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The 'Constitutional Crisis' the Fourth Estate Birthed

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The 'Constitutional Crisis' the Fourth Estate Birthed





By Clarice Feldman

February 4, 2018






As the “Russian Collusion” story disintegrates, it takes with it any reason to rely on the Fourth Estate, which in large part assisted in Obama administration wrongdoing. It has proven to be a handmaiden of those who concocted a big lie to bring down a political opponent. As Josephus said of Haman -- Antiq., 50:2, c. 6,) “without a remark upon the almighty power, and admirable justice of the wisdom of God; not only in bringing Haman to his deserved punishment, but in trapping him in the very snare which he had laid for another, and turning a malicious invention upon the head of the inventor.” This time, it’s not only Haman -- the FBI and DOJ officials involved in lying to the FISC and unmasking what they learned -- but their hangers-on in the press that are trapped as well.


1. Prelude to the Devin Nunes Memo’s Release


Kimberley Strassel‏Verified account @KimStrassel


1) I've covered politics a long time. I've never -- never -- seen anything approaching the desperations Ds have to keep this memo quiet. And as we know that worry about law enforcement (Snowden/Manning) is not their biggest worry, this memo must be damning to the core.


2) Have been in journalism all my life. Have never -- never -- seen the press corps fight so hard against transparency. Same media that after election wondered if it was out of touch with avg Americans, now ignoring the legit worries so many have about govt. accountability.


3) Every journo should be asked if they'd be fighting this hard against disclosure if it was a Bush DOJ/FBI accused of wiretapping abuses. Of course not. They'd be leading the charge to put it all out. 4th estate is supposed to enlighten the people. Not cover for govt. officials


Others took up the same tack. Notable among them was Mark Penn, a long-time Clinton pollster. He notes the shocking calls by the NY Times and Washington Post for prior restraint -- blocking the release of the memo House Intelligence Chairman Nunes prepared based on what witnesses told the committee and official documentation about the spying on the Trump campaign. The hypocrisy of their efforts is astonishing -- these are some of the same people who argued successfully that the public was entitled to see (and then to publish) the “Pentagon Papers.” Penn observes, as we must, that the dossier is nonsense, and has been discredited -- not as the press is wont to say, “unverified.”


So mainstream journalism today tells us we should see the dossier, even if it’s filled with junk, and read the Comey memos, even if they have no verification -- and, yet, be prevented from reading the report of the House Intelligence Committee based on documents that it took the committee six months to pry out of the FBI and Justice Department.


I believe in the First Amendment, and I thought that mainstream media did too. I did not see it as a doctrine of convenience that applied only to documents that buttress one side but then not applied if it might conceivably help the other side.


The effect of this, he concludes, is to keep the public seriously in the dark about what shocking things have occurred -- something to remember when some of your friends and family seem to be on a different planet than you are:


So it’s a fact that six senior leaders of the FBI or Justice Department have been either reassigned or fired based on facts that have come out largely from the work of this committee and of the inspector general of the Justice Department. Yet, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) is being branded almost as a lunatic. The hypocrisy here is not confined to newspaper editorial pages. We have seen a veritable news blockade on information coming out of these investigations on the front pages.


In the last Harvard CAPS/Harris Poll, we read people a list of recent facts that have come out and almost all of them were unknown to the public, even when prompted. A majority did know that Comey had drafted the memo on the Clinton investigation long before the investigation was over. But most people did not know who paid for the dossier, and most had not heard about the text messages and their reference to an “insurance policy” in case Trump was elected. After hearing this information, 75 percent said it was significant and 63 percent said the FBI needs to be investigated.


2. Panic and Hypocrisy on the Left


Lacking any coherent policies, the Democrats have pinned their hopes on persuading Americans that Trump is Hitler, Stalin, a usurper and a traitor who must be impeached. Their reaction to the release of the memo underscored their fright as this last remaining hope -- impeachment -- slips away. A prominent voice on that end has been Congressman Adam Schiff, who claimed falsely that the memo was inaccurate. Other Dems claimed it would reveal sources and methods that would endanger national security. (It didn’t, by the way.) The Wall Street Journal’s “Best of the Web” took hard aim at Schiff:


In March of 2007, a very libertarian sort of Congressman announced that he was “deeply troubled” by what he called “abuses of authority” by the FBI in acquiring personal information on U.S. citizens. Over the years, he urged various restrictions on the ability of the executive branch to get information on Americans’ phone calls. In order “to protect privacy and increase transparency” he sought in various ways to reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court -- the very court that approved the electronic surveillance of a Trump associate for reasons that are still not entirely clear.


Way ahead of the news, he specifically introduced the “Ending Secret Law Act” which according to a press release from his office, “would require the Attorney General to declassify significant Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) opinions, allowing Americans to know how the Court has interpreted” its legal authorities.


He said that his legislation “will help ensure we have true checks and balances when it comes to the judges who are given the responsibility of overseeing our most sensitive intelligence gathering and national security programs.”


His name is Adam Schiff, and he is now the ranking member on House Intelligence. But oddly he doesn’t seem to want to take credit for his early concern for civil liberties.


Some on the left are continuing this line. Others, predictably, have changed their tune now that it’s been released: now, it’s a nothingburger.


It isn't.


Adam Schiff, Dianne Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi, among seemingly dozens of Democrats, not to mention half the mainstream media, had been warning us for days that the release of the memo authored by Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee would place our national security at grave risk. "Sources and methods" would be revealed.


Now that we have seen the memo, it's clear that was an absolutely bald-faced lie of the most obvious sort. Nothing in it impacts national security in the slightest. There's no mention whatsoever of any "sources and methods." [snip]


So what was up here below the surface? It can't just be the "evil party" trying to live up to its nickname, although that certainly happened.


It seems this particular lie was a last line of defense -- for now -- against a coming potential Armageddon for their party. This memo, bad as it is, is apparently only the first of many, a small percentage of what is to come. And the Democrats know it. Fear is operative. Maybe panic. An entire weltanschauung is under threat, jobs, friends, self-image, who knows what. If this goes on much longer and much more comes out, some Democrats -- not apparatchik Schiff, needless to say, but others -- might have to face reality and say something.


Full Story

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Our local pseudo-paper carries a front page story from the New York Times about this topic. Their headline: "War On FBI Is Unlike Any Other"


A dozen paragraphs into the report, the authors write that some of Trump's subordinates have insisted that the FBI's reliance on opposition research funded by Hillary Clinton's campaign to get a surveillance warrant on Trump campaign workers represents a serious breach of justice. I agree with them. Obama's administration used the Internal Revenue Service, the EPA, and the National Labor Relations Board for political purposes. He politicized the Census Bureau, the BATF, and the State Department. He used the Department of Justice to spy on reporters. In view of his corrupt record with other federal agencies, it is hard to believe that he didn't politicize the FBI than to believe that he did.


The legal maxim of "false in one, false in all" means that a witness who is untruthful in one matter is not credible in any other. Credibility, once lost, is hard to regain. When a pair of FBI agents talk about the need for "an insurance policy" against the election of President Trump or a "secret society" within the FBI after his election, who in the world would trust them in any investigation of Trump? The MSM attributes the FBI's loss of credibility to Trump's "war on the FBI" without any apparent recognition that the FBI in particular and the Obama administration in general threw their credibility away.

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