Trump sics his attack dog flunkies onto John Bolton

The Department of Justice has launched a criminal investigation into the possibility that former national security adviser John Bolton “unlawfully disclosed classified information” in a memoir he published earlier this year, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

Citing conversations with three people familiar with the matter, the Times said DOJ “has convened a grand jury, which issued a subpoena for communications records from Simon & Schuster, the publisher” of Bolton’s book, “The Room Where It Happened,” which was released in June…

Bolton, who served for a time as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, has said he has complied with all of the revisions requested by the White House.

Someone on staff, no doubt, read the 2-paragraph condensed version to the Fake President.

Mueller stops being overpolite to corrupt politicians and pimps

The former special counsel Robert Mueller made a rare move on Saturday to publicly defend his two-year investigation into allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 election – and to castigate Donald Trump’s decision to commute Roger Stone’s prison sentence.

Mueller wrote…“The work of the special counsel’s office – its report, indictments, guilty pleas and convictions – should speak for itself,”…“But I feel compelled to respond both to broad claims that our investigation was illegitimate and our motives were improper, and to specific claims that Roger Stone was a victim of our office …

“Stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes. He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so.”

Finally…

Luxembourg PM forced to resign over spying scandal


“I need to whisper a secret in your ear”

Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker has resigned after being forced out of power by his coalition partner for failing to curb the excesses of the secret services.

Jean-Claude Juncker, prime minister since 1995 and the European Union’s longest serving government chief, tendered his resignation on Thursday to Grand Duke Henri, the royal head of state who himself has been implicated in media reports of espionage…

He announced his decision after a charged seven-hour debate, prompted by a motion from junior coalition partners, the Socialists, calling for the dissolution of parliament and elections.

A parliamentary report found that the country’s intelligence agency had, among other offences committed from 2003 to 2009, illegally bugged politicians’ phones, sought payments for access to officials and bought luxury cars for private use.

The report criticised Juncker for having little control over the agency, known as SREL, despite being the minister with overall responsibility for it…

Some opponents accused the 58-year-old of abusing the secret service for his own and his party’s benefit, but he angrily denied that during the parliamentary debate…

Socialist leader, Alex Bodry, said that the prime minister “must assume his responsibilities, not because he was dishonest or incompetent but because he made the wrong choices.”

So, the other side of the pond we see a nation’s leader caught spying on citizens of the nation itself. Not only his political opposition; but, his party’s partners rise up in anger over a betrayal of privacy and purpose by the government. He is forced to resign.

This side of the Atlantic? Americans accept political corruption as natural and inevitable. And lack the backbone to demand allegiance to the principles of our constitution. Do you think we can rely on Congress to sort out the NSA – and our president?

Democratic Senators warn of the abusive use of the Patriot Act


The spring winds clockwise, right?

For more than two years, a handful of Democrats on the Senate intelligence committee have warned that the government is secretly interpreting its surveillance powers under the Patriot Act in a way that would be alarming if the public — or even others in Congress — knew about it. On Thursday, two of those senators — Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall of Colorado — went further. They said a top-secret intelligence operation that is based on that secret legal theory is not as crucial to national security as executive branch officials have maintained.

The senators, who also said that Americans would be “stunned” to know what the government thought the Patriot Act allowed it to do, made their remarks in a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. after a Justice Department official last month told a judge that disclosing anything about the program “could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security of the United States…”

The senators wrote that it was appropriate to keep specific operations secret. But, they said, the government in a democracy must act within publicly understood law so that voters “can ratify or reject decisions made on their behalf” — even if that “obligation to be transparent with the public” creates other challenges.

“We would also note that in recent months we have grown increasingly skeptical about the actual value of the ‘intelligence collection operation,’ ” they added. “This has come as a surprise to us, as we were initially inclined to take the executive branch’s assertions about the importance of this ‘operation’ at face value.”

The dispute centers on what the government thinks it is allowed to do under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, under which agents may obtain a secret order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court allowing them to get access to any “tangible things” — like business records — that are deemed “relevant” to a terrorism or espionage investigation.

There appears to be both an ordinary use for Section 215 orders — akin to using a grand jury subpoena to get specific information in a traditional criminal investigation — and a separate, classified intelligence collection activity that also relies upon them…

The letter from Mr. Wyden and Mr. Udall also complained that while the Obama administration told Congress in August 2009 that it would establish “a regular process for reviewing, redacting and releasing significant opinions” of the court, since then “not a single redacted opinion has been released.”

Am I surprised? Unless this is your first visit to this site, you shouldn’t be. I’ve been confronting the Feds over crap like this for over a half-century. And I ain’t alone.

The sad part is that this is happening under the administration of a President who is a constitutional scholar. He knows better. Maybe he believes the rationales, the excuses and lies offered by the intelligence community. I didn’t think that was possible since the demented days of J. Edgar Hoover.

Not the lies. The gullibility. The political opportunism.