they provide recognizable details, they have been proven false. As incredible as the “dossier” was, it was used to tar Trump with salacious nonsense and to further encourage the ridiculous notion that he and his team were Russian agents.

There are three different versions of how John McCain, a bitter #NeverTrumper always seeking media cuddles and enamored by globalization, came to get the dossier — he says, in December.  In one version, he got it from a member of the McCain Institute, in other published accounts he dispatched someone abroad to get it, and in a third he first heard of it from a former British ambassador while at a meeting in Halifax. That he’s offered various tales in itself suggests some dissembling on his part. Nevertheless, he concedes he widely distributed the scurrilous dossier to the media and members of Congress. He was either a useful dupe of those determined to bring down Trump or a willing partner of theirs. Right now, he’s flailing about abroad, attacking the president and moaning that Trump hasn’t yet met with him.

The Media

John Nolte, writing for the Daily Caller, highlights how it is apparent that the media knew of the spying operation and later covered it up:

“Of course the media knew what the Obama administration had done. First off, when they thought the news would hurt Trump, the national media publicly reported on the fact that the Obama administration had spied on Team Trump. It was only after that knowledge became a liability for Precious Barry that the media pretended otherwise. In other words, they LIED.”

Jim Geraghty at National Review cites a specific example of the media-leaker waltz:

On January 12, the Washington Post columnist David Ignatius wrote:

According to a senior U.S. government official, Flynn phoned Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak several times on Dec. 29, the day the Obama administration announced the expulsion of 35 Russian officials as well as other measures in retaliation for the hacking. What did Flynn say, and did it undercut the U.S. sanctions? The Logan Act (though never enforced) bars U.S. citizens from correspondence intending to influence a foreign government about “disputes” with the United States. Was its spirit violated? The Trump campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

This is a leak of classified information. Michael Flynn was not, as far as we know, a target of any U.S. government surveillance. He was one of the figures whose conversations was “incidentally” recorded, presumably as part of the regular monitoring of Kislyak.

People within the U.S. government are not supposed to take the information that is incidentally recorded and then run to David Ignatius because they don’t like the American citizen who was recorded. That’s not the purpose of our domestic counterintelligence operations. Even if Flynn had violated the Logan Act — which, as we all know, no one has never been prosecuted for violating — there are legitimate avenues for dealing with that, namely going to law enforcement and a prosecutor.

(Invoking the Logan Act in this circumstance is particularly nonsensical, because the interpretation Ignatius floats would criminalize just about any discussion between a presidential candidate, a president-elect or his team and any representative of a foreign government on any matter of importance. If you ask a foreign official if his country would make a concession on Issue X in exchange for a U.S. concession on Issue Y, BOOM! Call out the SWAT teams, we’ve got a Logan Act violation!)

There are a lot of reasons not to like Michael Flynn, but that doesn’t change the fact that somebody broke the law and leaked classified information in an effort to get him in trouble. That is wrong and that is illegal, and Nunes is right to point out we’re going down a dangerous road when information collected by U.S. intelligence agencies about American citizens starts getting strategically leaked for partisan purposes.

No matter how many dolls are hidden in the nest — Comey, Clapper, Brennan, Lynch — it is undeniable that they all fit under the big one — Obama. It was he who authorized the surveillance and multiagency distribution of intelligence — in Bob Woodward’s reading, “highly classified gossip” — about political opponent Trump and his team — invading their privacy in violation of the law. If you were inclined to want Americans to lose faith in their intelligence community and media you couldn’t have done a better job than they did themselves. The Russians didn’t have to do a thing.

Obama Admin Loyalists, Government Insiders Sabotage Trump White House

March 22, 2017

Obama Admin Loyalists, Government Insiders Sabotage Trump White House, Washington Free Beacon, March 22, 2017

The White House. Photo credit  MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The Obama administration worked in its final weeks in office to undermine the incoming Trump White and continues to do so, according to multiple sources both in and out of the White House.

Behind the effort, these sources say, are senior government officials who previously worked under President Obama and remain loyal to his agenda. These individuals leak negative information about the Trump White House and its senior staff to a network of former Obama administration officials who then plant this information in key media outlets including the Washington Post and New York Times.

Meanwhile, holdovers from the Obama administration are working to undermine the Trump administration’s agenda through efforts to alter official communications, a number of administration officials confirmed in conversations with the Washington Free Beacon.

Multiple sources expressed concern over what they described as an unprecedented effort by the former administration to subvert President Donald Trump’s team. These sources would only speak on background because they were not officially authorized to publicly discuss the situation, which is said to have fostered a level of discomfort and distrust in the West Wing.

The Free Beacon first reported on several portions of this effort earlier this year, including separate campaigns to undermine current CIA Director Mike Pompeo and former national security adviser Michael Flynn, both of whom were subjected to leaks aimed at undermining their credibility.

“We have members of the former administration at the highest levels who through their actions after January 20 have demonstrated their refusal to recognize the results of the general election,” one senior administration official told the Free Beacon. “They have pursued, organized, and managed a comprehensive subversion of the new administration.”

In one instance, Trump administration officials found evidence that the administration’s executive order banning travel from certain Muslim-majority nations had been selectively altered to bring it more in line with Obama-era talking points.

Several hours before the orders were set to be signed by Trump, officials noticed that language concerning “radical Islamic terrorism” had been stripped from the order and replaced with Obama-era language about countering violent extremism.

West Wing staffers quickly scrambled to rewrite the order to bring it back in line with Trump’s rhetoric, sources told the Free Beacon. The alteration of these directives is said to have spooked some senior officials working on the issue.

A series of targeted leaks also has fostered concerns that Obama administration holdovers are seeking to handicap the new administration.

Several weeks before his resignation, former national security adviser Flynn requested staff assemble an in-house phonebook that included contact information for senior White House staff. Before Flynn signed off on the effort, the phonebook was leaked to the press.

Additionally, the previous administration permitted staff to accrue substantial amounts of vacation time in its last year in office. As soon as team Trump entered the White House, it was obligated to pay out all of these hours. White House sources say the cost was in the millions of dollars.

The payout prevented the Trump White House from hiring key staff in its opening days due to insufficient funds, according to those familiar with the situation. Flynn, for instance, was able to hire only 22 people to work on the White House National Security Council, which topped around 420 staffers under Obama.

“They put landmines everywhere,” according to one senior administration official.

Outside of the White House, meanwhile, a team of former Obama administration officials is working to subvert Trump’s agenda.

Former Obama administration officials such as Ben Rhodes, the architect of Obama’s pro-Iran press operation, and Colin Kahl, a senior national security adviser to former Vice President Joe Biden, have engaged in public efforts to “purge” the current White House of officials they disagree with.

Earlier this month, Kahl admitted on Twitter that he is seeking to provoke the firings of Trump’s handpicked team “in the West Wing,” including senior advisers Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, and Sebastian Gorka, and NSC leaders Michael Anton and KT McFarland.

As part of this effort, Kahl, Rhodes, and others have leaked damaging stories about these officials to allies in the media.

The latest target, Gorka, has been falsely accused of being a Nazi sympathizer and an Islamophobe. The campaign against Flynn unfolded in a similar manner and sources who spoke to the Free Beacon about the matter speculated that these leaks will continue.

“They have a network of journalists for whom they have served as sources and they have fed stuff to these journalists,” one senior U.S. official told the Free Beacon. “That’s what pretty obviously is going on. I’ve never seen this happen before. I’ve never heard of it happening throughout history.”

Putting the current White House in a permanent state of defense is a key objective of this strategy, according to one senior Republican foreign policy operative who is close to the White House.

“Part of this campaign, of course, was the media operation of selective leaks, many of which were illegal and directly targeted the staff and officials of the incoming Trump administration,” the source said.

This targeted media campaign is similar to the method used by Rhodes and others to push the Iran nuclear deal.

“You can tell what’s clearly going on because many of the same media outlets who formed crucial parts of Ben Rhodes’ Iran Deal ‘echo chamber’ are springing to launch coordinated attacks on Sebastian Gorka today,” said one longtime political consultant who is close to the White House NSC. “The way it works is, one highly partisan journalist goes out on a limb in dishonestly characterizing the target. That dishonest story is used to build on the next, in which the original lie is taken as fact, and then repeated in an echo chamber until it becomes conventional wisdom.”

Confessions of a Climate Change ‘Denier’

March 21, 2017

Confessions of a Climate Change ‘Denier’, Spectator, Thomas W. Smith, March 17, 2017

It has always been worrisome to me that every so-called solution to global warming subverts rather than enhances human freedom and advances the power of the state to regulate energy, industrial activity, and individual behavior. That seems to me, a denier, or whatever term you want to use, a potentially greater threat to the future of human welfare than even climate change. Václav Klaus, the former president of the Czech Republic, made this same point when he declared: “What is at risk is not the climate but freedom.”

****************************

A few days ago I had a conversation with a very smart university professor of history and somehow the climate change subject came up. Almost instantly he responded to my thoughts by saying: “You must be one of those deniers who rejects the science consensus.”

This is the new form of intellectual bullying and it’s intentionally designed is to stop the conversation not advance it. In the academies it is a technique to close off scientific inquiry.

When the liberals talk of ‎consensus, what consensus are they talking about?  Of whom? About what? Here is John Kay of the‎ Financial Times on the so-called consensus:

Science is a matter of evidence, not what a majority of scientists think…. The notion of a monolithic “science,” meaning what scientists say, is pernicious and the notion of “scientific consensus” actively so. The route to knowledge is transparency in disagreement and openness in debate. The route to truth is the pluralist expression of conflicting views in which, often not as quickly as we might like, good ideas drive out bad. There is no room in this process for any notion of “scientific consensus.”

Richard S. Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at MIT, has noted that too many environmentalists “ignore the fact that the earth and its climate are dynamic; they are always changing even without any external forcing. To treat all change as something to fear is bad enough; to do so in order to exploit that fear is much worse.”

Then he adds: “… there is a clear attempt to establish truth not by scientific methods but by perpetual repetition.… The consensus was reached before the research was even begun…”

Kay and Lindzen are not alone. In an open letter to the Canadian Prime Minister, 60 scientists urged caution when it comes to any policy with regard to climate:

While the confident pronouncements of scientifically unqualified environmental groups may provide for sensational headlines, they are no basis for mature policy formation.… There is no “consensus” among climate scientists about the relative importance of the various causes of global climate change.… “Climate change is real” is a meaningless phrase used repeatedly by activists to convince the public that a climate catastrophe is looming and humanity is the cause. Neither of these fears is justified. Global climate changes all the time due to natural causes and the human impact still remains impossible to distinguish from this natural noise.

Patrick Moore, a Ph.D. in ecology, is a fallen-away founder of Greenpeace. The following is from his 2015 lecture, “Should We Celebrate Carbon Dioxide?”

There is no definite scientific proof, through real-world observation that carbon dioxide is responsible for any of the slight warming in the global climate that has occurred during the past 300 years, since the peak of the Little Ice Age.… The contention that human emissions are now the dominant influence on climate is simply a hypothesis, rather than a universally accepted scientific theory. It is therefore correct, indeed verging on compulsory in a scientific tradition, to be skeptical of those who express certainty that “the science is settled” and “the debate is over.”

The world’s top climate body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is hopelessly conflicted by its makeup and its mandate from the United Nations. It is required only to focus on “a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the atmosphere, and which is in addition to natural climate variability.” So if the IPCC found that climate change was not being affected by human alteration of the atmosphere or that it is not “dangerous,” there would be no need for it to exist. It is virtually mandated to find on the side of apocalypse.

The IPCC states that it is “extremely likely” that human emissions have been the dominant cause of global warming “since the mid-20th century,” that is since 1950. It claims that “extremely” means 95% certain, even though the number 95 was simply plucked from the air like an act of magic. And “likely” is not a scientific word but rather indicative of a judgment, another word for opinion.

“Perpetual repetition.” “Unqualified environmental groups.” “Sensational headlines.” This is what mass movements are all about. From his book, The True Believer, here is Eric Hoffer on mass movements:

Hatred is the most assessable and comprehensive of all the unifying agents.… Mass movements can rise and spread without the belief in God but never without the belief in evil.

By the way, isn’t this what the left accuses the Trump movement to be all about?

Hoffer then goes on to cite the historian F.A. Voigt’s account of a Japanese mission to Berlin in 1932 to study the National Socialist Movement. Voigt asked a member of the mission what he thought. He replied, “It is magnificent. I wish we could have something like it in Japan, only we can’t, because we haven’t got any Jews.” This brought a bit of clarity as to why the mass movement, rather brilliantly, wants to label those of us who have questions as “deniers.”

There are two things necessary for a mass movement to succeed: true believers and a well-defined enemy. The enemy of the climate change mass movement is fossil fuels and the Industrial Age, with the “deniers” being the enablers of planetary destruction.

In the past, the term “denier” has been associated with that extreme group who denies the existence of the horrible, tragic historical fact, the Holocaust. Many climate change true believers want the public to put anyone who questions or disagrees with climate change projections in the same category as the Holocaust deniers. But one is a fact, the other a contested projection. Nevertheless, they have been quite successful.

Here is one of the definitions of “denier” found on the Internet: “a person who denies something, especially someone who refuses to admit the truth of a concept or proposition that is supported by the majority of the scientific or historical evidence: a prominent denier of global warming.”

Here is Hoffer’s warning on the role of the true believer: “where mass movements can either persuade or coerce, it usually chooses the latter.”

Something we are seeing in spades.

The last paragraph of Friedrich Hayek’s 1974 Nobel Prize address, The Pretense of Knowledge, puts the climate change mass movement and its true believers into frightening perspective:

There is danger in the exuberant feeling of ever growing power which the advance of the physical sciences has engendered and which tempts man to try, “dizzy with success,” to use a characteristic phrase of early communism, to subject not only our natural but also our human environment to the control of a human will.

It has always been worrisome to me that every so-called solution to global warming subverts rather than enhances human freedom and advances the power of the state to regulate energy, industrial activity, and individual behavior. That seems to me, a denier, or whatever term you want to use, a potentially greater threat to the future of human welfare than even climate change. Václav Klaus, the former president of the Czech Republic, made this same point when he declared: “What is at risk is not the climate but freedom.”

Where is the America in which I grew up?

March 20, 2017

Where is the America in which I grew up? Israel National News, Joe David, March 20, 2017

(I was born in America a bit more than seventy-five years ago and feel the same way. Will America recover? Can she?  Will the “Deep State” allow it? Please see also,
I Will Name Names’: Infighting At EPA Drives Top Official To Resign and To Truly Beat The Bureaucrats, Trump Needs To Shut Their Agencies Down. President Trump needs all of the help he can get, and even that may be insufficient.– DM)

Some believe that it may be too late to stop this cozy triumvirate from achieving their goal, because they are too rooted for one president alone to handle. But one thing is for sure, whether the president wins or loses, the deep state’s cover has been blown. Thanks to the messaging of one brave man the America has wised up to what is happening and what is at stake. Hopefully that means that there will never be any turning back for the country and it will always be looking forward toward achieving a freer and healthier tomorrow.

***********************************

The America I knew growing up is rapidly disappearing. Law and order is being replaced by mob rule. A madness has claimed the country, introduced in recent years by hate groups who are dedicated to using violent protests to cause political instability. In a frenzy of madness, often triggered by just an innuendo, these groups want to crush all opposition to their agenda. For astute observers of our culture, this doesn’t come as a surprise. Our great universities, which were once citadels of reason, a safe place for open discourse, have abandoned both – and they have become instead centers for cultivating insurrection, with minimal tolerance for truth and clear thinking.

As a result of the events in the last eight years, I have come to the conclusion that my beloved country – the land of liberty, once ruled by freedom of speech, law and order, and a constitutional government – is being irreparably compromised by rebellion. In just a matter of a few years, many Americans have tossed aside sense and have joyfully embraced mob violence (examples, Berkeley University, inauguration riotsMichael Savage attack, and much, much more). The lessons in history on the fall of great nations have all been ignored – for those lucky enough to have once learned these lessons in school.

Every scheme that man could conceive to break a nation is being used today by agitators (i.e., followers of Saul Alinsky) in their eagerness to wipe away our liberties and independence in their move toward complete political control.

The strong, proud country of yesteryear, which once produced wealthy entrepreneurs and productive workers, is rapidly vanishing. Its citizens are demanding entitlement programs over honest employment, and, to get their way, they are using divisive rhetoric and action. Progressive leaders have spawned a lazy generation of lazy parasites who expect everything to be given to them – from housing and food to university education and medical plans. (Several supporters: Bernie SandersElizabeth Warren, and other left-wingers.)

What few resources that haven’t been squandered on federal aid programs (international and domestic) are insufficient to sustain us for long. America has seriously been weakened by poor management, and today it faces the world, impoverished and vulnerable, a cripple on broken crutches about to collapse (from the load of a nearly 20-trillion-dollar National debt).

Reaching this state didn’t occur overnight nor was it a result of one or two leaders. It was achieved over the years by the focused efforts of universities committed to turning students into social reformers obsessed with deconstructing a great nation To quote David Horowitz in his March 14, 2017, letter to his readers, we have reached this point “through silent planning, crafty messaging using pop culture as their vehicle, and the subtle brainwashing of the most impressionable group of people in our society – students.”

Our great universities aren’t completely to blame for what is happening in our country. If they were, their mistakes and deceits would have been exposed and corrected by a fair-minded media. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Instead, the universities have been protected by a mass media, stripped of objectivity and impartiality and bent on advancing their views with minimal respect for truth. As a result, educators have been free to do whatever they like, while journalists aggressively discredit anyone who challenges them. (Review almost any news spin on major school issues.)

Protecting these two deceivers from their questionable activities is a shadow government, made up of federal, state, and local workers who remain securely positioned, regardless of who is in the White House. This shadow government or deep state, as it is currently being called, has compiled over the years sufficient data on all us (by tapping into our emails, phone and medical records, and more) in order to silence us, when necessary.

Until recently, its existence was never obvious. The country moved along quietly, controlled by this shadow government, its citizens under the illusion that their freedom and independence was secure. From time to time there would be a news-breaking scandal when someone in position would question the decision of the deep state. But before the truth could be examined closely, the whistleblower would be compromised and the matter would come to a swift end.

Then, one man entered the political scene about a year ago who recently stepped into the Oval Office, a flawed but determined man, with one obsession, to turn America around and clean the swamp. Almost immediately, all hell broke loose across the country.

In an effort to discredit the man, everything positive that he was trying to do for the country was overshadowed by vicious innuendo and news stories. A sex tape, tax reports, an alleged Russian connection, and more were used against him to build a major scandal. In the establishment’s effort to bring him down, it exposed itself for what it really was attempting to do. That became obvious recently, when someone in position released highly classified CIA information. This information which was leaked to WikiLeaks by someone like an Edward Snowden, buried in the deep state, revealed the establishment’s true intent: not just to discredit a man, but to break a nation.

Some believe that it may be too late to stop this cozy triumvirate from achieving their goal, because they are too rooted for one president alone to handle. But one thing is for sure, whether the president wins or loses, the deep state’s cover has been blown. Thanks to the messaging of one brave man the America has wised up to what is happening and what is at stake. Hopefully that means that there will never be any turning back for the country and it will always be looking forward toward achieving a freer and healthier tomorrow.

Virgil: The Beltway Assures Us the Deep State Doesn’t Exist

March 13, 2017

Virgil: The Beltway Assures Us the Deep State Doesn’t Exist, BreitbartVirgil, March 13, 2017

(Please see also, The Trouble with Barry.  — DM)

BNN Edit

In parts one and two of our guided tour of the Deep State, we looked at two anchors of the Federal Triangle in downtown DC, the Department of Commerce and the Environmental Protection Agency.  And while Virgil looks forward to continuing his tour of the Triangle and other nodes of the Deep State, sometimes breaking news breaks in, and so we should pause to consider the latest.

On March 10, from his podium at the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, President Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, was asked about the Deep State.  The question:

Does the White House believe in a “Deep State” that is actively working to undermine the president?

And here’s Spicer’s answer:

I think that there’s no question when you have eight years of one party in office, there are people who stay in government—and continue to espouse the agenda of the previous administration.  So I don’t think it should come as any surprise there are people that burrowed into government during eight years of the last administration and may have believed in that agenda and want to continue to seek it.  I don’t think that should come as a surprise.

In other words, Spicer’s answer to the answer to the question was “Yes.”  So now there can be no doubt that the concept of the Deep State will be discussed for a long time to come.  And yet if Virgil might be permitted to quibble with Spicer, he would say that the Deep State is a lot deeper than just the past eight years—we’ll come back to that point.

But first, let’s hear from other voices on the issue of whether or not there’s a Deep State.  As we can see, it’s gaining a critical mass of recognition, at least on the right.  And that’s good, because, as they say, forewarned is forearmed.

On March 5, former House speaker Newt Gingrich made himself clear—as he always does:

There is an active Deep State opposition to a populist disruptive reformer.  Many [in the government] believe it is their duty to break the law and lie.  For Trump to succeed, there will have to be profound overhaul of the bureaucracy.

A few days later, Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) didn’t use the actual words “Deep State,” but his point was the same when he described the situation in Powertown: “The same people were there, and they don’t think the new owners or the new managers should be running the ship.”  And then Kelly added this point about former president Barack Obama:

He’s only there for one purpose and one purpose only, and that is to run a shadow government that is totally going to upset the new agenda.

So is the 44th president setting up a permanent campaign against the 45th president?  Obama denies any such intention; he says that he and his family are remaining in Washington so that his youngest daughter, Sasha, can finish high school.  Of course, that explanation doesn’t quite tell us why former White House consigliere Valerie Jarrett has moved into the Obamas’ 8200-square-foot home in the swanky Kalorama neighborhood, just a couple miles north of the White House.

In fact, the real goal of the relocation, according to The Daily Mail, is to “oust Trump from the presidency either by forcing his resignation or through his impeachment.”

Meanwhile, others in Congress, too, are eyeing closely the shadowy armada arrayed against the new administration.  In the words of Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), “I think it’s really the Deep State vs. the president, the duly elected president.”

And on March 9, Fox News’ Sean Hannity, was even more direct:

Deep State Obama holdovers embedded like barnacles in the federal bureaucracy are hell-bent on destroying President Trump.  It’s time for the Trump administration to purge these saboteurs.

Interestingly, by coincidence, or perhaps not, the very next day President Trump’s Justice Department ordered the firing of 46 US Attorneys, all Obama holdovers.  

Still, some in the Main Stream Media, even now, choose to deny that there is any such thing as a Deep State.  One such is David Ignatius, veteran columnist for The Washington Post, who wrote on March 7 that what we’re seeing is simply the collision of President Trump and the properly established legal system:

Some [Trump] supporters claim he’s facing a secret coup from an intelligence and foreign policy establishment that constitutes a despotic “deep state.” But really, Trump is confronting the orderly process we call the “rule of law.”

Virgil thinks that it’s rich, indeed, for Ignatius to insist that there’s nothing going on except the proper rule of law.  Why?  Because it was Ignatius’ own reporting, back on January 12, that demonstrated the extra-legal power of the Deep State.  That was the report that revealed that on December 29, Michael Flynn, named as Trump’s national security adviser in the new administration, had been intercepted talking on the phone to the Russian ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak.  And from that first report, events tumbled, and as we all know, Flynn resigned from his White House post on February 13.

And yet a few days after that Ignatius story ran on January 12, Virgil wondered aloud how he got the information about a private phone call: “Now how did Ignatius know that?”  That is, how did Ignatius learn about the Flynn-Kislyak conversation?  Continuing, Virgil wrote back then, “The Postman won’t say, other than that he got his information from a ‘senior US government official.’”  Virgil then pointed out that even if was legal to record the call—yes, it’s smart to surveil Russians—it’s not legal to leak such information to the media, especially if it involves an American citizen.  “Such disclosures aren’t legal,” Virgil added with a sigh, “but once again, nobody in Washington, DC, seems to care.”

So we can see: In the Flynn case, the power of the Deep State wasn’t at all about the “rule of law.”  It was about just the opposite.

Others, too, take the Ignatius line—even if their denials are weirdly weak and self-contradicting.  Here, for example is a March 9 headline in Politico, the bible of the Beltway: “The Deep State Is a Figment of Steve Bannon’s Imagination.” The author, Loren DeJonge Schulman, starts out by firing both barrels at Bannon and anyone else who might have suspicions about the Deep State:

Here’s a handy rule for assessing the credibility of what you’re reading about national security in the Trump era: If somebody uses the term “Deep State,” you can be pretty sure they have no idea what they’re talking about.

Got that?  Nothing to see here: So if you hear Spicer, Gingrich, Kelly, Massie, Hannity—or, of course, ol’ Virgil—nattering on about the Deep State, well, have a dunce cap handy.

So who’s the author of this don’t-worry-about-a-thing piece?  We can see from her bio that Loren DeJonge Schulman, who now works at a Democratic-aligned think-tank in DC, has an extensive background in the politics of the Democratic Party and the Deep State, both.

So maybe it’s not so surprising that Schulman wouldn’t want anyone nosing around too much in Deep State matters.   After all, nobody likes being snooped on, right?   In fact, Virgil is reminded of the 1999 Brad Pitt movie, Fight Club, featuring these oft-repeated lines:

Welcome to Fight Club.  The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club.  The second rule of Fight Club is: you DO NOT talk about Fight Club!

That was Hollywood’s way of expressing the most basic wisdom of any secret enterprise: Keep it secret!

So Virgil was surprised to see how Schulman chose to end her denial piece.  After nearly 2000 words of mercilessly mocking the idea that there was any such thing as a Deep State, Schulman closed by . . . outing herself as a Deep Stater:

So the next time you hear someone using the term Deep State, send them a copy of this article.  Ask them to stop using it.  Tell them the term betrays their ignorance, and obscures and misleads far more than it illuminates.  And if that doesn’t work, well, we Deep Staters will take matters into our own hands. [emphasis added]

One supposes that Schulman would say that her final words were just her way of being funny: What an arch sense of humor she has!  And no doubt she got some yuks from her pals in Cleveland Park, Crystal City, and Chevy Chase.  Meanwhile, other Americans, curious about how they are being governed, might wonder what’s so funny about being threatened by a well-connected Beltway apparatchik.

Yes, an attempt at humor, however ominous, is one possible explanation for Schulman’s close.  Another possibility is that she is, in fact, proud to be a Deep Stater, and that her pride shines right through her feigned irony.  That is, she is eager to signal to her friends and colleagues in the Deep State that she is truly one of them, even as she laughs it off.

Was her Politico piece a successful stratagem?  Did Schulman succeed in playing her double game?  That is, proving that she is one of the cool kids, even as she convinced readers that only dopes and paranoids worry about the Deep State?  Virgil reports, you decide.  

The Trouble With Barry

March 13, 2017

The Trouble With Barry, PJ MediaDavid Solway, March 13, 2017

Former President Barack Obama leaves the National Gallery of Art in Washington, Sunday, March 5, 2017. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

There is now a President and an Anti-President. A government and a shadow government. The anti-President controls more of the government through his shadow government than the real President.

**********************************

Alfred Hitchcock’s black comedy The Trouble with Harry bombed at the box office when it was first released in 1955; it has now achieved the status of a classic. Today, a bizarre melodrama playing in all the major political theaters, which might be called The Trouble with Barry, has become an overnight smash hit. Starring Barack Obama, a prodigy of the art of surveillance and Teflon-like resilience, it will eventually run its course. However the plot may develop, one thing is certain: it will not be regarded as a classic.

The trouble with Barry, like Hitchcock’s moribund Harry, is that he never seems to go away, constantly emerging at the most inopportune moments. Unlike every other president in American history, Obama has dedicated himself to the practice of what the Washington Examiner has described as “post-presidential meddling.”

He has thrown himself fully into Alinsky-style “community organizing,” stirring up resistance to the Trump administration in every way conceivable: installing, according to the New York Post, a “shadow government,” dubbed Organizing for Action, comprising more than 30,000 agitators and 250 chapters across the U.S., in order “to sabotage the incoming administration”; renting a dwelling and setting up command headquarters around the corner from the White House; cooking up the Russian hacking fable; and most recently, allegedly wiretapping Trump Tower, which seems disturbingly probable following the salient remarks of Ret. Army Intelligence Officer Tony Shaffer on Fox and the revelations from Breitbart News. Mark Levin’s accusation that Obama is orchestrating a “silent coup” against Trump rings true. As Daniel Greenfield points out:

There is now a President and an Anti-President. A government and a shadow government. The anti-President controls more of the government through his shadow government than the real President.

Obama and his Deep State have engaged in “a criminal conspiracy of unprecedented scope.”

And yet, even today, few media outlets are willing to investigate the innumerable instances of lying, lawbreaking, corruption, broken promises and cronyism for which Obama is clearly answerable. That he is likely involved in a wiretapping operation against a political opponent should not come as a surprise to anyone who has observed or researched the man. As Matthew Vadum comments in FrontPage Magazine, “It might be said that every day of his presidency he committed at least one impeachable offense” — whether abusing executive powers, bypassing Congress, leaking classified information, misrepresenting Obamacare, being ultimately responsible for the Fast and Furious and Benghazi infamies, and more.

The wiretapping affair is only the latest in a vast and ongoing sequence of misdemeanors, scandals and illegalities — a list compiled by Doug Ross runs into hundreds of such instances of impropriety and malpractice. No matter. The list will only grow. The editor of a prestigious conservative site wrote me calling this latest outrage a “game changer.” That remains to be seen. I would have thought, for example, that Obama’s first Executive Order (13489) on January 21, 2009 sealing his vital records would have been the game changer we were waiting for, but Barry sailed on unscathed.

There have been weak presidents, deluded presidents, and harmful presidents before him, but never has there been anyone as sinister or questionable as Obama, not excluding even the malefic Jimmy Carter or the sleazy Bill Clinton. What J. R. Dunn writing in American Thinker has said of Hillary, “the most repellent and corrupt American presidential candidate since Aaron Burr,” is equally true, in my estimation, of Barack Obama. Meanwhile, it is Trump who faces a barrage of threats, calls for impeachment and acts of disobedience that would have been more explicable if levied against Obama for his historic deceptions and malfeasances. Under the pestilential reign of Obama, and indeed years of Democratic incumbency, the shining city on the hill has become a murky city in the swamp.

The trouble with Barry is not only that he refuses to go away, materializing like Harry where he has no business being, or that he enjoys, à la Hitchcock, making cameo appearances in whatever political film he happens to be directing at the moment. All this would be perfectly acceptable, even agreeable, were he a benign presence or if he had Hitchcock’s talent for deadpan humor and high entertainment rather than a penchant for malice and misconduct.

The trouble with Barry is, quite simply, that he is Barry, a “Third World man,” to cite Phyllis Chesler’s psychological analysis of Obama, trying to become the father he never really had, an anti-white, anti-colonialist, anti-capitalist, anti-Zionist, anti-American, Marxist revolutionary. Why then, would he not use any means at his disposal, legitimate or illegitimate, including those that reek of “police state tactics,” to achieve his ends? Was this not predictable from the beginning? He will keep popping up working his characteristic mischief wherever he possibly can. This is what the man does and will continue doing. If he is not finally indicted for his multiple derelictions, there will be other “game changers” to come, all to no effect. A fall guy will inevitably be found to take the rap. We need to realize that what has been called “Obamagate” is nothing out of the ordinary. Obama is Obama. What did we expect?

Hitchcock’s film ends decisively with the legend: “The Trouble with Harry Is Over.” Unfortunately, the trouble with Barry isn’t.