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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/blog/trebor/sort_by/entry_order DESC, entry_creation_time DESC/page/4
Rated: 18+ · Book · Writing · #1677545
"Putting on the Game Face"
My Blog Sig

This blog is a doorway into the mind of Percy Goodfellow. Don't be shocked at the lost boys of Namby-Pamby Land and the women they cavort with. Watch as his caricatures blunder about the space between audacious hope and the wake-up calls of tomorrow. Behold their scrawl on the CRT, like graffitti on a subway wall. Examine it through your own lens...Step up my friends, and separate the pepper from the rat poop. Welcome to my abode...the armpit of yesterday, the blinking of an eye and a plank to the edge of Eternity.

Note: This blog is my journal. I've no interest in persuading anyone to adopt my views. What I write is whatever happens to interest me when I start pounding the keys.

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December 22, 2019 at 11:58am
December 22, 2019 at 11:58am
#971868
It is easy to imagine the fallout that ensued after the court refused the FISA application. Kline continues in Chapter 5, Momentous Consequences.

On the same day that the application was turned down, Attorney General, Loretta Lynch called Valerie Jarrett informing her of what happened. Keep in mind that this was shortly after Lynches tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton. That fiasco caused Lynch to step aside from the Clinton Email scandal. The big story was that the "Fix was In." Lynch was depressed. She agreed to recuse herself and accept the recommendation of FBI Director James Comey on how to proceed with investigating Hillary.

In the call Jarrett told Lynch that the PRESIDENT wanted to hold off on the FISA for the time being and wait until in the Fall to get it approved. She then told Lynch to have Carl Ghattas, the head of the National Security Branch of the Justice Department, to get the ball rolling on a counter intelligence investigation. Ghattas had oversight over the FBI's counter intelligence operations. Jarrett wanted to give Director Comey the authority to look into election meddling and wanted Lynch to order Ghattas to make it happen.

NOTE: When I fact checked Carl Ghattas I could not find a reference to his working at DOJ... FBI yes, DOJ, No. It did appear that he retired early, not that this is uncommon.

Lynch did, and the investigation was launched towards the end of July, 2016, about a hundred days before the election. While agents found no evidence of Trump campaign wrongdoing, the very fact that such an investigation was under way, would have political implications that carried "Serous consequences."

This is what Klein reported, in his book, All Out War, pages 29 and 30.

It is significant because it claims that Ghattas, Loretta Lynch, Valarie Jarrett, and James Comey, were involved in starting a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump Campaign. Further it implicates President Obama suggesting he was orchestrating the scheme. This is where Barr and Durham are could be going in their investigation

If what Klein says is true, it provides the links that lead back to President Obama.
December 21, 2019 at 9:41am
December 21, 2019 at 9:41am
#971812
Edward Klein has to be the best political writer of our era. His book All Out War, The Plot to Destroy Trump is must reading. To better understand the Horowitz Report, a reader needs some perspective on events proceeding the onset of the scandal. Chapters three and four provide that perspective

Chapter 3 is titled "The Room of Requirement."

In this chapter Klein introduces the reader to the world of a Judge in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) court. This court consists of eleven judges, in courts spread across the United States. They are appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. One of these eleven is always on call duty, 24/7, in case of some type of National Emergency. The judges operate out of Federal Courthouses networked by state of the art telecommunications. Their offices are colocated with a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF). It is a spy proof chamber. The Court oversees the granting of warrants to electronically surveil foreigners, not US citizens.

The reason for having this court goes back to J Edgar Hoover and his abuses as Director of the FBI. Over the course of Hoover's career he became more and more powerful and abused his investigative powers surveilling and maintaining dossiers of notable US public figures including Rev Martin Luther King. With his passing Congress resolved to never again vest so much power in a bureaucrat and the FISA court came into being. Klein's source for Chapters 3 and 4 was a retired FISA Judge familiar with the Carter Page case. A unique aspect of the court is that the accused is not represented. The court relies upon the Government to be completely truthful in presenting all aspects of their petition.

Room of the Requirement:

The chapter starts out in the early summer of 2016. A FISA judge has his dinner interrupted by a telephone call. The caller says an emergency application has been received at the Local Courthouse. When the Judge arrives he meets with two attorneys from the Department of Justice (DOJ). They go into the SKIF. It has space for a Judge, a clerk and about a dozen people. The judge goes to his chambers to examine the warrant application. The National Security Agency had information that the Russian military had hacked the Democratic National Committee (DNC) computers and the Gmail account of John Podesta, the chairman of the Hillary Clinton campaign.

The judge was surprised. A FISA court is for getting warrants on foreigners not Americans. The main focus of this application was on Donald Trump and his campaign's ties to the Russians. The application specifically named Trump and three of his properties. It requested permission to intercept electronic records from two Russian banks who had communicated with an email address at Trump Towers.

The judge had his clerk set up a conference call with several other FISA court judges. They agreed that the request did not meet the "Urgent" standard. There was no National Emergency and no proof connecting Donald Trump to the espionage. The Judge told the DOJ lawyers that since there was no imminent danger he would reschedule a hearing date for later in the week.

The importance of this chapter is not to just provide background. The importance is to show that FISA judges do not live in a bubble. They regularly network with one another and in this particular instance, realized the political implications. This case was unusual, and precedent setting. It was one of the few FISA requests that ever got turned down, and raised a red flag that something fishy was going on. This was not a foreign entity being investigated but an American, not just any American, but a national political candidate who could become President of the United States. This was a scorching assertion. There are only 11 FISA Judges and assuming that 3 were in on the call, it follows that the rest would have soon been advised of it. These judges must have known something was afoot. Yet they hide behind the assertion, that because of the inaccuracies in the application they were totally in the dark.

Chapter 4, Reverse Intelligence: In this chapter the reader gets to see what happened the following week.

At the date and time appointed by the Judge, Sally Quillian Yates, Deputy Attorney General pulled up with attorneys for the FBI, DOJ, CIA, NSA and Director of National Intelligence. It must have been quite a squeeze getting everyone inside the SKIF. This was definitely the first sting of the Obama administration. They had an application signed by Attorney General Loretta Lynch The Judge heard oral arguments and closely questioned lawyers. The Lawyers requested approval of electronic surveillance, physical searches as well as other investigative techniques into the Russian Banks and any American connected to the focus of the search.

The judge soon realized that these Americans referred to Donald Trump and associates , Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Roger Stone. The judge returned to his chambers and once again teleconferenced with several of his associates. In these discussions, "...it appeared that the government was being less than candid in its motive for the request. Irt was asking for permission to monitor suspected communication between foreign bank and a trump organization computer, but it was obviously seeking a backdoor way---known in CIA-ese---as "Reverse Intelligence"--- to monitor the activities of American Citizens..," including candidate Trump.

An hour later the judge returned and announced he was rejecting the governments application.

Again what this shows that Judges reviewing the original attempt to get a FISA application to spy on Donald Trump saw clearly the political implications and the potential for a partisan bias. Any claim by Chief Judge Rosemary Collyer that she was bamboozled by a vaguely filled out form, in the requests that followed simply doesn't hold water.

At the present time FISA judge Rosemary Collyer is running around with her hair on fire, indignant that the FBI misled her on the Carter Page applications Much of her angst comes from the fact that she has been exposed as the person who signed the first warrant, after she should have been aware that politics were rampant in the process. Mark Levin called her to account for this belated concern, characterizing it as " too little too late. He claims that she had ignored warning signs for two and a half years specifically, a secret motion filed April 20 2017, by the Landmark Legal Foundation informing the Judge about "Irregularities."

She should have known a year earlier.

The motion stated that "...violations had occurred based on published reports back in April of 2017, and those exhibits were provided to the judge. Five days after we filed that [...], the judge ruled" to deny the request arguing there was "no matter pending before the court with respect to which such an appearance would be proper."

In summary Levin has since said, " "And so Judge Collyer did not protect the federal judiciary, she did not protect her own courtroom, she did not protect the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act," Levin said. "For more than 2.5 years, she allowed these perpetrators to get away with what they did. And she could have brought an end to this. She could have had an evidentiary hearing or a contempt hearing if you will, and she chose not to."


December 21, 2019 at 9:35am
December 21, 2019 at 9:35am
#971811


The secretive federal court that approved the surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page on Tuesday accused FBI agents of creating a misleading impression about their basis for requesting a warrant and ordered the bureau to overhaul its process.

In a blistering order, a judge on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) accused the bureau of providing false information and withholding materials that would have undercut its four surveillance applications.

"The FBI's handling of the Carter Page applications, as portrayed in the OIG report, was antithetical to the heightened duty of candor described above," Rosemary Collyer, presiding judge with the FISC, wrote in the order released by the court.

The judge gave the FBI until Jan. 10 to provide the court a sworn statement detailing how it plans to overhaul its approach to future surveillance applications.

The order comes after the Justice Department's Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report earlier this month on its investigation into the Trump campaign and the 2016 election, with Inspector General Michael Horowitz detailing a series of missteps taken during the investigation.

The FBI said it would take more than 40 "corrective steps" in response to the watchdog report.

The surveillance court judge said Tuesday that the inspector general report documented “troubling instances in which FBI personnel provided information to NSD [the National Security Division of the Justice Department] which was unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession."

The judge also noted the report cited “several instances” in which the FBI sought to persuade the court that probable cause existed to believe Page was a Russian agent, but nonetheless withheld “information in their possession which was detrimental to their case."

"The frequency with which representations made by FBI personnel turned out to be unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession, and with which they withheld information detrimental to their case, calls into question whether information contained in other FBI applications is reliable," Collyer wrote. "The FISC expects the government to provide complete and accurate information in every filing with the Court. Without it, the FISC cannot properly ensure that the government conducts electronic surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes only when there is a sufficient factual basis."
December 20, 2019 at 11:52am
December 20, 2019 at 11:52am
#971748
After being subjected to an impeachment scheme, hatched before President Turmp was ever sworn in, the Democrats eventually got their wish... the House of Representatives finally got around to voting Impeachment. In order to get it they had to eat their young. Over thirty junior Congressional men and women, in districts won by narrow margins, signed their political death warrants. Think of how they must feel now that Nancy Pelosi has decided not to forward the articles to the Senate.

Why didn't the House Majority Leader bother to tell them that before urging them to walk the plank that she never intended to send the articles to the Senate to begin with? If I were one of those asked to make the ultimate political sacrifice, I'd be angry. Talk about the ultimate betrayal... asked to sacrifice ones self for something that was preordained to never happen.

Noah Feldman, a professor at Harvard Law School, was one of those three Constitutional Scholars who pleaded the Democrats case during the Impeachment hearings. He is arguing now against the House Democrats withholding the articles of impeachment from the Senate.

"Both parts are necessary to make an impeachment under the Constitution: The House must actually send the articles and send managers to the Senate to prosecute the impeachment. And the Senate must actually hold a trial," he argues. "If the House does not communicate its impeachment to the Senate, it hasn’t actually impeached the president. If the articles are not transmitted, Trump could legitimately say that he wasn’t truly impeached at all."

There you have it. If the articles are not sent President Trump has not been Impeached. Maybe that is why the President doesn't feel like he has been impeached.i
December 19, 2019 at 11:13am
December 19, 2019 at 11:13am
#971703
George Papadopulos was not considered a FISA candidate because Department of Justice had already turned a thumbs down on that. Paul Manafort was subject of another Investigation and General Flynn was about to be charged. That left Carter Page. There had already been problems getting a warrant approved because FISA judges were growing increasingly suspicious that earlier attempts were politically motivated. Something had to be done to beef up this iteration of the FISA application.

The Horowitz report states, "...electronic surveillance targeting Page, is among the most sensitive and intrusive investigative techniques. As we describe in Chapter Five, the FBI ultimately did not seek a FISA order at that time because OGC, NSD's Office of Intelligence (OI), or both determined that more information was needed to support probable cause that Page was an agent of a foreign power. However, immediately after the Crossfire Hurricane team received Steele's election reporting on September 19, the team reinitiated their discussions with OI and their efforts to obtain FISA surveillance authority for Page, which they received from the FISC on October 21."

As noted above, the FBI and others, (including Sally Yates), revealed the DOJ was having problems with the FISA court and that more information was needed to show that Carter Page was "... an agent of a foreign power." This changed when somebody got the bright idea that the election reporting from Christopher Steele might be just the ticket. While everybody should have known it was all BS, somebody must have pointed out that with a little cherry picking and sanitizing it might be "word smithed" into something usable. At least two members of the team were well aware of what they were looking at. The Agent handling the first election reports that arrived in July of 2016, understood the Fusion GPS connection. "It was obvious to him that the request for the research was politically motivated." The intelligence analyst who supervised the analytical team efforts also understood the political implications. Heck, everyone on the team must have understood that the material was biased against Trump, yet they spun it to make Carter Page look like a Russian spy. To heck with "The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth," forget that it was described as "Salacious and Unverifiable by" then FBI Director James Comey. At best those who supervised turned a blind eye, giving tacit approval to what was unfolding. In a climate, rife with partisan bias, agents decided to creatively mine the election reports and spin the usable nuggets into the warrant applications.

Assistant Director of the FBI, Andrew McCable would go on to say that without the Dossier, there would have been no FISA on Carter Page. This conflicts with then Director Comey's claim that the warrant application was part of a broader mosaic. The Horowitz Report makes clear that the election reporting (The Steele Dossier) was center stage in obtaining the warrant.

The Dossier contained an assortment of reports, among which, those numbered 80, 94, 95 and 102, seemed to offer the required essential elements of information needed to shape the FISA application. These were called "Election Reports" and were provided by Steele, Bruce or Nellie Orr, or perhaps Fusion GPS. Fusion GPS was an opposition research firm that found and developed "DIRT" for political Campaigns. Christopher Steele and Nellie Orr worked for them. The money to pay for this Opposition Research came from the Democratic National Committee and/or the Clinton Foundation. It was funneled to Fusion GPS through the law firm of Perkins Cole. Steele provided his material to the FBI, as a certified informant, pitched it to various news outlets, freelanced it to anyone who would listen, and sold it to Glenn Simpson, his employer at Fusion GPS. Steele's role as a CHS with the FBI continued until he was fired for leaking to the press. After that the salacious reports found their way to the Crossfire Hurricane team through Bruce Orr, a ubiquitous high ranking Justice Department official.

December 18, 2019 at 6:28pm
December 18, 2019 at 6:28pm
#971674
Democratic operatives from the time Trump was elected had an end game of impeaching Trump. To achieve their goal they had to get dirt on the President that was "Impeachable." From the beginning "The resistance" was a group of partisans searching for a crime. The prevailing thought was that nobody can get to be president without doing something illegal and the problem was to determine a specific illegality that rose to the level of Impeachment.

This was no easy task because unlike the Democrats, who had been in office for eight years, President Trump did not have a political track record. How do you find political dirt on someone who is new to the political scene? In the end the Deep State decided to project on Trump sins the Democrats were themselves guilty of. The Obama Administration had colluded with the Russians on Uranimum 1, in the Ukraine, with China, and in trying to figure out why they lost in 2016 decided it must be because the Trump campaign did the same thing in ways they were unaware of. The goal became to find out how this collusion took place and use it ultimately to impeach Trump. Surely somewhere in this fishing expedition was the crime they were looking for.

Peter Struyck knew "... there was no there there, yet" and was all in to find the dirt that would bring down the President. His "Insurance Policy" was the counter intelligence investigation, Crossfire Hurricane. He reasoned that if they could get a FISA warrant on one of the four principle suspects, that would lead ultimately to all the email traffic on everyone associated with the Trump Campaign.

George Papadopulos was not considered a candidate because Department of Justice had already turned a thumbs down on that. Paul Manafort was subject of another Investigation and General Flynn was about to be charged. That left Carter Page. There had already been problems getting a warrant approved because FISA judges were growing increasingly suspicious that earlier attempts at obtaining one were politically motivated. Something had to be done to beef up this iteration of the FISA application.

The Horowitz report states, "...electronic surveillance targeting Page, which is among the most sensitive and intrusive investigative techniques. As we describe in Chapter Five, the FBI ultimately did not seek a FISA order at that time because OGC, NSD's Office of Intelligence (OI), or both determined that more information was needed to support probable cause that Page was an agent of a foreign power. However, immediately after the Crossfire Hurricane team received Steele's election reporting on September 19, the team reinitiated their discussions with OI and their efforts to obtain FISA surveillance authority for Page, which they received from the FISC on October 21."

Around September 23, the DOJ FISA attorney began work on the Carter Page application. In the next few weeks the attorney prepared it used information provided by the case agent assigned to Carter Page. All the factual material, according to FBI policy ,was supposed to be "Scrupulously Accurate." The work ended up with an application that claimed:

1. Russia was undermining the 2016 election and Carter Page was an agent of the Russians.

1a. Russian agents would attempt to undermine the election.
2a. The Russian government was coordinating with the Trump Campaign as confirmed by FFG report.
3a. Carter Page had connections with the Russian Intelligence Services
4a. This connection was based upon Steeles election reporting in Reports 80, 94, 95 and 102.
5a. Page's statements to an FBI CHS that he had a blank check from the Russians to fund a think tank project.

A statement of facts showed Page's denial of coordination with the Russian government.

2. Compromising information about Hillary Clinton had been compiled for many years, was controlled by the Kremlin, and had been fed by the Kremlin to the Trump campaign for an extended period of time (Report 80);

3. During a July 2016 trip to Moscow, Page met secretly with Igor Sechin, Chairman of Russian energy conglomerate Rosneft and close associate of Putin, to discuss future cooperation and the lifting of Ukraine-related sanctions against Russia; and with Igor Divyekin, a highly-placed Russian official, to discuss sharing with the Trump campaign derogatory information about Clinton (Report 94);

4. Page was an intermediary between Russia and the Trump campaign's then manager (Manafort)in a "well-developed conspiracy" of cooperation, which led to Russia's disclosure of hacked DNC emails to Wikileaks in exchange for the Trump campaign's agreement to sideline Russian intervention in Ukraine as a campaign issue (Report 95); and

5. Russia released the DNC emails to Wikileaks in an attempt to swing voters to Trump, an objective conceived and promoted by Page and
others (Report 102).

The judgement to rely on Steele's election reporting was reached by the case agents.

The report was reviewed by the officials shown below however these were not provided all relevant information

NSD's Acting Assistant Attorney General,
NSD's Deputy Assistant Attorney General with oversight over 01, 01's
Operations Section Chief
Deputy OSC
Section Chief,
the DAG,
Principal Associate Deputy
Attorney General,
Associate Deputy Attorney General responsible for ODAG's national security portfolio.

This was how the FISA application was prepared and staffed. It was a deliberate attempt to shape a thin narrative to defraud the FISA court.




December 18, 2019 at 5:35pm
December 18, 2019 at 5:35pm
#971671
Mifsud’s name would have been familiar for regular consumers of Fox News and conservative outlets that have spent two years dissecting what they believe was a “deep state” attempt to take down the Trump campaign. The London-based professor at the center of the Trump-Russia probe has not been seen in public since October 2017, just days after Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his interactions with him. One of those was a key conversation in London in April 2016, in which Mifsud told him the Russians had damaging information on Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.” Mifsud also introduced him to a Russian graduate student that Papadopoulos believed to be Putin’s niece, and connected him with an official with ties to the Russian foreign ministry who said he could set up a meeting with the country’s ambassador, according to Mueller’s report. Papadopoulos later relayed that information to an Australian diplomat, Alexander Downer, who passed it on to U.S. government officials, setting into motion the FBI investigation into Russian contacts with the Trump campaign.
December 16, 2019 at 9:51pm
December 16, 2019 at 9:51pm
#971580
The FBI on July 31, 2016 after it received word from a Friendly Foreign Government (FFG) (Australian diplomat, Alexander Downing) alleging that in May of 2016, George Papadopoulos (GP)said that the Trump campaign had received an offer from the Russians to release hacked emails detrimental to candidate Clinton and President Obama. This was the "sole predication" for what followed. James Comey asserts that Russian agent was Joseph Mifsud.

This led to the opening of an investigation in August of 2016, Crossfire Hurricane, that looked into allegations that Trump campaign officials were colluding with the Russians to influence the 2016 election. Four individual cases were opened at this time on GP, Carter Page, Paul Manafort, and Michael Flynn.

The Problem Statement was, " ... to determine whether individuals associated with the Trump campaign are witting of/or coordinating actions with the government of Russia."

All lawful means were approved for use including confidential and undercover informants as well as judicial and FISA wiretaps. Counter Intelligence director Priestap approved the measure in consultation with other high ranking FBI officials. The approval was based upon Downing's report, Cyber Intelligence being gathered on the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and information that the Russians were planning to disrupt the 2016 elections. This was a low threshold of predication considering it targeted a potential President of the United States.

The Horowitz Report found that Lisa Page, while present, was not a decision maker. Peter Stryuck was involved at the outset in preparing the formal documentation and opening the four individual investigations. There are many interpretations to a vague and oft quoted email, about an insurance policy. The timing would indicate that it was the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.

One of the missing key elements is who offered GP information about the hacked emails. It wasn't The FFG, who turns out to be an Australian Diplomat, Alexander Downing but rather Mifsud.

GP allegedly told Downing that a Maltese Academic, named Joseph MIfsud said that the Russians had "Dirt" on HIllary Clinton. GP denies ever speaking to Mr. Downing about Russia.

The story goes that GP met Mifsud the day he joined the Trump Campaign, whereupon the professor told him about the emails. Mifsud denies any knowledge of the DNC hacking or offering the email dirt to the Trump Campaign. It continues that Mifsud introduced GP to an attractive Russian woman, he said was the niece of Vladamar Putin. The female, later identified as Olga Polonskaya, worked for an Italian wine company and was no relation to the Russian head of State.

What makes this noteworthy is that while Downing is identified as an FFG, no such record of Mifsud appears anywhere in the FBI files. One would assume then that taken with Director Comey's assertion, that Mifsud was a Russian agent, however pundits suggest otherwise; that Mifsud was a freelancer, used under the radar, to assist the FBI in the start-up of counterintelligence investigations.

December 15, 2019 at 10:27pm
December 15, 2019 at 10:27pm
#971525
If a boss is looking for a specific outcome, and the means to that outcome approaches or exceeds the line between right and wrong, chances are he or she will choose an indirect way of expressing a directive. This allegedly happened as claimed in the recent impeachment proceedings held in the House of Representatives and also played prominently in the FISA abuse identified in the Horowitz Report. Since these two examples involve both the Republicans and Democrats seeking to shape a narrative, it is illustrative. Both are examples of using the vague and indirect instead of coming right out and openly speaking or writing the truth.

For example, President Trump's phone conversation was construed as a gloved threat to the newly elected President of the Ukraine. His words, "Do us a favor" was translated to mean, "Read my lips, do what I'm asking, if you expect the aid to be released or ever get an invitation to the White House." He did not clearly lay out a quid pro quo by saying "If you don't do the investigation, you don't get the aid." Instead he allegedly made his desires known, indirectly. One doesn't have to be a high level politician to understand how this works. There are many other ways for laying out a course of action without expressing it directly or putting it in writing.

In a similar way the same message was sent from Comey and McCabe to the teams responsible for preparing the FISA warrants. The unspoken message was "Trump is a bad person who is doing bad things to this country and our job is to uncover his plotting and expose his nefarious activities." In this case the top brass at the FBI were not going to say, "I want that SOB Trump's head and don't care what it takes to do it." That's just not the way it works. It isn't necessary to express an outcome directly and it is often wiser to express it in more general terms. There are many other techniques, as I stated above, for making a desire known without coming right out and saying it.

In both these cases accusations were made, requiring more concrete proof to determine the truth of what really happened. To crystalize the truth, dispose of nuance and get to the bottom of matters it became necessary to air the issues openly and let the people reach their own conclusions.
December 14, 2019 at 11:35am
December 14, 2019 at 11:35am
#971452
The Horowitz Report concurs with Sally Yates and other Department of justice officials who have stated that they cannot be held accountable (in their FISA management duties), if subordinates withhold or misrepresent information contained in the FISA applications. They are using Horowitz to build a firewall between themselves and the production of the warrants, absolving themselves and saying that it isn't their fault if they get an application approved based upon BS.

There are some problems with this assertion. Horowitz can throw the FBI under the bus as the sole source of abuse, but it doesn't follow that the Prosecutors and Judges were clueless as to what was going on and had no responsibility beyond accepting at face value some administrative form. Yates should have called in the preparing agents and gone block by block over the application until convinced it was the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Only then should she have gone forward to the Judge with the request. Then the judge should have done the same until absolutely convinced due diligence was shown and the representations were valid. It was widely known that those preparing the supporting documents were playing fast and loose. Yates and her team were doing the same thing for their handlers in the White House. Then there was the political game of waiting for the right Judge to sit the bench. The IG report goes to great lengths to whitewash the Department of Justice at the expense of the FBI. While the FBI were anything but angels neither were the DOJ and the FISA Justices.
December 13, 2019 at 10:15am
December 13, 2019 at 10:15am
#971389
Regarding the subject of this epistle, I think that most Americans are growing weary of the partisan bicker. All these emotional appeals and heart rending distortions are difficult to process and reconcile. This is politics, pure and simple. The House of Representatives is presently controlled by the Democrats. Impeachment is whatever the majority party wants it to be. Forgetting about bi-partisanship and the law, the Left has the votes and will most certainly vote Articles and forward them to the Senate. Not withstanding all the references to our founding fathers, the Constitution and personal testimonials, the Democrats are trying to convince the American people that their motives are pure and their actions stem from an elected duty to save the American people from themselves.

The entire drama is so tedious, the temptation is to turn off the TV and go for a walk with the dog. The stakes however, are too large to ignore. What is becoming clearer is that the Liberals want to muddy up Trump, thinking this will help in their bid for the 2020 Presidential Election, however, the consequences go much deeper and further than that. It is really about the type of government this country will have going forward. There is a Socialist model being dusted off as an alternative. The means by which this transition is envisioned is not being driven by law, reason and logic but rather by greed, power and loathing.

In stepping back and reflecting, I'm coming to the the conclusion that what we are witnessing is a political struggle between the Democrats, supported by off shore money, and the Republicans, committed to the status-quo. There looks to be a movement afoot to bring the American way of life down a few notches and recast our Constitution into a document more supportive of Socialism. Outside economic forces, looking to establish a world-wide, overarching system of government, are hard at work to find a common denominator model for everyone on the planet. They see Socialism as the answer. If you dismiss this as conspiracy theory, simply take a look at what has happened in our lifetimes. The efforts of this movement have already come closer to achieving their goal than most people realize. In my view the Democratic Party is no longer controlled by forces internal to the United States, but rather by influence handlers, peddling policy from abroad. George Soros might be the point man but there are much more powerful entities behind him. Arrayed against our Constitution are not just the Democrats, a media controlled by outsiders and many socialized subsets of our society, but hostile off shore interests interfering not just with our government but with any government that offers a democratic alternative to the failed model of Socialism.


December 7, 2019 at 3:33pm
December 7, 2019 at 3:33pm
#971104
The Pot Party

It was my second month in Vietnam. I was a rifle platoon leader. The daily grind was beginning to set in and take its toll. It was the unrelenting and oppressive fear that was wearing me down, not the type experienced in a fire fight, characterized by terror, "slow motion," and the "fog of war," but rather the daily struggle to search and clear all day, move several hours to ambush in the dead of night, or insure the soldiers stayed awake.

In addition to these conditions, that everyone suffered, I had to to constantly bear the additional emotional weight of ensuring the unit stayed spread out, remained attentive to mines and booby traps and other forms of enemy activity. This involved a lot of "Shouting," since the men were prone to day- dream and not always concentrate on what they were supposed to be doing. The term "beating a dead horse," comes to mind in that there was no end to the protracted exhaustion of twenty-four hour operations. It took a deliberate and ongoing, consciously exerted effort to be a platoon leader, over and above the physical and psychological burdens that everyone had to deal with.

We were occupying a fortification called a "Hard Spot." This was a circle of twelve bunkers, with concertina wire out front. We had built it the previous day after inserting with an Eagle Flight into an area that was known to be strongly contested by the Viet Cong. The Platoon had spent the previous day filling sandbags and erecting bunkers with wood beams and perforated steel planking. That night we had gone three thousand meters towards a location on the outskirts of Rung Tre. The night had been stressful as it had been particularly dark, and about one O'clock in the morning the monsoon had broken loose in sheets of rain, soaking everybody to the bone. The following morning, upon returning to the Hard Spot, I told the cadre it was our turn to guard the base that night. It was as close to a stand-down as we ever seemed to get.

"Get the men going on maintenance," I told the Platoon Sergeant, "Especially weapons cleaning and the machine guns."

Late that afternoon, just before dusk, the Company Commander informed me that instead of remaining behind the wire that night my platoon was going to set up an ambush near a distant crossroads. Intelligence reported, a large enemy unit had passed that way the night before. I informed the Platoon Sergeant, about the change in plans, and he replied it would not be possible for us to comply. He took me over to where one of the squads was set up. They were giggling, high on pot.

"I don't care what their intoxicated state is," I said, "We're leaving in an hour... have them lined up and ready to go."

This led to a heated emotional exchange in front of everyone. He called me a "Glory Boy," "LIFER" and "Butter-Bar," among other things, and I called him a "Sorry Excuse for an NCO," among other things. We were nose to nose and I expected it might come to blows.

I ended with ... "You heard me, that's an order!"

As I walked away someone said in a low voice, but still loud enough to be heard, "It's time somebody FRAGED that bastard."

I got my map from my CP and began making the necessary coordination. This included setting up registration points for artillery, plotting the legs to the objective, and doing a through map recon of the terrain. When I finished I went to the TOC and brought the Company Commander up to date on the situation.

"How do you intended to handle it," he asked?

"I intend to do the mission."

He shrugged, (The gesture connoted ...It's your platoon, your problem, deal with it. Our CO was not someone long on words.)

Returning to the CP, I met up with my Radio Telephone Operator (RTO). He was was worried.

"Are you really taking us out ?"

"Yes."

"What you gonna do if nobody shows up?"

"Well I guess then..., I'll just have to go by myself."

It was no bluff. I remember my state of mind and that was exactly what I intended to do. I went into the bunker and picked up a claymore bag with some extra magazines. When I came out I was alone. It took a moment for my night vision to set in and begin working as well as it ever did on those dark and oppressive Vietnam nights. With a clutch in my stomach, I girded my resolve and set out for the perimeter. A few minutes later I got to the opening through the wire and was joined by my RTO. When he walked up I assumed he had discussed my intentions with the Platoon Sergeant. As we made ready to depart, my nemesis showed up.

"If you can hold your water a little longer, the rest if us might want to join you."

His sarcastic deep throated anger conveyed that he was pissed beyond words. Slowly the platoon members arrived and began milling around. Some were still giggling, but most were not amused, and becoming more sober by the minute as the full realization dawned that we were actually going forward with the patrol. The Order was short and abbreviated as I addressed the men."

"We're going to ambush a trail tonight, about four kilometers from here. (There was a groan as the distance sank in.) Last night a battalion sized enemy force was reported moving through an intersection North of where we'll be setting up. I'll be walking between the Two files, point men keep visual on me. When we get to the objective Osborne and I will do a recon. First and second squads, will form the line. Third squad will be behind on rear security." It was the same drill we'd done dozens of times before.

Note:

What most won't understand is, that these were the days of a conscript army in an unpopular war, where the majority of soldiers were interested in one goal. That was putting in their time and getting on the "Freedom Bird" alive and in one piece. I was the last person in the line of authority committed to accomplishing the mission which most everyone else viewed as an impediment to staying alive. It was a no win proposition and largely responsible for the bad rap on Lieutenants, that continues to this day. It was much easier for the soldiers to disparage their junior officers then admit their own fears and unwillingness to stand up and "Soldier." By now I was used to how the men vented their fears and laid them at my doorstep. It was much easier to blame or label me as an ass-hole, incompetent or glory seeker than admit to any lack of personal fortitude or reluctance to manfully do their duty. It was only peer pressure, the gloved threat of dishonor or fear of disciplinary action that kept the system operating. Without junior lieutenants, the job would never have gotten done as the career professional NCOs were long gone from the system. The Army had by this time in the conflict resorted to promoting, off the street, graduates from Advanced Individual Training who were the best in the class..., to squad leaders (E-5s) and platoon sergeants (E6s) with less than a year's time in service. The friction of leading the "Unwilling" in this often terrifying environment was one more layer of resistance a junior officer had to overcome.

Continued:

Once through the wire I went about twenty-five meters and looked to my right and left. I could barely see the two point men who were guiding on me while still trying to stay alert to what was ahead. We moved at a very slow gait that was measured and rhythmic. It took much longer to get anywhere at night than it did in the daytime. The route I'd selected was chosen to take us around and through known areas where there were mines and booby traps. Each leg was drawn in grease pencil on my plastic map case, showing a direction and distance. I kept the map in the blouse of my BDUs to protect it from moisture. I had the essential elements memorized, however they were readily available if needed for reference. As I walked I counted pace. One hundred twenty-five steps was one hundred meters. Each hundred meters I made a knot in a cord around my neck to keep track of where we were on each leg of the march. To maintain direction I held my compass about chest high focusing on the illuminated dial. From beginning to end of a movement I was totally immersed in my navigational task. My RTO was slightly behind and to a side. His job was to monitor the radio and stay oriented on our immediate surroundings. Step, by step, by step we moved like a centipede, ponderously, into a night so dark it was as hard to see a hand in front of my face. It was a fragile scheme of movement and if a point man ever lost visual on my location the whole formation could separate and split off. If someone in one of the files lost sight of the man in front, a similar situation could develop. It was extremely nerve wracking for everyone, especially me.

At the end of the first leg I halted momentarily and clicked the new direction into the compass bezel. I always tried to plan a route through open areas. When this was not possible we had to stop and cross obstacles. This was especially dangerous because while the rice paddies were usually not bobby-trapped, everywhere else was a potential candidate. So it went that night, walking that methodical walk, almost like a ghost dance. Finally we came to the end of the last leg on my pace chord. There was supposed to be a road around somewhere. I always offset my course to reach the objective well to the left or right. In this case it was a crossroads so I was hoping to strike the road below the intersection. This provided an unmistakeable reference point. I can't describe the relief upon finding and reaching the anticipated road.

Now, I reasoned, that the crossroads should be up the road a few hundred meters North. If we went to the road and turned right then up that way approximately one hundred some odd meters should be the crossroads. I called the platoon sergeant forward and we set up a perimeter back off the road. I told the squad leaders I was departing from this point and would be returning to this exact point in about half an hour. Returning at night from recon to a patrol base is dangerous. It is not uncommon for a patrol leader to be shot outside the envelope of the patrol by somebody not expecting him to appear or someone who had not gotten the word he was out there.

I set out, with a trusted soldier, across the open space and onto the road. We turned right, proceeded North and sure enough, about one hundred-fifty meters up the road was the crossroads. Fancy that! We returned to the patrol base without incident and proceeded to set up the ambush.

In setting up a linear ambush my location was between two rifle squads, one on my right and one on the left. On the far left and right were the machine guns which anchored the corners. The soldiers were in two man positions spread the length of the line. In the rear was the Platoon Sergeant. He had a group of six to eight soldiers in two man positions behind us. While we always anticipated an enemy force would be encountered traveling down the road, experience had shown that the enemy can come from any direction and all around security was SOP. Each position would place a claymore mine to the front. Once everything was tied in, one man would sleep an hour while the other stood watch. If somebody saw activity in the kill zone, they were instructed to wiggle a cord which supposedly the other watchman would feel. He would then wake his partner and the shaking would continue until everyone was awake. This was a theory I never saw fully put into practice. In many instances it was not long before everybody was asleep and I had crawl around at night checking the teams out. More often than not both teammates were zonked out. Eventually I accepted this as a state of nature and resolved to work around it as best I could. If the system worked then that was well and good, but there had to be a fall back and that was for me to stay awake as long as I could and depend on my RTO to stay awake on his watch. I was the one, regardless of the situation, who was responsible for initiating the ambush. At the worst, by detonating my claymore mine, the blast served to wake everybody up.




December 3, 2019 at 11:23am
December 3, 2019 at 11:23am
#970905
The Democrats are about to fire off their last volley. For three years, ever since the 2016 election, they've taken their sour grapes out on President Trump. Now, since they can, they're crafting up Impeachment Articles for a trial in the Senate. What this will do is provide a stage for the airing of all the dirty Democratic laundry, that's been stuffed into the hamper and gathering mold ever since.

The Horowitz Report will reveal the abuses behind the FISA warrants. There'll only be one revelation worthy of inditement. However, there'll be plenty of other "less worthy" revelations brought to air in the eyes of public opinion. The rest of the findings will be labeled as "demonstrations of poor judgement" which while egregious do not rise to the level of criminality. The Durham investigation will charge the FBI lawyer who "Falsified" the underlying documentation. He'll get thrown under the bus. There'll be plenty more showing how Trump officials were "Unmasked" but since these are not a crimes, there'll be no inditement.

Lisa Page appears off the hook along with Susan Rice.

What this will show is WRONGDOING, LEAKING, UNMASKING, and the ABUSE OF POWER and give legitimacy to claims President Trump has been making all along, that Democratic holdovers have been working on the cusp of legitimacy for the past three years to undermine his Administration. As the Impeachment Trial plays out in the Senate, the unfairness, underhandedness and scheming, of the Democrats will become a daily reminder to the American public.

If the Republicans are smart they will let this all play out until the election.

November 30, 2019 at 8:20pm
November 30, 2019 at 8:20pm
#970752
Draining the Swamp is no easy task. Trump inherited a raft of Obama holdovers who take pride in the term "Resistance." This is their strategy and they fancy themselves akin to the partisan fighters that attacked the Germans behind the lines in World War 2. It is a fierce, no holds barred, scorched earth policy of resisting Donald Trump at every turn, regardless of the cost. For three years the nation has witnessed the results. If Trump stands for one thing the Democrats take the opposite point of view. As a result of getting to get to pick the High Ground, the President has left his opponents with the uphill fight. The Democrats have been forced to take sides on issues in ways that are contrary to common sense.

For example take the war with Isis. Isis was defeated and Trump wanted to bring the troops home. The Democrats opposed his actions and got public opinion to sway towards leaving some troops behind to "Guard the Oilfields." This gave the President the high ground. In the event things go sour in Syria, he can say...."I tried to bring our soldiers back but the Democrats and the SWAMP would have no part of it..."

I could make the same case for the WALL... or regarding the Dreamers. If Trump says THIS the Democrats say THAT. THIS is choosing the common sense point of view and leaving the Left to argue THAT, the less logical opposing view.

We are now about to enter Phase 3. Phase 1 was the Muller Report and Phase 2 was getting Impeachment rolling in the House of Representatives. ASSUMING that the Democrats vote Impeachment and send the Articles to the Senate for trial this can't help but backfire. In the Senate the Republicans will be holding the high cards and have just suffered about as unfair a process in the House that can be possibly imagined. Adam Schiff has used every backhanded trick he can think of to create the narrative he hopped to sell the American People. Nothing Changed! The smart money says that the Democrats have gone too far to back down and will vote and forward the articles before Christmas. Common sense would dictate that they slam on the breaks, vote censure, and then try passing some bipartisan legislation before 2020. Right now the Republicans have a long string of successes and the Democrats have nothing to show for the past three years. If the Democrats think this will soon be over, they're drinking cool-aid. This will drag on in the Senate right up until the election. While the Horowitz Report will not live up to Republican expectations, it will be sufficient to get the ball rolling and the Durham report will follow with criminal indictments.

What will begin as a raw wound will give way to the pus of eight years of Obama rule. Like a Stage Play the final act will come to a climax and the curtain will come down on an era that most Americans would rather forget.

Just remember where this opposing view strategy has led the Democrats. The irony is that it is not to late for the lemmings to stop their hell bent rush to destruction... The irony is they won't. What will play out in the Senate is a vindication of everything we all know and fear will otherwise be swept under the carpet. An impeachment trial in the Senate will open all those boxes with the sealed lids and show the American People the truth of what happened under the Obama Administration. There'll be enough bad news to remove the last shreds of doubt.

November 27, 2019 at 3:04pm
November 27, 2019 at 3:04pm
#970569
The Horowitz report will be a "Nothing Burger." The "Blockbuster" finding will be that a low level FBI functionary, who was since fired, messed with the supporting documents used to get a FISA warrant. However, his actions did nothing to change the outcome of the underlying process.

Everything else that transpired between the Department of Justice, FBI and the courts was completely above board and Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, while having partisan leanings, did nothing to allow partisanship to interfere with their work as dedicated public servants.

"Fox News: Durham has reportedly taken up Horowitz’s findings concerning the falsified FISA document, meaning the ex-FBI lawyer who made the changes is now under criminal investigation."

So it appears the DOJ has decided to throw the ex-FBI lawyer under the bus and hope this will lay the matter to rest..., into believing this was the full extent of the wrongdoing... and that someone is finally being held accountable.

In essence, the Horowitz Report will toss President Trump a crumb and tell him, "...be glad and rejoice in it."

November 23, 2019 at 10:00am
November 23, 2019 at 10:00am
#970313
Well, the Impeachment Hearings have come to a close in the House of Representatives. Everybody has gone home for the Thanksgiving Recess. The Democrats muddied up President Trump a bit, but not a whole lot. For those who watched, seeing the process unfold was more educational than anything else. It showed we had some human beings doing the work of State. I got to see some impressive ambassadors, some lower level functionaries (with an over stated sense of self importance), a political appointee who loved the spotlight, and some ambassadors who were in over their heads. The partisanship of the State Department was evidenced as people not really required to testify, waved their hands wildly, begging to be included, claiming the only reason for their presence was a subpoena.

The whole "Circus" stemmed over a phone call between the new Ukrainian head of state, and President Trump where it was alleged that Trump used his power as chief Executive to try and get Yershenko to launch an investigation into his political rival, Joe Biden. Trump claimed the call was "Perfect" and the Democrats called foul, saying it was a gloved ultimatum and an abuse of power.

The Democrats felt that their case had been made, while the Republicans felt it had not. The polling showed that public opinion had not shifted much in the favor of the Democrats and indeed might have backfired. The Republicans claimed that the Committee Chair, Adam Schiff, had stacked the procedural deck and unfairly tainted the proceeding, insisting on a process for taking depositions, and selecting witnesses that tipped the fact finding in favor of the Democrats. Despite all their shenanigans, the Democrats failed to make their argument, which rested heavily on hearsay and emotional appeals. At best they showed that the President had a political motive for wanting to get Joe Biden's past political involvement brought into the spotlight. There is no doubt that during the Obama Administration, Biden played an important role in Ukraine policy making and that his son Hunter, got a lucrative job on the board of an Energy company that paid him hundreds of thousands of dollars. In summary, the Democrats cried foul and the Republicans pushed back, defending the President's actions.

Now that the first part is over where does all this go next? I'm not sure that Nancy Pelosi ever really wanted to go down the impeachment road. She yielded to pressure from her left leaning base and finally relented on a wait and see, two step process. The first phase was a fact finding exercise that would be used to justify a later vote on phase 2 which would vote on forwarding actual articles of impeachment. Now that the first part is over she is facing crunch time. Shown below is the problem she faces:

Definition: Determine the best way to proceed on impeachment.

Facts:

The 2020 election is less than a year away

The Democrats will be facing a formidable Republican opponent, Donald Trump

Trump's base is solidly behind him. He has a long list of accomplishments and the economy is booming.

The Democrats have not made as much political capital, in the past three years, focusing instead on hamstringing the current administration.

Polls show impeachment is not working for the Democrats. Doubling down on impeachment adds liability to 2020 Election hopes.

Assumptions: These are critical to Democrat's strategy.

Trump cannot be defeated in 2020 by any of the candidates currently in the running.

The best that can be hoped, if Trump does not commit a huge gaff, for is to hang onto the House of Representatives.

The next Presidential window of opportunity for the Democrats will be in 2024, when Trump will be no longer eligible to run.

Courses of Action:

1. Table impeachment and focus on solidifying a majority in the House of Representatives in 2020. Claim that the facts show the President abused his position but that there was not enough evidence to warrant impeachment. Vote to "Censure" President Trump. Focus on passing as much "Bipartisan" legislation as possible between now and 2020.

2. Put the matter in the hands of the members. Let them vote their conscience on wether to proceed or not.

3. Forward Articles of Impeachment and insist that all the Democrats get on the bandwagon.







November 16, 2019 at 8:28am
November 16, 2019 at 8:28am
#969807
Marie Yovanovitch typifies the type of resistance that President Trump faces at the State Department.

During the hearings she was asked to relate a question she was provided when prepping to go before her confirmation hearing as Ambassador to Ukraine. The question was essentially, how she should answer if asked about her knowledge of the Bidens, specifically Hunter's appointment to the board of a Ukrainian energy company. The answer she was prepped to give was essentially that she knew nothing and suggest the board members refer the matter to the Vice President's office if they wanted to know more.

What this shows is that the Biden involvement with Ukraine was known and that it represented a serious conflict of interest. While she was coached to answer as described above it is not clear the question was ever raised. What this showed was that bureaucrats in the State Department were very concerned that the subject might come up and Ambassador Yovanovitch was instructed on how to best respond.

At the very least this should have raised a red flag in her mind as this was clearly a very sensitive matter and that Vice President Biden was vulnerable to claims of nepotism and conflict of interest. It happens that Yovanovitch was aware of the simmering controversy as she and earlier witnesses related in their testimony.

So she knows this is an issue and that it has generated serious concerns at the State Department. Biden does not make matters any easier when he goes on a recorded video tape declaring how he personally intervened in getting a Ukrainian Prosecutor fired after threatening to withhold over a billion dollars in aid. The prosecutor, it is alleged, was closing in on a bribery scheme that involved Biden and his son.

Now anyone who thinks the State Department is not partisan is delusional. It is without a doubt the most partisan of all the cabinet agencies. The Agency is a bastion of anti-Trump sentiment.

So as Ambassador Yovanovitch continued in her testimony she quotes a truism that nobody can really argue with.

It was penned in 1948 by Arthur Vandenberg a Republican senator from Michigan. He immortalized a line, "We must stop politics at the water's edge."

What this means is that once diplomats go beyond the shores of the United States, they need to show a united foreign policy and not allow internal political differences to create a divided front. Anyone who read "The Godfather" should be familiar with this concept and the dangers it embodies. The question we have to ask is why Vandenberg felt compelled to utter these immortal words? He felt obliged, because he knew partisanship was a real problem and wanted it to stop overseas. Unfortunately, these things never really stop once they become part of an organization's culture. Once imbedded in the DNA at the State Department, "partisanship" has in the past and continues to rear its ugly head. The quote of Vandenberg by Yovanovitch is more a cover than a guiding principle. The Democrats are desperate for two reasons.. First, they want to protect Biden because he was a corrupt Vice President and could well become their nominee in 2020. Second because The State Department and the Ukrainian Embassy were up to their neck in partisan shenanigans. The evidence is out there, Rudy Giuliani is closing in and those political operatives from the State Department are desperate to cover it up. Ironically the strategy they are using is projecting onto President Trump the sins of the Obama administration. It is not an easy sell. Obama said, "Let them eat Cake." Trump delivered on providing Javelin missiles. The Democrats have a ready ally at the State Department and there is no shortage of partisan diplomats they can roll out as the need arises. Words of Wisdom that sound so very wise, often paint a false picture.

It is an understatement to say a "Soft Coup" has been underway to unseat a duly elected president since Trump won in 2016. The consequences of this unrelenting partisan battle have been ongoing ever since. Marie Yovanovitch was raised in the culture and cannot deny its influence. Now the real question becomes, was Yoanoavitch an active participant or unaware of details of the cover operation to protect Joe and Hunter Biden and the larger pervasive plot to destroy the Trump Administration.

Now much has been said in these impeachment proceedings about the use of a "regular" and an"irregular channel in the carrying out of foreign policy. What this means is, that the regular channel is the one that the embassy uses in its day to day work and the irregular channel is located one tier up at the State Department. In most Embassies Ambassadors have more control that Marie had because most countries overseas have not used their intelligence agencies to influence an American election. Normally Ambassadors exercise more foreign policy influence. In the past, however, the Ukrainian embassy was used for partisan purposes. It became a clearing house for anti-Trump propaganda. The Ukrainians were desperate, and fighting for their lives. They needed United States political support and Foreign aid. They were forced to do some bad things to get it. They allowed their Intelligence Services to be highjacked to influence a foreign election. As a consequence their behavior has been used to fuel corruption claims that tarnish an already, less than stellar, reputation.

There are however, Embassies, which because of the scope of their work and the potential for affecting higher level foreign policy that get a dose of the irregular channel. In this channel, ambassadors, higher in the hierarchy, monitor and sometimes intervene in what the lower level Ambassador sees as "regularly" their turf and who resent getting pushed out of the way in matters of policy. Most of the time this doesn't happen, but in sensitive postings like Ukraine it does. Without a doubt Ambassador Yovanovitch resented being cut out of the loop in certain operational matters but had to accept it as a fact of life. She should have realized that her ambassadorship was going to get plenty of oversight regardless, of what she thought was best.

So these are the two channels, termed the "regular" and "irregular." However, for Yovanovitch there were two additional channels she had to cope with. To understand how these worked the layman has to understand how a staff/cabinet, at least in theory, is supposed to work.

The idea of a staff surely existed in some form or another prior to Frederick The Great. However, this is where the idea solidified and took the form we now know. It was a military staff that was conceived because the scope and complexity of modern war had gone beyond the capability of most commanders to manage. So generals were given some assistance in areas such as Personnel, Intelligence, Operations, Logistics and Command and Signal. The reason for a staff was to serve two functions. First it would help the commander decide what was best, and second, once that was determined to insure the optimal course of action was implemented. It turned out that a staff was much more effective, in most cases, then the average general and so leaders trained in the art of war, who went on to serve in political life, often brought this staff idea with them. What was termed a staff in military parlance became Cabinet in political speak.

Move on now to how "Best" is determined. It is a process attributed to the Greeks for determining the optimal solution to a problem. It begins with defining the problem in broad terms, so the solution window allows for a range of options. Next Facts and Assumptions are identified. Next, discreet courses of action are proposed. These courses are examined to determine which one is optimal. Finally the best one is picked or elements of one or more amalgamated into what is felt to be the ideal approach.

This understanding brings us back to what Ambassador Yovanovitch described as a "regular" and an "irregular channel." Actually there are four channels in the case involving the Ukrainian Embassy. The third channel is the President's independent assessment and a forth is a Trusted Advisor's Channel. In the problem solving process, all four of these are happening routinely and in concert with one another. For this to be ignored and overlooked by the State Department's "Fact Witnesses" is a startling omission. The Iranian Embassy under President Obama, saw Valery Jarrett plop right down in the middle of things. Robert E. Lee depended on his trusted advisor, General Stonewall Jackson for his opinion and input. It is not uncommon for a President to seek advice outside himself or his staff. It has plenty of precedent and a staff/cabinet , hates to see it used. Ambassador Yovanovitch would have naturally preferred the regular channel. She would have been a bit irritated by the irregular channel because it meant operational decision-making of was being pulled up to a higher State Department level. She would have been deeply concerned to have the President exercising his decision-making authority and would have deplored the fact that the President's trusted advisor was becoming deeply involved in the process. That is "Tough Grits." What she was relegated to was little more than the Embassy administrator performing the housekeeping duties of every day Embassy life. This was not what she'd signed up for, this was not what her thirty-three of experience had prepared her for and it irked her when her input was not helping shape the operational policy making.

At this point understand that Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch had been regulated to the role of what in the military would be described as the Headquarter's Company Commander. Company command is a necessary ticket punch but operational or Line Companies are the better career assignment postings. It was not a role she relished. Her superiors felt that given her inexperience as a high profile Ambassador, she needed help. It wasn't that she was a bad ambassador and probably would have been fine at some low profile third world embassy but she would definitely need some help in the Ukraine. She was
not a strong presence as soon became apparent. As the testimony showed, she failed to stand up for the President when OPEDS about her boss began appearing. She should have stepped in and squelched that kind of talk. General McCrystal was fired by President Obama for pretty much the same thing. If you recall, his staff was referring to VP Biden as "Bite Me." She did nothing..... "NO No, No? she answered when questioned if she asserted herself as these slurs began surfacing. It wasn't that she did anything wrong but rather that she was not taking the proactive action to make things right, that is to shut down these divisive partisan expressions, bandied about "beyond our shores" and nip them in the bud. In the questioning she seemed clueless of why she'd been sacked. She repeatedly asked her superiors what she'd done wrong. She was expected to have the President's back but due to her upbringing in the culture of the State Department that thought probably never entered her mind. So it is no surprise that nobody could point to anything specifically wrong in her tenure but then again it appeared she was running a "Loose Ship." Second, there was the issue that not only was she not proactively supporting her boss but it was being said that she was "Badmouthing" him. One allegation was that she told a counterpart that he need not worry about President Trump because he would soon be impeached." Perhaps this is untrue, but somebody at the embassy was doing it and the buck, as with McCrystal, stops at the ambassador's desk. However, even this would not have gotten her fired. The more serious allegation was that she submitted a list naming people who were not to be prosecuted. Now again maybe she didn't personally do this but it appears that, at the very least, somebody on her staff did. It goes something like this..... "Listen Mr. Ukrainian, President's like Trump come and go but we are always going to be here. If you know what's best you better take heed..."

The story goes that Ambassador Yovanovitch was a point-woman in the war against corruption and when you jump into that fray you are liable to "Piss people off." I submit to you that the Ambassador was no such threat to the corrupt powers to be in Ukraine. The closest she came to that was a session to commemorate a real fallen Ukrainian hero, who did in fact "Piss Off" some powerful people in the war on corruption. Most Ukrainian officials probably can' t even tell you who Yovanovitch is. What "pissed off" these "Corrupt Officials" was the sheer duplicity, the double standard of what was going on under the table. On the one hand the Embassy was badmouthing President Trump and Ukrainian corruption while with the other was back channelling, "do not prosecute" names of various high profile Individuals. I submit that it was the sheer hypocrisy that was "Pissing People Off." The Embassy went to great lengths to disparage Ukrainian officials, who they accuse of a smear campaign to take out a selfless ambassador... a true champion in the war against corruption. This is baloney! What Rudy Giuliani and the President have come to realize is that the current administration's efforts to direct foreign policy are being continuously sandbagged by our own disgruntled diplomats, motivated by spite and the need to cover up the misdeeds of the Obama Administration.




November 14, 2019 at 8:05pm
November 14, 2019 at 8:05pm
#969703
Background: In Vietnam I was traumatized on numerous occasions. Sniper fire, Improvised Explosive Devices (Booby-Traps) Enemy Contacts and witnessing the carnage of war on the enemy, civilians and our own soldiers. At the time and upon recollection it was not so much the intensity of each event, which were generally interspersed with periods of boredom and nothing much happening, but rather with the protracted and unrelenting fear, constantly worrying and anticipating that suddenly an event would materialize, out of the blue, something violent, unanticipated, characterized by surprise, shock and brutality. I can personally relate to a handful of such events but it was the responsibility for the welfare of the men and the chronic fear that took the greatest toll. It was not the individual combat events that hardened my world view but the cumulative effects that built up over time.

In this epistle I'm not going to describe the details of any specific combat event but rather to relate the overall effect on the criteria named above. These include Safety, Trust , Power, Control, Esteem and Intimacy (familiarity). While there was trauma experienced in the "Eachs" it was the cumulative effect of each of these events over time that changed my belief systems as thy relate to the criteria. For example, I had a way of looking at life before I went to Vietnam that changed after I got there and grew as I experienced the debilitating effects of combat. So rather than focusing on a single event and the effect it had, I will answer in terms of how the overall experience changed my life.

The baseline was who I was before I arrived in country. I was basically an ordinary person, trained to lead a Rifle Platoon. I didn't really fit the profile of a John Wayne type, however, I'd been prepared by my upbringing in a military family in ways I didn't realize at the time. For example a favorite pastime with my friends was playing "Guns." We would pretend we were allied soldiers and we would sneak around trying to get the upper hand on one another. When I went to College it was at North Georgia, a military college with a tradition for producing small unit infantry leaders. The ROTC program further prepared me as did the Summer Camp training at Ft. Bragg North Carolina. So while I might not have looked the part, being six foot 130 pounds, I had a solid grounding on what a Rifle Platoon leader was supposed to do in accomplishing the mission and looking out for the welfare of the men. Over the the course of the year I started out with the belief that War was going to be fraught with trauma, people were going to get killed and injured, however I would emerge unscathed and not become another sad statistic. About halfway through my tour I changed that belief to one where...."When my number comes up, I sincerely hoped it won't be too serious, maybe a limb blown off or something along those lines..." I'd seen plenty of that. By the end of my tour I confronted the real possibility, that given the attrition rate I was probably going to die, unless G0D stepped in with some serious intervention.

Applying the Criteria to the Trauma

SAFETY: It was possible to behave in a combat environment in ways that promoted your personal safety and reduced the likelihood of being killed or seriously injured. For example at the sound of rifle shots or machine-gun fire my body was conditioned to instantaneously find cover and concealment. It became a reflex, happened spontaneously, and did not require a conscious act. To this day the sound of a car backfiring sets me heading for the prone position. I hate being startled in that way and loud unexpected noises put me into a dark frame of mind. The tour in Vietnam taught me to recognize dangerous behaviors. I often described these to my soldiers and discussed them with my peers. Whenever a Lieutenant, NCO or soldier got killed or wounded we would discuss the event at some length. From this post mortem analysis the "100 Mistake Theory" evolved. For example, suppose a Lieutenant was prone to find a secluded place to perform his basic body functions. Everybody else prudently got used to defecating inside the platoon perimeter. One day the VC stumbled upon the LT doing his daily routine and killed him. The analysis would show that he made this mistake many times before the consequences of his unsafe behavior caught up with him. The lesson learned was that people do stupid things on a recurring basis and that while it was natural to look at only the last act that led to death, it was also important to look at the habitual carelessness that led up to it. This sounds self-evident but patterns of bad behavior are looked on much differently in civilian life than combat where the consequences are much more extreme and unforgiving. This evolving awareness of the fundamentals of prudent behavior shaped my thinking and the views of my soldiers.

TRUST: Is based upon an assumption that people will do what they were trained to do and behave as soldiers in the United States Army. For a platoon leader making this assumption was quickly disabused. I've had many discussions about the relationship between accomplishing the mission and looking out for the Welfare of the Men. Fear of being killed or wounded is unrelenting in combat. Even worse is the fear of not measuring up in ways that lead to the death of those under our leadership. It gets to be a heavy emotional weight that accompanies a leader 24/7. I noted early in my tour that the men were often resentful that I made them go to our ambush sites instead of simply going a couple of hundred meters beyond the perimeter of the base camp and hiding out for the night. Instead of accomplishing the mission concurrent with doing it in a way that maximized the welfare of the men Leaders often took counsel with their fears and compromised the mission by failing to fulfill all its requirements. Naturally there is some guilt in adopting this MO and instead of confronting it, many rationalized it away. My platoon sergeant held the view that the mission was exclusively to look out for the welfare of the men and the mission be damned. So there was a constant struggle on my part reconciling the two basic responsibilities of a Platoon Leader. I had a responsibility to my Company Commander as well as to the men and the conflict led to some serious trust issues with many of those I led. As a result I tended to be much less trusting of others as my time in Vietnam went on. This extended into my life outside the war-zone and continues to this day.

POWER: Is the authority to direct others in a corporate enterprise. It is the means by which a social organization is moved towards a corporate goal. Often that power is used for personal gain rather than in the corporate best interests. This is often referred to as "Abuse". The execution of power requires checks and balances. In the absence of these safeguards individuals in an organization often loose the ability to make the distinction between corporate and personal goals. Its like having two credit cards, one with your name on it and the other with the organizations. In Vietnam and throughout my career in the military I exercised great care in how I used the power of my office, because I have seen its debilitating effect and feared the possibility of this happening to me. One must be willing to use the power for the good of the enterprise and refrain from using it for personal gain. I have seen so many examples of this abuse leading to to dishonor and corruption, that I've lost count. My experience in Vietnam and elsewhere led to the realization that a sense of "humility" is the only real defense against loosing the distinction between corporate and personal power. Wherever possible, I've sought to use my power to bring out the best in others and thereby protect myself from becoming victimized by self importance, arrogance and greed.

Control: As a result of my Vietnam experience and what I later encountered in life, I have come to realize that we really have very little control of matters outside ourselves. My experience taught me in the leading of my soldiers, relationships with my wife and the raising of my children, that I should not pat myself on the back too hard when things go well nor overly chastise myself when they don't. Christian values go a long way towards illuminating the road to a decent life, as do treating others with respect and kindness. In combat however, while these principles still apply, it is often necessary to make recourse to authority and compel soldiers to do things they don't want to do. It is the same with raising children. Setting a good example, having standards of conduct, are important but also important is giving others a chance to make mistakes. Given that my goal as a father and leader was not to screw up the development of those I was responsible for, I had to accept and underwrite the inevitable consequence of behaviors that have to be learned in the school of hard experience.

Esteem: In Vietnam I managed to hold my value system together. I did nothing to bring dishonor onto myself, my units and superiors. I've always fancied myself a good man with all the imperfections inherent is the human condition. I am fortunate to have survived some very difficult times and emerged intact both physically and mentally. Still, I have my scars, baggage and unique cast of demons. They cause me to bolt upright in the dead of night and cry out to God to forgive me my imperfections. I would change none of the things I have experienced, but must have fallen short in ways I can't fathom or remember, because of the nightmares I'm plagued with.

Intimacy: I see intimacy as ones relationship with a spouse. It is not something for a leader to pursue with someone else particularly where a direct line of authority exists. If a leader is "married" then they should not seek intimacy with anyone that is not their "Significant Other." For a leader I'd use instead the term "Familiarity." In a platoon in combat it is often said that "Familiarity breeds Contempt." What this means is that if the Lieutenant or NCO, allows subordinates they get to know them too well, then then followers can no longer attribute to their mental or moral qualities, the benefit of the doubt. They come to see their leader as someone no better than they are. He or she is exactly who they are. Soldiers ideally want to be led by a God, but have to settle for a human being. They want to attribute to that mortal qualities that they often don't possess in large measure. If a leader cavorts with subordinates they soon realize that they are not dealing with someone exceptional but only an ordinary person or worse, who like themselves are prone to all the shortcomings that human beings demonstrate in their daily lives. They do not view this as conducive to their longevity. In the life and death world of a combat environment they understand that a leader is human but want that leader to be as close to Godlike as they can get. It might sound bizarre to the uninitiated, but to a soldier God becomes very real. If they can't have one of the almighty for their leader then soldiers want someone of the highest mental and moral standard, someone who at the very least is in good standing with God, who in leading them will bring the benefit of a person in good stead with the divine and the umbrella that relationship provides. So the "Familiarity" rule generally holds in that it keeps the baseness of a leader hidden from view and allows for the attribution of the benefit of doubt, however, in rare cases it can also lead to a realization that a leader ls someone with exceptional qualities and in such rare instances "Familiarity can lead to awe."




November 12, 2019 at 7:24pm
November 12, 2019 at 7:24pm
#969520
It will be interesting to see where all this impeachment nonsense goes. It appears this is all a stunt that does not bode well for the Democrats. Or does it? Maybe the radical left knows something we don't. Maybe the liberals have twenty or more Never Trumpers up their sleeve that they intend to pull out of the hat when the time is right. For example I didn't know that Kelly and Tillerson tried to enlist Hali to sandbag President Trump. Here we had a top general Chief of Staff and a successful corporate leader Secretary of State trying to enlist the UN Ambassador in a scheme to "Reign In" President Trump. Or did they?

These days one can't believe anyone or anything regarding politics. Special Interests contribute to and buy influence in both parties and what appears to be happening turns out to be an illusion to get voters to think one thing, when something entirely different is happening behind the scenes. For example when the President appointed Jeff Sessions to be Attorney General it turned out that his early Trump support was an "Insurance policy" for an unlikely outcome the Democrats hoped would never happen. Then we have Kelly and Tillerson being "Never Trumpers" in disguise. Or maybe Niki Haley is a false flag partisan who will show different colors once she gets into power. Maybe she is being groomed to be the Republican who will run if Trump gets impeached. Think about it, there are plenty of Republican Senators who hate the President, and would like nothing better than to see him impeached. Niki Haley would be their poster child.

I certainly hope this isn't the case but my experience is that what I don't consider and fail to anticipate are the things that come back to bite me in the butt.
November 8, 2019 at 12:22am
November 8, 2019 at 12:22am
#969228
The Obama Administration as those which have proceeded it since WW2 was content to look the other way. They were content to let this "One Ton Elephant" in the living room, roam about Capitol Hill consuming resources (Black Budget) and growing each year by exponential proportions. A host of intelligence agencies have been created and tasked to keep this "Mother of Manhattan Projects" veiled in secrecy. Actually "Veiled" is not a good word because the beast has been hidden in plain sight. Whenever someone says, "Look at the elephant" they're assailed by the full weight of the Deep State to "Shut the Fuck up, play the game or face dire consequences." In the beginning they murdered people who threatened their dark little secret, however in more recent times have reserved lethal force for when other means failed.

The truth behind a growing belief in UFOlogy:

1. Extraterrestrials (ETs) Exist. They have been visiting this planet for thousands of years.
2. They have interacted with humans and used their DNA to create product improved versions of life on this planet.
3. They don't want human-kind to destroy the biosphere with pollution or nuclear weapons.
4. They routinely abduct humans and other life forms to obtain root stock for their genomes.
5. The consider humans to be "Intelligent life" and animals to be disposable.
6. They have been known to expunge human populations which did not genetically develop to meet expectations.
7. The Deep State is scared "Shitless" what they might do if antagonized.
8. The Deep State has developed aspects of their off world technology through back engineering, particularly aeronautical platforms used in inter-solar and interstellar space travel.
9. The Deep State maintains a liaison with various ET entities, and carries out trade.
10. The Deep State has sent emissaries to visit intelligent life forms in other interstellar systems.
11. The Deep State has established a human presence on the Moon and Mars and explored other planets of our solar system.
12. The National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) is a front for our Secret Space Force.
13. The Deep State has entered into cooperative ventures with the ETs that have been mutually beneficial.
14. There have been conflicts with the ETs which have resulted in mutual loss of life.
15. In addition to back engineering crashed platforms the United States has been provided "Hand Me Down" inter-solar craft of various types.
16. Our Secret Space Force grew so large it had to be formally acknowledged by President Trump.

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