Barr’s Playbook on honesty, memos, press conferences


“I’ve summarized the principal conclusions”

❝ On Friday the thirteenth October 1989…news leaked of a legal memo authored by William Barr. He was then serving as head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). It is highly uncommon for any OLC memo to make headlines. This one did because it was issued in “unusual secrecy” and concluded that the FBI could forcibly abduct people in other countries without the consent of the foreign state. The…implication of the legal opinion at that moment in time…appeared to pave the way for abducting Panama’s leader, Gen. Manuel Noriega.

❝ Members of Congress asked to see the full legal opinion. Barr refused, but said he would provide an account that “summarizes the principal conclusions.” Sound familiar?…

Barr withheld the full OLC opinion in 1989 and said to trust his summary of the principal conclusions…When the OLC opinion was finally made public long after Barr left office, it was clear that Barr’s summary had failed to fully disclose the opinion’s principal conclusions. It is better to think of Barr’s summary as a redacted version of the full OLC opinion. That’s because the “summary” took the form of 13 pages of written testimony…this 13-page version omitted some of the most consequential and incendiary conclusions from the actual opinion. And there was evidently no justifiable reason for having withheld those parts from Congress or the public.

He’s certainly had beaucoup practice prior to everything he’s done so far as Attorney General to protect the scumbag playing at Fake President in the White House.

I’ll be going about my usual day…the highest priority being fitness and sound nutrition. Even old leftwing geezers need to keep the physical plant in shape if the engine is going to offer useful products over a long period of time. 🙂

Over the day, I’ll catch up with the news. I doubt we’ll get to see the report as constructed by those entrusted with the research, analysis and conclusions until some time after this fake president and his obedient pimps are long gone. Yes, I’m cynical as ever about the American electorate as currently constituted and manipulated by thugs slightly sharper than the average mid-level drug dealer. If circumstances aid the cause and course of honesty in the months before the next election, that may come about sooner.

I ain’t holding my breath.

Just 10 of the latest lies from our Fake President

He exaggerated the trade deficit with other countries.

The figures that Mr. Trump listed account only for the United States’ trade in goods and do not include trade in services. In 2016, the United States’ trade balance amounted to a $309 billion deficit with China (not $350 billion); a $63 billion deficit with Mexico (not $71 billion); and a $7.7 billion trade surplus with Canada (not a deficit of $17 billion).

In Mr. Trump’s telling, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada disputed the president’s estimate of a $17 billion deficit when they discussed the issue behind closed doors, but he excluded oil and lumber to claim a balance. The trade balance data does, in fact, include oil and lumber.

And this was Trump taking it easy on the lying for the holidays. Staying in shape for lying about how well he plays golf.

RTFA for 9 more.

Donald Rumsfeld knew what we weren’t told about Iraq

On September 9, 2002, as the George W. Bush administration was launching its campaign to invade Iraq, a classified report landed on the desk of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It came from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and it carried an ominous note.

“Please take a look at this material as to what we don’t know about WMD,” Rumsfeld wrote to Air Force General Richard Myers. “It is big.”

The report was an inventory of what U.S. intelligence knew—or more importantly didn’t know—about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Its assessment was blunt: “We’ve struggled to estimate the unknowns. … We range from 0% to about 75% knowledge on various aspects of their program.”

Myers already knew about the report. The Joint Staff’s director for intelligence had prepared it, but Rumsfeld’s urgent tone said a great deal about how seriously the head of the Defense Department viewed the report’s potential to undermine the Bush administration’s case for war. But he never shared the eight-page report with key members of the administration such as then-Secretary of State Colin Powell or top officials at the CIA…Instead, the report disappeared…

While the threat posed by a nuclear-armed Iraq was at the heart of the administration’s case for war, the JCS report conceded: “Our knowledge of the Iraqi (nuclear) weapons program is based largely — perhaps 90% — on analysis of imprecise intelligence.”

The rationale for the invasion has long since been discredited, but the JCS report, now declassified, which a former Bush administration official forwarded in December, nevertheless has implications for both sides in the 2016 presidential race, in particular the GOP candidates who are relying for foreign policy advice on some of the architects of the war, and the Democratic front-runner, who once again is coming under fire from her primary opponent for supporting the invasion.

For these two sets of reasons RTFA. Corrupt policies are repeated many times in the history of our nation because an ignorant electorate may as well be uncaring. We trust too much, too often, in the truthfulness of elected and appointed officials. Often, in more than one administration supposedly in principled opposition.

NSA admits to violating our privacy 2776 times in a year — think that’s all?


Courtesy of the Washington Post

I trust the NSA to be providing us with truthful reporting on violations of our privacy about as far as I can hurl a Congressional conservative uphill into a heavy wind.

There are damned few occasions when I can recall our elected officials providing us with an accurate accounting of what they feel is bad news. Good news? We get monster press conferences. Bad news? Revelations about the creeps paid to snoop on us? We get redacted, half-baked lowest common denominator admissions of “human error”.

Given a history of legalized cover-ups with criminal activity hidden for decades if not centuries – I still wonder how much thievery and corruption is still covered up in these “security” protocols.

Thanks to The Big Picture