Monthly Archives: July 2017

Trump Junior Emails

The media has gone wild over the Trump emails obtained by the New York Times, and then released by Trump Junior himself.  How did the NYT obtain these emails?  If they came from intelligence sources, they illustrate the violations of the Fourth Amendment by the intelligence community that led Ed Snowden to defect to Russia.  Of course, once Trump himself released the emails, their veracity is confirmed, but where did the NYT get them in the first place?  Did someone violate Donald Junior’s Fourth Amendment rights?  Is the NYT not concerned about violations of the Fourth Amendment?  It has repeatedly relied on its protection under the First Amendment.  Is one amendment more important than the other?  

It’s interesting that liberal journalists across the board have no concern about reading other people’s emails.  A hundred years ago reading someone else’s mail was a very bad thing to do.  Someone who did it would have been considered an immoral, impolite voyeur.  Today there is no concern about reading other people’s mail.  The talking heads delight in it and feel no shame.  President Trump is certainly boorish and impolite, but so are the talking heads who criticize him.  A pox on both your houses.  

I found it interesting that on “Andrea Mitchell Reports” Sen. Tim Kaine said Americans were deployed to fight the Russians, and because of that confrontation, what Donald Trump, Jr., did was potentially treason.  Since the penalty for treason is death, Kaine presumably believes that Trump Junior should die for meeting with a Russian lawyer.  

The Trump discussions look like nothing compared with the Reagan campaign’s negotiations with the Iranians to help Reagan defeat Carter in 1980.  See this report in the Washington Report on Middle Eastern Affairs.  Although most of these negotiations were secret, the Iranian release of the Iranian hostages the moment after Reagan took the oath of office was very public.  Compared to Reagan, Trump is as pure as the driven snow.  

Media Coverage of Donald Trump, Jr.  

I have been appalled by most media coverage of the meeting between Donald Trump, Jr., and Russian lawyer .. Veselnitskaya.  As an indictment of Ms. Veselnitskaya, the New York Times said on July 8

Ms. Veselnitskaya was formerly married to a former deputy transportation minister of the Moscow region, and her clients include state-owned businesses and a senior government official’s son, whose company was under investigation in the United States at the time of the meeting. Her activities and associations had previously drawn the attention of the F.B.I., according to a former senior law enforcement official.

In other words, the NYT condemned this lawyer for having unsavory clients.  But that standard, virtually every lawyer in the US would be condemned as untrustworthy.  Ms. Veselnitskaya may be a bad person, but not through guilt by association with shady clients.  The NYT has sunk to the level of the National Enquirer in terms of denigrating people.  It shows trashy writing and trashy editing.  The NYT’s hatred of Trump is so strong that it has lost its professionalism.  

The NYT article also included this paragraph:

American intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian hackers and propagandists worked to tip the election toward Mr. Trump, and a special prosecutor and congressional committees are now investigating whether his campaign associates colluded with Russians. Mr. Trump has disputed that, but the investigation has cast a shadow over his administration for months.

This paragraph has nothing to do with the story about the Russian lawyer, but it sticks in something nasty about Trump.  It’s equivalent to writing, “Many people say Trump is ugly and stupid.”  Such a comment does not say that he is ugly and stupid, it just plants that idea in readers’ minds, much as the paragraph about ongoing investigations does.  Two years ago, the Times would never have stooped to writing such slanderous garbage.  

I’m not saying the Donald Trump is a great man or a great President.  He is not.  But if you are going to make the case that he is not, you should be honest about it.  You should stick to the facts.  Trump hatred has driven the “old gray lady” to become a slutty whore.  The Times has fallen off its pedestal.  

It is possible to report the Trump, Jr., story accurately, but I have watched or read four versions and found only one to be fair.  The fair version was tonight’s Vice news on HBO.  It stuck to the facts and indicated that while this meeting was probably not the smartest thing Donald Junior had ever done, it was probably not terrible.  It does not look like that TV interview has yet been posted on the Internet.  

Meanwhile, both CBS and PBS followed the NYT in linking Donald Junior’s meeting to Russian spying, if only by implication.  The CBS Evening News report by Jeff Pegues included a clip by an ex-FBI agent who said that in any meeting the Russians were “always trying to use you,”  the implication being that Trump was compromised, when in fact as a businessman he probably meets people everyday who are trying to use him, get him to do something he doesn’t want to do.  Why does the FBI think that the Russians are so much smarter than New York real estate developers?  CBS implies that Trump Junior is a hopeless dupe, that no businessman would ever take a meeting because a friend asked him to.  CBS no doubt believes Trump Junior is an idiot and a traitor, but they need better information than this to prove it.  This just more guilt by innuendo and association.  The PBS Newshour report followed much the same pattern.  

Oddly, although Democrats and the news media believe that no one can resist the wiles of the Russians, American officials at the embassy in Moscow meet with Russians everyday.  Have they all be compromised and turned into traitors?  If so, none would be more guilty than former Ambassador Michael McFaul.  However, McFaul was a huge supporter of Hillary Clinton and still appears frequently as a commentator on TV.  How is it that he escaped being brainwashed by Putin, while they believe Trump officials were brainwashed by spending a few minutes with Russians.  Of course, there are Trump associates who spent more than a few minutes with Russians and who are suspect of being under Russian influence, particularly Paul Manafort and maybe Gen. Michael Flynn.  Flynn certainly did some things wrong, but I find it hard to believe that an Army general who was the head of military intelligence would have become a pawn of Russian intelligence, while Michael McFaul escaped any contamination whatsoever.   

Ed Snowden and Russian Hacking

If the House and Senate intelligence committees were really serious about investigating Russian hacking, they would be looking into and talking about the role of Ed Snowden, the former NSA contractor who is now living in Russia.  If even half of the terrible things the committees, particularly the Democratic members, have said about Putin are true, then Putin has made Snowden spill his guts about some of NSA’s most closely held secrets and how to hack American computer systems.  Snowden is one of the foremost hackers in the world, if only because he hacked America’s foremost hacking agency, the NSA.  He is a gold mine of information for Russian hackers; yet, neither the intelligence committees nor the intelligence community has mentioned him.  We are led to believe that Putin and his henchmen have respected Snowden’s privacy and have never asked him a question about US cyber intelligence operations.  If you can’t trust an American businessman like Trump to sit down with a Russian businessman and talk, (and the New York Times and the Washington Post can’t) then how can you expect to trust an American intelligence agent, who has defected to live in Russia and talk to Russians everyday, not to disclose anything of value.  

Why are the Democrats afraid to mention Snowden?  Because Snowden defected when he thought Obama and the Democrats were violating the rights of millions of Americans by spying on them.  If Snowden thought Obama was bad, he must have thought that Hillary Clinton as President would have been ten or a hundred times worse.  Of course, he did not expect Donald Trump to become President; nobody did.  Therefore, it’s not unreasonable to believe that Snowden helped the Russians work against Hillary Clinton’s campaign.  By the time it became clear that Trump would be her opponent, Snowden had probably spilled his guts to the Russians.  It may be that even now, because of his contempt for the widespread spying on ordinary citizens by the CIA and NSA under Obama, he thinks that he did the right thing in trying to level the playing field against the intrusions of these aggressive American spy agencies.  

If Putin, the FSB, and Russian hackers have refrained from talking to Snowden, then the American intelligence community and the intelligence committees should establish that fact, and we would know that Putin is not all bad.  Of course the implication is that Putin, a former KGB agent, is now interested only in money and politics and doesn’t give a damn about spying.  John Brennan, do you really believe that Putin has neutered the FSB?  No, I think Brennan was more interested in electing Hillary Clinton than in protecting the cyber security of the United States.  

Has Representative Adam Schiff or Senator John Warner, the senior Democratic representatives on the Congressional committees, ever mentioned Ed Snowden?  I don’t think so.  A quick Google search revealed only a Bloomberg interview with Adam Schiff around June 2013 while Snowden was being held temporarily at the Moscow airport.  Schiff said he thought that if Russia granted asylum to Snowden, it would harm US-Russian relations.  I see nothing about Snowden from Schiff or Warner since Trump’s election.  Snowden is clearly the biggest cyber hacking thing to happen in the last few years, but it goes unmentioned.  What role did Snowden’s information play in Soviet hacking of Ukraine, or the DNC, or the worldwide ransomware attacks, which used an NSA-developed hack?  Nobody knows, and the Democrats are afraid to ask, because it might turn out that Snowden’s defection under the Obama administration was one of  the main things that made these hack attacks possible.  

Unless they deal with Snowden, the Congressional investigations are just Soviet style show trials aimed at destroying Donald Trump.  Meanwhile, CIA director John Brennan was too politicized to do his job competently.  It’s a nasty mess, and Adam Schiff and John Warner, the two Democratic attack dogs, are two of the nastiest people involved.  But they are afraid to touch Ed Snowden.