Fragile Bird

US Politics: Lock Him Up!

425 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Quote

I don't think the 'assassinations are his hobby' argument disarms Putin's danger the way it was apparently intended to.

Gee, I don't know, maybe because it was because it wasn't intended to disarm Putin's danger at all? Maybe because it was intended to point out the absurdity of the conspiracy theories people are generating around all this when no serious journalist or intelligence official has even suggested that the deaths are linked to US-Russia relations or electoral interference? (Let alone even confirm that it was actually murder at play.) Honestly, this crap kind of reminds of all the shit  floating around the far-right internet about how the Clintons secretly murdered a bunch of people by connecting the dots to a bunch of apparently unrelated deaths. 

Edited by All-for-Joffrey

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It can't be characterized as a "Benghazi-level conspiracy theory" until it has been investigated by Congress at least 3 times, despite the fact that none of the previous "investigations" turned up any smoking guns. The article you posted as well as much of your own post is rife with hand waving. It's chock full of "nothing to see here, you're just being hysterical". How about we wait for the investigation before we start passing those sorts of judgments? 

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23 minutes ago, Mexal said:

There is more to this.

1. The FBI wanted to hire Steele on further. That goes to show they thought he was credible and wanted him to continue to dig.

2. There has been elements of the dossier that have been confirmed.

Now, if you want to be like Joffrey up there, you can dismiss it all because it's anonymously sourced in mainstream media articles, but it's been reported by multiple organizations.

It depends on what you think the FBI's motive was, as a lot in the dossier seems pretty out there, such as offering someone a 19% stake in Rosneft as a bribe, and other things that appear to be erroneous and/or unverifiable.  So, without more information it could be argued either way, the FBI was interested and pursuing the dossier because they were politically motivated or the FBI was interested because they found it was credible that Trump and the Russians were colluding over the election.  Me, personally, I find that is pretty far fetched and thought the dossier seemed to be not very well done.  It's also of course true that a lot of non Trump people including Democrats have ties to Russia and do business with Russia.  Just a thought.

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2 minutes ago, All-for-Joffrey said:

You do realize those time stamps are updated when they update the articles right?

Being condescending is a bad look. The time stamps I'm referring to is when they were first released. I know, I reading it when it happened. 

2 minutes ago, All-for-Joffrey said:

Those are the exact same BS arguments that people made about the Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden leaks. (And the Russia conspiracy narrative reinforces those types of regressive, national security state arguments.) This isn't about cyber espionage against the Russian ambassador for instance. These are broad-brush programs that US intelligence apparatuses use to target private companies and individuals, often with rubber stamp warrants or without warrants period. If they don't want their shit out there, they need to stop aggressively invading people's privacy. 

That is your opinion. I have mine. I think every foreign actor knowing our full capabilities and how to avoid them, especially in a world that's becoming more heavily reliant on cyber espionage, is a worse outcome. If you don't believe Snowden didn't hurt our ability to hunt and track terrorists, you haven't spoken to a single intelligence professional in your life. At the end of the day, I'm not naive enough to believe that we didn't have these capabilities. I'm smart enough and plugged in enough to know they exist and they're necessary. Now they're significantly less effective yet for you and me, nothing changes. You will continue to live your life, you will continue to use your Samsung TV or your Iphone/Android, you will continue to call your family members and text your friends. We have no reason to try to avoid them because we're not doing anything wrong. But you will also be less safe because the only people who actually care enough to go through the effort to bypass them are the people who are out to do you and me harm.

2 minutes ago, All-for-Joffrey said:

And none of this is "wonky bullshit." The surveillance state is not "wonky bullshit." The travel ban is not "wonky bullshit." ICE acting blatantly unconstitutionally in their drive to deport undocumented immigrants is not "wonky bullshit." Healthcare is "wonky" by default but repealing it can literally kill people so I would hardly call it "bullshit." This isn't bullshit. Unlike Russian conspiracy theories, these are actually human rights issues that actually affect people. 

All of those issues are also legitimate and we should discuss them, which we have. But do not downplay the current Russian connections as bullshit when the National Security Adviser resigned 28 days (shortest term ever for a NSA?) into the presidency for lying and the Attorney General recused himself for being caught lying 3 weeks later. Do not downplay the current Russian connections when Trump has lied 15 times about his relationship with them, when Donald Trump Jr has talked about how much Russian money has flooded into Trump Organization and when our President, our Command in Chief, has not relinquished a single % of his stake in any of his 400+ businesses while still refusing to produce his tax returns. All of these issues matter, including Russian conspiracy theories as you like to call them.

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6 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

It depends on what you think the FBI's motive was, as a lot in the dossier seems pretty out there, such as offering someone a 19% stake in Rosneft as a bribe, and other things that appear to be erroneous and/or unverifiable.  So, without more information it could be argued either way, the FBI was interested and pursuing the dossier because they were politically motivated or the FBI was interested because they found it was credible that Trump and the Russians were colluding over the election.  Me, personally, I find that is pretty far fetched and thought the dossier seemed to be not very well done.  It's also of course true that a lot of non Trump people including Democrats have ties to Russia and do business with Russia.  Just a thought.

FBI was politically motivated how? Steele brought the memos to journalists because the FBI wasn't showing any urgency at the time to investigate it because they were too focused on emails. Lets also not forget that the Director of the FBI, against DOJ guidelines and the Attorney General, sent an election changing letter to Congress 11 days before voting announcing new found emails without having analyzed any of the emails to see if they were duplicates. That doesn't sound like a FBI that was politically motivated against Trump.

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2 minutes ago, Mexal said:

FBI was politically motivated how? Steele brought the memos to journalists because the FBI wasn't showing any urgency at the time to investigate it because they were too focused on emails. Lets also not forget that the Director of the FBI, against DOJ guidelines and the Attorney General, sent an election changing letter to Congress 11 days before voting announcing new found emails without having analyzed any of the emails to see if they were duplicates. That doesn't sound like a FBI that was politically motivated against Trump.

We don't have enough information. If the FBI wasn't interested in the dossier for several months, then what changed?  It has been reported that multiple media outlets had been attempting to confirm all or parts of the dossier for months and had nothing.  Neither Trump's GOP opponents or the Clinton campaign appear to have had sufficient faith in the dossier to make it public...so it seems odd, with no other context, that somehow it became credible to the FBI, at least to me it does.

My understanding on the letter is that Comey believed the NYFBI was going to leak the information about the emails found as part of their own investigation and that is why he went public.  It may be true or not, but it makes sense to me and it would have been even more damaging if Huma's email stuff was leaked to the NYC papers by the FBI because then the story would have been FBI covering up for Clinton, even if that wasn't the case.  I also don't think the letter changed the election.   I don't think wikileaks changed the election either.  Clinton lost because she was anticipating a landslide and so she failed to shore up her base in Wisconsin, PA and Ohio, it's really that simple, a little more turnout there and she would have won.

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Posted (edited)

2 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

We don't have enough information. If the FBI wasn't interested in the dossier for several months, then what changed?  It has been reported that multiple media outlets had been attempting to confirm all or parts of the dossier for months and had nothing.  Neither Trump's GOP opponents or the Clinton campaign appear to have had sufficient faith in the dossier to make it public...so it seems odd, with no other context, that somehow it became credible to the FBI, at least to me it does.

My understanding on the letter is that Comey believed the NYFBI was going to leak the information about the emails found as part of their own investigation and that is why he went public.  It may be true or not, but it makes sense to me and it would have been even more damaging if Huma's email stuff was leaked to the NYC papers by the FBI because then the story would have been FBI covering up for Clinton, even if that wasn't the case.  I also don't think the letter changed the election.   I don't think wikileaks changed the election either.  Clinton lost because she was anticipating a landslide and so she failed to shore up her base in Wisconsin, PA and Ohio, it's really that simple, a little more turnout there and she would have won.

And you think Comey or wikileaks didn't depress turnout amongst Dem-leaning voters in the Midwest? Like, at all? Because the margins were razor thin.

Edited by theguyfromtheVale

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Come on guys.... this is classic rewriting the script.  They did it with Bush with false equivalencies and no investigations after a decade of doing it before.  Now they are doing it again after years of investigations that turned up nothing while doing nothing about actual corruption today, trying again to use false equivalencies to justify their hypocrisy.

So now we're in for Russia=Benghazi, and that turned up nothing, so there is obviously nothing to see there.

It's just simple math.

/sarcasm

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Posted (edited)

6 minutes ago, aceluby said:

Come on guys.... this is classic rewriting the script.  They did it with Bush with false equivalencies and no investigations after a decade of doing it before.  Now they are doing it again after years of investigations that turned up nothing while doing nothing about actual corruption today, trying again to use false equivalencies to justify their hypocrisy.

So now we're in for Russia=Benghazi, and that turned up nothing, so there is obviously nothing to see there.

It's just simple math.

/sarcasm

Oh and hey look! The Russians feel the same way that All-For-Joffrey does!

http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/06/asia/russia-american-hysteria-hurting-relations/?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

 

/I believe this is called gaslighting.

Edited by Manhole Eunuchsbane

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8 minutes ago, theguyfromtheVale said:

And you think Comey or wikileaks didn't depress turnout amongst Dem-leaning voters in the Midwest? Like, at all? Because the margins were razor thin.

Her own people were begging her to campaign in those states and she didn't.  She wasn't buying ads in those states but other swing states that she thought she might win.  

This seems, again, I generally go with occam's razor, the most important factor in why and how she lost those states.  And I would say generally, she wasn't a candidate that generated a huge amount of enthusiasm, when you compare the size of her events to Trumps...that should have been a red flag that they REALLY needed to shore up their key areas, but they didn't.  I'm sure there was some marginal impact of wikileaks and Comey's letter, but enough to swing the election?  I doubt it.

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7 hours ago, Tywin et al. said:

Yep, I agree, and I made a similar argument last Friday. The problem is, it will take a lot longer than 19 weeks. :P

 

Ha.  Yeah, I was not entirely serious about the 19 weeks thing.  it really depends what kind of grandes are out there waiting to be tossed.  

3 hours ago, Manhole Eunuchsbane said:

Not technically, no. But he paid out $25 million in the Trump University case. To me that is a practical admission of guilt.

That was for civil cases though, wasn't it?

 

2 hours ago, Mexal said:

Wikileaks is releasing over 8,000 documents pertaining to the CIA's hacking abilities and tools, shortly after Trump calls out Obama and the "deep state" for wiretapping him. Russia Today had an article up within 15 minutes of the release. We're so fucked.

 

There's some juicy stuff in there.  i'm not going to wade into the other conversation going on now, but the underlying point that we should at lease attempt to interrogate these stories without the lens of 'Trump bad russian spy' goggles is valid.

 

 

1 hour ago, denstorebog said:

I think the reason the discussion has become more basic is because the game became more basic on November last year. Or to put it another way: When Trump tries to use the CIA leak within the next 24 hours to promote the narrative that the deep state is against the people, are we then allowed to talk about it here? Or should we generally stay above those topics and pretend that US politics hasn't devolved into a struggle to control the story, moreso than ever?

 

Why do we need to wait for Trump to tweet something before we talk about the 'deep state' and it's potentially sketchy practices of spying against american citizens and corporations?

 

 

1 hour ago, Mlle. Zabzie said:

@All-for-Joffrey - The fact that you think I am hysterical about this is, well, hysterical.  

 I think that it is disturbing that the CIA has these capabilities, but I am frankly not shocked.

I think it's cute that you think I'm a "presumable liberal".  But, I guess it depends where you are standing.

I do think there will be a different narrative about this particular leak than there is about other leaks coming out of the administration.  

All of these leaks are f*cking scary - both the substance of what they are leaking and the fact that the leaks are happening themselves.  On multiple levels.

 

Yeah.  Very scary.  i haven't gotten through much of the information yet, but there's some pretty frightening content in there that should transcend partisan bickering, though I doubt it will.

 

51 minutes ago, All-for-Joffrey said:

, this crap kind of reminds of all the shit  floating around the far-right internet about how the Clintons secretly murdered a bunch of people by connecting the dots to a bunch of apparently unrelated deaths. 

 

I was thinking the same thing the other day.

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12 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

We don't have enough information. If the FBI wasn't interested in the dossier for several months, then what changed?  It has been reported that multiple media outlets had been attempting to confirm all or parts of the dossier for months and had nothing.  Neither Trump's GOP opponents or the Clinton campaign appear to have had sufficient faith in the dossier to make it public...so it seems odd, with no other context, that somehow it became credible to the FBI, at least to me it does.

My understanding on the letter is that Comey believed the NYFBI was going to leak the information about the emails found as part of their own investigation and that is why he went public.  It may be true or not, but it makes sense to me and it would have been even more damaging if Huma's email stuff was leaked to the NYC papers by the FBI because then the story would have been FBI covering up for Clinton, even if that wasn't the case.  I also don't think the letter changed the election.   I don't think wikileaks changed the election either.  Clinton lost because she was anticipating a landslide and so she failed to shore up her base in Wisconsin, PA and Ohio, it's really that simple, a little more turnout there and she would have won.

Agreed. What changed? Maybe they started investigating it because the email investigation was closed? I don't know.  What I do know is the FBI/DNI felt there was sufficient credibility (whether they confirmed anything or not at that point) to brief the POTUS and the POTUS-elect about it. Journalists don't have access to signal intelligence or international sources like the FBI or IC has. Not really a surprise they were unable to confirm parts of the dossier that the US government could.

Fair enough if you believe that the Comey letter had zero effect. I believe differently. Sam Wang talks about it here and Nate Silver talks about it here. There was a clear, measurable impact when that letter came out. You can disregard it and disagree, no problem there, but when 80,000 votes separates a winner and loser, it's hard to ignore. 

As we've talked about many many times before, Clinton made a number of mistakes. No one disagrees. But with razor thin margins, Comey's letter is one of the biggest measurable changes that happened during that election.

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7 minutes ago, Swordfish said:

That was for civil cases though, wasn't it?

Yeah, but I'm not sure how that's relevant. Civil Fraud is still Fraud, right? 

 

/Again, I understand that he did settle, as opposed to being found guilty.

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10 minutes ago, Swordfish said:

 

Yeah.  Very scary.  i haven't gotten through much of the information yet, but there's some pretty frightening content in there that should transcend partisan bickering, though I doubt it will.

 

 

Not a chance, sadly.  But you know, I believe in the Fourth Amendment as much as I believe in the First, and you know, I'm disturbed.

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2 hours ago, All-for-Joffrey said:

Oh for fucks sake. Calm down John McCain and Lindsay Graham. 

First of all, you have your chronology completely wrong. Trump's baseless accusations came over the weekend. The CIA leaks just came out today and considering it's 8,000+ documents, they've been in the works for several weeks -- at least. Hareetz, the NYT and the BBC also had articles up within 30 minutes of release, since you know -- they're doing their fucking jobs and reporting on national security/privacy issues and not taking their stories from basic American cable news media -- like everyone in this thread seems to be doing with hard hitting analysis on Melania and Ivanka. But hey, I guess Hareetz, the BBC, and the New York Times are also pro-Trump Putin stooge outlets. 

Regardless, this has nothing to do with the idiotic Trump accusations that's detracting from serious media coverage, analysis, and discussion of actual, important issues like the revised travel ban or ACA repeal -- or stories like this on the national surveillance state for that matter.

The CIA leaks -- hacking into people's personal devices to monitor, record them, etc. is incredibly fucking disturbing, although perhaps not as explosive as Snowden's NSA leaks giving the fact that most people already suspected the US intelligence apparatus was already capable of doing this. (Fun aside: The CIA operative who code named the operation to hack Samsung TVs is evidently a Doctor Who fan and named it "weeping angel" -- funny but pretty messed up.)

And if you want to relate it to Trump, given Trump's tendency to take everything to the Nth degree and wildly exploit executive power, coupled with his targeting of minorities, journalists, and activists, you should be absolutely afraid of how Trump could direct the intelligence community to use these methods to hack and spy on the aforementioned groups. The FBI and CIA after all have a long history of doing just that -- particularly during the 60s and 70s. And of course you can thank Obama and his predecessors for laying the groundwork for all this in the first place. So yeah, the person who had the balls to put his or her neck on the line and leak this is actually a hero thank you very much. 


So TLDR: Can we stop making the US politics thread so fucking basic? It used to be one of the best places to read US political discussions on the internet in my opinion. Now it's kinda shit.  #MakethePoliticsThreadGreatAgain

I'm nowhere close to a State Secrets > ALL type of person. I considered Snowden's NSA leaks to be a public service and think he should be pardoned, for instance.

That being said with just reading the NY Times article, and correct me if I'm wrong, I don't feel like these leaks fall into the same type off category. The NSA leaks were important not because they revealed the capabilities of the NSA, but rather they revealed that the NSA was actively collecting metadata on all Americans, that some analysts were abusing the capabilities to run inquiries on citizens without warrants, and that some were having all their conversations and emails, etc. collected and stored by the NSA for years.

This only appears to be a leak about the capabilities of the CIA, although I'll certainly pay attention to the coverage to see if any abuses have been disclosed.

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Posted (edited)

5 minutes ago, Manhole Eunuchsbane said:

Yeah, but I'm not sure how that's relevant. Civil Fraud is still Fraud, right? 

 

/Again, I understand that he did settle, as opposed to being found guilty.

 

i don't really want to spend a ton of time on this, because it's fairly trivial.  but can we at least agree that there is substantial an meaningful difference between 'Trump already has a fraud conviction', and 'Trump settled a class action lawsuit filed against one of the companies he owns, immediately after he'd just been elected president?'

 

3 minutes ago, Mlle. Zabzie said:

Not a chance, sadly.  But you know, I believe in the Fourth Amendment as much as I believe in the First, and you know, I'm disturbed.

me too.

Edited by Swordfish

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Well, at least this presidency might mean a new golden age of Late Night shows:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gjlwlmlQu7o

Honestly, I'm laughing my ass off at these skits. At least before I realize that the reality is far too frightening.

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1 hour ago, Mexal said:

There is more to this.

1. The FBI wanted to hire Steele on further. That goes to show they thought he was credible and wanted him to continue to dig.

2. There has been elements of the dossier that have been confirmed.

Now, if you want to be like Joffrey up there, you can dismiss it all because it's anonymously sourced in mainstream media articles, but it's been reported by multiple organizations.

Steele has finally resurfaced and is back at work at his company.  At this point, I view his report as raw intelligence.  It's interesting and provides useful starting points for potential investigations, but all the allegations need verification.  I hope he can shed a little more light on his report and explain what parts of his report that he feels are most credible and why.  I think that was one part of the report that was missing that you'd typically find in an intelligence report.  There have also been elements of his report that have been proven false or inaccurate, and I hope that he'll provide an explanation for the errors.

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3 minutes ago, Swordfish said:

i don't really want to spend a ton of time on this, because it's fairly trivial.  but can we at least agree that there is substantial an meaningful difference between 'Trump already has a fraud conviction', and 'Trump settled a class action lawsuit filed against one of the companies he owns, immediately after he'd just been elected president?'

Basically agree. Technically he doesn't have a fraud conviction. I still thinks it's fair to say he's a con and a fraud, however.

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4 minutes ago, Mudguard said:

Steele has finally resurfaced and is back at work at his company.  At this point, I view his report as raw intelligence.  It's interesting and provides useful starting points for potential investigations, but all the allegations need verification.  I hope he can shed a little more light on his report and explain what parts of his report that he feels are most credible and why.  I think that was one part of the report that was missing that you'd typically find in an intelligence report.  There have also been elements of his report that have been proven false or inaccurate, and I hope that he'll provide an explanation for the errors.

I saw that. From what I understand, the memos was never a true intelligence report but a collection of raw intelligence. He never completed a final report which could have been because he never really had a client to give it to as they kept pulling out before he finished investigating. It would definitely be smart for the FBI to talk to Steele.

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