Daily Archives: May 30, 2017

Kushner Investigation

I don’t know what is wrong with Jared Kushner talking to Soviet diplomats about opening a secret channel of communications between the US and Russia. You might question the political wisdom of such an arrangement, but I don’t see what is illegal about it.

I see the potential criminality of Gen. Michael Flynn’s taking payments from the Russians, especially his not reporting the payments to the Pentagon. I see a lot of smoke indicating the possibility of criminal activity surrounding Paul Manafort, who has been a paid consultant to a number of unsavory individuals and organizations connected to the Russians and the Ukrainians. However, both of these potentially criminal actions are outside of those individuals’ activities directly connected to the Trump campaign. It is as if Trump had hired a thief to work in his campaign. If that thief did not steal while he was working for Trump, then Trump might be guilty of poor judgment for hiring him, but that’s all. There is no criminal liability attached to the campaign itself.

I think the liberal press is trying to create some kind of guilt by association, by talking about the innuendo involving people in the campaign. It is as if they were talking about someone going to a bar, and thereby trying to create the impression that he is a drunkard, just because he went to a bar after work.

Your business is not criminally liable because one of your employees set his neighbor’s house on fire. Again, you can be criticized for employing an unsavory character, but that does not make you a criminal or your business a criminal activity. As usual in Washington, if there was some criminal act involved in trying to cover up the associate’s criminality in order to avoid bad publicity, then that coverup might be criminal, but not the original act itself. But that coverup would have to be criminal in itself, not just poor judgment.

In fact, I think much of the ado about Russia is an attempt by the liberal press to create some kind of implicit guilt for something that is not a crime. Liking the Russians may be a poor political judgment, but it does not appear to me to be a crime. The Democrats are trying to revive the hatred of the old Soviet Union from the bad old Cold War days. Russia is not the Soviet Union. The Democrats make the Russians look like some huge threat, but from the stories in the New York Times and Washington Post, the Russians look pretty incompetent. We seem to see every cable that the Russian ambassador sends to Moscow. Civilian Russian hackers may be pretty good, but the FSB security people seem like rank amateurs. Their codes can be broken easily. It’s like American breaking the German’s Enigma code in World War II, but in that case the intelligence services managed to keep it a secret. It was not headlined on the front pages of newspapers. America’s intelligence services can break codes, but they can’t keep a secret.

I worry that some elements of the intelligence community have gone rogue and are more loyal to the Democratic Party than to the US Constitution, which they took an oath to uphold.

NYT and Wash Post Leaks

The New York Times ran a front page article defending its decision to print leaked intelligence about the Manchester bombing from the British, which aided the terrorists by giving details of the British investigation.   The NYT put getting a scoop ahead of protecting the nation from terrorist attacks. The NYT put getting a scoop ahead of protecting the nation from terrorist attacks.  

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/25/world/europe/manchester-bombing-leaks-donald-trump.html

The Washington Post printed leaked intercepted communications between the Russian ambassador in Washington and the Kremlin in Moscow.  I don’t know how the ambassador communicated with Moscow, but the ambassador does, and he will know not to use the same channel again unless he wants to give the information to the US. The article may have revealed that we have broken Russian codes that they did not know we had broken.  

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/russian-ambassador-told-moscow-that-kushner-wanted-secret-communications-channel-with-kremlin/2017/05/26/520a14b4-422d-11e7-9869-bac8b446820a_story.html

Neither newspaper seems concerned about damaging US national security either vis-a-vis the terrorists or Russia.  It appears that whoever is leaking information to the press is less concerned about US national security than about other issues, like getting rid of Trump.  

The inability of the Russian government to keep a secret makes the Russian spy agency, the FSB, look like a joke.  The Russian ambassador, Kislyak, looks like a fool, an incompetent nincompoop. If Putin had some plan to get an inside track with the new administration, his team botched it horribly.  The Russians look like the gang that couldn’t shoot straight.