After Michael Flynn’s resignation, Donald will be out for blood

Donald doesn’t lose well. I doubt he’ll ignore the role of the media and FBI leaks in Flynn’s resignation

Michael Flynn (image credit: Politico)

Michael Flynn (image credit: Politico)

Michael Flynn, Donald’s now former National Security Advisor, resigned from his position this evening. In a statement, Flynn said he “misled” Vice-President Pence about a phone call Flynn had with the Russian Ambassador to the United States in which the two discussed having Donald lift sanctions imposed on Russia after the invasion and annexation of Crimea.

Flynn’s contacts with Russia had been under investigation by the Justice Department since Donald took office, if not before then, and the fact that Flynn was being investigated had been widely reported in the media. In fact, the Washington Post reported just tonight that the FBI considered Flynn a blackmail risk due to his lying to Pence.

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Nota Bene #100: Il Planetario di Figaro

Wow, 100 issues of Nota Bene! Props to Russ for helping me for a while with this nifty little S&R feature. Never mind all that now, let’s get on with this issue. “What splendid buildings our architects would be able to execute if only they could finally be less obedient to gravity!” Who said it? Continue reading

9/11 happened on Obama's watch! GOP noise machine already hard at work on the history books of the future

Something wicked this way comes.

There are a number of problems with these assertions, not the least of which is that when Saudi terrorists started flying hijacked jets into large buildings on September 11, 2001, George W. Bush had been president of the United States for the better part of eight months. The lapses in memory noted above are all striking, but especially so in the case of Giuliani, who was, from September 11 until he dropped out of the presidential race on January 30, 2008 (a span of roughly 2,332 days, if my math is accurate), unable to say so much as “hello” without somehow shoehorning “9/11” into the conversation. Continue reading

Nota Bene #98: A More Glorious Dawn Awaits

“The man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them; inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.” Who said it? Continue reading

Nota Bene #94: Bear Vs. Ninja

“Overture, curtain, lights Continue reading

NYT Public Editor dances around 'Brutal Truth' of torture

(updated below: updates I-II)

by Brad Jacobson

Clark Hoyt’s New York Times public editor column on Sunday, “Telling the Brutal Truth,” brings the ongoing “debate” over whether waterboarding is torture to brave new heights of absurdity.

Hoyt opens the column:

A LINGUISTIC [all caps are Hoyt’s] shift took place in this newspaper as it reported the details of how the Central Intelligence Agency was allowed to strip Al Qaeda prisoners naked, bash them against walls, keep them awake for up to 11 straight days, sometimes with their arms chained to the ceiling, confine them in dark boxes and make them feel as if they were drowning.

Reading this, you might think, “Finally, in its news pages, the Times is going to call waterboarding what it is and what it always has been since its first recorded use during the Spanish Inquisition — torture. Plain and simple.” Yet you would be gravely disappointed.

For Hoyt then writes:

Until this month, what the Bush administration called “enhanced” interrogation techniques were “harsh” techniques in the news pages of The Times. Increasingly, they are “brutal.” (On the editorial page, they long ago added up to “torture.”) Continue reading

Officials say feds involved in Nevada ACORN raid

by Brad Jacobson

Part of the reason I’ve been off the radar here for so long — my latest investigative report for Raw Story:

Federal agencies were involved in the decision to raid the office of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) in Nevada last October, just weeks before Election Day, the offices of Nevada’s Secretary of State and Attorney General say.

The allegations raise questions of whether politics played a part in the raid and calls into question assertions by the US Attorney’s office that they were uninvolved. Federal guidelines instruct agencies investigating election fraud to avoid action that might impact the elective process.

Bob Walsh, a spokesman for Nevada’s Secretary of State, and Edie Cartwright, a spokeswoman for Nevada’s Attorney General, said that not only were the Nevada US Attorney’s Office and the FBI involved in investigating Nevada ACORN on allegations of voter registration fraud but that all four agencies jointly made the decision to conduct the raid. Both the investigation and the raid were conducted as part of the joint federal-state Election Integrity Task Force announced last July, the spokespersons said. Continue reading

Proof CO US Attorney misled press in 'Obama plotters' case

by Brad Jacobson

Don’t miss my investigative report over at Raw Story:

Interviews with numerous legal experts suggest that Colorado US Attorney Troy Eid misled reporters and diverged from state law when declining to prosecute any of the three men arrested in Denver for threatening to assassinate Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

The article includes pretty shocking exclusive comments from the Weld County CO investigator who had pursued the main suspect, Sean Robert Adolph, for two years:

According to a federal affidavit, one of the men arrested, Nathan Dwaine Johnson, said that another in the group, Sean Robert Adolph, had come to Denver to shoot Obama during his DNC acceptance speech. Johnson told the Secret Service that Adolph said “it wouldn’t matter if he killed Obama because he was going to jail on his pending felony charges anyway.”

Vicki Harbert, an investigator at the Weld County, Colo., sheriff’s department, who had pursued Adolph since 2006, told RAW STORY, “It’s very easy to see Adolph saying something like that. He had nothing to lose. With his criminal history, he was going to jail for the rest of his life.” Continue reading

Document security protocols – Gonzales no dumber than the rest of the Bush Administration

I think that the members of our government should take the security of our nations secrets very seriously. Espionage and technology transfers lead to things like China developing ICBM and satellite killer missile technology. Unfortunately, though, the White House and the Office of the Vice President exempted themselves early on in the Bush Administration from following any security protocols designed to prevent espionage. Yep, you heard that right – Bush’s and Cheney’s people were exempted from having to leave their camera cell phones outside a secure area, from ensuring that all their sensitive documents (i.e. Classified, Secret, Top Secret, and higher) were locked up in secure safes overnight, and so on.

To put it simply, the White House stupidly gave itself the right to ignore its own secrecy rules because they were inconvenient or embarrassing for guests. And now we discover that a new Justice Department report finds that former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales mishandled sensitive information while at the Justice Department. Continue reading

Scant coverage of Obama assassination plot — irresponsible or cautious?

by Brad Jacobson

Was the U.S. media admirably discreet or just plain ineffectual in covering news of the arrest of three men suspected of plotting to assassinate Barack Obama during his acceptance speech at Invesco Field?

First, consider the evidence: One of the men arrested, Nathan Johnson said the other two men, Tharin Gartrell and Shawn Robert Adolph, “had planned to kill Barack Obama…on Thursday…,” which was why they were in Denver, and that “Adolph was going to shoot Obama from a high vantage point using a 22-250 rifle which had been sighted at 750 yards.” According to the FBI, “Johnson was directly asked if they had come to Denver to kill Obama and he responded in the affirmative.” The Denver police found in their possession two high-powered rifles with scopes, 85 rounds of ammunition, a bullet-proof vest, walkie-talkies, wigs, fake I.D.s, hotel reservations near the convention and 4.4 grams of methamphetamine, an amount, however, too small to be charged with more than simple possession. (Yet, for some reason, Colorado U.S. Attorney Troy Eid put a much greater focus on this relatively little amount of meth and their use of it than on the other apparent highly incriminating pieces of evidence obtained, including Johnson’s statements). Continue reading

Sen. Ken Salazar on Alberto Gonzales

Think back a few years to when Judge Alberto Gonzales was being considered for Attorney General. Colorado’s then freshman senator, Ken Salazar, escorted Gonzales into the Senate for the first day of his confirmation hearing. And Salazar ultimately voted to confirm Gonzales. As a result, the Justice department went through years of upheaval. U.S. attorneys were fired, allegedly for political reasons rather than for performance. Career Justice employees left, and those who stayed were given ambiguous messages about torture, the right of habeas corpus, and the legality (or illegality) of the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping program. And through it all, Sen. Salazar said that President Bush deserved the cabinet that he wanted. Continue reading

Impeachment? Truth and reconciliation commission? Never mind that — haul George Bush into a court of law, part 5

Vincent Bugliosi talks about prosecuting George Bush and his appearance before the House Judiciary Committee.

S&R: If Bush were prosecuted and found guilty, would you recommend the death penalty?

VB: Absolutely. It would dishonor those in their graves who paid the ultimate price if Bush did not pay the ultimate penalty. If I were the prosecutor I would seek the death penalty. I mean, my God, prosecutors seek the death penalty when there’s only one person in their grave. Here we have at a minimum 100,000 people in their graves. Continue reading

Impeachment? Truth and reconciliation commission? Never mind that — haul George Bush into a court of law, part 4

Vincent Bugliosi talks about prosecuting George Bush and his appearance before the House Judiciary Committee.

S&R: You wrote, “I strongly believe without absolutely knowing that this man has no respect or love for this country.” And, “I don’t know about you, but if I ever killed just one person, even accidentally, like in a car accident, I’d never have another perfect day as long as I live.” Now many of us think those thoughts. But we’re either too afraid, or too politically correct, to put them into words. What makes you willing and able to say those things? Continue reading

Impeachment? Truth and reconciliation commission? Never mind that — haul George Bush into a court of law, part 3

Vincent Bugliosi talks about prosecuting George Bush and his appearance before the House Judiciary Committee.

S&R: Will the next president have any say in the prosecution of George Bush?

VB: No, he doesn’t have any say in it at all. The attorney general on his own can institute legal proceedings against Bush. But a pretty powerful way is for Congress to send what they call a criminal referral over to the attorney general. Continue reading

Impeachment? Truth and reconciliation commission? No, haul George Bush into a court of law, part 2

Vincent Bugliosi talks about prosecuting George Bush and his appearance before the House Judiciary Committee appearance.

The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder is a call to action. A man of 73, in the wake of years spent creating his masterwork, 2007’s Reclaiming History about the Kennedy assassination, has constructed his case with the passion of an idealistic college student. Surely the rest of us are capable of catching one last wave of Bush & Co. outrage. We do want to see Bush brought to justice, don’t we? Continue reading

Ivins anthrax case another black eye for network news

by Brad Jacobson

While cable news dutifully devotes nonstop coverage to the latest random criminal cases — kidnappings, shootouts, murderous love triangles, car chases — it’s telling when a supposed break in one of the biggest manhunts in FBI history, for a terrorist who murdered and poisoned multiple American citizens with anthrax, takes a backseat to nearly every other story. That is, if it’s mentioned at all.

Even as details, leaks and a burgeoning list of questions bubbled to the surface last week, demanding serious scrutiny, the big three broadcast networks were equally blasé. Some nights skipping mention of the unfolding story altogether, as did last Tuesday’s editions of CBS Evening News and ABC World News (though both that evening reported the eminently newsworthy story of a thrill-seeking English couple who married while being strapped outside separate airplanes). On the same night, Brian Williamsafforded39 precious seconds to the anthrax investigation on NBC Nightly News. Continue reading

Impeachment? Truth and reconciliation commission? Never mind that — haul George Bush into a court of law, part 1

Today we visit Vincent Bugliosi’s book, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder. Tomorrow we visit Vincent Bugliosi himself as he talks about his appearance before the House Judiciary Committee appearance and his book.

As you may have heard by now, the mainstream media has been giving Vincent Bugliosi’s latest book, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, the cold shoulder. Never mind that he authored what was, at the time, the bestselling crime book in history, Helter Skelter, about his successful prosecution of the Manson family. Nor that he’s written numerous bestsellers since. His 2007 book, Reclaiming History, a 1,600-page attempt to dispel alternative histories of the Kennedy assassination, is being made into a mini-series by HBO and Tom Hanks. Continue reading

IG report: Bush's GOP hires among immigration judges

by Amaury Nora

Today, the Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility just released a report on the improper hiring practices by Monica Goodling, the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) White House Liaison and Senior Counsel to the Attorney General. According to the report, Goodling broke federal law by discriminating against job applicants on account of their political views.

Our investigation found that Goodling improperly subjected candidates for certain career positions to the same politically based evaluation she used on candidates for political positions, in violation of federal law and Department policy. With regard to requests from interim U.S. Attorneys to hire [assisant U.S. attorneys], we determined that in two instances Goodling considered the candidate’s political or ideological affiliations when she assessed the request. For example, in one instance when the interim U.S. Attorney in the District of Columbia sought approval from Goodling to hire an AUSA for a vacant position, Goodling responded that the candidate gave her pause because judging from his résumé he appeared to be a “liberal Democrat.” Continue reading

A Fourth of July Quotabull


The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

— from the Declaration of Independence; July 4, 1776.

The executive branch shall construe the provisions of H.R. 3199 that call for furnishing information to entities outside the executive branch, such as sections 106A and 119, in a manner consistent with the President’s constitutional authority to supervise the unitary executive branch and to withhold information the disclosure of which could impair foreign relations, national security, the deliberative processes of the Executive, or the performance of the Executive’s constitutional duties. Continue reading