Some freakish conspiritards claimed I was a member of the “deep state” upon reading my take on Michael Flynn’s ouster. Apparently, my tongue just wasn’t firmly enough implanted in the President’s rectum for their tastes, so writing about Flynn’s history in the intelligence community, despite rightfully assessing that whoever leaked the information about intercepts should be deprived of a job, a clearance, and prosecuted, just means that I have TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome). Never mind I said nothing negative about 45 in that post, and referred to Flynn’s history prior to even the primaries of Election 2016. If I’m not 100 percent aboard the Trump train, lauding every appointment and executive action with froth flecked fervor, I must be working on some kind of dastardly plan to overthrow the president… because “deep state” or something. And if I criticize any cabinet pick, or appointment, I must be suffering from TDS.
Is it wrong that I had to google “deep state”?
To some people, nothing but full, hysterical, blind worship will do, so when any media outlet publishes any story at all about the object of their spittle-streaked worship, they don’t bother reading the actual story. Because FAKE NEWS! And LIBRUL MEDIA! It’s not like they would report anything positive about 45!
Yeah, the crazy is real.
Well, the appointment of H.R. McMaster as the new National Security Adviser to replace Flynn was apparently met with positive reviews.
CNN anchor Jake Tapper was complimentary of Lt. Gen. McMaster’s book.
H.R. McMaster wrote the excellent Dereliction of Duty: Johnson, McNamara, The Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies that Led to Vietnam
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 20, 2017
CNBC highlighted his stellar educational qualifications.
McMaster, 54, is a West Point graduate known as “H.R.,” with a PhD in U.S. history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was listed as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2014, partly because of his willingness to buck the system.
The Washington Post described McMaster as a “widely respected military strategist.”
In brief remarks, McMaster said it would be “a privilege” to continue to serve the nation. “I look forward to joining the national security team and doing everything that I can to advance and protect the interests of the American people,” he said.
USA Today complimented McMaster’s successes in Iraq as innovative.
In Iraq, McMaster placed his troops in small outposts in the northern Iraqi town in an effort to protect the population and he worked closely with local leaders to overcome sectarian rivalries. The tactics worked, the population came around to support his brigade and began turning on al-Qaeda militants.
Everything I’ve read and heard about Lt. Gen. McMaster shows him to be a stellar pick to lead the National Security Council and advise the President on national security matters. Those who have worked with him, those who have served under him, and those who have watched him actually do his job all are incredibly complimentary of the General’s ability to lead, to relate to his Soldiers, and to create winning military strategies. He understands cyber threats, and he respects and understands military history. The appointment certainly sounds like a winner to me!
I have to wonder if the deranged conspiritard Trumpanzees are currently having apoplectic fits, trying to decide how to feel about this appointment.
“Oh, no! The media likes him, so he must be horrible… but, wait! He’s actually good, and our deity appointed him! The troops like him, those who served with him respect him… Oh, no! But the media is complimenting him, and so is that TDS chick from the Liberty Zone, so he must be bad… dammit!”
And I wonder how many of them will read this post and somehow twist it to be critical of the President.
Congrats, Lt. Gen. McMaster! More power to you, and kick some ass in your new job!
Retired General Michael Flynn was shitcanned from his job as National Security Adviser this week, which gives him the distinct “honor” of being forced out by not just one, but two Presidents! Yes, that’s a pretty impressive feat, and we need to look at this event from an objective perspective.
First and foremost, spying on foreign ambassadors is nothing new. The press has been reporting on this since before Snowden stole millions of files from NSA and handed them over to foreigners to peruse, and if you think we’re the only ones who spy on foreign ambassadors on our soil, I have this bridge.
U.S. installations abroad also remained a primary target for espionage, particularly by the Soviet Union. Twice in one year, the Department learned that the Soviet intelligence agency had seriously compromised security at the embassy in Moscow. In January 1985, the U.S. Marine Corps announced that one of its security guards at the Embassy had passed classified information to a Russian woman.
The fact that Flynn was talking to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak made him the subject of what is called “incidental collection.” It means he wasn’t the target, but since conversations are two-way things, he was captured in the intercept as well. That’s a concept that has apparently escaped House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence chair Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who is shitting himself, because “an American citizen had his phone calls recorded.” For the record, no one was spying on Flynn. The target was Kislyak, and the collection on Flynn was incidental. That’s first and foremost.
First, he was talking to the Russian ambassador, who is an agent of a foreign power. Agents of foreign powers are acceptable foreign intelligence targets and the government could have a warrant to surveil Kislyak under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) since 1978.
Next, phone calls are wiretappable. Congress ensured that would be true with the Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (CALEA).
Further, while wiretapping in the criminal context involves only recording when the targets talk about illegal activity, foreign intelligence wiretapping is comprehensive. All conversations are collected and important bits mined out after the fact.
So, no. This wasn’t a matter of Obama targeting Trump and trying to destroy him, as some conspiritards claim. It also wasn’t Obama operatives conspiring to target the Trump administration.
Fact is Flynn has been a concern to the Intelligence Community long before Trump decided to even run for President.
Let’s remember Flynn in 2010 was removed by current Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, then-CENTCOM commander, and investigated for sharing classified information with Pakistan. Pakistan! Not exactly a close ally. And revealing sensitive U.S. intelligence capabilities being used to monitor the Haqqani network to Pakistan is not exactly something that’s encouraged. This from the same guy who screeched “LOCK HER UP!” about Queen Pantsuit during the Republican National Convention for putting “our nation’s security at extremely high risk with her careless use of her private email server”
So while Hillary used her private email server “carelessly,” Flynn intentionally shared classified information with other countries – more than once – and never punished for it, because he apparently didn’t know better. Sound familiar?
Although Flynn lacked authorization to share the classified material, he was not disciplined or reprimanded after the investigation concluded that he did not act “knowingly” and that “there was no actual or potential damage to national security as a result,” according to Army records obtained by The Washington Post under the Freedom of Information Act.
Flynn was even bragging of the fact that he shared classified information he was not authorized to share with our allies Britain and Australia! “I’m proud of that one. Accuse me of sharing intelligence in combat with our closest allies, please.”
Whether he likes it or not, there are protocols and channels through which one has to go to release intelligence – even to our closest allies. Flynn, who was accused of telling allies about the activities of other agencies in Afghanistan, including the CIA, apparently felt he was above such constraints. He wanted to do it, so intelligence protocols be damned! He did what he did, because apparently he felt he was too important to follow procedures, and his mission was too critical to be limited by bureaucracy.
This was all long before Trump, as was Flynn’s now infamous trip to Russia to celebrate RT’s anniversary alongside President Putin and rub asses with Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU). While Flynn was no longer DIA director, having been forced out by the Obama Administration, he received a DIA briefing before heading out to Russia and got paid for speaking there.
Of course, these “speaking fees” weren’t exactly for a traditional address. Flynn received an undisclosed amount of money for agreeing to be used as a propaganda tool by the Russian owned and controlled RT.
‘I was asked by my speaker’s bureau, LAI. I do public speaking. It was in Russia. It was a paid speaking opportunity,’ Flynn told the paper.
‘The gig was to do an interview with [RT correspondent] Sophie Shevardnadze. It was an interview in front of the forum, probably 200 people in the audience,’ he said.
‘I had a great trip. I was the first U.S. officer ever allowed inside the headquarters of the GRU [Russian intelligence]. I was able to brief their entire staff,’ Flynn said.
‘I gave them a leadership OPD. [a professional development class on leadership] and talked a lot about the way the world’s unfolding.
Flynn believes Russia could be an invaluable ally in the war against Islamic extremism. He said so during the RT forum. And he’s not wrong. The problem with sharing those views on a forum like RT is the optics. The forum took place after Russia illegally annexed Crimea, after more than a year of Russian funding of militant separatists in Ukraine, and after two years of the United States imposing economic sanctions against Russia for threatening the sovereignty and territorial integrity of its neighbors. It doesn’t look great when the ousted director of DIA heads over to Russia and advocates for closer relations. It looks like a bitter former employee impugning his former boss’ foreign policy.
But besides that, we have no idea what was said in the GRU briefing. Given Flynn’s former penchant for briefing sensitive intelligence about IC operations “unknowingly” in a presentation in Afghanistan, the concerns about his trip aren’t unwarranted.
Again, this was all pre-Trump, so to claim that somehow the IC is targeting the President through Flynn is just disingenuous, given the concerns about Flynn’s continued flaunting and disregard for good intelligence practices, since long before the Presidency was even a gleam in Trump’s eye.
Once Trump won, and announced that Flynn was to be his National Security Adviser, I can’t blame old intel hands for freaking out a bit, given Flynn’s history. When Flynn spoke with Kislyak the day sanctions were announced, and then lied about the conversation to the Vice President, this became an even bigger concern. I said at the time that even if he didn’t mention sanctions – about which the President-Elect Transition Team was briefed prior to them being announced – the optics were worrying, to say the least.
Is it any surprise that a National Security Adviser to the President of the United States who doesn’t understand what he should and should not release to foreign powers, who doesn’t see that perceptions about him impugning U.S. foreign policy on an adversary’s state-owned media channel and chatting with said adversary’s Ambassador prior to a critical foreign policy announcement would be concerning as the leader of our country’s national security apparatus?
No, the IC is not trying to bring down Trump by targeting Flynn. They’re right to be concerned.
Which brings me to the leaker, whoever it might be.
The screeching conspiritards are right in one regard. Whoever leaked the information about the intercepts between Kislyak and Flynn did so illegally. While it’s common knowledge that we spy on the Russians (DUH!), releasing that information is illegal.
Listen I get it. Whoever leaked these conversations to the public had to have been paralyzingly concerned about Flynn. Hell, I was worried about having someone like that sitting in charge of the National Security Council and receiving sensitive information. Flynn was a profound concern for the IC, and whoever leaked that information had to have known that if caught, they would be prosecuted and would likely lose their job and their freedom, but was concerned enough to do it anyway.
And while identifying Flynn internally was legal, because his identity was critical to the analysis of Kislyak’s calls, the leak of the unminimized (unmasked) identity of Kislyak’s interlocutor to the public is and should be punishable by law.
Whoever leaked this information wreaked indescribable havoc.
They gave an adversary information about collection methods – signals intelligence – without which, we probably no longer have the ability to conduct surveillance on our targets.
They handed our enemies insight into the workings of the Presidential administration. Such insight is gold for our adversaries.
It gave Russia a window into the chaos in our national security apparatus.
It showed Russia our weaknesses.
This is unacceptable under any circumstances, no matter how concerning Flynn’s actions were, and make no mistake, they were worrisome.
But there was more at stake than just Flynn, and while we don’t know how compromised he was by the Russians, if at all, and whether his actions were due to arrogant stupidity or an actual desire to betray our country to the Russians, incalculable damage was done by whoever leaked this information to the public, and that cannot be ignored.
So while Flynn’s connections – and anyone else in the Administration who has had questionable interactions with the Russians – are a fair target for law enforcement and intel investigators, so are the people who are leaking this sensitive information.
Leaks are no reason to cheer. They’re a reason to be afraid.
So let’s see…
We have shit flinging Trumpanzees boycotting Starbucks, because the company has the unmitigated gall to announce they’re hiring 10,000 refugees. Worldwide. Over the next five years. Never mind Starbucks also hires veterans and as of 2015 gives not only them, but their families college benefits. Outrage first, boys and girls!
We have screeching progtards boycotting Uber, because they’re not boycotting Trump… or something.
Then there were the Democrats boycotting a vote on two Trump cabinet picks. Well, guess what happens when you don’t show up for work? The work goes on without you, but whatever.
And the whining lefties who are encouraging boycotts of companies that dare sell Ivanka Trump’s products – companies such as Nordstrom (which has coincidentally or not stopped carrying her line), Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, TJ Maxx, and others. Never mind that Ivanka Trump has been nothing but gracious and generous toward the very people her father is accused of hating. Some of the charities she supports are Habitat for Humanity, AIDS Life, and the Children’s Aid Society. And in 2010, Ivanka designed and sold a bracelet specifically to benefit the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up campaign, which “aims to raise money and awareness to educate and propel adolescent girls in need to the next generation of leadership.” And let’s not forget that these department stores also employ immigrants, but hey… it’s the outrage that matters, right?
I also read yesterday that people were boycotting Audi, because of some spot they did virtue signaling equal pay for women, while showing fat, male rednecks losing a go-kart race to a pretty, obviously rich and privileged girl. I’m not even sure what I should be outraged about with that one. But that’s not the reason I’m not buying an Audi.
Today’s outrageary comes from the Trumpanzees again. Apparently the hashtag #boycottbudweiser is trending on Twitter, which basically means there is a sufficient number of retards using that hashtag to virtue signal their displeasure with Budweiser’s Super Bowl ad.
The ad shows a fresh off the boat Busch encountering hostile anti-immigrant sentiment upon his arrival in America – a sentiment that some say parallels current attitudes toward Muslim refugees.
It couldn’t possibly parallel a respect for the entrepreneurial spirit in the face of adversity of people who come here with nothing and build empires, right? It couldn’t be a tribute to legal immigrants, right, since that’s exactly what Busch was?
Look boycott Budweiser, because it’s a lousy beer. As the old joke goes, it’s much like having sex in a canoe – fucking close to water.
I wouldn’t spend my money on something that tastes like rancid carbonated water.
But it seems like the outrageary is morphing into something more insidious – efforts to destroy the livelihoods of millions of workers, innovators, and yes, many of them include immigrants and refugees, but also U.S. military veterans, common street kids trying to eke out a living, and middle managers – all because we don’t like a commercial, or we don’t like the type of people these companies hire, or we don’t like the political or social points of view of their leadership.
If you don’t toe the line, we will destroy you!
I completely understand voting with your wallet. If you don’t like the product, you shouldn’t spend money on it. If you don’t like the store, you shouldn’t shop there. If you don’t like the music/play/movie, you shouldn’t buy that ticket.
But I find the effort to destroy the livelihoods of thousands of people because you disagree with the policies or political views of these companies’ leadership to be more distasteful than Budweiser beer.
First, I apologize for the hiatus. Had some medical stuff to take care of, as well as some work stuff, as well as some home stuff, as well as naps. Because naps are way more important than any other… stuff. So naps.
I have been following the news, though, and I have to say that certain elements on both the right and the left seem to be
angling demanding screaming for fomenting an actual war.
First there was an article in Foreign Policy magazine by a Rosa Brooks, who back in April 2016 wrote for the magazine that Trump actually was formulating a pretty coherent foreign policy. Recently she penned a screed discussing ways we could get rid of 45 that includes a… military coup. Um.
What would top U.S. military leaders do if given an order that struck them as not merely ill-advised, but dangerously unhinged? An order that wasn’t along the lines of “Prepare a plan to invade Iraq if Congress authorizes it based on questionable intelligence,” but “Prepare to invade Mexico tomorrow!” or “Start rounding up Muslim Americans and sending them to Guantánamo!” or “I’m going to teach China a lesson — with nukes!”
It’s impossible to say, of course. The prospect of American military leaders responding to a presidential order with open defiance is frightening — but so, too, is the prospect of military obedience to an insane order. After all, military officers swear to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, not the president. For the first time in my life, I can imagine plausible scenarios in which senior military officials might simply tell the president: “No, sir. We’re not doing that,” to thunderous applause from the New York Times editorial board.
Now, I discussed this in a previous rant during the primaries after he claimed that because he’s oh-so-cool, military commanders would just fall in line and obey his orders, and target civilians for extermination, no matter how illegal.
The UCMJ states very specifically that members of the military must follow lawful orders.
I remember very clearly sitting in the bay in Basic Training and discussing lawful versus unlawful orders. I remember the Drill Sergeants specifically telling us that not only must we refuse to obey an unlawful order, but we could be legally prosecuted for doing so! I would say murdering civilians kind of qualifies.
The “I was only following orders” defense didn’t work for Nazi assholes, and they won’t work in this country either.
But a military coup? That’s a whole lotta different from disobeying an unlawful order.
Of course, the unhinged leftist celebricunts didn’t let that stop them. After either having read the piece (doubtful, since most of them would need a thesaurus and additional brain cells to comprehend it), or just come up with the bright idea after a night of snorting Lithium ground up with paint chips, and sipping Drano, they are insanely claiming that the military would stand with them in a military coup against Trump.
I. Shit. You. Not.
The amazing lack of self awareness from a crowd that is too cowardly to defend themselves with a firearm, and promotes citizen disarmament writ large, claiming that men and women with guns will stand up with them to promote their unhinged agenda would be hilarious, if it wasn’t sadly delusional.
Such deranged retards include the always entertaining (in the sheer lunacy of her statements) Sarah Silverman, and the sputtering, spewing, frothing, former Minnesota Vikings punter and current DERP! potato Chris Kluwe(less).
While I appreciated Kluwe(less)’s ardent defense of marriage equality and gay rights (after all, even a blind squirrel can find a nut sometimes, and in this case, the squirrel and the nut are one and the same), his moronic social justice bleating and this current claims of somehow being an “expert” at combat (no, the armed forces do not use the Glock 17 – as a matter of fact Sig Sauer just beat out Glock, FN America, and Beretta – the maker of the current M9 service pistol – in the competition to become the military’s handgun), make him less than competent to comment on current or potential combat situations. Video games and kicking a football =\= real life combat, you pugnacious fucktard. And encouraging your frothing buddies to loot gun stores and armories will only get them killed.
And then, there were the fires, looting, and riots at Berkeley.
Why? Because the special snowflakes couldn’t possibly allow someone with whom they disagree to have the opportunity to speak. Home of the free speech movement, indeed. It’s more like a bowel movement nowadays. This caused the Trump Administration to threaten to cut off funds to Bezerkeley, and rightfully so. I’m a taxpayer, and so is every individual who holds views that differing views from the howling psychopaths who set property on fire in order to silence a speaker whom they dislike. And personally, I don’t want my tax dollars used to fund suppression of free speech. I’m fairly sure others don’t either. If Bezerkeley insists on doing so, they don’t need my hard earned dollars.
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) on Thursday released a statement calling the president’s apparent threat an “abuse of power.”
“President Donald Trump cannot bully our university into silence. Simply put, President Trump’s empty threat to cut funding from UC Berkeley is an abuse of power,” she said in the statement.
So Trump can’t “bully” the university into ostensible silence by withholding federal money that belongs to all taxpayers, but the university can use federal money that belongs to all taxpayers to bully an invited guest into silence? Is that the way it works, you dried up, hypocritical hag? You want our money to fund your tyrannical tactics, and if we threaten to pull our funds, you call it bullying?
Yeah, how about you go get fucked by a rabid wildebeest, MKAY?
The university claims that masked agitators came onto campus and began throwing Molotov cocktails and rocks, and interrupting a protest.
Yeah, I sure believe that one. Pull the other one, will ya?
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter who the agitators were. They were there to start a war. They were there to instigate violence. Just like these celebricunts are doing (from the relative safety of their gated communities, of course). Just like the jackwagons who decided a Bank of America and a Starbucks were cool (and easy) targets in DC to vandalize.
You want a war, cupcakes? You won’t like the outcome. That’s a promise. We are better trained, better prepared, and better qualified to kick your hairy, unwashed, pussy hat-wearing asses than you and your mewling band of paintball buddies.
Shut up and sit down before you hurt yourselves.
As many of you know, I’m an immigrant. My parents and I came here as refugees from the Soviet Union in 1980, so this weekend’s Executive Order “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States” hits close to home.
First of all, let’s get something straight: this isn’t anything new. President Obama in 2011 all but halted visas for Iraqis after two Iraqi immigrants were arrested in Kentucky on suspicion of terrorist ties. Further back, the Chinese Exclusion Act was the first piece of American legislation meant to prevent a specific ethnic group from entering the United States. The left’s Patron Deity of Statist Assery FDR in 1942 turned away hundreds of desperate Jewish refugees on the SS Drottningholm, claiming they were a threat to national security.
It’s a shitty history, but I don’t see the pearl-clutching condemners of Trump’s recent Executive Order mentioning it in their current outrage about the halt to immigration.
There’s some good analysis here, although I’m loath to ascribe malevolence to this order, as the author of the blog does. When analyzing any piece of information it is inadvisable to make an assessment on the state of mind of the subject, unless it’s blatantly obvious. It is not here. The text of the Executive Order says nothing about Islam or Muslims, and 45’s calls for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on,” provide context into one possible motivation. Alternatively, he could be just keeping a campaign promise, or trying to examine what is needed to improve our visa system before he allows any more refugees into the country. It does not necessarily imply malevolence.
To be sure, the executive order does not say anything as crass as: “Sec. 14. Burdening Muslim Lives to Make Political Point.” It doesn’t need to. There’s simply no reason in reading it to ignore everything Trump said during the campaign, during which he repeatedly called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States.
So, no, I’m not going to assess malice, where so little evidence for it exists.
Additionally, despite the screeching about Muslim countries where Trump has business interests not being included in the ban, the logic behind including the countries it did include is a bit more complex than that. The list of countries enumerated in the EO was apparently based on one signed into law by the former Obama administration in late 2015. The Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act was part of an omnibus spending bill, and the ACLU and NIAC Action — the sister organization of the National Iranian American Council — both opposed the act, which passed despite their protestations.
That said, the author of the blog is correct in that it should be worrisome that the EO, which usually undergoes a rigorous interagency process to ensure it is correctly written and reduce any chance of the order being misinterpreted in any way, was not coordinated with the relevant agencies.
I will leave it to others to make the hefty assessments about the efficacy of the new EO. I’m not an expert on border security, but there’s a part of me that wonders how the hell green card holders, who have already been living and working in this country without problems, all of a sudden represent a threat to national security.
I will say this, however. As an immigrant, I remember how grateful, how honored we were to enter this country! We were vetted – meticulously so – given the fact that we entered this country at the height of the Cold War from a nation that was the primary national security threat to the United States. We waited around in Italy, filling out paperwork and our backgrounds being investigated for more than a month. And the debriefings continued months and months after we crossed the border into the country.
Being allowed into America was always a privilege for us. It was an honor, and we worked hard to pay this country back for its kindness, its freedoms, and the opportunities it afforded us to work, achieve, and succeed. We were willing to do everything possible to be allowed to enter, stay, and ultimately become citizens.
Our first apartment in Brooklyn, NY was smelly and roach infested. No matter how much the building management sprayed, the roaches were everywhere. I woke up in the middle of the night once to get some milk, walked into the kitchen, turned on the light, and found my hand was covered in cockroaches. We raided trash on our neighbors’ curbs for clothing and furniture. The public school I attended had me in a class of 40 kids with no ESL classes, so I sat there day after day, not understanding a word of what was being taught.
Maybe I’m crazy, but there seems to be a certain amount of entitlement to today’s refugees. They expect to be processed quickly, regardless of whether or not the resources exist to vet them properly. They’re entitled to benefits, assistance to needy families, housing, and Medicaid. And yet, some sue because the schools aren’t good enough. They are detained at the airport? Outrage. There’s a temporary ban placed on their entry? Outrage. It’s like they’re entitled to be here. Like they’re entitled to enter because off their plight, regardless of the threat – no matter how insignificant – to our own people.
It strikes me as a bit… presumptive. It’s like their plight gives them the right to come here. Coming here should be an ultimate honor – a privilege granted to those who are trusted to enter, not an entitlement.
Now, I really do have the utmost sympathy for refugees striving to escape violence and bloodshed. My heart bleeds for them, and I would like nothing more than to see these people safe – far away from Asad’s atrocities and Russian bombs. But at the same time, I’ve always said that need is not a claim check, and as someone who has dedicated her life to ensuring this country and her people are safe, our first priority should always be our own people.
To say that I’m torn on the topic is… well.. an understatement.
But as a former refugee, a naturalized citizen, a military veteran, and someone who took an oath to protect this country – someone who understands the desperation of abused, persecuted, and hurt people – I also have to remind myself that the security of this country should always come first.
If it doesn’t, these poor, abused people will have no country to escape to.