About vetting

In light of the latest media Trump outrage spin cycle about a WH staffer’s email on preparations for Trump’s visit to troops in Japan, I want to write a post on why I am not part of the John McCain hero worship club, even though I do respect his military service to our country.  It only feels right to warn you, this post also is about spin, sorry, it is, .

My negative opinion of John McCain deals with McCain the Washington politician, who wore his war hero mantle to deflect any criticism.  I don’t believe in any public servant being placed on a pedestal, beyond reproach.  Every public servant must be accountable and subject to criticism.  I don’t want to be in the Trump Defense Camp or the McCain Deification Camp

At present, my understanding is the WSJ wrote about a leaked email, which they have shared a copy publicly – minus the pertinent information, like who sent it, who received it, and who leaked it to them.  The email detailed a WH staffer requesting the Pentagon remove the USS McCain, stationed in Japan from Trump’s line of vision, when he visited the troops in Japan.  Trump claims he had no knowledge of the email, but he made an excuse for the staffer, along the lines that the staffer meant well.  The Pentagon’s responses indicated the request was not agreed to or carried out, but they opened an investigation.

Frankly, I am sick to death of these holier-than-thou McCain spin cycles – even his funeral was deliberately turned into a media Trump outrage spin cycle

JK, a frequent commenter on my blog since 2013, and I have been chatting back and forth in recent days in the comment section on my April blog post, A rambling blog post.  We’ve tossed a lot of links and ideas back and forth on the endless Trump-Russia Collusion mess and while I don’t want to repeat all our comments, in another post I’ll paste some pieces of those comments, but first I want to explain how JK found my blog in 2013 and how McCain news was part of how this came about.

I started this blog in December 2012, writing mostly about American politics and foreign policy matters, especially the Obama administration policies and spin narratives I disagreed with or actions I found corrupt.  In September 2013, the hot topic was whether the US should jump into the Syrian civil war and aid the Syrian rebel forces fighting to topple the Assad regime.

Often things in the news catch my attention, because the spin rams not only new, made-up phrases (often meaning the exact opposite of what the words mean) into the American lexicon, but also new faces.  In 2013, Elizabeth O’Bagy a young woman, whom I had never heard of, even though I follow American politics closely, became a household name.  She was on cable news, she was being quoted by top US officials, she was being pushed forward by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) as their trusted Syrian expert and she was part of a group, which escorted John McCain on a surprise “fact-finding” trip to Syria in the Spring of 2013.

Taking a step back to McCain’s surprise trip to Syria in the Spring of 2013,  from news reports, McCain relied on a Syrian resistance group, Syrian Emergency Task Force, to arrange and guide him on that trip.   A young woman, Elizabeth O’Bagy, was on that trip and also Evan McMullin.  After that trip, photos emerged, I think British press was where I first saw them, of McCain in Syria posing with people these reports claimed were ISIS fighters.  McCain vehemently denied that claim.  He was there with this Syrian Emergency Task Force though and that’s what bothers me.  Who were these people  he went on this trip with, who vetted them???

By the fall of 2013, and the relentless “arm the Syrian moderate” media spin drumbeat, I was disturbed by how American foreign policy was driven by orchestrated spin campaigns and I was disturbed that so many powerful Washington politicians cluelessly are led by the spin and “experts” touted by some think tanks.

As I saw John McCain and John Kerry citing O’Bagy as the Syrian expert and the WSJ ran an op-ed she wrote, while O’Bagy was making the cable TV rounds, I wondered, who on earth is this young woman and how did she become the de facto Syria expert, whom McCain and Kerry are trusting?  What about our own intelligence agencies  and military intelligence VETTED intel?  Why are they relying on this young woman, instead of our government intel products???  This all sounds so ironic in light of the cries about Trump not listening to our intel agencies, lol, but there you have it – at the highest levels of the Obama administration and in the Senate Armed Services Committee, they were relying on Elizabeth O’Bagy.

McCain and Kerry were trusting some woman pushed by the ISW and the ISW obviously hadn’t even done basic vetting on her… but there she was being touted as the trusted Syrian expert at the highest levels of our government.  Don’t take this as excusing Trump’s decision-making process where he doesn’t listen to vetted US intelligence, because Trump says he relies on his gut.  From what I can tell though, he is easily manipulated and listens to whatever FOX pundits are selling…

What in the hell is wrong with all of these people in Washington???

I did a few minutes of googling and realized that Dr. O’Bagy worked for the ISW as their Syria expert, but… she was also the political director of the Syrian Emergency Task Force.  I did not believe it was wise for the US State Department to be relying on a person who was the political director of a Syrian resistance advocacy group.  My blog is a backwoods spot on the internet, so I decided to write my concerns and questions about O’Bagy on a popular blog’s comment section.  Other reporters started looking into Dr. O’Bagy too.  Well, she wasn’t a Dr. is the first fact that hit me.  NO ONE VETTED HER – not the ISW, who was promoting her as a Syrian expert, not John Kerry, not John McCain, NO ONE.

JK and some other people came to my blog after I posted my comment about O’Bagy on another popular blog.

Some right-wing news sites online ran a lot of other information about O’Bagy and to this day, I still haven’t reconciled who on earth her connections inside Syria or the region were.  One report mentioned she used an alias and was the captain of a women’s soccer team in Egypt, another report claimed she signed an affidavit vouching for an accused American terrorist and so it went.

What I do know is that the ISW fired O’Bagy for lying on her resumé and less than a month later, John McCain hired her to work on his staff as a legislative assistant.  I wondered if she would get a security clearance and how on earth she would pass a background check after lying about her doctorate degree.   Even more than that, I wondered about John McCain’s judgment and integrity, where he would leap in to hire someone who had just been fired for lying on her resumé.

A lot of sensitive information passes through the office of the Senate Armed Services Chairman.  I also wondered about those photos of McCain that circulated from his fact-finding Syria trip and wondered if he had been set up by this SETF group in those photos, even though he declared they were faked.  It was all very bizarre.

This strikes me a lot like House Dems having the Awan brothers hired handling their IT stuff in Congress and Hillary having Huma Abedin, with her Muslim Brotherhood connected family as her closest aide and according to FBI Notes, the one Clinton aide said Abedin managed the SCIF in the Clintons home… She was Hillary’s close aide in the State Dept.  She was working for the State Dept and a Clinton-Foundation connected company at the same time during part of Hillary’s State Dept tenure and then she had tens of thousands of State Dept and Hillary emails saved on her laptop…  She even coordinated the Clinton server upgrade when Hillary became Sec. of State, but she told the FBI she learned about the server  in 2015, when the news broke about the server…

Back to McCain, sorry for venting about Hillary corruption again.  I never bought into the “Syrian Moderate” spin, because the Syrian rebels were Sunni resistance groups, many filled with jihadists and even more concerning, was even the more “moderate” resistance groups displayed a willingness to align with jihadist groups, as needed.  The effort that emerged to arm the “Syrian Moderate” forces was a debacle.  Media ran fawning stories selling the “Syrian Moderate” myth and the Obama administration and plenty of Republicans, especially John McCain, were all in on this arming “Syrian Moderates” idea, which the media spin pushed constantly, with stories like this Time story,The Frontman vs. al Qaeda: Meet Jamal Maarouf, the West’s best fighting chance against Syria’s Islamist armies.

Obama refused to commit US troops, but what emerged was an Obama policy to arm “vetted” Syrian moderate rebel groups.  The US military “vetted”,  trained and armed Maarouf and his group with TOW anti-tank missiles and immediately upon returning to the battle in Syria, Maarouf made a deal with ISIS and declared a truce...

In a McCain ringled public sideshow Senate hearing, McCain thundered on,  berating the US military over failing to arm “vetted” Syrian Moderate rebels at a fast enough rate.  McCain staged this sideshow hearing to berate the US military???   He worked to  create a media spin cycle making the US military look inept.  The truth was these Syrian rebel groups weren’t trustworthy and even the so-called “moderate” ones were willing to work with jihadists, when it suited their purposes.  At least the US military was trying to do due diligence to their mission of “vetting” supposed Syrian moderate rebel groups.  I have less confidence in the CIA’s vetting of Syrian rebel groups.  I also have zero patience with people who cite an annointed “expert” knows this person as “vetting”.  However, a McCain sideshow hearing berating a US general and a full-throated media spin cycle trashing the American military’s ineptitude followed, with plenty of Washington pols jumping in to attack the US military.

All of this was driven by a media-fueled SPIN effort.

Let’s move to the Trump/McCain feud and bizarre SPIN outrage cycles.  Trump has made many outrageous comments about McCain.  McCain in life, and even in death, seems to manage to become the center of media Trump outrage spin cycles.

In 2016, there was McCain on a trip being approached and fed info on the Steele dossier.  McCain’s friend flew to England, to meet personally with Steele and get a copy of the dossier.  The friend hand-carried that dossier to McCain and McCain personally delivered it to James Comey, in a private meeting.  No one to this day has verified that Steele dossier and I am not even sure what efforts the FBI, our intel agencies or the Mueller team went to to verify and corroborate the Steele dossier.  It looks to me like top Obama officials, (just like with the O’Bagy situation)  relied on the Steele dossier based on Christopher Steele and John McCain being recruited as a dossier courier by some Brit:

“The Republican senator was attending an annual security conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia shortly after the presidential election in November 2016 when retired a British diplomat approached him.

According to McCain, he didn’t recall ever having a previous conversation with Sir Andrew Wood, but may have met him before in passing. Chris Brose, a staff member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and David Kramer, a former assistant secretary of state with Russian expertise, joined McCain and Wood in a room off the main conference hall.

After discussing Russian election interference for a few minutes, Wood explained why he’d approached McCain in the first place.

“He told me he knew a former MI6 officer by the name of Christopher Steele, who had been commissioned to investigate connections between the Trump campaign and Russian agents as well as potentially compromising information about the President-elect that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin allegedly possessed,” McCain wrote.”

https://www.businessinsider.com/how-john-mccain-received-steele-dossier-trump-russia-2018-5

My gut instinct was that McCain was either compromised and a willing conduit, for what strikes me, as malignant foreign actors creating mischief or he was easily duped from years of being part of the inside Washington, ” it’s all a matter of who knows who” mentality, where being connected to somebody important is the ticket to entry.  Something stinks with McCain’s trip to Syria, then those photos splashed across international media alleging he was posed with ISIS fighters and then McCain being roped into the Steele dossier debacle.  McCain bought into O’Bagy’s reliability, so did John Kerry, same with Christopher Steele, without any careful vetting.  Even basic vetting would have shown she did not possess a doctorate from Georgetown.

This latest McCain controversy centers on an email someone leaked to the media.  I wonder who leaked it most of all and why???  Any White House discussion with the Pentagon about POTUS travel plans abroad would strike me as a sensitive, probably classified communication.

Sitting back and watching McCain being at the center of  so many media Trump Outrage spin storms, I am disturbed that perhaps there might be some malignant hostile foreign fingers in this effort.  Then again, I’ve wondered for years how deeply our media, across the political spectrum, is infiltrated with hostile foreign  influence operators looking to fuel controversy, make America look like a banana republic and fuel partisan divides.  With so many Americans, who are  connected to Washington, willing to leap to be lobbyists for foreign entities, even hostile foreign ones, there are assuredly plenty of American politicos willing to put big bucks over American interests. We’re not likely to ever get the answer to this hostile foreign influence question,because so much foreign money pours in to American politicians, lobbyists, think tanks, etc.

Even in death McCain still manages to become the center of very divisive media spin cycles, that are directed at fueling divides between Trump and the US military.  Finding out who leaked that email and why seems like it should be at the center of the Pentagon investigation. These McCain vs Trump media spin attacks might be driven by more than just domestic partisans.

Yes, Trump’s conduct often deserves heaps of condemnation, but the bigger picture is these spin efforts might be meant to destroy Trump’s credibility as CINC and undercut the US military image abroad.  There are massive media spin efforts to fuel these McCain vs. Trump’s outrage spin cycles and they not only attack Trump, they now include efforts to make the US military look bad .  I suspect there’s a hostile effort (whether American leftists who hate the US military or hostile foreign actors, don’t know), but troop images that can be used to fuel more Trump Outrage spin too  got played up in the media  Trump Outrage spin too.  The media effort this trip was a photo of described as sailors wearing MAGA-inpired patches. On Trump’s Christmas trip to visit troops in Iraq, the media hyped Trump signing MAGA soldiers’ hats.

This McCain vs. Trump outrage spin cycle falls right on the heels of Trump being manipulated by FOX News coverage hyping war criminals cases and urging Trump to pardon war criminals.  How on earth that morphed into urging Trump to pardon war criminals on Memorial Day, boggles my mind and should be investigated by our national security people – it’s bizarre as hell and all driven by media and media Trump outrage spin cycles.

Even American cable news media networks are at war discrediting each other, with Fox attacking  mainstream media coverage of Trump and mainstream media attacking FOX coverage of Trump – this constant pitting them against each other – leaves Americans totally divided and living in completely separate news bubbles.  Trump lives in the FOX News bubble, but he watches and  appears to long to be cheered by CNN and MSNBC, where his old friends reside.  He frequently seethes about their betrayal of him…

How on earth ordinary citizens are supposed to sift through this  24/7 barrage of media-driven scorched earth spin disinformation and pile-on incitement effort,  I don’t know.  It’s getting harder and harder to keep track of details and facts in news stories with so much spin crap being flung in every direction.

All I know is I don’t want the US military being used as a political football by Trump, by Democrats, by the media and most especially by hostile foreign entities.

21 Comments

Filed under Foreign Policy, General Interest, Information War

21 responses to “About vetting

  1. JK

    Maybe LB, but just temporarily I mean, maybe you might consider switching to de-caf?

    Teasing. Actually frustration becomes you. And I honor that frustration because it was among the earliest “somethings” we both, I reckon, recognized we had in common.

    A point though and really it’s just a minor thing given all that’s occurred these few past years. The fellow McCain found himself “on the record” as being allied with (I use the word ‘allied’ deliberately) Anyway the fellow accompanying McCain during that infamous Syria sight-seeing … er, excuse me, ‘fact-finding mission’ would be more accurately described as al Qaeda.

    Recall our ‘AQ/AQI/IS/ISIL/ISIS etc’?

    But reiterating, it’s really just a minor thing by this point.

    Still though, alot of this stuff where McCain and Trump’s ‘animus’ is concerned isn’t helped at all … by ‘helped’ I’m sort of meaning ‘clarifying’ … anyway if only because of that Turk Erdogan who, Trump’s continually presented as being an admirer of because Erdogan is “a strong-man ruler” we sometimes forget stuff like this:

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/trump-critic-john-mccain-meets-saudi-king/

    But the irony doesn’t end there, no indeedy no – today in Syria Erdogan’s allies are the exact same groups morphed off from the deceased senior Senator of Arizona’s Syria expert.

    • Thanks for raising these points JK, especially the Salafist evolution reminder – AQ/AQI/IS/ISIL/ISIS.

      Yes, I admit I got a tad carried away, but geesh, just about everyone in Washington is being deliberately manipulated and played by these media mouthpieces spin game and, God only knows how many foreign influence operatives spewing this crap 24/7 to incite chaos in America.

      Maybe, I’ll spend a few days watching Silhouette School videos and cross-stitching, lol. Oh, who am I kidding, odds are I’ll be sitting here following this endless spin crap-hurling festival…

  2. JK

    “How on earth that morphed into urging Trump to pardon war criminals on Memorial Day, boggles my mind and should be investigated by our national security people – it’s bizarre as hell …”

    Yup, that it is. Looks though like it may be abit more complicated than ‘most media’ would have us believe.

    https://www.militarytimes.com/2019/05/17/secret-tracking-device-found-in-navy-email-to-navy-times-amid-leak-investigation-raises-legal-ethical-questions/

    • Thanks for that JK, it’s very interesting. I had seen a lot of tweets about this case, but this is the first I’ve seen these details.

      What bothers me about Trump getting involved is his total lack of understanding that in his position as CINC and POTUS, it’s totally inappropriate to be weighing in on cases that haven’t even gone to trial yet. And I sure don’t approve of pardons until the justice system has worked through the legal process. He invariably tweets, backlash follows, then he backpedals or pretends he never said it. If he would just seek opinions from his team of advisors before rushing into decisions, he could avoid handing his enemies so many matches.

      • JK

        I’d seen the earlier one whenever it initially came out but noted that one too being on the sidebar but in my haste to alert you to the first I waited to read that one.

        Witnesses refusing certainly poses problems. My recollection of the UCMJ’s courts martial procedures are beyond “a little foggy” now that I’ve joined the ranks of the elderly so I’d welcome being reminded if the civilian courts remedy of ‘Contempt’ is similarly available. But even then I have this strongish memory of fairly numerous civilians choosing jail for the sake of principle.

        Then again if memory serves, civilian jails are significantly different from say, Gitmo or Portsmouth.

  3. JK

    Implicit LB, in your title ‘About Vetting’ is the notion that, given the media spin all us little people out here living in ‘not Washington DC’ are being forced to, in a phrase, “decide for ourselves” … and so in the same vein:

    http://malcolmpollack.com/2019/06/01/rashomon-3/

    • “WILLIAM BARR: I’d rather, in many ways, I’d rather be back to my old life but I think that I love the Department of Justice, I love the FBI, I think it’s important that we not, in this period of intense partisan feeling, destroy our institutions. I think one of the ironies today is that people are saying that it’s President Trump that’s shredding our institutions. I really see no evidence of that, it is hard, and I really haven’t seen bill of particulars as to how that’s being done. From my perspective the idea of resisting a democratically elected president and basically throwing everything at him and you know, really changing the norms on the grounds that we have to stop this president, that is where the shredding of our norms and our institutions is occurring.

      JAN CRAWFORD: And you think that happened even with the investigation into the campaign, potentially?

      WILLIAM BARR: I am concerned about that.

      https://www.cbsnews.com/news/william-barr-interview-full-transcript-cbs-this-morning-jan-crawford-exclusive-2019-05-31/

      JK, The Obama/Clinton/DemLeadership (trying to avoid the broad brush, JK, lol), SPIN effort with their friends in the mainstream media are working to paint Barr as part of some “vast conspiracy”, rolling out the tried and true “vast, right-wing conspiracy spin trope that has saved the Clintons many times. FOX is running the “Barr is going to save our republic from Clinton/Obama corruption” spin effort.

      The problem with Barr doing interviews like this is it’s going to be painted as “being Trump’s lawyer” in the mainstream media and on FOX , Barr has now been cast, just like Mueller was painted as the “savior of our republic” for 2 years, in the mainstream media. The Clinton/Obama/DemLeadership spin tactic is going to be to paint everything Barr and these investigations reveal as “more right-wing conspiracies” and the FOX spin will help validate that, because of all the Hannity-type “Deep State” crap and Trump ranting about “treason” crap.

      What really happened, I suspect, is the Obama administration politicized the DOJ, intel and even the FBI by continually pushing to circumvent standard operating procedures under the rationale the Clinton email investigation was unique (read that “right-wing witch hunt”) and then with Trump/Russian, they used the rationale the “national security concern was so dire”, that they had bypass the rules. Would you want to be the FBI leadership that dragged your feet with a POTUS who was conspiring with Russia?

      In retrospect it’s likely to be a case study in how corrosive politicization, disinformation presented as intel and spin hysteria can destroy an institution.

      If I were advising Barr, I would advise him to stop doing interviews, follow the book on these investigations, investigate, and complete these investigations. Decide on any criminal charges and provide reports to Congress and the President. Comey. McCabe, Rosenstein, Barr and Mueller trying to play the media game allows top Obama officials and Clinton machine to sit back and watch them point fingers at each other. Lynch already threw Comey under the bus and said she never told him to refer to the email investigation as a “matter”.

      Hopefully at some point someone – Comey, Rosenstein, McCabe, Mueller, or that top lawyer for the FBI (forgot his name) will just decide to tell Durham what exactly happened and what events transpiring/ Clinton camp bogus information cast as intel pouring in impacted their decision-making. I don’t believe there was some grand
      conspiracy” at work. With Strozok there was obvious bias- but I think Lynch kept boxing in Comey with politicized special concessions for the Clinton investigations and then the Clinton sleaze machine was feeding false information to generate Trump-Russia panic and there was a full-blown Dem spin chorus to push for a special counsel.

      Your friend’s timeline was very helpful. Andrew McCarthy had written Rosenstein panicked and appointed a special counsel and I suspect that’s true.

      I used part of my Mother’s Day amazon gift card to get McCabe’s book, just to verify that quote about the “left behind” cell phone at Breitbart was accurate.

      That McCabe chapter is fascinating. Rosenstein rewrote the memo for Trump to fire Comey, then Rosenstein was seeking advice and reassurances from McCabe, BUT the things McCabe relates about his contacts from Trump after Comey’s firing go to Trump’s overall corrupt behavior. Trump doesn’t bother to follow any rules (Barr should keep that in mind when judging how Comey and others reacted) – Trump called McCabe direct on an unsecure phone, even though there are set guidelines on that and it’s supposed to go through DOJ. Trump did his usual suck up routine, wanted to know how the firing was being taken in the building. Trump trashed Comey, he wanted to know why Comey was allowed to fly home on a government plane from his trip after Trump fired him. McCabe said he told Trump he approved it, because Comey was under threats and entitled to a security detail. McCabe said Trump blew up and wanted it investigated… McCabe related how Trump brought up his wife and asked how she felt being a big loser. McCabe said his wife went back to being and ER doctor treating children. McCabe took down notes with this phone call (with Trump’s constant lying that’s probably wise) and McCabe said there were other staff in his office when this call came in.

      I don’t care for Comey’s sanctimony, but Trump is as vile, totally corrupt person, who will lie and ruin anyone – just the Clintons. He is not some poor “victim”. McCabe related how Trump asked him who he voted for. McCabe told Trump that he is a lifelong Republican but didn’t vote in 2016. Trump’s every conversation with McCabe (just like most of his tweets which are corrupt, lies and/or immoral) were totally inappropriate, totally corrupt, totally meant to manipulate and bully.

      Trump was wronged by the Clinton Trump-Russia smear, but he is assuredly just like the Clintons and will corrupt every process he touches. I suspect Trump’s need to be at the center of every media storm, will damage Barr’s efforts to get to the bottom of what happened. Trump will keep trying to interject himself into the investigation and that will feed the Left’s spin…

      Nothing will be resolved by Barr’s efforts, I suspect.

      • JK

        Honorable Sirs Senator Boozman, Senator Cotton, Congressman Crawford:

        Your staffs may confirm I emailed your office twice this past month with my concerns post Mueller Report. As my outgoing emails are not in my account I must depend on your office responses to me for determining date – Senator Boozman responded 5/16 and again 5/24, Senator Cotton’s office phoned me the next morning as well as emailed response 5/25. Congressman Crawford’s response is not present in my email though I may have deleted those. I thank you Sirs for your attentions.

        This morning 6/1, I read a transcript of an interview of AG Barr conducted by CBS’ Jan Crawford. To describe my reaction after reading as “reassuring” would be something of an understatement. To read such words from a person working out of DC, aloof and perfectly distant from the current atmosphere of hyper-partisanship honestly Sirs, I find myself amazed. So refreshing.

        However. There was still one matter I was unable to take comfort in and that one area concerns: in reviewing the actions undertaken by ‘leaders’ in both FBI and CIA, the investigators may well not have the authorities “to compel testimony” of those who are now in the category of being “former.” Further, media reports indicate ‘foreign actors’ [Steele for one] advises us to “take a hike.”

        In the House I doubt much can be done about that but where the Senate is concerned, I have some confidence something could be done about “persuading reluctant actors” to get over themselves. Insofar as House members retain freedom of action I would recommend to continue releasing transcripts as well as referrals to the AG. Extend on my behalf to Mr. Barr “Thanks from Arkansas.”

        Respectfully,
        JK

      • JK

        I somewhat disagree, if you’re saying “Barr should not have done this interview” if only because of Mueller’s disgraceful [hoped for] exit stage left.

        And really I don’t see AG Barr as continuing to be, ala Comey, Clapper, and Brennan, “publicity starved.” Actually I figure that to’ve been, very likely ‘a one off.’ But I suppose we shall see.

        And actually, if not to put too fine a point on it, I for one didn’t see from the few clips provided (concentrating as is my habit on the written [transcript] word as “playing the media game” – Mr. Barr’s “performance” if one wishes to put it like that, to me at least, seemed far too sober and reflective for much clamoring for appearances on cable tv celebrities’ “news-shows.”

        Mr. Barr does not, for instance, appear to me to be a fellow keen on loud foul-mouthed arguments with fellow panelists. Wouldn’t make for “good tv” I think.

      • I hope you are right that this is “a one off”. I think Barr is a straight-shooter. I too like to read transcripts, as you probably already know, lol.

        Mueller seemed very nervous to me – like he wasn’t comfortable with what he was doing making his statement. He seemed like he wanted to find a safe foxhole to hunker down in. I suspect he got sucked into this investigation and by the time he realized things weren’t as portrayed about this slamdunk “Trump-Russia collusion”, he was stuck finishing the investigation with a team of Clinton-aligned lawyers pushing to expand it.

        The problem isn’t Barr – it’s Trump and his parade of spin clowns, especially on FOX News, who do more damage than they help, with their constant ranting about the Deep State and parroting whatever latest lunacy Trump has tweeted.

        It’s like competing partisan outrage spin cycles between Fox vs. CNN/MSNBC I suspect I might be the only person in America who never watched a single Avenatti appearance, LOL. Pegged the guy as a total sleaze and didn’t want to hear him or Stormy… bare her soul… or something…

  4. JK

    Well. Trump in combination with every Tom, Dick, Harry, Jane, and however many pronoun-preferred spinmeisters ain’t the Borg.

    I think we can with confidence know Barr will not be assimilated.

    ***

    And though I didn’t make mention of what you’ve listed above regarding what’s presented in Mr. McCabe’s book I consider it sound policy to bear in mind he’s hardly an ‘uninterested party.’ Candidly I’d like to see somebody like Andrew McCarthy write a review of McCabe’s book preferably following an adversarial interview. Televised on C-Span in the best of possible worlds.

    • I hear what you’re saying JK. Truthfully, just from what we already know with how the Lynch DOJ and Comey FBi handled Hillary’s email investigation – they corrupted their policies. McCabe was doing unauthorized leaking to counter other leaks. Comey leaked his FBI notes on his conversations and Comey’s rationale for not indicting Hillary was hogwash. What I expect though is the Comey, McCabe level peeps might end up indicted, while the corrupt people like Lynch and higher, who pushed these corrupt actions will walk away. I hope I am wrong though.

      This video is floating on Twitter – it’s Barr and I hope he still behaves just like this: https://www.c-span.org/video/?22668-1/barr-confirmation-hearing-day-1

    • JK

      Reckon I may maybe need to re-write that letter to my Congressional delegation? Or, do you reckon they are already aware the “media reports” I was depending on were the equivalent of what the males of the bovine (subfamily Bovinae) mammal leave as evidence of their existence?

      https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2019/06/04/important-report-christopher-steele-willing-to-cooperate-with-u-s-investigators/

      • Steele credibility is about ZERO, JK,, What on earth his game is I don’t know, with these bs “Russian sources close to the Kremlin” and his connections to the Clinton spin machine. All I know is he’s totally unreliable, in my book on any Russian information. He should be detailing his contacts with Fusion GPS and Clinton operatives providing emails and any other message traffic.

      • Add in Steele should detail any contacts with Obama administration peeps, especially intel /FBI ones.

  5. JK

    A, in my opinion, pretty good “in a nutshell” description of our current state:

    https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2019/06/russiagate-seen-from-the-far-left.php

    Note – I have not the time to read the article that synopsis is taken.

    • That’s interesting, JK. At least some people are stepping back and looking at the facts.

      The Clintons & Obama face massive exposure in this mess, so the cover-up and massive spin effort will continue. Um, and the media will keep running their spin show, while Fox runs the Trump show.

      Even bigger picture is I have had a gut feeling for years (long before 2016), the American intelligence failure, as far as foreign influence ops and cyber efforts (especially hostile actors) is much larger, has been going on much longer than the past few years and a lot of the effort is seeded influence operators inside the American news media – fueling the spin war. There is no way our enemies would not have tried to exploit the American “spin war”, that started in the 90s. We shall see though.

  6. JK

    “Recall our ‘AQ/AQI/IS/ISIL/ISIS etc’?”

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