Wednesday August 10th, 2022

"It Is Not A Question of Who Is Right Or Wrong But What Is Right Or Wrong That Counts."
--Geoff Metcalf
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World & Nation

FBI puts credibility on line with Trump raid

Views of further partisanship raise questions about abuse of power
                          The entrance to former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate is shown, Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, in Palm Beach, Fla. Trump said in a lengthy statement that the FBI was conducting a search of his Mar-a-Lago estate and asserted that agents had broken open a safe. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)

The FBI’s stunning search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida home was legally justifiable to the judge who approved it, but the move could be viewed as an abuse of power so damaging to the bureau’s credibility that it may never recover, former agents told The Washington Times.

“The FBI has been at a tipping point since the Comey-McCabe false Russian collusion investigation,” said Kevin Brock, a former FBI assistant director of intelligence. “That could be cited as an isolated operation that didn’t affect the FBI’s credibility, but now there has been a cascade of events that have pushed the FBI to the precipice in the minds of half the country.

“I don’t know if they can come back from this, I just don’t,” he said.

Agents on Monday searched Mr. Trump’s home at his Mar-a-Lago estate and private club in what appears to be part of an investigation into whether classified documents were sent there instead of the National Archives as required when Mr. Trump left office.

Watchdogs Demand Raid Answers



Trump accuses FBI of preventing his lawyers from monitoring raid, hints fake evidence was planted

                      Former President Donald Trump prepares to provide commentary for a boxing event on Sept. 11, 2021, in Hollywood, Fla. Donald Trump and two of his children, Donald Jr. and Ivanka Trump are due, in the coming days, to face questioning under oath in New York's civil investigation into their business practices. But will the Trumps answer? (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)

Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday cast doubt on the behavior of FBI agents who searched his Florida home late Monday, even suggesting law enforcement might have “planted” evidence.

Mr. Trump said his lawyers were kept away from parts of his Mar-a-Lago home during the FBI search.

“Everyone was asked to leave the premises, they wanted to be left alone, without any witnesses to see what they were doing, taking or, hopefully not, ‘planting,’ Why did they STRONGLY insist on having nobody watching them, everybody out?” Mr. Trump wrote on Truth Social, the social media platform he launched after being kicked off Twitter.

The Department of Justice and FBI have not revealed much about the search, what they were looking for or if they are investigating specific alleged crimes.



Trump ally Rep. Scott Perry says FBI seized his cellphone

                             In this Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019 file photo, Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., appears before reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. The premier congressional races in Pennsylvania feature two Republican House members from opposite sides of the party's ideological spectrum trying to hang on for another term after recording narrow wins two years ago.(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

One day after the raid on former President Donald Trump‘s home, the FBI has seized the cellphone of a Republican member of Congress.

Rep. Scott Perry, Pennsylvania Republican, said in a statement to Fox News that three FBI agents handed him a warrant and demanded his phone.

“This morning, while traveling with my family, 3 FBI agents visited me and seized my cell phone. They made no attempt to contact my lawyer, who would have made arrangements for them to have my phone if that was their wish. I’m outraged — though not surprised — that the FBI under the direction of Merrick Garland’s DOJ, would seize the phone of a sitting Member of Congress,” he said.

Mr. Perry’s statement did not elaborate on whether he was told anything about what the FBI was seeking on the phone.



Michels Wins Wisconsin GOP Gov. Primary; Trump's Endorsements Sweep 6-0


Completing a sweep of the gubernatorial and congressional endorsements of former President Donald Trump, Tim Michels has won the coveted Wisconsin GOP gubernatorial primary Tuesday night, Decision Desk HQ projected.

DDHQ made the call in the hotly contested race at 11:37 p.m. ET, giving Trump a 6-0 sweep of his primary endorsements on the night.

"Congratulations to Tim Michels on his win against a wonderful and highly competitive opponent, Rebecca Kleefisch," Trump wrote Tuesday night on Truth Social. "I know both sides will come together and defeat one of the worst governors in the country, Tony Evers."

It was a proxy battle between Trump's endorsement and that of former Vice President Mike Pence's chosen candidate in the race.



FBI thunderbolt scrambles political predictions on Trump


The FBI’s search of former President Trump’s estate in Florida is a political thunderbolt that on Tuesday had a number of Republicans thinking it could boost his standing in a future presidential race. 

Trump seized on the raid to rally his supporters, while Republicans across the political spectrum offered support for the former president — including potential rivals for the 2024 nomination. 

Critics of Trump also offered worries that the surprise search could help the former president. 



GOP lawmakers warm up to ‘Church-style’ committee hearings to investigate DOJ

                           Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., right, and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, left, exchange places at the podium during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, July 21, 2021. Mr. Banks is the subject of an effort by a Democratic opponent to boot him from the ballot due to Mr. Banks' support of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol rioters. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)  **FILE**

Some House Republicans envision a “Church-style” committee hearing to hold officials in the Biden Justice Department accountable for targeting former President Donald Trump and his political allies.

Outraged Republican lawmakers accused President Biden and the FBI of weaponizing the DOJ against Mr. Biden’s political opponents after 30 agents raided Mr. Trump’s Mar-A-Lago home Monday while he was not there. They were reportedly looking for documents that Mr. Trump was required to turn over to the National Archives from his time in office.

“I think back to the example of the Church Committee  … I think we’ve got to fundamentally change the Justice Department and the FBI,” Rep. Dan Bishop of North Carolina, a member of the Judiciary Committee, told The Washington Times.

The Church Committee was named after the late Sen. Frank Church of Idaho, who chaired a select committee in the 1970s that investigated constitutionally questionable domestic security operations headed up by the FBI and CIA.



GOP’s Dan Cox vows to use state police to oppose Biden gov’t if elected Md. governor

Decries government tactics after FBI raid on Trump's home in Florida

Dan Cox, the Republican nominee for Maryland governor, is vowing to use the state police and the National Guard to oppose a “tyrannical” Biden administration if elected in November.

Mr. Cox’s claim in a fundraising email was the evidence that the FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s estate in Florida will reverberate throughout the political landscape.

“As governor I will use the 9th and 10th Amendments, the Maryland Constitution and Declaration of Rights, the MSP and Maryland Guard to stand against all rogue actions of this out of control tyrannical Biden administration with fierce tenacity,” Mr. Cox told supporters. “Our children, families and loved ones and the freedom we cherish and is our birthright as Americans demand we oppose these criminal acts of this current administration.”

Mr. Cox also described the Mar-a-Lago raid as “nothing short of communist stasi police state tactics.”



Feds charge first person under new firearms trafficking law

Federal prosecutors this week announced the first indictment under a new law passed by Congress to crack down on gun trafficking in the wake of this spring’s shooting sprees.

Said Isaac Hernandez, 25, was nabbed by police as he drove toward the border last month, and authorities say they found 17 pistols hidden inside a panel between the back seats of the Nissan Murano he was driving.

Federal investigators said that when they confronted him, he admitted to carrying the weapons and planned to meet with people in Laredo, Texas, where he would turn the guns over to people who would take them into Mexico.



Shelling Kills 13 in Ukraine's Dnipropetrovsk Region: Governor


At least 13 people died after shelling overnight in Ukraine's central Dnipropetrovsk region, governor Valentyn Reznychenko said on Wednesday.

More than 20 buildings were damaged in Marganets, he said, a city across the Dnipro river from the Russian-captured Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, where there have been other reports of shelling.

The attack damaged a power line, leaving several thousand people without electricity, Reznychenko said. The attack damaged a hostel, two schools, a concert hall, the main council building and other administrative bases, he added.



Trump says he refused to answer NY attorney general's questions in probe of his business


Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he refused to answer questions at a deposition by investigators for the New York attorney general as part of a civil investigation into his business.

Trump made that announcement shortly after he arrived for his scheduled interview under oath at the offices of AG Letitia James in New York City.

Trump's refusal to answer questions came two days after the FBI, in an unrelated criminal investigation, searched his resort home Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida. The search was related to a investigation into whether laws were broken when boxes of White House records — which included some documents marked as classified — ended up at Mar-a-Lago instead of the National Archives, NBC News and other outlets reported.



More Top News

China's Wuhan institute studied deadly bioterrorism agent, Congress told

Biden OKs NATO membership for Finland, Sweden in rebuke to Putin

National Archives documents, at center of Trump raid, have spawned unusual cases for decades

House Democrats can obtain Trump's taxes in long-running quest, appeals court rules




Bear hunting in Mar-a-Lago

The geriatric junta declares war on Democracy

If you are going to shoot a grizzly bear, you better kill it.

President Biden’s thoroughly weaponized Department of Justice dispatched a swat team of armed agents from the FBI to raid former President Donald Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago. Never before in American history has any president used the FBI against a political opponent for such nakedly partisan punishment.

This is not about classified presidential records. This is not even about Jan. 6, 2021.

This is all about destroying Mr. Trump so that he cannot run for reelection in 2024.



The Biden-Nixon parallels

Mar-a-Lago raid reeks of a political operation designed to hurt the GOP in '22 and Trump in '24

In 1972, in the midst of his first campaign for U.S. Senate, a 29-year-old Joe Biden watched as operatives of President Richard Nixon were caught breaking into the headquarters of the Democrat National Committee at the Watergate complex in Washington.

Then between 1973 and 1974, a youthful Sen. Biden had a front-row seat as he witnessed the Senate Watergate Committee expose how Nixon systematically weaponized various levers of the federal government under his control to target his political enemies.

Now, with the shocking news that the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted a raid of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, it’s clear that then-Sen. Biden was taking notes for future use.

This action by federal law enforcement — under the control of Mr. Biden’s Attorney General Merrick Garland and Mr. Biden himself — aimed at a former president and future political rival less than 90 days from the all-important 2022 midterm elections, reeks of a heavy-handed political operation designed to hurt the GOP in ’22 and Trump in ’24. The thought of this happening in the United States of America was once unimaginable, but not anymore. 


" It is discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit."
-- Noel Coward
     (1899-1973) British playwright

Medal of Honor
Bill Conveys Special Honor to Last WWII Medal of Honor Recipient ...
The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States.
GeneTrerally presented to its recipient by the President of the United States of America in the name of Congress.
The first award of the Medal of Honor was made March 25, 1863 to Private JACOB PARROTT.The last award of the Medal of Honor was made September 15, 2011 to Sergeant DAKOTA MEYER.

Since then there have been:  • 3458 recipients of the Medal of Honor.
    • Today there are 85 Living Recipients of the Medal of Honor. 

Citation

Captain Humbert R. Versace distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism during the period of 29 October 1963 to 26 September 1965, while serving as S-2 Advisor, Military Assistance Advisory Group, Detachment 52, Ca Mau, Republic of Vietnam. While accompanying a Civilian Irregular Defense Group patrol engaged in combat operations in Thoi Binh District, An Xuyen Province, Captain Versace and the patrol came under sudden and intense mortar, automatic weapons, and small arms fire from elements of a heavily armed enemy battalion. As the battle raged, Captain Versace, although severely wounded in the knee and back by hostile fire, fought valiantly and continued to engage enemy targets. Weakened by his wounds and fatigued by the fierce firefight, Captain Versace stubbornly resisted capture by the over-powering Viet Cong force with the last full measure of his strength and ammunition. Taken prisoner by the Viet Cong, he exemplified the tenets of the Code of Conduct from the time he entered into Prisoner of War status. Captain Versace assumed command of his fellow American soldiers, scorned the enemy's exhaustive interrogation and indoctrination efforts, and made three unsuccessful attempts to escape, despite his weakened condition which was brought about by his wounds and the extreme privation and hardships he was forced to endure. During his captivity, Captain Versace was segregated in an isolated prisoner of war cage, manacled in irons for prolonged periods of time, and placed on extremely reduced ration. The enemy was unable to break his indomitable will, his faith in God, and his trust in the United States of America. Captain Versace, an American fighting man who epitomized the principles of his country and the Code of Conduct, was executed by the Viet Cong on 26 September 1965. Captain Versace's gallant actions in close contact with an enemy force and unyielding courage and bravery while a prisoner of war are in the highest traditions of the military service and reflect the utmost credit upon himself and the United States Army.


From the Archives

We Have Met the Enemy…

      
Geoff Metcalf
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
              
--Benjamin Franklin
“The American people must be willing to give up a degree of personal privacy in exchange for safety and security.”
              
--Louis Freeh
In the wake of the clamor over the most recent WikiLeaks data dump, ‘Vault 7’, ‘UMBRAGE’, et al, it should be noted this is not really anything new. What we are seeing here is simply the evolution of something that goes back to the late 50s (to the incomplete best knowledge I have).

It is kinda cool to finally see even The New York Times acknowledging material I was writing about in 1998.

In April of 1998 I wrote “Privacy has become an anachronism.” I was commenting on “a massive system designed to intercept all your e-mail, fax traffic and more.” I was explaining ‘Echelon’, the illegitimate offspring of a UKUSA Treaty signed by the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Its purpose was, and is, to have a vast global intelligence monster, which allegedly shares common goals. The system was so “efficient” that reportedly National Security Agency folk from Fort Meade could work from Menwith Hill in England to intercept local communications without either nation having to burden themselves with the formality of seeking approval (a court order) or disclosing the operation. And this was all pre-9/11 and pre-the anti-constitutional  'Patriot Act'.

It is illegal (without a Judge’s signed permission) for the United States to spy on its citizens … kinda. The laws have long been circumvented by a mutual pact among five nations. Under the terms of UKUSA agreement, Britain spies on Americans and America spies on British citizens, and then the two conspirators trade data. A classic technical finesse. It is legal, but the intent to evade the spirit is inescapable.

I often fictionalized the genesis of ‘Echelon’ as an informal meeting of a group of post war American and British intelligence types drinking in some remote rustic bar. An imagined CIA type complains to his MI6 buddy about the hassles of US laws preventing US intelligence from surveillance of bad guys, and the Brit echoes the same complaint.

“Hey wait a moment mate,” says Nigel, the make-believe MI6 guy, “I can spy on your guys and you can spy on our bad players…why don’t we just come up with a mechanism whereby we spy on your villains, you spy on our villains, and we just ‘share’ the intel?”

This system was called ECHELON, and has been kicking around in some form longer than most of you. The result of the UKUSA treaty signed by the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand was, and is, to have a vast global intelligence monster which allegedly shares common goals.

The report noted: “Within Europe all e-mail, telephone and fax communications are routinely intercepted by the United States National Security Agency, transferring ll target information from the Eurv opean mainland via the strategic hub of London, then by satellite to Fort Meade in Maryland via the crucial hub at Menwith Hill, in the North York moors in th UK.

“The ECHELON system forms part of the UKUSA system but unlike many of the electronic spy systems developed during the Cold War, ECHELON was designed primarily for non-military targets: governments, organizations and businesses in virtually every country.”