Humint Events Online: September 2018

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Elite Privilege Explains So Much

Brett Kavanaugh is not telling the whole truth. When President George W. Bush nominated him to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 2006, he told senators that he’d had nothing to do with the war on terror’s detention policies; that was not true. Kavanaugh also claimed under oath, that year and again this month, that he didn’t know that Democratic Party memos a GOP staffer showed him in 2003 were illegally obtained; his emails from that period reveal that these statements were probably false. And it cannot be possible that the Supreme Court nominee was both a well-behaved virgin who never lost control as a young man, as he told Fox News and the Senate Judiciary Committee this past week, and an often-drunk member of the “Keg City Club” and a “Renate Alumnius ,” as he seems to have bragged to many people and written into his high school yearbook. Then there are the sexual misconduct allegations against him, which he denies.
How could a man who appears to value honor and the integrity of the legal system explain this apparent mendacity? How could a man brought up in some of our nation’s most storied institutions — Georgetown Prep, Yale College, Yale Law School — dissemble with such ease?
The answer lies in the privilege such institutions instill in their members, a privilege that suggests the rules that govern American society are for the common man, not the exceptional one.
The classical root of “privilege,” privus lex, means “private law.” The French aristocracy, for instance, was endowed with privileges, primarily exemption from taxation. Today’s equivalents are not aristocrats, yet they have both the sense and the experience that the rules don’t really apply to them and that they can act without much concern for the consequences.
Elite schools like Georgetown Prep and Yale have long cultivated this sensibility in conscious and unconscious ways. What makes these schools elite is that so few can attend. In the mythologies they construct, only those who are truly exceptional are admitted — precisely because they are not like everyone else. Yale President Peter Salovey, for instance, has welcomed freshmen by telling them that they are “the very best students.” To attend these schools is to be told constantly: You’re special, you’re a member of the elect, you have been chosen because of your outstanding qualities and accomplishments.

These are the scummy lawless elites who think the law doesn't apply to them and so can run false-flag attacks, torture people, assassinate presidents, exploit people, cover-up technologies that could revolutionize our world, etc.
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"I Like Beer"-- The Kavanaugh Spectacle


 “I like beer... I still like beer.” - Brett Kavanaugh, Supreme Court nominee

Their expressions say it all:

He doesn't belong on the court.

Ford was incredibly credible:

Lindsay Graham goes on the attack to help ol' Brett.


The takeaway:


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Thursday, September 27, 2018

Did Brett Kavanaugh Have Foreknowledge of 9/11?

Very intriguing, considering that at the time, Kavanaugh was an official in the Bush administration:
After the trip, there’s lots of virtual high-fiving all around, including an email from Kavanaugh in which he talks about gambling, getting aggressive and keeping secrets. That email was dated Sept. 10, 2001.



"Very, very vigilant w/r/t confidentiality on all issues and fronts, including with spouses."

What's the secrecy about???

Doesn't seem like such secrecy is warranted for a simple gambling trip.

I'm guessing he knew something about the very imminent 9/11 attacks.

UPDATE: interesting that even though BK will help Trump, and in theory GWBush and Trump are opposed to each other, GWBush is pushing for BK's confirmation and whipping votes. Why does GWBush feel like he needs to push BK onto the SCOTUS?
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Brett Kavanaugh Is Lying Republican Scum

I believe his accusers Christine Blasey-Ford, Debbie Ramirez and Julie Swetnick.

This deposition from Swetnick is horrific:



Kavanaugh's roommate indicates Kavanaugh was not the choir boy he pretends to be;


From a FoxNews interview with Kavanaugh:

Yeah, right!

It's outrageous that Republicans are trying to ram this scum Kavanaugh through without proper investigation of these allegations.

Kavanaugh's good friend Mark Judge also is a real piece of work, and it's outrageous he is not testifying about the events Blasey-Ford describes.


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Sunday, September 16, 2018

The Real Nightmare and Why Trump and His Crew Really Has to Go

Jennifer Wright:
Taking away people’s passports and citizenship is a precursor to genocide. It’s what happened to Jews in Germany in 1938 when their passports were declared invalid. That is what is beginning to happen here, now, to Hispanic citizens along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Oh, is it bad to compare the GOP to Nazis? Well, if members of the GOP do not like being compared to Nazis, they should consider not behaving exactly like Nazis.
Hispanic U.S. citizens, some of whom were in the U.S. military, are not being allowed to renew their passports. This is reportedly happening to “hundreds, even thousands” of Latinos, according to a report in the Washington Post. They’re getting letters from the State Department saying it does not believe they are citizens. The government claims their citizenships are fraudulent.
“I’ve had probably 20 people who have been sent to the detention center—U.S. citizens,” Jaime Diez, an attorney in Brownsville, told The Washington Post. The Washington Post also reports on ICE officials coming to citizens' homes and taking their passports away.
This is an escalation from a few months ago, when Americans were detained by ICE officials just for speaking Spanish to one another. The administration is currently launching an effort to take citizenship from people who they suspect of fraud in obtaining it. Fraud in these cases is exceedingly rare.
The last time the government tried to strip people of their citizenship was, according to Columbia Professor Mae Ngai, during The Red Scare of the 1950s. As Ngai remarks, McCarthyism is not typically remembered as a good period in American history.
There is good reason to believe that this could portend still worse things to come for the U.S. Hispanic population, unless people begin to speak out loudly, and fast.
There will be those who can say that anything too terrible could not happen here. As journalists like Sarah Kendzior, who has been charting this administration’s erosion of democratic values, points out, “This country has a history of genocide and autocratic policies: slaughter of Native Americans, slavery, Jim Crow, etc.”
Sarah Kendzior ✔ @sarahkendzior · May 24, 2018 Thread. This is absolute evil. https://twitter.com/KeeganNYC/status/999781072417177600 … Glenn Pacheco @glen_in_ma Always thought we lived in a benevolent country, a country of moral high ground. See clearly now that Genocide is possible even here in USA. 7:42 PM - May 24, 2018
So, there is no need to say “it couldn’t happen here.” It has happened here, and plenty.
Right now, 528 children are still waiting to be reunited with their families after being separated from them by the government. Stripping these men and women of their citizenship is not about immigration or jobs. It is about Hispanic people. It is about race.
I can assure you of that, because my parents are also immigrants. I am a first generation American. Since we are white, the extent of any persecution I ever endured was being asked to pronounce “aluminum” in middle school and being told my accent was cute.
No one has denied my parents their citizenship, or, I think, will be denying Melania or Ivanka Trump their citizenship. And we can be grateful for that, because the alternative is terrifying. 
Denying people their citizenship is a clear way to indicate that they should no longer expect to receive the rights of citizens. The right to a fair trial? They shouldn’t expect that. Not being investigated without just cause? Forget about it. In response to the holocaust, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights declared that, “Everyone has a right to a nationality.”
(snip)
Trump does not seem to understand the value of citizenship—in 2016, he proposed that it might be revoked for burning an American flag.
Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag - if they do, there must be consequences - perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail! 7:55 AM - Nov 29, 2016

Flag burning is a constitutionally protected part of free speech, and stripping anyone of their citizenship as a form of criminal punishment was a practice, again, rejected by the Supreme court in 1967.
What Trump does understand is his base.
Many members of Trump’s working class base do have real concerns—it is true that wages aren’t growing in America and that manufacturing jobs have all but disappeared. These people might rightly note that their lives look harder than their parents. They’re angry and want someone to blame—but not people who look like them, as those people are beacons of hope that their lives might improve.
In Hispanic immigrants, Trump gave them a scapegoat.
Steve Bannon remarked in an interview with Michael Lewis that they won on “Pure anger. Anger and fear is what gets people to the polls.”
(snip)
Trump won on anger? Fine. You should be angry too. At what he’s doing, and what it might lead to.
Fans of Trump will claim these measures are just about sending people back to their homelands, and therefore, getting people who did not belong in America out. Well, what do you think the holocaust was about? Jews were not considered citizens.
Franz Rademacher, head of the German Foreign Office’s “Jewish desk” in the 1940s, claimed that the main goal was “All Jews Out of Europe.” Nazis proposed a lot of deportation solutions—most notably, transporting all Jews to Madagascar—before concluding that one way to get an unwanted population out was just to kill them.
If it comes to that, people will not know what is happening. Rulers don’t typically make mass announcements when minorities are being persecuted up to and including death. It is not necessary for the purposes of autocrats who wish to commit genocide that everyone knows what is happening to minorities. It is only necessary that most people be indifferent to what is happening to them.
The steps that lead up to genocide, besides stripping minorities of their citizenship, are about “othering” a population enough that the strife they experience is not seen as akin to anything we might experience. (snip)
If you think it can’t get worse, remember that we’re already at a place where we’re drugging children. Protesting in the face of such outrageous abuses of power, of such true horrors, can feel overwhelming. Marching is joyless. Calling your representatives on the phone is annoying. Doing pretty much anything else is more fun. No part of these protests are fun for the vast majority of people. So, it might feel easy to turn away from this horrifying moment in our history and watch some nice videos of cats acting like people.
All I can say to this it to imagine how you might have felt if you were to find out that your grandparents lived in Germany during the rise of Nazism and did nothing. Imagine finding this out as a child. Imagine your parents perhaps explaining that it didn’t mean your grandparents were bad people. They might say that they were afraid of authorities. They might say that they had a lot of other life events going on. They might say that they simply didn’t know how bad Germany was going to get. They might say they weren’t political. These are the defenses people always use.

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Mueller Finally Flips Manafort

Praise the lord, because Manafort has the goods on Trump.


CHECKMATE: THE MANAFORT COOPERATION IS PARDON PROOF

(Emptywheel)


Here's some of the goods on Trump that Manafort likely can nail down, from Seth Abramson:
Trump let the Kremlin WRITE his foreign policy as he was NEGOTIATING a business deal with the Kremlin, and did so though he KNEW Russia was committing crimes against America. Anyone who says that's not collusion can be ignored; anyone asking for proof can read PROOF OF COLLUSION.
1/ Trump's foreign policy's authors: Paul Manafort, Russian agent in debt at least $17 million to one of Putin's "2 or 3" top allies; Richard Burt, lobbyist for a Kremlin-owned gas company; George Papadopoulos, self-described Kremlin intermediary; Dimitri Simes, Putin's "friend."
2/ At the time these men wrote Trump's foreign policy, his personal lawyer (Michael Cohen) and business partner (Felix Sater) were in ACTIVE ("hot") negotiations with the Kremlin (via its spokesman, Dmitry Peskov) to build a Trump Tower Moscow with Russian oligarch Sergey Rozov.
3/ PRIOR to his announcement of his foreign policy (or shortly thereafter, and without ANY alteration by Trump of that policy but, rather, a doubling down) Trump was told by some combination of PAPADOPOULOS, CLOVIS, LEWANDOWSKI, and MASHBURN that Putin had stolen Clinton emails.
4/ Once Trump was told Russia was committing crimes and seeking to aid his campaign in doing so he had a DUTY under federal law—Aiding and Abetting—to take NO ACTION to unilaterally benefit the Kremlin. The foreign policy the Kremlin wrote for Trump was such a unilateral benefit.
5/ Once Trump was FORMALLY INFORMED by CIA and FBI briefers—on August 17, 2016—that Russia was seeking to infiltrate his campaign, he had a DUTY to answer TRUTHFULLY the briefers' questions about whether he had any information on Russian infiltration efforts. He clearly did NOT.
CONCLUSION/ Now you know what "collusion" looks like in real terms. Legally it means many charges of Conspiracy and Aiding and Abetting for Russian crimes, as well as bribery charges. But to be clear, this is only ONE collusive storyline in the Trump-Russia probe. There are MANY.
PS/ The MONEY LAUNDERING is where it really gets fun—and multinational. THOSE facts —and they're indeed facts—involve Kushner, Qatari lenders, the Saudi blockade of Qatar, Emirati nuclear ambitions, and Russian support for Iranian mercs in Syria. It's a barnburner and no mistake.
PS2/ The COLLUSION MEETING is also fun. Did you know Trump Jr. met in August 2016 with Erik Prince (who perjured himself about this meeting) and George Nader (now cooperating with Mueller, but at the time representing the Saudis and Emiratis) and accepted an offer of foreign aid?

HINT: It's treason.
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The Hurricane Maria Truther

Yep, America's Worst Human Is Still President
Here’s what the President of the United States has been up to:
3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico. When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000....
...This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico. If a person died for any reason, like old age, just add them onto the list. Bad politics. I love Puerto Rico!
(from Trump's twitter)
I think I’m never quite unaware that the president of the United States is insanely awful.
Like probably most other people, I wear it around at all times, like a sodden and rotting wool sweater, scratchy at my neck and damp in my armpits and always, always, inescapably reeking. But still. Sometimes that awfulness crystallizes itself; sometimes it is like that crystallization has been chopped to a fine powder and blasted up my nose.
Holy shit, man. The worst person alive—the pettiest, smallest, emptiest, most dishonest, most malignant shit-for-brains you could ever imagine, just an absolute worthless interpretively man-shaped lint clump from the absolute bottom of the human genetic drain—is the president.
It’s not like presidents have never before rhetorically erased the preventable mass deaths of innocent people, and their own complicity therein. They certainly have!
But there’s a horror particular to the blithe way this senile penny-ante crook rolls out of bed, whips out his goddamn phone, and just straight-up belches it out.
How easily he’d feed to the memory hole any number of real whole actual people—their whole lives, their nightmarish early deaths, the monstrous failure of the society he oversees to look after them and help keep them safe—to ease what’s, for him, unburdened as he is by conscience or accountability or decency, no more than an itch on the side of his nose.
Not empty thoughts and prayers, not even It wasn’t my fault, but They never existed. They don’t even get to have existed, if what happened to them, how they died, doesn’t gratify Donald Trump.
 -----------

The president is a conspiracy theorist of the worst kind.

Trump is truly a sociopath:
All this time trying to analyze Trump...wasted time. I lived with a sociopath and liar.
They are not wired like us, there is no reforming them or changing them. They really really believe what they say. When Trump says 6 died in Puerto Rico he believes that.
And they believe they are superior....do not question him... I used to watch Peter study people so he would know how to react like a normal person, when he had to impress someone....get out of a jam....but Trump never had to do that, his $$ always bailed him out.
The pundits (and we citizens) have to stop 2nd guessing him...what will he do....why did he say that....how can he get away with that....because America elected him President SOMEHOW....he is a damaged excuse of a human being.
All we can do is VOTE and get out alive and hope to God Mueller puts him where he belongs.
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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

17 years on

The Onion from  September 2001 has held up well.
Meanwhile, we have this doofus as president:







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Thursday, September 06, 2018

The Trump Presidency Has Reached Its Predictable Constitutional Crisis

This crisis was completely predictable because from the very beginning, it was clear Trump was incredibly unfit for the job-- frighteningly ignorant, massively dishonest, basically amoral, had no regard for the law and knew very little about the presidency and democracy. He was an authoritarian at heart, who only admired dictators.

As detailed most recently by Bob Woodward in his most recent White House expose "Fear", Trump is intellectually stunted, completely ignorant and obnoxious, often unhinged and makes wild, poorly thought out decisions.

This was reinforced yesterday by an unprecedented NYT opinion piece from an anonymouse senior White House official.
The official writes that Cabinet members witnessed enough instability by their boss that there were “early whispers” of invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office but decided instead to avoid a constitutional crisis and work within the administration to contain him.
“Many Trump appointees have vowed to do what we can to preserve our democratic institutions while thwarting Mr. Trump’s more misguided im­pulses until he is out of office,” the official writes.
The column, which published midafternoon Wednesday, sent tremors through the West Wing and launched a frantic guessing game. Startled aides canceled meetings and huddled behind closed doors to strategize a response. Aides were analyzing language patterns to try to discern the author’s identity or at a minimum the part of the administration where the author works.
“The problem for the president is it could be so many people,” said one administration official, who like many others interviewed for this story spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid. “You can’t rule it down to one person. Everyone is trying, but it’s impossible.” The phrase “The sleeper cells have awoken” circulated on text messages among aides and outside allies.

But NONE of this is the least bit surprising for anyone paying attention to Trump since he ran for president.

The real news and the actual crisis is that the chain of command has broken down:

Trump gives orders that are not followed because they are dumb, ill-considered, illegal or impossible. A couple of major examples: Sec. of Defense defied an order by Trump to assassinate President Assad in Syria, Sec. of State Pompeo defied Trump's pledge to end the North Korean war. Apparently, administration officials remove documents from Trump's desk so he won't be able to do anything stupid when he sees them.

Tucked into that New York Times op-ed from an anonymous senior Trump administration official is a brief mention of the 25th Amendment — that mirage many Americans see as they trudge through their own personal deserts in the Trump Era.
"Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president,” wrote the official, making some news. “But,” the official added, “no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis. So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the right direction until — one way or another — it’s over."
So the person who says members of Trump's administration are actively working against him and trying to prevent him from acting upon his own decisions ... doesn't want this whole thing to turn into a crisis?
The cat appears to be very much out of the bag on that one. The idea that we are in a constitutional crisis is overwrought — and has been for quite some time — but the rest of the op-ed and some anecdotes from Bob Woodward's new book portray what could very justifiably be described as a democratic crisis.
The NYT op-ed author says “many of the senior officials in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of [Trump's] agenda and his worst inclinations.” They add that departments and agencies are “working to insulate their operations from his whims.”
They say some “heroes” in the White House “have gone to great lengths to keep bad decisions contained to the West Wing." This, either by happenstance or because there is a building sense of desperation and/or mutiny, sounds a lot like what Woodward describes some senior officials doing in his book, portions of which broke Tuesday.
Former chief economic adviser Gary Cohn and former staff secretary Rob Porter, Woodward wrote, took to removing papers from Trump's desk to prevent him from taking actions. Woodward also reported that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis at one point outright disregarded Trump's decision to assassinate Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and said after talking to Trump, “We’re not going to do any of that."
As I wrote Wednesday, we had four examples in a little more than 24 hours of senior White House officials resorting to subterfuge or outright disregarding or avoiding what the president wanted to do. That's remarkable. And in any other administration, it would be a scandal in and of itself. (snip)
But in this official's telling, these officials are essentially trading one type of crisis for another — or perhaps somehow convincing themselves that a president's own aides and advisers forming a “resistance” isn't a crisis. It seems the same thing that convincing them to remain anonymous is convincing them that this crisis isn't as bad as that crisis: Raw, ambitious hope.
If they were truly that worried, you'd have to think they would be so alarmed that they'd come out publicly about what's happening. Instead, they seem to want to protect themselves and hope everything turns out okay. They think it best to muddle through with a democratic crisis that could turn into an American crisis, while shunning the constitutional option that was put in place, it seems, for just such a circumstance.
But if things are truly as bad as they say they are, that's quite the gamble.
---------------
(The NYT piece) portrays Trump as a president surrounded by a cabal of governing-class Republicans who hold him in deep contempt, and who have, as best they can, wrested executive power from him, creating a “two-track presidency.”
There is a great deal of evidence, much of it plain to see, that this anonymous official is correct. The American government is hobbling along under the influence of a limited and decentralized administrative coup.
In fact, there’s so much evidence that we’ve grown complacent about it, like fish acclimating to polluted water. It’s good to be stirred out of complacency about this uncomfortable fact, but only if we use the opportunity to grapple with the meaning of the evidence, and why it’s being rolled out to us the way it is.
The op-ed ran against the backdrop of the looming publication of a new book by Bob Woodward, which include reported depictions of how the soft coup works. Republicans in the administration take advantage of Trump’s ignorance and disordered personality to end run around his demands. His defense secretary tells people to ignore rants that sound like commands; his domestic policy advisers simply fail to produce the paper he insists they produce, or they remove documents from his desk when they believe he’ll destabilize the country or the world by signing them. (snip)
After a year and a half of these stories, the op-ed nevertheless feels groundbreaking because the mode is new—because we trust that the Times wouldn’t have published something like this without a byline if the author weren’t someone very senior, and, thus, because this person is likelier to be identified (by Trump or by reporters) than Woodward’s myriad sources. But its content is decidedly old.
It is also immoral, manipulative, and self-serving.

We basically have a mutiny of the executive branch, and it IS a crisis when the president cannot be trusted. This is terrible under ordinary circumstances, but could imperil everyone in the advent of a national emergency or military action.

All this is going as the GOP tries to ram through a crooked partisan hack judge (Brett Kavanaugh, who could undo so many of our liberties and seal oligarchic rule) to the SCOTUS who will seal the deal to protect Trump from investigation.

Why they are so damned intent on protecting this crooked, unhinged president, is the trillion dollar question.

And have I mentioned that Trump is an easily proven traitor to the US and is bizarrely beholden to Putin and Russia while the GOP looks the other way???

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