nothing to see here, really.
[no great loss, the guy was too wishy-washy to be heading up law enforcement]
Donald likes to say "you're fired" anyway. I'm sure there will be more.
US President Donald Trump today fired FBI director James Comey. Comey's agents were probing people associated with the TV celebrity's presidential campaign for any links or collusion with Russian officials – after it emerged the Kremlin had instructed hackers to swing the White House race in Trump's favor. Attorney General …
Trump supporter produces fake news (massive haul of sensitive emails is not massive haul) and Trump shows him the door.
Here's an old fashioned idea. Let's try to get a consensus on what the Congress should do.
1)There is evidence that serious efforts were made to influence the outcome of the last Presidential election by at least one foreign government.
2) This is wrong.
3)The Congress should investigate
a)What efforts were made b) Which powers were involved c) Wheather they were successful d) What should be done about it e) What should be done to stop it happening in future.
I think that's an agenda every member of Congress and the Senate could get behind.
So, assuming that the inference is correct, what did they do ? The hacked and leaked the actual contents of the DNC and it's chairman John Podesta. Nothing was made up, just released what the DNC and Podesta actually talked about.
Anything else ? No ? Seems pretty tame, and, well, that allowed the "common" people in the USA to see what the DNC and Podesta actually thought of them, and hey, maybe some even appreciated the disdain and double dealing. I'm very confident that had some government deliberately spied on Trump's campaign and then leaked data about that the entire MSM would have applauded the act as necessary because "Russians".
The Russian influence probe has been ongoing for months, and started as we know well back in 2016 with monitoring (and the subsequent unmasking) of GOP and Trump campaign figures by the NSA and other US security agencies. Nothing to implicate Trump has been uncovered as it surely would have been leaked by now if it had. Figures such as James Clapper (ex NSA head) have publicly stated that there's no evidence to link Trump to any putative Russian interference, and others have also said the same.
The whole "Russian Influence" meme is nothing more than a desperate (and surprisingly successful with the entire MSM following their DNC paymasters orders) attempt to defelct attention from the real scandal that needs a Grand Jury/Special Prosecutor - and that's to what extent was the Obama administration spying on the GOP and Trump campaigns. Unmasking US citizen's identity in such surveillance is distinctly illegal in most circumstances, and is at best highly unethical for the administration do use these agencies for domestic political advantage. And what do we have so far, the Flynn received a fee (reportedly around $45K) for a speech from a Russian entity with government links and didn't report it so was possibly open to blackmail. Not exactly a huge reveal is it ? Not compared to the $$$ the Clintons pulled out of Russian interests with similar links following the Uranium deal, that was $100M to the Clinton Foundation, now that looks, prima facie, compromising.
Amazing the way that American English has suddenly and spontaneously evolved slavic characteristics, isn't it?
Nothing was made up, just released what the DNC and Podesta actually talked about...
...and started as we know well back in 2016...
...it must be some sort of easter egg filter in El Reg's Perl codebase that kicks in whenever someone parrots the Kremlin line word for word:
The whole "Russian Influence" meme is nothing more than a desperate (and surprisingly successful with the entire MSM following their DNC paymasters orders) attempt to defelct attention from the real scandal that needs a Grand Jury/Special Prosecutor - and that's to what extent was the Obama administration spying on the GOP and Trump campaigns.
Well done,Anonushka, extra cabbage soup ration for you tonight!
Nah. So-called "reality" TV is heavily scripted and massively overproduced. This is just the painful reality of a bumbling fool playing at being PotUS. It just looks like a sitcom, from here anyway.
"Bikini Girls With Machine Guns" has been done already, as nicely parodied by Poison Ivy and Lux Interior, writing for The Cramps. It's probably online somewhere ... RIP, Lux.
Austin Powers did it first...
Only in the Apple meaning of "first". Bikini Girls With Machine Guns was a UK hit single in 1989, 8 years before Austin Powers. Now the album was re-released in 2001, with Bikini Girls With Machine Guns (live) as a bonus track, so an Apple attorney (or really, any patent lawyer) <u>could</u> argue that Austin Powers did it "first" (if you paid them enough).
To quote a fictional Secretary of Defense:
Errrrrrr... that's not... entirely.... true.
Note also that there was considerable speculation that the most likely source of the leak was lardarse himself.
Mildly surprised El Reg hasn't yet picked up on the aspect that saw the US press barred from (or rather, not invited into) the Oval Office for what they thought was the meeting with Russian FM, Sergei Lavrov. The WH staff only admitted one snapper, a Russian with a large kitbag of gear who they assumed was Lavrov's official snapper but surprise!!! turned out to be working for TASS, Well, I say "working for TASS" -- the pictures showed up there, anyway. So now we know what Trumpy looks like in the company of the hairy Ivans when he thinks no-one's watching...
Oh yeah, and Kislyak, the FSB station chief in Washington was also there. Though the WH absent-mindedly forgot to mention it in any official briefings or press releases... it was only the TASS pics that gave the game away.
It's a diabolically awful situation, but at the same time I can't help but feel some grudging respect for the apparently effortless way the Russians have run rings round the entire US electorate, establishment, and IC, and completely compromised the organs of government.
I thought there was a sort of unspoken agreement that senior political figures were not to be prosecuted for any crimes they might have committed.*
If Mr. Trump really wants to prosecute Mrs. Clinton for her email nonsense he might find the various New York Grand Juries into various RICO matters begin issuing findings fairly quickly.
It almost feels like a sort of slow motion coup-d'état.
*I don't mean that as any sort of dig at our American friends, we have a long tradition of failing to hold our own leaders to the same standards as the rest where I live.
Many of us are thoroughly sick of divide and conquer false-dichotomy identity politics.
It could be that neither of the (usually just two) alternative views presented are correct, or anything but a distraction from how we're really being mistreated - I could put a much finer point on that with proof, but this is supposed to be a tech site, right?
So, please, I've quit a few others who have lost their purpose to promote failed political causes in favor of some other failed political cause - both wrong - instead of doing their stated mission.
Don't add yourselves to the list, please.
Leave the Brexit/EU and Yank politics to the birdcage liner rags please - or become one of them.
While Comey was political through and through a large part of his political orientation directly impacted on technical matters.
1. Encryption backdooring
2. Searches of electronic equipment
3. Selective politically motivated interest in various hacking, etc cases.
All in all he signed his death warrant the day he intervened in the election. He wanted to be a Hoover, but he forgot the most important Hoover lesson - you do not do that in public. You do it quietly.
In any case, I suspect his replacement will be significantly worse. There is very little to celebrate here.
"On topic" seems to lack a clear definition.
For years the readers of this fine organ have had their pageviews hijacked to fund the activities of agenda-driven writers like Page, Orlowski, Worstall, etc.
If that was acceptable, and there's recently been a regime change/changes such that the agenda has also changed, where's the big problem?
Mr. Trump picked a rather suspicious moment: just when he was under fire for holding onto Flynn despite the latter's increasingly damning ties to Russian operatives, and for acting as an agent of a foreign government without registering as such. And just as the House Select Committee on Intelligence was finally taking public testimony from government officials on the links between Russian hacking, Trump's associates, and Russian spycraft.
Perfect time to fire the guy who is overseeing the investigation into the Trump - Russia connections.
It won't stop the investigation, of course, but it will cause some disarray in the FBI, thus slowing things for the moment.
John, I'm starting to wonder if your real name isn't Ivan. You sure seem to be writing from inside Putin's pocket here.
Palpy, in all seriousness, we all know that there's a big fat nothing behind this whole "Russian collusion" farce. There never was anything, and there never will be. You can either admit failure and move on or join the ranks of the perpetually aggrieved.
That would be a shame.
Actually, no John, we don't know that at all. I think the actual word you were looking for is "hope". Personally, I don't know. Can you honestly say that you do know? Can you post proof of this for all of us to see? Or are you merely hopeful?
Where there is smoke ...
No, John. You are the hopeful one. You made a statement of hope. I responded to that statement with an observation and a couple of questions. Answer the questions, John.
To finish my colophon:
... people often fiddle about with mirrors.
"Where there is smoke ..."
there could also be mirrors and it's all obfuscation. Or a smoke machine. There isn't always a fire.
Trump fired Comey, but read the BBC article about why: It wasn't Trump deciding to do so as much as agreeing to do so.
Read down the article - it suggests Comey made repeated mistakes, including not accepting he made mistakes. Maybe Trump took advantage of this to get rid of Comey, maybe not. We don't know but there are going to be those who say he did, and those who say he didn't and those who will sit on the fence (I've got the cushions and some popcorn ready) and watching to see what comes from this.
Personally I wish I'd brought the marshmellows instead.
Well, I've been to the lengths - extreme, I know - of reading all the correspondence I could find attached to this story. Including Trump's and Sessions' letters, and Rosenstein's much more interesting and detailed opinion (on which the other two both hinge). And then I checked out Comey's original statement from July 2016.
I advise you to look at that last now, today, because there's a good chance it'll disappear from the record pretty soon. Here it is, as of right now.
And if you take time to read it, you'll see it doesn't say what Rosenstein's character assassination piece imputes it as saying. Rosenstein's memo is like Blair's dodgy dossier - it's transparently a justification for something that his boss was determined to do anyway, rather than an honest account of the reasons for doing it.
"Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case. Prosecutors necessarily weigh a number of factors before bringing charges. There are obvious considerations, like the strength of the evidence, especially regarding intent. Responsible decisions also consider the context of a person’s actions, and how similar situations have been handled in the past."
This is bogus - no intent is required. Comey knows it, and every lawyer knows it. If I could be bothered to go find it, the statute AFAIK explicitly states intent is not necessary for breach.
Trump fired Comey, but read the BBC article about why: It wasn't Trump deciding to do so as much as agreeing to do so.
And if YOU read it again, you'll notice that that's the White House's version of events. I'd advise against taking what they say on trust as being self-evidently 100% accurate and truthful.
Comey submitted a request for increased resources for the Russia investigation last week to the same Deputy AG who supposedly decided to write Sessions and Trump a letter advising them to fire him (Comey). And we now know about the Grand Jury subpoenas too. They're going to be opened one day, and when they are...
"Palpy, in all seriousness, we all know that there's a big fat nothing behind this whole "Russian collusion" farce."
You have to ask yourself why Trump fired the guy investigating him just as a grand jury has been convened and subpoenas are starting to land. Last person to do this: Richard Nixon. Another guy who absolutely did nothing wrong while in office.
-- this whole 'Russian collusion' farce."
Late reply, John, and if I were you I'd have moved on to another thread by now. But anyway.
The overwhelming consensus from Western political analysts seems to be that Russia, under Putin's direction, has weaponized hacking and internet disinformation with the purpose of disrupting, degrading, and eventually destroying Western democracy. While the American NSA, FBI, and CIA have been focused on their internal cyber-attack programs and gathering data for surveillance, the Russian GRU, FSB, and SVR are using far more offensive tactics.
The "destruction" they're aiming at is not probably not outright overthrow of democratic governments. What geo-political analysts see is a very determined effort to tilt elections toward outcomes that will destabilize Western trade and military alliances, divide and polarize citizens, and encourage the rise of an oligarchic and authoritarian leaders. Leaders like Putin himself.
That's the background for the interference in the recent US election. (And yes: all branches of US intelligence, NSA, CIA, FBI, DIA, et al, agree that this interference was real and substantial.)
So Trump's stated admiration for Putin is already troubling. His associates' ties to Russia are troubling -- Manafort, Page, and Stone. Erik Prince. Michael Flynn. Tillerson. Slater. Why did Trump's son tell the press that "we [the Trump Organization] see a lot of money flowing in from Russia"? Why did Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, meet secretly with Sergey Gorkov, president of the Russian Vnesheconombank, in December?
Suspicions of collusion with Putin's government can be resolved, but not by firings and cover-ups. Trump really needs to identify every instance of Russian contact among his campaign associates, his administration, and his family. He needs to release his financial records, including taxes. He needs to apologize for the impression of collusion his words and actions have created.
He needs to make it very, very clear that NO ONE among his circle are to EVER meet with foreign officials without a clear and officially sanctioned purpose.
I truly don't believe Trump is man enough to do any of that.
And, in fact, the reason he is not going that route may well be because there really is cooperation between some members of his administration and at least some Russian agents.
But thanks for the opportunity to keep my typing skillz fresh.
"John, I'm starting to wonder if your real name isn't Ivan. You sure seem to be writing from inside Putin's pocket here."
Well, technically ...
Again speaking technically, Russian kept the distinction between the sacred and profane versions of many christian names. For example, while "Иван" (Ivan) is indeed derived from "Иоанн" (Ioann), in contemporary Russian these are two distinct names. English has mostly abandoned the distinction in the form of the name, leaving it to be inferred from the context it is used in.
Therefore, if your view of our Big John is mostly profane, then he is indeed an Ivan. If on the other hand you see him as saintly, then the appropriate equivalent is Ioann.
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